#BeReal – FAT BOTTOM GIRL

Please welcome today’s #BeReal guest, Fat Bottom Girl.

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The load of shame I carry on a daily basis weighs me down.

I wish I could tell you when I picked up this particular baggage, but I cannot.  I’ve carried it so long, that it’s become a part of me; melded into my marrow.

My shame stems not only from things I’ve done, but also from things which have been done to me.

Lately, I’ve been feeling especially shameful about one thing–my addiction to cigarettes.  You see, I recently started smoking again after having quit almost 5 years ago.

It started out fairly harmless, a puff of a friend’s cigarette here and there when drinking. . .then a few more puffs. . . then half of a cigarette. . .and then whole ones, but still only on the weekends if I was drinking. . .and then here came the stress of my dad needing to have open heart surgery again and the end of my job contract. . .so then it was one or two in the evenings. . . or maybe 3 or 4 if I was having a drink on a weeknight. . .and then it was smoking from Friday at 5 until Sunday at 5.

Hooked.  I was hooked again.

Or still.  I am still hooked.

Ever since I quit just over 5 years ago, I’ve wanted a cigarette.  I’ve never stopped wanting a cigarette.  Those fucking coffin nails call to me every time I’m anxious or stressed or nervous.  The peace of mind they bring from that first inhalation can’t be found anywhere else–not in alcohol, or sex, or food.

I cried like a bitch when I quit. I felt like I’d lost my best friend and didn’t know how I was to get through anything without them, but I did.

But then I guess I just didn’t care anymore.  I gave in.  I got tired of the fight.  So I bought the cigarettes.  Buying the first pack was the hardest.

My son came home to visit at Christmas time and I had to admit to him that I’d been smoking.  I was ashamed.  I promised him I would quit again.

But I don’t want to quit.  At least not right now.

I think it’s disgusting.  I hate the smell, and the taste, and the cost.

Most of all, I hate the shame that goes along with doing it.

I don’t need more shame to carry around.  That bag is already too heavy.

I got a bad stomach virus a few days ago, and didn’t smoke at all for about 4 days.  I thought maybe I wanted one last night, but took a couple puffs and put it out.

Maybe I’ll quit.  Or maybe I won’t.  I don’t know.

What I do know, is that just like my desire for a cigarette, my shame is always there, whether I acknowledge it or not.  It will be a bag I always carry.  At some point, I just hope it’s a bit lighter.


 

me

http://fatbottomgirlsaidwhat.com/

Fat Bottom Girl is a 40-something gal, currently in the midst of another mid-life crisis, contemplating what color she’s going to dye her hair next.  She’s mom to a teenage son, and zoo keeper to 2 cats and a dog.  When not writing bits of bad poetry and nonsensical prose, she enjoys spending time swilling various alcoholic beverages around bodies of water.  She still secretly hopes to find her big love, but tries to master home improvement projects alone, in case he never shows up. 

30 thoughts on “#BeReal – FAT BOTTOM GIRL

  1. Beautifully put, and I’m sorry about your dad and his health troubles. I hope he’s better again.

    I have a dear friend who smokes, and I think she hates that she smokes but she still does it and I hope she’s learning (or will one day learn) not to feel ashamed of it. Because why should she? Why should you? If anyone’s harmed by it, it’s the smoker (unless they have kids kept close in the house and then just…smoke outside or something yaknow?) And it’s a way of self-soothing. A little time out. It’s not that big of a deal and it bothers me that people are made to feel bad about something which helps them get through the day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lizzi! Yes, smokers are very much pariahs within society today, and looked down upon, but a lot of people don’t blink an eye about the sugar addiction which ails many countries, and causes even more health problems than smokers.

      I definitely use it to self-medicate, and have for years, as I think many others who suffer from anxiety and other mental disorders do. I try to be a polite smoker though.

      Thanks so much for reading!! I appreciate it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • See, I think things are MUCH different in England, where smoking is far more the culture. It’s possibly faintly looked down upon by some, but doesn’t garner nearly the same levels of vehement disapproval as it seems to over in the US, and that is maybe something else which England is getting righter than the US, because really…it’s a cigarette or so, and if you’re a polite smoker, WHO CARES…it’s entirely (and always should be) your choice.

