Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Reinventing History

Since every important moment in my whole life - well my teen and adult life anyway - has involved smoking do I have to reinterpret my own history?

To some degree, I think so. I have to reinterpret the meaning of the cigarette and see it as a self-defeating coping mechanism.

It's helpful, after the terrible mourning the lost of your best friend grief, to recognize that you could have and should have made another choice.

I just read In An Instant, by Lee and Bob Woodruff and found one part really struck me as very different from myself. When she received the phone call that her husband had been blown up in Iraq her first coping strategy was to go outside and jog.

JOG! Are you freaking kidding me?

There is not a single-place in my memory of stress where my first reaction was to jog. Mostly there have been cigarettes and various other less than healthy reactions like perhaps drinking or popping pills or sobbing or screaming or eating too much. Never, ever jogging.

Until I quit smoking and decided to replace my negative and self-defeating coping strategies with healthy non-harmful strategies. It's the creation of new habits. Just habits. Since I have been working out and exercising and drinking water I find that when I get stressed out I do turn to that. Since smoking is out and I refuse to pick up other bad habits as I discard this one - I am more likely to go to the gym when I am upset. I make sure I don't miss my yoga class whether I feel like it or not.

This makes me less likely to be stressed. Perhaps my seeing my perma-smoke in the memory of me as a negative self-defeating reaction opens the door for me to change my future reactions?

Can you believe that you might jog rather than smoke in the face of stress?

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