Going off the weed

I have had a long standing relationship with DuMaurier. Longer than my marriage, longer than all my present friendships, longer than my relationship with hair colour. DuMaurier, you might say, is one of my oldest companions.

I have been smoking for over half my life. I know, it boggles the mind. Especially because I don’t look like the type of person that smokes. I know I must not look like this person, because frequently people tell me so. In an incredulous tone of voice, with a look of wonder about them, they say “You smoke? I would have never guessed it about you”.

And I’m never quite sure what to tell them. You see, I can’t tell them why I started. I could, I suppose, point to a cousin who smoked. I could perhaps tell them I thought it was cool. I could have pointed to a teacher who assured me I would start. (In grade 6. His confidence was touching). I could point to my mother, who was a smoker for many years.

I could point to all of these things. I could tell you I started because of them. I could place blame, but really, why? The fact remains, I don’t know why I started to smoke.

But, oh, I know why I kept it up. It was my one, tiny rebellion, in a life of conformity. It was my out. A thing I did for me. It was a throw back to, what I jokingly call ‘signs of a misspent youth’, along with my intimate knowledge of the smells of several illicit street drugs, and still early morning air, as you wonder if you will get arrested.

It is my connection with someone I used to be. And I am not that person anymore. I have no desire to be that person. Indeed, I am the person phoning the police at 3 am, knowing full well what those children are doing outside my home. And knowing, that indeed, they are but children, in the bodies of adults, thinking they are adults, with the minds of scared, confused adolescents. It is perhaps a vice that suggests that yes, I survived this too.

And I loved smoking. I loved the act of pulling a cigarette out of a new pack – my constant companion for the next two or so days. I loved lighting cigarettes, waving them around, exhaling, the feel of cigarette smoke entering my lungs. It was a pleasant burn. (The cough and the tightness in my chest each morning seemed but a small price to pay)

And I quit last March. With very little fanfare, and to be honest, very little pain. A few weeks of withdrawal. I quit to move on to another phase in my life – that of parent. I did not want to be that mother who smoked. And I appreciated the freedom, and in an age of $10 a package cigarettes, I appreciated the extra money. In an age where smokers are the very devil themselves, I appreciated the lack of hassle. On minus 40 days, I didn’t mind not being out there. On days when it rained, on blazing hot days, I didn’t mind. The interesting thing was, I didn’t miss it. I had a plan, I was on a roll. I actually quit about 3 months before I had to. Unfortunately, I’m about 3 weeks past when I needed to quit, this time.

I contemplated picking it up again the day I came home from the hospital without Gabriel. But I persevered. I could still see myself as a parent, someday. Perhaps I actually saw myself of a parent, albeit one of an urn.

I managed until the day I met with the Chief of Perinatology, to discuss Gabriel’s pathology report. And I cannot say that she was so cruel, she drove me to it. She was, in fact, compassion itself. I suppose I could point to the onslaught of Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, the 6 month anniversary, the friend who had the brand new baby. But really, that wasn’t it.

I came out of the Royal Alex, and I lost my perception of being a parent, ever again. I can no longer believe that a baby will emerge from me, other than still, already gone. I cannot believe, in the face of the risk of recurrence, I cannot believe that smoking will matter. What difference can it possibly make if I smoke or not, when my body seems destined to kill my babies? When my pregnancy will be spent waiting for the pre-eclampsia cascade to start again.

I am off the weed again. I already miss it.

This entry was posted in Friendship, Meme, Pre-Eclampsia, TTC # 2. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Going off the weed

  1. Glo says:

    Congratulations for every day “weed free.” Even if you have not much faith in your body to carry and give birth to a viable baby I know, you know quitting is a good thing. Do it for yourself.

  2. c. says:

    You smoke(d)? I would have never guessed it about you.

    Funny thing, I was a bit of social smoker in my late teens and twenties. If, at the bar, I had a drink in one hand I would often have a smoke in the other. The desire to smoke was always brought on by alcohol – and a lot of it.

    I haven’t touched a cigarette for years. 10 probably. In fact, the smell of cigarettes makes me want to vomit (brought on by a bad drunken smoking evening that did not end well) and I haven’t even had the desire to touch one ever since. Until recently. I’ve had this crazy urge just to have one. Strange because I can’t say I’ve every really been a smoker. Nor have I ever craved the response to it you’ve described. I think, like you describe the reasons why you started, it’s a way for me to rebel. Or maybe my way of saying f.u. to a Universe that has showed me no reprieve from sadness and grief in two years.

    I haven’t given in to this strange urge. Mostly because I think about my kids and how hypocritical it would be of me to have one and then tell my kids not to ever touch one…

    Anyway. Sorry about the long response. Glad you’ve kicked the habit again.

  3. Tash says:

    I’ve never smoked, but as someone who has harrangued my father his entire life, I know a bit about how hard it is to quit. And fuck is it hard. You’ve got a lot of strength Mrs. Spit, I’m in awe. Know you’ve got support here when you need it.

  4. Christa says:

    So proud of you.

  5. excavator says:

    Along with Gabriel, that’s another loss to grieve: your ability to effortlessly see yourself as Parent.

    So quitting smoking now is truly an act of faith.

    I love the image I got in one of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books where people could freeze to death just a few steps from their door because in the blinding storm they’d lose their way. So they’d string a rope from the house to the barn to hold onto. No matter how confused they got, they had that rope to orient them.

