lessons > failure ; sometimes you only make it a week

i set a goal to not smoke for 3 weeks. and i made it a week.. this lands heavily as a failure for me. i woke up around 2:45 last night and couldn’t get back to sleep for hoursss.

i started shame spiraling about smoking, feeling “weak” and like a loser and generally “bad.” i reminded myself of cultural practices like lent, in which people give up something for 40 days, and used that fact against myself, as proof of my incompetence.

i thought of others i know who consistently give things up for long periods of time, measuring myself against them to prove how weak i am.

i struggle with mainstream narratives of addiction, not because i think they’re inaccurate, but because i don’t feel like they tell the full story for me.

leading up to smoking, i was feeling pretty awful, physically and emotionally, struggling to hold space for feeling both physically sick and deeply saddened by how fucked up the world can be.

once i got home from a shockingly exhausting day in the city, i smoked. and it definitely helped, especially with my mood.

and although i knew i’d have to grapple with my decision, i didn’t feel guilt or regret. i don’t really feel regret over smoking even now, more so shame at thinking i could “make it” so long without it. i feel like a failure, a loser.

i’m trying really hard to focus on learning over criticizing, so that i can become more aligned with what works and what doesn’t.

one thing i came to a place of clarity around is quitting smoking tobacco (i smoke spliffs with both tobacco and cannabis mixed).
one reason is so i have a better idea of which withdrawal symptoms are related to which plant.
another is my heart health — i already have low blood pressure, and it doesn’t take much to get my heart racing. so i generally have this idea that tobacco weakens my heart (which, i imagine, is validated by science).

i’m trying to learn how to set myself up for success, trying different approaches and methods. one of the more confusing elements of all of this is, i’ve been able to quit smoking for a month at a time on numerous occasions without much struggle.

but since i broke my long-term sobriety, i’ve found taking longer breaks consistently challenging.
the longest break i’ve taken recently was back in the fall/winter, which lasted for a couple of months, and wasn’t hard.
i simply didn’t really have the desire to smoke, so i didn’t.

i’m trying to parse out why it’s so hard at times and yet so easeful at others. i imagine it has something to do with alignment and intention.

nonetheless, i figure re-focusing my attention on cutting out tobacco is a good place to start. and to then go from there.

i really have no idea what i’m doing, and i feel self-conscious in it. self-conscious in the start and stop, the back and forth… trying to parse out the ways i use cannabis in a medicinal way, to treat anxiety and depression, and the ways it might be working against me. and reminding myself that dependence is typical with medicine, and that the need to “wean off” is common.

to paraphrase from a cannabis break guide i was reading: is it helping, or is it hurting? likely both.

in order to have the space to truly work out my relationship with cannabis and to reframe it in ways that better serve me, i need to be honest with myself about its impact on my life. which means not letting the shame take the wheel and becoming blinded by the idea of being “bad.”

well, i think that’s all i have for now.

i named a new-ish practice of mine today the “remember” practice. it’s essentially a prayer that revolves around remembering:
may i remember my truest nature as a divine being. may i remember the goddesses, the Love of the ancestors, the spirit guides, my connection to Source, my service to this Earth.

may i remember Love, if nothing else. may i remember i am here to serve. may i remember grace begins with myself.

❤ ❤ ❤

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