Shade Bio

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Resolution: Never Smoke Cigarettes Again

Hello Otherbeasts! I made another stupid resolution! I decided to quit smoking again... except this time I can't fail because of my health and because I'll be 30 in 5 months. Join me, won't you?

"Cigarettes are linked to freedom even though they enslave." I've said that so many times over the course of being a smoker for a decade.

At 18 I began smoking as a freshman in college; to me it meant independence, freedom from parental jurisdiction, and the right to choose my own behavior. Smoking, as it turned out, became about enslavement, bondage, dependence, and robbed me of the ability to choose once I became addicted.

The world of Nicotine is a binding one. The only time I don't think about smoking a cigarette is when I'm actually smoking one - and then I'm usually involved in reading or writing so I'm unaware of the "indulgence" my body craves anyway - it's not until I am done with a cigarette that every thought becomes laced with anxiety about when my next "smoke break" will be or if I'll even have one.

Nicotine makes you a prisoner, manacled by a chain that could lift a steel gerter to a pocket-sized pack of paper, dried leaves, and cotton (essentially). I've decided to quit smoking - as I have so many times before - and this time I'm not going to fail (as I have so many times before); because of one simple reason: health.

But even now, only a day in - a true 12 hours without so much as a puff - both my body and my brain are trying to find any justifiable reason, any excuse, to smoke.
"One drag won't hurt you..."
"One set-back won't spoil the whole plan..."
"You could just treat tomorrow as a new quitting point..."
Even if it's only half, it's still better than a whole one," say the numerous voices in my head belonging to the Nicotine receptors in my brain as they begin to wake up and realize they haven't been fed.

It's literally like listening to a thousand voices all screaming, writhing, and demanding the same thing, like several thousand children in a simultaneous tantrum - how easy it could be to shut up all that damn noise by just giving them what they want.

But I haven't caved... not yet. Quitting smoking feels like I'm losing something or like I'm giving something up - something that maybe I need to find a replacement for - but then I realize that I wasn't born buck-naked, all pink-cheeked, with a cigarette hanging from my lips. So, in reality I'm actually gaining something, not losing it or giving it up.

Smoking was something I picked up - stupidly - as a dumb kid (okay, teenager) and I've held onto it for... until yesterday at midnight. It started as a rebellion and morphed into an addiction. I've broken a lot of hard addictions and habits: food, biting my nails, having to flip the light switch 3 times, energy drinks, sugar, etc... none so hard as Nicotine.

My biggest fear is that since this is a last ditch effort, a last resort - one that I've never tried in the past 10 years because I was never able to break the habit - to quit smoking to see if the seizures I have are/were caused by cigarettes/nicotine/rat poison/carbon monoxide/all other poisons in cigarettes. The thing is, my fear is this: that I will have quit smoking and find out the worst possible news my ears could hear, 'The cigarettes had nothing to do with your seizures, they're genetic, hereditary, and life-long.'

I could quit smoking and if I'm still having seizures... then I have to face the cold hard truth that it's without cure. See, if I never stop smoking cigarettes I can always have a scapegoat for my failing and faulty body instead of just bad genes in the luck of the draw that is my gene pool... especially since I just recently found out from my family ancestry/genealogy book that my Great Great Aunt Clara (my Great Grandfather's sister) had "convulsions" her entire life, was bedridden, and died at the age of 46. That's almost 15 years away for me. 15 years and 5 months. "And then I'll die," says my irrational fear before I punch it in the face.

But then again, that sounds like a semi-rational fight from the army of cranky Nicotine Monsters in my head. How am I supposed to fight an army? One by one? Hide from them? Flee? Go berserk and kill a bunch in one fell swoop?
I can't retreat. I can't give up. I can't flee.
My only options is to fight... to stand my ground as the yelling and screaming only continues and becomes louder, reverberating off the insides of my skull and echoing. I have to wait for that to pass... and right now it feels like it won't. Ever.

Even now I'm staring out onto my back porch, wistfully gazing at the bench, and fighting every single cell in my body that is telling me to walk out there and light one up. But who knows, maybe this "no smoking" thing will work out, maybe it will turn out to be the cause of my seizures... and what will I have lost for it? A bad habit? What will I gain? Health?

The way I see it... it's a win-win situation.
So you see, that's why I simply cannot fail.

Until Next Time,
<3 Shade