I should probably want to quit smoking.

I’m trying to quit smoking.

And by trying, I mean I think about quitting smoking, but I don’t do much beyond cutting back a bit. If it gets uncomfortable, I go back to previously established levels.

A favourite quote of mine is, “Nothing changes if nothing changes.”

A good corollary would be, “Nothing changes if you don’t really want change.”

Part of the reason I’m finding it difficult to quit is that part of me doesn’t want to stop.

There are a million reasons to quit.

It’s expensive. This probably shouldn’t be my number one, but it is. It may be harming my body; it’s harming my pocket book more. Because I have a fixed, relatively low income, this is an important consideration.

I don’t like the smell. I like smelling another person’s smoke as it floats up from a burning tip. I don’t like the way they smell when they’re done. I assume the same odour emanates from me after a quick slip outside. I find that thought embarrassing.

Smoking makes me feel ashamed. Some people look at you when you’re smoking like they just caught you doing something vile to small animals. You are seriously frowned upon if you smoke in public, at least where I live. It was nicer in Mexico; no one cared if you were smoking – though that did take some getting used to; I was always expecting a curled lip.

It causes wrinkles. Thank god for vanity. It tries to stop you doing stupid things. Not because the things themselves are dangerous, but because doing them will have a negative effect on your appearance. I don’t like the smoking lines developing above my lip, and a myriad of articles have informed me that some of the lines around my eyes can be attributed to my history of lighting up.

Additionally, smoking is bad for your health. It causes cancer of the everything, you can get emphysema, and blah, blah, blah. The health admonishments never hit me as much as the self-interest ones do. I’m not sure if that’s a “me” thing – a function of the low-level of dislike I have for myself most of the time – or an everyone thing and those ad campaigns that focused on health and showed you grey, diseased lungs really missed the mark.

Even knowing all that, even with all the selfish and self-care reasons to quit, I don’t really want to.

My eating disorder worries about the “quit and get fat thing” even though I regularly pull up articles that promise weight gain doesn’t have to happen and there are things to do that will help you avoid it. Just the thought gets me anxious. To be honest, the eating disorder part of the brain isn’t worried about cancer. She sees at as a perfect opportunity to get thin, which just goes to show how dysfunctional she is.

I like the breaks smoking allows me to take. I like sitting on the front porch, looking out at the street, and occasionally interacting with the neighbours. A smoke break is perfect suited for my anxiety; it ties in nicely to the challenges associated with sitting still and staying on task for more than an hour.

I like how smoking gives me calm down when I start to get angry. My depression leaves me short-tempered; I get angry quickly and it’s mostly over-the-top and unwarranted. Stepping outside to have a smoke lets me pause before I wade in and cause harm.

There is also, I admit, some resentment that comes along with the idea of having to quit. It’s just one more thing. One wafer thing mint. I have given up a lot of behaviours already, made some serious changes to how I live in the world. I work hard on staying sober in my eating. I work hard on making changes that will help me recover from the eating disorder mindset. I work hard on letting go of the maladjusted coping techniques I used to deal with my anxiety, like cutting and compulsive spending. I work hard on my depression.

Which all sounds like so much rationalization and justification, and it is, but it’s also accurate. At the moment, for me, quitting smoking is a “should” and not a “want to”. I’m reasonably certain I won’t be able to do more than the aforementioned cutting back until that changes.

Next on the “to-do” list, then, is changing my mindset so a behaviour I’ve decided to accept is not allowed to generate feelings of guilt and self-derision.

13 thoughts on “I should probably want to quit smoking.

  1. Reblogged this on Notes and commented:
    Oh… please don’t quit smoking. A woman looks so sexy when smoking. I’m sorry for being so selfish in asking you for something which is clearly harmful to your health. Just could not stop myself from being honest here! I’m not a smoker but I like the view 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your blog’s honesty. Consider hypnotherapy. It has proven useful for both eating disorders and smoking cessation. Take care!

    Like

  3. I could have written this almost exactly. A little uncanny…. I switched from smoking to vaping. And I did like that better with regards to the smell and the way I felt after a night or day of heavy smoking. Also, smoking while training for a marathon is a little like having a split personality- the two don’t quite coincide. And yes, people look at you like a piece of trash. It’s become a really shameful type habit. Something I felt guilty and apologetic for enjoying. Yes, it took the edge off, allowed me to survive terrible grief, gives me a pause and pace and time to just be……Yes, it is unhealthy and financially draining. I find my biggest issue wasn’t the potential for health complications but that it was taking time away from friends, family, hobbies etc. because I would hide out and isolate and inevitably may not sleep and the cycle would continue. sigh…….I am 3 days of no vaping. Feel good. The irritability is gone now. I’m mentally clearer. But shit- truth be told- when I’m an old lady I am going to smoke it up! That’s some powerful addictive stuff! Sorry for the rant. I feel this so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Totally feel this! I think thats why I havent been able to cut out vaping. It’s like there’s so much worse I could be doing and battling with. So many behaviours and thought patterns that have been switched to healthier versions and that’s not easy to do or maintain, it just feels like one. More. Thing. Sometimes people tell me to stop having coffee and I want to laugh in their face, nope!!! Vaping has a nice taste too I’m on a watermelon thing at the moment. I might ‘cut back’ as in the nicotine dosage slowly but surely but for now, I can’t go a day either. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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