Starving the caveman. First day….

It’s Monday morning and it’s also my quit day. I have a weeks “buffer” – the suggested quit date is one or two weeks after starting the medication – but I’m hoping that I won’t need that. 

My last rollup was last night and it tasted really horrible. If I get major cravings then ill have to keep that in mind. 
10.00 coffee break

The caveman is asleep but occasionally wakes up grumbling. 

Normally I would have had between 5 or 6 rollups by now and coffee break is one of those “routine” moments. I’ll distract myself with a book and console myself that I have an “emergency vape” device if I get too twitchy.


Lunchtime 

And I’m feeling a bit agitated. Not sure if it’s withdrawal because I’m a bit anxious and bummed out about something unrelated. So far the occasional deep breath is helping
Evening

The caveman is awake and demanding. Deep breathing is not helping much. I’m feeling very twitchy now. Not cranky though, which is good. Thinking about the vape but so far I have not given in to it. I can justify going to bed in an hour or so. I can hopefully hang on to that. 

Ah. First day and this sucks monkey balls. 

Advertisements

Starving the caveman .1

Saturday night/Sunday morning – 1 day before quit date.

Initially today – Saturday – was my planned quit date. I changed my mind and moved it to Monday because I figured that my first day might be easier with the distraction of work.

I took today as a kind of pseudo quit day. I tried to go as long as I could without having a rollup.

It wasn’t as horrible as I thought. I have had 3 today and managed until around 5 or 6pm before caving in and having my first.

The pills must be working because not only did I not get too twitchy during the day, I also didn’t actively want the rollups. They also tasted…. manky.

Hopefully I can do similar tomorrow. If I can either not smoke or only have a few then Monday will be easier.

Starving the caveman….

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had quit smoking. It was a bit of a “bugger of a journey” but I managed it.

… For two months. Then I started smoking again.

I have no excuses, just reasons. Basically I had a big “stress event” and subsequently cracked open a pack of cigarettes that I had left over after quitting.

I knew that I was being reckless and I thought that I would stop after that packet. Guess what? I was wrong.

The addiction and compulsion kicked in scarily fast. Before I knew it I had finished the packet and bought some baccy. Then some more. The daily amount that I smoked ramped up quickly and I have ended up smoking a metric shit-ton of rollups per day.

What an idiot!

It’s taken me a while but something has clicked in my head and I’m going to have to try to quit

..again.
I was happy that my doctor allowed me to retry the course of anti-smoking pills. They are the only method that helped me to quit. I have already started them and set my quit date.

And so to the point of this post.

This will be the start of a sort of diary. I will be putting down what it’s like during the quitting process. Chances are it’ll be me moaning a lot about how it sucks but it might be interesting (and possibly helpful) to some who read it. I also expect some freaky weird dreams too (although if they are too freaky I may edit!)

I’m also hoping that it’ll help me too.
Why have I titled it “starving the caveman”?

It is because the pill apparently targets the “primitive” part of the brain – the “older” bit that used to (and does) deal with the more basic stuff and survival needs. And base urges.  That is opposed to the frontal lobe (or something) which deals more with logic and rational thinking.

… Basically the primitive part of the brain can be very persuasive and it’s demands of “I want” can drown out the “but it’s not good for you” response from the logical part of the brain.

I’m pretty sure that description isn’t technically accurate but it’s good enough for me.

The “caveman” is a persona that I have imagined to represent those “primitive” urges. In my mind he is tall, lanky, and brutish. He also carries a tree branch club. This persona will represent the “primitive” part of the brain and help me to visualise (and hopefully “conquer”) the feelings of withdrawal. Basically he is my addiction and my compulsion personified. The caveman is the bits of the brain that want the nicotine and as I stop smoking ill be starving the caveman of what he wants.

Dunno how twisted that logic is but it works for me.

My quit date is in a couple of days (although I could have up to 7 more days to quit) and I’m already trying to cut down to lessen the impact of cold turkey.

