Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Up in a puff of smoke

When I was a teenager, I was a social smoker. My BFF made this easy for me and made it easy for me to pass off the smell when my parents questioned me about it. I was always able to be casual about smoking and never purchased packs of my own. By the time I got to college, I was a little more active with my smoking. The increase in stress in college had me seeking out the calm that smoking always brought to me. But, I still never considered myself a smoker; I still wasn't buying cigarettes regularly.

Spring 2003 came along and so did my diagnosis of my first major depression. And, the purchasing of actual packs of cigarettes. I was pulling into gas stations to take advantage of the BOGO (the savings would make my dad proud...ha) on my favorite brand. I would step outside with coworkers for some of the most calming and anxiety reducing times of my life. I was also smoking in my car and out with friends. My psychiatrist said at one point that with all I was going through with my depression and anxiety, trying to quit smoking was probably too much more than I could handle. I milked that for quite some time. At different points, I was able to cut back, but I basically held onto that idea until 2009.

These days, I'm really struggling with being a non-smoker. I know that studies have revealed that cigarettes do not relieve stress and anxiety. However, in so many ways, on so many days, I felt the most calm when I was smoking. Shawn and I watched a show, "Stranger Things", on Netflex the last couple of days. Very many characters smoke on the show. Watching this show has increased my urge for taking a seat on the front steps with a cigarette.

Alas, it's not healthy for me, and, I'm unemployed, so I can't afford a pack.

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