A Vice of the Past
Waking with a quiet house…
Having a morning ritual with my decaf and mourning a time past.
I used to love love love my mornings when I was a lone human. Waking early to see the light coming in was like knowing something no one else knew.
I would boil the water and prepare the press with my favorite coffee and wait impatiently. I'm not sure if it was for the coffee or the moment of peace that came over me when I sat in my morning spot on the patio and lit that first cigarette.
If you've never smoked it may be hard to understand this. But I had a relationship with tobacco. It was my first friend before I could drink alcohol and receive the relief of its properties. It was me and cigarettes.
They were like a secret weapon that I got to carry around in my pocket. Something I could use when I felt completely out of place, or when I wanted to send a message to someone standing in front of the bar, "see I'm cool, I'm a rebel, I'm not alone."
They were there when no one else was, and I was alone a lot. So I smoked a lot. And we started bright and early, and we went everywhere together.
Yet the routine, no matter how driven by the habit and addiction, felt really spiritual. The act itself was always a part of a self supporting "you deserve this" kind of break in routine. Working it was the one thing I could excuse as a quick get away in between clients.
Many times in my walk with addiction I thought if I could quit drinking I could quit smoking. So I would knock off on the booze and get healthy for awhile. All the time looking towards the time when I could drink again, wondering how the cigarette wouldn't be a part of that. Without fail, I would drink again and because I'm an alcoholic I would get loaded, give in to my first addiction and smoke.
Round and round, always coming back to tobacco. Even in sobriety. I attempted to kick it all, do the juice fasts and exercise bit… and yet my love of tobacco seemed like the lesser of two evils if I was to "use again."
The disappointments and the emotional breakthroughs would give way to buying another pack. And back to it we would be, together again.
There was an amazing realization I had about a year and half into my recovery and I got really clear about my addictions… I got gratitude.
I was able to say thank you to alcohol and thank you to tobacco for carrying me through a time in my life that I did not want to be here. I forgave myself and felt relieved that I had been supported through a really tough time in my life.
Wow. What a moment.
And now I'm here again with another addiction: coffee. I feel worse when I'm having it than when I'm not. It causes me to have more anxiety and feel more tired than energized.
I get to see that it has had a place in my life that has created an addiction, a dependence. I get to understand that my body now is not my body 6 months ago, a year ago, 20 years ago and over doing it with coffee is detrimental to my health and well being.
Maybe it's time for a departure. Time to say thank you. Decaf sucks but so does feeling like shit. So just for today…