Ask me if I care aka

I’m all out of give-a-shits.

I’ve been fighting the coffee wars for the past week – seems coffee availability is at a premium. So are the prices. I’m not going to go into a big convoluted story about my problems obtaining drinkable coffee – it’s tedious, boring and I just don’t give a shit about it anymore.

My husband has COPD and I’ve been nagging him to quit smoking for years. His health has taken a precipitous decline in the last 6 weeks which has finally convinced him to quit smoking. At 75 years of age. Oh yes, and I smoke too. Never as much as he has and I’ve quit smoking for years at a time since taking up the nasty habit in my mid-20’s.  It’s been hard for me to quit when he wouldn’t. Having cigarettes available, even when you really don’t want one but habit says it’s time to light up – big problem for me.

Anyway, we have both been smoke free for a little over a month. The nicotine is out of our systems. But here’s the thing – smoking is NOT about the nicotine. It is about the habit. The comfort from the habit. Even an oral fixation. It is the “hand-mouth-kick back and relax”  routine that is hard to break/get over.  It is about wanting, not needing.

I have what could be called an e-cigarette. No nicotine, vegetable glycol, tobacco flavor. Not much help. One because it does not feel like a cigarette in my hand or mouth, two, because it is not finite. Somehow part of the whole cigarette smoking thing is that it is finite – there are only so many puffs in one cigarette then it’s over, done: crush it out, move on, the whole activity/experience is complete.

Smoking has jack-all to do with nicotine is what I’m saying.  My husband and I both agree on that.

I’m tired. Mentally and emotionally tired. Physically too but that doesn’t bother me as much as the mental/emotional tiredness. I’m really not cut out to be responsible for/in-charge of everything. There are folks who would say differently. They think they know me. They don’t. They only see me BE in charge, they don’t know the why of it.  They don’t know that in the early years of my marriage, when I wasn’t in-charge of everything, nothing got done. Bills didn’t paid, debt piled up. And other stuff. Some of these people, who like to judge, meaning my husband’s family, knew he was always somewhat irresponsible; one sister having spent years bailing him out financially and practically (the man has NO common sense).

But even my husband’s doctors probably think I am some kind of overbearing bully – my husband’s pulmonologist refers to me as “the boss”.

I am the boss because someone has to be; someone has to be responsible. Someone has to be practical. My husband never was. His whole life people did for him. His first wife didn’t, but I sure did.

OK, so being a caretaker seems to be my innate personality. But it’s not. It’s the personality I developed in response to my childhood. I was forced to be a responsible adult at a young age and it became hard-wired into my personality.  Every personal relationship I’ve had had me in the caretaker role; every job I’ve ever had had me in the caretaker role.

And I have resented every single relationship and job. I am angry with myself for putting myself in these situations. Because I know it is MY fault. These situations are MY choices. There have been times, going into them, early on, that I recognized the situation as being unhealthy for me, but all to often it took too long for me to get out.  I recognize the pattern, too late. And then I just keep on repeating it.

And I’m tired.  I want out.

It’s not like this is a new whine – I just discovered this post from 2020. Same song and dance re: caretaker mode. I’m nothing if not consistent. And boring.

6 thoughts on “Ask me if I care aka

  1. I love you, Auntie Mame. I do hope it was cathartic to get this very important and very necessary post “on paper”. I know how it can help to vent, rant, share. If it didn’t help, do it again. We’re here for you, judgement free. No trite cliches, no suggestions, no one is in your shoes. But we love you and we want you to be happy and healthy. So I’m proud of you both for quitting. And I see you and your roles and struggles. You’re doing a great job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How is Markie feeling? My youngest granddaughter gets everything too! She and her sister both attend the same daycare/preschool yet the older girl never even gets the sniffles. Baby Girl has had Covid, pneumonia, bronchitis, the flu, ear aches – over and over again. I just hope they all grow out of it.


      1. Thank you for asking. He does well when we treat the symptoms. Just hoping it can run its course. Doctor said there are so many viruses right now, that’s all we can do. I have been monitoring his pulse ox and heart rate. Watching for any red flags. I just hate seeing him feel so crummy and he worries when he misses school.


  2. Congrats on quitting. You’re absolutely right. My gf went cold turkey recently and notes that although it’s all out of her system, she still wants the nicotine vape (that was her thing) for the habit/comfort of it. I do think the nicotine plays an initial part bit yes there is a large “habit energy” component as she would describe it. For some reason I am surprised you were a smoker and have been for a while. Not that I can talk, I have a nicotine lozenge habit. In some ways it’s worse because I can do it anywhere. And those are also finite. Although when I chain use them I suppose that makes them infinite.

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    1. My husband is eating anything that is not super-glued down tending to anything sweet and since we don’t normally have snacks and sweets in the house, he’s even more antsy.

      Liked by 1 person

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