Skip to main content

You have a beautiful heart and black lungs.

Quitting smoking was a really empowering experience. After years of being a slave to cigarettes, it was so freeing not to have to get up every morning and smoke--not to have to go outside in the freezing cold, rain, whatever elements to get a nicotine fix. To be able to run for more than 20 seconds without feeling as if my lungs were going to explode. Although as far as addictions go, mine certainly wasn't the worst you could have, it was the worst I had. Seven months later, I can still say that quitting smoking was one of the best things I have ever done.

When people ask me how I quit, usually I say, "I just quit." By that, I mean I didn't use any nicotine-replacement aids. I prayed. I quit for a few months here and there before using the patch, but I always went back. I always fell into the addict's trap: I beat this, so now I can just have one cigarette. I can never just have one cigarette because that, for me, is a slippery slope. I know people who can just smoke socially and they're fine. Never waking up at 6:00 craving nicotine. I'm not, nor can I ever be, one of them.

When my dad died, one of my first instincts was to go buy a pack of cigarettes. No one would judge me. And maybe for a few minutes, I would feel okay, I would feel happy, I would feel that artificial rush of endorphins instead of the dull, sickening, overwhelming sadness that I felt. Fortunately, God strengthened me. He gently reminded me that smoking wasn't going to bring my dad back. And ultimately, it wasn't going to mend my broken heart.

I have a lot wrapped up in quitting smoking. It has taken on more significance than perhaps it should. So when I caught my husband yesterday on the side of the house, smoking, well, he might has well have been having sex with another woman. Actually I'd almost rather he'd been having sex with another woman. That I could compete with. I can't compete with nicotine.

My husband has been the most consistent person in my life for the past 21 years (minus that year he was on midnights, but I've managed--almost--to repress that.) He's nearly always in a good mood. He rarely gets angry. He always loves me. He's extremely, sometimes annoyingly, predictable. All of this feels very safe for me because my life has had too many unpleasant surprises. For years, Brad didn't understand why I would get so upset and worried if he didn't call or was five minutes late. The day I called him on a random Tuesday afternoon to tell him my brother had committed suicide, he started to get it. Too often, the unthinkable, has been my reality.

So, I don't know where to go from here. I don't know what to do with these feelings. I don't know how to be supportive and helpful and loving when I'm so FUCKING pissed. I know this certainly isn't the worst thing you can face in a relationship...it's just the worst thing I'm facing today.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Did I Love Him Enough?

I just started reading a new book. It's called Weight Loss for People Who Feel Too Much by Colette Baron-Reid, who I discovered on my current favorite podcast: This is Fifty With Sheri and Nancy. It is blowing my mind and showing me that some of the extra pounds I'm carrying don't even belong to me. Seriously. This is yours, this is his, this is hers, and oh wait, THAT? That belongs to a person who isn't even part of my life anymore! Great. Take your shit back.

More on that later. But, listen to the podcast. Seriously, you will love it!

Anyway, while in this super zen, grown-up, boundary-setting, higher self head space, I need to tackle an issue I've been avoiding for about 18 years but really strongly avoiding for the last 6 months. My son is growing up. He graduates from high school on Sunday, and in a few months, he's moving to Columbus to attend THE Ohio State University.

Can I tell you a secret? I used to LOVE everything about THE Ohio State University, bu…

Why Didn't I Report It?

When I was 17, I went with friends to a party at a boy's house from another school. I drank too much and passed out. I don't remember much about the incident, but I woke up with my friend screaming at a boy, pulling me up and dragging me to the car. She told me that she came looking for me and found me passed out. The boy had his penis in my face. I don't remember it. Thankfully.

I never told my parents who would have said, "How stupid could you be? You shouldn't have put yourself in that position." They would not have said, "No one should put his penis in your face without your consent."

A few months ago, I saw a picture of that boy on social media. He's a man now. With a beautiful family. He probably doesn't remember that night. I wondered: What might have happened if my friend didn't walk in and tell him to get his dick out of my face? Were there were other girls whose friends didn't come looking for them? Did they ever tell anyone…

Before and After

We all have defining moments...instances when something happens--good or bad--and you know from that point forward you'll measure your life in terms of before and after that event. Of course there are sometimes more than one, but there is nearly always one.

For me, it was my brother's death. February 5, 1989. There have been others. A dear friend's death in 1992. Another brother died in 1997. My dad died in 2011. But February 5, that was the one for me.

I started to think of and look at things in terms of before Chris died and after.

Before Chris died, I believed in magic. In God. In miracles. After, I believed that you should never let yourself get too comfortable or trust happiness because it would be ripped away from you.

Before Chris died, I often felt special and love and cherished. For too long after, I felt pretty worthless.

Before Chris died, I believed that I was brave and strong. After he died, I felt weak and afraid when I needed to be brave and strong.

Before …