In which I talk about how after not smoking for 4 years I failed and started again.

Content warning: The following entry features fictional dialogue with medical professional.

The Descension

679 words about health — 21:00 · 21st Aug 2017

Some times we fall.

Last year, because of everything that happened and was happening I started smoking again.


I know, I know.

For 4 years I had managed to be smoke-free. I had managed to reduce my risk of coronary heart disease by half. I had managed to start running, eating healthier and feeling more like my authentic self.

Patient is white male in early thirties, appearing in good health.

But some times we fall.

And I have fallen.

Now I could blame it all on stress and the clusterfuck that is life. But, whilst there’s certainly an element of stress in there, the truth is that there’s an underlying reason for me starting to smoke again.

I’ve already talked about how unhappy I’ve been with how I look.

And I’ve been thinking a lot about what happiness means to me—I’m going to talk more about it in a future entry.

Happiness isn’t just about how I look.

It’s about how I feel, how I perceive myself and how I perceive myself in relationship to other people.

I went for a run on Sunday morning.

For the past few months I’ve noticed what I can only describe as, “getting a lot shittier at running.”

Patient is presenting with a steady decline in respiratory performance.

When running the 5k Colour Dash a couple of weekends ago, I struggled to keep you with Ben and felt out of breath for most of the run.

The sunday morning run was no different.

Patient is presenting with elevated carbon monoxide levels.

I ran a half marathon earlier this year and struggled a lot less running for 2 hours straight.

I didn’t start smoking again because I was stressed.

I continue to smoke because I’m stressed.

But I started again because deep, dǝǝp inside I felt unloved for who I am.

I felt as if my authentic self wasn’t worthy of love.

As if the person I am isn’t worthy of love.

Patient is presenting with breakthrough.

It fully dawned on me last week when I had friends over from Finland, one who is a hypnotherapist and offered to help me quit smoking by hypnosis.

Being curious as I am, I asked her how it works. In the conversation that followed, where I told her I smoked because I was stressed she talked about how there’s often underlying reasons that one isn’t aware of and that hypnosis can bring those reasons to the surface.

The second she said that, my subconscious popped up and went, “Yeah but we smoke because we’re scared of not being loved for who we truly are.”

“But you already knew that.”

I suppose I did.

Since I started smoking at the age of 16, a part of the imprint it left on me was that I wasn’t loved for who I was. I could be loved for what I did. For how I performed. For being someone else.

But I don’t want to be someone else.

I want to be me.

Patient is presenting with self-actualization.

Once my subconscious has popped up, he doesn’t like to go back into hiding again.

Which is why, running last Sunday morning, I suddenly found myself repeating a mantra that I had never uttered before that day.

My authenthic self is worthy of love. I am worthy of love. I am not my father.

My original plan of running a 10k was quickly crushed by my inability to run that far.

After 5k I was dying and with a pace of 05:55 min/km I kept feeling like I couldn’t breath, because… I couldn’t breath, duh.

Returning home with the mantra still ringing in my head I haven’t had a cigarette since.

I want to be my authentic self.

Now mind you, it’s only been a day and a half.

But every journey starts with a first step.

Or a run, I suppose.

You’ve just read The Descension.

In which, 5 years ago, I wrote 679 words about health and I covered topics, such as: smoking cessation, and running.