My husband and I both work from home, so we are together all day. I would deliberately get up before him in the morning and go to bed after him in the evening just so I could smoke. I was obnoxiously crabby if he got up in the morning before I could sneak a cigarette and shower before he woke up.
I would sneak outside in blistering heat and torrential rains, more times than I could possibly count, in order to cater to my addiction. I have faked headaches so I could stay home from outings that would hinder my ability to smoke at least every hour. I have pooh-poohed travel ideas because I knew we would be together too much for me to smoke successfully and keep it hidden. I am always running to the store for everyone for any
reason, in order to sneak to the gas station and buy cigarettes, and then smoke in peace for a few minutes. I have avoided great friends for years and years, because I didn't want my smoking habit to be discovered.
I would feel relieved when my husband and son would go on an outing without me (at my insistence), just so I could smoke "in peace". They thought I wanted Alone Time, but what I really wanted was to be alone with my cigarette. But after my cigarette was stubbed out, I would want to be with them again. And they weren't there. Well, then at least I could smoke another one...then another one...then another one..."What time are you going to get home? In 15 minutes?"
... I could smoke three more before they get home....
My smoking has created a huge gap that my husband isn't even aware of. He tells people we don't smoke. Either I am very good at hiding this or he really doesn't want to know, because it has to be obvious, doesn't it? 5 days ago I didn't think so. Today I'm not so sure.
What he doesn't know is that I hid from him. He doesn't know I looked through the windows of my house to see where he was before going in. If I could see him through the window, I would use another door to come in because I wouldn't want him to approach me and smell cigarettes. So before I'd go in the house, I'd go to the garden (if I wasn't already there) and pick rosemary, basil, or any pungent herb. I would rub them on my fingers and chew on one. Then, when the coast was clear, I'd come into the house and make a beeline for the bathroom for a frantic session of tooth brushing, mouthwash, and hand/face scrubbing. I would use lotion last and rub a small amount in my hair. Then I would feel somewhat safe. I would then finally feel like I could sit down next to my husband or son for awhile and be alright.
But then, I would want another cigarette.
And thus the circle goes around and around. For the last 16 years, I have been living like someone I don't even recognize. It was just getting worse and worse. Every time I smoked, I would feel enormous guilt. I am just beginning to realize what life with me must have been like for my family, constantly distracted, spending most of my time scurrying around, making sure they are settled, catering to their every whim because if they are involved in something else, I could go outside and surely they wouldn't look for me if their every need is met?Kay's Story, page 3 - Kay Quits Smoking