4 Years Quit Smoking

4 years, a month and some…
My Quit Date: 8/6/2007 9:20 AM

So I didn’t post up my 4 year Wahoo! … in all fairness, it was during my holidays, I just finished moving into a new place. And I was on the road with the kid.

Being away from the habit, I don’t miss it. It’s so nice not having those little thoughts that keep plaguing every moment. It’s nice not having the dependant actions around that little tube filled with plant leaves and over 500 chemicals. It’s so nice to not throw money away at something that only momentarily clouded my perception and falesly removed stress. It’s so nice being free.

I don’t need to schedule my actions and think ahead for that. I don’t need to start thinking ahead of where I need to be so I can satisfy the craving. I don’t need to check my pockets for them and all other accessories before I leave. I don’t need to think of ‘what place is open in case I run out’.

Easy to do? No. Setbacks? Yes. But anything worth while (including yourselves individually) is worth working on. And it is work. If not, it would be called play. The best way to get here, is not give up, don’t stop quitting.

I’ve gained freedom, perspective, and control.

And I’m still here,

The Numbers

Cigarette free for 1101 days.

If there was no quit, I’d have breathed in the crap from 13212 smokes.

Based on average 1mg of nicotine per cig, that’s a total of 13.2 kilograms total. Lethal single dose average is around 40-60 mg. Averaged out, that’s around 264 lethal doses. I would have inhaled enough nicotine to kill 264 people, that’s about a third of SARS mortality to date.

King Size cig is 85mm or 8.5 cm… Lined up, that would be 1123.02 kms. Which is the diameter of one of Saturns moons, Dione.

Most of the time, I don’t think about it at all. But occasionally, the nico-demon rears up, I’ve gotten a lot better of ignoring it, and it’s a lot quieter.

I still get cravings.

I still have nicotine dreams where I wake up feeling guilt that I have broken my quit and I have to go through the withdrawl all over again.

It’s been 3 years and five days. This is my quit.

I’m still here,

The Method

Part of the process is failing and learning from the mistakes.
There is no one method for everyone to use. If there was, there wouldn’t be support groups, or the thousands of different methods.
I have started, stopped, quit, restarted, and persevered, replanned, quit, doubted, cheated, restarted…. But then I changed my perspective, and this time it seems to be working. It’s been rough, there is no denying that. But in time, it does get easier. And I also can’t forget, its always there. I am just one puff away from  a pack a day habit.
I’ve celebrated the mistakes and achievements, small and large. I’ve owned the times where my mind and body can only think of the one thing.
I don’t need to smoke, not today.
This is my quit, and I’m still here,
I have been quit for 2 Years, 10 Months, 2 Weeks, 5 Days, 2 hours, 2 minutes and 54 seconds (1,054 days). I have saved $6,071.52 by not smoking 12,649 cigarettes. I have saved 1 Month, 1 Week, 5 Days, 22 hours and 5 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 8/6/2007 10:00 AM

NaNoWriMo – Day 3, and others…

6920 words that I managed to pick out of morning break, lunch and afternoon break at work.

Have a vague indication where I’m going with this, something that I’ve loved for a storyline, and that is the emergence of the hero. Buffy did it best, from a fantasy point of view, Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon did it as well. I keep putting this timid shell shocked young woman in these situations where she shouldn’t be able to do these things, but somehow the future version of her keeps jumping out. So, it’s fantasy theme story wise in that progression, placed in an age of magic and steampunk. Blending the genres will provide for more storylines, as I’m sure I can involve some political intrigue between battling nations/queendoms/empires/free republics.

Even though my word count is ahead of where I need to be this first week, it’s only day 3. I also have appointments pre-booked for the evenings this week. I shouldn’t be blogging this now, but working on the next scene with my hero and her few friends, that remain alive…  So far I’ve managed to shake her entire world by wiping out her community, attacked by a strange foreign army, nearly burned alive by an airship that has gone adrift and is ablaze, and my latest part … placed behind enemy lines. There’s overcoming the odds, then there is silliness. Then again, with all of these events, I sure as hell won’t have a lack of content to write about.

Stepfather has radiation poisoning from his chemo treatments, so they are laying off those while he can get his body back to fighting health for the next round. There is nothing I can do about it, except go do some promotional stuff for fund raising into prostate cancer. But there isn’t any research into this prostate cancer as 99 percent of the time, it shows up only in men aged 85 and up. There is no cure for it, just treatment to keep it in check. He’s in his mid 50’s and has been one of the best things for my mother, and has helped me out a lot during this past year which has been rough. This dying business is tough stuff to live through.

