Number 1 rule of recovery: don’t put anything else before your recovery.
Lots of people want to give up cigarettes once they quit the booze, and the generally accepted wisdom is that this is a bad idea. And it is…if that’s been your #2 addiction for a long time.
Me? I only started 11 days ago. I am 11 days sober. Coincidence? No.
Smoking is damn near impossible to avoid in rehab, and frankly it helped to keep me from climbing the walls while I was waiting for the Librium to kick in and my nerves to settle.
I went from not smoking at all (though I have been an ‘on and off’ smoker – mostly off – ever since I was a teenager) to smoking two packs a day.
That is definitely not going to be good for the lungs.
Today I had a good day. There were a few fleeting moments of wanting a drink, but that was while I was at a meeting and someone was sharing about their drinking. It happens to me quite often in meetings, if I’m honest.
The point is: I was productive, and felt positive…and as a result I was really starting to feel gross from all the smoking.
In other words, it’s not really keeping me from doing anything at the moment. At least, I don’t think it is.
Recovery is an inside job and there is a lot of mental work that needs to be done, but as my brother very wisely pointed out; I cannot ignore the physical: healthy body, healthy mind, right? (Incidentally, my brother is younger than me and I hate taking advice from him and admitting he is right even less, so this is kind of a big deal. He knows nothing about this blog so my pride remains intact).
So I dusted off my old vape, and went to my local shop to stock up on coils and some ejuice.
Smoking – as we all know – is a deadly habit. I am giving up cigarettes, but not nicotine. Not yet. Just changing how I take it.
Whether vaping is actually any healthier or not remains to be seen, but it sure as hell smells better, I can do it inside (crucial on days like today where it’s been pissing rain here in London), and is much easier to give up than actual cigarettes, based on my experience of having done so before.
And I realised in tonight’s meeting that I can use/abuse just about anything and everything to fill some sort of void in my life: alcohol, drugs, food, video games. Even books. Yes, books.
None of them work.
So I have made the decision to slowly strip them away, one by one.
Are cigarettes my #2 addiction? No they are not. Pizza – or just food in general – is. Followed by video games, buying magazines, buying self-help books (that I never read)…and then cigarettes.
If I had been a lifelong daily smoker I wouldn’t be doing this. No way. Now is not the time to tackle addiction #2.
Addiction #6? Sure, why not. I don’t need to chain-smoke anymore. Continuing to smoke would be self-harming, pure and simple.
But don’t worry, there’s an emergency pack in my drawer just in case I’m being overly confident.
First sign of a drink craving (outside of a meeting) and I will light up without hesitation.
I am not putting anything else before my recovery, I’d just like to destroy my body a little less.