Operation Quit Smoking, Part Three
It’s been just over two weeks since I last had a cigarette, and I’m finding myself turning to other things to keep myself occupied.
Smoking is one of those habits that you don’t really think of as a habit in and of itself, because most of the time, we smoke while we’re doing something else. I smoke when I’m walking into town, or while I’m waiting for the oven to heat up, or to digest a particularly weird episode of TV (shout out to the new season of Twin Peaks). But very rarely do I just sit down to smoke and smoke alone. So, when it came time to quit, I just thought I’d need to keep myself focused on whatever tasks I would usually do with a cigarette in hand and I’d get through it, no problem.
But in the last couple of weeks, more than anything, I’ve found myself bored. Which is strange, because the only thing that’s changed is smoking, and it’s not like having a fag is exactly the most interesting pastime in the world – and yet, boredom is what causes my worst cravings to come up. Go figure. Well, that, and going out for a coffee in the morning and watching all the people lining the wall outside the coffee shop with their fags in hand because god dammit why must the universe taunt me with something that looks that good.
Ahem. So, anyway, as someone with an obsessive personality who was lacking an obsession, I’ve subconciously been spending the last couple of weeks trying to fill the void cigarettes have left in my life. So, of course, I decided the best thing to do would be to get way too invested in everything I was eating. Bring on the Freudian oral fixation analysis, and please send it on a postcard to hell.
In getting healthier recently, I started tracking my food on and off, just to make sure I was getting the nutrients I needed from what I was eating (I eat vegetarian/vegan, so it’s worth keeping an eye on). But in the last couple of weeks I have allowed myself to funnel so much time and energy into the quantity and quality of what I’m eating that it’s starting to make me a little crazy. I found myself pushing for higher and higher deficits in what I ate to the point where I was hungry about three-quarters of the time, and while that might work for some people, I know it doesn’t work for me – I’ve dabbled with disordered eating before and I have no intention of returning down that path, no matter how easy or tempting it is to slip into that mindset once more. I’d replaced one habit that’s bad for my body with a habit that’s not great for my mind, but damn if it didn’t feel good to be obsessively doing something.
I’m taking a few days off tracking now, and even the thought of it is making me a little antsy – a good indicator that this is something I need to do before it becomes a major problem for me. And now, I just need to find another habit to fill that void. Any suggestions? What did you take up to fill the space smoking left in your life? Comment below, or hit me up on Twitter!