Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I am the troll under the bridge


The first time I ever smoked a cigarette, I was a freshman in high school. I was in a play and, while I had no speaking lines, I was going to be on stage the WHOLE time. I was freaking out. A friend took me outside and told me to smoke a cigarette to calm me down, which I did. I cannot say that I enjoyed it, at all, or that it calmed my nerves, but the buzz was sufficient to take my mind off of my stage fright and go on with the performance.

I didn't smoke again until five years later, in college. But stupid me, who had escaped for so long despite the fact that all of my friends were smokers, fell right into the trap. I have quit several times since, when I was pregnant with Indigo, for example. Then, about 2 years ago, with the help of a book, I quit "once and for all." I was sure of it. And I would have been completely successful, too, if it weren't for one tiny little detail--I became over-confident. After 1 1/2 years of being a very happy non-smoker, completely free of any cravings whatsoever, I found myself in an extremely stressful situation. I was so confident in being a non-smoker that I thought I could have one cigarette and I would be fine. I was emotionally crashing at that moment, surely a little smoke couldn't hurt?

I was so wrong. Within two weeks I was buying a pack every other day and that's the way it has been for about 6 months now. I felt really guilty and ashamed, not to mention how terrible my lungs felt all over again, and how my anxiety was now 2-fold as, besides trying to cope with afore-mentioned stressful situation, I had to feed this little addiction every couple of hours as well. In the past 6 months I tried and failed miserably to quit smoking, on 3 separate occasions. Worse, I had to try to explain to Indigo what was going on and why I failed to quit.

Well, I have finally done it. I smoked my last. If you have been wondering where my blog went the past few days, well, I have been spending my time exercising, napping, watching Firestarter, exercising more, drinking water, napping, acting kind of crazy, cleaning, napping, and trying not to bite anyone's head off. That might all sound nuts, but I am more confident than I ever have been before that I will never, EVER smoke again. Now I am armed with the knowledge of how terrible even one cigarette can be. Now whenever I think I want one, I just think about raising that smoke to my lips. But instead of taking a drag, my mouth is suddenly filled with cigarette butts and ash. That pretty much does the trick! :D

The only problem is that, for now, I feel like the troll under the bridge, lurking, skulking, distracting myself until some poor innocent victim comes along and I SNAP out at them! Big, bad, mean ol' Lea. My acupuncturist told me that a lot of people actual fail to stop smoking because they act so mean for awhile, they feel like it would be better to just start again. Well, I'm not going to let that happen, so now I am going to go exercise some more (endorphins help), and visit said acupuncturist to help chill me out.

Thanks for letting me ramble today. I know this post is pretty far off my norm, but to be honest I am writing it more for me than for you this time. To reinforce my decision, to make it public, making me accountable, and to be perfectly honest, to get some words of encouragement. I am so exited for the fog to clear as all of the nicotine leaves my body, for my lungs to heal up, to smell good, have good breath, be a great example for my daughter, get all of my energy back, be able to exercise again and have it actually benefit me, let go of all of the guilt once and for all.

p.s. The above photo is a picture of my actual cigarettes after I smoked my last one! Then I put them in the trash and poured water over them :D I am FREEEEEEEEEE!

15 comments:

rebeccashapiroart said...

Hooray for you! Think of all the extra art you can do now that you're not smoking!

Katheryne said...

Think of how all those little bits of money will add up to more fun things you and Indie can do! You can do this!

Amanda said...

I think this is a really common issue a lot of ex-smokers have. You're an extremely brave person to keep fighting the fight, instead of giving in and giving up! I'm sure you can get through this, and you'll be an even stronger person for it! :)

Plus, your money and time are worth more this way. Keep it up!

Adrienne said...

That rocks and I am so happy for you and proud of you!!

Brook said...

Thats good you quit!!! good for you!!!

Danielle said...

go Lea! You can do it!

Ms.Alisha said...

Yay! I am so looking up to you :) I still haven't won the battle, but I want to join you in the land of the non-smokers too! It's an evil, terrible habit in so many ways, and you are amazing for sticking in there and ultimately killing the habit....burying it and spitting on it's grave.

ha, ha...that was rather morbid wasn't it?

Healingstones said...

I didn't know you were addicted to the evil weed. Good for you in giving up! My sister found that hypnosis really helped - she only needed one session.

LeaKarts said...

For anyone that's interested, I used Alan Carr's book, "The Easy Way to Stop Smoking." Which had helped in the past, too. I also got this cheesy subliminal message dvd from Netflix--cheesy, but it really really helped!
Acupuncture and exercise have made me pretty sane all week long, too. I am starting to come out of the fog :)
Thanks to everyone for being so supportive!!!!!
xo

KarmasKreations said...

I can't imagine you being mean! But, I'm glad the acupuncture is helping you fight the demons (I'd have acupuncture every day if I could afford it!). Way to go!

EyePopArt said...

I'm so proud of you! I hope you never smoke again!

Denise said...

Kudos to you Lea. While in High School and college I smoked little French Gallois cigarettes (which were more like cigars - really strong.) I smoked for around 10 years! It's such an intense addiction. At the time I was a vegan, health food addict, runner, exercise fanatic and went to a Naturopathic doctor but couldn't give it up. Who knows why - maybe it was because I was putting myself through school and working three jobs. It was my only vice and I didn't want to let go.I can totally relate and what's really strange is even now - 25 years after I quit - when I am really stressed out, I really crave a cigarette. weird! You did the right thing not only for yourself but for your daughter and others who love you - so congrats to you!!!!!

LeaKarts said...

You guys are all so awesome! Thank you so so so so so much for being so supportive. It really helps! After about a week, I'm feeling really great, my lungs are clearing (gross, but yay!), and I am wanting to exercise all the time!! Crazy :D

Hyla Waldron said...

Yay for you. The worse smell for me when I smoked was the smell of my hair, YUK!

~Hyla

Ryan *girl said...

Keeks! You're awesome and a really cute troll. Congrats to you!


Love me, also ex-smoking resmoking smoker. :)