I work in a school with middle and high school students. I could not smoke during the school day, but when that last bell rang, I was running to the car as fast as I could. As soon as I got into the car and pulled out of the driveway, I would have a cigarette lit. I would smoke 2 on the 20 minute ride home. Then I would unpack my bags, get things settled in the house, and immediately go outside to smoke one more "just to relax" after getting home.
I purposely set my quit date towards the end of summer school in mid-July because I was only working part time and there were fewer students to work with. This, of course, meant less stress and an easier schedule. It also meant I still had somewhat of a routine to get me up and going. I find that activity, even idle chores or morning routines, help keep my mind occupied.
Today was my first full day back to set up my office before the school year begins. No, the students haven't started back yet, but you would be surprised at how much paperwork piles up in 4 weeks. I was nervous about wanting that after school nicotine fix on the way home. I woke up with anxiety, laying in bed imagining the worst. Tossing and turning. Finally I told myself that I was being ridiculous. So tbe first thing is to get up and start moving. Start my day instead of fretting over it. I threw some mints in my purse for the ride home and had my Spotify playliist on my phone ready to go. Off to work I went!
I left work feeling accomplished and going over the things that still needed to get done. As I was merging onto the highway, I realized I was clenching my jaw, my muscles were tense and I had a death grip on the steering wheel. So I took some deep breaths, unclenched my jaw, and relaxed my muscles. I hooked up my phone and played all my favorite upbeat fun songs, singing along the whole way home. I felt much better and actually had a smile on my face when I pulled into the driveway. Sometimes the anticipation of what might happen is worse than the reality of what actually happens. Battle won!
I will win this war, one battle at a time!
Summer break may have ended, but my vow to quit smoking will never end.