Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day #2: Seeking Pleasure

Because one is supposed to go at least 10 days on Champix pills before quitting, I didn't think I'd notice anything the first day. Wrong! Two hours after taking the tablet, I felt light-headed. But much weirder than that, something was dreadfully wrong with my cigarettes. It was as though I was smoking those ultra-light-one-hundred-pinholes-in-the-filter cigarettes. It was like being a kid and sucking on a hollow reed. It was like an emptiness inside me.

For those who have never smoked, let me tell you what you've been missing, and what I'm now missing. Pleasure. Instant pleasure. Now, I would never have thought of the word 'pleasure' to describe why I smoked, but it's a word used in one of my quit-smoking brochures.

Anothe brochure explains it this way: "Within minutes of inhaling, nicotine goes to your brain and gives you a temporary 'high'. Over time, your brain starts to adjust and you may need more smoke to get the same effect. Eventually, your brain adjusts again and the nicotine no longer produces a high. It produces a feeling you think of as normal."

A 'high', 'pleasure', 'normal'... I liken it to the minor contentment one feels after satisfying his/her thirst with a glass of cold water.

Now imagine being very thirsty and drinking a glass of water and still feeling thirsty. And drinking another, and still feeling thirsty. Imagine the rising panic as each succeeding glass produces the same non-effect.

Yesterday and today, cigarette after cigarette, and no burst of subtle pleasure. I had planned activities like crocheting and gum chewing to stave off the desire to do something with my hands and to distract me from my cravings. They weren't designed to give me an instant five-minute normal 'high'. I can't think of anything besides a cigarette that will give me that. So, I light one more.

It does nothing for me. I am cranky. I am empty. I am seeking pleasure.

Eileen Schuh,
Canadian writer


Cheryl Tardif said...

Ok, Eileen...I'm waiting to hear about Day 3. (taps fingers) Yoo-hoo! Hello!!

Eileen Schuh: said...

Cheryl, I'm doing okay. Thanks.