Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Creature of Habit

I quit smoking 5 weeks ago. It wasn't hard then, because I was too sick to move. It hasn't been hard since, because my sore throat only left this week.

A few nights ago I was feeling very bitter and a little bit sad. I grabbed a jug of merlot and tried to drink away my sorrows (never a good idea, since alcohol tends to send me on cynical, angry rants and the next morning finds me sad). Since I was smack in the middle of a rant when Scott went out for a smoke, well, of course I had to have one.

The next night we painted and everyone knows that smoke breaks are the best part of painting. And I was bitter and sad.

Last night, while bitter and sad, I watched a stupid movie and the best part of a stupid movie is irrefutably the smoke breaks.

I woke an hour early this morning thinking about habits. Habits of Doing become Habits of Being. I don't have good habits. I simply don't. I intend good. I sometimes choose good. I may happen upon good. I think about being good, and I hope that in the end everything comes out, well, good.

That just isn't the way we work. We can't do one thing and have it's polar opposite result. At least not as a matter of course.

Duh. It's time for some new habits.


laura said...

Oh Rae, you are way too hard yourself. I had my first cigarette when I was 13. 13, can you believe it? And it was great. Kim's mom probably her carton of Kools and I helped her smoke them all. Can't let good things go to waste:)
I have been a full time smoker for nearly 9 years. I have recently decided that when I am ready to quit, I will. Until then, I will smoke. I will enjoy smoking and I will not beat myself over it.
I honestly believe (and know from experiments) that I have done much worse things to myself. Smoking to me is the fungus that the poop eats off of among the "killing yourself food chain".

lithereed said...

Interesting word picture, Laura. I agree that there are worse things to do than smoking, but I also think you should quit, Rachael. Really, you should and I know you will, but don't even try if you're not ready.

Habits are persistant little buggers. Quitting smoking has been relatively easy for me (well, this time around, at least). Maybe I was just ready, but I know one thing that helped me quit was to ask myself, "Why do you want that smoke?" The answer was something along the lines of, "Because I'm angry, unhappy, stressed out, need a diversion, or want to escape from a situation." Once I saw that the cigarette was not the best way to solve any of those problems it was easier for me to resist.

Rachael said...

Laura: a fault of mine is being too hard on myself, but I don't think this is one of those cases. My explanation is lengthy for a comment, and what the heck, I might as well write another post. As for the word picture....well, uhhh... I'm sure I've never thought of smoking (or anything else) in just quite that way.

Stephanie: I did quit and I am ready. I got blindsided by the force of habit. I'm back on now.
yeah.. analyzing motives doesn't work for me. I think logically but act very irrationally. A conversation with myself might go something like this: "I only want this cigarette for comfort or to take the edge off my bitterness or because I can't have the thing I really want. Smoking it isn't going to help any of these things. In fact, it will leave me frustrated and regretful. But dammit, I want it and I'm going to have it."