July 11, 2019
I am disappointed to say that I have succumbed to the habit of smoking again. I had wondered what would happen when I had I high-stress situation, what would happen. I did not deal with the stress very well.
Everything happened all too fast. The wheels of finance were spinning. I was refinancing my house and needed to get the yard clean. It looked like an impossible task. I felt like I was having to do it by myself. I felt defeated before I even started. I felt anxious.
My first go to thing was I cut myself. I grabbed a razor blade and cut my leg. Watching the blood run eased my anxiety. Tamping down the blood with a piece of toilet paper, the tightness in my chest lessened and lessoned. I cleaned the cut and as the blood dried, I put my pants back on.
I realized this wasn’t the best way to channel my anxiety. I bought a pack of cigarettes. Since buying the pack of cigarettes I haven’t cut myself. The fix I get from the cigarettes relieves the pressure I feel. I know I put that pressure on myself, but I feel the pressure none the less.
I also reflected on the past few months I hadn’t been smoking. While I hadn’t been smoking, I had been cutting myself. Not all the time, but more than I had when I had been smoking. It was like I needed some sort of fix. If I wasn’t getting the high of nicotine, I needed some sort of high with the cutting.
I am trying to sort through these bad behaviors.
I spoke to my psychiatrist about it. At our last session, he had suggested I see a counselor. I was wholeheartedly against it, even though I had been cutting myself. At this session, I opened up to him that I had been cutting and that I started smoking again and that had stopped the cutting. I was open to seeing a counselor to deal with better coping skills.
I spoke with him about how I knew I didn’t have good coping skills when I was under great stress. Regular stress, I can deal with. Day to day stress, I can deal with. BIG stress, life-altering stress, I resort to cutting or smoking. I need a crutch to support myself. I want to go to counseling to find a coping skill so I don’t have a meltdown and go into crisis.
I have been in counseling on and off since I was 12 years old. Maybe I just didn’t have good counselors, but I always know what they are going to say. After a while, it just seems like I’m paying good money for them to tell me what I already know. It’s hard to go to counseling when you feel like you’re smarter than the other people in the room. Ego is a hard thing to let go of.
I am at a time in my life now, when I know I am not smarter than the other person in the room. I know someone knows more than me about my illness and could give me some advice on what to do. I don’t want to be a professional cutter at the age of 43. I don’t want to continue to smoke each time I come across conflict in my life. I want to be able to deal with a challenge in a healthy manner.
I know, logically, I should be able to analyze the situation and come up with a solution. I know all these things. Make a list. Do a little bit at a time. That’s what I did with the house situation. It still didn’t stop me from cutting or down the rabbit hole to smoking.
The psychiatrist also told me I needed to take my Ativan at the prescribed time and upped my dosage. I needed to really take it throughout the day and that would alleviate a huge chunk of the anxiety I was feeling. He was right. Since I have seen him, I have been following the prescribed amount.
He had made this suggestion of upping my dosage before when I spoke about the anxiety getting worse but I waved it off. He wanted me to fill a prescription for ninety Ativan. I was worried about having that many pills at my disposal. I don’t think I’m a suicide risk but I don’t own a gun for the same reason. I don’t trust myself in a moment of crisis.
I decided to take the pills this time. As I said, they are working. I am calmer, but I am also smoking regularly throughout the day. I have fallen back into a bad habit. I am not cutting but I am smoking.
I have an appointment with a counselor next week. When I spoke to her on the phone, I explained what I was looking for in a counselor. I explained that I was bipolar. I was not in crisis. I do not handle stress well and was looking for someone to help me with coping skills. She said she could do that. She had a good vibe on the phone. Pleasant sounding and a little scattered.
I do not plan to be dependent on the smoking forever. I do not have a quit date in mind yet either. I will just wait and see how it goes. One thing at a time.