August 17th, 2010



A major milestone tonight: I went to bar trivia (we came in 8th place, by the way) and didn't have a cigarette, not even when everyone else went outside during the breaks. Chewed the hell out of Eclipse spearmint gum, though.

More milestones are coming. My first off-the-smokes writers group meeting is tomorrow. My first off-the-smokes KGB Bar reading is on Wednesday. The KGB Bar reading in particular has become heavily ritualized with smoke breaks during intermission, on the way to the restaurant afterward, etc., and it's the rituals--even more than the addiction--that make quitting so hard. That said, bar trivia had become heavily ritualized too, with its smoke breaks between certain rounds, and I made it through just fine. Or as close to fine as possible.

I figure it's good to get all these milestones out of the way early, so I can see that it can be done and not worry about it anymore.

Sleeping, Or Not

One weird side effect of not smoking anymore--besides the fact that I haven't coughed in three days-- is that I'm not sleeping well. I wake up at odd hours with sudden and inexplicable energy. Like reservoirs of it, coming to the surface, and I'm wide awake for a few minutes. Luckily, it tends to pass quickly and I'm able to get back to sleep again.

I figure this is just my body finding its balance, and trying to decide what to do with the new energy I have now that my lungs are actually able to absorb oxygen.

A Facebook friend told me this also happens because my brain has developed certain pathways built around the chemical environment of a smoker, and now that I'm a non-smoker, that environment has changed so the pathways have to change too. Apparently restless sleep is a symptom of my brain rewiring itself.

(And look at that, Facebook might actually be good for something after all!)

Writing, Or Not

I'm just going to have to accept that I won't be getting much writing done right now. Taking smoke breaks while writing was another thing that had become heavily ritualized, especially when I needed to think my way out of a plot or character-related conundrum. Right now, the two are still too entwined, too close for comfort. Sitting at the computer struggling to find the right words just isn't conducive to staying off the smokes, at least not this soon. With luck I won't be away from it for very long, and every day I'm going to try a little more, but clearly I need to be gentle with myself or this ain't gonna work.