Saturday, September 06, 2008

I'm a Believer

Second day of not smoking. I can't even give you the hourly count.

Because I don't care.

Seriously, it doesn't matter. I'm a non-smoker now. I have no desire, other than little psychological glimmers, to smoke. I have no physical withdrawl symptoms. I'm free.

This is not the first time I've quit. This is the fourth.

The first time I was 16. I was in the middle of my second year at military school. My first year, smoking was encouraged. My second year, it became illegal. They hooked us, and then took our drugs away. The school's solution was to put us all on Nicorette gum. 1987 Nicorette gum. It was like chewing a sockfull of wet cigarette butts with a sprig of regurgitated mint.

We smoked on the sly.

So, when my tongue started falling apart, it was a month before I gathered the courage to talk to the school doc. I quit smoking for that month, and it was terrible. I thought I had tongue cancer, and they'd find out I'd been smoking, and I'd get kicked out, or at least stripped of rank and doomed to dig ditches on my weekends. (By then I had an established weekly trip to Mexico, I couldn't blow that...) It turned out to be a throat infection. I was busted, but the doc was kinda my friend, and he didn't turn me in. As soon as my tongue cleared up, I went back to smoking out the windows, and smoking freely off-base.

The second time I quit smoking, I was 30. I quit for Terri, my wife, who was at that time my new girlfriend. She didn't date smokers. So, in the middle of a weekend seminar I was teaching, while giving readings after classes, and talking to Terri all night on the phone, I quit smoking. I'm sure I was insane, but I was there as a psychic, so I think no one noticed. A few clients did notice that I fell asleep and started mumbling during their readings, but actually I received stellar information for them because my brain was sleeping while my mind wandered for them. At any rate, it was weird, and hard, and my hands felt big, but I did it for love.

I started smoking again about a month later, when I missed my two-year-old Caspian too much, and custody was an issue, and things were new and hard, and I fell back to it. I'd always wanted to smoke all along, anyway.

The third time I quit was recently. I tried to use the patch. The whole time was a countdown, or a countup, really. This many minutes without a smoke. This accomplishment without a smoke... I didn't last a week. I wanted to smoke and smoke and smoke. My hands felt big, my head spun, I was sick, needy, jonesy, all of it. I caved as soon as I quit.

This time is so different.

I ran the gauntlet yesterday. I was exposed to nearly every smoking trigger I have. I had four cavities filled, I was around smokers, I had crying kids, I drove the car, I ate, I went on walks, I drank coffee on the porch, I wrote, I did all the things that normally would have driven me insane for smoking.

I had a dream this morning that I accidentally smoked. In my dream, I lit a smoke, put it to my lips, and took a drag without thinking. When I realized what I'd done, I felt so robbed. I awoke, and thought, "Phew! Glad that was a dream. I don't smoke now."

And my first thought when I woke-up for the day was, "I don't smoke now."

I'm not bothered by it at all.

I think about having a smoke, like when I get a cup of coffee, but then all I have to do is think, "I don't smoke now." And that's it.

No cravings. My body feels normal. I feel good.

I already taste and smell things better. That's weird, too, it usually takes a couple of weeks for me to notice.

Chantix rules. It absolutely works. I have absolutely no physical cravings, and when I have the idea that I should smoke, it withers with a thought.

I sorta can't belive it.

I absolutely recommend it.

I don't smoke now.


Blogger Gay Degani said...

Bravo YOU! However you're doing it, it's totally cool. So proud of you. But keep it up and an eye out for the sneaky squiggles. If you get 'em, call me. You got my number.

1:00 PM  
Blogger K.C. Ball said...

Congrats, Kevin. You are the man!

BTW, the thought of you in military school sends me into fits of almost uncontrollable giggles. I have my entertainment for the evening. ;D

2:42 PM  
Anonymous M.Sherlock said...

I wouldnt laugh KC...Kevin is pretty badarse when he wants to be.

And you can take that from a weightlifting metal bassist..(we eat orphans for breakfast, rawr)

Anyhow...You rule Kevin! Its people like you who are inspiration to anyone quitting smoking.

and its dont smoke, you are Kevin Shamel:- non-smoker

6:16 AM  
Blogger K.C. Ball said...

Michael, I was a corrections officer for four years in Florida; I know bad ass. And the thought of Kevin in military school still makes me giggle. They probably still don't know what hit them. ;D

6:57 AM  
Anonymous M. "wants to be as scary as KC" Sherlock said...

Yeah....that job suits you....

8:08 AM  
Blogger Shameless said...

I think we're all still picking up the pieces from my stint at military school.

I wasn't nearly as bad-arse when I got there as I was when I left. And I'm not nearly as bad-arse as your typical prisoner.

But I'm not smoking. Still.

9:09 AM  

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