Diary of a Switcher: Week 4

Culture | 31 August 2017
Emma Carneyby Emma Carney

Everything was going so well.

It’s been a month since I stopped smoking and switched to vaping. It’s sucked in many ways but what I haven’t been sucking on is the butt of a cigarette. I’d love to say week four was my triumph but it turned out to be so much deeper than I anticipated.

Day 23: I can quit smoking. I can. I’ve pretty much quit smoking. I just can’t quit what I love about smoking. I am typing this feeling really foolish as literally every week I feel so positive and smug when I start these entries and then within a few hours I feel like a complete idiot again. I am not a writer, so I hoped this would be my wonderful premiere into the written word where I provide some form of profound journey into self discovery and win the Pulitzer prize. But thus far I’ve become a sandwich addict and we’ve discussed the merits of “red wine lip” – hardly going to keep Mama Carney in Chanel.

Therefore, due to this lack of pretense we’ve established – it’s no secret I am as much a slave to tobacco as most of you – I feel I have to be honest about what it is to quit. I do sincerely feel that I have quit smoking. I just can’t appear to quit rolling a cigarette (shock horror – I’m a roller!) I liked the odd cut cigarette but I preferred the “pull” of a rollie. I miss sitting on my balcony and reading some email or article I have been meaning to indulge in and then maybe taking a minute or two to have a random ponder about life.

That’s what I am missing.

diary of a switcher time.jpg

Not the smoking, not the taste, but the rolling ceremony. I’ve not subconsciously rolled a cig for a few days now. I leave rooms when others smoke and I’ve started doing vape tricks. I’ve replaced those nostalgic pangs with vaping and I adore vaping now. It’s not a rebound. I think we can make it. I actually do. We may be for life. For my life. I can choose my flavours, my strength and in certain dwellings...they let you vape inside… hurrah! What made stopping smoking difficult has pretty much been solved by switching to e cigarettes. So why I am I still writing this?

Basically, What stops me from quitting smoking is much stranger than a chemical imbalance in my brain. Much stronger, and according to my mother – “much smellier”. Contemplating these feelings tonight have reminded me of when I first met AYR’s Co-Founder, Kaveh Memari. He told me a story about how in Cuba people used to “measure time in cigars – once the cigar was fully burned the task was done”.  I was enthralled, not just because of his masterful storytelling but because it sounded so foreign, so silly, so obsessive. Who measures their days like that? Pft!

Yet here I am, writing about how I am missing smoking because those odd “balcony moments” turned out to be a pretty important way to measure my day. In fact – the most important way. Those work emails I didn’t want to read? The ones that had the tough news in? I read them on the balcony. I never knew that until now. It turns out he was correct – I was measuring some tasks in smoking. So what do I do now?

Day 24: Turned out I wrote the previous diary entry then sat in bed, vaped and read a book. Odd to say, but true. I missed my old routine but after writing the above, I immediately didn’t feel the urge I’d previously felt at the start of my digital rant to perform that old ritual. So, at a loss, I attempted to make a new routine instead. This routine is interesting and I feel you lovely readers of these posts may connect (hi mum). I decided to read a book that a work colleague recommended* I used to use the time to read emails and ponder work conundrums in my cigarette breaks, so instead I decided to add the time up and spend it reading that book instead. That time inspired me, it made me smile. Beats a grunt and throwing a cigarette butt in frustration, right?

diary of a switcher books.jpg

Day 25: Finished my book. On to my next one. Feeling good.

Day 27: Went to an event. Vape ran out. Only had a quick drag on a friend’s cigarette. Not good but not bad either. I could have done worse but I didn’t and I don’t feel bad. I’ve decided to stop feeling bad about everything for a bit. Maybe that’s why I’m always falling off the wagon, because I make out it’s such a massive problem if I do.

Day 28: Really, OMG I missed smoking today. It was on the TV, outside, everywhere. Eurgh. So I stayed inside and finished my other book. Teacher’s pet. Recommendations welcome – I need the distraction. Do I think this will last? No. Dang this is hard. 

*Girl boss – Recommended by Keeley  Walker

 

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