what are your main coping mechanisms? are they serving you well?

I think we should first discuss coping mechanisms and why they even develop in the first place. I’m not saying that coping mechanisms are a terrible thing to have. I’m also not ashamed of my own coping mechanisms. I’m just aware that there needs to be a change. I smoke. And don’t make me tell you what I smoke. I think we’re all aware of what most 20-something-year-olds are smoking in those cigar wraps that you see us going in and out of the gas station for.

Anyway, I started this habit around age 17. It was my senior year of high school, and my friends at the time were already avid smokers. I’m not placing blame on them at all; I’m just telling the story. Of course, this was all up to my discretion. No one put a gun to my head and said, “smoke this, or I’ll blow your fucking brains out.” Nope. They simply asked if I wanted to hit it. I took it, hit it, and at that moment, I realized why they enjoyed doing it so often. You’re so fucking high that you forget what you were even stressing about. I laughed the hardest when I was high. I was a lightweight too, so you can imagine the level of “out of my mind” I was on.

Then, I got to college, and the habit picked up some more. It’s literally impossible to escape doing any kind of drug in college with a variety of choices before you (it’s sarcasm; I’m joking but not really). I felt real stress for the first time In my life. I ran directly to trees in search of some kind of refuge or soothing things. It helped. For a while. In fact, it’s sustained for almost 10 years. Now, at 25, I know that the end is here. Whereas in the past, I’d convinced myself that I needed it to “relax” and “escape.” I don’t need that shit. Now the hard bit is getting the other components of my body to agree and follow suit.

I’m not at all saying that my habit is negatively affecting me. Because I honestly don’t believe that it is. I admit that I indulge in it too much sometimes, but I’m not off my rocker here.

My smoking habit has harmed me in many ways. Distractions for one. I can’t remember the last time I wrote a song, painted, exercised, laughed, hell even cried. I feel like I’m just going through the motions every single day. The only thing constant: smoking.

I know the last two passages made absolutely no sense in relation to one another but just go with it.

Fellow/past smokers will understand.

I still feel the urge to smoke a lot of times. It held my hand through so much trauma. It gratified me when the world gave me a slap on my ass with a spiked paddle. I never thought I could let the habit go. It had become my crutch.

I’m also learning through close friends and family how this habit can affect relationships with others. I think to myself, “I don’t want that to be me. I don’t want my life to go like that.” But still, I continue on this path?

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