Thursday, May 1, 2008

Can I do This?

A couple weeks ago I decided that today, May first, Beltane, I would quit smoking.

The decision was a long time in coming; I had for months been increasingly disgusted with the...general squalor that goes along with the practice: the dirt ashtrays, the smelly house, the odor that clings to your clothes and gets in them no matter what. I became obsessed with whether I smelled bad. I think this started when I sent a friend in a different state some of the clothes I had grown out of and she told me she had to wash them first to get the smoke smell out. I had never considered that I smelled, even though I could at once recognise a place that allowed smoking or another smoker, as if by some sixth sense. I guess it's just the odor.

I also had been noticing that my voice was growing increasingly hoarse and rough. This troubles me as I have been working on my voice and becoming a better singer for so long and have tried to get back to it in recent weeks. I knew that the cigarettes couldn't possibly be helping this.

So one day, quite out of the blue (we were in the frozen foods aisle of the grocery store) I announced to my husband, "I think I'm going to quit smoking on Beltane."

And here is it, Beltane. It's 1:43 p.m. and I feel like I can't get dressed because I haven't had my first cigarette yet. My usual practice has been to cruise the internet for a while (I call this "maintaining my correspondence"), have breakfast and my pills, and then play a casual game while smoking my first one before getting dressed. I have not done the last step. So I feel my morning routine is unfinished. When I think of going on to something else I think, "I need that smoke before I can move on!"

I am chewing gum. It does not help.

As I look at it, so much has revolved around the next cigarette. "I'll do my Pilates and then have a cigarette." "I'll have lunch and then have a cigarette." "I'll go for a walk and then have a cigarette." It's like they've been my reward for doing difficult stuff and now I don't have anything to reward myself with. This sucks. If I had more money I would go out and get my eyebrows waxed or get a manicure or something. But I don't have any money at all.

It doesn't help that the weather today just plain sucks. It's supposed to be spring, for Gods' sakes! It is NOT supposed to be snowing.

So at this point...I don;t know if I can do this. But I am keeping up the fight so far.

It is now 1:51 p.m.

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