        (and Marlboro reds smell yummy…when other people smoke them)

        Liked by 1 person

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  3. I can relate FBG – I just enjoy having a smoke so much. I didn’t smoke until I was about 21. I bought a tractor=trailer that year and started running coast to coast. It was the first time I had ever owed over $100,000 and the payments actually worked out to be $4.25 per hour every hour of every day – like an open tap in the bottom of the bank account. With all operating costs in – about $80 per hour going down the road – $60,000 per year in fuel alone and the biggest thing I had ever owned before was a Chevette (loved going to the parts counter at the dealer and asking for parts for my ‘Vette – every parts jockey would jump to help me – Ha!). Anyway, all that to say the pressure to perform was high. My colleagues used to enjoy the odd joint or two to relax and I would occasionally have a toke with them when we were laid over and drinking. I was visiting my elderly aunt Margie one day when I was home and she was a smoker. It was summer and she had a screened porch where she would enjoy her cigarettes, so she invited me out with her. I had started smoking by then and she was surprised and asked why I had started. She was a very down to earth woman who took no shit from no one and would tell you you were full of it if she thought so. I told her that I used to have a joint when I was drinking and one day there was no weed so i had a cigarette instead. Her response was classic: ” That bad old marijuana – it always leads to worse drugs like tobacco.” Oh,by the way, she was over 90 when she passed and she died of an aneurysm not at all related to the fact that she smoked like a longshoreman her whole life.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know smoking is a definite addiction, and I hope that I can quit again one day soon. I also think it affects some people differently than others–one person can smoke for years and not have any particular issues, and another can get cancer.

      Your aunt sounds like a hoot!! Thanks for much for reading and commenting Paul! I appreciate it!

      Like

  4. Stop smoking, nobody gains except the ciggerate manufacturing companies. I am sure if the desicion is strong then u will never go back. I Hv done it, it is more than 25 years now😊👍

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  5. I hope you find it within yourself to quit for good at some point, hopefully before it isn’t because of something more serious. We want you around quite a while longer, and I’m sure your son does too. And the dog. The cats probably couldn’t care less. More than anything, I want that baggage to be lighter for you now and in the years ahead, FBG😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I feel your pain. Mine is not smoking, but the same dynamics are at play. My life’s work for the past few years has been about healing shame that started in childhood, and working on healing addiction. Yes, you can most definitely call cigarettes your addiction. I’ve actually come a very long way, and I can tell you that until you heal the reasons why, for the addiction, it will ride along with you. One of the big pieces to know is that being as nonjudgemental and kind towards yourself as possible is critical. One very effective way to get at the unconscious part of what’s driving the addiction is using EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), or Tapping as it’s also called. Hang in there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have heard of tapping, as my mother is a retired LSCSW. I have been in therapy recently too, but I’ve come to believe that some things can never be healed, but that I must learn to accept them as a part of me, and forge ahead. I’m constantly trying to be kind to myself, and have a really hard time with that.

      I recently came across a TED talk I still need to watch, which sounded very interesting:

      Not only interesting to me because I have issues, but because I’m also educated to be an alcohol and drug counselor.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting! Peace and love!

      Like

      • It’s an awesome video!! Definitely do watch it. As for your belief that some things can never be healed, I’ve discovered that anything can be healed; it’s just figuring out how to get there. My healing modality of choice have been several, but most recently, it’s been hypnotherapy (with a woman who uses it a particular way- not to implant suggestions, but to access the subconscious). I could spend my entire lifetime talking about an issue with a counselor and never make some of the progress I’ve made in one hypnosis session, specifically because the driving beliefs and emotions were unconscious. Using modalities that access my subconscious has been my savior. (BTW, this is part of what I blog about if you’re ever curious.)

