chainsaw_headerApologies extended to Mr. Mark and the bunch of funk, for altering the lyrics to their one-hit-wonder. However, considering the potential positive outcome of this endeavor it seems rather fitting. Either that or an appropriate amount of sarcasm should it fail.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term cessation: ces·sa·tion /se‘saySHUN/ noun:  the fact or process of ending or being brought to an end. Yes, a sweet ending. Albeit marred with tar and stained with nicotine it will be an ending. This writer has been a smoker (of cigarettes) for 28 years. At times consuming up to and beyond three packs a day (that’s 60 if you do the math). Now the time has come to definitively end it or to succumb to fate and stop looking for the end.

We’ll skip the details, so as not to somehow inadvertently glorify my extensive smoking history, and skip to the potential endgame. So many reasons to quit and we’ve heard them all so there’s no point in giving reasons. The only reason that matters is whichever one works.

They say that the initial nicotine withdrawal lasts 72 hours. They say if you can survive that you’ve made it. I wonder if “they” ever smoked and if they did, did they successfully quit? Doesn’t matter, I don’t want to anymore. So here we go. It’s 11:30pm Thanksgiving 2016, which seems an appropriate time to be thankful for going cold turkey. In a few minutes I will step outside and smoke my “last” cigarette. I’ll see you tomorrow…gawd help us all

DAY 1: The start of the day has always been defined with a morning smoke. Preceding or succeeding a number of different morning activities. I’ll have to redefine the beginning of my day. At least so far I have resisted the urges and battled the cravings for nicotine filled delight…I’ve only been awake for 10 minutes.

Two hours later- arrrgh! Just one…would one really hurt? Yes it would but…oh I can taste it. Ah yummy toxic nicotine.  NO! Got to get it through my mind that there is no ‘I can have one when this is over’ it’s already over and this is it! There is no after! That actually makes sense I think.

They said the cravings would last a three minute eternity. Well whadaya know, they were right. I’m bombarded numerous times during the day and left reeling. But as the evening draws its black velvet curtain I have survived to not smoke another day. See ya in the morning.

DAY 2: Wow! Of all the side effects of quitting smoking the “vivid smoking dreams” sounded like total BS. Believe me it is flast-butt-the-end-jpgcompletely legit. Last night I wandered thru a city constructed of various sizes of cigarettes… everything was smokable. Then a bouncy, bunny eared, 40’s era cigarette girl popped up and offered me a light. Luckily Lil Red (that’s the spouse) kicked me in the foot and kneed me in the caboose…did it in her sleep…so she says.

Stay busy or at least preoccupied. So I have swept all the dead bugs up in the basement. Now for several hours of mindless cartoons and…oh pizza and any other food! A little irritable but cravings are down…aside from the constant acid-reflux pukey nicotine taste. Tum ta tum tums!!!

An evening of gaming at a friend’s house serves as an excellent distraction. Happy to report, aside from some congestion and coughing, that the carvings today were minimal but now… It’s like a flaming hand has reached into the right side of my chest; burning, squeezing and suddenly I’m so very tired. Gonna call it a night and hope for the best and some rest. Catch ya in the am.

DAY 3: So before blacking out for the night Lil Red says she’s proud of me. She honestly didn’t think I’d survive Day 1…. such confidence.

Comes the dawn. No dreams last night but another side effect paid a visit – insomnia. I’m feeling more edgy than tired. Just gonna focus on surviving the day.

A constant nauseous headache has been prevalent throughout the day. Not sure if it’s attributed to nicotine withdrawal or not. Gack the acidic tar taste has accompanied it also…sigh…just a few more hours.

As this, my third smoke free day, draws to a close I can’t help but feel a sense of victory and having accomplished something that seemed along the lines of impossible despite my need for some crutches along the way. Though the battle for the first 72 is the hardest this war is far from over. I must be ever vigilant for habit and addiction are the most devious of enemies to have.

In CLOSING: I would like to apologize, to all who read this in search the humor that a writer such as myself can bring to such a subject. Personally, when I started this, I honestly thought it would be a lot funnier. But then I don’t think I would have taken it seriously and…well…this is real and sometimes real isn’t that funny. It just is what it is. Hopefully a week from now when this reaches publication and makes its way to your hands I can still say, I’m breathing a little easier today.

I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or email me at [email protected] or you can FRIEND me on Facebook under Saw’s Brood!

Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya!