This Is Why I Quit Smoking

Cigarettes. Addictive little fuckers, aren’t they? Except, up until, oh, I don’t know, not very long ago at all, I was always adamant that I wasn’t addicted to smoking. Oh no, me? I can stop any time I want! I smoke because I ENJOY it! I WANT to smoke! I’m not controlled by my habit, NO WAY. I do it CONSCIOUSLY! WILLINGLY! I CAN STOP ANY TIME I WANT!

I used to say the same thing about casual sex, and it was only when I gave that up that I realised how detrimental it had been to my well being – harmless fun as I was determined to write it off as at the time. I was doing and dumping as a tool to protect myself. I’m pretty sure that right now I am using tobacco in the exact same way.

I’ve thought about giving up smoking for a long time. But when I say thought about it I mean thought about it in the same way that I think about how nice it would be live in one place longer than twenty minutes, or in the way I think about what I might call a rescue dog, or what Beyoncé is doing right now this very second.

I know the theory of why I should stop, but I hate should-ing anything (it’s a personal development point and I blame it squarely on my father. HI DAD!) so traditionally I’ve given up giving up after a day, or a week, or in the case of earlier last year four whole months.

I read an obituary last week that the deceased man had written himself. He said, My regret is that I felt invincible when young and smoked cigarettes when I knew they were bad for me. Now, to make it worse, I have robbed my beloved Mary Jane of a decade or more of the two of us growing old together…  I feel such the “thief” now – for stealing so much from her…

I think that was what planted this final seed. The future father of my children, my unborn kids, the family I’ll make for myself – the things I have no real concept of right now but one day will exist – this is something I have to do for them.

Happy people can conceive of even more future happiness, and whereas once upon a time I thought I’d die a lonely spinster – and I mean, legitimately, that I’d always be an aunt but never a mother, or that nobody would ever really want to date me, and that I’d have to learn to rely only on myself until the day I died – now, I’m seeing that I am part of something bigger.

I’m learning that people care about me. And honestly, truly and really – I’m not exaggerating when I say this – I didn’t think I was worth caring all that much about until more recently than I’d like to admit.

And now I’m getting totally away from my point, which is basically that I started to think not about giving up smoking, but about why I smoke in the first place.

I had to sit all the parts of my personality down in a group meeting to figure out how the ABSOLUTE HECK I allowed more or less twelve years of smoking happen. And the answers aren’t pretty.

I smoke when I feel awkward at a party, as a reason to excuse myself instead of including myself.

I smoke when I’m feeling exposed, so that I can stare at my hands instead of my inhibitions.

I smoke because it puts a physical barrier between me and whomever I am with.

I smoke to feel like I am in control.

It is really, really, important to me that I deal with these things. I’ve already done so much searching in my soul to learn how to be better, how to be me, how to maybe feel more worthy. 

So I quit.

I quit smoking, Internet. Day one. Done. TC mark

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Telling stories about being a human. Follow me on Twitter here. Follow Laura Jane on Twitter or read more articles from Laura Jane on Thought Catalog.

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