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    Tuesday, May 10, 2005
    Still Proud, But Still Floundering
    I slipped today. I went downstairs towards the end of the day. I bummed a cigarette off of a very nice guy on the street. And then I felt like shit.

    I was so fucking pissed. I felt weak. I felt so LOW. I pride myself on being relatively strong. If I could make it through 2004, a year when my mother thought she had MS, my grandmother died, I almost lost my entire family in one car accident and my grandparents house got blown down not once, but three times by hurricanes, then of course I could make it through not smoking.

    I didn't know then. Just three days ago. How hard nicotine withdrawl could be. The vice that felt like it was tightening around my chest. The completely unpredictable mood swings. The total loss of concentration. I coulsn't think about anything but how much I wanted to smoke.

    And then I did. And I felt terrible. I felt woozy, and sick to my stomach. I felt like a failure.

    I know now that it was just s lip up, but I am now back to the starting gate. I am starting to see the pros of weaning myself off the drug. I know this sounds like a rationalization. But cutting back from 10 cigarettes a day to just two (that's right I slipped again just now) is a HUGE drop off in my nicotine levels. I am proud that I made it as long as I did. And though I am dissapointed that I could not make it cold turkey, I now have a plan.

    Almost every single quitting resource I have been to tells you to set a date to quit. But before actually doing so, to keep a journal. A journal of each time I smoked and what I was feeling/doing when I did so. This helps you identify the times/reasons you smoke and lets you make contingency plans in advance of when those feelings come on.

    They also tell you to write down your reasons for quitting. To carry them in your wallet. So that every time you want to quit, you can look at it. so this isn't my wallet but here are the reasons.

    * I used to be able to sing. Like REALLY since. Fuck, I sang on the Lincoln Center Stage when I was a senior in college. I had a two octave range. I could hold a note for longer than two seconds. I could hit notes that weren't just alto level. I want that back.

    * I used to be able to exercise. I played softball for almost 15 years. I used to be able to run the bases without wheezing like a 60 year old. I could chase down a long fly ball without losing track of it because I had to cough. I could run suicides after a loss without my lungs feeling like they were going to jump out of my chest. I want that back too.

    * I used to have money. I used to not shell out $8 every two days. I want that back a LOT.

    * I used to not hide anything from my mother. When she asked what I was doing I wouldn't have to say "Oh I am just outside because my service doesn't work inside". When we talked she wouldn't cry because I was killing myself. I want her to be proud of me again.

    * I used to be able to enjoy the outdoors. I didn't equate fresh air with cigarettes. I didn't think "Gee it's so gorgeous outside, what would make this complete is a breath of cancer" I want that back too.

    * I used to be able to make it through things like movies, and long flights, plays, bus rides, and not get fidgety. I used to be able to enjoy things from start to finish without thinking when I could take a cigarette break.

    * I used to be free of this habit. I used to be free to do as I pleased. Cigarettes have taken that away from me. And I want it back.
    posted by FINY @ Tuesday, May 10, 2005  
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    About Me

    Name: FINY
    Home: New York, New York, United States
    About Me: Just a New England girl trying to make it in NYC. Email me at: soxfaninnyc [at] gmail [dot] com
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