Thursday, December 06, 2007

Quitting Smoking for Whom?

Today is Smoke-free Day 171.

(Yes, "whom." Sounds stuffy to me, too, but I couldn't bring myself to write "who." My x365 posting on Mrs. G today explains why I'm like this about certain grammar points, though I'm not sure why I have such blatant disregard for others.)

I know some people say that you have to quit smoking for yourself and not for anyone else. Ditto for overcoming most addictions. I agree wholeheartedly that this is true for the most part for most folks. It's a long and tough battle (thankfully made easier by Chantix for me, but still not quite a picnic), and it takes determination. Still, I also believe that it doesn't really even matter so much who it is that you are doing it for as long as you are doing it (as in, just do it instead of stalling while trying to sort out stuff like that - not that I ever played games and made up reasons to delay quitting smoking, of course...) and that even when you are mostly doing it for yourself, it's not at all an all bad thing if others are pleased and/or benefit from it and if that helps to inspire you to want to keep going. I think that's fair and just as valid.

Last night Tom told me he couldn't watch all of the heartbreaking video I'd posted in yesterday's post because it was just so rugged, and I don't blame him. When I smoked, I know he already feared something along those lines could happen to me at some point, and I smiled fake reassuring smiles that it would be OK because I would quit in time or that it wouldn't happen to me even if I didn't quit, and then I'd go light up out on the balcony, feeling like crap knowing that I was breaking his heart by scaring the pants off him while I was trying to give off reassurance that I had no business giving. I felt that, but I smoked anyway. Cigarettes came first. Sad, true.

In the same conversation (and other times, too) Tom said he's proud of me for quitting smoking and coming this far, knowing that it's not easy to do. He thinks I am the cat's meow and their pajamas and all that jazz (OK, that particular wording is mine, not his - I'm just paraphrasing), and it feels really wonderful to hear from someone you love and respect.

By golly, that's going into my bag of tricks that help me to continue on my journey as a non-smoker who used to smoke. On days when I'm not so inclined to stay quit for myself, I don't think it's at all inappropriate to do it for Tom once in awhile, especially if it means that I make it to bedtime still not smoking. I'd even do it for the cats if they weren't so nonchalant about the whole thing. Whatever works.

3 comments:

  1. I guess I look at things this way: I might say that one of the reasons I quit is for Noah. (Dylan already smokes - yes I feel ENORMOUS guilt about this - let's not go there). I don't want Noah to be a smoker and grow up with a smoker. So I'm quitting "for" him. But what does that really mean? Quitting "for" him means that I want him to have the non-smoking role model that his brother didn't get to have. It means I don't want him to smoke (for all the obvious health reasons). I want/don't want these things for him because I want him to be happy, healthy, etc. But in the end it all comes back to me anyway. These are all things that *** I *** want. So even though I'm doing it "for" him, it's for me really. He is just the beneficiary. I agree it's ok to think about things the way you said - doing it for someone else. But deep down I think it's really doing it for a different part of YOURself. Does this make any sense at all???

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  2. Its an interesting thought...whom am I quitting for? Aside from myself and my sister, I think I am quiting for all those people who think they can't or are too afraid to even try. I know when I walked into the Kaiser Quit Smoking program and met people who were in the process and actually DOING IT I felt like maybe I could do it too. I like being able to pass on the encouragement since someone so kindly did it for me.
    Peace,
    Diva

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  3. Tasina, yep, exactly. I get it. It all kind of melds together when you are connected to the people you love around you. This is why I think it almost doesn't matter as long as we keep going. Everyone wins ;)

    Diva, that makes some sense, too. Being so "public" about my quit does help - falling in public isn't something fun to do, and I want people to know it can be done.

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