I’m still here,


P.S. Been quite a while since I posted up a meter count for myself.

You have quit smoking for:2 years, 12 weeks, 5 days, 13 hours and 47 mins.
You have saved: 4,332.63 Dollars by NOT smoking 9,847 cigarettes!

Don’t know if its the muscles or knots in my back, or if I need to rotate mattress, back is hurting again, probably more time in front of the computer and not enough time stretching. As result, not less sleep, but less quality sleep. Had a smoking dream last night, felt the guilt and woke up, then realized where I was. Haven’t had one of those in quite a while.  Only shows you, it doesn’t go away, I just forget about it longer between these incidents. Which for recovering nicotine addict, its good for me to have these. I think the second that I don’t have that burst of guilt or reminder of what it is, it won’t keep me in line. Maybe it’s my unconcious mind which is bringing this up. I would rather feel guilty in a dream when I smoke and regret it there, than put myself back into the delusional habit of smoking.

Time to breathe deep, and let go of things.


Been a while since I’ve posted to the AS3, figure it would be time. The following is mirrored on the best stop smoking support site / group I’ve found.

Been working on my writing stuff, wow, was that first draft of the serial series rough. Was happy that I finished it, but hollee… luckily I have some honest friends who critiqued and pointed out what should be glaringly obvious mistakes. Oh well, the serial series I have planned to write, will be in the cliffhanger style. Going to have sci-fi/fantasy/adventure feel to it. I’m not going to nail down a specific genre for fiction on it, as this series will be a good writing exercise tool for me. I have been looking for a small laptop, preferably used, something that I can write with, surf, maybe watch a few videos. I’d be able to get writing done in the evenings on a machine that will not be able to do video games, plus keep me busy while the kid is in her dance lessons.

Other than that, I’ve only had a few cravings, mainly because of the work related stress. I’ve had 3 different hats to wear in the last couple of weeks and my direct manager reports on my job title, “You really don’t have a job title.” Well at least I’m showing that I’m flexible as I’m running from Returns to Expediting to Shipping. Its been strange though, I’ve smelled a cigar, and it smells good, but I’ve smelled smokers that come back in from their cigars at work, and they reek… Just to clarify, yes I do like those coworkers.

Fall season coming up, and it seems that everything has started to break down all at once. Monitor at home computer dead, in for store credit, time to pick out a new LCD for aging eyes. Desperately need 4 new tires for the car before hallowe’en. New fridge as the current one is still making weird ass noises… yes, like the ass has a couple extra sphincters and has a muscle spasm those kind of weird ass noises. The blade thingy for the blender fell apart, can’t order from Canada, nearest cuisinart dealer is Vancouver. Television red gun is starting to act up, or the other 2 guns are dying out. Kid’s mp3 player is acting wonky as well. I won’t really start to worry unless the roof starts to leak or the floor starts to buckle… or the walls bleed.

But other than that, I’m still here,
I have been quit for 1 Year, 1 Month, 3 Weeks, 3 Days, 6 hours, 41 minutes and 20 seconds (421 days).
I have saved $2,426.56 by not smoking 5,055 cigarettes.
I have saved 2 Weeks, 3 Days, 13 hours and 15 minutes of my life.
My Quit Date: 8/6/2007 9:20 AM

Aural fixations/The Story’s the thing

(In stream of conciousness kinda writing, sorry if it jumps all over the place, just kind of the mood that I’m in right now.)

Commercial radio sucks. There, do you hear that, that’s the death knell of any remaining visage of a commercial radio career for me. If you do know me, I have worked in radio in the following capacities. On-line host/DJ, News and Sports Reporter, Producer, Creative content/Writer, Sales, Janitor

My heart still remains in that field, but not the method unfortunately. If I were to go back behind a microphone, it’d be a lot different. It would definitely have to be in an XM/Sirius radio capacity. And I’d have to have enough material to carry through… more on that later. (Unless I actually get decent pay out of it, I’ll probably won’t return to the field. There will probably be another rant/musing about my past radio life later on.)

I’ve found more and more that I am listening to audio books and podcasts, with the proliferation of content, there literally is something out there for everyone. I am quite sure that if you look hard enough there will be Care Bear/Lovecraft slash fiction that has been done in audio or youtube format.

You may shudder now.

