Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Hardest Thing I Have Ever Done…

…was quitting smoking.  It has been a few weeks now smoke free and already my lungs are clearer, food tastes exponentially better and I can breathe out of my nose for the first time in years.  It hasn’t been an easy row to hoe, though, with Stacey still smoking.  I realize from smelling her clothes after she comes in from my porch to smoke how much you stink – the odor just wafts through the whole room.  I don’t want to become one of those bitter anti-smoking Nazis I always abhorred during my smoking days, though.  Live and let live will be my mantra. 

One of the most notable differences is with work.  I no longer completely obsess over my next cigarette break – able to do a much better job.  I took entirely too many smoke breaks at work much to my non-smoking supervisor’s chagrin.  My addiction would force me to play fast and loose with our congenial relationship – her often letting me get away with far too much with regards to my many breaks to imbibe.  I now feel some peace after a few weeks of abstaining and can safely say, now, that I have quit smoking.  Now, to get that musty cigarette odor out of my home!  Can you say Febreeze and Glade Plug-Ins?

Shying Away From the Family Topic…

Driving to Auburn for a visit to the psychiatrist or therapy is always a good excuse to get my favorite breakfast.  I got my two steak biscuits, hashrounds and a diet Coke and sat in the restaurant eating as I used their Wi-Fi this morning with my iPad.  It was an enjoyable experience following on the heels of a very productive therapy session.

I shied away from talking about family today to focus on goals for the future and implementing them.  I needed guidance and encouragement that I am not taking on too much, too fast.

“Where would you like to see yourself next year this time?” my therapist asked.

“I would like to be completely independent, owning the current house I live in,” I replied. “I would also like to be fully self supporting with my new business.”

“Lofty goals,” my therapist replied with a smile. “But easily achievable.”

I then showed her my anxiety workbook – us discussing methods for dealing with my anxiety.  I am officially diagnosed now not as Schizoaffective, but as suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder and social anxiety – just another list of disorders in the very long list of disorders I’ve had over the years.

“You have said before that you are very candid with your boss about your disability,” my therapist said. “Discuss with her ways that can ease your anxiety at work.  What causes the most anxiety for you when you are working?”

“The unknown mainly,” I replied. “I never know when I will be asked by a customer out of the blue for help causing me social anxiety.  I never know if it is going to be a very busy day or one of my more ploddingly slow days.  I want everyday to be the same with little excitement or diversion.”

“I think we can all feel that way, though, about our jobs,” my therapist told me. “Work is stressful.  You are performing a service for a wage.  Most people have a lot of anxiety and misgivings about work.  I think that is perfectly normal and not mental illness related.”

I felt better for our hour talk.  It has been money well spent I have decided.  I am going to try and stick to this therapy thing and maybe in a few weeks start to open up more freely about my family and it’s extreme dysfunction. 

The Call on the Drive Home from Auburn…

“What you doing?” Stacey asked me as I drove up the interstate back to the Chattahoochee Valley.

“Oh, I am listening to Joni Mitchell’s Misses CD, just passing the Cusseta exit on the interstate and thinking about you and last night,” I replied.

“Next time take two Ambien so you will sleep the whole night with me,” she asked pleadingly. “I missed you after you left.  I want to wake up in the morning’s with you next to me.”

I laughed at the thought of taking two Ambien.  Surely, that would put me in a stupor to be remembered.  I am finding a relationship with a woman to be a very careful game of give and take.

“I don’t think that would be very wise,” I replied. “I have already grown addicted to taking those pills to sleep.”

Stacey couldn’t talk long being at work, but we did both agree that last night’s experience was better than nothing – that my being over at her house with her is very important to her life.  I said goodbye after we discussed dinner plans at my house – me coming home to defrost mom’s tangy chicken. For a woman supposedly with bipolar disorder, she is one of the more even keeled women I have dated.  For that, I am grateful and enjoy spending my life with her. 

14 comments:

amelia said...

Good for you for keeping up not smoking!! No one realises just how badly you stink after a cigarette, till you quit!!! When I quit I didn't become what you call a smoking Nazi but I couldn't stand the smell of other smokers any more. I was lucky my hubby didn't smoke because I think our marriage would have ended!! It's like kissing an ashtray!

kristi said...

So proud you stopped smoking!! That must be so hard. Your girlfriend does sound wonderful, I swear some days I am bipolar..LOL. But for the most part I am very agreeable and pleasant, except for yesterday when my husband pissed me off. :)

LDAlvarez said...

I think we're all bipolar, especially us "girls". I most definitely have ups and downs.

Quitting smoking I have read is one of the hardest habits to break. I am so happy for you!

Your enjoying the ipad? I love mine. I'm sadly addicted to a game called "Angry Birds" it's pitiful.:-)

impromptublogger said...

Not smoking is very hard. It will take months to get the smell out of everything - don't forget your car too! My in-laws (who smoked like chimneys had brown walls due to their smoking). I'm glad you painted!

glittermom said...

Sounds like things are going well..the non smoking..the new diagnosis..I see only great things happening for you...Just try to move slowly with all this new stuff..No rush, things will go smoother that way....I am not religious but I want to say "Bless You"...

Syd said...

Glad that the non smoking is going well. Many kudos to you.

Jenn said...

Stacey needs to give you some time to adjust. It's been awhile since you've been in a relationship so things will take some getting used to.
Way to go on the quitting smoking!

This IS The Fun Part! said...

I think I'm liking this doctor more and more!

Grannie

This IS The Fun Part! said...

I think I'm liking this doctor more and more!

Grannie

63mago said...

Holy Cow! 4th Ave JOYS! You keep amazing me, Jonathon, after all these years!

Berryvox said...

Congrats on the quitting smoking!

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

Seroiously GREAT that you are not smoking Andrew :)
good for you!
And impressive progress elsewhere :) !!! Keep on keepin on :)

Sharon said...

I quit smoking 27 years ago and I'm happy I did. You'll find you just feel better and better as time goes on. And, just think of the savings, I can't believe the price of cigarettes these days! I don't know how anyone can afford it!

Cin said...

I think its wonderful that you quit smoking and that you are still staying with it! :)