October 9, 2017

Two weeks now and as much as I hate, coz I’m too skeptical about myself, to admit it, that things have been under control. The physical cravings were still there, a constant nag but it is nothing that I haven’t handled so far. 

One of the things I realized that I missed after giving up smoking is that whatever time you spend smoking is a private time that you get with yourself and that’s not something that can be easy to miss. Sure, you can do it without a cigarette in your hand but it is not the same thing. Those ten minutes at every opportunity where I got to sort a lot of things in my head are now reduced to vacuum and an hour or so every day goes utterly useless. Not that it was put to good use earlier, but there was no concern about it. 

Since two weeks have passed, it’s now about time to have a closer look at the pitfalls. The first one of them always would be about that other smoker friend you knew who managed to quit about 2 weeks or couple months and now smokes again. It is an easy trap and very convenient to fall into it again, so I got to be wary of that. Good thing is that since I don’t trust entirely that I have got myself rid of this habit and hopefully I will always be on the lookout for the triggers and make an honest attempt at avoiding them. Till date I’ve done alright, but to do it every day for the rest of my life would be a different challenge which may require a diverse skill set.  

I’m still not able to concentrate for on anything for an extended period of time, and tend to get fidgety and nervous when I have nothing to do and can’t get sleep, but I hope I would get used to it eventually. The importance of going back to normal life can’t be understated coz there would be no point if we can’t be what we want to be and keep blaming something or the other about it constantly. Anyway, I give this feeling another couple of weeks and see how it looks then, but as of now I’m more than willing, and actually quite happy, to sacrifice these days for a greater cause. 

There isn’t anything else to report in terms of smoking, and I don’t even know if I have something else to write about smoking anymore. It has come to a point that I knew what works and what doesn’t for me in this endeavor and I’ve found a method. Beyond that this journal would just be repetitive and pointless, so unless I have anything to add, or any particular struggle I face because of smoking, I don’t think I would be writing much on this.

Also, I will definitely make a note on this journal if ever I smoke another one, coz I can’t lull my readers into believing the task at hand is easier than it actually is, or should be. No matter what anyone says, I still believe that giving up smoking is the most difficult and painful task I’ve ever done and I have only managed two weeks so far, so if ever someone reads this ever, I want the person to know that it is an achievement. Dear smoker/ex-smoker, I write for us.

Posted on Monday, October 09, 2017 by veturisarma

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October 3, 2017

After a tumultuous week, yesterday and today have been relatively easier, with only a bout of 4 hour restlessness last night.  I haven’t had a drink last night as well before sleep since I’ve got to wake up at 6 for office, so it had been a bit of a struggle last night but otherwise it isn’t anything that I haven’t managed so far in the last week. The challenge now is to be able to do it day in and day out for the rest of my life. The 5 minute break of which there used to be invariably one at least every two hours is like a void now, and I don’t have something to replace it with. When I see that I’ve spent a couple of hours without cigarette there is my subconscious mind egging me to do something about it. I guess it would take me a while to replace it, but as of now I feel some secret part of me ceased to exist anymore.

There is still the feeling of envy whenever I see a smoker light up with a tea in one hand and watching the persistent Hyderabad rain through his dopey eyes, smoking it away resting his shoulder on to the nearby wall, but I quickly look away. The feeling of emptiness that engulfs me every couple of hours is a hard thing to fathom, coz I don’t know what I should do at that times. I told myself that I absolutely had no option of smoking and I’m not gonna do it ever again, so I had to find a substitute rather quickly. I had a rather pleasant and a surprisingly efficient day at the office, but that can probably be attributed to Beginner’s Luck. If this seems unfittingly easy today, I quickly remind myself of days 2-6 and can only hope they wouldn’t return and also wish I don’t start the damn thing again and had to face those days when I decide to quit again. I don’t wish those days on me, or anyone else, but I guess every smoker, some day, has to have those. 

Knowing my discipline and will power all too well, I know this is not the time to rejoice in the achievement. I’ve already undone years of faith, trust and discipline all too often and I know I’m still extremely vulnerable to going back to be that kind of person again, so I take each day as it comes and try not to think about each day as if I’ve achieved something, but to put that into perspective and look at the next day and tell myself that I’ve got to do it all over again tomorrow. If I seem like a damned self help guru, I know I’ve been talking to myself in the same way. It’s all dull and pathetic, but that’s the only way forward.

