Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Blogging Me Softly
September 29 is day 7 without nicotine. I am taking a generic Zyban product, which is incredibly helpful, but still I am restless and out of sorts.
I am actually trying not to talk or complain about it too much, however, because that might generate obsessive thinking, which is where my quit efforts have always failed.
I’ll be honest here: I love smoking. I have always loved smoking.
I once quit for 4 years, and found it a total relief to start smoking again, even though I had hardly missed it. I like smokers. Seriously. In today’s world of smoking-is-allowed-absolutely-nowhere, smokers are stubborn rebels. I tend to like that in people. I don’t know why, I just do. Like folks with tattoos – there’s a basic toughness in people who walk 2 blocks on their 15 minute break.
So here we are, me and all the characters in my brain who talk to me (even though I try to play it off as talking to myself), going on day 7.
This is what I am telling myself: The first seven days must be the toughest.
Yesterday I told myself: The first six days must be the hardest.
Do you see the pattern here?
Honestly – I would just smoke, except that seven days seems like an accomplishment, and I’d have to start over counting the hours.
One way or another, I have to quit.
I have an obstructive pulmonary condition that will turn into COPD if I keep smoking. That turns into emphysema.
On the upside, I no longer wake up feeling like I am drowning.
I can laugh out loud without the laugh turning into a hacking cough. (Although I still have a cough).
I can inhale and exhale deeply without choking.
I ran two blocks with the dog today, and it felt GREAT. I haven’t run on purpose for years. (Poor old dog, had to give her an aspirin for her sore knee afterward).
I jogged up four flights of stairs yesterday. Okay, that didn’t feel so great. Although it did make me feel as if I’d just smoked a cigarette, which pretty much was my intention.
Jogging the stairs is my plan for not going crazy at work. If I can’t smoke, I tend to skip my breaks, but then I get totally stressed out. So never mind the stair-master, I’ll be using the real deal.
Anyway. Enough of my whining. We all have our trials. I still have 9 cigarettes and a lighter inside a cigarette pack. It’s my emergency stash. It’s wrapped in duct tape, mostly to give me time to reconsider. Because I know myself: smoking just one cigarette is all it takes for me to quit quitting.
I am not worried about writing. Stephen King assured me in his book, On Writing, that even without nicotine, my brain will spin stories and all I have learned about my craft will not suddenly disappear.
Whew. That is good news. I’m even turning it around on myself – I used to measure time with cigarettes, and I used to smoke as a transition between activities. So my strategy this week has been to use that time writing a few hundred words. Very productive.
I learned something else about my productivity, and that would be that I have a very hard time keeping my ass in my chair. No wonder I don’t write more than a few pages a day. Good God, I’m getting up and heading to the back door a few hundred times a day. Well, that’s what it feels like now, when I get up from my desk, and then try to figure out what I got up for, since I’m not going outside to burn one.
Anyway. Despite feeling a vague sense of boredom, and despite having to constantly remind myself that I am no longer a smoker, you know what? It’s day SEVEN, and I’m actually doing all right (smile).
Have a great Thursday. (If you happen to be a smoker, smoke one for me, k? Thx!)