Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Nicotine dreams

Several weeks back, I said I was trying to give up my nicotine habit -- chewing tobacco -- and I said I intended to chronicle the process of ditching the dip. I haven't done a very good job of that.
Part of my reason, or excuse, for this is that the cravings haven't really been that bad. The worst of the withdrawal symptoms have been mitigated by my decision to use nicotine gum to wean myself off of the Copenhagen habit I've labored under for about 22 years.

But lately, I've taken a bit of a step backward. No, I haven't put a pinch between my cheek and gum for that pure tobacco pleasure former snuff pitchman and former Dallas Cowboy running back Walt Garrison used to espouse back in the days when they still showed tobacco commercials on TV. No, I've been periodically buying -- and worse smoking -- cigarettes.

I certainly have no desire to give up one tobacco habit for another. And I will not allow myself to become a smoker. But during my trip to Vegas I often smoked while playing cards or slots at the casinos. And since I've been home, I've also been smoking, particularly while driving.

So today I decided, as I watched another pack of cigarettes dwindling down to a finally 2 smokes, that I was not going to buy another pack. Yea, I may go through more gum, which is more expensive, for a while, but the smoking is not acceptable to me.

Yes, I am still vexed by cravings. Not the kind that signal full-scale withdrawal, but cravings none the less. Anyone who has smoked or suffered nicotine addition would probably notice the pattern of the most intense cravings.

First thing in the morning -- Can't start the day without nicotine. It gets the blood pumping and gets the brain out of neutral.

After meals -- Nicotine, the dessert of champions. Nothing like a little dip, or smoke, or Nicorette to cleans the pallet after breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Under stress -- Anxiety fuels the jones. Will a little nicotine any crisis seems manageable. Without it, even moderate stress can lead to a virtual freakout.

Boredom -- Nothing to do? Now about a dip? Why twiddle your thumbs when you can burn one down to the filter? Why daydream when you can chomp on some nicotine gum?

Before bed -- Yea, got to have a little before calling it a day. Relax, wind down after the day and get a little more nicotine into the bloodstream before fasting through the night.

Well, I guess I'll wrap this up for now. I've got a little craving I need to satisfy.

No, I just haven't had dinner yet.

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