My last quit


My rants from AS3 sound like a good start for the blog, everything else is subject to change.

This is Day 3 on the patch for me, and I’m just a jagged little ray of sunshine, wrapped in razor wire, dipped in hydrochloric acid that woke up on the wrong side of the cage this morning. I’m quite sure that I can verbally dissect a politician at ten paces.
My smoke patterns were around 10 to 13 cig’s a day, so I started on step 2 on the patch the 14mg. Maybe a too big of a drop, (hmm… see above) but I know the following…
My sleep patterns are totally off now, very brief vivid bizarre dreams (The kind that would make Terry Gilliam jump back and yell “Weird man!”) despite removal of the patch an hour before I go to bed.
Around mid-afternoon, I’m yawning like crazy, must be a sign that my body is needing more oxygen or is using more oxygen. I have more energy now, don’t know if that’s from the nervous anxiety from breaking the habit… or the different levels of nicotine.
I’m craving sweet stuff now… more of my body trying to stabilize blood sugar levels?
I’m sneezing more often now, although I’ve had sinus problems before I started smoking. (AKA reconstructive surgery, replacement of cartilage in nose)
Minor little aches and pains that I associate with not enough stretching and too much desk work seem to be amplified.
I’ve also noted that my wife was not prepared to deal with my quitting, she’s going to be a saint by the time I’m ready to drop nicotine altogether… hopefully that saintly thing keeps going when the libido phase comes around. (By the way, I’ve noticed that being mentioned several times, is there an actual time when the libido phase kicks in?)
My hunger levels have increased a bit, my morning breakfast consisted of (past tense) coffee and a cig. But even when I wasn’t smoking, I really couldn’t eat first thing after I woke up, I’d feel bloated and sick all day if I did… So now I’m getting hungry around 10am, as opposed to 11am.
Anyways, enough of my observations for now…
I’m still here, Pike

Day 4 – After I put on a fresh patch this morning, and a series of events occurred. I managed somehow to not get that craving for the smoke on the way to work, despite traffic. Shortly after I got to work, a ninja like bastard with a Sleepy Bat hit me over the head. Repeatedly. Food and orange juice should be boosting my blood sugar levels, but to no avail. I’ve never been a morning person though… ever. It is in my strong belief that the early worm should have stayed in bed, that if I need to watch a sunrise, it would be with my wife in bed and it would be the perfect end to an energetic night.
And for some reason, I’m getting the migraine auras very very briefly, for 2 seconds then they fade very quickly. Wondering if some underpaid overworked line worker at the plant slipped in some LSD into the nicotine for the patches. But they aren’t preceding my usual other warning signs for migraines, so I’m going to enjoy them. If they get any worse, I’ll be hitting the painkillers to head off a potential migraine as usual. Feeling very very sluggish and lethargic, with practically zero motivation. And the smell of cigarettes.. is still ambrosia. I’m contemplating using some entrainment software to counter withdrawl effects, I just need to research it out a bit more, find a good piece of software, and see if I can get it to export sounds to MP3 format for my portable player.

