Hip hip, Hooray! Monday was a big day all round, it was not only Jesus birthday / death day / risen day, but it was also my one month smoke free birthday! The longest I have been without a cigarette in years. If I’m being honest, I still hate it, I still want to run down the corner shop and drop a handful of Pesos on the counter while screaming “I don’t give a fuck which brand, just give me something that makes smoke!”.
But, I haven’t, and I wont. In for a penny as they say. I have told myself three months and then see how you feel. At this point, the one month mark, I undeniably feel a lot better physically (which I’ll get to shortly) and despite the above mentioned statement, mentally too.
I have been quite surprised at the severity of the withdrawal symptoms on my mind. When I was still chuffing down cigarettes like M&M’s, each day I could wheeze my way through a workout at the gym, write few chapters of my book, write a post for this blog, critique one of Sarah’s posts, make a 3D model or two and design a website.
When I quit smoking, it was like all motivation just went out the window. I could barely drag myself off the bed and away from Friends and Scrubs reruns most days. Every time I did anything, it just reminded me of how much I wanted a smoke and sent me into a spiral of wah wah poor me.
I am happy to say though that now, one month on, things are most definitely getting better. I am starting to want to do stuff again. I am still lacking a lot of inspiration and am yet to continue working on the book, but I am creating and designing things again, and weirdly enough, I have this compelling urge to go out and do stuff. A lot more so than in my pre-quitting days (this is unusual for me ’cause I’m usually so lazy, maybe it really was the smokes making me feel lethargic).
I kind of feel like I have been in the middle of a hurricane, and I am slowly working my way to its outer edges. I can feel it fading and almost see the sun poking through in the distance. I’m still getting rained on, and occasionally a massive gust rises up and makes me want to punch it in its smoke free face, but in all, it is passing.
Cancer Man Moves In
Strangely enough it seems we have a new neighbor in our block of flats. I haven’t seen him, but I know he’s there from his loud hacking cancerous seeming cough which echos through our window throughout the day. I say cancerous because our adjacent bathroom window has started letting in the unmistakable smell of cigarette smoke and because pre, post and during the cough he sounds like he is about to keel over. I don’t believe in God, but if I did I would say he sent this hideously grating cough and its associated smokey smell to remind me to keep on keeping on. Thanks God, you do some inexplicably stupid shit, but this one makes sense.
So how does one celebrate a month of being smoke free, one hits the gym! ( Jeepers, when did my celebrations go from all night coke binges to early morning gym sessions?). I decided that the best way to remind myself that things are changing, was to go to the gym and really crank it, put my lungs though the sort of hell that would have had them in a lung coma pre non-smoker days. I decided to take on….The Stair Master!
When I started at the gym about a month and a half ago, I was still smoking, and it is now obvious how detrimental it was. My first attempt on the Stair Master was dismal. So dismal I covered the display so that my nosy neighbors couldn’t see how pathetic my attempts were. I jumped on and about 3 minutes and ten floors later I stumbled off, wheezing and panting with a river of sweat flowing from every pore. It was disturbing. Then I went home and had a smoke.
As the weeks have gone by I have kept at it. I had very slowly worked up to twenty stories and was kind of stuck there. Then all of a sudden two weeks ago I jumped to forty floors, then two days later it was sixty. A few more days and it was eighty. Then today, my first gym session after the 1 month smoke free mark, I decided to go for the hungee, the big one oh-oh.
I climbed upon the dark skinned beast, straddling its hard exoskeleton in an almost sexual embrace. Then the staff asked me to stop and I put my clothes back on, mounted it the way one usually mounts a Stair Master, threw on a bit of Skrillex (best workout music the world has ever known), and made it my bitch.
One hundred floors! No stopping or slowing down!
I know what you’re thinking. That’s Gangsta (sigh, I never was the coolest guy on Earth, but when did the Stair Master become Gangsta?). Sure my lungs struggled to pump oxygen to my extremities, and yes my legs burned like my blood had been replaced by acid. But I did it, one hundred floors. Something I know I could not have done before quitting smoking.
Just Keep Keeping On
I’m not completely there yet, I have come a long way in the past month as I’m sure Sarah would tell you. I still crave like crazy sometimes, I am still eating so much that my weight is actually going up despite the intense workouts five times a week (not just fat though, I am now the proud owner of some pretty impressive glutes). I still haven’t gotten back into my book which is tough because I was loving writing it, but for the most part the dark days are gone.
The next few steps should be easier than the first few. I just have to put down the cheesy poofs and caramelized popcorn. I need get out there and find something I can enjoy as much as I enjoyed smoking. I was thinking maybe heroin?