Monday, June 05, 2006

This is gonna be hard

One of the biggest things recommended to people who are trying to quit smoking is to modify their activities to avoid triggering moments -- or to find an alternative for those triggering moments. Like if you smoke after meals, replace the smoking with something else -- like going for a walk, or shooting heroin.

Having dabbled with quitting on more than one occasion, I know I've got four primary triggers.

1. Eating
2. Drinking (as in booze, not just liquid in general)
3. Driving
4. Computering

The eating's easy enough to handle if I eat in small bursts -- the post-food cigarette cravings seem to come more powerfully after a big production of a meal. The drinking craving is a little bit tougher to deal with, but if I can keep myself from having a few drinks with another smoker for the next few weeks, that'll help enormously. The driving one is hardly an issue anymore -- because it was one of my strongest triggers, it was actually one of the earliest I dealt with in previous quitting attempts.

But the computering one. That one's going to be tough.

At work, I'm fine. Because there's work to do. There's stuff to keep me busy. There's things to focus on. And besides, I couldn't actually smoke at my computer at work, even if I wanted to.

But at home...

At home, I'm used to sitting at my computer, with a butt smouldering in the ashtray. And don't even get me started on how closely connected smoking and writing at this machine are.

I've known before, and know this time too, that it's dealing with *that* association that's going to be the most difficult.

By tomorrow morning, I'll have gone 24 hours with only a half-cigarette consumed. And the most important thing is this: I'll be sleeping with a patch on. That'll mean two things. First, I won't wake up tomorrow craving a cigarette. I'll wake up feeling fine and dandy, with all my nicotine levels exactly where they should be.

Also, if past performance is any indicator, it means I'll probably have some seriously messed up dreams tonight.


elise_on_life said...

So??? How'd you sleep? How do you feel this morning?

elise_on_life said...

And YAY for you for quitting! You are a quitter! You can do it!

elise_on_life said...

Meant in the most positive way possible, of course!!!

Todd said...

Didn't sleep so well, actually. Couldn't *get* to sleep first, in spite of the fact that I was tired from the absence of nicotine in my system. And once I got to sleep, I had another weird zombie dream. Not precisely the same on as before, but with very similar elements -- the aware that zombies were out there and could attack at any minute, so I'm attempting to stockpile weapons and ammunition to make sure I'll have enough to defend myself.

This is the closest thing I've ever come to a recurring dream. It really must mean something significant. I have a thought, but I'm saving that for a separate post.

Oh, and thanks for the "YAY" -- I can use all the positive reinforcement I can get my hands on right now :)

elise_on_life said...

Did you have your zombie dreams the last time you tried to quit? What was happening in your life the last time you had these dreams? (uh-oh, now you've got me analyzing!)

Todd said...

I was trying to remember that exact same thing. I'm inclined to think that yes, I was quitting at the time, but even if I wasn't it was probably enough on my mind to have been the inspiration to the dream.

What's *your* take on the interpretation? I bet it's about the same as mine.

elise_on_life said...

I noticed you wrote your dream interpretation in a new entry, but I haven't read it yet! I'll give you my take, then see if they're similar or not.

Your habit of smoking is the zombie, a deathly habit that will suck the life out of you. You are trying to get rid of this habit, and are preparing to wage battle against it. Your stockpiling of ammunition is your preparations against smoking. You know you have to prepare yourself to overcome the zombies/habit of smoking.