Sunday, August 09, 2009
I Finally Got Wood
The biggest obstacle in my quest for attaining health and fitness is not my age....it's this 35+ year smoking habit. Habit doesn't really describe it, it's an addiction. I have a habit of waking up early. It is my habit to check my emails and phone messages when I enter my office in the morning. I cultivate the habit of eating with my mouth closed and not belching when I dine around other people. My wife is trying to get me to break the habit of leaving my underwear on the floor.
An addiction is the continuation of an action that causes you harm in spite (and this is the important part) of the knowledge that it is causing harm and the desire not to engage in the behavior. That fits my experience with smoking to a tee. I know it's bad for me. I know it will kill me...and not in a pleasant way either. I continue to smoke. I quit for awhile. I relapse. I quit. I relapse. Over and over and over again.
A problem that I have is that I can't really go cold turkey off of nicotine. That would be the best way to lick this addiction. I mean, that's what works with alcohol, heroin, or meth addictions....you stop taking the drug...period. That's all fine and dandy if you are in a closed and controlled environment for 28 days or so. I have to continue with my life. I have to go to work. I also have to function. So I put on nicotine patches that give me just enough of the drug to be able to concentrate on my job and not bite some random person's head off during the day. The bonus of the patch is that it keeps me from lighting up a cigarette while I have the thing on. If I smoke anytime within eight hours or so from taking off the patch...I get sick as a dog. So, even when I get intense cravings, I'm pretty much stuck with not smoking for several hours. Unfortunately, this usually leads me to stop putting on a new patch in the morning just in case I may want a cigarette during the day. I know..it's crazy...but this is how addiction screws with your thinking process. Once I don't put on the patch, it's all over and I'm back to two packs a day like I never quit.
I need something for those brief yet intense urges to light up a cigarette. Food works great, but I can't eat all day and it's mostly impractical to carry around munchies everywhere I go. I need something intense to counteract the oral need to stick a burning weed into my mouth.
That's when I thought of cinnamon toothpicks. I searched high and low for some but they seem to be a fairly rare item these days. I looked for cinnamon oil but it seems like it's some kind of controlled substance and is harder to find than crack at an Amish barn raising party. I was about to give up and resign myself to chewing gum or something when I found the beauties pictured above in my local health food store. At $4 a pack they are pricey but still less than a pack of cigarettes.
I'll see if they will work and I can at long last leave this nasty habit behind me.