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Insurmountable mountains.... - Paint It Black
Living the American dream one heartbreaking piece at a time
Insurmountable mountains....
You know what the hardest part about quitting smoking is? You have to want to quit smoking. I have no such desire... I enjoy taking two or three breaks a day and walking outside to enjoy the weather (or walking down to the smoker's lounge if the weather is too wet or cold). For one thing I get to see people, folks from the company as well as the other companies that have offices in this building. Social interaction outside of those folks immediately adjacent to my cubicle is a major plus in my workday. Second, it offers me a chance to sit down and clear my thoughts... I can find my center again, refocus on the tasks at hand and tune out the various pieces of background noise that generally threaten to overwhelm me several times throughout my workday. Third, well, I just like smoking. I know it sounds weird but, well, it's the truth. There's just something soothing about it for me even though I know I'm increasing my risk for cancer, heart disease, asthma and any other number of unpleasant ailments.

Oh yeah, guess what's the second biggest hurdle to quitting? You positively must stay away from your smoking buddies. If you're around other people who are smoking the temptation is almost always going to be far too great to bum "just one last smoke." That "last smoke" kicks the craving back into high gear and the next thing you know you're down at the local White Hen selling your soul to the Marlboro Man just so you can get the last carton of non filtered coffin-nail goodness that the store has.

There is also willpower to be taken into consideration. Conquering an addiction is, in part, about willpower. I need to exert control over this habit because, well, it's killing me. These last few days I've been smoking up a storm and let me tell you, I can feel it something fierce. My lungs have a dull burning sensation and my stomach has been turning low, lazy loops over and over again. I've "over smoked" before in the past, all at peak stress points, so I know for certain that is exactly what the problem is this time. Going through a pack and a half a day is just ridiculous -- it needed to stop. So I've put my foot down, this foolishness ends here and now. Willpower isn't all I need, though. I refer to my opening statement about needing to honestly want to kick the habit. You have to have a genuine desire to quit the habit. At first glance you might think those two are one and the same, but the more you think about it the more you see that they really aren't the same at all. You can will yourself to stay home over the weekend and study for the big exam on Monday... but you desire to be out with your friends, boozing it up and partying. That conflicting desire will, if you're not careful, either grind down your resolve to study and ultimately remove any value from your studying... or it might just flat-out break you and send you down to the nearest night club to dance your evening away. You see the point I'm driving at here? Besides having the strength to turn down my friends and coworkers when they stop by and say, "Hey, want to go grab a quick puff?" I have to want to turn them down. Right now I definitely have that desire because of how miserable I feel -- but will that desire wane over the next few weeks? I hope not.

It's a tough thing, that.

Am I going completely granola? No, I'm not. I won't be out jogging three miles every morning, eating free-range kelp leaves for every meal and drinking sodium-free mineral water every time I turn around. Frankly I was never that entranced by the lifestyle of Jim Fix, and I have no desire to lead it myself (I'll remind you that Jim, for all his babbling about a healthy lifestyle dropped dead of a heart attack one day while he was out running). I just want to get rid of one habit that I know is making me positively miserable right now. Going off the smokes completely cold-turkey isn't going to help make me feel much better in a very fast period of time, but all in all it's better for me because I'll just deal with the withdrawal symptoms and then move on.

On a completely different and non-health-related note, I spoke with the vet's office this morning at around 9:45. The good news is that the vet is going to release Ra to me this evening when I get over there from work. The bad news is that it sounds like I have to keep waiting for the biopsy results. I don't know yet if he's eaten, if he's been sick since the operation or if I have to start medicating him for something. From what I was told on the phone I will be given all the details and instructions I need once I arrive there and finish paying off my bill. This leaves me feeling a little better because I know I can bring my cat home, but I still don't have any answers as to why he's sick and what we're going to do about it. To give an old axiom a turn, the suspense is killing me.

Oh, by the by, say hi to neuracnu, the most recent person I know from the online world to pick up the LiveJournal meme.

Current Mood: okay okay

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neuracnu From: neuracnu Date: November 28th, 2001 08:23 am (UTC) (Link)
You just hit the one main thing I've always hated about smoking - the way it's rewarded at the workplace. Can non-smokers take 5-10 minute breaks every hour or two to stand outside with their buddies and shoot the shit? Hell no, we get yelled at for being lazy. But if you're smoking, it's ok. What the hell's the deal with that?

It's also a fast track to promotions. If you're boss smokes, then you get that extra bit of social time kiss ass while outside sucking a butt. Drives me nuts.
feren From: feren Date: November 28th, 2001 10:45 am (UTC) (Link)

Smoking breaks?

We get 5-10 minute breaks because YOU PEOPLE WON'T LET US SMOKE AT OUR DESKS ANYMORE!

*ahems and grins*

Seriously, though... a bit of background on my company: until moving into the new building (and all the "clean air" acts were passed just after that) every desk came equipped with an ashtray. People used to smoke at their desks, and while they smoked they kept on working. I've come in on weekends when nobody was here to get certain tasks done, and smoked at my desk. People have no problem continuing to be productive and would love to do so, just as long as they can get their nicotine fix! I mean I can hold a cigarette between my lips and configure Cisco routers without a problem, although I still can't walk and chew gum. The reason people get what boils down to company-sanctioned 10 minute breaks is because of this affinity folks have for "clean air" and the fact the company is trying to keep the peace between the two factions. ;) I honestly think that for some people it's the exact opposite for me... having to stop to go hit up their craving breaks their train of concentration and then they have to find it again after they come back to their desk, something that would never happen if they weren't whisked away to some dingy hole in the basement of the building.

But yes, I do understand where you're coming from about those breaks because I didn't smoke many a year ago, and I got annoyed when everyone else would just drop what they were doing and head out for ten minutes to catch a few puffs. I do have to say that I'd never thought of the whole "using smoking time to fast track the career" thing before, but you've got an interesting point there.

Ah well. It's a multifaceted problem that'll never be resolved to anybody's satisfaction.
calisi From: calisi Date: November 28th, 2001 06:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh yeah, guess what's the second biggest hurdle to quitting? You positively must stay away from your smoking buddies.

Totally, totally agree. For a while there, I quit for something like two years -- and then I started hanging around a few friends who smoke a lot. It started off as bumming a casual smoke, then just social smoking, to a full on thing. Gah. It's so easy to slip back into old habits.

I still do occasionally bum a smoke but I think I've finally kicked the mental trigger of 'should have a smoke' that becomes so conditioned. I think it helps to recognise them too, so you can consciously begin resist them.

*hugs* Good luck, panther! I know you can do it. And you'll feel much, much better afterwards.
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