starving the caveman…

These posts are getting fewer and fewer. There is a reason for this.

I have mentioned that I have been a heavy smoker for years. I had to admit to myself that it was an addiction and a compulsion. 

I also mentioned that I decided to stop taking the pills a week or so ago, surely because they were making me feel nauseous. It was definitely a risk since I wasn’t sure if I could starve the caveman – that I could rely purely on willpower- and stop smoking

I have had a revelation. I have realised that although I still have am occasional smoke (usually when the “urge” gets too much), I am no longer fully dependent on cigarettes. 

What I mean is that there is no longer a smoking routine and I don’t feel the need to habitually smoke.

This in itself is a major thing for me. more so since I am doing it without any “medical support”. I think that the pills broke a lot of cycles and habits. I also think that my dependence on smoking has been very significantly reduced. 

I would like to think that anyone reading this post (and the previous ones) will be encouraged if they are trying to quit or cut down. 

As for me… I’m still hoping to totally quit but I am very pleased to be at “this stage”.

Starving the caveman. Weekend report and Monday

Day 8

If you have read my beautiful aliens post you will see that I had a pretty good weekend. I’m still feeling smug after fixing the oven on Saturday.  

… It was the heating element that was broken. It would have been a 5 min job except that two of the screws holding the element in place were screwed in from the other side – I had to remove the back of the oven to get to them. It all worked out ok though and my beautiful wife is very happy. That makes me very happy.
And now to the caveman…
It’s Monday evening and I can cover today and the weekend by saying that quitting rollups is still not fun. 

The caveman has been constantly sobbing quietly with occasional outbursts of demands. 

Basically it means that I have a constant low key anxiety/need/withdrawal feeling in my tum. It’s barely there but it’s insistent and wearing. 

I’ll also have periods where all I want to do is to go out and smoke a nice big fat rollup.  That’s when my stomach muscles tighten as I try to stop that urge. The stupid thing is that I *know* that if I go out and smoke it’ll taste like shit, I will feel ill and not feel “satisfied”, and ill also feel like a twat for giving in. 

Sometimes I have to take one puff on my vape thing. That just takes the edge off. 
So, yeah. I’m not enjoying quitting yet. 

But I am having some bloody awesome dreams! Trouble is that I either cannot recall them, or I can recall but they cannot translate well  if I wanted to explain them. Oh well. It’s all good. 

And now I’m going to sleep. Not only is it bedtime but I want to sleep to get away from the caveman

Starving the caveman day 5

Day 5
Morning…

Woke up to find that the elections are a mess. The idiot that I voted for doesn’t have a clear majority from the other idiot. Guess I’ll have to wait and see what happens. 

Also woke feeling sick. My beautiful alien is also unwell. I suspect dodgy take-away fried chicken. I also woke up actively not wanting a rollup. This is the first time and so far I still have that feeling – the caveman is totally quiet this morning. 

It’s coffee break at work and… wow.. The only time I thought about smoking was just now when I opened my phone to write this. I suspect that feeling really icky with a dodgy tum probably helps me to forget about nicotine. Whatever works is good, I guess. 
Evening…

Felt better during the afternoon and the caveman was fairly quiet. This lasted until about 8pm or so when all of a sudden the caveman started screaming. I spent the rest of the evening getting really bad cravings… or possibly withdrawal? I’m not sure which but either way I have made it to bedtime without smoking or having a quick vape… yeah. Go, me! Haha

starving the caveman 3rd day….

Day 3

Not an easy one so far. It’s my morning break – 10pm and the caveman is banging about and making lots of noise. Has been since this morning. 

I don’t want to quieten things down with a quick vape because I don’t want to rely on that and end up swapping one source of nicotine for another. Plus there is a principle here. 

So I’m just going to have to sit here and tough it out till break is over. Hopefully my work will distract me and drown out the cavemans clamour. 

Nope, it didn’t. At least not completely. The need for a rollup has been bugging me all bloody day. What really sucks is that I know that if I ever did give in and have one it will taste like crap (plus I’d be pissed off with myself for doing it).

I think that I compensated this evening with nibbles. That’s something else that I’m going to have to curb. Hopefully I can cut down on those. Chances are that I’ll have a grumpy rant about that sometime in the near future.

But anyway… bed time now and I am happy that I have managed three days without smoking. A result for me

starving the caveman day 2

Late yesterday evening wasn’t good. It seems that the caveman wakes up more in the evenings because he was banging on the walls by 10pm

I’m trying to evaluate how it feels. It seems to be a cross between anxiety – that horrible feeling in your tum and all the stomach muscles are tensing – and hunger. 

So far it seems to be a purely physical discomfort. 

I did end up having to have a very brief vape before going to bed. Just to take the edge off. 

Fortunately the anxiety/cravings/withdrawal seem to “reset” somewhat during the night as I woke this morning not feeling as “needy” as when I went to sleep.

The working day wasn’t too bad. I definitely had to hold my tongue and censor my thoughts a few times though. Speaking ones mind at work – especially about work – is never a good idea. 
I think the agitation was mainly withdrawal with a tiny bit of work frustration. 

Anyway, I got through work ok. 
The evening was also fairly ok too. I didn’t feel as anxious as yesterday but my body still doesn’t like not having a rollup (or several). Another very brief sip of the vape helped a tiny bit. 

So far… Two days without smoking. 

That is an achievement in itself

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. 

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!