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Not Dead

July 6, 2010

We’re not dead. We celebrated our anniversary yesterday on July 4th at home, really a relaxing night. My wisdom teeth fiasco is almost at its end with a bump in the last few days here. It’s really taken all of the energy out of me. I did, however, have an annoying amount of time alone to think.

Here’s my thoughts: I’m in three classes for the five-week summer course, meaning loads of work, working an internship that I love, and getting ready for a study abroad trip {less than two weeks now} of my dreams. Everything is going well here in Texas. I’ve been working on being more optimistic, trying new things lately, growing up. Along with that process came the sad end of my Monroe piercing and the growing out of my hair. The only thing I seem to cling to that makes me feel like the badass I feel like inside are cigarettes.

It’s weird…the first time I tried to quit, I was 19. I love cigarettes, though. Even still, really. Anyways, past that. When I found cigarettes…I clung to them like a facking raft. I felt comfort in cigarettes. I defined myself by them, even. Friends of mine who smoked for 10 years longer than I have were frightened at times by how much I smoked. I still wish (& kind of hope) I could smoke the occasional cigarette.

I’m six days without now. Not a happy girl.

It might be impossible for you to understand, or maybe it’s easier for some, but I feel like we spend our whole lives putting adjectives before our names. Choosing what we’ll be known as. Lizzie the: Smoker, Sailor’s-Mouth-Carrier, Perpetual-Rule-Breaker.

The easiest adjectives to add are “the bad” ones. Some like “Lying” or “Slutty” go on after one night sometimes, eh? Anyways, the more adjectives that I peel back from my name, the “less” I feel. Less badass, less rebellious, less myself. I know this is an unusually personal post for me, I’m just…going through something with this quitting smoking thing! I know it’s probably silly – most people are all: “Why don’t you just throw them out?”

I did…and I hope it just takes a little while to redefine yourself without.

Do you get what I’m saying? Have you given up something that you felt defined you before?

19 Comments leave one →
  1. July 6, 2010 5:18 am

    I know what you mean. Not about smoking but about defining yourself. I feel really adrift if I’m not a certain way because thats how people think of me, thats how I think of me.

    Please know you are a sweet wonderful person (and I know that only through the magic of the computer, I imagine in person its ten times!!!) Thats all you need to be!*

    sweet person with sailor mouth is also awesome

    • July 6, 2010 12:45 pm

      Lisa you are too sweet…thanks so much for getting it. Haha sweet person with a sailor mouth…Funnnyyy.

  2. July 6, 2010 7:34 am

    sigh, I TOTALLY get this.

    • July 6, 2010 12:43 pm

      I figured you would, Angie, I think it’s possible that we’re separated twins like Sista Sista.

  3. July 6, 2010 11:36 am

    So I don’t really know what your going through. I smoked a very little back during undergrad, but never reached an addictive point. But I think your post confirms to be that the addiction to cigarettes goes far beyond the nicotine addiction. It’s not even just a habit — like you’ve said, it’s part of you.

    So I’m going to try to empathize with you. It must be crazy hard to change something so ingrained in you it makes you feel less like you.

    You’ve got my support to get through this. I think you’ll be better off and more badass without them, but I understand why you don’t feel that way. Virtual hugs.

  4. July 6, 2010 12:36 pm

    I can relate on every single level (yes, even the smoking). GIRL. It is so, so, so hard…but incredibly rewarding that first car ride you’re on when you’re not digging around your purse for the ever-elusive lighter. It hits you that you are more than that, and you eventually move on and learn from it all. Sorry for this after school special I have goin’ on here.

    Hang in there 🙂 Maybe pick up a hobby (or a gum-chewing obsession)?

    • July 6, 2010 12:47 pm

      Hollie: Haha! I’m thinking of a new obsession now…Maybe I’ll build model airplanes. Probably not, haha. I love the after-school special, thanks so much for your words, I’m not sure what non-smokers do while they’re driving? Just drive? Weird.

