Friday, July 21, 2006

Tobacco and I

If there is one thing I must do today, and one thing only, it is to prevent myself from going to the cafe and purchasing a box of cigarettes.

Here's a breif history of my relationship with Nicotine:

  • Started smoking at age 14
  • By the time I finished school I was smoking a pack a day
  • Stopped in my twenties after getting onto a hardcore fitness kick
  • Stayed stopped for 10 years
  • Started smoking lots of joints a couple years ago. Realised that as a former cig smoker I was needing my daily smoke more for the act of smoking than for the high. Woke up one day and told Mrs M (an ardent anti-smoker, and even ardenter anti-dope-smoker) that "this is it. today it's either a cigarette or a joint - you choose".
  • Mrs M was getting desperate with my dope-smoking, so it was a no-brainer - rather get re-addicted to tobacco for a while.
  • Smoked a pack a day for the next couple years.
  • Stopped successfully in November last year
  • Started again in Feb this year when I kidnapped my daughter and faced the possibility of being locked in a jail cell for a night.
  • Stopped 3 months ago
  • Right now: Major cravings building
So you can see I've stopped and started a few times. Which lends credibility to Mark Twain's quip: "stopping smoking is easy, I've done it a hundred times".

The problem now is that there's been a change in the craving bite-back.  The first time I stopped (for 10 years remember), the craving was INTENSE for about 4 days, then it tapered off and after a month I never looked back. When it's like that, any damn person can stop. Just keep your goddam hand away from your mouth (tie the fckn thing up if you have to) and you're half way home.

But now it's different. When I stopped 3 months ago, it was practically a non-event. Admittedly I used patches for 3 weeks, but within hours smoking was out of my mind.

No friggin longer! The craving is now sneaking back up, intensifying by the day. And it's not just a momentary thing that you can go for a quick shower and you'll be over it. It is starting to haunt me every minute of the day.

All I can do now is focus entirely on the nausea smoking often used to trigger. That horrible fuzzy, learing feeling in your lobes. That you had to lie down and couldn't do anything for a while. Problem is - I've forgotten how that felt.

Truth be told - stopping smoking completely was never the first prize for me. The ultimate acheivement would be to stay a pack-a-week smoker. One or 2 to chill in the evenings. A couple more on the weekend. Savouring every draw.

Not a chance. I'm the all-or-nothing idiot. Every time.


  1. Anonymous21 July, 2006

    Fortunately my first taste of cigarettes happened when I was 14. Bought 1 packet, tried to smoke 2 fags and just felt nauseous after coughing my lungs up. I couldn't get past the "disgusting phase!"

    I suppose the mantra for alcoholics, “One drink is never enough and one drink is too many” can be applied to your craving for the dreaded weed. I am sure the craving will pass, just hang in there until it does!

  2. You said the patch got rid of the cravings quick last time. Why not try it again?

  3. Anonymous21 July, 2006

    dont do it! im in the same predicament. i no longer get that great nicotine rush from the first drag, its definately a horrible habit now. The thought of being without my cigs makes me want to hurl. Hopefully ill quit one day soon, and stay away from them thereafter.

  4. Anonymous23 July, 2006

    don't start - you'll never quit! get some lollie pops or popsicles, gum, mints, anything else to pop in the mouth.

    I've stopped & started over & over myself, finally quitting sometime after my bopolar diagnosis in 2001. I still crave when I watch movies & TV, but the smell disgusts me.

  5. Try this: buy a tin of expensive cigarillos and keep them in your freezer in a plastic bag. When you feel the urge, go to the freezer and take out the bag. If you need to, open it. If still necessary, take out the tin. Look inside and count how many you have left. Choose one and place it somewhere to thaw for a few minutes. Select an ashtray. Moisten the cigarillo with saliva and select a good spot to smoke it, preferably outside. Find a box of wooden matches somewhere and step out for a stroll. Enjoy the fresh air and gaze at the clouds or the stars for a while. Realise you're still holding a cigarillo, ashtray and matches and go back inside to put them away.

    This works like a charm for me almost every time. There are still five cigarillos (I think) in the tin of ten that I bought last fall. Good luck!

  6. I'm not addicted to smoking so I can't really comment. But I do relate to keeping smokes in the freezer. I bought some really cheap and nasty clove cigs and keep them there 'cause I can only handle two or so a month.

    When I used to work on-air in radio a lady called in to reveal she stopped smoking by wearing a couple of patches, taking Zyban, chewing nicotine gum and sucking on suckers. My morning show partner and I were amazed she hadn't overdosed.

  7. For those of us with bipolar disorder it's a form of self medication. That's why such a high percentage of bipolars smoke. I quit in 1989 and haven't had a single one since. But if I was told I only had a year to live I'd immediately start smoking again. To this day I still miss it, but I'm really glad I was able to quit.

    Laughing at Crazy In Shreveport - I thought chewing tobacco would make it easier to quit, until I found myself smoking while I had a chew in. So much for that...


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