Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Once a smoker, always a smoker

I'll assume you as the lowly reader of my blog (I dunno, maybe it's just me who will read this, and that's ok too) don't know me. There was a time in my life when I was a smoker. Nay, an AVID smoker. I'd say a pack a day probably qualified me as 'avid', although I realize some people smoke way more than that, and still not feel like they smoke that much.

Shortly before my wife and I decided to have a baby, I managed to kick the addiction. I remember being really very proud of myself. It was not the first time I'd tried to quit. This time I bought the gum and I really think that helped me a lot, although it was still incredibly difficult to kick the non-chemical addiction. The feeling of the perfectly engineered round cylinder of love in between my fingers, the familiar satisfaction of taking a draw on the cigarette, the playful pastime of ejecting the smoke from my mouth in ever-more-creative ways.

It's now been over 5 years since I considered myself as a smoker, but in the past two weeks, I find that my desire to become a regular smoker again is getting greater and greater by the day. I can, however, think of nothing more repulsive than my children being around a smoking father, or the thought of me getting home in the evening, reeking like a wet ashtray and hugging them. Those mental images are my primary incentive to not completely break down and regress. I have no problem keeping those negative thoughts alive in my mind and for that reason alone I'm sure I can succeed in this particular battle against desire.

Great.

Well...

Just lately I've been finding it 'acceptable' to smoke the occasional cigarette at home, on the driveway... after the kids are asleep and safe in their beds. A cigarette followed by a quick shower, no-one is any the wiser, apart from my laundry pile. That's OK, right? I know it's not. I can say now that I know it's NOT ok, but I just want to put this in writing so I can look back on it in the coming weeks and months. It's NOT ok.

Right now I'm using it as a crutch to get through a very stressful period in my life. I shouldn't be. I hope that I can either be strong enough to walk alone, or that the stressful period won't last much longer than this pack of cigarettes will last. (which gives me approximately another 17 days of stress)

Social smoking I can deal with, although I also realize that THAT is unacceptable too. However it's this new occasional 'comfort injection' I need to focus on now. I know it's got to stop. I can't venture down this path again.
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