Monday, March 16, 2009

This Is Going To Really Suck

I'm fifty five years old and I've smoked Camel straights (non-filters) since I was 18 and until about a couple weeks ago I've enjoyed them. I noticed that I wasn't smoking a cigarette because I enjoyed it, I was smoking because I needed to - a very real difference. That's not to discount the addiction of about 40 years standing, but once it is simply about addiction it becomes different. That, alone, was not good; but a $6.25 per pack price also is not good and not a price I'll pay to feed an addiction. Hell, even as a pleasure it wasn't worth $180 per month. So now I'm into day three of quitting.

I'm quite sure that it was more than sufficient to make my life uncomfortable to quit smoking, but I had to toss a bit more into the mix. Along with the cigarettes goes my coffee - strong, black, dark roasted coffee to the tune of 1 gallon per day. No that's not a typo or exaggeration, two 2 quart Stanley thermos a day. Coffee is my Ritalin, I have been over-amped my entire life - I have 110 volt circuitry running 220 volts. The problem is that coffee calls for a cigarette, they are hand in glove and that just isn't happening.

I've never been a heavy smoker, when I've gotten up to a pack a day it was unusual and something I would remark on. Forty years is a long time, though, and the addiction is bone deep - it probably infects my very cells. My nicotine intake in a day has probably been of a moderate nature, but my delivery system is real damn effective; Camel straights are pretty hard core smoking materials.

I'm not having much fun with this. My faculties are seriously scrambled, the backspace key is getting a lot of use right now. My hands know the key board and I'm a pretty fair speller but without corrections this would be gibberish. Damn good thing I'm not having to use white-out. I've yanked a couple pretty effective drugs out of my system and the results are predictable - and so is my whining about it. I'm real uncomfortable and without the caffeine my brain is racing around and nothing holds my interest.

Boy this is going to suck for awhile, I don't think it will involve bloodshed but I wouldn't want to be around me...well I am kind of stuck with that, but...

Since I am my proof reader my stuff may suffer for awhile.


Nick Istre said...

Good luck with getting it out of your system. I'm lucky that I never started the habit (mainly due to severe allergies becoming more sensitive if I try).

Carla said...

Hang in there, my friend.

realbtl said...

Re: coffee - Unlike all of my other addictions, this is one I am able to moderate. After many years of 10-20 cups per day I cut back to 1 large cup (granted, with the blackest greasiest beans I can find) 1st thing in the morning and it seems to work. The interesting thing is that on those rare occaisions when I need to stay up much later, band jobs etc, another medium cup in the afternoon is actually noticable. Hang in there Chuck, it will get better.

The Chinuk said...

I've called you the bravest man in Baker County to fellow habitues more than once. This seals it.

I've known lots of smokers in my life. I am fortunate to have never had the craving, urge, or peer pressure to do so. I guess I'm just wired different.

But no matter, I've seen my friends get all screwed up about smoking. My first real girlfriend was a smoker. My mom still smokes (at age 69).

So even though I'm not a smoker, I can relate. I'm still an inveterate coffee drinker (and won't stop), but you will be so much better off without the poison of nicotine in your life. I'm sure pulling for you.

It sounds like you're quitting cold-turkey, and it's going to be tough, but there's good news in that light at the end of the tunnel: I heard that some study somewhere shows that smokers who quit without the aid of patches or whatever are more likely to stay quit.

But even if you are quitting with a help, you're still going to be better off.

That Blue Mountain air is going to smell so much better to you ...

Good luck, Chuck.

t.a. said...

hang in there, Chuck. cigarettes took my mom way too early, took her parents, too. we need you around for many, many years.

Phil said...

When I quit a 22-year smoking habit in 1982, I did so to make good on a boast that if cigarettes ever hit a buck a pack, I'd quit. They did, so I did. I celebrated 27 (tobacco) smoke-free years in January.

Hang in, Chuck. You can do it. It helps to always think of yourself as an ex-smoker; always heap loads of praise on yourself for being an ex-smoker every time you feel the urge to light up. The satisfaction you get from that--plus the satisfaction you get from thwarting the tax man--should be more than enough to offset the nicotine jones and forever keep it at bay.

Keeneye said...

I am SO proud of you.

It's the most addictive substance in the world, even moreso than heroin (if you believe all of the hype online).

Do it Do it DO IT!

After one month of being a non-smoker, let us all know so that we can celebrate with you. And lunch will be on me!


Great news, Chuck.

Nothstine said...

Hang tough, big guy.

I'm a big believer in the notion that we never really break a habit--we just substitute a new habit for an old one. So next time I see you, I'll treat you to a roll of Wint-O-Green Lifesavers [after my dad quit smoking, he became a pack-a-day man].


Chuck Butcher said...

Thanks for a lot of good thoughts, you are to believe that it helps.

Yes, it still sucks today.