Diary of A Quitter – Phase V

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.

McShane Update

For everyone who follows my McShane series, I’ve just fixed a MAJOR plot hole (big enough to drive a truck through) in the upcoming book five. What does that mean, you might ask? Well, it means that book 5, The Lonesome Lighthouse, will be ready to send to my editor by the end of February. Which, in real time, means Amazon will see my latest installment before the end of March! I’m so excited!

If you’ve not read the Mini-Mystery books one through four, I would NOT recommend starting with book five. There are a lot of characters pulled from those previous incarnations and you might get a little lost if your unfamiliar. Each story should take a little under an hour of uninterrupted reading. You’ll find links for them at the top tab of this page marked McShane Mini-Mystery, along with a small excerpt of the work in progress (You’re welcome).

As an aside to those following the bi-sexual, billionaire redhead, you may want to brush up on the previous tales before publication.

This promises to be one of the most exciting adventures for Summer Autumn Malone McShane. One thing is certain. McShane will never be the same.

Diary of A Quitter – Phase IV

Diary of A Quitter

 

Phase IV – Frustration

It has been 64 days since I’ve told the next phase of the Quitter’s story. Allow me to explain.

Contained within those 64 days were the holidays that come to us at the end of each year. The magical time of year when we all live care-free, stress-free lives, enraptured in the joy that… (bleck!)

Meanwhile, in the real world… My fight with addiction continued. The friend that was to quit with me was unable to withstand the pressure of breaking the addiction. I couldn’t blame her. There were days that nicotine never entered my mind. But, of course there were the other days.

You may recall my mantra from Phase III.

He will not win.

I’ll not give in.

He won’t prevail.

I will not fail.

Yeah, I gave that shit up after 4 days or so. Talk about an earworm. It really got on my nerves. Reciting it through clenched teeth made me realize the mantra probably wasn’t performing its original intent. Which would be to calm me down. Right.

It seemed everything provided an extra heap of helping on what remained of my nerves. My four grandchildren, perfect as they are, really seemed to piss me off throughout December. No one would have been able to tell, because I kept my irritation to myself (I’m sure I did). Besides, there were so many other little things that annoyed me, no one could have noticed my impatience with the kids.

I was a real jewel to be around, no doubt about it. Several times I tried to write an installment of Diary, but talk about writer’s block! Whenever I considered just the title, a wave of desire for that one hit consumed me. One of the ways I distracted myself was trying to remember my first cigarette. I’m pretty sure it was 1975. I was in high school. My parents were chain smokers, and I remember the odor… hmm, that one drag sure would be nice.

DAMMIT!!

Since the holidays have passed, I’ve been finding fewer and fewer things to blame my stress on. The remarkable thing is, I have fewer and fewer reasons to need that scapegoat. The whispers of temptation still come, but they are rare. And random.

Frustration had been the rule of the day throughout the holidays. Looking back, I beat myself up over my behavior. I tried to apologize to my husband for things he doesn’t remember happening. God, I love that man.

My last smoke was October 25. It’s now February. I’ve reread my Diary, and am ready to embrace the fifth, and final, step to smoke free living. As a refresher, the opening tale, I Quit Smoking. Again. Then came the Phases. I – Busted, II – Truth, III – Struggle, and this Frustration is IV. I’m now ready for V.

And I promise, I won’t keep you guessing another 64 days.

***

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.