Operation Quit Smoking, Part Five
I was out yesterday, after a full month without a cigarette, with my best friend, and I may…have accidentally smoked.
Well, not accidentally: I didn’t bump into someone and come away with a lit fag in my mouth. I smoked. It wasn’t a lot, but I’d let myself get cocky, not bothering to build up the internal barriers that I’ve needed to every time I’ve been around smokers over the last four weeks. It was a slip, and now it’s done, and I…don’t feel particularly bad about it.
I mean, I feel pretty crap physically, which is a decent way to deter myself from making such a mistake again – my throat hurts and my chest was a little sore when I woke up, which served as a stark difference to how solid I’ve been feeling in my body the last few weeks. I don’t want another one and I’m certainly not looking at this as a backslide into just picking up smoking again.
I thought that I would feel worse about it, honestly. Because I knew that I would smoke again after I quit four and a bit weeks ago. Most of my friends are smokers and I’m around smoking a lot in general, and I knew that eventually I would give in to temptation and have one. But I’d built up this fear around smoking, this genuine anxiety that sprang up whenever I thought about having a cigarette, that just completely vanished for the time it took me to bum one and smoke it with a coffee in the gorgeous sunshine outside. That fear is firmly reinstalled now, and I’m already looking back on what happened yesterday as curiously out-of-character. I’m not sure what I can do to keep that panic over cigarettes at the front of my brain at all times – short of having someone follow me around carrying an enormous sign with “CANCER” written on it in ominously huge letters – because I don’t want these slips to be a part of seeing my friends who smoke (not least because I fucking hate bumming cigarettes off people).
I don’t know. Smoking is still part of my personality, it seems, at least for the time being and I need to actively do my best to keep a lid on that as best I can. Basically, I have that Han Solo line going around my head – “Great, kid, don’t get cocky”. As a naturally cocky asshole, that’s going to be tough for me, but I’m focused on keeping myself on track and not letting this throw me off.