Thursday, April 19, 2012

Quitting Smoking: Day One Hundred and Twenty

Otherwise known as FOUR F*CKING MONTHS b*tches! This is the longest I have managed to quit smoking in at least ten years, or as my blogging BFF Christina likes to say, the longest ever because I'm going to stick with it this time.

I was going to check back in with you guys two and a half months ago but stuff was going on and I didn't get around to it. “Stuff” included my grandmother's funeral and the arrival of thirty Irish-American relatives and their opinions.

I'm still having revenge fantasies.

Here's what I managed to write at the six-week point:

As far as I can tell, it's been six weeks and one day since I quit smoking. It could be anywhere from day forty-two to day forty-five, but I'm pretty sure it's day forty-three. I'm crap at keeping track of stuff. I've been counting the boxes of nicotine patches and I just opened my fourth box yesterday. At two weeks a box that's six weeks and – wait, two days? I don't know, because a couple of times the patch fell off, I cried, and then I replaced it. Also it's a leap year, so I don't know what the f*ck is going on anymore.

I stepped down to the final step yesterday. The nicotine patch squirts a certain amount of nicotine into your skin every day – not enough to stop you wanting to rip someone's face off, but enough to stop you actually doing it, usually. After a few weeks, you're supposed to swap it for a weaker one and so forth, until finally you stop using them altogether, and deal with your face-ripping impulses like a man, or in my case, woman. That means I cry, or slap you, or cry whilst slapping you. Quitting smoking is hard, which explains why I'm just getting around to it.

I wish I had finished that post, because it would have been interesting to look back on my “progress so far.” The one thing I clearly remember from that week:

I was at a party where everyone was smoking, and I was all, notsmokingnotsmokingnotsmoking, and this girl kept telling me I might as well give it up cause it would never work. So I replied, “Neither will your diet.” I'm usually not that big of an a**hole, honestly, you guys, I swear.

She should have known better, anyway.

So, without further ado, my Progress So Far:

I am so angry I could rip someone's throat out with my teeth. Okay, not all the time. It sort of comes and goes. I had thought that, by this stage of the game, it would have just, you know, gone. I assumed it was a symptom of physical withdrawal. It is not. It is the reason I was smoking in the first place.

Who knew.

I started to clue into this when I found myself in the presence of the aforementioned relatives and their, ahem, opinions, without my usual means of anger management therapy. Shouting at them obviously wasn't the solution, because if it was I wouldn't have started smoking in the first place. Instead, I was forced to explore alternative measures, such as:

  • Storming into my room, slamming the door and pacing around while muttering about what b*tches they all are.
  • Avoiding everyone.
  • Getting into my car and turning up the stereo really, really loud, and then just sitting there in the driveway like a weirdo because driving angry is worse than driving drunk, you know.
  • Grinding my teeth.
  • B*tching on Facebook and/or Twitter.
  • Jogging until I feel better (incidentally, the doctor says my resting heart rate is 50).
  • Yeah, okay, shouting a little.

This is why they tell you to go to counseling when you're quitting smoking, because when you're addicted to something there are usually feelings involved. But I didn't need to pay someone a hundred bucks an hour to tell me that when I get pissed off I turn on myself, mostly because my mother already did that when I was fifteen and got caught smoking at school.

The jogging seemed to be helping, but I can't do it anymore because I've got a pinched nerve in my back, which is a subject for another post. I'm going to have to get a cross-trainer or a stationary bike or something. The chiropractor recommended racewalking.

Ha ha ha ha good one doc.

Just so you know, I did not get a back injury because I tried to jog myself to death. I already had a back injury. I was totally only jogging a moderate amount. I know that because I still managed to gain ten pounds after going off the patch. Not that I wanted to tell you that, because now you know how fat I am.

I'm not eating very many lollipops at all anymore, and trying to stop eating sweets altogether, now that I'm not constantly thinking about smoking. I have the encroaching fat to worry about, and also my teeth started to hurt. I tried sugar-free candy for a while, but I'm not trying to contribute to methane emissions.

I'm sounding so sexy right now.

I still feel like smoking on a pretty much daily basis, but the toothpicks satisfy my hand-to-mouth habit and are much more effective now that I've learned not to chew them up and swallow them.

"Chewing up toothpicks" belongs on the anger management list up there.