Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Unbearable Shitness of Everything

I have been very quiet lately. Apart from passing comment on my favourite blogs (you know who you are and your good humour has kept me sane - thank you) or a couple of one-line blogposts I've done very little to show my presence on here or anywhere. I've never been a particularly regular or frequent poster on this blog but I've tried to keep it going as I always think I might have something useful to say just around the corner.

The reason? My ability to concentrate on anything for more than about one minute has been completely destroyed. I've been a lifelong smoker and a month ago I stopped. I'd been building up to it in the preceding month and finally stopped for good on 13th September. I stopped about six years ago for about three months and somehow managed to start again. It was time to try again. I've had a few brief relapses in the last month but to all intents and purposes, and relative to the amount I smoked before, I've stopped.

Has anyone out there ever tried to give up smoking? It's fucking horrible. You spend every waking moment with a gnawing empty feeling in every part of your body. Add to this a constant headache (occasionally throbbing), relentless hunger, irritation, mood swings, disturbed sleep patterns, inability to concentrate and host of other crap.

Do you know what it's like to think, every two to three minutes of your waking day, of something you'd like to do, and then have to tell yourself that you cannot do it. I reckon I think about having a cigarette, and then denying myself that cigarette, several hundred times a day.

I've never been a heavy smoker but I've always been a regular smoker. I've been lucky I suppose. Smoking has never appeared to have any effect on my health. Yes I know, the consequences of smoking creep up on you slowly without you noticing but god it was good.

I enjoyed smoking. It allowed me to slow down, to pause for thought, and moments of quiet reflection are not, on the whole, a bad thing. Just because I enjoyed a smoke at the same time was just my way of getting through the day. I often think the world would be a better place if people had a compulsory 10 minute break from whatever thay are doing every few hours.

I absolutely understand people who dislike smoking. I completely accept a smoking ban in pubs, restaurants offices etc. I find it perfectly understandable that my smoking might be distateful to other people. Smoking doesn't make sense and I know it, but it's a personal choice and I choose (chose?) to do it.

What are the plus points of not smoking? They are precious few and hard to find. I get no pleasure from people complimenting me on how well I have done in the last month as quitting has not made me feel any better in ANY WAY AT ALL. I don't really respond to the "Well done" type of motivation any more than people telling me I shouldn't smoke motivated me to want to stop in the first place. I find all that a little irritating which is rather ungrateful of me but that's how my mind works on some things. I like to reach decisions on my own terms and not because of what other people expect of me.

Healthwise, for the most part I feel exactly the same except for one thing - I have gained 10kg in the last six weeks and I now look like Jabba The Hut. That's actually quite an achievement I suppose but not something I want to repeat over the next six weeks. I get no satisfaction from having stopped because I know having a cigarette would make me feel so good RIGHT NOW. Yes, RIGHT NOW.

I am getting nothing done at work. Either I have a compassionate employer who notices I'm somewhat off the pace recently and is giving me the benefit of the doubt...or I never did anything of use there and my whole career so far has been a sham. Which is worse? I really don't know.

So that's why I've been quiet. I'll try and get back into this but when you can't keep your mind on the same thing for more than a minute it's bloody difficult.


Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you are going through. I was smoking fulltime for 2 years - like 2 packs of Dunhill red daily. I began and ended each day with cigs. Then one day in April 09, after smoking up about 60 cigs the day before, I told myself enough is enough, no more. It was the best decision of my life but also the most difficult. In many ways it was a sacrifice because I enjoyed smoking. I had crazy bouts of nicotine craving after that. Sometimes I couldnt think straight for the life of me and sometimes I just spaced out, thinking about nothing all. Attention span was zero. Always moody and disturbed. Gradually with real hard work, the cravings went away. Going back to exercising helped to make a huge difference. Now I can say that I am good. Every now and then, when I am out and someone is blowing smoke at my direction, I am reminded of the comfort it had once offered me. Tempting. I think a hungry vampire must feel the same way about human blood. But I wouldnt go back to that again.

nursemyra said...

you only live once..... (take that any way you like nick)

Terra Shield said...

I don't smoke, but I can imagine what it could be like giving up something you've been so used to doing.

Hope the withdrawal symptoms ease up soon!

King of Scurf said...

Anonymous:I can relate to everything you say about giving up. I'm impressed you got through it and how you can say with confidence you won't go back.

nursemyra: Wise words but sometimes easy to forget. Thank you.

Terra: So do I or I will have to buy a lot of new clothes.

nursemyra said...

My partner dies from colon cancer that had metastasized to his lungs so I know the agony of watching someone die while struggling for breath.

However, I've had several elderly patients with multiple health problems that do not include lung disease and I have willingly walked to the nearest shop and purchased cigarettes for them when they have been too incapacitated to do so. Too many of them say it's one of the few pleasures they have left so who am I to deny them that?

I've never smoked yet both my sons do and I HATE it. I NEVER want to watch someone I love die in that way again. But Nick it is your choice and to quote another tired old phrase you could be hit by a bus tomorrow.

Do what you really have/want to. You've got my support either way.

sabrina said...

Luv i know it must be absolute shite what you're going thru right now but can i just say how proud i am of you!!!! I mean it takes a person of such strenght to give up on smoking so well done!!!!! Really!!! Bravo!!!

Maybe you should start getting inked (if u haven't already)'s supposed to be quite cathartic :)