“I Ain’t No Quitter, but I Wanna Be.” Smoking and Anxiety Team Up Against Me.

Yesterday morning, I woke up to a coughing fit. I started feeling those darn heart flutters, again, too. I thought to myself, “Wow. I really need to quit smoking.” So, I did what any smart person would do and put down my cigarettes. Smoking a pack a day was taking a huge toll on me. It was keeping me from being healthier. My body is always weak, I can’t walk without running out of breath, I stay tired, my teeth are stained, my skin is losing elasticity, and most of all, my anxiety is worse. You may think that cigarette is calming your nerves, but it’s actually one of the reasons anxiety can get bad. Not to mention the loads of other health problems it can cause.

But, you may already know this. I’m basically preaching to the choir, right?

Anyway, I started one of my unfinished journeys, yesterday. It sucked.

9:00am: I smoked my last cigarette. That’s it! No more chemicals in my lungs and no more nicotine is going into this body! This might not be so bad. I’m a little nervous, but I can do it! I am strong!

9:30am: Let’s see, it says here drinking water will help flush the nicotine out. I’ll grab a glass of water and sit on the porch and breathe the fresh air. Oh, I need this app, too. It’ll help me keep track of my progress. Wow! It even tells me how my body is improving over time!

10:00am: No cravings, yet. This will be easy! I’m drinking my water, eating a snack, and breathing the fresh air! Why, I think my lungs are already improving! I better go to one of “quit smoking” websites for some tips. Just in case.

10:15am: I’ll chat with this person. It’s basically like therapy, right? I’ll send her my questions and she will answer them. Okay, according to her, I need a quitting plan. *clicks “Create a Quitting Plan”* Oh, this is confusing. Psh, I don’t need this. I’ll just ask her for some tips. Drink water. Check. Track progress. Check. Get rid of reminders. Check! *gives rest of cigarettes to my sister* Here, sis. I don’t need these anymore. Sorry, though, you can’t have my Rambo lighter. It’s special.

10:45am: Phew! At least my kids are keeping my busy! I’ll just get some more water and keep on truckin’! I’ll text Dillon and tell him I’ve quit smoking. He will be proud. I’m finally doing something and sticking to it! I’ll just keep reminding myself of the benefits of quitting.

12:00pm: Wow, this must be one of those cravings. No matter, it’s not bad. Just drink some water and think of the benefits. I will not give up! I’ll just eat something else and walk around, a little.

1:00pm: Okay, everyone is smoking around me. I’ll just go over here and ignore it. Maybe I should have just gradually slacked up and then quit. No, I can do this! This isn’t too bad.

1:30pm: Oh, man. This is getting harder, all too quickly. I need one, so bad. Just a quick puff wouldn’t hurt, right? *looks at lighter, longingly* No! I can’t give up, now! I’ve come too far! How much longer until my withdrawals go away? Three days?! Maybe I’ll just cry for a few minutes. Is that a penguin smoking a cigar and a cigarette? Haha, I’m going crazy!

2:00pm: It’s only been five hours. How do people do this? Why do people do this? Oh, yeah. The benefits. I’ll chug this water and watch the penguin smoke, happily. According to this app, my pulse is back to normal. Apparently, my lung function still isn’t normal. What is this? I have made progress! Shouldn’t it be easier, by now?! Oh, these cravings are getting worse. I need an adult! I managed to quit when I was pregnant, why can’t I do it, now?! What is this sorcery?!

2:15pm: Okay, surely it has been at least three hours since I checked the clock. *sees it’s only been fifteen minutes* Oh, God. I am going to have a mental breakdown. This is stupid! I hate everything! *texts Dillon and tells him to shut up* That’ll teach him to mess with me! *Dillon replies* “What did I do?” Ugh, he’s still doing… that! *texts back* “You are being an asshole.” There. Wait. What did he do, again? Nothing? Why am I being so mean?!

2:30pm: Fifteen more minutes have passed. It never ends. The seconds are going by like days. Water is no longer satisfying my cravings. Oh, I just want to smell that burning tobacco. Cigarettes. Where are my cigarettes?! Oh, right. My leg won’t stop shaking. Walk. I need to walk around, some more! *walks a few steps* I am out of breath, again! Is this even worth it? Will my lungs even go back to normal, eventually?! It says, here, they will. When?!

3:00pm: Dillon will be home, shortly. He will know what to do. He will play with the kids while I meditate, or something. Yeah, I’ll just meditate! How do you meditate? What is meditation? I’ll look on Pinterest to keep me occupied. That cake looks good. I don’t have the ingredients to make it, though. What am I supposed to do?!

