Unpleasant Routine

It’s Monday morning. Another Monday morning & the routine begins. The morning rush, getting through traffic & surviving it to arrive at the office.

Only to step out of the car & feel that uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. It’s the all too familiar feeling of DREAD. Coming to work, before even stepping inside the building, I feel anxious for what attitude, unpleasantness & unfairness awaits me today. And, every day. It’s only the intensity that varies. Or how much I have going on in my personal life, that may distract me for a few minutes out of a dreaded work day.

Before I carry on, I must confess – I HATE confrontation in any form!! But, I’ve started repeating something to get me through all this discomfort of confrontation as explained below: “Short term pain, Long term gain”.

The past few months have been difficult. After 5.5yrs with the company, I started having discussions with my manager about my concerns of favouritism & general unfairness, unequal split of workload (meaning I’m getting more than my colleague), lack of career growth & a repeated trend of denial of my leave days when it’s inconvenient for him.

What dream world was I living in, believing the “open door policy” and “approachable manager style” crap I’ve been fed thus far?

We butted heads, but I presented facts & figures, which he disagreed with & took my approach personally. An issue of race & discrimination came up which made me extremely uncomfortable. I then decided I would speak with his boss. Another uncomfortable, but necessary step I had to take for myself. If I don’t look after me, no one will. His boss practises what he preaches. And I respect him & his seniority a lot. I could learn so much from him. He listened to my concerns, gave me some input & said he would have a chat with my manager.

I was shocked to hear him turn my concerns into his concerns. Telling me how damaging it would be to his career if word got out I thought he was discriminating against me. Excuse me, what the actual F*CK?? I was flabbergasted! So self-absorbed, rather than hearing my concerns, he simply heard how it would impact him “if word got out” and actually asked me if I wanted to “formalise” my concerns? WOW! That same out of left field, for me. A near “Survivor Blindside” This honest, approachable, kind man – suddenly only cared about himself.

Before all these discussions started in December, I also applied for study assistance through the company. How coincidental, that at the time these discussions are happening, the decision I got from the company, is that they no longer offer bursaries to staff, only partial assistance. As in, they will pay for the course (regardless of its value), but I will have to pay 50% from my salary within the financial year. This equates to 2k deducted from my salary each month. Can you afford such a deduction for 12 months? I certainly cannot. And my manager sat there, nodding & agreeing with the “Hidden Resource” Manager – rather than stand up for me & tell her I deserve the assistance, because I am a good, hard worker – someone he depends on. NOPE… absolutely zilch! So, I got up & left. If those were the only options I had, I had none.

In the days from 15 December to date, I have dealt with so many emotions relating to these unpleasant circumstances. I feel exploited, overworked, overlooked, no taken seriously, taken advantage of, disrespected, angry, hurt, disgusted & defeated.

I’ve reached the point of no fight left in me ☹ I just want out. I’ve been reaching out to recruitment agencies & wow! Do I have stories to tell about them! But in applying for new jobs, you have to have thick skin for the numerous rejections. I know it’s not personal, these people don’t know me – if they did, they’d be begging me to join their staff! But, seriously, I’m stuck. I want to leave my job, I want to do something I love, I want to travel, I want to stop dreading Monday!

Do you have any advice for me? Any tips to deal with the day-to-day struggle? I know, I believe, there is something better for me. I am not suffering from destination addiction; a preoccupation with the idea that happiness is in the next place. I just know, the situation I find myself in now, is not my final destination. Can’t be – I’m fukkin miserable! I wasn’t given this life to be miserable!

(I don’t know why I decided to quit smoking now, when it used to be my go-to coping mechanism)

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Trying to quit: Day 21 – 3weeks smoke free! 😀

I think that’s something worth celebrating, I’m actually flippin proud of myself!

3 candles for 3 weeks 🙌

I read somewhere it takes 21 days to change a habit or something along those lines. I’m not so sure my smoking habit has “changed”, but one thing that has changed is me not buying cigarettes anymore.

The past 21days have been very difficult for my body & mind, but it’s in my past now. I’ve nearly given up on myself many times, but I persevered.

I’m alone at the moment & the urge to light up is still strong. I think it’s boredom mixed with loneliness. Every time I feel this compelling urge, I think of how many days, hours are behind me. For that reason, I cannot give up on myself. Oh, I also don’t have anything left in my home to light up… other than little candles, so that helps 😆

I’m moving from daily to weekly “Trying to quit” updates. Because that’s not the only topic my blog is about.

Time to refocus, move forward.

Thank you for all the support thus far, you have all been amazing 🤙

#onehouratatime #quitsmoking #smokefree

Trying to quit: Day 20 – still no substitute

After dinner & feeling fussy. I don’t know what to do with myself. Why? Well, you guessed it! I just want that after dinner smoke 🤦‍♀️

I know, I’ll pop out to the shop! Cake. Biscuits. That’d be great with some coffee. Hold on. That’s a trap! Soon I’ll look like a house without realizing it because I’m substituting smoking with nibbling. No! I’m not going down that rabbit hole 😤 So, no shop popping for me tonight. Besides, it’s bad for my Diabetes – yeah, that too 🙄

God! It’s still so hard 😣 Ok, an episode of Grey’s Anatomy will have to do… sigh.

#onehouratatime #quitsmoking #smokefree

Trying to quit: Day 19 – Update

If you’re a regular reader, you may have noticed a missing entry yesterday which was Day 18. It’s not because I forgot, not because I gave in & started smoking again.

It’s because I had an extremely emotional day. Not solely because of not having a cigarette, just overall. It was one of those days smoking would have been comforting.

