…And quite frankly, I’m getting to the point where I no longer give a flash frozen fuck about my health.
What am I talking about?
My recent attempts to quit smoking.
I had thought about quitting, seriously began thinking about it, a couple of weeks ago. But I learned – when I was a senior in High School – that it is near fatally unwise to quite smoking during final exams. So, I waited until the day after my last final. Thought I had it sorted:
I wanted to quit – frankly because I didn’t like the way smoking made me feel anymore. I believe economists call this, “diminishing returns”.
I had been using a vapor pen, and trying to find the right nicotine dose for it, for a while – interspersing it with my cigarette smoking. I also procured a supply of nicotine gum. I’ve had good luck with that in the past, figured it would help.
(I’ll note here, that I didn’t want to quit nicotine. No sir. I need that shit like caffeine and oxygen. But I wanted to quite destroying my lungs to get it.)
So, I wanted to quit. I had arranged my alternate coping mechanisms. I told pretty much everyone I see on a regular basis: to create accountability. I smoked my very last cigarette as mindfully as I possibly could. I figured, it would be difficult – I’ve quit smoking before for quite long stretches – but I also figured I was prepared.
I mean, a great deal of my friends, who smoke, have transitioned completely to using vape pens. And, whereas my fiancé still smokes, she doesn’t do it in the house.
Here’s the thing I didn’t factor in to any of my physical or mental preparations: The fekkin’ Holidays.
I did not count on just how much more difficult quitting during the holiday season would be.
And so, that’s where I am, swinging frequently between moments of calmness – though not quite my usual levels of semi-psychotic-serenity- and moments of sheer, nail biting anxiety.
This has taught me something very important:
If you’re going to quit smoking, don’t make any other fucking plans.
Don’t plan on working on your new novel. Don’t plan on getting into shape. Don’t plan on doing just about anything productive or that you’ve been putting off – quitting smoking is going to take all of that mental energy and more.
Truth is, as I said in the beginning, I’m getting tired of fighting. I want my damn brain back. I want to enjoy some minute of this winter break.
(It’s not a proper break; I still have work, but at least I’m not in classes and drowning in homework at the moment.)
I want to get things done, things I have been putting off until I had time.
I want the people that know me not to have to look at me with that odd combination of pity, worry, and annoyance.
Because if you quit smoking, you will – at some point I guarantee it – annoy the holy hell out of the people closest to you. Just accept that fact now…
…And maybe buy presents. I find gift cards come in particularly handy at these moments.
So, that’s where I am: some fugue state between push, pull, and stall.
At this moment, if there was a cigarette – of my brand of course – in front of me, I would smoke it. Maybe I can stay locked in my house until that feeling passes.
Maybe I should have waited until New Years day.
I don’t know if I’ll win this particular struggle. And I’m not looking for encouragement. I realize that’s a strange concept. But if I make this work, it will have to be for me, and for no other reason.
This is not a cry for help, nor for attention.
This is not me making a decision.
This is just a moment in time.
…Waiting for it to pass.