Friday, April 4, 2014

That was a dark place

I'm in the process of giving up cigarettes.  I went from 15-25 a day to 0.  The withdrawal symptoms were less than joyful.  I looked up everything on the internet (because the internet is an endless fountain of information)  and found out that it's probably normal for me to be experiencing nausea, dizziness, anxiety, itchy skin and paranoia.  I did use a patch for the first day, which helped a little. It helped me sleep anyway. 

The first night I went to bed I was twitching.  Twitching.  I know I'd heard people say that trying to stop after being a heavy smoker (2+ packs a day for more than one decade) was similar to kicking heroin, but I'd always poo-poo'd that as drama queening.  Hmmm.  Maybe there was something to that.

My remarkably unhappy brain and I went off to work.  I warned my co-workers I was kicking nicotine and please be patient with me.  Luckily, I've worked the drive through window so much I can do it in my sleep.  I can hand out coffee and take payments.  I can let my co-worker know what I'm waiting on. 

At one point I was standing on my mat, holding a latte of some kind and waiting for the next car to pull up so I can give them their morning fix.  As I'm standing there my little mind went to a dark place.  A place where the narrative went something like this:

Wow. So here I am.  I pass out coffee.  I pass coffee out as fast as I possibly can.  This is what I do.  I live in the suburbs.  I have two kids with ADHD.  I have two badly behaved dogs and just added a puppy to that mix.  My house is messy.  This is my life.  I can go downtown all I want but it doesn't change the fact that I'm a haus frau who works the drive through window 30 hours a week.  I've never been wild.  I never will be wild.  I'm just going to keep passing out coffee and I should probably start talking to my therapist about how to accept the fact that I'm a haus frau who passes out coffee. 


It got worse from there.  I'm feeling better today.  I've gotten myself through 72 hours and I've only had 2 cigarettes, which is huge. I'm trying to keep myself busy doing dishes and vacuuming.  The laundry is all done, but not put away.  I've put an end table we don't need anymore down by the curb, where it vanished quickly.  

I've also started listening to self-hypnosis on youtube.  There are a lot out there.  One of them is a voice that sounds a great deal like the possessed Regan in The Exorcist repeating "Quit smoking.  Quit smoking.  Quit smoking.  Quit smoking"  for 45 minutes. 

I wish I could say "And each day it gets easier!  I feel so much better!  Cleaner! Lighter! I'm on the road to becoming a non-smoker!"  but the fact is that quitting smoking isn't fun and I can see why so many people just don't do it. 

My brain is still somewhat uncooperative, so I'm not sure how much sense I'm making.   Anyway.  I'm off.

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  If you get polish on your cuticles, use a cotton swab dipped in polish remover to clean them up.  Or, just wait for it to dry and then really wash your hands. It will generally come right off.

1 comment:

bedlamhouse said...

Keep it up. You can do it.

It is very hard, and it will unfortunately be hard for quite some time. The easier really doesn't come like an epiphany, it just sneaks up on you. It's very much like the grieving process - and, in fact, there is part of you grieving the loss of that activity that was such a pleasurable habit.

Just keep thinking of yourself as a non-smoker.