Speaking of self help, I’ve finished Allen Carr’s easy way. When I think about it today, I don’t think I hate it as much as I made out to in my earlier posts about the book. Sure, the book is poorly written, repetitive and has about as much charm as a Fourth Standard Moral Science Text Book (do they even have moral science in schools these days? Are morals science? Difficult questions), and definitely he doesn’t have his heart in the right place, in the sense that he just wants to sell more of the book and the sister books, and his consulting sessions than actually caring about making people get rid of smoking addiction. But that’s an invalid argument about any self help book, coz if they cant sell themselves and people are already so much better in their lives, then what would be the point of them writing the damn book and trying to sell it.

Gosh, I forgot I intended to put in a good word about the book and I apologize all over the place. Despite what I think of it, or how I was about to write a condescending review of it, I have to give it the credit it deserves for letting me know a thing or two about nicotine addiction. Carr made me realize the pitfalls of the addiction through sheer bloody repetition. Whenever I think about smoking, the first thing that comes to my mind is his damned book. I guess he knew the subconscious power of repeating himself. Everybody thinks that he is an adult and people just don’t have to repeat themselves and probably Carr knows a thing or two about every adult. So he just does the opposite and repeats himself all over the place. I mean, he wrote three books on how to quit smoking, and one of them specifically for women. Can you beat that? It seems to be a proper method now.

I wish the entries to be infrequent now coz I think I can manage without writing about it. A weekly update should be fine I guess.

Posted on Tuesday, October 03, 2017 by veturisarma

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October 1, 2017

Finally there was some relief. I had a long walk about an hour in the afternoon and watched a movie and managed to concentrate on something else except my pathetic state of mind. While coming back I was going through the entries I wrote and god, I seem like a miserable sod going on and on about my legs as if I’m Jacqueline Fernandez or something, and that I have to win that special prize reserved for the loudest and the most persistent complainer, at any cost. I had half a mind to delete those posts, but for the sake of posterior tomfoolery, I’d let them stay as they are now.

I understand that I have to keep moving, keep doing something and keep thinking about something else other than the damned cigarette and my attempts at staying away from it. As long as I was out, watching the movie, or walking alone without purpose I was doing alright.

Once I returned to the solitary confines of my room, the craving resurfaces again. Its not that the craving was gone when I was watching the movie, but at least I had something else to look at and momentarily forget myself. Keep busy and keep moving should be the way to go , I guess. I figured out a method, but I still feel I’m depriving myself of something almost as if I’m undergoing a penance for some crime I’ve committed. Which is the wrong sort of attitude to have if I got to have any success with my quitting, but I’m not in control of my thoughts, as much as I’m not responsible for them.

Allen Carr goes on and on. 60% into the book now, and still he hasn’t said anything. I write about him here because somehow I don’t want to admit that I have read the book, and I certainly don’t want him getting any credit for making me quit smoking even though I was reading his book when I was trying to quit. I haven’t followed his method; heck I don’t even think there is a method, unless brainwashing someone a thousand times is considered a method. Anyway, I wrote about this all morning and still haven’t stopped, so I guess I’m being a bit like Mr Carr himself.

I’m back in my room with a drink in hand and Netflix’s Bloodline Season 2 and the Carr book as well. Last night I slept while the TV was still playing, I don’t think it ever happened to me. I’m still not eating well, and I guess it started worrying me. Heck, I started complaining again, so let me stop it and see if I can call it in early tonight.

None of the entries in this journal have to make any sense to anyone, the only time I keep hitting the laptop is when I think I have to do something. I don’t have anything in mind to write except cigarettes and how I’m struggling to stop myself from having one. Also, I cant post anything on my blog that has less than 500 words in it, as a general principle, though I know 500 words of shit is infinitely worse than any lesser number of words.

Posted on Sunday, October 01, 2017 by veturisarma


September 30, 2017

God. This is horrible. The legs have gone rogue and are in perennial state of complaining and revolting. I woke up a couple of hours ago and not a single minute has been worth waking up. I used to do 20 a day at the peak of my addiction and these days I’ve been doing 8-10 before I suddenly stopped smoking altogether 5 days ago. It was probably an extreme decision to give it up all at once, but I tried a lot of times unsuccessfully to phase the habit out and now it had reached a stage only drastic decisions can help and what a drastic one it is turning out to be.

