Arse and buggery, things are afoot this evening... As many of you know, I've been fighting the bastarding shitweasel that is nicotine for some considerable time, with mixed success. Last year I stopped in June sometime, only to fall over when I went to Portugal. I managed to stop again in November before the late nights of Royal Mail finally got me to fall again shortly before Xmas.
My last plan had been to stop again once and for all on January 1st, but sadly that was not to be as the fates conspired to block that attempt. However, I have pulled myself together and am currently on Day Three of what I am determined will be the last time I ever have to do this. And although it's never easy to stop smoking, tonight I am finding it particularly hard.
Usually when I stop smoking, I like to give myself a clear run up at it - I tend to pick a time when things are fairly relaxed and easy, and get through it by distracting myself and only thinking about light and fluffy things... But that's not how things are right now. Life is complex and distraction is pretty much impossible. So there are two choices - either keep smoking until things get easier or just get stuck in and fight it face to face.
I've decided to get stuck in, and so far I've been able to keep it at bay, although it's harder than it's ever been. Stopping smoking is like being in a concrete bunker during an alien spider invasion. You lock yourself in, but you can hear them hammering on every wall, every brick, every door, hammering every second of every day and night without stopping, trying to find a way inside. And there is no concrete bunker, except for the one you have crafted in your own mind. If the spiders find even the slightest weakness, they pour in and your bunker falls.
And tonight the walls feel very thin. It's so tempting to think I've chosen the wrong time, there is too much else going on around me to remain strong enough to do this. And yet at the same time, I feel that perhaps doing it now will make it more permanent. The harder it is, the less likely I am to give it up on a whim.
I am still sure that this will be the last time I do this. I have said that before, but this time it feels different. There have been times in my life when smoking has taken priority over the things that really mattered in my life. Never intentionally, of course - that's just the nature of any addiction. But realising that has really opened my eyes and it's something I never intend to repeat. So for that reason alone, failure is not an option.
And 2010 is going to be the line in the sand that I asked it to be - it's just that the line is not necessarily where I would have chosen to draw it. Still, writing this has helped tremendously and the walls now feel a little thicker. I'm sure this won't be the last time I struggle with this over the coming days and weeks - but it is without a doubt a new beginning and it should get easier, with time...
Oh, and I also mustn't forget - I am a total and utter drama queen in the first week of stopping smoking and everything is magnified tenfold. It's not easy dealing with anything when you have the emotional stability of a pre-menstrual jellyfish.
Wish me luck. I'll keep you updated.