Get a handle

Oh, what a week it’s been. This past Thursday marks a milestone in an ongoing struggle in my life. I quit smoking.

I am actually embarrassed to admit this about myself, but I have been a smoker for a most of my adult life. It’s not something I am proud of and smoking is really quite incongruous with the rest of my life. I try my best to eat fresh and healthy, use non-chemical household cleaners, I have crazy allergies.

So what was I doing smoking… It took awhile to figure that out.

Recently, after years of peeling away the rationalizations I figured out that my last hang-up, the last thing that kept me clinging to the dirty crutch of cigarettes is my tendency to internalize feelings. Emotions that for one reason or another I feel I can’t verbalize to people close to me. Cigarettes helped me to stuff all that negative noise further down and tamp it into a dark corner.

Sharing this is difficult for me. Not only is it embarrassing, it puts more pressure on me (real and imagined) to succeed in staying off cigarettes. But, like many others before me, I figure maybe I can help someone else by telling about my struggle with addiction.

Many parts of quitting I expected, I have been here before. I have quit smoking 3 times – twice for a year each time and another time for 3 months. This time is different, I am in a different place in my life. Right now my life revolves around creativity, imagination and output. Becoming immersed in technical details and losing myself behind the lens.

The unexpected part of quitting this time is how disjointed and fractured I feel. My creativity is just beyond my grasp and my attention span is on par with a well behaved 3-year-old. My thoughts aren’t fluid and easy right now. I haven’t taken many pictures at all, and when I try I feel uninspired and disappointed in the results.

I know this will pass. But, I cannot help but feel frustrated. Before I quit smoking I felt like I was riding this wave of incredible creative momentum and for that to suddenly crash makes me feel lost.

In life, things that are worthwhile often require sacrifice and do not come easily. This is one of those things. I am too old and too smart to keep doing this to myself, so it has to end and this time feels like THE time. The one that sticks.

So, 7 days and counting.

Whatever it takes.

Thanks for letting me get that out. So many times I don’t really know how I feel until I sit down and write it out, and even then I don’t usually share it. Maybe it’s time to change that 😉

**  Special thank you to Lyndamichele for a post that you did. Through all the clutter in my life your post echoed in my head for the past couple of months and helped motivate me to quit. The picture was powerful and your words were simple… “Please don’t smoke.”  **