Diary of A Quitter
Phase V – Bring it
It’s been One Hundred and Thirteen days since my last cigarette. But who’s counting?
We are now in February and, honestly, the constant struggle has now become random. There are moments when I realize my mouth is actually watering for a smoke. I know that seems odd, but if you’re a smoker, you know. The frustrating thing is, these moments seem to have nothing in common. Playing with the grand kids, quietly watching television, talking on the phone, none of it matters. My body wants nicotine. It’s a fact I have to live with. I did it to myself. No one made me put that first smoke to my lips. Speaking of which, I can now recall that moment without the pangs of addiction.
On that day, I was leaving high school for my part-time job at McDonald’s. As I walked toward the school’s parking lot a girl shouted, “Hey! You got a cigarette?” In my youthful sarcasm I shouted back, “Nah. You?” And then a third person said, “C’mon over here. I got a pack.” A gorgeous guy that I’d been dying to meet held out his pack of smokes toward me.
I am now fifty-seven years old. Still wishing I’d kept walking.
Nicotine is a beast. A beast to fear, and one that demands respect. Yeah, I’ll say it. Fearfully respect the beast. No matter how long it’s been since the last smoke, that urge, the demand for more, never goes away completely. Because as much as I’d hoped it would, it doesn’t die. Every time the beast taps me on the shoulder, every time the demon smiles seductively, the fight begins anew, but for a shorter amount of time, each time. I must be strong. No one else can do it for me. Nothing else can be blamed. My own weakness wakes the monster.
Today, 113 days later, I can say with confidence that I am a non-smoker. Yes, the fight rages on, but in odd and sporadic moments. I can handle that. Not the first time I’ve quit (but it will be the last).
I fear this scene may play out for the rest of my life:
Demon: I see you’re a bit stressed. Sheesh, deadlines, am I right?
Me: Go away.
Demon: Don’t be like that. I’m here to help. Let’s get you something to de-stress.
Me: (voice weaker) Go away.
Demon: Are you sure you don’t want to take a ride? It’s been long enough. All of the nicotine must be out of your system by now. One cigarette won’t kill you.
Me: (whimper) True, but…
Demon: Just one, then we’ll throw the rest away.
Me: (Trying to catch my breath, hands trembling) God, help me! I’m so fucking weak! (Takes a deep breath.) No! Not again! (Clenched fists.) C’mon, Demon! Is that the best you got? I said GO AWAY!
Demon: (Smiles seductively.) Okay. See you next time.
Me: (feeling a bit stronger) Yeah. Bring it.
JL Mo is a mother of two full grown geeks, and Nana to their geeks-in-training. She is also the author of the McShane Mini-Mystery series, and has had a number of stories published in various anthologies which can be accessed on her Amazon Author Page.