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Friday, November 12, 2010

Becky: Intricacies of Addictions?

So it's 7:43 and I just got the girl to go to bed (went to bed early so that she can watch a movie in bed). She's been excessively 6 this evening and ignoring me a lot. Not deliberately, but zoning out because she's watching TV. The boy has been in bed since just after 7, but is still talking to himself, so definitely hasn't gone to sleep. I need to check on his humidifier and make sure that its working, but I don't want to go in there until I'm sure he's out.

All I want to do right now is go out in my front yard and see if anyone is smoking. It's easier to bum a cigarette from someone when you live in an apartment complex. Not so much with a house. People have their own backyards or garages or houses, so they don't usually come to the front yard to smoke. Yes, I know that this is a good thing. In fact, that's why I'm here typing, not going outside to see, just in case.

I've been thinking about smoking all day. Not "Man, I'd kill to get a cigarette right now", but asking myself if I really wanted one. The answer was no the whole day. I realize the answer should be no regardless, but I think that when you are trying to quit something, you have to be honest with yourself. You need to acknowledge that you want something you can't have, and work to identify the feeling that comes with it (do I want to smoke because of the habit? Because I'm tired of sitting at my desk? Because I'm used to smoking when I drive?). So, all day. Want a cigarette? Nah, not really. Feel like smoking? Nope, I'm good. Want to see if someone is outside that you can bum from? No, thanks. I've been doing pretty good today, I think.

But right now. Man, if someone offered me a cigarette, I'd be outside before they could finish the question. So I need to keep myself busy. So... I write. I balance my checkbook. I pay bills. Eventually, I'll get distracted by something and won't think about it anymore.

This does beg the question, however, why is it not okay to fall off the wagon when smoking? I've asked two of my non-smoker friends this question over the last two days, but I want to know. If you are dieting, or cutting out cokes or coffee or what have you, an occasional slip is okay. One day a week, you mess up, that's okay, just get right back on the wagon, it'll be okay. Why don't we get that same reaction when quitting smoking? Instead, people are disappointed, shake their heads, lecture, etc. One friend said that it was because when he's dieting, he's not addicted to cookies. He thinks that it only takes one cigarette to get hooked again. I guess this is true, and as I'm typing I'm getting an answer in my head. With something you have a physical addiction to, such as nicotine (or caffeine, to use my other example), you are depriving yourself of something that your body wants and needs. It's a slow process, and one that you can only get through with time. If you slip up, then it takes your body that much longer to completely purge all the badness.

I guess that makes sense. Still. I'm one of those people who would celebrate a 10% weight loss with a piece of cake. I want to celebrate a week without smoking with a cigarette. To destroy a quote from somewhere, though, I guess "down that road lies madness".

I'll go pay bills. Then look for some paint in the garage to touch up my walls and trim inside my house. Eventually it'll be bedtime, and then I won't have to think about it anymore.

1 comment:

  1. I know what you are saying! Yes, he is right. It is the matter of being addicted to something vs. something you just do. You ask anyone that has gone through AA and is still sober. They'll tell you, "not one drink. One and it's over".

    But knowing that doesn't make it easier for you. You are doing so so SO great. I know it's tough (even harder for you than it is for me). I'm sorry for that. You will look back at this later and be SO thankful you are done with it though!