We all periodically have 'One of Those Days'. Yesterday - Day 11 for me, was my first one without cigarettes. I'd not slept well - haven't really since I quit but I work one day a week & yesterday was it. I tossed & turned & watched the clock creep closer to 0700. When the alarm went, I was DEEPLY asleep. I found myself standing at the foot of my bed in front of the dresser in the dark, so drugged with sleep, I was stupid with it. There I stood swaying, hearing the 'honk, honk, honk' of the alarm - not knowing WHAT it was, WHY it was; knowing I was expected to do something about it - but not sure what. That was my first glimmering it might be a Bad Day.
I finally got the wretched thing located & turned off & went to the kitchen for water - all that 'trauma' had tirggered a craving. Bother! I had to get bloodwork on my way to work - fasting blood work... no water for me. I somehow got myself on to the bus & downtown. A student technician drew my bloods. She did fine with the needle stick but couldn't grasp that the Vaccutainer had no vaccum in it - bad tube. There we sat...
I'm a cleaner - a Thursday morning job at a lovely flat & an afternoon job in a beautiful country home. The morning went well but I was getting craving after craving. After 10 days, EVERYTHING was acting as a trigger. It was exhausting & my morning client is a lovely older gentleman, recently widowed. No way I wanted to snap at the poor man. I will say that flat was cleaned to within an inch of its life!
By the time I got to my afternoon job, I was a gibbering wreck. Normally no one is home but the husband in that couple is a builder & as it was pelting down a wind driven rain & the home he's currently building doesn't have the roof on, he was home. They both smoke & although it was my second day cleaning there since Quit Day, it was my first day there since my sense of smell returned. It's a Tudor style - tons of unfinished, exposed beams, laden with 20+ years of smoke. I had a headache within 5 minutes. And cravings - so far the day was nothing more than a constant craving & it was barely one o'clock.
I slipped downstairs to the family room to look for dishes as I loaded the dishwasher. My heart stopped. There on the coffee table, an opened pack of cigarettes with two cigarettes & right beside them... a lighter. I stopped dead. They looked... beautiful. Suddenly, I wasn't looking at cigarettes. I was looking at... Glamour, Sophistication, Want, Need. All I had to do was One Little Thing. Just... have... a... cigarette and my Perfectly Awful Day would magically turn around. Uh huh - suuuure it would. A tiny remnent of reason kept interjecting: "You've done 10 full days. You're doing so well - don't blow it now. Don't cheat." And then, the most ridiculous rationalization in the world popped into my head. My Inner Smoker smirked smugly & assured me it wouldn't really be a cheat because... IT WASN'T MY BRAND!
I picked myself up by the scruff of the neck, marched myself upstars & outside & stood out there until I was soaked & sane.
The rest of the afternoon was just as tough. Every time my client lit up, I could smell it. I soooooooooo wanted to ask him for one & he would have given me one. I didn't. I didn't smoke. I didn't..."lose".
But I had him drop me off at the grocery store, a mile from home. I needed to walk in the wind & rain & think. I didn't feel like a winner. I was scared. WHY had the entire day felt like a massive craving? It was so discouraging to feel I was going... backwards. Not having broken down, not having gone near a cigarette didn't make me feel any better. I kept reminding myslef these things happen,I just had to get through it. I also remembered I'd kept busy all day & was probably still somewhat dehydrated & I knew I was hungry... & tired. Food, drink, a hot bath... I might then feel better.
I was due for my evening dose of Chantix by the time I made it home & it was when I went to take it I discovered the main reason for my horrid day. I'd forgotten to take my morning dose - probably because I was fasting. No wonder the day had been dreadful. Within 45 minutes of taking my evening dose, I felt on an even keel again.
Now I'd had visions of weaning myself off the Chantix this coming week. After all, I'm smarter than your average bear, I don't NEED the help, I'd be fine... Utter rot. If I was that intelligent, I'd have never started smoking & if mt notions of how to quit were that good, I'd have done it long ago. I will complete the Chantix regimen AS PRESCRIBED.
After a night's sleep, I can only shake my head. It may have been a bad day but it was also a very good day. It taught me that I'm not as tough as I think I am - I was starting to get cocky... never a good thing. A little more humility in the face of a strong addiction is a Good Thing. As exhauting as it was, I did deal with a lot of cravings, triggers & a lot of frustration & fear & I did NOT smoke.
It was by far the worst day I'd had after Day Two, yet... I did not smoke.
When I comes right down to it, that does make it a good day, doesn't it?