I have spent the last few days examining why I smoked, not why I wanted to quit. Reasons for quitting were easy, it's the reasons I smoked that worried me more. And boy, were they emabarrassing! A couple of diary entries below... oh the shame!
Well, it’s nearly 11.15 at night, I’m on my 4th can of cider and a big bit of me is still thinking- irrationally and ridiculously- that I ‘should’ have ‘a fag’. All these little in-built phrases have dominated my life. Oh, I’m tired, ready for bed, just ‘have a quick fag first’- like that will help? Or that smoking is part of the process of sleep? Such nonsense. Hmmm. So many silly little parts of my life I’ve built smoking into, mythologicised it so it becomes a metaphore for relaxation, for fun, for secret chats (‘meet you at the smoking area’), I have woven a not very pleasant poison into so many of my daily habts. So, I already know I can survive perfectly well without a smoke, but can I, long term, get away from the childhood mythology of smoking which I still, at the tragically old age of 40 (even though it’s embarrassing) still cling to, adhere to, believe. Saddo! Smoking’s, like, really cool, like, yeah? Oh yes, I’m still that kid. Time to grow up? Scary man!
Another good one, oh, I’m tired, not had enough sleep and got to get bus in half hour- where are my clothes? Where are my fags? A smoke will help… Oh yes, of course that’s the answer, some smoke in my tired early morning lungs will really focus me! And mmmm the taste- just adding to that horrible early morning mouth feel, a nice fat fag. What strange lies we tell ourelves! Why? Even I, most die hard smoker, am well aware it tastes bloody horrible, especially before 8am.
I’m into day three of a smokeless existance. I feel, for some reason, like I’m in mourning. For what? A bad taste in my mouth? The chance to drastically shorten my life? Huddling outside in the rain on nights out? It’s very hard to rationalise, and not nice to admit to, but the feeling of losing something is there none the less. Ridiculous, isn’t it? But, if I’m to kick this addiction once and for all, I have to be honest and face up to the truth of it. On my last quit attempts I was very moralistic, and totally- outwardly at least- unphased by the process. But that wasn’t honest was it? Now, admitting how ingrained a part of my life smoking has been, maybe I can tackle the mental issues of quitting and stay smoke free. That’s the grand idea anyway! But true honesty is so shaming, so demeaning. Who wants to admit they still think it makes them look cool to smoke? But that’s the truth- I’m one of the cool kids, one of the rebels. That’s me, Dee, smoking away and looking fabulous. Smelling like an old ashtray, but who cares? Well, that’s what’s changed- I do care. I’ve become embarressed by the smell of me. At work, talking to people, I’m aware of the stink of old fags clinging to me. I’m aware that my constant coughing is annoying because people see me then going out to smoke. I look like an idiot. I smell like shit. I’m prematurely aging. That’s the truth of the matter. That’s why I’ve had enough.
So, it’s the weekend, and it stretches ahead of me with little distraction, and a sense of feeling lost and adrift. Oh the drama!
Hmmm. Doesn't make for edifying reading does it? What an idiot! All these years, and what started me smoking is still what keeps me going back! I never realised it was a drug addiction, so maybe coming to terms with that will help. Sh*t people, I've laid myself on the line here! May need to have a lie down now...