I Ain’t No Quitter

21 05 2009

I’ve stopped smoking. I didn’t quit smoking. I’ve stopped smoking, and neither was it voluntary or by force. I just stopped. I didn’t even want to; while I wasn’t exactly walking, talking cancer smog, I wasn’t a puny social smoker, either.

I was just a normal smoker, which meant that I felt like dying if I didn’t get to puff myself pacific during most of life’s intervals—after meals, while waiting my turn to mouth off during drinking sessions, after hearing or seeing shit that upset me even just a little bit (whose frequency, it must be noted, is quite excessive in my case), in between one horrendous chunk of work and the next, right before pounding another sentence down for a story, article or, on more barren-seeming days, blog entry. And so on, and so forth. I needed to feel that ghost in my throat every few hours or so lest I shift into Unpleasant and Unreasonable Made Flesh and start sobbing to/screaming at friends and loved ones.

This all pretty much changed when I got very sick last Holy Week. Bedridden and all that. While falling ill doesn’t usually stop me from sucking my sticks, or at least wanting to, this time I had completely lost all true desire for it. I didn’t look for it or even think about it, I didn’t feel antsy, I didn’t care. This complete indifference towards cigarettes then spilled over to the next few weeks. If ever I did feel like I wanted to smoke, it turned out to be more out of plain ol’ habit than real, niggling need. And then there: suddenly, despite seven years of dependency and, more markedly, despite not even fucking wanting to, I’ve stopped smoking. I didn’t quit smoking. I’ve stopped smoking, and it’s weird.

I am not anti-smoking and this is not propaganda. I probably will still smoke as (sigh) a puny social smoker. I’m just a bit boggled by how swiftly and obliviously I’ve dropped the habit. It’s so random, I feel like some cosmic lab rat, almost.

The difficulty in quitting smoking is legendary stuff; I understand, with all my heart and both my blackened lungs, what a pain it really is. I’ve seen many a friend go apeshit just trying. When people notice how I haven’t been smoking and I tell them how I just, well, stopped, it feels like I’m lying, like it’s impossible for me to admit to such circumstances because I just, well, can’t.

But the fact remains that I can, and you can’t blame me for wondering about it. I haven’t bought a pack in about two weeks. The last time I had nicotine was when I took a couple of puffs just for the heck of it from someone else’s stick last week. It’s weird.

I think the reason why I’m blogging about this is because this is the most I can do to care about the fact that I’ve stopped. It’s been such a non-issue to me the past weeks, it’s only hit me now how bizarre that actually is, and somehow it’s like I’m writing this to appease my previous smoker self, to assure her that nothing else about me has really, drastically changed and that I will continue to see and believe in the things that I’ve made myself to for so long. To still her. Tranquilize her. Light the cold, dry end of her stick.

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