Adventures In Not Smoking/Smoking/Not Smoking Again/Smoking

Aanndd this is why it is difficult for me to stop smoking.

HE showed up today.

HE, of course, is The Man With Whom I Still Share A Last Name.

I live next door to his friend. HE is over visiting said friend. I was outside with the dog and heard voices. Dog freaked out, and lo and behold, HE appeared at the back gate.

Enter stage right anxiety, a touch of resentment, and Marlboro. Hello, old friends.

After twenty minutes of painfully awkward small talk, which by “small talk,” I mean me puffing nervously away at cigarettes and HIM playing with the dog.

As I mentioned in my first Adventure’s story, HE was the reason I began, and apparently, HE is the reason I continue.

I am not placing the blame squarely on his shoulders; on the contrary. I am placing a very large, hefty, painfully heavy portion of it, though. HE is my boulder and I am Sisyphus. That analogy doesn’t really work well, but I think you get what I’m trying to say.

I am having a hell of a time quitting. It’s vexing me. It eludes me. I want to very much, as I’ve noticed over the past two weeks, I wake up feeling like my lungs have been filled with horrible, vile, unmentionable things during the night and are trying desperately to expel whatever the hell is in them. I wheeze. I can’t take deep breaths without feeling like some organic coup is being staged within my body. I cough. I sound like I eat cigarettes instead of just smoke them when I get up in the mornings.

Given this laundry list of blaring “STOP SMOKING, YOU FUCKING BUFOON!!” signs, what I am going to do after I finish this post? It isn’t organize my sock drawer, I tell ya that much. It is to go outside, and cast nervous glances at the house next door, knowing full well that HE is a mere thirty feet away from me. It is to sit outside, puffing away on my certain death. It is to inhale disgusting and lethal chemicals into my lungs, praying that the retribution for my actions is swift, and I succumb to my stupidity.

As you can tell, I still let HIM get to me sometimes.

And the last time I checked, murder is still frowned upon.

Damn.

Solution: stress management. Typing this, I gave a small “heh, funny” chuckle to myself. Stress management is my great white whale. I do not manage stress. I ignore my stressors. Healthy, no?

In all seriousness, I need to find more constructive ways to deal with shit, one that does not involve smoking. Writing helps, but writing is also a stress inducer, so talk about your catch 22’s. I used to knit like a grandma about to have eight grandchildren at once, knitting blankets and scarves and sloppy squares of stitches I called potholders, but a serious knitter would call “crap.” I’d read, but I’m in that weird hiatus mode I go into frequently where nothing I pick up appeals to me, so I won’t read for months and months on end. I’d go for walks, as lord knows I need the exercise, but due to the recent foot surgery, my left leg has suffered mild muscle atrophy from wearing that goddamned boot for so long–irony alert: cigarette smoking stunts bone growth. D’ oh!–and I tire quickly and my foot screams at me. Plus: lazy. Double d’ oh!

Hopefully, this week will signal a change; due to paying a ridonkulous amount of taxes/car payment/car insurance/phone bill, I’m on a very tight budget until I receive my next paycheck, so the frivolousness of spending nearly $6 a pack will make me feel intense guilt and like I just rolled up a ten spot and smoked it. In a few words, wasted money. And that is something I do not have the luxury to waste.

I know this is difficult, people try to stop smoking all the time and end up back in the arms of nicotine, but son of a bitch. Despite my previous thoughts on living (see other blog posts), I kind of want to stick around for a bit, you know, to see what happens in this cartoon strip that is my life.

I need to quit. I have to quit. And this is the only thing I will be proud of for quitting.

Until next time,

E

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