missellen

Day 4

Blog Post created by missellen on Mar 22, 2018

Today is feeling a little better--went to the gym this morning and I have a TON of work to do today at the jobby-job, so I will be a busy bee.

 

Do they have treatment centers for smokers?  I've often wondered about that and I've never noticed any. I mean, granted, I haven't done an exhaustive search on it or anything, but I've wondered.  You'd think that one of the most addictive substances in the world with the one of the highest (if not the highest) death rates around would warrant a Betty Ford center or something. 

 

I remember as a kid, everyone smoked--parent's, grandparent's, my doctor in his office during an appointment, everybody. I remember hating it and begging my parent's to quit.  I remember my older brother babysitting me and him telling me of the drugs I should steer clear of when I got older (he was 8 years older than me)--cocaine, heroin, speed--these things were bad. It was okay to drink and smoke weed and cigarettes weren't even mentioned, because they were just a part of everyday living.  I scoffed and said I wasn't going to do anything, not even smoke. Ahh, the innocence of youth.

 

I started smoking because I wanted to drink, but I didn't like the taste of booze. I wanted to be drunk, but I didn't want to choke down the alcohol. The smoking helped that process--how I thought smoking tasted better I'm sure I don't know, but it did, somehow.  I also wanted my voice to be deeper.  Really?  What a silly, silly reason. I guess all the reasons are silly in retrospect.

 

It's funny, I drank a lot when I was younger. I tried all kinds of drugs, too. The only one that stuck was the cigarettes. I can't remember the last time I did a drug--decades ago, now. And drinking, while that one held on longer, is not really in the picture anymore, either. A few times a year, we'll get together with some friends and I'll have a few cocktails, but I'm always the one that wraps it up and switches to water/coffee/ginger ale, while everyone is still knocking back shots. I just don't like the way I feel the next day.  The smokes, however, have always been ever-present at those times, regardless.

 

Anxiety has certainly played a huge role in ceasing drinking/drugs for me. Once the anxiety kicked into overdrive in my early 30's, all of the desire for that stuff ceased, as it all made my anxiety so much worse. Panic attacks, practically becoming agoraphobic, the works. But still, the cigarettes persisted. Even as THEY contributed to my anxiety issues as well, I convinced myself that they were calming.  I've mentioned before that when I don't smoke, I don't need to take xanax for my anxiety/panic--interesting, huh?   Intellectually, I know this and understand the link between the two, but that addict in me still insists that a cigarette will calm me down--even when I'm NOT feeling anxious.

 

I wonder about the "addict", too.  With all the drinking and drugs I DID do when I was younger, how was I able to stop those on a dime and not have any issue?  I never crave a drink. I don't ever think, "Oh, I need a drink" and I certainly don't miss drinking or drugs, but cigarettes?  Holy cow!  I naively thought that since I wasn't addicted to those things, how could I be addicted to cigarettes, until I tried to quit so many times before.

 

I sometimes suffer from thinking that I know all that I need to know about myself and my motivations and whatnot and I keep learning (oftentimes in the most difficult way possible) that I still have a lot to learn.

 

Here's to one more day, one minute, one hour at a time.

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