I wanted it so bad the other night. I had braved a beer (my single biggest trigger) and when my sister lit up, I could hardly hold back the words. I could see myself asking “Could I bum one?” and her responding happily, supportively even. It’s not that she wants me to smoke. It’s that she doesn’t want me to not smoke. I mean, really. Who wants to be reminded of the things they are doing “wrong”? Especially when we made it right for each other for so long.
I don’t judge her, and she knows that, and she is proud of me, deep down. But that knowledge did little to keep me from snatching the burning Camel from her lips and sucking in a naughty drag or two. What did? My partner.
From across town, sitting in our living room 25 minutes from me, without even knowing it, he was boosting my willpower. And not because he would be disappointed in me. Sure, he would, but he would love me anyway. It was because I thought that if I had to tell him I had smoked a cigarette, it would be all the validation he needed to fall off his wagon too. And I was so proud of him.
They say that when you are quitting, you should tell people. To help hold you accountable. I never wanted to tell anyone because, you know, they’d know if I were defying my very own assertion. It was easier to keep it secret, and tell myself in my head every time I had a set-back, that I’d start again tomorrow. But, then, it was easier to smoke too. Afterall, no one knew I was trying to quit.
It changed for me, the other night. It’s not that I’m going to go out and tell everyone I’m quitting. (Though I’m sure it really would help.) What I’m going to do is remember that I want to be strong for the other people in my life that are doing everything they can to be a better version of themselves. Other people who are struggling to start something, or give up something… I want to be stronger to show them I can. And if I can, they can. And if I get stronger in the meantime, well, that’s just icing.
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.