Monday, June 21, 2010

The Pain of Withdrawal

In case you have not yet been privy to this information, for about a month now I have relapsed in my smoking. I'm not proud of it, but I am trying to be honest. I'm writing this entry because I feel that some people callously push me to quit or talk down to me as if I don't know what it is I'm doing to myself with each puff. Some mean well when they encourage me to stop smoking, others it's not so apparent as to their intentions. What none of them realize is what it takes to quit. Most of the people who have smoked before and quit have not been the ones getting on my case about it. They don't usually say much about my smoking at all, perhaps because they know what it is I'm going through and they know like I do what it takes to quit.

Most of you probably don't want to know what I'm about to share with you. You'd all like to think that quitting is as simple as deciding to quit and then all you have to do is throw away your cigarettes. You probably wish that I would not burst that illusion, that I would not tear that shred of ignorance from your ideal "reality" which you find so comforting. I'm afraid that the only way I can spare you from enlightenment is to tell you to not read this entry. If you don't read this entry though, I consider you a coward. The world is not made of daisies and daffodils, but of blood, sweat, and tears. The world is what we make it by our own perseverance, and by quitting smoking I can make it a better place by increasing my chances of having a bigger positive impact on it.

To give you an idea of what quitting takes, I'm going to relay to you a story of what happened to me last night when I went into withdrawal. It was about midnight and I was steadily getting more irritable. I was casually thinking up ways to come up with some money so that I could buy a pack. As the night drew on, I was becoming more desperate, to the point where I couldn't sit still. I was digging in coat pockets, rummaging through random drawers, searching through the crevices in my furniture. I became so tense that my teeth were practically mashed together as one. Eventually there was this terrible aching throughout my body, like my blood was boiling beneath my skin and my joints were exploding with pressure. My hands were shaking and I could not stop tapping my feet. I chewed on gum to keep from grinding my teeth but I knew I had to find some money or I was not going to be able to sleep that night. It got to the point where I was contemplating stealing money from someplace, but all the while my mind knew that I would not forgive myself if I compromised my integrity for something as low as cigarettes. After a little while I didn't care anymore what it took to get that money, so I ran to my room and ripped it apart. I searched everywhere for even just a dime. Eventually I found two dollars in an old envelope where I kept money that I was saving for random things. After counting up all my silver, I drove to the gas station and bought a pack of my regular Marlboro 27's.

After smoking two cigarettes, I was limp as a wet noodle, and I thought to myself, "This is the most fucking stupid thing I've ever gotten myself into."

So instead of reminding me of how I need to quit, just imagine the pain of your blood boiling beneath your skin and encourage me to keep going with my plans to quit cold turkey. If you know me personally, call me up and ask me how I'm doing.

Until next time,
De Facto

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