Yet, I’m happy to report… still smoke free🙂

The struggle continues…

#onehouratatime #smokefree #quitsmoking #thestruggleisreal

Trying to quit: Day 17 – something’s not right

A while back, I told you about the pharmaceutical assistance my GP gave me, to help with the anxiety bla bla bla. Today is the last pill of the halved dosage, which I’ve been taking for the past 4 nights.

The past week has been yet another nightmare of emotions, just like the first week.

Which leaves me wondering 😩 did I get to Day 17 thinking I was getting better, when I fact it was just the meds making me feel “better”?

Because, let me tell you, now that the full dosage & half dosages have come to an end… I’m ready to go buy a packet & smoke till I vomit!!! 😤

What the fuck am I doing to myself? Why can’t I get through this? Maybe I’ve proven my own point. I’m not as strong as others see me, expect me to be. Maybe I’m just a goddam fucking failure! But you see, I’ve now created an expectation of others. People are relying on me to succeed for my own health. And for some reason, what people think of me, my successes, my failures… actually matters to me. Meanwhile, I’m a mess! A disaster! A wreck!

Last night, I furiously went to my car, determined to put an end to this misery, just pop to the nearest store, get smokes & I was already picturing myself exhale that first puff with enormous relief!

Instead, I sat in the car balling my fucking eyes out. Eventually, I went to the shop & bought a Magnum Ice-cream ☹️

(God! Right now I can picture myself at the beach, listening to the waves, smelling the ocean air… and having a puff!!!)😡

This #onehouratatime ain’t working so well anymore. Every hour is a struggle. It doesn’t help that I’m surrounded by idiots who make me feel like a stuck record 🥴 I don’t know what the fuck else to do. So, stay tuned… I may relapse very soon. If that happens, I will show you.

Trying to quit: Day 16 – unraveling

Today was hard. Again. and still is right now! I didn’t make an effort to get up and walk as often as usual because I was too busy. When I was smoking, it didn’t matter how busy I was, I always found a gap to take that break. And not walking, made me frustrated & that didn’t help with the work pressure.

But also today, I feel as if my inside voice is trying to get out of my body! My eyes feel funny. My throat feels stuffy. I’m tearing up for stupid shit. All I want to do is smoke a ciggie!

Fukkit!!! 😩

Trying to quit: Day 15 – a tough day

Today, is not one of my better days ☹️ I haven’t smoked, so I guess that’s a win 😐 But the urge, that craving was exacerbated by a rough, shitty day at the office. Feeling like a bit of a rag doll. Not even taking my usual walk helped today because being outside made me think of what I should be doing inside 🤷‍♀️

I must find a way to deal with work stress & pressure without desperately wanting to smoke!!! 😤 How? I don’t know how 😭

Yesterday I felt such a sense of accomplishment & today I feel like a drain rat! 😭 Today is the first day I feel scared. A strange kinda scared. Scared I don’t have the strength I felt so proud of just a day ago! Scared I may give up on quitting. Choices! Decisions! This is so rough 🤯

Free falling on this damn emotional rollercoaster again 🤦‍♀️

#onehouratatime #quitsmoking

Trying to quit: Day 14 – I’m in recovery

What have I learnt in the past 14days?

• How to count hours 🤣

• Nicotine addiction is real. Addiction recovery is a process. I’ve had to be patient with myself. That in itself was hard. My #onehouratatime plan is working for me. I really didn’t have a plan. Perhaps that is why it’s been 2weeks of hell.

• I’ve been through a rollercoaster of emotions. I didn’t recognize myself & what was coming out my mouth most times. I was irritable, snappy, rude, crying, screaming into a pillow, kicking my feet – yes throwing tantrums. But, I allowed myself to feel all of it & remember how I was feeling. Because if I went back to smoking simply to relieve the withdrawal, I’d have to get back on that rollercoaster some day again.

• Every hour, every day, every outing, every argument, every fabulous meal, every first morning coffee, and all associations with smoking… will be a struggle for a long time. Habits are hard to break. Not impossible, just difficult.

• Smoking & not smoking does not define me. It meant nothing to anyone whether I was smoking or not. It will mean nothing to anyone if I start again. My decision to quit, was for myself. Sometimes we have to be selfish.

• I’m way harder on myself than I should be. I was frustrated on Day 2 that I wasn’t coping 🙄

• I have a lot to be proud of. I am proud of my progress. How about that! 👏

I’m not smelling roses any better or tasting things differently or any of those cliched post quitting successes. My successes are getting through my days, just not smoking a cigarette – or 5😉

#onehouratatime #quitsmoking

Trying to quit: Day 13 – Update

🤭 still smoke free 🙌

I must confess, one thing I am enjoying a lot, is the lingering flavor after a good meal. A couple of small things that may seem silly or insignificant to most, but I’m starting to appreciate those small things.

Stay tuned…

#onehouratatime #smokefree

Trying to quit: Day 12 – Sunday Funday

Hi everyone 🙋‍♀️

Weekends are just as much a struggle as any other day. This weekend, I told another three people in my circle. The “big news” and when I saw their faces I had to say; “No, I’m not pregnant” 🤦‍♀️

After 12 days, hearing people say I can do it & I must stick to my decision & well done… bla bla bla All I can think is how hard it’s been getting to this 12th day. I’m kinda rolling my eyes at “oh I also quit cold turkey, it’s the best way”

Listen, I will be honest with anyone & everyone. If you decide to quit smoking after two decades, it is going to be fukkin horrible. It’s not as easy as some tell you. They remember the now, not the then.

For me the “then” is what is keeping me from picking up another smoke. (Trust me, the want is still there)

The “then” for me is the immediate crap my body & mind went through when I quit.

This is what I remember & what I will tell people about.

Quitting is not easy.

#onehouratatime #quitsmoking