3:15pm: Dillon just walked in. I hate him! I love him! Why did he go to work today?! How dare he leave me like this! *sheds tear* I am doing this for me! My health depends on it! I can do this! Lot’s of people have quit, cold turkey. I can, too! Papaw did it. He’s tough! I can be tough, too! Ugh, I’m acting like a child. I need to suck it up and follow Nike’s advice. Just do it.

3:30pm: Okay, I need to run and grab Bella’s medicine from the pharmacy. All I need is a little ride to take my mind off of it. Stupid penguin! How dare you laugh at me! You’re not even real! Is anything real? Is this worth it? I’ve started shaking, even more. My head hurts. I’m hungry. I’m thirsty. It’s so freaking hot. No, I’m cold. What have I done!? The kids are so loud! How can they even scream that loud? Oh, they aren’t screaming? Well, what am I hearing?!

3:50pm: Nope. No more. I need one. I can’t take this! I’ve managed to go longer than this, before. I can’t do it, now. What is wrong with me? Why can’t I stop doing something that is diminishing my health?! *lights cigarette* Ah… That’s the stuff. My worries are now free. *heart starts racing* Crap.

That’s how I managed to quit smoking for six hours and forty-five minutes. I am such a failure. It is probably so much easier for someone to quit if they don’t have anxiety, though. You might think, “At least, you tried.” True, but I feel weak. I’ve only been smoking for about eight years. It’s not like I’ve smoked my entire life. Honestly, even when I gave my first pack to my sister, I still had some hid in my bedroom. Even before I put them down, I knew I would most likely give up. It was so easy the first few hours. Then, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I wasn’t expecting the sudden wave of cravings and withdrawals. I’ll know what to expect, next time.

I managed to quit during all my pregnancies, even though I picked them up as soon as I got home from the hospital.

But, it doesn’t matter. We can try and fail, many times, before we succeed, right? Maybe, it’s just that I tried to quit, cold turkey. I’ll just try again, tomorrow. I do want to stop. I’m quite tired of coughing and hacking, all the time. I am already disappointed in myself for starting, in the first place.

Oh, well. I’ll gather some more tips and be prepared, next time.

Pray for me.

Love you!

-Courtney

This is the best website I’ve seen, so far, for those who want to quit, or have quit.

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7 Comments

  1. Oh man!!! We are two peas in a pod. I’ve been smoking for 16 years. Just this morning as I coughed up some nastiness I thought to myself I gotta stop this. 8 bucks a pack to feel like crap and I’m a pack a day too. I’ve quit and restarted so many times. Even did Chantix.
    You’re right – anxiety is worse with smoking. And it’s a vicious cycle. It spikes your anxiety so you wanna smoke more, you smoke more, and your anxiety goes up. Weee!!
    You’re not a failure at all. Many say quitting smoking is actually harder than heroin, believe it or not. I might try the patch again. Cinnamon gum does help.
    Just remember for 6 hours you didn’t have a cigarette. It is hard and when you’re ready (me too) you’ll get it. Fall down 7, get up 8 ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely!! Even when I light one I just shake my head and say “you’re ruining my life” I even said I wasn’t going to start back smoking when I had my youngest son but I picked them up again! It doesn’t help I’m stubborn as a mule 😂 I’ll for sure try again when I’m better prepared I’m gonna load up on gum today and see if that will help! There are not enough tranquilizers in the world to calm me down when i am angry though. I just hope my poor husband can get out uninjured in the process! Thank you and good luck to you as well!! I’ll try not to fall as hard this time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If you are thinking of adopting meditation, I’d be happy to give ya some resources. Also there are a lot
        Of great healing tone songs on YouTube that seriously, SERIOUSLY help with my anxiety. Even in full bore chaos of kid town, I can listen to these Tibetan bowls, etc and get my heart racing and shaky hands under control. I’ve been smoking less thanks to it!

        Oh, and yeah, I quit and restarted after each pregnancy too. I’m so stubborn it hurts hahahaha

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have never tried meditation but I have always wondered if it would help. I have a sleep ambience app on my phone that has the Tibetan bowls, camp fire, rain and many other sounds. I like thunderstorms, myself. Maybe because I am a personified thunderstorm!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hahahaha the sound of rain and thunder is my favorite. When there’s a storm, I’m like a little kid! Snuggled up watching the sky in awe!!!

        For me, yes, it has helped tremendously. I feel more peaceful and if nothing else, accepting. Instead of aaaaah gotta fix this that and the other thing, it’s more, okay take life in stride and breathe.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes! That’s exactly what I want to do! Be able to breathe and live instead of just survive! Sometimes I have moments where I feel as though I’ve accepted myself and I feel like everything is okay but then BAM anxiety begs me to take it back and I am naive enough to kiss it’s butt and go with it again! I confuse myself sometimes. My conscious is constantly face-palming haha

        Liked by 1 person

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