I was asleep surprisingly early last night.  Usually I’m up until at least midnight or after, but I was asleep by 11:15.  I drifted off happy with the knowledge I’d get nearly seven hours of sleep.

Mother Nature had other things in mind around 4:30, of course, as did my daughter, who came padding into the bedroom not long after I laid back down.  She’s been having some bad dreams lately, so she comes to get in bed with us.  Unfortunately she’s still extremely wiggly, as are many child sleepers.  So that means one or both of us don’t rest very well after she gets in bed.  Today that was me.  It wasn’t entirely her fault.  I’ve always had a bad case of hamster wheel brain, and it likes to get going as soon as I wake up some days, despite my best efforts.

Dude, you’re awake!  Sweet!  So what was I saying when you so rudely started watching Doctor Who last night?  How many times can you watch that show?  Anyway, there’s a bunch of stuff bothering me I want to talk to you about, and there’s so much to do, and FUCK it’s almost Christmas! And…..

Dude.  We should go back to sleep now.  There’s lots more snoozing time.  We can deal with this shit in a few hours.

But, I’m busy thinking about everything I didn’t think about yesterday and everything I’m supposed to think about today and how can you sleep when there’s so much to be worried about anyway?!

I can’t deal with that crap until I get enough sleep.  Shutup and go to sleep.  Pretty please.  With a fucking cherry on top.

But…but….and don’t you really want a cigarette now?  It’s morning!  You’re supposed to get up and make coffee and smoke now!

*sigh*  We don’t DO that anymore.  We’ve had this discussion.  We’ll keep having it until you get it.  We.do.not.smoke.any.more.

On and on ad nauseum, until I finally got up in frustration, as well as hunger, since my stomach had also woken up and was chiming in by that point.

Dude, you’re up!  Awesome.  Let’s eat!

I’m going to kill both of you.  Wait, that’s me.  Gah!  *tries not to break things*

Welcome to my brain.  This is how I start many days.  Especially since I stopped smoking.  My resilience against irritation is extremely low at the moment, which itself annoys me.  So I’m always annoyed right now.  I bet it’s lots of fun for my family.  Not.  Today, though, I did try to just be accepting of the circumstance, be here now dude, don’t be attached.  My inner Buddhist tries hard to console me in the morning when I am undoubtedly at my worst.  Get up, make tea, begin reading email, Facebook, and so on as I wait for everyone else to wake up.  I probably should have gone to sit on a pillow and stare at a candle instead of a flatscreen monitor, and I’ll try to remember the lesson from the rest of the morning and do that next time I’m up early.  I didn’t, though.

I thought I was in a fine mood until I actually started interacting with my family, when I became incredibly irritated and angry about very small, silly things almost without warning.  Just, BAM!  Then everyone felt bad and I felt stupid and just wanted to smoke even more.  I hate having to apologize to people before 7am, it’s just a bad setup for the rest of the day (though it’s better than just not apologizing at all).  Of course, then I had to figure out why and how the morning took a wrong turn, because I hate starting the day that way and would like to avoid it whenever possible (understanding that everyone has a shitty morning every now and then).

I never classified the addiction of smoking the same way I classified other addictions, like alcoholism.  That is, I never viewed smoking as the kind of “covering up other things” addiction the way drinking or other drug abuse often indicates.  I was quite incorrect.  I’ve discovered a myriad of ways that I was using cigarettes to cope with, avoid, or outright ignore a variety of annoying aspects of my life.  Including not thinking about things that bother me, and not coming up with better ways of dealing with those things.  It also means discovering precisely what annoys me, because every time something annoys me, I want a cigarette.  Sometimes I don’t know I’m annoyed until I discover I’m having a craving.

Fuck, I really want to smoke.  Why?  Because I’m really annoyed.  What’s annoying me?  That doesn’t usually annoy me.

Yes it does. You just usually go smoke instead of dealing with it.

*opens mouth to retort and then shuts it*

This has been an extremely humbling experience, needless to say.  I’m having to STFU an awful lot as I discover new things about myself that somehow got wrapped up in my smoking habit.  I suppose it’s much the same way when any ingrained habit is discarded, whether it’s shopping, smoking, or playing too many video games.  They’re all avoidance techniques to cope with life’s stressors.  Which makes me sound like a fucking rehab manual, I know, but I see that now.  It is what it is.

In this morning’s case, I was having a bad time coping with a chronic lack of sleep, blood sugar that probably hadn’t yet recovered despite eating breakfast, some underlying stress regarding the holidays, money, and family, and only being on day ten of not smoking after having been so on and off for the last 25 years or so.  I should really treat everyone, particularly myself, with a lot more kindness and patience.  That’s a lot to deal with and I forget that because of how I grew up.  I’m used to chronically having too much to deal with all at once and am conditioned to do so without realizing it until I’m cracking at the edges.  Like this morning.

This post probably makes a lot of sense to some people, and absolutely none to others.  However, I’m really tired after only five hours of sleep instead of closer to seven.  I just know I’m really determined to figure out all of my feelings that relate to smoking so that I don’t go back to doing it, so I pretty much just follow my brain around and document what it’s doing.  This was the path it took this morning.  I think it needs more rest, so I think I’ll do that for it.  Then it’s time to plan for Christmas cookies.  🙂

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