Love me, I just quit smoking…Posted: February 11, 2010
Yes, I realize this space is not for me to share personal experiences, but I thought I would share with my fellow T/Sers my struggles. This is also a ploy to get some cyber sympathy, some pats on the back and words of encouragement… so please leave them below. I need them.
I started smoking when I was 16 because I thought I was a bad-ass, and I was rebelling against my parents and my catholic school institution. I don’t think I got addicted then, it was more “let’s go to Central Park after school and smoke cigs before we go home”. In college it was a different story as access was easy. I was 18, and shopkeepers could not refuse my requests. My health deteriorated over the years, my clothes began to reek, and I lost my sense of smell.
Which brings me to today, 6 days clean. My body has already flushed out the nicotine in my bloodstream, but I am going out of my mind craving a cigarette. I am one of those smokers that use a cigarette as a coping mechanism…. if I am stressed, outside I go for a puff. It’s all I’ve been able to think about for the past couple of days. I cannot concentrate, I cannot type, and I have forgotten how to spell. See that word “deteriorated” above? It took me 5 minutes to figure out how to spell that word correctly enough for spell checker to even recognize what I was trying to spell.
Normally when I write something, I take a break to collect my thoughts outside, and when I come back in, I can edit… now I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to write? I can’t even do the things I love doing, like having a nice hearty meal or playing some video games, without craving a smoke. I’ve heard mention that I will no longer be a social outcast, but what if that is who I like being?
I am a moody mess. I have a constant headache. I want to transform into Godzilla and destroy everything. I want to drown Chicago in my tears. I hate everyone, and my usual interests are annoying me. I’ve been getting angry at the little things, not the big big things…. and the whole world smells outside. Chicago’s odor is disgusting. I am waiting for this mythical “everything tastes better” because it has not happened…and I cannot take how putrid the streets smell. Please don’t let me turn into Rorschach! I need some positive side effects!
I am doing this cold turkey, and my suspicions about the gums and pharmaceutical companies that make them are feeling justified with this latest bit of research:
The Nicabate and Nicorette franchises of GlaxoSmithKline and Pharmacia & Upjohn are highly visible juggernauts. They are advertised prominently in pharmacy point-of-sale displays and on TV. Chapman argues that they impart a subtle message: “serious” quitting requires external support, and unaided attempts to give up are doomed to fail. “Smoking cessation is becoming increasingly pathologised, a development that risks distortion of public awareness of how most smokers quit – to the obvious benefit of pharmaceutical companies,” writes Chapman in an analysis in the online journal PLoS Medicine yesterday. “The persistent message that … stopping unaided will be futile” undermined people’s “confidence in their own ability to change”.
via Help may not be a patch on willpower when giving up, Sydney Morning Herald (terrible title, I know)
The article goes on to mention that 75% of smokers that quit do it without any aids. See? I’ve always known the patch was bullshit. (And yes, I realize that this post could, and should have been, about the link above, but you can go suck it if you have a problem. My pain is important, goddammit!)
The smokefree.gov site has been the most helpful website, mostly because it does not include a picture of a cigarette, but smiling people. It is cheerful and bright, and I like to imagine Obama struggling with his nicotine addiction when I look at it. Every news article that I read on cigarettes features a picture of a cigarette, so I have not been able to read them without freaking out (and Zemanta on my right is not helping by showing me pictures of cigarettes- which means I need to end this NOW).