I'm Schizoaffective and I'm 8 Years Smoke-Free
March 11 is a very important landmark date for me. This year, it marks the eighth anniversary of being smoke-free with schizoaffective disorder. Winning the battle to become smoke-free is no small feat, especially when you have a mental disorder. Here’s how I’m celebrating--as well as some insights I’ve gained over the years since I became smoke-free.
Schizoaffective and Celebrating Being Smoke-Free
Every year since I became smoke-free, I’ve celebrated by putting a charm on a bracelet. They were numerical charms that marked the number of years--a number seven for seven years, and so on. Well, the company that makes the bracelets and these charms stopped making numbers. So, while I still wear the bracelet as a reminder of my accomplishment, this year I’m buying the album Pieces of You by Jewel. (I know, it’s amazing this ‘90s girl doesn’t already have this album.)
I’m also going to post on Facebook that it’s my smoke-free anniversary. Since my schizoaffective anxiety keeps me home a lot, I’m excited to have something so empowering to me to post about.
Being smoke-free is so liberating. I can barely remember the times I had to make sure there was room in my purse for cigarettes and a myriad of lighters, it’s been so long ago now. In many ways, I’m a completely different person than I was when I quit. So, it isn’t just a habit I gave up, it’s all about who I am now. And it’s not that I define myself by my non-smoker status, it’s more like this: I don’t smoke, I don’t do a lot of things.
Schizoaffective Disorder and Staying Smoke-Free While Dieting
However, I’ve been dieting and, now, when I’ve smelled someone smoking, I’ve been very tempted. I’ve thought to myself, “I could smoke instead of snack.” How messed up is that? But then my mom pointed out that I couldn’t work out as well as I am doing if I were still smoking--my lungs just couldn’t take it. And after she said that the cravings went away. Thanks, Mom.
Besides the bracelet, I have other jewelry that is part of my “smoke-free” celebration. I have two rings from my great aunt who passed away in 2014, and who was a big champion for me as I was quitting. She herself had been a smoker and had quit. I have another ring I bought at the Renaissance Faire that is pink like pink lungs. So, in addition to the bracelet, I always wear one of those rings on March 11.
This is a huge milestone for me not just because I quit smoking, but because, this year, I realize how much I’ve changed since I quit. It’s just not a part of my life anymore. It’s a great reason to celebrate not only the fact that I’m eight years smoke-free but to love the person I am now, schizoaffective disorder and all.
Caudy, E. (2020, March 19). I'm Schizoaffective and I'm 8 Years Smoke-Free, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, March 31 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/creativeschizophrenia/2020/3/im-schizoaffective-and-im-8-years-smoke-free