Confessions of an ex-Smoker

I quit smoking about 4 years ago. I stopped buying cigarettes and even socially I wouldn’t even have a little. I’d been smoking ‘properly’ since I was 15, but at 14 I would have cigarettes twice a week when I met up with my best friend. The funny thing is I always had a love/hate relationship with it, I was one of those smokers who loved the holding and having something in my hand, the inhaling, I even liked the smell, but I would suffer stomach pains and nausea every time I had one (because of ibs/digestive issues I suffer with).

So, I actually weirdly found it easy quitting, after the 3rd day which was the hardest, I did it cold turkey, just stayed at home and slept a lot! I followed a scientifically proven diet to help with the cravings and practiced psychological methods that apparently are supposed to help.

Fast forward to the past year and I have found in times of extreme stress and personal crisis the only thing to calm me down is a cigarette, even though I absolutely hate them now, it is the only bloody thing that works, even just half of one.

This has happened twice in the past year: When I was bullied in a new job and had to leave otherwise I would have suffered a mental breakdown and recently in the past few weeks – more rejections from job applications and our landlords are selling the rented home we live in, forcing us out, coinciding this with feeling like my life is in limbo (I lost my job, my husband lost his and his current job is 10k less a year, living with family because we can’t even afford a studio, being 34 and still haven’t had a child…yep I feel like shit pretty much)

It just got too much for me last week and I was shaking, I imagine it was adrenaline or cortisol or one of those stress/fight or flight type hormones, I had drank chamomile/lavender/done breathing exercises/taken some valerian and nothing. So I took myself to the local corner shop and bought a box and a lighter, it was revolting, made me feel sick but it calmed me down. I had 2 more and threw the rest out (they were really cheap don’t worry).

I haven’t had any since, nor have I even craved one, it is obviously my weak capabilities of managing my stress that is resorting to me doing this, I probably won’t have one again for another 5 years, but I just find it odd that it’s the only thing that calms me down…even after all these years. It can’t still be a physiological thing surely..?