Monday, December 11, 2006

The Quit

Day One: (Actually, Day Three, but who's counting? I am.)

Today is February 17, 2006. I turned 30 years old last January 26. I started smoking in December of 1988, which means I have been a smoker more than half of my life. This week I was stricken with a respiratory virus and have declared my ship a "non-smoking vessel."

I am complying with this, my own declaration.... Reluctantly complying.

While focusing on my compliance to abstain from smoking cigarettes, I had the most fantastic revelation! I should probably quit. Luckily, due to this virus and ensuing cough, my throat is so sore; having a drag right now would be akin to drinking a can of hydrochloric acid. Thank goodness for God's little gifts, I suppose. So, as I try to get myself on "the mend", why not take advantage and begin to change my life for the better? It's easy! Right?


I know I need to quit them, I know they are extremely unhealthy....Though I fool myself into thinking I smoke "healthy" cigarettes; no additives. Hey , I like my cancer, pure and clean; just like God intended! The problem with "clean cigarettes", they are 30% higher in price than the dirty,and though in my mind they are healthier, "there are no safe cigarettes". Well, we can put a man on the moon, we can map the genome, but we can't make a healthy cigarette? I call bullshit.

Surely there must be a way to inhale smoke safely into your lungs?

Being thirty puts me smack into the middle of adulthood, I have no "I can save it until I am 30" procrastination shenanigans to fall back on. I should be mature and "lady like" enough to turn my nose up at this dirty, filthy, disgusting habit. I should be using my money and health on more important matters, like adopting shoes. I could adopt all kinds of shoes, from all over the world! I could be the Angelina Jolie of shoes! (I bet she does not smoke).

So, here I sit, A raw throated, pajama clad, nicotine gum chewing, last season's shoe wearing, thirty something, embarking on "THE QUIT".

God help us all.

I know people who have quit successfully, and all were heavier smokers than I. I know all of the different methods, support groups and pills that are available. Also, if you even mutter under your breath that you are thinking about quitting, many people will start flying out of the woodwork to give you unsolicited advice.

A girlfriend of mine researched all of the negative affects that smoking and nicotine have on your body about two months before she quit. She also researched all of the side effects that happen to your body as it begins detoxing from your nicotine addiction. This way, as she started to experience the feelings and reactions, she was aware that they were normal and part of the process.

I commend my friend on her dedication and admire her wherewithal to see her quit through....... But, I decided to fore go graduate school, so therefore, research and homework, just isn't really happening for me..... Unless there are Cliff's Notes available, then maybe..... Plus, if I were to embark on "homework-like" activities and revert back to my college days, I would feel the urge to smoke. I used to kill half a pack during one research paper, so any new research efforts, may tug on my smoking triggers like Republicans at firing range.

Another friend swears by the patch. This stirs up a lot of negative emotions for me. Number One: Aren't patches for quilts, torn jeans, and Girl Scout sashes? Number Two: I think of pirates.. I just can't see myslef wearing a puffy shirt with a parrot on my shoulder, screaming "ARGGH!" Number 3: What if it clashes with my outfit?

One fellow I talked to gave me this advice from when he quit "the habit": "I decided if I do not do five things, I will not smoke." The five things in question are as follows:
I will not buy a pack.
I will not open a pack.
I will not hold a cigarette.
I will not put a cigarette in my mouth.
I will not light and inhale a cigarette.

God bless his heart, but he's a fucking asshole, pardon my French.

My mother, who is also a fellow smoker, (whaddya know?) and I always toy with the idea of going to a hypnotist to help us break the addiction, without getting really heavy as a result of the quit. My rear end is big enough; a few more inches on this bad boy could cause cataclysmic results on my already stretched wardrobe.

The problem I am having with the thought of a Hypnotist is that, I fancy myself far too mentally superior to succumb to such non-sense. (Eye rolls all around.) Plus, I am a cheapskate. The last time I checked, Hypnotists were pretty pricey and I have not seen any coupons for hypno-therapy in the Penny Saver, lately.

I initially thought that I would learn how to knit, not only to keep my hands occupied, but to also launch my line of custom made penis warmers. (Fine, puppy sweaters, but that is not as funny.) Well, so far it has taken me three weeks to learn how to cast on, and when I finally did, I knitted myself to the afghan on my lap. So, needless, or shall I say, "needleless" to say, knitting is not an option.

I have decided that my method to kick this nasty habbit will result in brilliance. Nicotine gum, exercise and a journal to detail my habit, my companion, and the relationship I have been carrying on for the past seventeen years. Think about it; If my addiction were a teenager, it would be driving by now.

When I was eight years old, I lived on farm about three miles outside of the very small town I was born in, London, Ohio. (We are talking a population of 7,000 small.) Most would say living out in the boonies would be a pretty boring existence, but I loved it. We lived on a 32 acre farm, complete with woods, hay stack barns, livestock and a creek, (pronounced "crick"). This environment presented plenty of positive and healthy things for a third grader to do...

Being from a small town, that incidentally my ancestors help settle, you tend to know everyone, or at least they tend to know you. Also, in farm country, the locals have a tendency to celebrate the seemingly smallest occasions with a festival and a parade. Some little towns have the "Bean Festival", the "Apple Festival" or even a "Pumpkin Festival." In my town, we celebrated the "Steam Thresher Festival", complete with a parade, of course.

You may be wondering, "What in the world is a steam thresher?" A steam thresher is the ancestor to the combine, used to harvest crops, or something of the ilk. It was also powered by STEAM, instead of oil and gasoline..
!t all makes sense now, doesn't it?
To mark this momentous occasion held for our bread and butter, the Steam Thresher; these magnificent machines were paraded down main street, along with marching bands, beauty queens, and budding politicians. They would chug, hiss and toot their way to the fairgrounds to be displayed for all to see. The parade was also the pre-cursor to our county fair, which in this town, was as exciting as fashion week in Paris, France.

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