So the New Year’s Eve party was phenomenal. It ended around 5 am, and oddly, I was one of the very last standing. Stuey can throw a wicked party and I didn’t see one person that wasn’t having a great time. Not just,”Hey, this is fun,” but, “Man, this is awesome!”
I know a lot of work went into it and it shows. So thank you for one badass ride into 2013.
At the end of that badass ride, I began to contemplate my plans and address the changes I wanted to make this year. I hadn’t considered it much because I thought we wouldn’t be alive, but there we were, so I figured I’d get on my to-do list (aka resolutions).
In years past, I’d make a list, get mad at it for telling me what to do, then defy it for its presumed authority over me. I’ve always been a rebel and I don’t like being told what to do by a piece of paper.
Stupid sheet of processed tree. I’m not listening to a tree.
My point is that I break my resolutions because I’ve specifically forbidden myself to do those things. The rebel side of me (aka man in my brain) refuses to listen to anyone, especially me. When he’s running the show, we don’t get much good stuff done for us.
I decided it was time to have a showdown. I would no longer be bullied by this… this… saboteur (you can tell I’m mad because I used French). I would battle him in one of the toughest fights one could ever face.
It was finally time to quit smoking.
I’ve smoked for over twenty years so the chemical addiction alone is an epic struggle (not battling conquistadors with rocks and sticks hard, but really hard). But it’s the routine, the things you associate with smoking, the habits you develop and the crutch it becomes for relieving stress that are equally as difficult to overcome. It becomes as much a part of you as eating, sleeping and even breathing.
In other words, quitting isn’t easy and everyone knows it.
This puts me at an immediate disadvantage right from the get go. The man in my brain understands my weaknesses and has defeated me the multiple times I’ve tried to quit. Sometimes it only takes an hour or two. It usually goes something like this:
MIB (Man in brain): You know what would be excellent right now? A smoke.
Me: Stop. You know we’re trying to quit.
MIB: I’m not trying to quit. I love cigarettes. They are soooo tasty and smooth. You know you want one. Let’s go get a pack.
Me: No! They’re horrible for us. They’re destroying our lungs and maybe even giving us cancer as we speak to ourselves. Not to mention it’s costing us about 2k per year. That’s just stupid.
MIB: You’re stupid. We should talk about this over a cigarette. You’re a little tense. Why don’t we get in the car, I’ll drive, you just sit back and I’ll make it all better soon.
Me: That does sound nice. I could use a little fresh air. And one cigarette would probably take the edge off. I’ll just have one and save the rest for moments like these.
MIB: Right. (Giggles under breath) Just one and the rest for emergencies. That’s what I was thinking.
I knew going in I would have my work cut out for me. MIB is super persuasive. He just makes it all sound so right. It was clear I needed help, so I enlisted nicotine patches to at least fight the chemical withdrawal. I can’t fight MIB and nicotine addiction at the same time. I’m only human.
The first thing the little booklet that came with the patches told me was how smart I am for deciding to quit.
I thanked it and read on.
It then told me I should throw away my remaining cigarettes.
MIB: No way. Those are emergency cigarettes. Remember, it’s just a stupid tree. Don’t listen to it.
Right. The cigarettes stay.
The next thing the booklet told me was to quit things I associate with smoking, like drinking coffee and alcohol. That gave us both a good laugh because neither of us could imagine giving up all 3 of those things at once without peeling off our face.
MIB: See? It’s dumb. It says we shouldn’t do things we associate with smoking. I guess that means we can’t eat, sleep, drive, talk on the phone, breathe, or have sex. This little book will kill us faster than cigarettes. I think the trees are fighting back. That’s what I think.
He had something there. Who would hate smoking more than a tree? No one.
I was becoming less and less impressed with this propaganda and wondered if it even meant that I was smart or was just saying it because it says stupid things. Either way, I could only hope the patch itself was better than the info that came with it, and fortunately, it was.
I’m on day 5 now and it has been very difficult. I’ve stayed hidden away to remove any temptation I might feel to go buy a pack. I’ve purposely avoided people who smoke. These things are necessary (at least for me) as evidenced yesterday by my staring at a partially smoked cigarette left in an ashtray.
MIB: How wasteful. You should smoke that. I won’t tell anyone.
Me: Gross! It could have mono on it or something. You don’t know. Plus we’re quitting!
MIB: Mono? Big deal. It’s even called the kissing disease. That’s practically romantic. Do we have a lighter?
Each day is easier than the day before, and while I still have multiple cravings per day, they are fewer and farther between. I have a long way to go, but I think I might have a shot this time.
I’ll apologize in advance if we run into one another and I make some inaudible grumbling noise or hiss at you. I’ll keep you posted (unless I start smoking again) and I hope everyone has a great 2013!