Something happened to me recently which reminded me I'd come along way but not yet far enough.
(Someone helped, it was an unfortunate incident that turned me into a target and ended in the capture of a hospital killer.)
So, anyway, I was dead for a few minutes. Prior to the whole being dead thing I'd experienced a vicious migraine and had noticed some holes in my memory. (Which probably led to me being a tad mixed up.)
I woke up to see Kurt at my bedside. Not a surprise, he brought me back. I knew that. What I wasn't ready for was what happened a few hours later.
Everything was a tad out of whack. I was still missing things... I couldn't remember my child or Rowan. I struggled to remember my brother and father. Yet, all memories that pertained to work seemed intact. Odd.
I argued with Kurt over missing memories. It became heated on my part. I was restrained... but not until after Kurt ended up with quite a magnificent bruise on his jaw. Not my finest moment.
After that, I slept for a while. I don't know how long.
When I woke Kurt got me coffee... and I asked for a cigarette.
I don't smoke.
I haven't smoked in a few years.
I nearly choked to death and quickly realized I don't smoke any more.
Obviously it hasn't been long enough because my default was to smoke.
Or is that always going to be there?
I gave up after realizing I was an addict. No one really talks that much about smoking being an addiction. It is.
Thinking about it now I was no different to any other kind of addict. Everything revolved around cigarettes. I needed to have a full pack available at all times or panic would set in. I didn't go to movies or anything else that required me to be smoke free for any length of time.
My life was not my own. It belonged to my addiction.
I hated it.
I quit because I hated it. I quit because I never ever wanted anything to have a hold on me like that again.
You know it's bad when you'd sooner stay in bed than face a morning without cigarettes.
I kicked it.
It was not easy. I used patches because there was no way I was going to break free from the addiction without help.
I had to completely change how I did things. I threw away my coffee cup - because I associated that cup with smoking. I got a new cup. I changed my routines. I cleaned everything. And made sure there was nothing left that smelled of smoke. And I accepted I was an addict and that I could never smoke again. For the first few months I kept away from friends who smoked and I ate a ton of sugar free mints.
I can now be around smokers but not for long periods.
I will never consciously smoke again. Why? Because I'd have to go through the whole quitting thing again and quite frankly it's not easy. (Yeah I know, nothing worth doing ever is easy.)
If I can give up, you can too.
It's a one day at a time thing. It's all about getting to know yourself and dealing with triggers.
And the best thing... once smoking was gone from my life, stress diminished.
The thing with smoking is... I smoked when I was stressed (and for every other reason under the sun) but smoking increased my stress levels by pumping more shit into my system.
You know what? Taking a few deep breaths (instead of lighting the cigarette and taking deep breaths) actually helps reduce stress.
Shocking isn't it?
Easier to just not start really, isn't it?