Monday, July 8, 2013

Day One: Cold Turkey Mostly

Contributed by Casey

After a thirteen-year love affair with the Dark Mother, the time has come, friends, to lay down the smokes. 

Several years ago, I read a book called The Easy Way To Stop Smoking by Alan Carr. Obviously, it isn't a magic book;
I continued to smoke for several years after the read. I did, however, hang onto some nuggets. 

Nugget 1: When you're ready to quit, pick a date and tell people. 

Done and done. I chose July 8 (today) because it's the Monday after a holiday weekend, affording the occasion to smoke it up before the big divorce.

Nugget 2: The day before your quit-day, smoke as many cigarettes as you possibly can. 

And done again. A few folks recommended to me to reduce the amount you smoke each day until you're down to none. In my experience, that just makes me miserable. Also, if you're still smoking (even just a few a day) when something traumatic or stressful goes down, you're far more likely to smoke-it-up, thus undoing all your whittlin' efforts. 

The idea behind over-smoking is to make yourself so sick, that the following day, you'll have a kind of smoker's hangover, making it that much easier to get through the first day. 

Yesterday, I smoked eighteen cigarettes in fourteen hours. I'm a little disappointed in myself. I feel like I should have been able to kill an entire pack, but by midnight, there was no way I could suck another one down. And yes, my throat totally kills today, so mission accomplished, yes?

Okay, so only two nuggets. 

An hour or so ago, the room got a little spinny so I took three drags of an electronic cigarette, which only made me more spinny and throat-sore. Back in the purse it went.

I'm also fasting. People seem surprised that I would want to add additional torment to this process. 

When you fast, your body reacts to the lack of food in a way similar to nicotine withdrawal, only it's a more intense feeling. So while the head swims from lack on nicotine, the desire for food is greater and you can't tell which deprivation is creating the more urgent annoyance. 

Another good reason to fast: smoker's like to partake after any meal. Skip the meal and the trigger is avoided. 

When I decide that the fast is over (tonight or tomorrow) and I finally eat, I'll be past the initial hurdle and the meal-trigger won't have quite as much influence over me. 

Another fasting side-effect: I'm drinking lots of water. Ergo, I'm peeing quite often. I'm so distracted by my many trips to the potty that I don't even notice that I haven't had a cigarette break. All I really need is an excuse to get up from my desk, which a full bladder provides. 

I'll do my best to update our eager readers with details of my success or failure. Edge of your seat, I'm sure. 

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