God Bless Those of Mighty Wills
Not any more.
Yesterday at 8am I stopped smoking.
I've done this before. Successfully too. I've successfully stopped smoking four different times….The joke is old isn't it? So has the smelly clothes, ashy desk, bad breath, sneaking out of events to secretly smoke, offending friends and lovers, and shortening my life become old.
This won't be easy. That's why I'm corralling my readers to go along for the ride. Share the pain, if you will. See, here's how I look at it. Being someone who has a certain aversion to both embarrassment and failure, I figure If I'm relating what this process is like to my readers, then there will be a a greater motivation for me to be truly successful this time: You all will know what I'm doing, how I'm doing, whether I'm succeeding..and whether or not I fail.
So,what's it like to quit smoking?
Imagine you are asked to take 2/3 less breaths when you breath. Imagine when you inhale oxygen, you require of yourself that your breaths delivers only 1/3 the oxygen to your lungs than they did the day before. Think about this. Imagine this.
After a while, and it won't be a long while, you are gong to CRAVE oxygen. After a few hours of this self deprivation your chest is going to get tight. Your skin is gong to get tingly. Oh, you'll survive. You'll live. But you'll probably spend your waking hours thinking about those breaths you no longer have; thinking about that oxygen you no longer get to have in your lungs. Odds are after a while of this, maybe 2 days or even two weeks, you'll give in and inhale that luscious, creamy, brain stimulating oxygen, because it feels so damn good in your lungs. Eventually, the pain caused by the deprivation will tighten your chest just enough, will cause enough anxiety, and will distrupt your concentration just enough that you'll say, "screw it!" and take in that extra breath.
That's what its like to stop smoking.
I imagine that an alcoholic trying to stop drinking experiences something similar. I've been blessed with only possessing one real addiction in my life, so I can't say with any first hand experience what stopping drinking is like. But if I'm right and if it is like stopping smoking, then you can be sure that my own measure of empathy for alcoholics has increased.
Why stop now? There is one good reason: The pain of quitting can't possibly be as bad as the pain and consequences of not quitting. It's a simple equation that only very recently was driven home by events and circumstances.
I've got some help with this in the form of patches and pills. And my motivation for stopping this time seems mightier than it has ever been before. I'm smarter today than I was the last time I stopped smoking too. All this bodes well for me. But something else has changed. I've decided to do this in front of an audience.
This means that if you read FERMENTATION on a daily basis, then you will read what I'm doing about staying smoke free, what I'm feeling as I experience a smoke free life, and what it feels like to move from horrific withdrawals to what I know will eventually be a more even keel. This won't replace my ruminations on wine and politics and culture. But for a while it will augment it.
So, as I hit the "publish" button on this post, I am smoke free for 24 hours.
God Bless those of mighty wills!