I remember doing relatively well the first time I read Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking, but it turns out that I didn’t do it right, and so that success was apparently mostly all about luck. What happened was, basically, my memory is for shit. And so when Mr. Carr mentioned at the beginning and middle of his 100 page book that ABSOLUTELY NO NICOTINE REPLACEMENT THERAPIES OR PRODUCTS SHOULD BE USED, EVER, I missed that. Like…totally. So when Adam and I quit the first time (way back there now), we did it with the patches. And a month after that, I convinced myself that I was over the addictive part (as has everyone who has ever smoked and quit), and we took a car trip and decided we could surely–with no problem–smoke just one pack of cigarettes between us on that trip, because we loved to smoke and it would be a nice treat and we would “be fine” after that one pack because WILLPOWER.
We were fine for a few days afterward, and then we most certainly weren’t because that’s how it is with smoking, and maybe addiction in general. We went back to smoking as excessively as before.
Anyway, I didn’t particularly find it difficult to quit that first time with the book. It made sense to me, and I was able to hold onto the parts of is that did me the most good when I started to believe that I wanted a cigarette. I smelled good. My skin looked better. I could breathe. Well. Today, in the interest of honesty, I must now report that back then, I was probably mostly full of shit. I can say this now because this time, I’m working without a net (no patches or other nicotine replacements), and ever since I got home from grocery shopping early this afternoon, I have felt like walking down the middle of town with my eyes glued to the ground in front of me, hoping to see there a discarded cigarette butt that has somehow–miraculously–escaped the sogginess of the past few days. And I am nearly convinced that I would smoke those who-the-hell-knows-where-they’ve-been butts, because at this point, the alternative seems to be scratching out my own eyeballs.
Adam seems to be doing good, though. It’s times like these that I’m forced to wonder about the extent to which I’ve always been sort of crippled as a student, or even as a reader. My husband reads and seems to absorb the information. I read it and forget it, have to go back through the text several times with highlighters and sticky notes and notecards hoping that the important parts will come back to me and be miraculously retained. Anyway, it’s his first time through the EasyWay book, and says he’s having no problems. Feels less brainwashed after reading the book than he has felt in all the preceding years during which he smoked.
I’m hoping he can drag me along for the ride and pass on a little of his calm. God knows I’ve done it for him a couple dozen times in the few years we’ve spent quitting smoking.
In the mean time, don’t be too alarmed about that appalling bit I did up there about picking up cigarette butts from the side of the road. I’m just dramatic. Plus, I’m pretty good about not being the first one to cave on the whole smoking thing. I might bitch and moan a little and eat way too many fake Oreos, but at the end of the day, I’ll still be here, smoke-free for as long as my husband is.
See y’all tomorrow.