When it comes to smoking, I believe that some people can simply accept the fact that they smoke. These people don’t have any obvious upset regarding their addiction, they just know they are smokers and are fine with it. They might like it and even embrace the habit. Contrasting, I believe that other people have trouble admitting the fact that they smoke (or are indeed considered ‘smokers’). I was in cigarette addiction denial for years. I claimed that I only smoked when I went out or when I was on a break from work (I went out almost every night and worked every day). See the problem? The events and behaviors listed below are of the some sad (and pathetic) signs that led me to believe I was officially a smoker.
1. You finish your cigarette and immediately take out your albuterol inhaler.
2. You say you’re quitting but bum cigarettes from everyone and anyone.
I lasted about three days in the office before I finally caved and asked my coworker for a cigarette. I remember saying “It’s only this one time…you know I just quit. I’ve just had a really long day…” Pretty soon, everyday was becoming a ‘long day’ and I was seriously annoying every smoking coworker. The truth was out, and I knew that I could still identify myself with the term ‘smoker’.
3. When quitting, you start picking butts up off the ground in desperation (when drinking is involved, if drinking isn’t involved you have serious self-control issues).
I know, I know, this is gross but it’s true. Germs and dirt don’t seem to exist when you’re a little tipsy.
4. You get excited when states like Tennessee still offer smoking in bars.
I could not BELIEVE that some states still offered smoking in enclosed areas. I hail from Wisconsin where the indoor smoking ban was passed in 2009 (though I can’t remember smokers in restaurants from around 8 years old). Since I usually smoked when I went out for a drink, this whole ‘drinking in bars’ thing seemed awesome. I realized this with a sense of elation paired with embarrassment and depression.
5. You start ‘making phone calls’ or ‘going to the bathroom’ to take smoke breaks around your family/friends.
This goes along with avoiding people who care about your health. If your friends and family don’t smoke, they certainly don’t want to see you start smoking. Even if some friends and family members do smoke, nobody likes to see someone they care about succumb to the addictiveness of cigarettes. The absolute denial that your clothes smell like cigarettes is due to the fact that you are used to your own cig stank. Somebody will ALWAYS be able to smell you out if you’re hanging around non-smokers.
6. You stop rolling down your windows to smoke.
This is for the folks (like me) living in WINTER CLIMATES. COLD ONES. If you refuse to roll down your windows because it is so god forsakenly cold outside, you know you are choosing nicotine over warmth. Sad, eh?
7. You want to date someone who smokes.
When I first started dating people when I was smoking, I didn’t think my partner’s smoking habits would truly matter to me. Looking back, it seems ridiculous that I couldn’t see the parallels to my partner’s smoking habits and my own. When I first started dating a guy that didn’t smoke, I felt guilty and ashamed every time I lit up. Although he wasn’t causing my inner turmoil, I got sick of making myself feel guilty and moved on to someone who did smoke. The relationship was so much easier, not because we had more in common or got along better, but because I didn’t carry feelings of resentment or shame when I decided to indulge.
8. When you start defending: “Smokers are people too, ya know!”
Ok, this only happened a few times (and alcohol was involved) but nonetheless, it’s unnecessary and embarrassing. I did have a point though!
9. You seriously think about not quitting.
This, by far is the most depressing and frustrating thought that smoking evokes. Overcoming addiction is difficult. It can be easier for some than others. When I first thought about quitting, and then not quoting, it was difficult to see myself in the situation I was in. It wasn’t really a question of whether I wanted to quit or not; I mean, of course I wanted to, but sometimes it felt impossible. I went on to discover the true challenge of quitting smoking was quitting other things in my life. It was my lifestyle that manifested my smoking triggers. I ended up quitting my job as a server and moving onto a different set of friends that had different values. Obviously, easier said than done, but my lifestyle change eventually helped me kick cigs in the butt (hehe).