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skypixie0

skypixie0
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Salon.com
FEBRUARY 1, 2013 3:45AM

KILLING THE MONKEY -- SLOWLY

Rate: 13 Flag

At The Crossroads

  I’m tired. I’ve been awake for days with only snippets of sleep here and there as I do war on my nicotine habit. I’m 71 and have smoked for  fifty-five years. Every bit of my body is permeated with nicotine. Every bit of my body loves its nicotine. Every tiny molecule is demanding its nicotine fix. I cannot allow that.

This started 12 days ago. It was an incredibly horrible, mutha fuggin, dirty rotten, nasty bitch the first day. Then it got worse. It has gotten worse every day until today. I have had stomach cramps. I have had the vomiting. I have had the cold sweats. I have had the diarrhea. I have screamed at the walls, paced the floor, cursed every craving atom of me for wanting – needing - my drug.

Today…. A few hours ago…. It began to ease off. Not much; just a tad. The most beautiful tad in the world. The wee tad that tells me this monster of a habit is losing this fight; that I…. I am winning! That I will win. But I must be cautious. I must not get overconfident. That will undo me.

I have played some tricks on myself to get this far. I convinced myself that I could not manage the journey to the store for more cigarettes; that it is far too cold out there for me to be able to do that. Then it warmed up for two days. Up to 12°C (54°F). But it was raining too hard. And when the rain stopped, the wind was blowing with gusts up to 60mph, so it was definitely too windy to go out. I lied to me. I could have gone out. The rain wouldn’t have hurt me. The wind wouldn’t have knocked me down.

Oh well…… too late now. Now it’s gone back to being too cold to go out. Yes. Definitely too cold. Or too late. It’s about 4:30 am. Nearest store with cigs is in Summerside – 50 miles away. Too far to go. Yes. Definitely too far to go. And it’s getting even colder. Much colder. Too cold for me to go out. Am I repeating myself? Sorry.

I need another coffee. I’m so glad that I have lots of coffee. It really paid off to buy a couple of dozen large cans of it when it was on sale last summer. It’s three times the price now. I have enough for another year at least. But I need other things. I’m out of eggs, and butter, and veggies. If I get those things at the supermarket in Alberton – 10 miles away – I won’t be tempted. All they sell is groceries. If I go to the co-op supermarket a block away…. Well, they sell cigarettes…… I fear….I fear. Best not to get careless here now. Got to stay on top of this thing. Got to. Got to.

Damn-it stop, stop, stop! Who knew this damned addiction could be like this? I’ve never heard anyone else say they went through this; well, I have read of it. Seems a few of us got addicted worse than a heroin habit. I don’t know how bad a heroin habit is – I do know this is no fun.

Oh well, what can ya do? Life has its bumps!

I’ll start the next pot of coffee…….

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I was a two pack a day smoker for over 40 years, my epiphany came during one of my many visits to hospitals for surgeries. They would ask me if I would like a patch to quit smoking and I refused and said it wouldn't bother me. I was in a hospital and so the side effects were minimal. I confess I still smoke one or 2 cigars a day now but hey there Cubans. Good luck your body will feel better. My best......older/exasperated
o/e,

What seems really weird is that I quit drinking with no trouble at all about 12 years ago. I can, and do, sometimes have a glass of wine with dinner. No temptation to drink any more at all. And I spent over 20 years drinking 2 dozen beers (Canadian beer) every second day. I worked on the in-between days so as to be able to afford the beer!

This smoking bitch is something else though. Slapping me around some just at the moment. Thanks for your good wishes.
.
This was good. I could feel your angst and determination -- and the cold. Hang in there. My grandpa quit after 50 years. He said he trick was not to say he was trying to quit smoking, but that he no longer smoked. Repeat. For him it worked.

You can do it! You're doing it! R
Sky, hang in there, you are almost over the hump. I quit a two pak a day habit 30 years ago. I gained sixty pounds, but it was worth it. Being a cheap bastard, I would faithfully put aside the money I would have spent on cigs. It piled up fast. Oddly though, even after all this time, I still dream about smoking. R
Good luck in your smoking cessation project. I believe the addiction is physiological and mental(something that you do, perhaps a nervous thing or something to do with your hands and lips).

I have many friends who have quit smoking, successfully. I smoke.

R.
My daughter smokes and it is so sad. At thirty she needs to quit and I just wish I had raised her with the inner strength to do that. Sigh. I need to quit a pack of cookies a day habit. That sugar has a strangle hold on me. I don't even try tho. You can do this. Thanks for writing about it. Hope.
Nicotine works on your dopamine, which is why it's so hard to quit. And, it is endogenous until you supply it by artificial means (smoking) so not only are you withdrawing from that but your body needs to relearn how to regulate dopamine without the assist.

Google "endogenous nicotine" for lots more info.

You can do this, though, because you are entirely stubborn, obstinate, and opinionated. Who knew those could be good traits? ;)
Sky

I would wish you luck, but with your nasty disposition and determination, you don't really need it- the monkey hasn't got a chance.

Funny how things catch up with you. I'm 63 with a busted hip and fibrilacious heart, both of which seem to have to do with youthful carelessness of the athletic variety. Both on "hold" until I get well enough to get cut on.

I'm not going to give you any spiritual crap, your "Fiction" speaks for itself about having your head screwed on straight about "What comes next". You have your self, and in your case, your self is all that's needed. Like I said, the Monkey doesn't have a chance.

Good, evocative writing. Stick around for a while yet and do more.
Although I only smoked a half a pack a day when my 3-year-old son absorbed the anti-smoking campaign on TV and had a conniption every time I lit up, quitting was among the hardest things I've had to do in life. That was 40 years ago, but I still remember needing to have something in my mouth like hard candy or a swizzle stick. Food became so much more flavorful without the nicotine in my system, I had to watch my eating closely, but still gained 5 pounds. I know you can do this, especially since you've gotten this far. Hang in there.

Lezlie
[r] sky, well-expressed for sure. hang in there and that monkey will be gone!!!! one day or even second at a time, as they say. you've done it before as you explain. you can do it this time! good for you. i understand nicotine is the most addictive of all drugs. best, libby
Keep at it, Sky. I've tried, and it's never worked, but it doesn't mean I won't go at it again. Best of luck, old son.
Skypixie0, congratulations on surviving the worst of it. Phyllis' and Herr's comments made me laugh and inspired great confidence you're going to have a clear victory over that mutha fuggin monkey. I smoked for more then 20 years, a result of many lost battles trying to give it up. I finally succeeded when I got too burned to move, and couldn't even lift a cigarette to my mouth, let alone go buy a pack. The paralysis outlasted the monkey, which got sent to the corner of the room by the monsters and the dragons. By the time I was able to actually go buy cigarettes I had survived the worst of the cravings, and decided to parlay the near win into the one absolute victory I could claim as a result of my burn - I work hard at finding the positive angle to things. I have not had any cravings for years, or dreams about smoking, and really like that my breath, body and clothes do not smell like an ashtray, that my lungs feel clear and clean and the air around me smells fresh and free of all acridity. Everything smells and tastes better. And I have saved soooo much money and I've freed myself from the enslavement of a nasty habit! All the best to you, Skypixie0!