Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pangs, Pains, & Panic

Twenty-two smoke-free days and it strikes me that if smoking is like Twittering, quitting is like being in labour. The cravings--intense, painful, and raw--like contractions, come and go. Quitting smoking, like labouring, has positive results--that reportedly are well-worth the agony. However, that's about where the similarities end.

There's no one here to give me demerol, morphine, or a spinal to ease the pain when I'm in the throws of a craving. There's no one to assure me that the doctor won't let the cravings continue for more than 18 hours. There's no one rubbing my back, telling me that I'm half-way through my craving, and begging me to hang in there.

No one saying, "Breath deep. Keep breathing."

Two things kept me from panicking in the labour room. One was timing my contractions and knowing when I was half-way through them. The other was realizing that women for eons had being doing this and, therefore, I would too.

Knowing that the cravings will pass, provides a bit of comfort, but knowing others have successfully quit smoking doesn't help me much--because I also know that unlike labour, many have tried and failed. If three hours into labour a woman could change her mind and opt out of the pregnancy plan, we likely wouldn't have an over-population problem. However, in the quest to quit smoking, there is a choice. And everyone who tries to quit knows there is. That choice results in a hell of a lot more people failing in their attempt to quit than succeeding. I cannot comfort myself with the knowledge that all this pain is guaranteed to result in success.

I'm panicking. For over three weeks I've engaged in a distracting, agonizing, personal, and lonely battle with the nicotine demons. It's a battle I'm imagining will last forever. Again and again my soul will scream out for comfort. For years, I'll be restlessly wandering the house, empty and dark inside. Forever, I'll hear demonic voices whispering tales about the pleasures of 'Players.'

An endless battle I'm not assured of winning. The enticing option to retreat always there. No ointment to soothe my wounds. No deadline to win the war. Pangs, pain, and panic.


Eileen Schuh,
Canadian writer


Renita said...

Your battle isn't an easy one and I understand that it is a lifelong one.

Don't feel bad if you are losing faith you can do it... nobody judges you for fearing that. Just know that we are all cheering for you to quit and will support you. Although we won't boo you too much if you don't make it, but we certainly won't cheer or support your smoking either. I think the first option of a crowd cheering for you sounds alot more appealing to me.

The best advice I can offer, not having experienced the dreaded nicotine addiction myself.... Never quit quitting.

Renita said...

oops... how the heck did it use my google project's title instead of my real name?

one of those days *sigh*


Eileen Schuh: said...

I am so glad that it is you and not a reverse dump speaking to me. Thanks, Renny. You're the greatest!