My Dirty Little Secret
Growing up in the public eye I learnt what to share and not to share about my life from a very young age through watching my dad and how he conducted himself in his business and private life. I have carried these lessons on with me in my adult life, sometimes out of not wanting to be judged or have my personal life out there. I have picked and chosen what I consider valuable to share with my following.
My general rule is that if I think it can help others I’m prepared to put my own feelings aside and speak about it.
My dad worked in current affairs, he was not a health and wellness advocate and while I started my blog in the health and wellness sector I think its moved on a little from that to now encompass all areas of lifestyle and life experience as things have changed and happened in my life. For me this is just an authentic and natural progression. As I change and grow my blog changes and grows along with me.
I advocate doing your best, living an 80/20 lifestyle, making changes where you can, not using strict labels like “vegan”, building up, being kind understanding and supporting others, equality of the sexes, and fairness for animals.
Are there things I choose not to share with my following, yes. Because they are either too private or I don’t think they are relevant, i don't have anything I am ashamed and embarrassed about that hasn't already been written about by the NZ media. I own my actions, i don't have a problem to say ok i was wrong when i did that, and change my behaviour, but yes it takes me time and learning to do things independently can be hard.
I’m a very open person, I don’t hide things, but having a blog and constantly tossing up between sharing each little struggle and taking the time to really deal with my issues before I write about them is an ongoing battle for me. When I was asked to write about my drug addiction this problem was the first that came to mind, how could I write about my drug addiction first and not address this issue.
I have wanted to write about this topic for the longest time, I’ve struggled with it since my dad got sick and I still haven’t fully cut it out of my life, and now it feels like I’m lying to you all by keeping it from you and I just need to get it out and write about it.
Cigarettes and smoking.
I tried my first cigarette (stolen from my dad) probably around the age of 13-14, we would pinch his Marlborough Lights and go to the park close to my house to bum puff them…. Smoking has always been in my family or around me growing up and as a teenager, I smoked for many years during my addiction and managed to give up when I got clean and sober.
When my dad found out he was terminal and he told the family it broke a part of me, I felt self-destructive I struggled with this for months, I was lost angry and hurt.
When I moved down to dad’s house to live and care for him in his last days, Deborah (my dad’s wife) and I started going once a day out behind the chicken coup and smoking a cigarette, for me this was the time of the day to get away and relax where I could escape and try and forget the upset of each day watching dad get worse and worse, and as the days passed we would go more often out to the chicken coup.
So, this was how it started, after this if I experienced any sort of stressful situation I would feel the need to smoke….
If I had a big fight with Connor… smoke.
Hit my car…. smoke.
Sad day thinking about dad…. smoke,
until I became addicted and I was doing it all the time, I stopped and started many times. I tried champix which worked well and then had about 8 months’ smoke free until Connor passed away.
I remember standing outside the hospital after the nurses had told us he was gone, and just asking people for a cigarette, I NEEDED it. For the next two weeks, I lived off cups of tea and cigarettes and joints at night to help me sleep. Since then smoking has been in my life on and off. In the last year, I guess you could say I turned my emotional smoking into an excuse for my full-blown addiction to nicotine, I told myself “ok it’s my dirty little secret, I only have one…. it’s fine millie! you care for your body in so many other ways this tiny thing doesn’t matter” but it fucking matters, I don’t like it, I know how fucking disgusting it is for my body.
And while I would prefer to write this article from the angle of “I beat my smoking addiction’ I’m not quite there yet; I'm not smoking every day just on occasion. I am working on it, I suppose this article is a coming clean for me because I feel so much guilt about this, it’s an emotionally rooted issue that I have and I need to deal with it, and I am but in my own way.
Im sure some of you are thinking isn’t this the girl who gave up meth? And your right I did but I had a huge amount of help, I didn’t actually want to stop when I did, some circumstances happened and connor decided he wanted us to stop. But that’s a whole other blog post…
Things that have helped me cut down and reducing my smoking are avoiding stressful situations. When stress does rear its head, being close to someone to speak out about it is my #1
Not drinking, smoking and drinking are like avocado and toast so reducing the amount i go out and drink has helped me hugely.
Not buying cigarettes, not having them available or close at hand is huge for me this has helped me a lot.
Breaking the smoking morning coffee ritual. I used to smoke with my morning coffee and stopping coffee helped me to deal with this a lot, subbing my morning coffee for apple cider vinegar and lemon and 1L of water was a huge benefit.
Having friends who don’t smoke, this was standard before I moved to Greece so it was so easy not to feel pressure but now living in Europe where everyone smokes it’s a little harder, I’m lucky that the smell of cigarettes makes me feel ill now but initially when I moved to Greece and I was still dealing with a lot of grief it was hard.
I’m worried to take champix again after reading some of the side effects and in general just being weary of pharmaceuticals, but at this point I just want to stop feeling that I have a dependence on something to relieve stress.
I guess what I am asking is does this change the way you feel about me as a person. I never have never tried to be perfect or better than anyone else, I have been very upfront about my addiction, and life experiences, I try to be as real as possible and I guess I’m am just sorry it has taken me this long to speak about it, clearly the shame is deeply rooted. If you decide to unfollow me for this that’s totally fine, but I feel so much better now getting this off my chest and being upfront with you all about this. I would love any tips advice or help you can suggest also.
Thank you xxxx M