Thursday, September 09, 2004 live...

Having some trouble with writing lately, as I move from the level one patches to the level two patches, and watch as my nicotine cravings rise accordingly. Writing and smoking have always gone hand in hand, which makes it tougher for me to write while trying to quit this filthy habit, particularly when the cravings are nipping at heels.

Broke down and phoned my therapist this afternoon. Convinced her to come by and have a cigarette with me. She left with me when she returned home, which I've almost finished. Will spark it up for the third time and finish it off before slapping on the patch that will, if all goes well, get me through tonight and into tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, if all goes well, there should be a new Stick Figure Drama, posted on time for a change. And, if I don't get around to it tonight, the next part of the King book cover dissection should be up by tomorrow too -- the Shining. This one's been slim pickings, I must admit. I don't care for many of the covers at all. I'm not sure if that's because of or in spite of the fact that I consider it to be his best novel.

Here's the thing with smoking and writing: Just now, when I finished that previous paragraph, I wanted to sit back and think for a moment. Think about what I had written, what I was going to write next, if I needed to write anything else or if I could have just ended it there. I needed to reflect on what I had written, and what I was about to write. And that's when my hand wants to reach for the ashtray. Just for a drag. Just to help me reflect.

God, if I didn't enjoy it so much, I'd hate being a smoker. I hate that I have to be a reformed smoker. I hate that I have to quit. But I also hate the idea of lung cancer and emphysema. Guess there's no winning in a battle like this.

Okay. I've written a bit, and the words are kinda flowing, and even though I've got to take the laundry out of the dryer in 15 minutes or, I think I'll tackle the next King Cover installment. And then go read a book or something.


turlough said...

doctor pat to the rescue,

just briefly answer the following questions and following doctor pats analysis, you will either stop smoking, full stop or continue to inhale deadly poisons.

1. Why do you want to stop smoking?

2. At the age of 31, which it seems you are, might you indulge in complex sexual acts with two 'intoxicating and pleasure giving' sixteen year old girls, (change to boy's if that is your preference) if they made known there desire for you?

3. Do you have children or want to have children?

4.Do you like the outdoor activites, if so, what?

5. Do you suffer from any of the following conditions, diagnosed or otherwise...depression, anxiety, stress, obesity or generally overweight, low sexual drive, concentration problems?

6. Marital status?

so, just answer the following and dr. pat will be of great importance in your final decision making process.

kind regards, turlough (on behalf of pat)

Todd said...

Okay, I'll bite -- figure any help is worthwhile. Can't hurt, can it?

1. It is, at the moment, for primarily financial reasons. I simply can not afford the habit any more. And the price of cigarettes is not going to go down -- it's just going to continue creeping up and up and up, putting them financially further out of reach with each price increase. Additionally, concerns over long-term health issues like cancer and emphysema *have* been on my mind lately.

2. Weird question, and one I'm unclear as to exactly how it relates to smoking, but the answer'd be no. Just a wee bit too young for me.

3. I have a step-daughter from a marriage that didn't work out. We still see each other with regularity, hanging out once a week during the school year, and when she's available during her more care-free summer-holiday months. As for a child of my own, I think I would like to eventually have an offspring, but it's not vital and I'd be okay without one. At least that's how I feel right now -- ask me again in five years.

4. I'm not strenuously outdoors-inclined. I like going for walks, I like camping and fishing though it's been years since I've given myself the opportunity to get away.

5. Depression, anxiety, stress, mildly overweight.

6. Married but separated. Waiting for an excuse to fill out the divorce papers.

turlough said...

ok here is dr. pat's verdict:

Now is not the time to give up smoking...

the following relate to your answers...

1. you are giving up for the wrong reason and therefore the driving committment is unable to deliver to it's potential

2. yes the question was a touch strange but it served its purpose... you are not willing to get invloved in 'intoxicating and pleasue giving' activities, which are potentially dangerous, because of your morals. yet you are willing to get invloved in 'intoxicating and pleaure giving' activities that are proven to be dangerous, like smoking: your morals become weak when applied to your physical self, yet hold up when there are others invloved (i.e. the girls, society values, risk of being caught, personal belief system)

3. if you come around to having a child of your own or indeed a regular relationship with a step-child, then smoking is probably one of the most selfish, damaging acts, for their future individually and the in the risk of prematurely losing a parent.

4. physically you are not ready to give as well as mentally (from answer 1). you need a detailed program to keep the days busy, active and oxygen induced. i.e. regular swimming, bike riding, gardening, walking must be introduced to your lifestyle, it passes the time, fast-tracks the lung cleaning, increases well-being, improves negavite connotation towards smoking, increases natural endorphins which can replace the craving for nicotine.

