A Fragile Freedom From Nicotine

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Tomorrow will mark two weeks exactly that I have been free from cigarettes. I’m not going to lie, it hasn’t been the easiest thing. The only reason I was able to quit was because I got so sick and couldn’t smoke. Luckily I had enough will power to not smoke after I felt better but even that was mostly due to fear of setting off another coughing fit.

Now I am feeling much better and I find it easier everyday not to smoke. All my coworkers do and in the past that has been the hardest part about trying to quit. At work I am alone a lot because everyone is outside smoking and laughing and having wonderful conversation. In the past I would sit by myself and feel bitter that I was not only hurting from nicotine withdrawal, but also all alone. Being lonely like that for 8 to 12 hours a day can be so hard. I feel like non-smokers will never understand how hard it is to go from having a close group of smoker friends, to being alone and watching them continue to have fun without you everyday.

Thankfully, this time has been different and a little easier. So far I have been ok with being by myself while everyone goes out to smoke. I think this is actually due to my mood turning much more serious and me moving towards being more introverted. That is all due to the weather turning cold and drab. I hate the winters so much and I find it easier to be by myself while my moods are fragile and quickly turn irritable and angry. So, I’m not much in the mood for socializing the way I am when the weather is sunnier and warm. So being inside and writing or listening to music while the others leave to go freeze and poison themselves is fine by me at the moment.

But the feeling of boredom still crops up here and there. In the past I gave in to the craving because of those feelings of boredom and afterwards I would feel low and guilty for having poisoned my body further because I was bored. I felt pathetic.

In my defense though, being bored is a hard emotion to deal with when you have no idea how to deal with it. Boredom, to me, feels a lot like loneliness, and loneliness can hurt like a physical pain. I read somewhere once that boredom is the desire for desires and nicotine numbs the desire and the pain of not being fulfilled. Nicotine gives you something to do and when you have something to do you feel ok. Now, thanks to this blog, I finally have something to do that makes me feel almost as good as nicotine. I say almost because I still have cravings, even when I’m writing.

The cravings are manageable now though. I just tell myself “I know you want to smoke, but I’m sorry but you just can’t”. Saying that makes it ok to want to smoke, but, like a store clerk who has to refuse a customer a discount or a return, my hands are tied. I tell myself there is nothing I can do about the fact that I can’t smoke because the decision came from higher up. I shrug and say I’m sorry but I don’t make the rules.

So at just about two weeks smoke free I have learned that the best way to quit is to start by catching a nasty cold. Preferably cold that comes with a harsh and sometimes violent cough. That way every time you even try to smoke your body will automatically let you know that you are stupid because you will be in incredible pain.

After that you have to have a good bout of cold weather that makes you feel generally in a grouchy and makes you not want to be around other people. Then you have to find something to do that makes you feel good in place of nicotine. And finally after all of that you have to take to yourself like you are a child and just act as if, sadly, smoking is just not an option.

That is the Lisa plan to get you nicotine free in two weeks!

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Lisa

Hello! My name is Lisa. I find the human condition fascinating and I often write stuff about that. I blog at zenandpi.com but you can also find me on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, and if you like what I do, consider signing up for my newsletter. Thanks :)

3 thoughts on “A Fragile Freedom From Nicotine”

  1. Congrats. It’s really tough—I’m about three months quit, myself, with the exception of this past weekend when I had a huge grad school exam. Sometimes I don’t think about it for days at a time, and then there’ll be a day when all I can think about is wanting one. They get fewer as I go along, though.

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  2. Congrats! You are an inspiration. I have been wanting to/thinkingabout/not wanting to quit, but I think I am going to give it a go this weekend. Keep us posted on your progress, it’s inspiring and strengthening to read about people who are succeeding.
    – Kait

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