My first audiobook was Stephen King’s The Mist, on casette tape, it cost 35 bucks of well saved up allowance money. It features “Kunstkopf” binaural 3-D sound. It’s amazing, full environmental sound that literally puts you right there where it’s happening. And they managed to do that on a casette.The full dramatic cast only added more to the story and environment. I got into more and more of the older radio theater productions, while I read Batman and the death of Jason Todd, I listened to the eerie haunting laughter of the Shadow. While Buck Rogers was on television, I was listening to X Minus One.

There are only a few other authors that I’ve listened to as their audio books read by some actor. My alltime favorite has to be James Marsters and the Dresden File books by Jim Butcher. Those words got me through some very long shifts of very monotonous work.

I got (re)turned onto Podcasts in the past year or so. Via City of Heroes (my mmo of choice), came Secret World, written by Mercedes Lackey. (http://www.secretworldchronicle.com/) It’s great, I’d rather listen to any of that stuff than the inanities of the morning show or Drive home show.

(Besides, there are no rock stations in the town I am living in. They may claim to be, but they
aren’t. There’s another rant later on, all I can say is that streaming audio and podcasts are my savior.)

But the new media is the new way to go. These are the James Brown’s of the Podcasting world. The hardest working authors out there. Why? Because they do their own promotions for their works. They keep in touch with their listeners and their fan base. And these authors are working their ever living (insert body part here) off, and you know what? The fact that they love to write and do these stories just adds a wonderful yummy flavor to every moment of their works.

scott sigler – http://www.scottsigler.com/
I have become a junkie, which is what his fanbase call themselves. I’m still on Infected audiobook, Earthcore is next, but I want to space it out, so I have a reserve of podcasts to fall back on. Listener discretion is advised, not for the squeamish. But could be used as a gift to that squeamish relative you really don’t like. (Yes, I am a bastard.)

Mur Lafferty – http://murverse.com/
I should be writing – A must for any budding writer, family friendly podcast.
Playing for Keeps – Superhero’s and Villains, but not quite the way the stereotypes go. You can easily imagine her characters choosing a specific brand of cola from the childhood they had.

JC. Hutchins – http://jchutchins.net/
Can’t really comment on his stuff, I’ve heard that it’s really good. It is on my to listen to list.

The above three are the crowning jewels of podiobooks.com, go out buy a bigger mp3 player. Buy the books from their respective sites, its really good stuff.

And for the full family drives after the kid has finished her dance lesson
Decoder Ring Theater – Full drama cast with various genres. Find your favorite.
( http://decoderring.libsyn.com/ ) So far my favorite is a toss up between Red Panda and Black Jack Justice

(Gotta love http://podiobooks.com/ , they have donation links, so if you like it, drop off a few bucks, I believe their policy is up to 70 percent goes back to author. But if you really love their
stuff, go buy their books!)

But as for keeping up with all things geek, I have to go with Big Kev’s Geek Stuff.( http://www.bigkevsgeekstuff.com/ ) In jokes include playing a certain theme song from a Joss Whedon TV series whenver the show name is mentioned. I’m not so much with the action figure segment, even at times I’m thinking how much of a geek they are, and make me feel like I have a boring life. Oh well, still a good listen.

But this will never replace a book. I’m not saying that books are better, lets get that clear now.
There isn’t the same tactile experience, the smell of a library alone should be done as a perfume/deoderant… It’d be the number one seller for all the boffin’s out there, in the bar, trying to hook up with the throngs of singles, and then, there she was, and the smell of polished wood shelves and dewey decimal cards that gently wafted off her. (Some of you who think I’m a freak now, go right ahead, but I know there are a lot of people right now that are thinking that would be so sexy hot.)

I can foresee that the book will become a valued gift again, a printing with leatherbound. A
real investment into an experience, which is what all stories should be… whether it’s words in my
ear, or on a page.

So with that, I am planning my own serial series. What genre? I’m not going to specify, but it will
most likely include all of them. Sci-Fi golden age style, fantasy for richness, horror for the
creepout/disturbing level. I think this is more to not limit the options that my characters run into.

If I find a good groove, then I’ll start specifying the genre, or possibly do a genre per ‘season’. Here’s the general goal for this serial series, one post per week on the blog, one story taking up 4
or 8 posts. Planning for an entire year of posts. Sounds a bit intimidating, but I know I can do it,
if I get into a decent schedule.

Will these see the light of day? I’m not too sure. These will be submitted to a group of people for critiquing. And I am open to any/all opinions. The only setback is that with content changes. I won’t have to rewrite a novel, but a small detail could rewrite a whole series. Anyways, if anything, it will be a decent method to use as a writing treadmill. The fat will melt off, as I need to loose some of the weight of non-consistent writing habits.

