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Closet Fascination

A blog about a journey, smoking, not smoking, vaping and everything in between

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Nicotine Great Study Aid

Craven Menthol
Sporting one of my favourite "not applicable to me" warnings.

I took advantage of the good properties of nicotine this weekend. I’m actually kicking myself for chickening out and not doing so earlier in the weekend. I unwrapped the pack on Saturday but a combination of procrastination and unwillingness to leave my house resulted in no cigarettes smoked. Consequently, I actually didn’t get that much studying done, because at home there are far too many distractions for someone that has borderline ADHD.

Sunday, I left my house as I was in desperate need of a locale change in order to get anything done. I moved myself toward the University. I was actually going to study outside so that I could smoke whenever I felt like it, but the rain drove me inside. Around 3:30 pm I started to get antsy and decided, although slightly apprehensively, what the hell. By now it had stopped raining but all the benches were wet. I wiped a picnic table off with the sarong I brought with me when it had been warm enough to study outside. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous. Probably because 1) I was at the university (What if someone sees me? gasp!) , 2) The past few times have made me sick and 3) I was smoking an unknown cigarette. I sat for a bit, reading my book and finally decided to go through with it. As it was windy, it took me a few tries to get the thing lit. The nervousness definitely took away from the experience. I took it pretty slow and only took about four decent size drags on the cigarette. Probably the perfect amount as I felt alert, but not dizzy or nauseous. I went back to the library and studied for another couple hours.

IMG_1502
Size difference between B&H Menthol 100 and Craven 'A' Menthol King Size

Today, I decided might as well take advantage of these magical concentration properties from the get go. I walked myself to the quiet picnic tables I smoked at yesterday and didn’t even hesitate. Because I was less nervous, the cigarette was much more enjoyable. Also, yesterday I hardly noticed the way these cigarettes tasted. Today, I noticed that they are really mentholated. So much so I could barely taste the tobacco. But then thinking back- I am pretty sure that what I was noticing is the difference between a fresh menthol cigarette and a stale one. I did pick out different cigarettes than last time. They were Craven ‘A’ Menthols, King Size. Far less aesthetically pleasing as a cigarette, but actually quite enjoyable to smoke. They are quite a bit fatter than the B&H’s and of course shorter than the 100s. I actually find the shorter length less intimidating. I’m sort of a completionist, and I think that is what got me in trouble with the B&H’s. I kept trying to smoke the whole thing when I was probably “done” about half way through. I had a second one around 3:30 with some tea. It was also enjoyable. I almost had a third one before I went home, but decided I would just be smoking one because I could, not because I actually wanted one.

But all and all… three good experiences with smoking in a row. Now, hopefully I pass my midterm tomorrow.

To Boldly go? Not yet…

Plenty of contradiction going on in my brain right now. As much as I hoped the peace would last, it did not. Essentially I am almost right back where I started, but I understand myself a lot better now. What do I truly desire? I think I actually truly desire to be a smoker as illogical as that is. Even though the process of becoming one would involve sickness (as it already has) and coming out to all of my friends (many of whom would probably suggest the many ways I can quit). No one would understand.  I know what I don’t want. I do not want to keep smoking in the closet. There is too much stress involved and frankly the stress ruins the experience.

I just recently saw the new Star Trek movie which I highly recommend. I’m no Trekkie although I think it is just because I never really sat down and watched episodes in succession. Whether or not I am a Trekkie really isn’t the point. The movie got me thinking about logic though- particularly because of Spock’s struggle in the movie between his logical Vulcan side and his emotional human side. In the movie, Spock feels like he has to pick a side and feels conflicted as to what side he should pick. Logically- it makes sense, pick his Vulcan side. But his emotional attachment to his mother, means that as logical as Spock can be, he retains a bit of his humanness and is unable to forsake his heritage. I guess I identified with that since that seems to be what I always come back to. The logical choice of not smoking, and the illogical but infinitely more attractive option of giving in. At least it seems more attractive on days like today where the thought of a cigarette sends makes me salivate like one of Pavlov’s Dogs. 

