Sunday, June 1, 2014

A stay at home dad giving up after 14 years

My Affair

  I've been having an affair for almost twice as long as I have been a father. For 14 years of my adult life I have been cheating not only on myself but on everyone I have loved. It all started when I was 18, I was working for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. I was young and impressionable. I wanted to fit in with the rest of the guys around me. I didn't really think it was cool or anything, it just sorta felt more like I belonged. Most of the guys I knew were doing it and I honestly didn't see anything wrong with it. I do know there were many times when I had trouble finding the time, there were countless wasted moments....

 But they were always there when I needed them, No matter what the trouble was I could count on them. When I needed someone to listen they didn't say a word, just listened to my problems and we came up with quite a few solutions together. Over the years it has become more than an affair.... It has become more of an obsession. It has become an absolute need, the 5 minutes that I was able to steal away from my wife and kids. But it isn't just 5 minutes, The time adds up 5 minutes here and there doesn't seem like much but it really is. five minutes at a time 20 times a day is almost 2 hours I have been cheating us all out of everyday.

And do I feel guilty stealing this time away from us.I absolutely do, but I really didn't realize I was doing it. I don't think anyone really does. It controls us telling us we have to have that time the 5 minutes whether it is raining or shinning, it doesn't matter if it is 101 degrees or 11 degrees. I have sacrificed my time in all manner of extremes. And all just for a cigarette.

It's been a long time coming

 The thing about it is that I have been trying to quit on and off for a few years now, most of the time without any success whatsoever. It maybe easy for some people to just up and quit, and there maybe things out there who have helped others quit successfully, but none of that has worked for me. I've tried the e-cigs, the patches, the gum, and pretty much everything else you can think of short of getting a prescription for something. All the ways I have tried hadn't worked, be it because there was someone smoking around me or simply because I had easy access to them. One of the ways I had tried and had the most success was a design of my own, The basic idea was one cigarette per hour for a week, Then changing it to one cigarette per two hours the next week. And basically continuing on from there slowly kicking the habit.

  I had started out making myself wait to smoke, I would only allow myself to smoke  one cigarette a hour. and while by myself without anyone else smoking around me it worked great. however when I was around other people it was quite hard to make myself commit to the only one per hour rule. Especially when I would be sitting there waiting on the guys I was working with to get done smoking before we got back to working. I had fought through 3 weeks of this and did pretty well, however in the end I was still smoking.

Losing the control

 I would be willing to bet that every single person who has smoked or smokes now knows just how bad it can be for them, I knew and there were quite a few times it had crossed into my thought's while I was smoking. And even when I was sitting there thinking about it I would still be taking another drag off my smoke. The thought didn't phase me, I knew it was bad for me and what kind of stuff it could do to my body. The thought of getting something like cancer didn't even really concern me when it came right down to it I wanted the nicotine from that cigarette. No it was really more the feeling that I had to have the cigarette. My willpower had been beaten to a pulp over 14 years and I was no longer in control of my smoking habit. It had control of me. 

 Normally I am a strong willed person and when I put my mind to something I get it done. But I had become a slave to the cigarette. Which is most certainly not something that is easy for me to admit. However it is the truth. My smoking had stopped becoming I want a cigarette and turned into I need a cigarette, when it wasn't there I craved the next one, even to the point of not being able to wait. I would get antsy and fidgety craving the next drag off of a cigarette.

The thought just occurred to me...

 When did I lose control of smoking.... Was I ever really in control of it? When I was younger and had just started smoking it wasn't really a problem to go a few hours without a cigarette, I know I didn't feel the need to smoke like I do now when I go a long time without one. Then again it could possibly be a situation where the longer you smoke the more you want it... Regardless it's something that needs to stop.

But where to start?

 I know cold turkey isn't going to work, I have tried it more than once without success. The first day wasn't so bad, I had some cravings I wanted to smoke but I didn't have to have it. The second day I really wanted a smoke with my coffee like REALLY wanted it. I made it through that part of the day without too much difficulty, but by the end of the day I was craving a cigarette so bad I could taste it. My hands were shaking, I was grinding my teeth, and getting snappy with everyone in the house. It wasn't their fault and I knew that but it just seemed that every little thing would set me off. I felt like a real... Well there are quite a few very inappropriate words I could use to describe how I felt about myself afterwards. Which we won't be mentioning here but I am sure you can figure some of them out. The third day well, The third day was torture it's really incredible how something so small as a cigarette can have such a major impact on you and your outlook on life. 

 The cravings were so intense and it wasn't just short little bursts of cravings like the first two days, no these lasted all day from the time I got up to the time I went to sleep and laid there for a couple hours wishing I had a cigarette, feeling that I needed that smoke had to have it. The need to smoke kept me up for a couple extra hours that night. I couldn't get my mind to stop telling me I had to have it. 

 Of the countless ways out there to quit smoking I think the best way is to use my quitting method. The first week, start out with only letting myself smoke one cigarette a hour, and only allowing myself to smoke outside. Then the second week only one cigarette every two hours, the third week every three hours. until I get down to one cigarette a day, then the week after NONE! 

  I think I can do it this way. No wait I KNOW I can do it this way I have to have the mindset to quit as well I need to program it into my mind to unravel the need to have a smoke.  Just coming up with a plan to quit isn't going to work. There is a need for the will power as well. The want, need, desire, and ability to quit, it's here and I will do it. Not just for myself, though that is a very valid reason. I have to do this for my kids and my wife. 

Stay tuned...

There will be more to come, I will be keeping up with this blog and updating everyone as the weeks pass. I honestly hope that this may help someone else with quitting smoking, I know just how hard it is to do. Even if it only helped one person that would be amazing. So please feel free to share with your friends and comments are always welcome below. Thanks for reading, Have a great day.

This is my entry for the first week.... I know it has been awhile since I had originally posted this, and the explanation is in this thread. The first week.

No comments:

Post a Comment