Monday, April 11, 2005

Getting rid of the Drag-on

It's nearly 24 hours now.

I have no idea when my last drag was, but I know it's nearing 24 hours since I went to sleep the night before around 12:30 am. It is now 10:28 pm.

I had decided this when I got up for my final pee before sleep. As I walked past the ashtray, one hand, almost without command, whipped out and snatched it, dumping the contents into the trash. Then I deliberately moved it away from my bedside table.

Then as I settled to sleep, I repeated again and again to myself, "This is it."

I woke in a good mood. Even during lunch I was in a good mood. But I knew the true test was coming up since on weekdays, I usually don't have my first drag until I step into the house.

Being tired, I came home, gave my other a sad look and settled into bed to sleep - at 5:30 pm. "What are you doing?" A concerned look greets me. "Why are you so sad?"

"Not sad, tired. Going to sleep."

"You sure?"

"Yeah, that way I don't have to think about not having a cigarette."


An hour later, I woke up to my own scream of "NO!" She yelled "STOP IT!" cause I was thrashing so badly. I yelled back "Fine! Next time you wake from a nightmare, I'll yell at you too!" Maturity at its best.

The attempt to regain sleep lost momentum as each time I tried to conjure up what I was going to do next, just resulted in reaching for a cigarette. Frustration set in, then a deep sadness.

Cigarettes to me, had always been that buddy that no one else wanted around (hence my reluctance to abandon it too) but that was ALWAYS there when you needed it. You could always count on it to calm you for that much needed second, to make you slow down for a second.

But recently, I realized though I loved this friend, it had finally outgrown its uses. And though we had been friends since I was 14, I had to say goodbye.

I sobbed. You see, smoking was with me when I learned to drive; when I got into all my car accidents; when my dad died; when my pal died; when I created some of the best writing I had ever done; when I made some of the best deals for my clients. In all my highlights of my life pretty much, there was the cigarettte.

She asked, "Are you okay?" I nodded and continued to sob.

She never asked why I was crying, but I think she could tell it was a farewell kind of sob, combined with a "woe is me" sob.

My body is aching right now. The last four hours, I have held my body as tightly as I do in the dentist's chair. This is prevention because addiction is not a pretty thing. I WILL walk over to the trash and dig through it for a smokable butt. But, if I cross my ankles, and squeeze my muscles, then a form of rigor mortis will take over and I can pass the 24 hour mark.

I finally called some friends up to get my mind off stuff. It worked for as long as the conversation lasted. Then the images came back, like a smouldering mist - all resulting in my leaning over and ending up with a cigarette dangling from my mouth.

I am no longer a smoker, I think to myself. Just one puff makes me a smoker again. I have to say this every day for the foreseeable future. Say it and think it... and believe it.

Cold turkey. That is the key to a successful quitting. This is what I believe. I see all those aids as enablers, enabling you to continue your habit albeit in controlled form.

The first rush.... it's like all your muscles droop a little and then you realize how tense you've been. The last attempt at quitting made me crave that rush so badly... it is what I focused on, and why I lost the fight. This time, I realize that I WILL be an uncontrollable spinning top of rage. The difference is, I'm focusing on the part that says, if I take a drag, I am controlled. I'm just a tad too ornery for that little thought.

This writing is helping. So forgiveness if all I can write about the next day/week/month/year/decade is giving up the dragon. It is now 10:58 pm. 30 mins have elapsed and the desperation has been replaced by a wistful longing. Hopefully I can fall asleep before the dragon wakes up again.

Send thoughts of support please.

Filed under Reveries & Paranoias.


At 3:22 PM, Anonymous Guitar Master said...

I wish I could blog as good as you, but what I can do is give you a nice Guitar Lesson!


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