I’ve walked around the house, stood up in a place for a few minutes, slept on the floor stretching my legs and rolling them into a ball around my chest and none of that works. I feel constantly miserable and reading the Alan Carr book to see if he actually says something about how to do it, instead he goes on and on about how stupid people are and how they are tricked into it. I’m about 40% into the book and all I see is repetitions and sermons, frequently written in block letters as if the readers are idiots and miss them when he has been repeating them like a lecturer who feels he can make up for years of his own incompetence with talking down upon imbecile students.

Anyway, the book was least of my problems. Before I even started it I knew it was not going to be helpful. I just read it because I feel it may put forth a way to reduce the addiction and 100 pages into it, the man hasn’t gotten around to it yet. I have a feeling that the remaining 200 pages will be more of the same and that he really hasn’t got any method to the smoking problem and may be he just feels that ranting out the evils of smoking a million times will make at least one of it stick in the minds of his readers. That might even be a way, who knows.

Today is a full day without office or anything else to do. Might be the sternest test. I got a few calls that I haven’t answered but I’m not in a mood to call anyone back. The 10 minutes I spent writing this are the only ones where I was able to do something, and ignore the pangs in my legs, not that they are not there, but I was just about able to manage myself to ignore it. I can’t keep writing forever in the hope that at some stage I don’t have to do it.

Does everyone who quit face all these or a lot of these issues are just in my head. They can’t be for I know how my legs feel. I haven’t ever consciously felt their presence so strikingly as I’m finding these five days. All other parts of my body are all right, may be the legs are taking up for every one of them. The pangs are acute, thought not painful; they make me feel restless, angry, irritable and desperate to do something. That something would involve smoking a cigarette definitely and that is also the reason why the entire exercise is so ridiculous. I know the solution to the problem, yet the solution is the problem.

Posted on Saturday, September 30, 2017 by veturisarma

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September 29, 2017

The cravings don’t stop. If I sit, I can’t control it. If I stand, I can’t control it. When I take a walk, it gets even difficult. I don’t have an answer and I don’t know what to do without smoking. I thought I would be counting up the days as some sort of minor achievements, but each day without smoking makes me feel that the entire thing is doomed and it only ends bad for me. 

My legs are aching nonstop almost as if they are begging me to do something about them. I eat only when I can’t bear to listen to the hunger pangs. I see the smokers while coming to office and feel that they are the most blessed people in the entire world and curse myself. It was just a very stupid decision. To start smoking. I guess we can’t escape the consequences of the choices we make. 

Whenever I sit idle for a second, or try to think of anything other than work, I don’t know what to do or how to control it. I can’t do it for sure, but I don’t understand how to control it. I drink all day at home and I pass out more than I sleep. Thankfully I have no problem sleeping, I never had. I don’t want to have a moment with myself, and that’s the most difficult thing to achieve. Everybody bores me or irritates me. I can’t talk to anyone with any clarity in thought and the days at office pass like they are something out of my control and I only have to let myself watch how they pan out. 

Does it ever get better, or am I doomed to be in this endless loop of repeating myself and hating myself for it even more every day. There is a long weekend coming up and I’m shit scared of how I’m gonna spend it. What would I to do. May be I should take some medication to put me to sleep all three days or I should try to write more, which would be full of senseless drivel like the above since I can’t think clearly or concentrate on anything. I’m not in an ideal frame of mind to write anything, but only when I type something, I would be able to control myself. I desperately want something to change and I honestly don’t want to smoke, though I admit it is getting crazy difficult with each passing day. 

Should I seek professional help? I wonder at times, but I want to do this all on my own and see if I’m up for it. I tried to read Allan Carr’s Easy way and the guy pisses me off with his cheerfulness. He looks like a kind of charlatan, and definitely talks like one. His book tells me that I can enjoy quitting smoking and it’s the easiest thing to do. Reading a page of it can make me depressed for almost a week in my current frame of mind. Anyway I don’t think reading about any methods are gonna make it any easier and as of now I only trust in my method. If this doesn’t work for me nothing ever will. If this doesn’t work, if, if, if…I shudder. Anyway, I plod on.

Posted on Friday, September 29, 2017 by veturisarma

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