Besides, it’s not like I post on a regular basis to this blog as it is. Wow, was that self depricating
or what… Dear blog, frownie face emoticon, my soul is a black pit of black-pityness of dark
emotions…I am teh suckzors… *snrk* Yeah, right.

While we are keeping it true, a quick flash from the meter…

I have been quit for 1 Year, 1 Month, 1 Week, 4 Days, 10 hours, 23 minutes.
I have saved $2,156.51 by not smoking 4,901 cigarettes.
I have saved 2 Weeks, 3 Days and 25 minutes of my life.
My Quit Date: 8/6/2007 9:20 AM

Had a major craving last week. Thought I was over that portion of the addiction. Seeing someone else smoke, and I wanted to smoke right along with them. Guess it was the stress from work piling up, needed a crutch or a release of stress. Found walking helped out. By the time I got home, I had another few chapters of Infected listened to. But I couldnt’ stand the smell of my clothes, so off they went and into the shower I went.

Will I podcast the serial series… hoo boy. I figure I can, but I have to get the writing skills up
to par. Not be afraid of that dreaded second draft of ripping everything down and objectively looking at the story and seeing the general tone and flavor. But as Mur, Scott, and JC mention in Episode 99 of ‘I should be writing’ ( http://isbw.murlafferty.com/podpress_trac/web/279/0/isbw_show099_080828.mp3 ) , they do recommend having the book done first, and have at least 4 to 5 podcasts before promoting the book.

Good advice, and words to plan and write about. I estimate if I want to get a good base going, it will be 2 years to go, then promote the hell outta my stuff. At least by that time, the new holographic home animation kit will be out, and I’ll be wondering what that next media will be for me to try my stories out on.

So current wish list is up on Amazon, and with any luck I should be able to get that home studio outfitted with the microphone, and sound buffer. Who knows maybe I could pimp myself out as a voice over actor in the meantime? Definitely have to source out a laptop, nothing too big on specs, just enough so I can write, listen to mp3 and watch the occasional video. Think I’m going to spec out either a low end 800 mhz + unit, or try out one of the MSI Wind or Asus EEE laptops. But until then,

I’m still here, and trying to write more,
Pike aka Pearce Kilgour

367 days

367 days. Not one cigarette.

Plenty of cravings triggered by work stress, pain in my shoulders and from body, social stress, the after meal treat, the boredom, the socializing with other smokers… the list goes on, and I intend to keep track of them. My past posts here and on the AS3 support group show it.

And I won’t forget, the cravings, the dreams, the rationalizations I tried to make. All of that subtle junkie behaviour that slides in. I won’t forget the lies that it created in my habits and thoughts. And the stepping down from one patch to the next, the nicotine withdrawl dreams, the morning habit of removing the one patch, slapping on a new one.

Each and every craving denied means I’m getting closer to being normal. The progress makes me feel better than when I was smoking. But is this a path to being normal? I don’t think so, it feels more like finding my control again.

(Then again, being normal is kind of overrated… it’s always the black sheep of the family, the roguish personality that gets remembered. Otherwise the only memorable normal person would be Mr. Rogers, and he was ultra-normal. Seriously, extra large bucket sized normal with a side of normal, with a take out bag of normal.)

When it gets right down to it, I’m not going to let a leafy vegetable control me. I’m quite sure in a battle of wits or stomping, I will win out. Does my nicotine addiction control me? Not as much as it used to, in so many different ways. I’m still fighting back for control. It’s still there, and probably will be for the rest of my life.

Have I kept up on my blog? No. Will I? Maybe, if I get time.

Have I started doing things I wouldn’t have done as a smoker? Yes.

Have I saved the money that I would have spent on cigs? No. Have I found new ways to spend that money? Hell yes. Less bills, more savings plans, better weekends and in general better food.

And my student loan is paid off too. Weird. I really can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a student loan… and even then, I was in high school.

Recently my hometown had it’s centennial. 100 years as a village. I went back, saw that not much had changed other than less people, people got older. Most of my high school class didn’t show up other than my old bodyguards (more on that in a seperate post/blog if I get enough material on it together). The school and town itself has come a long way. Air hockey and fooseball tables, a small cafeteria area. Not saying it’s a small town but this past year had a graduating class of 6.

And all of my past teachers have retired… scary thought. One of my past teachers voted me “the most likely to get a novel published” at my own graduation. I hope to think that I still have that in me, as I still have plenty of ideas to write, and I’m quite sure the publishers would like some more bird cage liner… errr…. submissions to read.