Cravings like this are fairly unpredictable. I’ve had them before and to be quite honest I’m not sure how I did not give in today. I mean I had cigarettes on me, a lighter. I’ve only ever resisted this type of craving in the absence of cigarettes. I mean I was sitting in the library trying to study, practically shaking. I guess that is why I am afraid of addiction because in some ways I almost feel like I am already there. I guess I’m still not willing to relinquish my last shards of self-control. Today, for once, I was not trying to prove I have self-control although that might be how it seems. You know what motivated me not to smoke? Social reasons. I still care entirely too much about what people think and about getting caught by people I know.  Sigh… I read this interesting blog about cravings.  I’m not sure I underestimate mine. I think one day I’m going to crack. In some ways, I hope I do soon.

Still under wraps…

When I was doing a google search for who knows what (something cigarette related probably) this blog entry came up and I thought I would share it with you. Just from the comments on this blog- women sharing this fascination seem to be much lower in numbers than men. So I always get really excited when I come across other women who seem to share even a hint my neuroses / fascination with smoking. This girl sounds a lot like me before I decided to give in and buy cigarettes. I’m not sure if she ever did, but I love the way she describes how much smelling or tasting cigarette smoke on her lover’s breath turns her on. I think the old movies are some of the best for the very reasons she describes.

As far as me… well the fantasies have not ceased. I actually gave in and bought fresh cigarettes, but I’m not sure what I will do with them. (haha- spare me the “Duh! Smoke them of course!”) They are still wrapped in their cellophane which is uncommon for me. I usually buy them when I am jonesing for one the most. But I have found that my anxiety with purchasing them is way down now so I no longer need the motivation of actually wanting to smoke them right away to get me to buy them. When I bought them- I had elaborate plans of smoking them during my breaks at school. The thing is- I’m still not at a place where I am confident enough to not care about the potential of getting caught by someone I know. Further, I am scared about getting addicted probably because I am not sure I actually want to be a full-time smoker. And lastly, because I’ve made myself sick so many times… the thought of actually smoking versus imagined smoking (which still turns me on) actually makes my stomach turn. Not because I am grossed out by the prospect. Smoking is still very attractive to me, but I think it is the anticipation of the nausea. I can’t eat Jell-o for the same reason. I used to really like it but I spent two-weeks in the hospital on a liquid diet, most of the time feeling too nauseous to eat and they would force me to try eating the Jell-O and I would grudgingly have a few mouthfuls and promptly it would come back the other way. Now just the thought of Jell-O makes me nauseous.

I am, however, doing something I have never done before and that is carry the cigarettes around on me. They are sitting wrapped up in their cello in my bag- with a couple of lighters. I’m not sure why I decided that is where I want to keep them since I usually hide them away. At this point, I’m not sure I’ll be able to get past my aversion to get to the smoking point. Well now that I re-read that… I think that if the circumstances are right I will get past the aversion. And maybe that is partially why I want to keep them on me. So I am ready whenever that happens to be.

On a slightly unrelated topic… all the talk about pipes and hookahs in the comments on the last post actually makes me really want to go to a hookah bar. Of course- here the shisha must be tobacco free because of the laws. They still allow the smoking of herbal non-tobacco blends though. I’m trying to convince my boyfriend to come with me. And he has agreed… but who knows when I will drag him there. He agreed to try sushi and then proceeded to stall for a year. Hopefully I can get him to come to the hookah bar before the end of the summer.  And with that… time to attend to more domestic matters such as laundry and studying. Sigh.

Philosophizing…

I was composing a whole post on making choices and morality, but for some reason it did not feel right to me so I scrapped the whole thing. I found my old journal that actually documents a little of my first experiences with smoking. I thought it was long lost. I was actually once again surprised at how guarded I was in my writing. Maybe I was still scared that someone would find it and read it. Maybe I was scared that writing it down would make things more real.

