Tuesday, September 29, 2009


OK, some people call this Nicotine.

Nicotine has been a close companion of mine for many years. On and off sometimes, but in the past ten years, I've smoked more days than I haven't, I have 20 little friends that don't judge, and all they require is my company.

and $6.50 a day

and 30% of my lung capacity

and that I stink

and that I give up 20 years of life

OK. the truth is I go to bed almost every night hoping I am able to scrape up enough self discipline to pry the grip of this demon from around my neck.

It has been 181 hours, 6 minutes since I consciously decided that I would have my last cigarette. That's about 7 and a half days for those who haven't actually counted down each minute.

Each year, nearly 35 million people make a concerted effort to quit smoking. Less than 7% succeed in abstaining for more than a year - most start smoking again within days. (The Search For A Safe Cigarette, NOVA (PBS), October 2001).

Per research,
* 30% of people fail in their first day.
* 50% of people fail in their first week.
* 93% of people fail in their first year.

Strictly speaking, I failed after 2 days, but I did so consciously. I didn't have any nicotine gum, was out drinking with a couple friends, and felt that I could bum a couple without much risk. If I were to purchase a pack, I knew I would start up again. The gamble paid off.

Day 3:
Massive headache. That's when I started to have problems concentrating. EVERYTHING set me off. I argued with my friends, I yelled, I took everything the wrong way, and lost all confidence.

EVERYBODY is happy to say "you can do it. I've overcome challenges, and I know you can too!" I know they are just trying to be helpful, but half of them know I've tried a couple dozen times before with no luck. It's not helping.

Nicotine is consistently evaluated as the most addictive drug available, having dependency values significantly higher than the next most common drugs (Heroin, Cocaine, and Alcohol). Respectfully, unless you’ve quit smoking or took off 75 lb and kept it off for 5-10 years without drugs or surgery, you do not understand, so don’t bother offering an opinion.

Can't sleep. Hell, who needs it! I can do it in 2-3 hours per night. No problem. Anyway, it gives me a lot of time to research things like is there really any such a thing as hell (or am I already there).
* Abiogenesis is the study of how life began. You would be amazed on how many youtube videos exist on the topic.
* Speaking of hell, I did some research on this. Looks like the whole idea of hell as a place of eternal punishment came up in about 400 years ago due to a type-o introduced into the earliest KJV bibles having to do with the Hebrew word Shoel. I put the research in the what the hell posting.

Did I say I couldn't concentrate!

Day 4:

Still can't concentrate. Really bad! Imagine some little guy thumping you in the back of the ear every 3 seconds, and you can't do anything about him. Believe me, I would, but he appears to exist outside of normal time space.

I am having problems doing the kind of software work I once did in my sleep. To make things worse, I can't remember co-workers names, names of places, and other things that I usually can remember (for those of you who know me, it's WAY WORSE than normal). The other night I fell asleep (almost) while talking to someone on the phone.

Safety first! Just back away from this insomniac, under nicotined, highly irritated, overly anxious, martial artist that probably can't recognize you, and things will be fine!

Day 5:

Headaches are mostly gone now. I can tell the concentration is coming back.

Now, take a deep breath and remember that in a little more than 8500 hours I will have beaten 93% of people...

Day I don't know (about 5.5 months):

I've had a few cigarettes in the past couple months. Lately I've hung out with a couple people who smoke, and well... oops. Still, pretty good.


  1. And I for one, want you around for that extra 20 years. If you can stop smoking I can lose 40 pounds.

  2. I went back and read this -- how disjointed! I'm keeping it that way.