Thursday, October 18, 2007

Relapse of Sorts

Is today a failure or another aspect of a success? That is a question for the ages that will never be answered fully, nor will any proposed answer ever really make everyone feel a sense of closure, but it is the question for today because today I failed and succeeded and I am not sure how to label the day in the context of my life’s story. You see, today I lit a cigarette, but did not smoke it. Did I fail because I wanted, found, and lit a cigarette or is today a success because I held a lit cigarette in my hand yet did not smoke it? I guess this is another one of those “perspective” things.

I am not having a Smurfy day today. It is not exactly 100% un-Smurfy, but there is a definite lack of Smurfyness going on; not a total saturation of that old Smurfy-vibe. Techs seem to think today is Friday based on how lethargic they are to work and a lack of communication among co-workers can cause a very contagious strain of stress to spread rather easily. It soon overcame my nerves and sent me into the default “I really need a cigarette” mode.

Outside I stood (channeling Yoda, sorry) with a cigarette in hand and I did the unthinkable; I lit it. I took a drag and felt….nothing. I took a second drag and felt….guilt. A third drag convinced me that all I was doing was making me a foul-smelling pissed off person instead of the calm person I was hoping for. I put it out and returned to work feeling…proud except I stink now. How can three drags off a cigarette make my shirt smell like an ashtray so quickly?

I know that I am not a smoker any more. It tasted like shit and smelled like it too. The motions involved in smoking did not feel natural either. I could tell I was forcing myself to take those three drags. So, did I fail because I lit a cigarette during a time of extreme stress or did I succeed because I did not smoke it and returned to work?


VE said...

Hey, I'm actually first! That calls for a cigarette...just kidding. I've actually never even puffed on one; no interest. So I'd say you're almost clear; it all depends if you do it again or not.

Nessa said...

This sounds like a roaring success to me.

I smoked almost 3 packs a day for over 20 years. I know the allure of cigarettes and how hard it is to quit. I've been smoke free for more that 21 years now.

You are a success because your perception and attitude has changed.

It's the long deep draw on a cigarette that relaxes and the focus on one thing (nicotine is actually a stimulant.) Next time take some long slow breaths like you are drawing on a ciggy.

ThatGreenyFlower said...

I think it's definitely a success.

your Mother said...

I agree with the flower. I am proud and happy for you;

Kanrei said...

Thanks guys. I felt worse after lighting it than I did before. I felt weak and like a failure. Thank you for holding me up. I really mean that.

Serena Joy said...

IMO, it's a TOTAL success because you put it down, unsmoked. As a long-time smoker, believe me, I know the allure and you have my complete admiration for turning your back on the siren call. Being a little lured by the temptation but passing it up is absolutely not a failure!

Steve Buchheit said...

Sounds like success to me. You know, as long as you don't repeat it. If this turns into a "three drags and your out" habit, that's still smoking. But that it tasted bad, didn't give you the kick, and doesn't drive more cravings is excellent. So, a win.

Camille Alexa said...

I think everyone's in total agreement about your success.

Also, your channeling Yoda comment made me laugh out loud.