From even before I bought my first pack, having inhaled maybe about a cigarette’s worth of puff’s off of my friend’s cigarettes I was having thoughts like this:

I don’t know why, but right now I really want a cigarette. From the way I want one, you would never guess that I don’t smoke.

These thoughts perplexed me… even then.

Later, after I had purchased my first pack I actually said the following which I thought was quite profound for an 18 year old:

I live in a world of doublethink- where I think two contradicting thoughts at the same time and believe them both. Smoking is so bad for me, I don’t really like doing it, but at the same time I do. My favourite part has to be watching the smoke come out of my mouth… and it has to be smoke that I have inhaled or it does not look right.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term ‘doublethink’, it comes from George Orwell’s book, 1984 and I have given the most simple definition of it above (bolded part). I remember reading the book and thinking it was a really clever term since it applies to many things in life.

My thoughts regarding smoking often contradict themselves as I noticed many years ago. Although I do not think I hate smoking as much as I did then, perhaps because I’m getting more accustomed to it and perhaps because I have found a brand that I like. But there is still a lot of contradiction going on in my head… although I’m not sure that is it textbook “doublethink” or exactly like what is presented in 1984- but similar.

I’ve deemed this a “smoking week” as I actually have time to indulge and it is getting warmer out. I am getting bolder with my smoking in the sense that I am not as careful as I used to be. Yesterday, I smoked in the backyard shelter as I knew no one would be home for awhile. Today, I “went for tea” which meant I went for a smoke, picked up my tea and headed home right away even though there was a good chance that my roommate would smell it on me. Maybe I want someone to catch me… although I’m not sure what I would say if they did. I like to think I would be bold and say- “so what, it is not like it is illegal?” But I would probably act just like a teenager caught red handed by their parents.

At this point, I don’t feel like I am going to regret my decision to smoke. I’m actually the most at peace I have been for awhile. I never thought I would say that since I always thought that smoking would throw my life into upheaval- but I think, like with everything else in life, there is peace in balance. Maybe it is doublethink at work and I’m now living a life of “controlled insanity”. I’ll take the controlled insanity, if it gives me peace.

The Fast is Over

Not that I was actually fasting… but I smoked today and it was glorious. There is something to be said about above zero (32 F) weather. Much easier to suck the smoke into your lungs when you are not inhaling -10 to -15 °C ( 14  to 5 F) into your lungs. Also nice to not be shivering. Lately, I had not really wanted to smoke much, so I didn’t. I figure no point in doing something unless you actually feel like doing it. I know there is some danger in that, since then I start to associate certain moods, thoughts and cravings with smoking, which increases the likelihood of repeating these actions in the future. That said, I’m not sure I really care anymore. I guess I should tell the story behind this cigarette, since although I was solitary again, I did something I have never done before. I actually smoked in my backyard.

Conditions like what I had tonight will be rare, so do not think that I am going to be sneaking out to my backyard for cigarettes all the time. Two of my roommates were gone for the whole weekend and one went out to the bar. To be perfectly honest- I had kind of a shit day. I got home from having supper at a friends and decided to take a bath because that is generally what I do when I feel like I do today. The bath made me feel a lot better, and when I came out of the bathroom, my roommate and her boyfriend were just finishing off their beers on the way out the door. They informed me that they were off to some bar… and this is when the wheels in my head started turning. I didn’t feel like driving somewhere to smoke and suddenly the opportunity to not leave my own yard presented itself and I simply had to take it. 