But my predisposition to stray off topic has still managed to keep hold… where was I? Oh yes, the 1 year done….

So what was I doing during that time when it rolled over 1 year? Was I watching my meter with baited breath? Nope, I was sleeping. It’s vacation time for the next week and a half. 2 weeks of video games, catching up on movies, reading books, and just generally geeking out. Besides going back to my hometown, thats about all the travelling I’ll be doing for a vacation. Besides, I have to get my geek on…

I can’t promise that I won’t take another cigarette in this lifetime. I can promise that I will try to stop myself in so many different ways if that situation arises. I do promise that I will laugh more and try and make others laugh more. Life is too short to not have any fun.

I can try and promise to post more to the support group but life comes up in so many different patterns and rhythms. Those who read this, are in my thoughts and equivalent of prayers/meditations, just remember, it does get better. And if not that then, try this one…

Pain shared is lessened, joy shared is increased. Thank you Mr. Robinson.

It has been 366 days without a cig, and today is looking pretty good.

This is my quit and I’m still here,
I have been quit for 1 Year, 1 Day, 1 hour, 12 minutes and 32 seconds (367 days).
I have saved $1,938.01 by not smoking 4,404 cigarettes.
I have saved 2 Weeks, 1 Day and 7 hours of my life.
My Quit Date: 8/6/2007 9:20 AM

Here’s what’s on my business card.

Seeker Of The Peace. Part Time Chandelier Cleaner. A Legend In His OWn Time. Oppressor Of Champions. Soldier of Fortune. World Traveller. All Round Good Guy. Progressive Time Traveller. International Lover. Casual Hero. Philosopher. Wars Fought, Bears Wrestled, Equations Solved, Virgins Enlightened, Revolutions Quelled, Tigers Castrated, Orgies Organized, Bars Quaffed Dry, Governments Overrun, Test Rockets Flown, Wives Tamed. Part time member of the Liquitarian Society of Saskatoon. (For proof of any of the listed abilities, please send 10 dollars to my paypal account, you may not get the proof, but I could use the money.)

Life is a waste of time.
Time is a waste of life
Get wasted all the time
And you’ll have the time of your life.

Day 202 of Quit

Life has thrown me a curveball lately, but by sheer luck I had the money in my account to cover some unexpected repairs on my car. Apparently a timing belt on a vehicle must be changed every 80’000 km’s, at least for the model of the car I own. This one lasted 191’000 km… and by more sheer luck the valves did not get bent after the engine failed to turn over when the belt finally went. Which would have meant a new engine in a 10 year old car.

What was not sheer luck is that the bill presented to me was almost equal to an entire paycheck. Also, it was never authorized for the repairs. The garage went ahead and replaced the timing belt. I can see that it is necessary to find out if the valves were bent or not… but doing this without any consent to do this to my legal goods? I could have contested it and most likely have a case for small claims court. But I shall say live and let live… but I am giving that garage all the advertising they do not want. How? Word of mouth.

That was last week, and previous to that there was other things that have come up that delayed me from posting up my half year quit from smokig… And another week of distractions before that which prevented this post.

Which is a good thing I suppose, the not posting and needing advice… I’m getting comfortable with not smoking. The junkie thinking comes, and it’s is easily identified and dismissed of, no matter what the temptation. I’ve thrown out the last box of nicotine patches as I don’t need them to get over those sudden cravings.

I should post more often and update my blog as well, maybe with the daily practice and posting of items will get the creative juices flowing… get rid of this indifferent attitude I have towards writing as of late. So many unfinished stories on the back burner…

What else has been going on? Bunk bed madness and replacing my daughters bed, she always wanted bunk beds, and then, when we finally got them set up, the in-laws purchased a mattress… that is not built for bunkbeds. 3 flights of stairs hauling the bunk beds up, then 3 flights down the stairs. I swear if I made an economical external elevator to attach to a balcony, I’d make a mint.

I’ve also had the strangest urge to go back and try and redo some lessons I had set up for me many moons ago in Animation Master. Perhaps this is a sign that I’m getting ready for a career change? Or just more of the ‘You should really finish soon what you put off 5 years ago’… time will tell and reveal all.

Fun stuff I’ve been watching as well…
Hilarious House of Frightenstein – Like a grim version of Sesame Street, it’s been popping up on the cable channels. Nostalgia that makes me smile, except they removed the music that they had in the show.

Across the Universe – Best musical I’ve seen in such a long time. A great blending of story and song, and it may have rekindled my love for the Beatles music.

