January 10, 2009

On balance

60 hours since my last cigarette. Two and a half days. That may not seem like a long time, but it's the longest I've gone without smoking in something like fourteen years. And I was pretty sure I'd be that disgusting old lady smoking through her stoma. So I'm impressed with me.

I started taking Chantix a week before I quit, which works by binding to the nicotine receptors in your brain or something equally creepy. This means you don't get the same pleasure from smoking as you normally do, since the feeble Chantix chemicals are suddenly doing the work that delightful, delightful nicotine used to do. When you do quit smoking, the feeble Chantix chemicals continue - ahem - stimulating your nicotine receptors, so you don't completely freak out at the sudden absence of your drug of choice.

Or at least I think that's how it works. My psychopharmacology skills are rusty. Or non-existent. Whatever.

I, of course, decided to spend my last week smoking trying to recapture the original joy of smoking by smoking MORE. I think I missed my true calling as a meth addict or crack whore, with that kind of attitude.

Where was I? Oh yeah, Chantix does have some side effects, most notably insomnia coupled with extraordinarily vivid dreams. Not nightmares or anything, just dreams so real I'm not sure I was dreaming at all. And what have I dreamed about? Updating Excel spreadsheets. A scheduling conflict with weekend plans. My subsconscious is incredibly lame. Why couldn't I dream about yarn? Or Han Solo? Or smoking, for that matter?

The other thing I've found really helpful is eating. Constantly. I really can't recommend this approach enough. Unfortunately, I've been kind of cock-blocked on my "eat constantly" master plan by a bit of oral surgery that reduced my food options to yogurt, mashed potatoes, pureed soups and the like. And once I got over the excitement of eating nothing but mashed potatoes for dinner (I do love me some mashed potatoes after all), this got really boring really fast.

Therein lay an important lesson for me. If I really think about it, I like food a lot more than I like smoking. And if I go back to smoking, I'm pretty much guaranteed to have another unpleasant medical procedure like this recent one. Likely a much worse procedure, in fact, that would likewise compromise my ability to eat, for much longer than the three or four days I'm chafing at right now.

So Reason Number 4,012 that I will not start smoking again: I'm choosing food instead.

I'm choosing a lifetime of eating crusty bread, hard cheese, pickles and broccoli. And jalapenos. And my beloved bacon. Crispy panini and toast with butter and honey. And vinegar and tabasco and salsa and lemon juice. Clover sprouts. Stuffed grape leaves. Chili cheese dogs. Pho. Thin-crust pizza. Chocolate-peanut butter ice cream. Nicoise olives. Falafel. Soba noodles. Steak bombs. Frites. Fresh corn and tomatoes and peaches... and fried chicken and ribs and collard greens.

And, and, and, and, and...

Who needs smoking when you've got all that?


Clumsy Knitter said...

Your post made me laugh out loud. I have recurring dreams of dirty bathrooms. At least you have a pharmacological excuse to blame your lame dreams on! ;-)

Jenny said...

Love it. Best reason ever. 'Cause eating is awesome and doesn't make you smell. And don't forget the beer. Beer is good, too.

Siercia said...

And from what I've heard, quitting smoking will make all your food taste even BETTER!

Keep up the good work!