Thursday, January 19, 2012

I Hate Everything and Everyone

It has been five days since my last cigarette.

I'm doing it cold-turkey, no nicotine-replacement shit at all, and without even any 'winding-down' process beforehand. I gleefully smoked twixt 20 and 30 cigarettes a day for 23 years, then, last Sunday morning, I smoked two cigarettes with my morning coffee and that was it.

The physical side-effects of quitting are:

* Dizziness.

That is all. I was waiting for sweats, trembles, DTs, viruses due to drop in immune system and so on, but nope, all I get is a bit dizzy when the cravings are at their worst.

Now here's a list of the mental side effects:

* Anger
* Sadness
* Impatience
* Melancholia
* Boredom
* Confusion
* Disorientation
* Loss of short-term memory
* Loss of libido
* Loss of concentration
* Self loathing

The last one is almost the worst. I hate myself for starting smoking. I also hate myself for quitting. Nobody told me to quit, so why am I quitting? It's fucked. But I want to live longer, so I have to quit. But what's the point in living longer if I'm this sad? Oh, I know, I'll be less sad as time goes by, but I'll certainly be more boring, and bored. Smoking is cool, I don't care what anyone says. It's cool, and now I'm not cool.

I've not read one good piece of advice from Vic Health, or Quit, because they refuse to say smoking is cool. And I think it is cool. And because they say it isn't cool, I have no interest in what they have to say. They can't help me. But I reckon I'm going to make it - in my own way. I have three little helping thoughts that are getting me through this, and they are:

1 - Andromeda (who now lives with me) slept a few times in another room, and when I asked why, she said, "You were wheezing..." That is so not sexy, and I am prepared to lose coolness in return for sexy.

2 - I am only ever quitting the next cigarette. Dad actually gave me that little advice - it's how he quit. I get a craving, I want a cigarette, it consumes me, but I tell myself, "No, I won';t have this cigarette right now...". Magically, the intense craving passes after a few minutes, then I just repeat the same thing twenty minutes later when the next craving comes.

But, even with those two motivations, I was still thinking that I was going to fail and start smoking again, until I came up with the third and most genius motivation...

3 - I'm going to take up smoking again when I'm 65 years old.

Believe me, just thinking about that glorious day (in the year 2035) is giving me the strength to quit for now.


Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Good for you, Pers.

I have no intention of joining you in not smoking but still, good for you.

eat my shorts said...

Very good luck to you Perseus, it sounds like fecking hard work.

Andromeda has a point, wheezing is not sexy at all.

My nan took up smoking again when she was in her late sixties. I don't think she still does though, because now she's in her eighties her health already has so many other problems, so I think she gave up again.

But it was hilarious when my younger brother sprung her having a quiet durrie one summer morning. He came running in whispering to me that he caught nan smoking and she seemed embarrassed that he saw her doing it. Awks.

olde boots said...

Other mental effects that I still observe (after a year and a bit)include:
Jealousy - at everyone still being able to fag on at the pub.
Smug self-righteousness about how good you are for not smoking.

patchouligirl said...

Wow stick to it Perseus. I've given up smoking twice - the last time ten years ago. The cravings don't last that long and eventually you don't even think about cigarettes anymore, and you don't feel like one when someone else is smoking either. There are rare moments, maybe once a year, that I could smoke a cigarette but I am still somehow disconnected from it now and it requires no effort to think about something else. You will find that food suddenly tastes heaps better now too, which is why most of us put on weight when we give up but hey it's still better for your health.

Mr Patch is off to the hypnotist next Friday so I'm thinking about where I can go for the weekend to get away from him.

Perseus said...

Thanks guys...

My latest quit-wisdom is this (and you could let Mr. Patch know): "The only way to not smoke, is to not smoke."

That's not as stupid as it sounds. I want a cigarette right now, and no amount of positive thinking, hypnosis, will-power or reward-dangling will stop me from having a smoke, but what does stop me from having the smoke is the fact I am refusing to have a smoke.

It's refusing to smoke that is not-smoking.

Cath said...

Nice to hear how you are doing Pers... My Dad gave up smoking over 40 years ago, and did it cold turkey. His motivation was the sheer cost of it! He did say that occasionally, even now certain cigars etc can have him itching. But personal strength is the best way to do it!

Keep up the good work!

Melbourne Girl said...

Persey, happy to hear things are going well for you, not least having Andromeda living with you. I imagine you having breakfast together in that funky kitchen of yours.

I gave up in 2000. Mild pneumonia is not sexy either. And a good parent does not enjoy seeing a small child swanning around with a rolled up bit of cardboard, playing at smoking. I also didn't want to be stinky mummy. So they were the three reasons and I've never gone back to it. Since then I've had a couple of drags, one from a cig of yours maybe?, a few drags on a cigar, and maybe only two full cigarettes.

I just stopped, it was easy even though I never thought I'd be able to drink alcohol without smoking (yes, a twisted thought but I remember it clearly as a concern. That not smoking would make drinking less pleasurable.)

Smoking IS cool and I recently decided I too would take it up in my eighties so it's something I kind of look forward to.

You forgot one of the physical negative side effects: constipation.

Anonymous said...

Go Pers!

You have my best wishes and, if it's anything like giving up drinking and blueing, my deepest sympathies.

I don't know if this will help with your motivation or not, but I suspect there aren't too many non-smokers who think your smoking is cool.

Also, it makes you stink. You and everyone and everything you smoke around. You probably can't smell it, but everyone who isn't smoking can. And most of them probably don't find it very pleasant.

Keep it up!

patchouligirl said...

Mr Patch is on day six and not too cranky. The thing I hated most about him smoking wasn't the smell. It was that he would smoke on the front porch in front of a large sliding glass door, which he would close so that the smoke wouldn't come into the house. Unfortunately this glass door is what allows the North East breeze in. We are up on a hill and have lots of South facing windows and when the opposing glass door is open it makes a big difference to the temperature in the house in Summer - a flow through breeze. Then he'd forget to open the glass door again when he'd finished his smoke and I'd wonder why it was stifling in the house until I realised. This became so annoying to me that rather than go and open the sliding door repeatedly I would shut all the windows and put the air conditioner on in retaliation (Mr Patch hates wasting electricity) while never saying a word or showing any sign of irritation. I still don't know if he realised that was why I did it. Oh and every time I'd buy a toy for our son and he'd whinge about the cost I'd equate it in cigarette packets.

squib said...

Are you still hanging in there, Pers? It will get better. It only took me about nine years to stop craving a smoke

Maybe ten