Sunday, August 13, 2017

Seven Days to Freedom

A co-worker told me that it was just seven days to freedom to kick the smoking addiction. The seven days is what it should take to get over the habit. I take comfort in the fact that I'm at the hardest part at day two. I went for a jog this morning. It's important to keep up an exercise routine during this detox, because I spent a lot of time at my desk stuffing candy in my face. I also spent a little time walking on the trail behind the office. 
I have such a love-hate relationship with tobacco. Quitting feels like a divorce. I know the relationship was bad, and I know I'm better without it. But, I also miss the companionship of my faithful friend and comforter that has been there for me for about 15 years. 
I've caught myself inhaling sharply, breathing deeply, missing the smoke. 
On the other hand, I'm not emptying my wallet to smell like a dumpster fire. 

Three days without a smoke ...
I can tell you one thing for sure. Smoking is an addiction, complete with withdrawal symptoms. It is not a dirty habit or a frivolous luxury. It is drug addiction. Quitting drinking was nowhere near as painful. Not even close. 
I'm walking a lot, so that's good. I've also been munching snacks and candy a lot, so I hope that will counteract too much weight gain. 
Maybe it's time for the culture to shift. Instead of writers being known for drinking, smoking, drugs and suicide, why not have a new generation of writers known for having a tenacity for life? I'd love to see writers become stereotyped for being notoriously straight-edged, clean-living people. Let us be insightful due to a lack of clouding our senses, not because of it. We are the ones who should have that hyper-connection to reality, not floating along on an insanity-inducing brain fog. 

Four Days In ...
The major jitters have tapered off a little, but I'm still munching candy like a kid on November 1st. 
never again should you wonder how a homeless person can afford cigarettes. Never again need you wonder how a single mother on welfare can afford cigarettes. I have the answer. 
They can afford it the same way a junky can afford the fix, by any means necessary. Go long enough without food or water and some beastly part of your brain will push through and tell you to beg, borrow, steal or bash someone's head in with a rock if that's what it takes to survive. 
And that's the part of your brain that gets reprogrammed with an addiction. It deprives you of choice and tells you that you need it as much as you need the air you breathe. 

One week
The physiological enslavement has ended. I've shaken the curse, but not the obsession. I still feel it from time to time when I'm driving along with a cup of coffee, when I see someone else enjoying a good long drag. 
I realize just how much the pace of life was set by the cigarette clock. Now I must establish a different routine. 
I'm going to join a gym tomorrow to counteract all those sugary treats I consumed as a smoking substitute. Last week, I tried not to worry about that. I figured if I gained a few pounds, it's worth it to kick the smoking habit. I can focus on fitness once the chain is broken. 
It's now time to take my health seriously. I'm 37. I don't have any children yet, but I want to. 40 is creeping up on me, that dreaded halfway point where there may be fewer days ahead than there are behind. 
Well, I still have lots to do, so I'd better get to it. 

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