Thursday, June 27, 2013

How to Write a Book While Remaining Smoke-free

Today is Day Four of my smoke-free life. I kicked the smoking habit last Sunday afternoon after a weekend of puffing away. Cold turkey is the only way to go for me. I've done it cold turkey before and I lasted eight years. I blame my ex-husband for my smoking relapse. Yes, I do. But of course, had we remained together...you fill in the blanks here :)

So, Day Four. My pets are alive and the police haven't been called to my house for any disturbances caused by me, anyway. The police were called to my street which was a great distraction for an hour. I live on a "colorful" street in the historic district of my town. It's not as colorful as other streets, but with school out, it's "lively" around here in the summer months.

They (I don't know who they is) say that after day three, anything becomes a habit and that just may be true about my quitting or maybe I was focused on day three and it distracted me from smoking! I'm not sure, but I feel fine and dandy. Actually, I feel great. I thought I'd have a rough time giving up coffee and tea and was dreading the withdrawals from caffeine, but I didn't get the headache people talk about (again, those people). I'm not sure if my mild withdrawals are because I've been drinking Dr. Oz's green juice, detox concoction, and taking my vitamin D religiously but I feel pretty damn good. Giving up red wine for the time being isn't a big deal, either. I'm not a person who enjoys drinking alone and I live alone, so meh. Be gone, triggers!

There are, however, specific times where I've notice a stronger pull to run to my neighbor's house for a cigarette or ten:

After a meal;
after writing, when it's time to proofread and edit;
and, after great sex.

Not really. I just threw number three in there to make sure you were paying attention. However, my neighbor tells me that sex is THE KEY to success for battling just about any addiction. Unless your addiction is actually sex, of course. Then, I suppose you'd take a cold shower, scarf down a Klondike bar or you'd substitute sex for another addiction like bungee jumping from the nearest bridge, for example.

Anyhoo, yesterday I noticed a stronger urge to smoke after a meal and after I wrote my blog post. The urge happened again as I wrapped up a newly written page of my second novel, Finding Gracia. I  literally had to get up, go outside and weed the garden. As I was weeding, I thought, "Wait a cotton pickin' minute!" (my mother's favorite American phrase when she arrived in the US from Puerto Rico), 'I could play games with my head! I can trick myself into believing that writing is the activity and the "reward, prize" is the editing!' An aha moment.

Well, it could work. If you think about it, we are quite able to psyche ourselves into believing any number of things, and not all are smart things, either. If I'm on a balcony, I have to talk myself into believing that I'm not afraid of heights (which I am) and I've talked myself into believing that I could kayak when I had a fear of capsizing and not being able to right myself. I had nightmares of drowning under a canoe, not fun. 

I remember the day when I decided to call myself an artist when I began painting for exhibits. I had to call myself a writer when I began to write my first novel, A Decent WomanFake it until you make it. I don't just write, I'm a writer. I'm going to do whatever I need to do to not smoke. I'm a retired smoker, an ex-smoker, a recovering nicotine addict, yuck. It even sounds nasty!

I'm nearly finished writing this blog post and I've caught myself looking to my right where my cigarettes, lighter and ashtray used to be. There was nothing better than dragging on a cigarette at a job well done aka my blog and/or novels.

Must trick myself into believing that editing is the same as smoking...or I just might just buy the Blu electronic cigarette for editing. Nah, that would be a crutch. Off I go to think about all that...

Peace and love to you!
Ellie




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