      • July 6, 2010 1:59 pm

        Take your booty on down to the store, buy some plastic straws & cut them down (unless you’re used to Hepburn-esque cigarette holders, lol). Have them handy in the car for long rides or else you’re likely to go bat-shiz crazy 4 real.

      • July 6, 2010 2:22 pm

        That is an EXCELLENT idea. I think I might just do that. I figured I would claw out the upholstery in no time. I’m going to Russia and Germany in two weeks, and I think I might just die there. I’ve heard it’s a smoker’s dream over there…cheap, good cigarettes smoked by just about every citizen over 12. Although Isaiah mentioned – which I hadn’t thought about – that MOST countries are going through the whole non-smoking reform that the US is going through, you know? so maybe I’ll get lucky.

  5. July 6, 2010 2:50 pm

    Hang in there! I know it’s tough, but you’ll feel better by the end of it. Are you using the patch? From what I hear, the patch helps increase the likelihood of success.

    I’m the same way, only unfortunately with food — not exactly something I can give up completely.

    Also, I agree that without our adjectives, it can be hard to remember who we are. I went through a serious identity crisis during my divorce. In the end, I’m still here, just different.

    • July 6, 2010 3:10 pm

      I hear you. Definitely can’t give up food altogether! Haha. Today was the easiest day so far. I haven’t craved one or anything, but I’m sure tomorrow will be a whole different set of challenges. We’ll see. I’m a determined little bitch, so I hope that’ll help with getting through it all. I keep thinking: “Think of all the money you’re saving!” Which weirdly is more of a motivation to me than my health. Yeah, I know.

  6. July 6, 2010 6:45 pm

    Dude. Lady. I am so happy that you found my blog – we’re planning a Chicago wedding from out of town as well! What a process. I remember looking at Carnivale during the planning and I was SO smitten with it. What an awesome stinking venue. When’s your wedding?

    Also, I am SO proud of you for quittin’ the habit (even tho I don’t know you)! Stay strong my friend.

    • July 7, 2010 2:38 am

      Thanks so much!! We’ve all discussed how easy it is to feel a connection for someone in the same situation as you!! haha. No worries! Thanks for the support. I gnawed a baby’s hand today…not really..but close.

      I loved your blog! I love Carnivale! And August of 2011. We’ve got a WHILE, haha. Waiting to graduate from school and everything.

      Thanks again, you are too sweet! Looking forward to being in touch ladyy!

  7. July 7, 2010 12:05 pm

    Honey, while I admit I can’t completely identify with you on the cigs thing since I haven’t been through it, I totally understand how hard this all is, and I hope you’re getting through it ok. You’re doing something that most people struggle with their whole lives, and you’re a munchkin, age-wise. I hope this doesn’t come off as patronizing, but I am so freaking proud of you for doing what you’re doing, not to mention documenting it on your blog. It’s a brave this, quitting smoking, and we’ll be here for you if you fall back, which happens to best of us. But you seem pretty determined, and I’m loving you for it. You do realize you’re an inspiration to a lot of lurking readers out there, right? Believe me, you’ve got lurkers… and they’re listening. That sounded eerie, but it’s a good thing. 🙂 Anyway, love ya!

    • July 7, 2010 2:19 pm

      Thanks so much, Alison, you are too sweet. I worried, actually, about “documenting” it. I’ve never been very good at accountability, I guess. But thanks so much. I just hit a point in the last day or so that I was all: “I’m too damned stubborn NOT to quit?” you know?

  8. July 8, 2010 7:35 am

    I’m pretty much the poster girl for obnoxious anti-smoking crusaders…so I think you’re a champion among men for stomping out the habit even while planning your wedding! That takes courage and conviction and from what I can tell from your blog, you have those in spades. I do know what you mean about giving up something that defines you – I used to define myself by my really unhealthy love for a bad bad man, and I’ll tell you a secret – carving out the rotten parts leaves room for something more beautiful to grow. Like…weeding? Lame metaphor.
    So: BE BOLD! And I’m so happy to meet you virtually!


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