August 21, 2004

Really Coming Out

Okay. So I've made a big change in my life. Actually, Wendy and I both are making a change. This change relates to nothing I've previously mentioned on this blog. Because with this particular subject, I've been closeted. Not totally closeted. Some people are aware of what used to be my dirty little secret which is now going to be my more public clean little truth.

Up until a few days ago, I smoked cigarettes. Gasp. Yes. I know. It's hard to believe someone of my obvious intelligence and rationality (I'll point that out as tongue-in-cheek for those of you who may actually believe I consider myself either intelligent or rational) could be so stupid as to smoke cigarettes. Those things will kill you, doncha know.

Enter the old joke: "Oh quitting smoking is easy. I've done it hundreds of times!" But I haven't. I have pretended to do so quite a few times. But the only time I truly totally quit was when I was pregnant. (Yes, I've been an off-and-on smoker that long.) And it was easy then. But after I started back up some years after that, I've never really been open about the habit. Well with some folks I have. But with others? Totally closeted. Because it's really embarrassingly stupid to smoke. And I know it.

I'm writing this shameful admission to remind myself of a few important points about quitting. I must be honest. Open. Up front. No cheating. In the past, when I've thought about quitting and half-heartedly tried, I've always ended up cheating. Which led to smoking in secret. Which is how I ended up a half-closeted smoker.

My friends know about my habit. Some I would smoke with or in front of. Others were aware, yet I'd not do it in front of them. Except in cases of extreme distress.

Family? I have to break them into segments like an orange. I'm fairly certain my parents, all of them, were unaware of my habit. They know I used to smoke back in the day, but as far as I know they believe I quit long ago.

My sister? She knows and is not shy about letting us know how she feels about it. She doesn't like it. Really doesn't like it.

The Boy? He knows and also really doesn't like it. But I've always tried not to let him see me smoke. You know, setting a good example and such. Oh the shame. THE SHAME! What a fine example I've really set. Rather than actually acknowledge my habit, I would use evasive manuevers like hanging out my bathroom window at home to smoke. I'm sure he knew what I was doing. But, in the grand old tradition of southern families, it was something we just did not really discuss. He did make pointed accusatory comments from time to time, as any good son should. And I, in stellar hypocritical parent mode, lectured about the dangers of smoking and cautioned him about the evils of addiction.

Late last year I realized I was ready to quit. Which is an important facet of eventual success. Because if one is not truly ready, one will not succeed. At least I believe that. So I've been preparing myself all year, psyching myself up as it were. But I feared trying while still living with a smoker. I knew that would make it harder. But I also didn't want to pressure Wendy into quitting, because she would also need to be mentally set to succeed. And you can't really talk someone into mental readiness. They have to have motivation of their own.

And then BOOM. Along came a motivating factor which sped her into the same state of readiness as me. Remember that incision I wanted to see a picture of? Well that is her motivation. Her Daddy. Powerful motivation for my girl.

So she is ready.
She is done smoking.

I am ready.
I am done smoking.

And on that note, please join me in welcoming myself to Day Three of being an out-in-the-open-perhaps-soon-to-be-militant non-smoker. Wendy and I haven't killed each other yet, which is a positive sign. Oh yes, we've been irritable. But that too shall pass. (Dear lord it will pass won't it? Please please tell me it will!). We are exhibiting an incredible amount of patience. We are committed.

Here's to our smoke-free future.


Anonymous said...

Congrats, friend.


Eyes said...

Hey that's great! May you overcome the urges much sooner than you ever hoped :) Best wishes! If not, when you get the urge, they say it is helpful to have a plan of attack -- another thing to do instead. Perhaps when an urge hits, take a walk!

Robin said...

Good luck! Sending out postive vibes from Texas.

Anonymous said...

It will get better. The crabbiness will go away. The cravings will get less intense. If you are set on it you can do it. It was the mental preparedness that finally allowed me to quit. You can do it!

Pisces75 said...

Yeah that last comment was from me...forgot to not make it anonymous. And again I wish you all the strength for quitting