Saying goodbye to Parliament (and not the English House of Lords)

So, we all know it’s not good to smoke. “Hey, light that one up, it’s going to do wonders for your allergies and asthma, Amy!”…said no one, ever. However, like many bad, addictive habits in life, we often revert back to them because they are comfortable.

(Other examples that come to mind are perhaps nail biting or going back to an ex-boyfriend for the 12th time. Maybe that second one is a little more serious.)

However, I noticed that I was starting to increase the amount I smoked. Shocking to hear that someone who writes loves to simultaneously do so with cigarettes and coffee. I also started to notice that the $11.15 paid for a pack at 7-11 in the Gold Coast could have EASILY gotten me a nice meal at Flaco’s Tacos. There are many other reasons I had for quitting, but I thought I’d give a realistic look into what the journey of “quitsies” has been like. By the way, I gave it up totally cold turkey- no patch, no nicotine gum, no hypnotherapist reminiscent of Miss Cleo, no nothing. Just pure iron will (I say with clenched teeth). And, mind you, I am in the REALLY early stages so writing this may be my therapy to get me through these first couple weeks.

Day 1: Didn’t really notice much. Kinda like I was in some environment where you weren’t able to smoke, like a long plane ride. Hey, this isn’t so bad, I think!

Day 2: (Morning) Take that back. I really want to reach for one.  I’m feeling itchy and antsy like some sort of meth addict. I hadn’t thrown them out yet because I was still on the fence. Sort of the feeling of wanting to reach for a big fat cookie and then going with that oh so tasty banana when you’re on a diet. Which I wonder, am I going to have to start a crazy diet now because I hear everyone gains weight after quitting? (Any former smokers, if you have feedback on this, please let me know.)

Day 3: Now, I suddenly have this mystical hacking cough. I sound like I have SARS. Where was this cough while I was smoking? My medical professional friends assure me this is normal. Great, I’m glad it’s normal, but it still sucks. Didn’t I quit to AVOID this? Frustration still setting in.

Day 4: Wake up after having a dream that I stole a cigarette and smoked the whole thing. Feel really guilty until I realize I, did not, in fact do so. I feel relieved but also annoyed that the hacking cough kept me up half of the night. I can’t tell if I am really tired because of that or because of the quitting, as I have heard that fatigue can majorly set in.

Day 5: Find a stray cigarette in my apartment. Ohhhh not good. I feel like am on an afterschool special debating whether I should “sneak it” from my parents, instead now, I’m sneaking it from my conscience. Being strong, I flush it. Proud of this fact.

Day 6: (Today) As I am writing, I am still noticing that I have a craving for one, but it’s getting easier.  I also do notice I am hungrier. (Hence, the weight gain theory. God help me.) I think I have chewed 67 packs of gum in the last few days and now I may have given myself a broken jaw, but that’s ok.

My journey will continue. I’m holding myself accountable by vowing to write an update on how this has gone. Wish me luck (and bring me some gum while you’re at it.)

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    Amy Litterski DeSario

    Born and bred Chicagoan. 30-something. Married to this guy I met 14 years ago at a Northwest side block party. Have a dog. Never thought those words would be in a description about me. University of Illinois alum. I've loved to write since age 4. I enjoy coffee and hot sauce too much. You can reach me at scribblingofthoughts@gmail.com.

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