Your opinions mean nothing to me….Daddy!

Well this morning I woke and I didn’t really have any cravings. At long last it seems the cravings have diminished to just a slight worry rather than mind-bending anxiety. It’s taken nearly two months to get here. I was starting to run out of things to take my mind off smoking however I have discovered a great distraction that I think I could market and eventually sell as a quit smoking aid. My youngest son! I’m pretty sure he asks lots of questions as part of a strategy of being deliberately annoying. So I’ve started to listen to him and play him at his own game. It became apparent very early on that he didn’t care about any of the answers I gave to his relentless queries about animals, drinks, the weather, other children’s parents, food, gravity, the solar system. I’m pretty sure he sees the barrage of questions as a form of antagonistic sport. But I didn’t let him know how irritating I was finding it all. In fact the whole disturbing interaction is great for taking my mind off my anxiety.

The trick is in realizing that these questions are not a natural consequence of innocent childish curiosity. My son is not in any way interested in the world or my comments and opinions about it. He just wants to do my head in and suck it dry like a tiny parasite. I asked him if he was a parasite and he replied “What’s a parasite? Is it like a parachute? Or is it more like a parrot? Do parrots live in trees? Is wood from Trees? Are trees a type of building?”

I gave up playing his game. I’m pretty sure he can keep this shit going longer than I can stay sober!

That nagging feeling…

Well I’m now 6 weeks smoke free. The anxiety had subsided until this morning when I awoke with that terrible feeling that I’ve forgotten something really bloody important! On the way to work I popped into the 24 hour garage thinking, what the hell is it I’ve forgotten?!?!? I felt that feeling of anxious déjà vu that a 24 hour garage had some significance. I glanced at a cheap bunch of flowers wilting in a bucket and felt a sort of jolt in my stomach. Was the car due its service? I went into the supermarket to pick up my daily meal deal where I was immediately met with an array of Easter Eggs meticulously arranged in a giant pyramid. I’m pretty sure it’s not Easter yet so I haven’t forgotten that as it’s not quite time to remember. I’ll wait for that one until it’s time to forget until the last minute.

I’m pretty sure giving up smoking has affected my memory somewhat. Before I gave up I had a strict routine of buying fags first thing in the morning then once I had my fix my mind would be reeling and double checking everything so no one could accuse me of only ever thinking about myself. Since giving up smoking I am so preoccupied with not smoking that I seem to forget a lot lately. And why is there a giant bouquet of red roses in reception? This is a very strange day. Oh, and I see Barbara in accounts has relapsed on the milk tray again. Seems I’m not the only one struggling with New Year’s resolutions today.

Friday the 13th!

Normally Fridays are a pleasant day for me as I drift peacefully toward the weekend. However, I’m now somewhat nervous about them, particularly today as it’s Friday the 13th and coincidentally my 13th smoke free day. These sort of coincidences are rather ominous. Last Friday I managed to dodge going to the pub and made up a lame excuse as to why I won’t be drinking with my long term friends. They have pretty much ostracized me since and have treated me like a dangerous non-conformist or some kind of weird freak. When asked what the **** else is there to do on a Friday night I told them I watched TV. It’s not as though I am practicing the ‘Dark Arts’ I don’t summon evil spirits or open portals to evil dimensions. But this made me realize that I really need a hobby. Not one that just fills up time but one that I actually enjoy. In the past I can list my hobbies they total two. Drinking and smoking.

Some guy at work plays that fantasy battle game Warhammer claiming it’s a serious military simulation. He regularly spends his Saturday mornings at the local Games Workshop where he can be seen painting tiny metal balrogs with a group of children, he claims Warhammer is not a hobby, it’s serious and the fantasy context does not appeal to him. The game could represent any theatre of war – it just happens to be populated by highly detailed miniature orcs with hand-painted banners. I try to give him a wide berth.

Then there’s Paul AKA ‘Mr Motivator’ at the office (every office has one), always keen to tell you about their weekend exploits doing things like rock climbing, mountain biking or naked Grizzly Bear wrestling. He’s always telling me about his satisfying weekends of fear and physical discomfort. I can’t believe anyone can enjoy getting up at 6am on a Saturday just so they can drive several hundred miles to haul themselves up a cold, wet, vertical surface. Spending hours checking ropes, nervously looking for things to grab onto, feeling the tendons in their fingers stretch to breaking point…sounds great. I made the mistake of asking him what he enjoys most about it all, he replied – “It’s all good. When you reach the top you get an awesome feeling of still being alive. And your climbing companions will share that feeling, if they are also still alive.”

Do people really do this sort of thing every weekend?

Nine days in and I buckled!

Nine days in and I gave in, not to smoking or drinking but to nicotine gum and some other fancy gadgets! I was having the weekend from hell. I declined to go down the pub as drinking goes hand in hand with smoking. There was nothing else for it, I had to go to the chemist and buy some nicotine replacement gear. I got gum, patches and two types of spray one of which you stick up your nose and wow was it expensive!

Anyway, I’m going to the stop smoking service as they will prescribe me this stuff rather than having to take out a payday loan to cover the costs. I’m pretty sure I spent what I saved last week on chewing gum, patches and spray etc and I’m using that up pretty damn quick. My morning routine now is rather than get out of bed and have a fag on the toilet, I reach for the spray which gives me a pretty instant hit then it’s some nicotine chewing gum for breakfast which I munch on in the shower. I guess that’s one great thing about giving up smoking, you can get your nicotine fix in the shower! Winning!

The weekend was tough but I made it. Having refused to go down the boozer I was left with a clear head on Saturday morning. This is quite a novelty for me and the extra time I had on my hands was unexpected. I even opted to walk to the shops for my nicotine stuff and wow my head was spinning, I thought I was going to pass out. The pharmacist reassured me that this was also a side effect of quitting and not a brain aneurysm and I didn’t need the air ambulance.

I even went shopping for boring stuff, normally the wife does all that online these days. I never realized just how much time could be spent in a supermarket when you have no intention of buying anything much. My wife asked why I took so long and only returned with a loaf of bread, some crisps and a bulk bag of tangfastics. I explained that I spent an hour in the wine aisle looking at the back of bottles in a desperate attempt to look sophisticated. I read a load of complete nonsense about woody undertones that made me feel both strangely inadequate and incredibly irritated. She looked at the family multi-pack of monster munch I had bought and laughed.