I still struggle with the same issues I was two years ago. And 4 years ago. And 15 years ago. I smoke whenever I can. In “quitting” I just redefined when I can.
When I first quit, the only time I was allowed was when I went home, due to the fact that my entire family smokes…in the house. Given how difficult it was for me to quit in the first place (you can read about that HERE – I just did, and I had totally forgotten – it’s good to remember), I didn’t go home for the first few months. When I did go home for the holidays, I smoked, and then when I came back to my own home, I didn’t bring any cigarettes with me. It was as easy as that, like a separation of church and state (that’s a terrible example, except to show that it’s not that easy).
Gradually I realized that I had the willpower to not start again. For me, “starting” has always been defined as some combination of the following:
- smoking during the week
- with my coffee
- on my walk to work
- at work
- when I get home from work
I’ve been easily able to not “start” in that sense. So, I started being more lenient with myself and enjoying my smoking times. When I was out drinking or with other smokers.
In the past year, I’ve gotten even more lenient. Let’s blame it on grad school. My friends also smoke more often (thankfully, I’m not friends with any full time smokers). And I care less. If I can control it, then who cares. To me, it’s the same principle as drinking. I should be able to enjoy drinking whenever I want, as long as I’m not drinking all week, in the morning with my coffee, on my walk to work, at work, when I get home from work – haha.
But, I still feel overwhelmingly guilty and ashamed when I do. I think this is mostly due to the major shade thrown at my by the bf. It does make me a little resentful. He started dating me when I smoked, so he accepted it at one point. I should be allowed to enjoy some vices. I know it smells bad, but so does he when he eats too much cheese, so it should be even, right?
He made a comment once when we were out about how I didn’t even try not to smoke. I exploded on him. I try not to smoke every morning when I sip my coffee. Every time I pass a 7/11, or a Tedeschi’s, or any number of other locations that sell cigarettes. I try not to smoke every time I pass someone smoking who looks like they’d be generous and let me bum one. I try not to smoke every time I have an orgasm. Every time I have one sip of alcohol. Every time the thought crosses my mind that, “I’m an adult. I can do what I want. If I enjoy doing something I can do it.”
It’s been two years, and I try not to smoke at least 3 times a day, every single fucking day. SO, when I give in on one day a week, it’s still a triumph. It’s still success. I still quit smoking. And that’s how I choose to look at it, because it’s my life.