No smoking is healthy or is it?

no smoking sign, art, illustration, healthy, print, poster

My mind has begun to play tricks on me. My mind can get pretty sick at times. The loneliness and social withdrawal keep me stuck in this infinite loop of stopping and starting only to stop and start once again.

I need to ask your permission to write freely on this blog for a while indefinitely without being judged or being harassed for being an addict. I began this blog almost five years ago in search of an escape from addiction and the mental afflictions that seem to envelope the core of my soul only to have it turn into a tame, almost socially acceptable version of myself. I am far from socially acceptable in societies eyes… my eyes.

If I were accepted by society I’d be married with 2.2 children, be working full-time at a career that I love, have the perfect home life and not be judged or rejected for simple things such as health, life and even home insurance. I’d have the money to afford the addiction treatments I want. I’d have the money to travel to receive those treatments. I’d hang out in malls or coffee shops and shop for things that make me happy. And I’d watch TV without questioning what was being force fed to me.

You know, I have no desire to use club drugs. Somehow that desire was removed either by the caring doctors, councillors and specialists in Vancouver or I removed it. I read Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking in May of 2009. I did stop smoking for three weeks and it was very easy just as it was when I finished a second book The Easy Way for Women to Stop Smoking last night. Yet, again I’m smoking again and love the rush of putting on my Winter Coat and going outside into the frigid temperatures to smoke as I don’t smoke inside ever. How sad is that that I’ll protect my house and studio from cigarette smoke and not protect my own being. I even go so far as to wash my hands 10 to 20 times per day before handling any paper, pens and packaging supplies in fear of contaminating any art that I ship out to you.

This is awful. And it makes me so sad that I’m unable to get past this demon and the trap is never ending and I’m alone in this big beautiful house and terrified to rent to people again because I don’t want to deal with what happened last Fall again.

And I’m so angry that the two major loves of my life each five years apart after me having been nicotine free for two full years both thought it OK to kiss me after they had smoked a cigarette. That was akin to someone dumping GHB into a drink and stating that it is only cranberry juice and me drinking it. I began smoking again both times within days. I had no idea that they each had each smoked a cigarette and only found out when they came to bed and kissed me good night. It was the kiss of death. Both times, I lay awake and cried all night.

And maybe this is what I need to do… share my experiences openly writing about what it’s like to be an addict; one that is considered a functioning addict. I remember being in Vancouver detox during my second attempt to clean up from GHB addiction and talking with a woman who was about my age. She lived on the street and was detoxing from heroin. She said, “You functioning addicts have it the worst… because you are stuck… stuck in limbo as you are not accepted completely by society nor are you accepted by the hard core living on Main and Hastings.”

So, I’m going to write all the time, everyday, publishing new and older posts that I’ve written during the last five years that never were published because I was scared of you; scared of being judged, scared of myself that I could even write such things; experience such things and live through those experiences without ending up on Main and Hastings. Not all of it is bad. In fact, much of it is quite enlightening and perhaps even entertaining. Addiction is all about sorrow… it’s about the pursuit of happiness in the modern world; it’s about finding the right elixer or thing that makes your heart pump even when it causes pain or failing health.

Fear is what is holding me back people. Only FEAR. And fear is what keeps me addicted. And I want that to change.

Right now my biggest fear is money and it’s making me crazy and not able to function with daily life and in turn that cripples me into not doing the things I need to do to earn money. So, the No Smoking is Healthy fine art print at the top of this post is $25.00. Think of it as an aid so that I can work through this with your help here on my blog. I drew this a few nights ago during an umpteenth attempt to stop smoking for good and it gives me hope that soon after all the shit is worked through that I’ll be free of this stupid nicotine addiction.

I want to be soooo busy with packaging, postal runs and blogging that I’ll forget that I need to smoke all the while being able to alleviate the fears I have of sharing with you what it’s like to live in my mind; in essence healing myself so that I’m stronger and able to cope with normal everyday things that seem insurmountable to overcome to an addict with ADHD and now hypothyroidism.

One more thing… I’ve always found it odd (and this could very well be only a perception in my mind) that people with any other life threatening disease can readily ask society for help regardless of income level, status or race and be treated with the upmost respect and dignity to the point that fund raisers are even organized by friends and family to help them financially during hard times. I’ve donated hundreds of dollars and artworks over the years to people for such events. Even on my meager income I still found enough to give away.

Ultimately I want to earn and save enough money* to live on and for a private one on one counseling session at an Allen Carr Facility in either Toronto or Vancouver. I’ve always responded well to one on one counseling and I believe more than anything in the positive belief system that is taught by the Easy Way. There is no help for me here in Saint John. The docs only prescribe medication (Zyban and Chantix) which I can’t take because of my history. Duh. Or they prescribe an NRT. Who in their right fucking mind would prescribe the drug you are addicted to, to treat the drug you are addicted to. The local pharmacy had no literature on stopping smoking when I asked them for it three days ago. The local self help groups condone the use of NRT’s and that is something that didn’t work for me in the past so why would it work this time around.

And I’m totally desperate and scared to publish this blog post… but will.

*I need to sell about 300 of these prints at $25.00 each in order to attend a private treatment session while still being able to pay my household bills. They are available in my Etsy Shop in USD and also on HandmadeCloud in CAD. Digital downloads of the print will be available tomorrow. Thank you for reading.

Supporter’s Information – Aside from smoking cessation aids, there are also substance abuse treatment programs that might help smokers give up their nicotine habit.

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21 thoughts on “No smoking is healthy or is it?”

  1. Hey Baby, it’s never easy. Richard and I are 7 months free. The meds didn’t work for Richard so we both stuck with the inhaler (and iPhones). We are just up the hill anytime you want tea and a chat are 2 of my favourite things.

