In the last two weeks I have cut down my e-cigarette usage by 75%. GO me.
I’ve been wanting to do this for years, but haven’t been able to because my e-cigarette is a trusted and highly effective emotional crutch for me. I have been leaning on it for about five years now, and although I do go through phases in terms of how much I smoke it, I haven’t been able to cut it out significantly and consistently.
This changed two Fridays ago. I had gotton ill, and had a terrible cold and sore throat and was coughing up copious amounts of flem and other horrible stuff. After this had been going on for about four days I realised that smoking with a sore throat and chest cold has got to be one of the dumbest things it’s possible to do.
There isn’t a much worse feeling than the one of utter pathetic-ness brought on by drawing nicotine into a sore throat- it’s like punching your own broken arm or trying to sprint on a broken leg. It makes you feel like an utter failure; a sad masochist with no self control or ability to determine a positive future.
Needless to say this was all making me feel a lot more powerless than I like to, and so, on the fourth day I woke up and just didn’t smoke. I made it through to about 2pm without pulling on the e-cig at all, and considering the fact that I’ve been smoking from the moment I wake up for about a year, this was a massive achievement. I managed to get through that evening without leaning on it at all, and carried this on for about another week.
Now it is two and a half weeks later and I’m feeling fairly smug and more healthy than I have done in a really long time. Work has been stressful, personal life has been stressful -and in the midst of all this madness I’ve managed to cut out nicotine. This is impressive. Moreover I like the fact that I managed to get something positive out of my illness- ever cloud has a silver lining and all that.
It’s been emotional though, literally it has been a mad two weeks. I was chatting to my colleague about it and said to her, it’s like a whole new dimension to my thinking and emotional state has been opened up. Previously, if something happened which seemed to hold the potential to provoke a complicated emotional response, I would usually reach for the e-cig, without being aware of the vast plethora of cognitive pathways I was shutting down and blanketing over.
Pulling on the e-cig was my way of controlling all these emotional response and thought patterns- it was may way of anchoring myself as they all played out. This meant I wasn’t ever really trusting myself to simply ride them without something to hold onto. I didn’t trust myself to be able to.
I feel like I’ve gotton teary so many times in the last two weeks, over both sad and happy associations and occurrences. It has felt as though tears have come a lot easier, but have been much more of a release than they’ve ever been before.
I think, in all honesty, I’ve always been a bit shit at handling my own emotions. I’ve probably always used something, be it nicotine, alcohol or drugs to manage my emotions. I used to think it was only the negative emotions which were troublesome, but I’m starting to realise the positive ones can be just as difficult, especially if they’re strong.
I often feel as though I simply don’t know what to do with them- I don’t know how to proceed after experiencing really strong emotions, and I think that’s what the e-cig has helped me with, or not helped me. I could hold onto it, pull deeply and so maintain a degree of control, this measured process allowed me to ride out those strong emotions without becoming scattered.
However, I think that sometimes I need to allow myself to become scattered, un-anchored and less controlled and measured. The symptoms I still experience also suggest this might be the case, as the way my emotions seem to boil over in moments indicates I don’t deal with them well from moment to moment.
I repress my feelings, most of the time, which means they burst out and explode when the pressure becomes too much.
I’m really hoping I can keep this up, and stay off the e-cigarette for 75% of the day. I’ve been feeling a lot clearer in myself as well, as though my mind and body feel a little bit lighter somehow- I’m following different lines, because I’ve proven to myself on some subconscious level that I can.
Anyway- this was just an article to acknowledge the fact that I’ve done well!.
Thanks for reading 🙂