And a good butch continues to admit her failings…

This post has little to do with being sartorial. And not terribly much to do with being butch. But because I KNOW that queers are more likely to partake in the activity about which I’m writing, and I’m looking for support wherever I can find it AND because of the AutoStraddle link I know there are lots of new friends reading and because the SB cares about you and about our community, I’m going to come clean about my worst habit.

I had my first cigarette courtesy of my best friend, RB. We were probably 13 or so years old, and she’d gotten some from a friends older brother.  We went to the playground of our elementary school and we secretly smoked in the corner, near the fence, where hunysuckle flowers were just starting to push through in the mid-spring sunshine.  I remember it being totally disgusting, and going home and telling my mom that she never had to worry about me being a smoker because it was so freaking disgusting.

Well. I was wrong. And through the 20 years that followed (holy shit, really? 20? Damn) I developed quite an affair with cigarettes that I’m hoping to finally end today. I didn’t smoke through all of them. I didn’t become a true smoker till my sophmore year in high school when I had my first girl crush and she smoked and so…you get the idea.

In college I could smoke IN MY ROOM. How cool was that?

My first partner smoked. All of my friends smoked. I worked in the restaurant industry and many of my co-workers smoked.

My next partner smoked until we decided to try and use my body to make a family and so we quit for almost 2 years save for one day every month when we knew that failure was once again real, and we had one day of debauchery before climbing on the wagon again.

And when we fell apart my nicotine laden friends were there to get me through, and they did a pretty good job of it.  And I worked really hard to convince myself that smoking was cool. I even told YOU that you should have a lighter on you at all times “just in case” someone needs a light.  And while I love my flashy Zippo and know how to do some neat lighter tricks,  I’m realizing that maybe it isn’t so cool. I’m not James Dean and never will be, and I need to remember that he didn’t live long enough to get emphysema, or have his activities limited by his lung functions.

And now, with so much good to look forward to on the horizon, it’s time for me to quit. The reality is that I want a family. I LOVE being active. I like to run and bike and hike and push my body. And I know that smoking is not helping me to achieve any of this.  I went mountain biking yesterday and my lungs have STILL not recovered fully from the outing – and It’s not like I smoke a WHOLE lot – probably about a half pack a day. But it adds up, and takes its toll, and…well, enough.

Additionally, I want to be around the SL for a long time – and we owe it to each other and the love we have to be as healthy as I can for her, and she for me.

It’s not going to be pretty or easy – but I’m going to rely on all of my strengths and my support team and my love and my friends and all of the characteristics of me that make me a strong and confident butch to get me through this.


10 Responses to “And a good butch continues to admit her failings…”

  1. Quitting smoking was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Harder than leaving my husband and coming out again, harding than moving 700 miles from my family, harder than breaking up with my last long term partner– it was so difficult. And about once a week I think “I could have just one” but I know that I can’t have just one… I can’t have any at all. Cigarette smoke gives me a headache now. I don’t think I could ever date a smoker again. I hate the smell when a smoker walks past my seat on the bus, or sits next to me in a meeting at work.

    I am so proud of you for choosing this for yourself. You know I’m here when you need an ear.

    If anyone else wants to read what I’ve written about quitting, you can do so here:

  2. I’ve never smoked, but my girlfriend did. She quit a little over a year ago. The most important thing for her is the way that her relationship with her body is changed. She always says that running saved her from smoking. After a few weeks, you’ll notice the difference in your pace. Best of luck to you.

  3. Hang in there. Smoking was a habit I’ve run into when stressed. I smoked for about 3 years then quit cold turkey. It wasn’t unitl10 years later when my relationship was going down hill that I picked up and smoked for another 3 years. I picked the day – the day after Labor Day last year to quit. That lasted until January. I bummed cigarettes hoping the humiliation of always bumming would get me back on the wagon; it didn’t so I bought my own. I got this idea that I didn’t want to smoke anymore and said I would not smoke after my 50th birthday. That is about a month and a half ago. DON”T think I don’t want to smoke, I just have to prove to myself I can do it. I have missed my friends at work with whom I would take cig breaks. I HATE driving without a cigarette. I LOVED having a cigarette with my morning coffee. I have support (a friend and neighbor has been involved in treating and providing smoking cessation.) I struggle, but maintain a smoke free life…I am supporting you!

  4. starrhillgirl Says:

    Go on with your bad self!

  5. dude, you’ve got this…no doubt. 4 weeks nicotine free here myself…my runs are longer, my mt. bike trips are faster and no more headaches in the morning

    you totally got this

  6. Another amanda Says:

    I don’t know if this will help, but it helped me combat the sense of deprivation. After 12 years of being a regular smoker, I quit and told myself if I STILL really wanted one, I could have more when I was 80.

    And I agree, you totally got this.

  7. I’m here for you! I’m trying to quit too, so I know exactly how hard it is (having quit before but always gone back to smoking). For me it is literally like booze is for an alcoholic. It is one day at a time. Hang in there and feel free to call if you need moral support. 🙂

  8. What a big decision. It’s tough, but you have a lot of support. You’ll be happy you did it.

  9. I am totally in support of this. Having allergies steal my lung function from me and my ability to do yoga have, once again, made me super glad I never started smoking.

    I will say a short response to this “Additionally, I want to be around the SL for a long time – and we owe it to each other and the love we have to be as healthy as I can for her, and she for me.” I had a partner of mine quit smoking for this very reason (among other reasons, of course) and then when she started again I took it personally. Even though I know now, of course, what someone does with their body is not about me. But then, when I was 26, I was devastated.

    I just think you should come up with a list of 100 reasons FOR YOU that you’re quitting smoking. That are about you and not about anyone else. And use them as affirmations when you want to smoke.

    I am super proud of you!!

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