I waited for about a half hour before I went. I didn’t want them to come back having forgot something… although now that I think about it, I’m not sure they would have noticed me. I retrieved a cigarette from the hiding place from my car and found an old concentrate juice can to put my ashes in. Not that anyone would go specifically to the place in my yard where I smoked and notice the ashes in the snow- but I’d prefer not to leave a trace. I had forgotten that we moved the picnic table to the sheltered area in my backyard and was pleasantly surprised to find it snow free. Plus- I noticed when I sat down at the table, the place really was sheltered- I could barely see the street or alley. Passers by would probably only see the puffs of smoke coming from me. I took it pretty easy, since I haven’t smoked in almost a month, but found that although I was lightheaded again, I didn’t become nauseous. There was something really enjoyable about smoking right in my own backyard. I’m not sure what it was… 

Kristin Stewart SmokingAnd somewhat unrelated, I thought this post on the Twilight cast (or I guess it would be New Moon cast) smoking caught my eye. It is so funny because if you go to this site and read all the comments at the bottom- they are funny. I’m not sure why everyone is so surprised that all these actors smoke. I mean, it is practically an occupational hazard as an actor. I know they can smoke the fake herbal cigarettes that apparently can taste gross if they want to for movies, but I don’t know- and I’m super biased- but if I am going to suck carcinogenic smoke into my lungs, I might as well have the nicotine too. Plus- people get all worked up and say “teenage girls look up to them, how can they smoke?” Since when are actors and actresses our role models? The last time I checked- if I were to take a page out of Lindsay Lohan’s book I would be in rehab for a coke addiction by now. Granted, society is influenced by them- but they are entertainers, not people to look up to for lessons on how to live life. Just my take, and I will admit I have an extreme bias that sways me toward being okay with it mainly because I love the reaction that people have to it. And for the record- I did not try or start smoking because I saw “Bella” aka Kristin Stewart or “Edward” aka Robert Pattinson light up. I just think they are both incredibly sexy when they do.

rpattzsmokingI feel like I should explain the Twilight thing, since I am clearly not a teenage girl. I got addicted to Twilight this summer. When I say addicted, I mean addicted. Seriously. The books are like crack or heroin. Far more addictive than cigarettes. They should have a giant warning label on them. I spent the better part of one week reading all four books. I think I would have read them faster if it were not for actually having to socialize with people. And when I was done- I re-read them and then got the book tapes and listened to them. The thing is- the books are totally captivating, but complete cheese. Yep- I said it. Cleolinda says it better in her blog when she compares it to a twinkie. You know they are bad for you, but when you want a twinkie, you gotta have a twinkie. The movie kind of made me snap out of it because it really made me realize just how cheesy Twilight is. I really liked the books as great escapist reads, but the movie was pure comedy to me. I think my stomach was sore from laughing so hard. So I kind of can’t wait to see what they do with New Moon- I wonder if the most depressing book in the series can be made into a comedy. I wonder.

The Need to Confess… Part Two

I’ve been trying to work out how to confess to my significant other that I not only have spent the past week smoking, behind his and everyone elses back but that I have absolutely no desire to stop. I’m forcing myself to stop smoking until I tell him. Why? Because this is the only thing I can think of that will give me sufficient motivation to tell him. I almost told him last night. The conversation was not quite serious enough though  and all I got out was that I really like inhaling smoke. I got him to agree to go to a hookah bar with me and it scared me a little that he was even resistant to that. Despite all of the smoking bans, hookah bars are still allowed to have smoking for cultural reasons as long as the shisha is tobacco free. I think this is funny seeing as it is still smoking and undoubtedly just as bad for you, just not addictive. Plus- for the most part I do not think you inhale the smoke… I’ve gone off on a tangent.

