Negotiating the contradictions.

I’ve mostly quit smoking. Kind of. I’m trying. I read Allan Carr’s book “Easy Way for Women to Quit Smoking” last week. He’s quite the guru and the book is the bomb; this is the best I’ve ever felt about quitting, despite the fact that I’m still sneaking a puff or two every so often. And yes, I know that’s the road to ruin or at least the road to back to half a pack a day but for some reason or other, despite my change in attitude and despite the interesting things I learned about smoking, I just can’t bring myself to fully cut the cord, pull the trigger, break the connection. The good thing is that those puffs are starting to taste quite nasty.

I want to quit, I do, it’s just that I have a tendency to cave to the little voice that says it’s not really smoking if it’s only a puff. I can still be a non-smoker and do that, right? It’s ironic really. When you are smoking, all you want to do is quit. Every pack is the last pack. But, as soon as you quit and have no cigarettes, all you do is tell yourself it really wasn’t that bad. That now’s probably a bad time to quit. Soon would be better. Later is the perfect time.

I’ve mentioned in the blog, somewhat ad nauseum, that I’ve gained a bit of weight. Ten to fifteen pounds most likely based on the fit of my clothes and the body I carry. I don’t know exactly because I don’t weigh myself. Not weighing myself is part of my recovery plan for my eating disorder. Scales are awful. The number is never right anyhow.

But I’m not happy about the weight gain. I don’t like that part. I want to recover. I want my brain back. I want to feel good, to love myself. I just want to do it without gaining any weight. I want to quite smoking without quitting smoking.

I want recovery without fully giving up the habits I’m seeking recovery from. It’s a conundrum we all have to face. It’s kind of an economics problem. Something suited to a cost-benefit analysis. Which behaviour provides me with the best return?

I’m a logical person most of the time but my brain is content to ignore logic when it tries to come up with reasons to avoid change. Even change for the better is scary. Who am I if I’m not the things I currently am and how am I supposed to function without an addiction or disorder to direct me on what to think and how to be? These are the thoughts that my neuroses try to keep front and centre. Focus on reasons to stay back, not on reasons to break free.

The resistance to change does bring up an important point, however. The loss of these things, no matter how harmful they are, leaves a hole. It’s a loss and there’s grief, regardless of the fact that we’re losing something horribly bad for us.

I drew Isa from my Rune Cards today. It represents ice and that which impedes, and can “indicate that the winter of spiritual life is upon you.” * Further reading revealed this bit of information:

“Seek to discovery what it is you are holding on to that keeps this condition in effect, and let it go. Shed, release, cleanse away the old…Submit and be still…the seed of the new is present in the shell of the old, the seed of unrealized potential, the seed of the good.”

I find it equal parts interesting and annoying when I get a spiritual sign that mirrors the issues I’m currently struggling with.

I want to change without actually making the changes. I’ll make little changes, no problem. The easy changes. At least, they seem easy in retrospect. I seem to recall whining about them when I made those changes too. Still, I’m not looking for perspective. I want my brain to validate a hedged recovery. It’s annoying me that it won’t fully get on board.

This is the conundrum of recovery. I want recovery as long as I’m not getting it. I want it when I’m in the pit but the more I start to move away, the less I think I need to make the changes that are saving me. The problems poke their heads back up and suggest that things weren’t that bad. The problems seek co-existence. Maybe we can work together?

In addition to almost quitting smoking, I’ve been thinking about going on a diet. I can go on a diet and recover from my eating disorder, right? I mean, it’s not really a problem. It’s restricting but just a little. It’s hating my body, but just a little. It’s smoking, but just a little. That’s fine, right?

I hate it when I know the answer and it’s not supportive of my delusional thinking.

No, you cannot go on a diet while trying to recovery from an eating disorder. No, you cannot smoke to quit smoking. These are the logically incompatible goals I’m busy performing mental gymnastics to try and justify.

When you start down the path of recovery, counsellors and therapist and books will tell you the same thing: write out a list. Write out a mission statement. Put down in an accessible format the reasons why you want to change. The reasons you need to change. What change will bring to your life. Why it’s important. How things were bad when you weren’t making the changes.

I used to skip this step entirely. See me sitting here not recovered. In recovery yes, but still struggling. I wonder what would have happened if I’d followed the instructions years ago? I didn’t, however, because I knew better. I knew how to recover and I knew what advice to follow and what to disregard.

Such disordered thinking. Because the truth is, if I’d known how to get out of the trap, I’d have been free long ago.

There are parts that don’t want to recover, to quit, to give up the addictions, to change. They are afraid.

I fantasize I lot in my life, dissociate from reality frequently. Often, I envision scenarios where I’m called upon to be fierce and brave and brutal. I rise. In my head, I rise. Why then am I so quick to give up in my actually reality?

It never fails to amuse me, how contradictory and willing to act against our own interests we can be.

*The Book of Rune Cards: Sacred Play for Self-Discovery. Commentary by Ralph Blum.

13 thoughts on “Negotiating the contradictions.

  1. I have his book Stop Smoking Now and after a halfhearted attempt to quit I went back to it. I did have more success high low carb diet which included flax seed wraps in place of bread. If you’re interested Google Wheat Belly Flax seed wraps.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “I hate it when I know the answer and it’s not supportive of my delusional thinking.” I’m right there next to you.

    I like your posts, because they tackle serious issues, offer wise advice, and yet emit some sort of humor. Maybe it’s just me reading it incorrectly, but it surely helps to be able to laugh at yourself.

    Funnily enough, I had a dream last night that I asked someone if I could take a puff of their cigarette. I don’t smoke. Hm…

    But coming back to your quitting by not quitting, have you thought about WHY you smoke? Maybe you can find other things that fit in with the “why”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for saying that about the humour. I do try for it, although it is dry.

      Odd dream. As to the why, I’ve been thinking about it. I seem to really embrace and find hard to let go of behaviours that might kill me. I think at times it’s kind of a passive suicide thing. But I will continue to ponder.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My sense of humor is quite weird and I foten laugh when others are dead serious. Hence my uncertainty with your posts. Thank you for clarifying. The last thing that I want to do is offend someone with my laugh.

        Interesting answer. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that one. Maybe you’re the only honest one…

        Liked by 1 person

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