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.