Anyhow- now that I am no longer permitting myself to smoke, I want to that much more. The forbidden fruit factor I guess. I mean it was still forbidden when I was doing it, only now it is more forbidden since I am no longer permitting myself to do it. I’m not sure that makes any sense. The past seven days are the longest stretch of continuous smoking I have ever done. Sure I missed two days, but I almost smoked every day last week. It was the first time I actually felt like a smoker. It was the first time that even in my mind I identified myself as such.  As odd as it might sound, I even liked the way it made me smell- a smell I previously detested on others. My last cigarette I even postponed washing my hand for as long as I could because I liked occasionally smelling it. Last night, thinking about never doing it again made me really sad. I think that if (or should I say…when?) I give myself permission to indulge at will, I still I have little desire to become a heavy smoker. I enjoy my active lifestyle and will continue to do all the things I did before. This of course will not happen until I tell my boyfriend and I still feel that he is the only one who needs to know about my smoking.

How do I bring this up? Do I take my pack out of my hiding spot in my truck and show him? How do I tell him that although I am a perfectly intelligent, normally rational personal, I have this one desire that is not based in reason? I consider myself to be a perfectly intelligent human being.  How do I explain to him that in my mind, the benefits outweigh the risks when he only see it as being self-destructive? I mean it took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I have this desire to something that I know is bad for me and that part of the reason I enjoy doing it so much is because it is bad for me. The other side of why I want to do it has to with my sexuality and how smoking has somehow, even without me actively doing it has become intrinsically tied to my sexual being. I was reading my earlier blog posts and never when I started this blog in November would I have thought that this is where my journey would take me. I feel so much less repressed now and I feel like “coming out” or coming completely clean about my desire and intent to smoke to my boyfriend is the last step. I think the reason why I am so hesitant is because I am scared it will destroy the relationship. Maybe it will be destroyed because I have not been completely honest. Almost more scary for me- I’m scared he will reject me because of it and I think that it is such a big deal because of what it means to me. Smoking is not just smoking for me. It is not about the nicotine, although I do enjoy the effects. I can tell there is no physical draw for me yet, at least not from nicotine. If it was about the nicotine, I could go out and buy myself some gum or lozenges or even smokeless tobacco. Starting smoking for me is probably as big of a deal for me as quitting smoking is to people.

As crazy as it may sound, I think that my desire to smoke and by extension any smoking I do are part of who I am. And I guess I am scared of having this side of my personality revealed and potentially rejected. Although I have been hiding the fetish from my significant other for almost four years now, it is only in the past six months that I have really come to terms with actually having the fetish and what that means.

I’m still not sure how I am going to tell him, I only know that must tell him because of what smoking means to me. I feel like everytime I smoke, it is like I am cheating on him with my other lover since in many ways, smoking is my other lover. I really do not want to have to pick between the two which I think is why I am so hesitant to talk to him about it. But I cannot keep sneaking around like this. The guilt of that will kill me quicker than any of the poisons I willfully inhale.

Smoking and Yoga

This morning, when I was reading through my tag surfer I found this blog entry on how smoking is like yoga. He does an excellent job of comparing the two. I actually had this thought a couple of weeks ago during my yoga class when I was practicing ujjayi breathing. For some reason as I was posed in downward facing dog, consciously focusing on my breath- I thought of other activities that require a focus on breathing. During most other activities, we do not think of our breathing. During most of the day- we do not think of our breathing. But during both yoga and smoking- you must consciously think of your breath to get the most of the activity.

He starts his post by saying:

“It invokes resentment and awe with the same intensity.”

I actually never thought of yoga as being that “taboo” but if you do search for the “Dangers of Yoga” and you’ll find websites like www.yogadangers.com. I think it depends on your background. No one I know thinks of yoga this way. My friend who is christian comes to yoga class with me and I am pretty sure she is not going to backslide into “New Age” practices just because she likes doing yoga. And it is already too late for me to be “saved”. I will say that people either love yoga or they hate it. He also mentions that smoking is cheaper in the short run and I think this depends on how much you smoke and where you live. Where I live- a pack of cigarettes is anywhere between $10-11 a pack, so if you are smoking a pack a day- it is not a habit for the poor. A yoga class costs anywhere from $10-15 a class, until you know enough about it to practice on your own. You could buy a yoga tape too- but I find that the atmosphere of the yoga studio is more conducive to a better practice.

