Thursday, September 9, 2010

cigarette cigarette cigarette

How many times do you have to do something before you A) stop trying or B) do it for REAL? I was thinking that today when talking to my friend who is maybe trying to break up with her boyfriend. And also with me and smoking. I sort of quit quitting a few years ago. It was getting to be bad for my self-esteem. Yet here I am, 2 days in again, and all I can think is "This is good for me cigarette cigarette cigarette because I was getting all out of shape and wheezy and cigarette cigarette cigarette will make this better."

This time I am doing it cold turkey. No patches, no gum, just me and my bitchiness locked in my house for three days.

I am okay with the withdrawal headache. I am okay with hacking up gross shit for three days. I am even okay with the constipation, constant thirst, and munchies. What I'm not okay with is the weird mind games that start playing out during the Critical Time when Logic and Addiction collide. That is a truly frightening battlefield. I basically have to not listen to anything that is happening in my brain for the next few days, things like "You would probably die from something else anyway, like a car accident," "Do you really want to never smoke ever again?" and "Even though your risk for lung cancer is tripling, it is still relatively small." No, it is best to just loop the quit mantra in my brain. The quit mantra, by the way, is: I don't need to smoke. This craving will pass. And until it does, I will not smoke.

But talking about quitting is boring. Lately I would rather talk about love, since I am in love, and somehow being in love makes quitting not such a big deal. It actually feels very selfish to quit, because part of me is just hoping that I will live longer so I can be in love longer. That should be reward enough, but actually I need some intermediary reward. In the past I have liked to buy myself nice things for achieving quit goals--a nice jacket, a nice pair of boots--but then I start smoking again as soon as I have my coveted object.

Changing your life is hard. But I look at the people in my life who are going out of their comfort zones and I feel inspired. And thirsty. Very goddamn thirsty.

1 comment:

bill said...

Having lived in BA for two years, with no health probs, I moved to Chile and then caught bronchitis. The docs there told me that smokers routinely catch and keep that disease, and it is not a nice condition.

You lose your right to breathe here on the planet, hold and keep a breath, smell and taste your food, and not be immobilized by incessant, fierce coughing.

Oh, yes, you can still stay alive, at least in the eyes of others, but your energy is at the mercy of this disease.

I never smoked, so now I am better. The bronchitis is gone, but geez, that reason alone would be enough to never smoke again.

Best of luck.