Day 5
I’ve determined that I used to use a cigarette for punctuation. I would finish something off, then have a cigarette. That is the habit that I am breaking. Just before the start of my quit, I realized that I was smoking for my body, not for what I needed to do. Mentally I found that I was hating myself for smoking, hence the last quit that I am now on. (I think that is my new mantra.)
Yesterday was a fun filled rollercoaster of blood sugar. I drank a liter of orange juice, as I kept feeling like I was going to fall asleep. I feel like I have my apettite when I was a teenager and had the nickname “Remorseless Eating Machine.”
Last night, at the local Exhibition Fair (aka rides, midway games, grandstand show) I had conflicting reports from my nose. There were times there that I could smell the cigarette smoke and my body responded in the wrong way to it. The smell was ambrosia, I put the thought aside, distracted myself and then five minutes later, I realized what that stink was and I saw other people nearby smoking.
A real eye opener, but yet at the same time, there is a part of me that does not want to adopt the mental policy that all smokers are junkies. I know it would be easy for me to slip into that mindset to help me through my recovery… but it is a lot easier to fear other people than it is to accept them for who they are. I’ve always treated people (regardless of station, rank, priviledge, religion or bank account size) as they would treat me and others. I do not have time for bullies as they are using their own fears as a jacket of strength. The regrettable part is that I will use their habits as a reminder of what I once was, and that truly it will only be up to them to stop their own habits.
Wow, that was a little deep. Okay, in other recovery news, lets go to the wife… who is being supportive in all regards. She bought an aromatherapy oil jar from a booth last night, to be kept at bedside when sleeping overnight. There is pine, eucalyptis and spearmint. The lady at the booth said it helped her daughter quit cold turkey, as when she was breathing the stuff overnight, it made the taste of cigarettes unbearable to her. And it reduced her own cravings practically overnight. At that point, I envisioned a snake oil salesman… whitens your teeth, makes your skin and hair silky, powers your sex drive, and gets rid of that stubborn gout and aching smelly feet. She did say that if I do get a really big hankering, I was to take about five to six deep lungfulls through my nose to smell the stuff and the craving should subside.
I was a bit sceptical of it, then again I came to the realization that any method for quitting (short of amputation at the neck) would be good to help me. I was willing to give it a try. Right before I went to bed, I did get another craving, feeling the anxiousness of not having the relaxation, then tried out the five to six lungfuls along with a good helping of Spider Robinson novel. The feeling passed and I went to sleep quite quickly.
As per my usual schedule, I slept in, waking up and stumbling to the bathroom, then I realized once I was halfway done my cup of coffee that my lungs felt great. I now know that I can enjoy coffee products without craving a cigarette. The tastes of food are now sharper now, although the sudden drops in blood sugar do worry me a bit. I am tempted to check in with a doctor, as fears of diabetes (even though it does not run in the family) are cropping up in the back of my mind.
As for these posts, if no one minds, I will continue to do these up in my self reflective mode. Call it what you like, but if I document my quit to all absolute details, I can look back on it with pride, and if tempted by whatever situation comes up in the future, I will be able to look back to these posts and remind myself that I already went through my last quit.
I’m still here,
Pike

Day 7 of quit
I verbally ripped off a coworkers head about an hour ago. Was it called for? No. Did it feel good doing it? No. Did it express my frustrations with an assigned task? Yes. Had I expressed these frustrations before? Yes, on multiple occasions. Is this related to my recovery? Probably, maybe, maybe not. Almost came down with a migraine last night, caught it in time though, in-laws sniping didn’t help the situation either.
And as this is day 7, first week done of patch, I should be celebrating… but my current mood is this…
I could cheerfully grab the next person who criticizes my actions, apply ten thousand shallow cuts with a rusty razors, apply a liberal bath of salt and jalapeno juice. Then for fun, set their genitals on fire, and force them into a cage with gorillas and rabid badgers who have been hopped up on steroids, crystal meth, and spanish fly. All the while listening to Michael Bolton moaning on an infinite loop audio feed.
That would be a good start.
As from the immortal words of Joss Whedon, ‘This is my Gandhi impersonation.’ Splat. ‘Gandhi?’ ‘Yeah, he was pissed off too’. (You get a geek point if you know exactly what series that was from)
The habit kept me from dealing with these things, I could use it to escape the stress. The crutch kept me from actually dealing with these situations. Work stress, money stress, traffic stress, general life stress. It was a reactive response to stress to smoke, and now I realize that recovery is an ongoing proactive action. Until my reactions for dealing with these stresses become manageable, I will still be in recovery. And that does not matter if I have a nicotine patch on or not. There is no plausible escape from these any of the stressful situations, only my reactions to them.
However… the next person who tells me what I should do, (unless I’ve directly asked them) will get their hair parted by my lecture on the difference between what Should and Could is! And will I apologize for verbally ranting at them? Possibly. At the top of my lungs while a group of people hold me down.
This is my last quit.
I’m still here, Pike
One week, 1 hour, 41 minutes and 10 seconds. 84 cigarettes not smoked, saving $35.63. Life saved: 7 hours, 0 minutes.

