It's the 7 July and I haven't written a blog post yet this month. How unusual. My brain, although full of general bullshit, is struggling to compose anything that resembles complete sentences. Bit of a problem when one is a freelance writer. You know. Just a tad of an issue.
I've been stymied by insecurity and a bizarre and unwelcome self critical vibe. Yep, I've been depressed. The black dog has been back to play. And I bloody love dogs but I wish this one would fuck the fuck off for good. Go play on a motorway or something. Go and live on that farm everyone talks about.
In the past, every depressive episode has been met with some kind of crutch. Booze, drugs (back in the day, like. Not now, and not for about 15 years, just in case anyone is actually reading this and it's important that they know I'm sober as a judge these days. Celibate as a nun. Bored as a motherfucker), fags. Something to take the edge off.
Cigarettes really do take the edge off anxiety. For me, that was the big hook. Oddly enough, it wasn't the obvious cool factor that comes with exhaling smoke out of one's nostrils. It wasn't the extortionate cost, to both my health and my wallet. It wasn't the fact that I really enjoyed smoking even though it was almost definitely a huge contributory factor towards my father's death.
It was because when the anxiety gets too great and I can't breathe and my chest hurts and my guts are churning and all I see is black and panic and terror, a fag really helped. And also I liked to smoke while drinking gin. Or coffee. And at the end of the day. I really really liked the last cigarette of the day. And after sex. Although, let's face it, that's hardly an issue anymore.
I'm trying to replace this with exercise, therapy, yoga and soda water. It works some of the time. It helps some of the time. I can deal most of the time. But the last couple of days have been so dark and black and hard (and how ridiculous is that? I'm an able bodied humanoid, with no pressing financial problems, nothing bad is happening to me, nothing bad is likely to happen to me in the near future and yet I find myself rocking on my bed unable to breathe). And all I have wanted to do is light up.
I have a pack of ten cigarettes in my drawer. I bought them on purpose when I gave up. Weird I know. But I wanted to know that if it got too horrific I had some. Their presence reassures me.
I was extremely close to just saying fuck it over this weekend. Fuck it, I'm going to smoke. What does it even matter anyway? We're all going to die. Maybe I'll die five minutes sooner than I would have done without this cigarette. Maybe I won't. No one has a fucking clue anyway. We're all just attempting to ward off the inevitable, so if a fag helps, why not?
Other people have things to help them, I thought to myself. Why can't I? My whiny inner bitch was really really ON at me just to pick one up. After all, I don't do anything else. I don't drink, I don't imbibe, what does it matter if I smoke? Go on, you deserrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrve it.
But I didn't. Because I've come too far. Because this is the first time in my life I've chosen to give up something that I didn't want to give up. Drugs and booze were a picnic compared to this. I was ready to give them up when I did, so it wasn't difficult. I wasn't addicted. It wasn't a big deal. Not drinking is easy as piss, and actually something that I might reverse in the near future. Not smoking is something I think about every day.
At the moment, I think about it when I wake up and when I go to sleep.
But it will pass. Just like this black mood will pass. And somewhere along the line it became more important to me to not smoke. Smoking is the most masochistic slow death to inflict upon oneself. It is a sign of my self destruction and lack of care about myself. It's bullshit. It's weak. And it's not coming back. No matter how much I really really really want one. I've come too far and I'm not going back.