Operation Quit Smoking, Part Two
It’s been nine days since I had a cigarette, and I’d forgotten how weird it is to give up smoking.
I mean, obviously, it’s difficult. Just on a habitual level. I’ll finish up some milestone of words for the day and find myself reaching for a twenty deck which has inevitably fallen down the side of the sofa, and find nothing there but more cat hair than seems physically possible. There’s this idea that quitting cigarettes will send your appetite through the roof – I never found fags to do much to curb my appetite in the first place, but I found myself reaching for snacks more often just to replace that little reward buzz in my brain or fill the time because I’m bored. But all of that I expected – it was the dumptruck of emotions that drove to my front door and dumped itself straight on my lap.
I used cigarettes to basically shit on how I actually felt. Sad? Smoke. Annoyed? Smoke. Stressed? Smoke. Celebrating? Smoke. Because cigarettes aren’t a heavily mind-altering drug, I guess I never really credited them for taking the edge off what I was feeling. But I have found myself dealing with sliding up and down the emotional scale like I’m covered in lard and stuck on some nightmare version of It’s A Knockout. I’m a relatively emotional person anyway (as much as a British person can be), even if I have got quite a good grip on just bursting into tears when I see a seahorse giving birth or some shit, but I’ve found that intensified in the last week; I see a headline about Carrie Fisher and find myself choking back tears, or look at the cat and her little ears and have to restrain myself from running over there and cuddling her so tight she’ll never escape my overzealous love. It’s odd and I feel a little unwiedly.
But now I’m over the hump of a week, things are getting a little easier. I got a vape, which is helping hugely with that whole “not running out at eleven at night and buying all the fags the shop on the corner has to offer” thing I’ve got going on. I’m still in that stage where the novelty of not smoking and not feeling relentlessly like shit hasn’t worn off. This is, despite everything, the easy bit. Once the back-patting start of it all has worn off, I guess I’ll be facing a whole new set of challenges – but hopefully those challenges won’t include trying not to sob over my cat’s tiny paws.
Are you quitting smoking? Have you? What did you find helped, or how are you finding it this time around? Hit me up on Twitter or in the comments below.