Fingers crossed!

First World..thoughts and grumps

Well…

I was initially going to have a grumpy outraged rant about some news that I heard recently. The news that here in the UK old married couples are sometimes split up and sent to different nursing homes.

I have to admit that nowadays I’m a pretty apathetic bastard a lot of the time and not much about humanity surprises me. But this bit of news actually got to me. I was genuinely outraged that this kind of thing can happen in a first World Country.

And then…. I remembered how privileged I am to be in a first world country.

Most of my life has been spent with my head pretty much in the sand (or with it up my arse?) and “world events” as well as “the other persons perspective” never really entered my head. I had for a long time given up following news and politics because its pretty much depressing (oh, and I rant about newspapers and biased or “silly” reporting).

Meeting and getting to know my beautiful alien has changed all that.

I was lucky enough to travel to her country and it opened my eyes. At least it did when I stopped thinking “first world expectations and rights”. I heard about some of the countries turbulent history too and how it affected my beautiful alien, her family, and a good amount of the countries population.

While I was there I saw a totally different way of life and values. It has made me realise just how lucky I am and just how lucky people in the UK are.

The UK government (and the news media) put out statistics of how the NHS is “failing”, for example. Some people have to wait over 4 hours to be seen.

I know it’s not as black and white as this but… the people are waiting for a free service. The doctors and nurses are busting their proverbial balls to heal people and everyone gets outraged if it takes “too long”.

Fuck me, Id rather wait for several hours knowing that someone will look after me (for free) rather than not get proper decent medical attention, or not get any treatment/medicine at all because I cannot afford it.

Sometimes I think that people have been “given” so much that some people scream about their “rights” if they are denied a luxury…. oooh, that can easily turn into an entire grumpy ranting post about having to work hard to get things in life, not expect them to be handed to you.

Its good to remind myself (or get reminded) of this occasionally. I know that for “first world people” first world problems can seem awful but at least we (here in the UK) are relatively safe and secure as we go about our day-to-day lives. We can walk the streets in (relative) safety, we are secure in the knowledge (even if we don’t always realise it) that whatever happens to us there is some authority or organisation that will pick us up if we fall and look after us. We don’t have to deal with corruption, nor see it as “a way of life” when dealing with authorities or corporations.

Oh, and we can turn on a tap pretty much anywhere and expect not to get sick off the water (and if the water is dubious [small risk of being a bit ill after drinking it] there will be a bloody big sign behind the tap telling us “not drinking water”).

 

I have no idea why I wrote all of that. It’s just my own thoughts and observations (as I see them). I love my little country and it’s interesting to see the differences between it and others around the world.

Work

Well now. 

I’m on my lunch break and in a totally different county. Sounds impressive until you realise that the county border is only 40 odd miles from the city where I live. 

I’m munching my sandwiches and feeling a bit introspective. I love (most parts) of my job and it’s something that I am relatively good at but….. 

I want more out of life. 
That was written middle of last week. Again I’m on a break (in “my own” county this time) and I still want more out of life. 

It seems selfish when I read that back to myself. I mean I have a job and a very beautiful and intelligent wife. I am able to just about live debt free (utility bills and living expenses don’t count). So why do I want more?

I want to improve the lifestyle for my wife and myself. I want to spend more time with her. I also want to “get somewhere” in employment. I realise now that although my job is pretty cool (mostly – there are some horrible bits to it), I cannot progress. There is no career ladder. 

So I’m looking ahead. I’m on the cusp of becoming a businessman. 
For me this is easier said than done. I have always been a “worker”. Kept my head down and got on with the job, and stuck in a workers mindset. It’s only recently that I have thought that I could become self employed. That thought has been snowballing and the fact that my beautiful alien is business minded gives me more confidence. 
Hopefully this will come to something.