    Even though you can’t see your way clear to Parent right now, I’m sending you encouragement to hold onto that rope.

  6. Jen says:

    You can do it! 🙂

  7. Aunt Becky says:

    I smoked for many years, and yesterday, I was sitting around, anxious and yet bored at the same time. Really I wanted to gnaw off my tongue. And it dawned on me, I was having a CRAVING for a smoke. I’ve been quit for months now, and I still miss it.

    I comfort myself by the thought of moving in with you and drinking gin and smoking like chimney’s. IN THE HOUSE EVEN.

    You’re doing a great job, my friend. Congrats.

  8. G says:

    No small feat there. Good job hun.

    Although I wish I had a little medicinal “weed” atm. Oops, did I say that out loud.

  9. Naomi says:

    When I read “weed” I thought, she’s smoking pot?! Never heard anyone refer to it as that, how funny. Anyway, you’re such a strong person, you’ll be able stay weed free if that’s what you want. I’ve been sneaking them as of late due to the bad influence of that boy I met, but I always think, God this is bad! I don’t want to be that mom that smokes either. I know better. It’s just so hard. I have faith in you.

  10. Azaera says:

    Both of my parents are smokers, and coincidentally they smoke actual weed as well. I grew up in a cloud of smoke and hated every minute of it. My parents get antsy whenever I am around because I give them such a hard time about it. They both know to go outside to smoke if I am visiting. Which is nice because I am pregnant, and I think they accept that I don’t want my baby exposed to it.

    I’ve never smoked tobacco in my life and I hope to keep it that way. Being asthmatic, I’m sure it wouldn’t be a good idea anyway.

    So happy to hear you have quit, it’s a really hard thing to do. Keep at it.

  11. Martha says:

    I quit a long time ago, another social smoker, but your body never forgets the lure. Good Luck and I will warn you about crossing over to the Dark Side where you become a fanatical rabid anti smoker.

  12. Heather says:

    I have a hard enough time trying not to gnaw on my fingernails; I don’t think I could handle nicotine. You’re a strong chick, Mrs. Spit. I hope you’re nice to Mr. Spit as you’re going off the weed ;)!

  13. alicia says:

    good for you, so hard I can imagine! But you gave it up once right! So you can do it again!!!

    haha I know those are just words and the doing will be much harder, but your healthier body will be thankful for it I am sure 🙂

  14. Emily (Apron Strings) says:

    Congrats, Mrs. Spit. It’s amazing what we can do when we put our minds to it, eh?

    I’m so very proud of you!

  15. Candid Engineer says:

    I’m so glad to hear that you’ve stopped smoking. It is such a hard and brave thing to do.

    I know you are extremely well-read on the topic, but I didn’t know if you have access to journal articles. I’m going to send you a recent study discussing this topic. You are certainly improving your odds.

  16. Natalie says:

    Congratulations! Good for you.

  17. Geohde says:

    I would honestly have never guessed.

    I’ve never been a smoker, but I’ve had many friends who’ve quit and it sure seems hard.

    Congrats for quitting again,


  18. Peeveme says:

    I wish you peace and strength. I quit a few years ago and it was hard. I did have the “baby thing” as my motivator. Bless you for doing it for yourself. I am so glad to not be slave to the habit. I have had to come up with other coping mechanisms….years later I still remember it with fondness and sometimes feel deprived of something I really enjoyed.

    I started for the same reasons as you. Good-girl being tough and rebellious but keeping that rebellion hidden.

    I wish I had never started. Now I am forever wanting something I know I can’t have. Hmmmm. Does that sound familiar? Wanting something you can’t have seems to be a life theme.

  19. Heidi says:

    I read your blog faithfully, but I find it hard to comment some days because you leave such wonderful comments on mine, that my comments back always feel so weak.

    The first thing I asked for when they told me my son had died was a cigarette. Here I had given it up so that he wouldn’t be affected and he died anyway. I still cannot say I’ve really quit, but I only allow myself a puff or two during my period, a consillation prize of sorts.

    But, I’ll draw from your amazing strength and put mine out too. You are such a wonderful inspiration.

  20. JamieD says:

    Congratulations, Mrs. Spit!

    My mother smoked for years and years. One of my earliest memories is of her crying in the living room because she wanted to quit and couldn’t. This made such an impression on me that I never touched one.

    I know it is hard and the addiction is real. But you ~will~ be a mother. A non-smoking mother!

    Wishing you strength . . .

  21. CLC says:

    I was like C- a social smoker, especially if there was a drink in my other hand. And I got to say that every now and then I still wish I could have one. But I haven’t given in due to the fact I think it would hurt too much inhaling, much like the first time.

    Good for you for giving it up again. It’s a hard habit to kick and it can be a comfort when we are looking for one. Hang in there and persevere Mrs. Spit.

  22. Amy says:

    I’m glad you’ve quit. Just like doing it was something you did just for you, I hope you’ve quit just for you, too. You deserve it.

  23. luna says:

    good for you for sticking with it!

  24. petertparker says:

    Hi NIce BLog have way to quit smokingcigarettes, the vast majority of them without the help of a formal cessation program. Some studies indicate that smokers who quit on their own are two to three times more successful at kicking the nicotine habit than those who use various “stop smoking” manuals.

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