M.C. Pantz

Something Bloglike

End of an Era… for the Better

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When I turned 18, I was staying with my aunt and uncle in Champaign, IL; soon on my way to college.  The first thing I did that night was go down to the nearest convenience store and bought a pack of black and milds.  That didn’t quite strike my fancy, so I switched to Marlboro Reds.  Since then, I’ve been a pretty hardcore smoker.

I did manage to do a really good job of cutting back for about three months in the fall of 2006, where I was only having one cigarette a day.   Smoking was primarily a social activity for me, and my coworkers at the computer lab I was working at would often cut out about noon to re-center ourselves.  However, the stress involved with the last year of college compounded with a rather intense breakup plunged my addiction deeper than it had been before, and that’s where it’s been since.

I found that smoking is more often a psychologically fulfilling activity for me, and that was reflected in my choice of tobacco.  From Black n’ Milds, I switched to Marlboro Reds, to Djarum Blacks, and then to Lucky Strikes.  Cost & convenience switched me to Drum rolling tobacco in the end, which I’ve been smoking almost exclusively for the past three years or so.  My choices were often motivated by image, and I often relied on smoking as a fashion accessory as much as anything else.

Every time I get sick, I’d get nagged about how my revovery period is on the order of weeks instead of days, and that i should see a doctor.  I never considered it a major issue, because I knew what to expect.  However, recently after an illness, after I had recovered, I noticed that every time I laughed, I’d cough.  Every time.  It was violent enough to the point where i noticed myself subconsciously trying to stop laughing.

For someone like me who enjoys my sense of humor in life, I found this unacceptable.   So as of Sunday night, I have not had one cigarette.  I’ve gone cold turkey.

Today marks the sixth day since my last smoke, and so far I’ve resisted the temptation many times, between going out to Neo, where at any point about 20% of the patrons are outside smoking, to simply being around people who leave the main group, and missing the change to express my usual cynicism and wit in a more relaxed, one-on-one context of sharing a mood-altering substance.

I’ve also noticed that without the sweet, sweet nicotine coursing through my body, I’ve become quite irritable and a bit more misanthropic than is usual for me.  However, this is usual and expected, and is supposed to end after a month or so after hating everyone.  Hopefully, I can get over being an insufferable dick to everyone, and thinking that everyone is the same, and reclaim a much healthier lifestyle.