5. depression, anxiety, stress and a little overweight, can all be slowly removed by the above lifestyle changes. it is however a major change, driven by a force that stops at nothing to change.

6. another reason why you are not ready to quit...although i am assuming this due to a possible lack of love in your life (i am not judging, merely speculating)

dr. pat's plan...

get very real about your life. smoking is just one component of self destruction, depression (treated or not), stress and anxiety all add to make life easier to just sit at the t.v / computer, eat, smoke, masturbate, fantasise about ones importance and relevancy... forget it.

test your own self worth. You don't have to become a health nut or one of those idiots who pump weights in front of mirrors, nor do you have to see shrinks, therapists or anyone else. you just have to see yourself. timing is all important. fuck the patches, it comes from the willpower to change inside. if your willing to seriously test yourself and feel ready to make such a committment, get back to me. otherwise, well i don't want to be rude, but you know...

turlough in conversation with the great dr.pat.

Todd said...

While I'd agree that I'm giving up smoking for the wrong reasons, that doesn't mean that there is any other option at this point in time. If I can't afford a pack of cigarettes, then I can't afford a pack of cigarettes. Simple as that. And while I might be able to do it without a patch if my heart really was in it, my heart's not in it right now, and so the patch helps smooth over the rougher times.

I have to admit I was intrigued by the logic behind your questions, particularly the idea that quitting smoking should be part of a larger lifestyle change -- something I'll be keeping in mind in the weeks and months to come. I may not be doing it for the right reason right now. That doesn't mean I can't turn it into the right reason as I work my way through it.

turlough said...

well todd,

i still believe your better off buying know what i am talking about, you have pouch tobacco in the states? you know you roll your own, much cheaper with less chemicals, but still worthy in the cancer giving stakes...

that is what i am doing at the moment. yeah i know what you will think, hey you dipshit you said all those positive things with real meaning and conviction and there you are puffing away!

er, ahh, yes!

what i said basically applies to me, i just thought i'd offer you my plan on what it takes to give up.

i actually did it and stopped foe 18 months a few years ago. i was dreading it, thinking it would be impossible, but my conviction and mental willpower enabled me to do it rarther easily. i had a plan. i was taking time off work for a month, and planned my days, wake up, breakfast and out the door for a jog (started off doing about half a mile due to near heart failure but eventually was doing 4-5 miles a day) then come home shower (this was the best bit, the endorphins would be rushing through your body) then have as much water as i wanted, lots of fruit and went about my daily things, shopping, visiting, reading...then took a nice bike ride in the afternoons, and just enjoyed the evenings for whatever i felt like...except no going to the pub, for a long time! within 4 days i didn't actually want a smoke even if it was healthy and taste buds came alive, i noticed how smells became much more obvious (good and bad!) became significantly different, for the better. (the reason of the plan was also to lose weight, which included swimming every day. my rule was everyday i must do 2 sessions of something, swim, cycle, long walks, gym session (which i hated!)...BUT 2 EVERYDAY! i had plenty of time to do them and it is crucial to make time. i ended up going from 98 kilos (sorry i don't know what that is in pounds) to 80 kilos in three months. that's a huge change. if you don't have a whole lifestyle plan then your really taking three steps forward and two and a half backwards! like a lot of people just eat and eat and eat after they quit smoking. bad mistake. but it might work for some.

now unfortunaltly i am back to square one, where i was on that day almost 4 years ago. i have let myself go, back smoking, 99 kilos!,and without the luxury of time to start and see the plan through at the moment.
however at least i know what must be done and how to do it. i am working out a way to start it in late october which will be great, but hard. i know how hard it is to committ to it, never mind how hard it is to actually get out that door on the first morning and start running! but my god it is worth it, absolutley!

if your system works on the no-money theory, well good on you, but watch out for the over-compensation on the eating front! keep yourself busy and try to take up one new activity to compensate. tabletennis! walking! sex with your neighbour! something anything!

ok gotta go, i'm just avoiding doing an essay on the history of australian television audiences!

cheers. turlough

turlough said...

p.s doctor pat would not approve of the above reply, hence they are my personal views

p.p.s no, i am not suffering from schzophrinia (spelt correctly?)

p.p.p.s if you think i am a nutcase then i will divulge what i think is my 'private' weirdness / dark sexual turn on is public nudity, not that it is so weird, but i get into seeing pictures of ordinary people in the nude, not children! but just normal john and jane does with their clothes off doing normal things. is this a strange thing to tell you? perhaps but i tell you to comfort you in knowing that your talking to a relativly normal person who has little dirty thoughts like the rest of the world. now you will probably not reply!


Todd said...

My reply got too long to post as a follow-up comment. Reply has become an actual blog post. You can read it here if you're so inclined. Assuming you didn't see it already. Cheers!