Day 10 of quit
A lump underneath furs stirs, a leaden weighed hand finds the snooze button to smack the annoying insect like buzzing, a second lump moves disturbing the first lump.
The one lump is annoyed but moves out of the warm comfort to stand under hot water, scrubbing, scrubbing, sneezing, then scrubbing some more. The now clean lump hears the other lump and recognizes it as his mate. Putting coverings over skin, grabbing the hot water that has been filtered through crushed beans, he remembers to grab what was not eaten from last nights feast so he may eat at mid-day.
The caveman, known as Pike, leaves his cave.
Yes, I am very tired, can’t stop yawning. It’s as if gravitonium has been fused to every atom of my body. Every movement seems to be hampered, and the energy levels that I enjoyed prior to today are gone like a harsh ex-lover. (Or money out of my bank account.) I could easily make Rip Van Winkle look like he just took a casual nap.
I can see how the despair sets in at this point, the body is sluggish affecting mood and responses. Any kind of anxiety only seems to increase the sluggies and lessen energy levels. I was hoping that my increased energy levels were going to keep this way through my entire recovery… either that or I hit the wall and my body has already adjusted to the lower levels of nicotine from the patch. I have doubts about switching to the next step down, possibly not until I’ve been totally addicted to the patch, which is better than smoking anyday.
The aromatherapy oil has definitely helps a lot. I forgot the other night to take the lid off of it, lungs felt a bit sore all morning yesterday. That lid will come off every night, even though I’ve gotten used to the smell already. Did some research on that as well. Apparently even people that have had too much damage to their nasal passages, who cannot smell at all, receive the same benefit from the aromatherapy… chalk it up to trace elements in the air that they are breathing at the cellular level I guess. Or their bodies remember the response in the same environment of the smell, even though the nerves are no longer working in their noses.
Oh yeah, and the new ways to distract myself include the following. Audio books and walking, must get more from the library and see if I can get any of the Big Finish productions with Doctor Who. Or Douglas Adams, that would be good. Building a wish list for things that I will buy with the extra money, once it actually shows up in my bank account. I’ll have to include my own recovery amount into the signature, cause the amount I’ve ‘saved’ is not true, as that money went towards patches… Playing around with entrainment software, think of it as biofeedback for your brain. Nice stuff, still haven’t found a program that is free for me to export to mp3.
And if you can’t tell, I can’t stick to one subject for too long, the brain fog has got me. I have fears that I will get OCD from doing things to distract myself from the cravings. I also fear that the recovery process will never end, and that would confirm my own fear and suspicions that I am an addict.
Or perhaps I had OCD on cigarettes psychologically wise… Too deep a thought for sluggish body and brain.
Tonight I am off to Folkfest, eating foreign food, watching dancing, hopefully finding a kilt from the clan I was decended from, and genuinely enjoying the evening. This weekend, I hope to watch ‘What the Bleep!’ again, to stimulate those lazy neurons in my brain.
Ugh, caveman still here, Pike (Insert stick figure standing above mammoth painted in squished berries on cave wall here)

Day 14 of quit
The caveman got hauled out to do shopping on the weekend. Went immediately to the multivitamins and grabbed a big honkin’ bottle, also grabbed some gingko biloba (Sp?) and surprisingly the brain fog has cleared up a little. And the general weariness is not so bad now, it’s tolerable to the point where I can function normally. Well, as normal as I ever get…
What was strange on the weekend was after sleeping in, I got my coffee, planted my butt in front of the computer and it was only after 3 hours did I realize… I didn’t put the patch on, hence why I was getting irritated at the news items I was reading. Slapped on the patch, and all was well again.
The craving for the punctuation cigarette came back later that night with a vengeance, got rid of it by starting my backups of information off my computer. Strange thing, usually when I keep myself busy when those cravings come up, they fade. This time, it didn’t… didn’t sleep well that night either. Ended up finding a free MMORPG, getting annoyed with it, then went to read. Only found some calm at 3 AM, drinking a beer, watching the lightning, sitting on the balcony, having stray thoughts about how the neighbours must think I’m nuts, then not caring what they think. I still have that little hovering presence of weight and stress across my shoulders, it’s annoying, like a mild sunburn, just lightly pinked up, but not lobster red.
Even though I didn’t crave the patch after I first got up, would putting it on at a later time throw off my levels? Probably, but to last that long? Even till today, just that slightly on edge feeling, doesn’t help out. Which brings me to thoughts of the future for recovery… how will finally getting off the patches be for me? You’ll probably see me on tv and/or youtube, “Man on rooftop throwing flaming bags of monkey poo, arrested, given pants. News and film at 6.”
Well it goes no matter of my state of pants, it’s yawn city for me this morning, even with the new regimen of vitamins and ginkgo. I can concentrate on what I’m focusing on, now it’s just a matter of getting the motivation. I’ll chalk it up to being Monday though…
Brain fog lifting, getting close to lunch, and I realize this… My brain is a weapon, my words are an army.
I’m still here, Pike
Two weeks, 1 hour, 56 minutes and 56 seconds. 168 cigarettes not smoked, saving $70.97. Life saved: 14 hours, 0 minutes.

Which brings me to this point of my quit. Why blog it? Why not. Maybe chronicling my own recovery process will help others. I can only hope.

The fine folks at alt.support.stop-smoking have helped me out so far, and their FAQ is more than any doctor has told me about smoking so far. And for those who are contemplating their own ‘last quit’ remember, you are doing this for yourself, and no one else.

Tilly on head, drink in hand, I salute you,
Pearce

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