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve pondered for years what function smoking serves me. To date, I just don’t know. I don’t so much feel shame about it, but if bugs me, seeming such a useless habit. I do know it always got worse under stress or fatigue. Self medicating? Probably, but what? Again, I don’t know. Of course, there’s a way to find out, by quitting and disrupting a whole complex of ingrained daily habits. Its strange that without any sense of really wanting it or actually enjoying it, it just gets done on auto-pilot. Routines are very persistent critters. I’m sorry you’re being so troubled by it and I think you will quit again sometime soon. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. As a veteran of a lot of quits and restarts, somebody told me something that clicked and I haven’t smokled in about 10 years. He said “If they ever find a cigarette that is not life threatening, I will be the first person back to smoking” This is how much I loved them too. So far since they haven’t come up with the safe cigarettte, I am still not smoking. I know it is sad that you have to play tricks on your head.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know they’ll never invent a “safe” cigarette, and it’s proven they can kill you, and so can alcohol, and sugar, and everything under the sun. I’m certainly not justifying it, and it’s definitely not something I want to keep doing. I’m doing a lot of things right now that I don’t really want to keep doing.😦

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  9. I know what it is like to quit smoking, I did it many times before I QUIT. I started smoking at a very early age, like 11 years old or so, and got puking sick one time from smoking too many cigarettes in a short period of time. But I kept smoking when I could find a cigarette, mainly because I did not have the $0.35 that a pack cost. As time went by and I grew up I would quit for a year, or several months, but I always returned to smoking. I believe that the longest I went without smoking was about a year before I got married until I went to Grad school about 1 ½ years later. As time went by I told my wife I would quit smoking, but then I smoked on the sly, thinking she would not notice, ha ha. Then I became an Air Traffic Controller, back when we could still smoke in our job environment, and smoke we did. I smoked cigarettes during the day and a pipe when I got home up until I would go to bed. As time went by I used to buy my cigarettes in bulk and would on the average, smoke up to 5 packs a day, plus about a pound and a half of pipe tobacco per week. One night when I was alone in the Air Traffic Control Tower I ran out of cigarettes and there was nobody around I could ask to get me a pack, and worse still I could not leave the facility to go and purchase them myself. In my desperation for a cigarette I found myself searching in all the ash trays in the Tower for butts long enough to light and get my nicotine fix. That was the moment I realized that I was addicted to nicotine in the form of cigarettes and pipe tobacco, and in that same moment I realized that I could not let this control my life so I made a vow to myself to quit smoking and never touch any tobacco product ever in my life again. I quit cold turkey, just like a junkie, even while I worked in a smoking environment and since that moment on have never felt a need to smoke again, not even during the first weeks I quit. It has been 37 years, 4 months and 4 days since that night, and I have never looked back or desired a cigarette again. Now you may say that I am gloating because of my achievement, but I am not, I know that deep down inside of me that addiction is still there and if I stop to think about it and convince myself that I can smoke ONE cigarette and not get hooked again, I am fooling myself, an addiction is an addiction and it remains in your system forever, I know if I smoke ONE cigarette I will be hooked again, so I don’t even play with that notion, otherwise I will smoke myself to death and bankruptcy. Cigarettes were about $1.00 a pack when I quit and now they cost more than $5.00 a pack, times the amount I used smoke per day that would be approximately $175.00 to $190.00 per week, which would mean I would have to cut down on my grocery bill in order to feed my addiction by starving my body. What it comes down to is that we can never quite QUIT smoking if we don’t really want to QUIT for real. Cold turkey worked for me, and nobody was there to tell me “attaboy”, that’s the way to go, because everybody around me smoked, to say the truth, I don’t even think they cared or noticed, but I did, and I wanted to do it, so I did, and you can too if you don’t fool yourself. I quit when I was 33 years old, after having smoked for close to 20 years and very heavily for the last 8 years before I quit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I quit before, I quit cold turkey. I think it’s the only way it really sticks. However, the compulsion for me was always there. It never left, and even though I wouldn’t say I thought about smoking on a daily basis, I thought of it often, and craved it, so it surprises me you said you never felt a need to smoke again.

      I don’t think I’m trying to “fool myself”. I know what addiction is, and mentioned as much in the post.

      Why do I feel like I just got preached to??

      Like

  10. As a former smoker, I can tell you that I looooooved smoking and I still miss it. I don’t think you should be so hard in yourself. It’s no different than my addiction to Diet Coke. I’ll probably get a brain tumor from the aspartame but there are so few pleasures in life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Sandra! After reading the comment above you, I needed to see your comment.🙂 I agree—what can’t kill a person these days? I’m to the point in my life where it doesn’t seem I experience many pleasures, so I totally agree with what you’re saying. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Like

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