Hi there everyone
Today is 1 month and 6 days since I stopped smoking. Still going strong. There is something I thought I might discuss though with regards to making changes in your life. Over the past year and half I am gradually becoming a non drinker and in the past month have become a non smoker. There is an area not discussed much at all when people talk about changing habits like these, and that is "feeling like you don't fit in anymore". It is all about learning to do things a different way with your peers and family.
Let me try and explain. The other week my husband made a joke and said I was the Fun Police. It was a joke but boy did I take it seriously. He had no idea that I was so sensitive on the subject. Because I do not drink alcohol much anymore and do not get drunk like I used to and use alcohol to have my fun it definately has changed my perspective on others drinking and my ability to get into whatever they are doing at the time. I just simply do not feel like I fit in. I try so hard not to be judgemental and mostly if it is within my power I will just go to bed or move away from the situation but sometimes I just can't do that. Not all times does it invovle people actually being drunk. It is just the fact that my husband and quite a few of our friends all drink socially and I do not any more. Hubby and I would sit down on a Friday night or on the weekend and I would drink my wine while we talked or watched a movie and I would end up tipsy or drunk. It was what we did together from the time we got together when we met. Don't get me wrong, I didn't drink every night but it was definately a major part of my life.
Since giving up smoking this has created the same area of concern between us. I am better now though as the weeks go by and I can sit in the same area as hubby while he smokes or while others smoke. It is not that I want one now - it is that it smells so bad. I cannot have a go at others as only a short time ago I smoked and all I can do is move away from the smell and lead by example. Hubby doesn't smoke as much now and he doesn't drink as much either.
I was reading one of my followed blogs by Aine ( http://theevolvingspirit.blogspot.com/ ) and her last post was very interesting reading and was about how others hold us back and sometimes they don't even realise that they are doing it. It got me thinking about these issues I have been talking about. It is definately something that can be overcome and there are strategies I am learning to deal with different situations but sometimes the changes in me are just to great and I realise that I am just not ever going to be on that level again with that person or situation. That's when I mourn sometimes for the old ways and this is where I think people usually give in to their old habits to fit in.
I am learning to find a new way to be and I am really enjoying the new me. At first I was apologising and going along with things I didn't want to do anymore just to make sure I was still fitting in. I was getting angry with my poor husband and getting very uptight about what I was perceiving as things I was missing out on somehow now that I didn't drink or smoke.
After the comment about being the Fun Police I decided not to get angry anymore and just live my life the way I want to. I can't judge others and they have no right to judge me. I am happy with the changes I am making and I will find my groove.
I have soooooo much respect for alcoholics who have stopped drinking and smokers who have stopped smoking or people who have stopped taking drugs of any kind. When you have stopped doing something that defines you and is just so habitual that it is all you know how to do and then you STOP - And you stay STOPPED - it is such an amazing achievment. I just have so much respect and such admiration for their strength.
I am sure that most people reading this post would say that they would support a friend or family member wholeheartedly if they were trying to break a bad habit. Just remember that sometimes we don't even know that we are subotaging someones efforts in something they are trying to do.
Thanks for listening. That was a hard thing to try and get into words so I hope it makes sense.
Thanks for your support,