Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Family Visit and Maturity

One of the stupidest excuses I ever used to keep smoking was that dealing with my family was too stressful.

It's only stupid in retrospect, while it was happening it seems like a legitimate, justifiable reason to quit quitting and keep smoking. Dealing with my family was "too much stress."

My coping strategies used to include smoking. Period. Without it, I would fall apart and not be able to communicate with people.

Smoking was really an excuse not to do any emotional work. Yeah, people are stressful. But, they are also delightful.

What did I miss all those years by having to step out of the room? The healing, the laughter, the reconciliation, learning to let stuff roll off my back, the understanding of another's position?


My family is in town and I don't know if it's because I no longer have to shamefully excuse myself to go smoke, or if quitting smoking forced me to create better emotional coping strategies, or if quitting smoking allowed me to let go of some kind of adolescent idea of my parents being nerdy weird burdens - but this isn't stressful. This is delightful.

In some way, continuing to smoke kept me in the same place I was when I started smoking - rebellious and childish. Now, I'm 34 years old and can see them in a different, more mature light.

This feels good. I'm so glad I let go of my teenage self by quitting smoking.

Anyone else experiencing this kind of freedom?


Anonymous said...

I think the most remarkable part of quitting smoking is the need to directly confront problems..I would always walk out of a room, away from the situation, to avoid the I can''s scary. but oddly cathartic..everyone's on the same page..hard walking without a crutch, eh?

Tracee said...

Yeah it's like it was making me incapable. But, now that I have to stay in the conversation or in the situation and deal with it - it turns out I can totally do this.

Running sucks. It's like perpetual defeat. Nothing ever got finished. Now, it's carthartic - good word - to just deal with it so we can move on.

This rotally rocks.

Hard at first, but once you get the hang of it - boom, kind of easy.

funny thing is - the others (non-smokers) probably figured this out 10 years ago.

Rebecca said...

Congratulations on quitting. I'm so happy for you!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, this subject of family and escaping out side for a cigarrette hit home for me. Wow. Okay, one more thing I need to think about. Thanks.