So I’ve been smoking again. Bad habit, I know. Smoking is bad for you, it can kill you, yes I know all these things. It had been about a year since I last smoked, and I had been doing really well. And then the overwhelming body sensations / body memories started happening, and I didn’t know how else to cope. Smoking has always been my go-to coping mechanism when all else fails. It’s not something I’m proud of, it’s not something I want to do, but I’m doing it and it provides me some sense of solace.
I began smoking when I was twelve. A friend at the time introduced me to it, among other things (which I’m not proud of either). Those other things didn’t stick; the smoking did. I have struggled with this on and off for years, and am now in my early thirties and still struggling with it.
Partner hates me smoking, so when I first started I tried to hide it from her. Of course that started me down the rabbit hole of shame and guilt, and I eventually came clean. She understood, but I could tell she hated it. She reminded me that I wouldn’t be able to smoke on our camping trip, and I determined that the trip would provide me with a great opportunity to stop. I smoked (what I thought) was my last cigarette before we hit the road on Tuesday. Finished the pack I had. Threw the empty box away. Didn’t smoke, or even crave it at all during the trip. The hiking with the backpacks thoroughly exhausted me physically, and the fresh mountain air did me good. But then I came home.
Of course I didn’t smoke during the day today, since I won’t smoke around Little Guy. After work, I resisted the urge to swing by a gas station on my way home to pick up a pack. Luckily for me (or perhaps unluckily for me), my partner wasn’t home when I got home. She took this week off from work, and she is out at the movies. I paced around my apartment for a few minutes before jumping back in my car to drive to the nearest gas station to buy myself another pack.
As I sit here outside, smoking, I am again overwhelmed by feelings of shame, guilt, and the feeling that I have failed. Not only myself but my partner. I am trying not to be too hard on myself, not to judge myself, but it’s just so hard. I told her that I would quit, and I failed to do so. Failed.
I have awards to accept, and I have posts to respond to, and I have comments to answer, and I apologize for not having gotten to them yet. I will, I promise. I’ve had the attention span of a gnat today, so you’ll have to forgive me. These cravings for a smoke have been all consuming. How do I let this control me?
I tell myself that I wouldn’t be smoking if it weren’t for the horrible body memories that keep assailing me. But perhaps I’m just lying to myself. Perhaps I’m just making excuses. I don’t know. It’s hard for me to practice self kindness when I know I’m doing something that is both hurting me and my body, as well as letting my partner down.