Torchwood – A more adult Doctor Who with themes that regular broadcast television. The BBC do put out some good shows, luckily being in Canada, they occasionally show it on CBC. Further notes to see if I can dig up the broadcast of Karaoke/Cold Lazarus adaptation they did by Dennis Potter.

Doctor Who season 3, ramping up towards Russel Davies next season, I’m hoping someone else can step up to the plate for the series next… Joss Whedon or Neil Gaiman would be excellent for writing the series.

Muppets Season Two – Was watching this the other night, and the episode with Candice Bergan (spelling?) from Murphy Brown was on. Didn’t realize how many of the songs that were sung by my family when I was knee high to a grasshopper came from the Muppet show. Here I thought there was this long standing tradition of singing while doing the dishes, looks like it was just a ploy to distract me and remind me of the Muppet show at the same time. I should feel cheated, but anything Muppet related rocks.

And reading… White Night by Jim Butcher. The Dresden files books are a must read if you are into detectives… with a healthy dose of magic thrown in. The tv series they had on, was an extreme light version of the books.

“Y – The Last Man” is a must read for those who enjoy the golden age of sci-fi aka the introduction of a new science or technology and impact on humankind. In this series, something kills all males on the planet, with the exception of one man. Intelligently written, and researched out very smartly too. For example, Australia ends up with the largest naval fleet, because of the sheer number of women that were already in the navy prior to the Gendercide.

Queen and Country by Greg Rucka – Now being collected into a definitive version in trade paperback. If you enjoy Bond, you’ll like this, it’s a smarter spy series and not so much as Bond’s usual infiltrate and beat/kill the bad guy up. The agents have more depth to them, they have real life problems to deal with.

And video games, (insert sigh of content here) City of Heroes is still treating me quite well so I can get my RPG fix in. I also picked up Portal from Valve studios, a must have for the game player. For those who played… the cake is a lie. For those who don’t know, just smile, nod and back away slowly.

As for the celebratory posts and achievements, I may do something larger when it comes around to 1 year, but for right now, I’m taking it one day at a time, enjoying the moment to it’s fullest. So don’t be too surprised if I don’t post for a while, if I have something profound to write, I’ll post it up. Otherwise it will come across as so much impotent masturbation on a written scale. Then again… perhaps it won’t be if I keep up the habit of writing. Once again with that writers block/apathy attitude.

But otherwise I’ve been keeping myself busy, happily so. So where am I now?

I’m still here,

I have been quit for 6 Months, 2 Weeks, 5 Days, 1 hour and 54 minutes (203 days).
I have saved $1,072.25 by not smoking 2,233 cigarettes.
I have saved 1 Week, 18 hours and 5 minutes of my life.
My Quit Date: 8/6/2007 9:20 AM

P.S. Must update blog more often…

Day 82 – Rough Start

So, as of Monday, no more patch. The only nicotine like substance I am currently have is the dopamine my body naturally creates.

It is nice to be free of that patch, one less thing I have to remember or be dependant on, especially first thing in the morning… if you don’t know by now, I am not nor will I ever be a morning person.

As far as I’m concerned
– The worm should have stayed in bed
– Waking someone up unecessarily is justifiable means for homicide
– It will only be a good morning until 11:55am upon which it will be time for lunch.

Anyways, since monday, I have noticed that my right shoulder has been aching more, lower back feels tight, and I could probably break diamonds on my shoulders. All these aches and pains are telling me something… I was medicating myself with nicotine as a painkiller, not enough to totally mask the pain, but enough for me to make it go away.

And had an argument with the wife, it was a doozy. She finally got on my case about not going to the doctor. I reminded her that she forgot what she was going to promise me she would do when I would quit smoking. She still has fears that I will get cancer, as one of our friends was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year. He had been smoking for twice as long as I did and twice as much per day. I will wait for her to remember, but this really and absolutely confirms a few things.

I quit smoking for myself.

Some people prefer to live in fear, and nothing I do will change their minds.

(Insert segue here)

Rest of the week went smooth, I had my review at the job, they confirmed a lot for me as to where I am and how my job is going. There was nothing but praise for my efforts, and they handed me my job description for me to update. One page description got expanded to three. And if they ask me to cut any of the stuff out… I will refer to the people who I was training that were supposed to take over my responsibilities.

At this point you are probably going, huh?

Come with me and lets examine this nutshell. Doing job, got transferred over to an assembly job, train people to do former job while in assembly (which is more of a demotion, but they needed the people) … then get a split job between doing former job part time and assembly job part time, then back totally into former job… and more responsibilities of the same nature got thrown onto my plate as other people did not have time to do them.

