Hello, my name is Katie, and I smoke cigarettes. I have since I was 17, minus an almost five year hiatus. I was surprised to realize a couple of months ago that I’m smoking less, and thanks to getting a cold a couple weeks ago, I am smoking even less than before.
I used to buy a carton (10 packs of smokes) every two weeks or so, I was just about a pack a day girl. Sometimes I would smoke more, sometimes I would smoke less, but I averaged about 20 cigarettes a day. Then I started to get more….active: dancing, foam fighting, gym time (about once a week). Only one day a week has been devoted to actually working out, the other stuff is just fun, but even that bit of activity has caused my body to want cigarettes less. Not only is there less time to sit and smoke because I’m out doing stuff, but I just don’t….need them…quite as often,
About 2 months ago I realized that it took me a full month to go through a carton, so that’s 10 packs of cigarettes (200 individual cigarettes) consumed in 30 days…that’s an average of 7 cigarettes per day. I didn’t really think anything of it, just saved me $50 bucks that month. On October 1st I bought another carton of cigarettes, and I still have 6 full packs of cigarettes. I smoked 80 cigarettes in a month, which is an average of 2.5 cigarettes per day.
I have pretty much reached the “why bother” stage of smoking. Why don’t I just quit and be done with it? I mean, at this point I have 1 cigarette when I get home from work. Sometimes I don’t have any, and sometimes I have 3. Am I an addict? Is that why I don’t quit? Oh sure, I’m sure that’s a big part of it, but its not like I haven’t taken a long hiatus before….I could do it again. If I wanted to.
The truth is, I like smoking. Its comforting. I hate what comes with smoking: smelling like cigarettes (I have to shower before I go to bed every night because I hate the smell so much), prolonged cough after a cold (I have one for about a month when non-smokers coughs usually last a couple of weeks unless they have respiratory problems otherwise), teeth discoloration, no lung stamina for running or activities in general, just to name a few. So what do I like about it?
Smoking to me is like a child with a security blanket. I think this is because my biological mother smoked at least a pack a day while she was pregnant with me. Somewhere in my locked away pre-cognitive memories I remember smoking as being safe and comfortable in the womb. So its soothing. If I start crying, I sit outside and have a cigarette; I don’t cry when I smoke. I think its because when I smoke I breathe in deeply and exhale in a rhythmic, almost meditative like manner, but it also brings back those womb-like feelings of safety and comfort.
Then there’s the weight thing, that really isn’t a determining factor of whether or not I smoke, but doesn’t exactly help the quitting cause. I have gained all my weight back and am now back to where I was 2 years ago, except I’m not nearly as physically active as I was. With smoking less, I’ve found that I’ve regained my once lost interest in food, and thusly am eating more. Anti-depressants and birth control are also weight gainers, and being on both I’m sure has been a big help in me gaining my weight back.
So whats the plan? I need to get off my lazy ass and start working out everyday. I need to cut out junk food almost entirely (hey, I need my treat days). I’ve already cut out soda and I’m TRYING to cut out the processed sugar, but as a sugar addict that’s proving to be very difficult. If I start working out every day then I’ll quit smoking on a daily basis. I haven’t decided if I will not bring cigarettes to events, they prove useful. Most usually when I need to step away and be alone for a little while, or with fewer people. Stepping away is a lot more polite than saying, “You know what, I’m having fun but I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by all the people, so I’m going to step outside and be by myself with the exception of 2 or 3 friends for a little while. Nothing personal.” Someone would always take it personal, especially if they are one of the people I don’t want with me outside. Non smokers don’t like to be around smokers because we’re stinky. It does come in handy. 🙂
I will try to quit fully again someday. I want to be cigarette free by the time I’m 40, but the way I’m going right now it will probably happen within a year.