Wednesday, May 25, 2005

(Don't) Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette

Where did he go, you ask. No where at all. I've been here all along.

The thing is, I stopped smoking last Saturday night. On the way home from The Deli Restaurant, I smoked the last cigarette in my pack, and decided to not buy another pack, at least for a while. So, for the past four days I've been focusing on keeping busy doing things that are more connected to not smoking than to smoking. I'm also taking Wellbutrin-XL, the medical version of Zyban. I've had a bottle in the medicine cabinet for over a year, a supply that I got from the VA before leaving New Hampshire. Now I'm taking it, two tablets a day. The claim is that it calms the edginess that goes with nicotine withdrawal, and seems to work that way for me.

Now I'm back at the Coffee Plantation, in my usual seat. I would typically get up about once every half hour, step outside, and suck one down.

The reason I mention this, beyond using it as an excuse for not writing, is to increase my motivation to stick with it. On the many occasions that I've stopped smoking before, I would backslide in a short time. My longest spell of not smoking was sometime in the 60's, when I quit for a year. Typically, though, I managed to stay off for only a few days, and on one occasion for three months.

I knew of and recognized the foolishness of smoking cigarettes from an early age. I can remember a discussion I had in the early 60's with a co-worker. We both agreed that smoking was bad for one's health, and that cigarettes were an expensive vice. Their price had recently risen to 50¢ a pack, and we both said that we'd quit if and when they reached a dollar. I lost track of him, so I don't know if he followed through, but I've recently been paying $2.95 a pack for Pall Mall's, a so-called economy brand now. It's pretty easy to buy cigarettes now here for between $4 and $5 a pack. I heard on TV the other night that cigarettes in New York City go for $7.50 a pack, or $75 a carton.

Anyhow, if you'd care to send some positive vibrations in my direction, I'll try to remain tuned in for them.

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