Huntress of the Lens


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Rainbows, Unicorns and the Nicotine Patch

Ok, so here I go again. I put the nicotine patch on this morning, I bought some nicotine gum yesterday, and I just smoked a cigarette. I figure the patch hasn't kicked in yet, and I'm writing. 

I have tried to quit smoking a bazillion times, and was once successful for four years. Then I started again. I have been smoking American Spirit (no chemicals) organic cigarettes (even better)  and telling people that they're actually good for me, and that I'm healthier after every one I smoke. I have quit for 70 days with hypnosis, I have quit for one hour in misery. I have quit and quit and quit. The trouble is, I really love smoking.

I know smoking is bad,and foolish on top of that.  I know several people with cancer; some dead already, some not. Chemo is a bitch, and then chemo and radiation and then dying is a triple bitch. I know these things, that's why I'm at it again.  I know that to a non-smoker I smell horrible. I'm having another cigarette to help me write this. It sounds counter-intuitive, but I really do have a plan.

I'm going to put the ashtrays away (Even the maroon wing-shaped one that was my Big Daddy's ashtray throughout my whole childhood) and take the portable ashtray out of my car. Cars don't even come stock with ashtrays any more, do you realize that? I'm not sure it will really run, I know cars need tobacco and gasoline to operate but I'm going to risk it. I'm not going to carry cigarettes in my purse, I'm going to carry gum for those moments when I'm sure the patch just isn't working. I'm going to smoke this morning, and maybe a few more mornings while I write and drink coffee, but not after I get out of the shower and brush my teeth. I'm going to remember that Michael's medication and all the side effects that make him so miserable are going to give us many extra years together, and do my part to be around for those years.

I'm going to indulge my vanity. My voice is starting to sound like one of those old ladies named Mabel or Agnes (no offense ladies) who sound like they gargle with gravel. The little lines around my lips are really starting to mess with my lipstick, and I've been told that smoking will make me look even older than I am. I can't afford a face-lift, but maybe this will help.

I will sit through whole tattoo sessions without a break, because I don't need to go smoke. I may even find the right pills to handle trans-atlantic flights and go see the Alhambra Palace in Spain before I die.  There are so many reasons to live smoke free, and so few reasons to continue smoking.

I'm not making this big announcement that I'm quitting! I've done that before and it seems to simply set me up for sneaky failure. I'm just going to change the way I smoke until I don't do it any more. This morning though, I'm drinking coffee, smoking some cigarettes and writing this blog. Shit, I write a blog called Coffee Smoke Write for God's sake, it's a part of who I've been for so very long.

Go look at the crowd around the door of any AA meeting and you will see people drinking coffee and smoking. When a person first gets sober it's often those two things they cling to, the drugs that are still allowed  that get us through. Ok, I get that, but it's been 6 1/2 years now, how long can I ride that pony? That's like saying "I still haven't lost the baby weight" when my baby is days away from turning 17. 

I'm having a third smoke right now, and it's making me feel weird, I think that 21 grams of transdermal nicotine is kicking in. This is a good thing. I should ration more effectively, when this pack is gone I don't plan to purchase another.

My parents don't smoke, and we're going to San Francisco together this evening so that will be a long car ride where smoking wouldn't be polite. We're going to an event in a piano lounge where you'd have to go outside to smoke. That's a few hours where I can lose myself in activity that doesn't support smoking. I think I'll go get my car washed so it doesn't smell like ashtray too, that will be a treat for them.

This morning, I'll illustrate the blog with happy, pretty things that don't smoke, I'm not going to risk ashtrays with slashes through them or "no smoking" icons. I'm going to try to stay low-profile with this project until I'm certain I have succeeded. When I make it for 30 whole days I'm going to buy the really expensive teeth-whitening trays and get a pretty smile again.

I can do this, there's never been anything I couldn't accomplish once I decided that I was going to succeed. Like becoming a Tattoo Lady twenty years ago when it was a boys' club and they didn't want me in it. Like getting sober when I couldn't stop drinking no matter what I tried. Like not letting guys who "just need a little time to get their lives together" sleep on my couch for months at a time any more. I've done some really hard things. I can do this too.

My biggest dilemma is what will I rename this blog?

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The fish can fly, the dogs and cats dance together and all the flowers are edible.