Ironically, I skipped my yoga class last night in favor of smoking a cigarette. It was a good one too. I am getting a little braver with my smoking. I still leave the neighborhood, but I no longer try and hide. Last night, I drove to a different community and went for a walk. I always forget that normal people do not really take notice of smokers as much as people with the fetish. I mean lots of people saw me smoke last night but it wasn’t like their eyes popped out of their head. I also think that the cigarettes are much more enjoyable when I am less anxious about them. Next week- it will be back to yoga class for me. I cannot waste all the money I paid on getting a pass to the place.

I think today will be my last smoking day for the week. My roommate just asked me to drive her to the bus depot, so I have the perfect excuse to leave the house for another indulgence. Then I will proceed with a week of not smoking to see how much I miss it. I don’t suspect I will miss it physically but more psychologically since that is where my drive to smoke comes from.

Darker Still…

With my recent experimentation with smoking, I realized a few things that I had not before.

First, I’m definitely attracted to smoking because of the “badness” factor. By badness I do not just mean image but also the fact that it is bad for you. I had sort of figured this before, but really felt it last night. I’m not sure exactly what made me realize it. Probably because a felt a little phlegmier than usual. There is no way I could isolate that directly to the smoking, but in my mind that is what I thought it was. I noticed during my last cigarette- I actually kind of liked the fact that my hand smelled like smoke. I like how easy (well partially easy at least ;)) it is to do something that is so destructive. Maybe not immediately destructive, but cumulatively. I don’t know it is something that I never truly identified with until just recently.

Another slightly unanticipated effect of smoking more than before (which is still very light- but more than once a week or month) is that there are actually times now when I do not want to smoke. I find this interesting because I do like smoking and I like the effects it has on me and I always thought that the more I did it the more I would want to but this really is not the case. I’ve decided that I don’t want to quit which still seems like a silly thing to say probably because it is like saying- I do not want to quit my 3 or 4 time a week Tim Horton’s steeped tea habit. My smoking, right now, is by no means habitual and I really do have to be in the mood to want to or enjoy it. I’m sure that changes over time, but I guess I was always under the false impression that I would fall really hard for cigarettes and that they would have some sort of death grip on me and I would no longer be able to control myself. This has not been the case. I think part of the reason why I might of thought this is because I had such a psychological drive to smoke before I even started that I thought it would only get worse once I started giving in. So far, not so much. I am both surprised and pleased by this…

Third- I have definite triggers to my smoking. Most of my triggers are sexual, but I have noticed that I also tend to want to smoke more when I am tired/sleepy/cannot concentrate. My mind has obviously made the connection that post-smoking I am more energized, less sleepy and can concentrate better. I noticed this particularly yesterday afternoon when I was particularly tired from lack of sleep. My school work has been keeping me up late. If I had time yesterday afternoon, I think I would have gone for a smoke. I would have been the perfect pick me up to fuel the 5 hours of group work I did after that.

I slept really well last night and have had ample opportunity to smoke and have not really taken advantage. Even though I am a bit sleepy, I guess I just don’t feel like it today. I guess this is an odd feeling considering how much I have obsessed over it. On that note, I will head back to my books.

Giving in and Feeling Good…

I wasn’t going to smoke today. Mainly because it was really cold out but as the day wore on and the temperature got warmer I couldn’t put the thought out of my head. So I figured- what the hell. I’m not going to get any work done sitting here thinking about it.

I only smoked about 3/4 of the cigarette- I still have fears of overdoing it and I enjoy the pleasant buzz but no longer “high” that allows me to concentrate better. I’m positive I’m not imagining that effect. What is more is as the effects become more subtle- I notice the other, more sensual effect smoking has on me that much more. That is an interesting development to say the least and not an effect that I anticipated.

I have a feeling I will be forced into making some choices very soon… sigh. For now I will enjoy and use this moment of blissful concentration.

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