So what’s the problem?

My contract was not updated. I was doing my former job for about 8 months, and still on my contract and paycheque the job title of ‘Assembler’ was still there.

So, once I get my new job description and pay rate, I’ll be making some more decisions. Stay with the current company which has larger mismanagement issues, or quit the job and find something else to go with. I don’t have to worry about the lack of jobs in my current environment. In fact, I could push a broom for 3 bucks more an hour.

There has been a lot of anti-propaganda that has been subtly filtered down from higher management on this as well. As in what kind of company would you prefer to work for… as far as I’m concerned if this is the way a third year employee is treated, I’m quite sure there are better employers I could be working for.

Then again, there are days where I could imagine myself working for myself. Entrepreneurialism! My biggest fear is that anything that I would do would not sell and I’d end up further behind with loans and the like. Had I an actual financial cushion, then it would be alright.

And as for the job interviews… I am reminded of the late great Mitch Hedburg.
“Where do you imagine yourself in 5 years?”
“Celebrating the five year anniversary of you asking me that question.”

And finally for this blog posting, I had my first smoking dream.

It was so vividly real, I was a passenger in a vehicle, I don’t even remember who was driving or where we were going, and in my head I thought ‘Fuck it.’ I automatically had guilt after one puff which somehow sucked back half of the cigarette.

There was that feeling of guilt throughout the rest of the dream, making deliveries for something or other.

But upon waking up, I still had some of that guilt, and then I realized.

It was just a dream.

Is this my unconcious mind trying to work out these things for me? Replacing in my head a source of painkiller to deal with all the stresses of the week? Or am I on my way to becoming a non-smoker… instead of an ex-smoker?

Frankly, in my opinion the dream is a larger milestone than any number that my meter is recording. If I can change my unconcious desires and hungers, then I will be on my way to being nothing related to smoking, as opposed to being a non-smoker/ex-smoker. Then again, I really don’t like labels, and have always been considered ‘slightly weird’, I can live with that, as my paycheque is not even anywhere near being ‘eccentric’.

I’m still here,

I have been quit for 2 Months, 3 Weeks, 4 hours, 19 minutes and 17 seconds (82 days). I have saved $433.90 by not smoking 986 cigarettes. I have saved 3 Days, 10 hours and 10 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 8/6/2007 9:20 AM.

Tomorrow will be 1000 cigarettes not smoked.

Day 54 – Transitions and changes

I stepped down from 2nd stage patches of 14 mg to the 7 mg base, and now I know what I’m going to have to expect when I get off the patches altogether.

My metabolism kicked in high again, the first couple of days its like I’m 17 years old again, eating just about every half hour. I can devour a twelve inch loaded sub with double meat thats about six inches round in just under five minutes, then look at the desserts, then look back at the other subs again. I do realize that it’s just my body adjusting to the lower levels from the patch, but my wife is beginning to worry. Oh yeah, and I know there is going to be a bunch of recovering non-smokers who are going to hate me.

I haven’t gained a pound. If anything, I’ve lost a little bit of weight.

For those who have met me in person, know that I am not in exactly pumped up fashion. There is not much there for me to loose, and when I do notice, I wonder where the hell it came off of.

Maybe it has to do with the hunger suppressants inherent in cigarettes. Doctors in the 50’s used to prescribe cigarettes to women as a method of diet control. Nicotine does cause a body to emit an enzyme that tells it ‘done and full, no more food, thanks’. So with the lower levels, it just feels like I’m hungrier, wanting more to devour. Maybe it has something to do with the change of season. I notice now that people around me are snacking more themselves… busy little squirrels stuffing their faces with french fries and other potato snacks. Getting ready to put that little extra fat on for the winter season, survival of the species and all.

And with that new appetite and metabolism, comes lower blood sugar levels. I thought I was going to fall off of my office chair today, then I realized, it was 2:00 and I had not ate lunch. Not by my decision, there was 5 high priority tickets to take care of. So, I worked through them head spinning and all, then devoured my sandwiches in about 4 to 7 bites. Felt a lot better after that.

First couple of days on the patch, I also had headaches as well. Lack of food causing that? Possibly. Could also be all of those lovely cell receptors getting ready to shut down to ‘non-smoking’ levels. I’m definitely going to have to stock up on migraine medication once I am off the patches.

My body is not built for heavy labor… lower back problems, inherent bowel problems, hernias run in the family… or as I like to call it ‘My body is built for making love, not war.’ I do know though that after 3 weeks on the last patch cycle my body stabilized out and I was eating normally.

