Well, I have ridiculously found myself to be a smoker again, since March, after vape cigarettes made me violently ill. But I have made a staunch claim to sobriety, and after vowing to never drink alcohol again, (which was never really much a problem, I just don’t see any fun in it anymore; especially not at social gatherings where people tout their political views out of fumes of liquor). I have just purchased a small lot of herbal loose tea, re-adopted my diabetic nutrition plan I used seven years ago, and have lost 10 pounds. I saw an actual orthopedic specialist who has informed me that I don’t need knee surgery for my osteoarthritis, but need a more specific physical therapy, which starts tomorrow, and I can’t wait to be able to walk, and then jog again!
This is the good news. The bad news is that I have another unopened pack of menthol smokes to await me upon rising in the morning-if I even go to bed now. I have called the tobacco quit hotline and signed up again for their services and will receive a box of patches in the mail. Here’s the thing. I have a box of patches from the last time, and I can just put one on now. The reason I gave up on this method of nicotine replacement was the completely out of control way they made me feel at night when I slept with them on. I would have horrible, strange dreams, wake up over and over and then finally rip the idiotic thing off my arm, and sleep for a few hours and then try to suffer through my day. I went to a vaping pen to switch milligrams of nicotine, and actually did get to a 12mg bottle. And so, when I went back to smoking, I only had a half pack a day. So now, here it is-night owl time, and if I go to bed with a brand new patch, I will probably get no sleep. So of course, instead, I decide to blog. I do want to go to bed, and I want to wake up and put a patch on, and get through the morning as if a “morning smoke” doesn’t exist.
I hope my husband has his protective headgear and cloak of armor for whatever I might throw at him tomorrow. But I know I don’t want to smoke. Now, I hate the smell, all of my coats need dry cleaning, I’m due for dental work, and don’t want to ruin it by continuing to smoke, and all of the like. Very well meaning goals, but then there’s that ignorant pack just sitting there. I guess I’ll give it to the new neighbor downstairs (yes, spread the cancer risk, right?), and just stick to these patch treatments until I break a coffee mug or two by throwing them in my sink, just because, well, that’s what withdrawal feels like to me. It was so much easier to quit drinking, because I hate the bars here in town, I don’t like drinking at home alone, I don’t like drinking and driving, and somehow my designated driver always ends up more drunk than me, and I hate paying for high-end spirits. I don’t miss drinking at all. And to make it worse, I only really had anything alcoholic at holidays, and now, I just want gourmet coffee and tea.
It’s like I said before, cigarettes were my buddy, always there through any situation, always ready to listen to any story of how bad work was, or what was wrong with that guy at the stoplight, running it while red? My mom says she still dreams of smoking, and she quit 20 years ago. I fear I might go mad without them. Is it really possible to go crazy when you quit smoking? I guess I don’t think I am a deity, or a special savior to humankind, so I’m probably just exaggerating. I think what I will miss is the ability to go anywhere next to a smoker, ask for a light, and have that instant sense of belonging. I don’t make friends easily, but when I do, I have them for life. Smoking has been my buffer for nervous meetings at the bus stop, or waiting for your break to be over with people from other departments.
I need better social skills I guess. But I’m such a bookworm, and always studying some complex law, medical, global news tragedy, I can’t seem to make small talk. So I guess just say nothing at all. Or just “hi,” and stand still. Talk about the weather, like everyone else does. It doesn’t have to be a life altering conversation, for crying out loud. And so the smokes are good-bye. But hello to another new level of health. I don’t want to have to call this hotline next year and tell them I couldn’t quit this year again. And this time I want to do it for me. Not my mom, not my husband, not my doctor, not my friend who tells me “don’t you know those are bad for you?” I want to quit for me. I have other dreams in life to plan and pursue. I don’t need another health crisis waiting for me. I hope someone else can read this message today, and know that recovery is definitely not a finger snap and you’re set for life. I just praise God, that there are people in my life on this recovery journey, and not just drugs and alcohol. They believe in my potential. They see that I’ve been fighting to improve. I want to be able to tell people that it really is possible to have a healthy life. But I have never believed in fad programs, and I have only gained the wisdom and patience from failing, and then starting back over again. Learning from my mistakes, and listening to the stories of other people. I had a pretty difficult upbringing, and I can see how it turned me into the destructive person I’ve been.
God never gives up on me. Those prayers, those tearful nights, the days you wish you were already back in bed, because you don’t want to feel the way you do. I know what that’s like. But today, I can say, I have faith that can move mountains. I have a God that is putting people in my life that know what I’m talking about, and I’m not crazy. I’m not alone. Sometimes, people just need to know it’s ok to feel what they are feeling. Life can really chew you up and spit you out, but there is healing. It’s not always in an instant. But each step, each bridge crossed-you can get to the other side. I believe it. And if God will do it for me, He will do it for you.