******

Other news: fallen off the damn waggon and have started smoking again. Buggeration! Still hate the idea of being an addict and am *trying* to curb it. I’m trying to keep in mind that I managed to give up for over a month (a record since only managed a day last time I tried to quit). Granted, I was on anti-smoking pills but that’s not the point, dammit. 

I don’t want to but if needs be ill go on the buggers again. 

long weekend….

Here in the UK there is another bank holiday. it’s basically a public holiday and today is monday.

What I love the most about bank holidays is not the prospect of a three-day weekend (which is awesome), or the fact that it’s a paid holiday (also awesome – day off work and still get paid). No, for me the best bit is first thing monday morning. I wake up without needing an alarm and even if it’s still early I can snuggle down in the duvet and not worry about rushing about getting ready for work.

ahhh… bliss!

My beautiful alien alluded to the fact that one can be either productive or “blobby” during long weekends (weekends in general for me!). I tend to steer towards the blobby end of that spectrum. yes, I know that I work during the week but I also know that I totally enjoy “not thinking” during my downtime. For me, everything slows down when im not at work. im either “recovering” from a hard (or stressful) week or I end up with no solid plans of things “to do”.

Oh, and when I say “not thinking” a mean that I use forms of escapism – computer games, or reading  – in order for my subconscious (or whatever “deep part it is”) to work through plans, ideas ,and stresses. I usually see it as a big cauldron of thoughts quietly bubbling away an a back room.

There is a happy mix this weekend though. I have spent my time both blobbing hard and “doing stuff”. I have been…. outside! *gasps*. We (my beautiful alien and myself) have been out and about not only doing mundane things (shopping – always fun with my beautiful alien), but we have also done some exploring.

er… by “exploring” I mean a brief visit to a “tourist-y” village and a drive around the city looking at property.

as for the blobby side of things….

I havent been “productive” but I have lost myself in a couple of good books. I have re-read “The White Tiger” (by Aravind Adiga)  – a really really good read!

I also found a book on my bookshelf that I hadn’t read before!  –  very rare and exciting occurrence  – it was a Clive Cussler novel called “The Pacific Vortex”. that, too was pretty good.

and now… now I am re-reading “The Persona Protocol” by Andy McDermott.

…yeah, I have spent a lot of time in my broken office chair reading with my feet up while drinking copious amounts of filter coffee.

All in all, my kinda weekend.

except that I have just realised that there is still some more laundry and general housework to do. meh, not yet though. it’s a holiday

 

writing a story?

“ everybody has a novel inside them” and “a writer writes, an editor edits”. Two phrases that I have heard. I seem to have two novels stuck inside me, and I forget that he I ever finish them an editor will correct the awful grammar and spelling… assuming that they ever get finished and are good enough to get an editors attention.

Yes. I have attempted to write.

When I had the germ of my “main” novel I was very excited. It’s a kind of “in the future/science fiction/social commentary” kinda thing. I got less and less excited when over time I realised that a lot of my “original” ideas had been done before. The longer I sat on my story the more often I saw other ideas crop up in the science and technology periodicals.

The second idea is a pretty well used format. A kinda dystopian “mad max” style world where the two main protagonists start off as your average Joe who have been transported to that alternate universe via a catastrophic accident instigated by an experiment with the LHC  at cern. 

They progress through the story by going on a journey to find answers (to why they are there and how to get back). They start of as relatively decent people but have to toughen up in order to survive. 

I am hoping that it will be a (darkly) amusing tale filled with action (guns, explosions) and weird stuff 

 Incidentally, I was planning on using that same LHC accident as background for my main novel – our earth gets flipped into a parallel universe for a micro second. It’s screws up the orbit when it returns so there has to be a planned exodus of the surviving population before the our planet wobbles off and becomes uninhabitable.

……Yeah, something like that anyway. 

One day…. One day I’ll knuckle down and flesh out a bit more. 

I suppose, too, that I should actually learn how to plan and structure stories too. Right now I have ideas and, as Indiana Jones once said “I’m making it up as I go along”