Dreams are still vivid and bizarre. Great source of stories, in one of them, I’m a ghost hunter. Funny part is, I’m the ghost during prohibition years, running through moonshine breweries and hunting some X-Files type monster. I’ll throw the idea into the story jar, not enough backstory to flesh out a full short story, and just flimsy enough to get thrown out anyways.

And then, there is the other things… more realizations for my recovery to ‘normal-hood’.

I am an addict, unlike some though, my choice drug is cigarettes. I can have a drink, and set it aside, then not have a single drop for months even years. Kurt Cobain smoked and did heroin, made him less of a musician? Thought he butchered Bowie on the unplugged album, and I you can hear him slurring, think he just got off a heroin nod before recording. I can still do my job even though I have not had one cigarette in 54 days.

I’ve read in medical journals that nicotine is a harder drug to quit than heroin. And I can believe it, it’s a comfortable hazy cloak of lies and deception, it’s built on false hopes and a subtle crutch. It infiltrates your being, and replaces your cells reactions… to everything. The pleasure response which is built into our DNA gets turned off, as the nicotine totally overrides it, those parts of your cells shut down, they aren’t needed. And that psychologically you begin to replace the normal parts of pleasure that your body can produce, with the nicotine happily soaking your cells. You are brainwashing your responses on a soulful and cellular level.

It is a hazy cloak of lies and deception, it also comes with a lovely blindfold of self denial. You stitch it together with lost moments of padding down your pockets for a lighter, feeling a bit of annoyance when you don’t have one with you. The voyeuristic glances to behind the counter, seeing if they have ‘your’ brand. The cloth of self assured thoughts, ‘It helps me relax’, ‘It gives me time to think’, and ‘I like it’. It wraps around you, permeates you, until it controls your behavior. Look at it this way, a dried plant leaf soaked in chemicals, cut up and put into a paper tube is going to determine how you are going to spend five minutes of your life. I’d rather be looking at something beautiful for those five minutes.

Another part of my recovery is that I’m speaking the truth more… maybe that’s from trying to dump all the self-lies that I was feeding myself while I was smoking. I know people who are in their 90’s who smoke, not one bit of cancer… I can just have one more, I can afford to quit later… they don’t have any definitive proof that smoking causes cancer… I can’t smoke in public, but millions of cars out there each day are pumping out more toxins in the air than my single cigarette… there was only one statement that subconsciously I was not lying to myself in the last couple of months before my quit started.

I don’t like to smoke.

It got to the point, where I recognized that I was feeding the habit and my bodies response to it. I became annoyed because the cig was overruling what I wanted to do. I had to smoke before I could go do those other things.

I began hating the smoking process, but the addiction told me that it was necessary.

So I stopped smoking and used the patch. At that time, it was just ‘okay, this is just another quit.’ and I’ll be back smoking within a month or so… but now, if I truly want to become more than an addict, I’ll have to do more.

This week I couldn’t stand to be at my desk at first coffee break, so I put jacket and Tilley hat on, and went outside. With all the smokers. I made sure I was not in their path of smoke, as I now can’t stand the smell and was joking around with them. Sun was good, was actually warm for once, I wasn’t working, it’s the middle of the week, all is good… then I caught my hand.

It was reaching into my jacket for my cigarette pack.

I physically was going through the motions.

I almost smacked my hand when I stopped, but I did the smart thing, I took my mind off of actually doing the physical motion and analyzed what the hell I was doing. I came to the realization that by proxy I wanted to be part of the group. All the other apes were throwing rocks, so I went and was going to throw one too. Is wanting to be part of a group more important than my own health? Hell no. I’ll try again later and be social with them later on.

This current stage of my quit is just a transition and change, with the onset of fall, there comes a lot of that reflected all around me. The oranges, yellows and browns of the leaves. Neighborhood children who were toddling around in cartoon clad clothing are now sporting acne and awkward prepubescent bodies. I notice there is more grey hair at my temples, there is more lines around my wife’s eyes.

It’s all about change, water becomes stagnant and not healthy if it does not flow. If I do not take the water of my own life and flow, I will become like a pool of standing water. In order to make the transition from smoker to non-smoker to ex smoker to ‘nothing related to smoker or non-smoker’, I must change.

This is my last quit, and I’m still here,

I have not smoked in one month, three weeks, one day, 13 hours, 18 minutes and 7 seconds.
I have not smoked 642 cigarettes, saving $282.77.
I have got an additional 2 days, 5 hours, 30 minutes of my life saved.