  2. What are you afraid of Jessica? You are thinking about the past and projecting it in the future and forgetting completely the present. Enjoy the present. You should read the book ‘Power of NOW’ by Eckhart Tolle. It is all in our mind which is ON all the time and the mind is controlling us. Read books, sketch all the time and then just watch nature and then come back and sketch with a free mind. Money will start flowing in automatically. You sketch so beautifully, With a FREE mind I am sure you will come out with super work which will sell like hot cakes. Forget the past and the future, enjoy the present.

  3. Hugs to you jessica. My parents both smoke and I have always sympathized with their silent struggle with their addiction ~ the topic is off limits to discuss. I hope you will find the inspiration within you to quit when you’re truly ready.

  4. Hi Jessica,
    Absolutely no need for a private session with us. Book into seminar (we’re in Vancouver this coming weekend) or sign up for the online webcast. Both are extremely effective and much cheaper than a private session.
    In order to enjoy sustained success in quitting, you really need to change your perspective. First, you see quitting as very difficult. From that perspective, it’s hard to find it easy! You need to accept that it can be very easy for anyone (that includes you) to stop, but you need to go about it the right way. That means identifying and understanding the beliefs you have that create the perceived need or desire to smoke. That’s what the Allen Carr method is all about and the seminars and webcasts do it even better than the books, in my view.
    Second, you need to reposition quitting in your mind not as losing a friend but as killing an enemy. The cigarette is the problem here, not the solution.
    Third, you need to strip the cigarette of its power. You have ended up (as many smokers do) giving the cigarette a mystical, magical quality. This is nonsense: a cigarette is a four-inch stick of dried vegetation that doesn’t even get you high. It is a device for delivering a drug to which you have a very mild physical addiction and a major psychological one, which is based on the above-mentioned beliefs.
    Hundreds of millions of people have stopped smoking Jessica …and you can too.

  5. Damian… I think I’ll purchase the webcast and watch it with my father. We are the only two smokers left in the family and it’s so sad that we are.

    I feel so silly that I got myself into such a panicked state yesterday when writing this post.

    Thank you for stopping by the blog and giving me hope that it is possible to be a non smoker.

  6. Kisan – you are so right and very kind for sharing your thoughts with me. I am afraid of myself and that certainly needs to change.

  7. Thank you jascamille. It’s one of the hardest things to talk about and most embarrassing. I will overcome it though. Thank you for the hope.

  8. Wow… I don’t remember the last time that I’ve read anything so powerfully raw… Although I’ve never smoked, I do understand the fear and shame that comes with dealing with silent inner demons… To have sat down and written this post would have taken an amount of courage that most people could never approach… you’ve made yourself vulnerable in a way that, once it’s out there, you can never really take it back again…

    I congratulate you on your courage… and wish you success on reaching your goals… I don’t imagine that it will be easy, but nothing worth doing ever is…

  9. I want to say thank you for sharing this with me, us, the world. I find you quite inspiring not only in your art work but how emotionally connected with yourself you are. (That was a mouthful.) There are so many times that I hear so much in your posts. I will weep, cry, scream, yell, laugh or rejoice with any future posts remotely similar to this one.

  10. Anytime you need a buddy to talk it out with or walk around to occupy time, just shoot me a note.

  11. Best of luck with the quitting – it’s very possible to do – I quit 3 1/2 years ago, and I am so glad every day. I don’t regret having been a smoker, and I don’t regret having quit. I am so glad that cigarettes no longer have that power over me!

    In case it interests you, what I found worked for me was making sure I ALWAYS had something to look forward to/anticipate. What that is might be different for each person, but for me, I started with nicotine gum (I know you want to skip that, I’m just sharing my experience), then once I got out of the habit of “going for a smoke,” I moved on to anticipating a piece of regular gum, or a cup of coffee, or a nice bubble bath. The littlest things work – I just made sure the anticipation part of my brain always had something to occupy it since it had been so busy for so many years counting down the minutes to my next cigarette. I knew if that part of my brain was bored, it would slip into old habits.

    Regardless, smoking doesn’t make you a bad person, and neither do ADHD or hypothyroidism or any other condition you might have; there’s no need to beat yourself up (Incidentally, I also have ADD and hypothyroidism runs in my family, so it’s on my risk list. I thank you for sharing your struggles so openly. It’s your blog and you can do what you want with it).

  12. I struggle with this too. Currently throwing myself into creativity and physical exercise as a way of pulling myself away from it.
    I think the opening up works, and consider doing something similar myself.

  13. Jessica,
    I subscribed to your blog because you are real and you do talk about your addictions. I struggle with my own addictions and when we talk about these things it makes them less significant. This is just a suggestion, but maybe try putting a positive spin on it, what would your life look like without it? For me, giving up alcohol meant I would be happy, joyous, free and that’s when I became willing to do whatever it took in order to achieve those adjectives. I hear your frustration. I’ve been there. Keep talking about it, for as long as you need to.

  14. Jessica,

    I’ve tried the electronic cigarette… let me say that it is helping. I’m not advocating trading one addiction for another, but at least the e-cigarette is an healthier alternative? Well at the very least it is much cheaper. Now I’m working on becoming nicotine free. If I ever slip up… running back to my e-cig doesn’t feel as bad.

  15. Hey Jessica, thank you for what you posted. I have ADD with hypothyroidism. There is nothing “hyper” about me. But I understand what you are going thru and have experienced in your life. I am from the U.S. and maybe we are a bit more tolerant of differences? I don’t know.

  16. When I initially commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I receive four emails with the exact same comment. There has to be a means you can remove me from that service? Kudos!

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