Malcontent, Hollowed Out, The Sweet Old Life, Trying, An Aside, The Combo, Loneliness, And Quitting Smoking (Again)

Okay, so it is now Thursday, and I hate this quitting-of-the-smoking bit that I have been doing. It is no longer something I want. This does not mean that I am done quitting; this only means that the wanting-to-quit part is over for the time being. It truly, deeply and honestly, sucks stinky feet to be doing this to myself. Until today, I was verily sailing along, quietly patting myself mentally on the back for having made such a fine and mature decision and for following through with it with such decency of attitude in spite of the symptoms of withdrawal. I was an idiot then, and now I am malcontent.

Here is a picture of me sans the popcorn and chips with salsa and whatnot that I use to fill the void that is my physical and psychological addictions.

Surfing about did nothing to improve my poor mood. In fact, I think it helped to worsen it. All I want is a lovely Benson & Hedges Special King Size cigarette and a pint of Sleeman’s Honey Brown. Oh, how sweet such a duo would be, especially on top of a table at my favourite pub next to a copy of some delicious piece of literature.

This isn’t working, this writing out my pain thing. I am really trying. I knew that if I came home and didn’t keep my hands busy, then I would be out smoking in about sixty seconds, so I decided to sit here and blog away. But it is seriously not working.

Here, I am going to turn aside from the main topic and speak to you about something else. It will be much like an aside in a play by Shakespeare, in which a character occasionally turns away from the main action of a scene to relate his or her thoughts to the audience, only my brain will be the main action and my turning around to talk about something else other than smoking will be the aside. You are the audience. Here goes.... I will be starting in a new position at work in a couple of weeks, which is very good news for me. My current position is a term position, which means that it ends in August, so I am quite happy to take a permanent position and not have to worry about unemployment insurance or finding new work for next fall. When I was riding the bus to work this morning, a couple of men sitting across the aisle from me were discussing some research that one of them was doing. It apparently required thousands of miles of travel every few months, pygmies, a lot of camera and video equipment, jungles, and the BBC and National Geographic on a couple of occasions. I found myself growing jealous, and then had to reprimand myself for being overly self-interested and silly, and thankfully had my attention diverted by starting a conversation with the woman next to me, who I have begun talking with in the mornings and who is a welcome alternative to most of the people I have to talk to every day. Anyway, what I am getting at is that while I was feeling all good about experiencing a sense of job security for once and juggling story ideas in my head, these two men were talking about jobs that I can barely fathom but sound brilliant. Maybe quitting smoking causes one to spend extra time re-evaluating one’s life, but I seriously thought to myself that it is about high time I quit thinking so much and started doing. (That’s right, I ended that sentencing with “doing,” and I meant it. Ha). This is not an altogether original thought, and I have thought it before, but it is still important nonetheless.

Still feeling a strong desire, nay lust, for the cigarettes and beer combo. I am imagining myself bellying up to the bar, scanning their backlit menu board, putting an index finger to my lip, and saying:
“I think I will order the Combo #2. Do you accept substitutions? Because I prefer a pint glass over a bottle.”
“Nope, no substitutions. What’ll you have?”
“Then I guess I’ll have a B&H King with bottle of HB, hold the lime. Thanks.”

See, this is getting really pathetic. I am now pretending to order cigarettes and beer in lieu of the real thing, because addiction is desperately sad, and withdrawal is a lonely experience.

Quitting Smoking Links:**
* QuitNet will help you “quit all together.”
* QuitSmokingSupport.com offers free support to help you quit smoking.
* QuitSmoking.com offers information and products to help smokers quit (They rely on people smoking in the first place to make their money, so I doubt that they are really on a rampage to get the world to quit).
* Smoke Away is a complete, three-part standard kit that promises to curb cravings without nicotine or drugs. Nothing like this works. Ask any smoker.
* The Tobacco Information and Prevention homepage offers everything from Surgeon General’s reports to ways to quit smoking to celebrity views on smoking.
*Allen Carr’s The Only Way to Stop Smoking Permanently is supposedly very good and often effective. I own it, it is sitting on my bookshelf right now, and I have not even picked it up. I am in deep denial.

** I have not actually read through any of the above sites regarding the cessation of smoking. I do not care to at this time. As a result, I cannot vouch for their usefulness whatsoever.