War Journal 45: Firing Down

This part of my brain is actively seeking my ruin.

Ok, after a much needed break back in the States, I’m back in Afghanistan.  My motivation to be here at all time lows, I’m working on stoking those coals that’ll get me fired up on writing, on blogging, on working, and being that overall cat you loyal subscribers out there signed up to hear more about.

One thing I don’t need to fire up is a cigarette. After seven months smoke free, I revisited the dumbest habit known to man.

I know, boo on me.

I got no one to blame on this one.  Curse me and my chemical dependencies.  But I want to quit.  Real bad.  Ultra bad.  It’s messing with my workouts in the present and my life expectancy in the future.  And what’s the point of having a hot wife if I’m living in a pine box?  Who’s going to chase after my son when he’s trying to get away if I’m on oxygen?

Like any smoker, my logical mind (superego) and definitely my body are telling me to quit this crap.  But my instinctual brain (id), wants its medicine and it’s enlisting my rational side (ego) to help it get what it wants.  Any smoker/ex-smoker will tell you that when they’re trying to quit, you’ll have debates in your own head, trying to rationale a practice that makes zero sense.

Id: Yo, we should smoke.

Superego: No way.  This crap is killing me.

Id: Dude, we’re not gonna want them super-senior years.  We wanna die young and awesome.  More importantly, we wanna live!  Let’s burn one!

Superego: Can’t you feel that rattle in our lungs, dumbass?

Id: Lungs are soft… that’s why they hide behind the rib cage.  You and me… badasses.  Tell him Ego.

Ego: Yep.  Total badasses.

Superego: I’m sure a badder ass is stage III emphysema.

Id: Just one more, dude.  That’s all.  One is nothing.

Superego: Dammit, no!  Every cigarette’s the last one!  They don’t even sell singles, so when we buy a pack what do you think happens to the other 19 cigarettes… and don’t you say we’ll throw it away.  You just have me fish it out of the trash and then we’re smoking extra dirty.

Id: Naw man.  I wouldn’t have you dig smokes out the can.  That’s Ego.

Ego: I’m helping!

Id: That’s right, he’s helping us fight off the shakes.  And he’s helping us look cool… Sam Jackson, John Travolta black suit cool.  Complete badasses who don’t sweat when Marvin gets shot in the face.  That’s help… what do you do but complain Superego?

Superego:  I’m helping us stay alive for likely a score more years.

Id: I’m sorry, I thought I was talking to Superego but apparently I’m talking to Superchump.  Stop whining, we’ll quit after Columbus Day. How you gonna not smoke on Columbus Day, after he came all this long way just so you can enjoy some sweet Virginia greenleaf?

Ego: Welcome to Marlboro County… alive with pleasure!

Readers, this must end.  I aim to fire down and I’d like you all to help.  Send me your comments.  Yes, your comments, wishing me luck, telling me I can do it, hell just plain “hi” will bolster old Superego.  Every comment helps provide that extra push of positive pressure, so when Id is talking sly, I can log on to fictigristle and see you all literally smacking the pack of smokes out of my hand.  You all can help make this cold turkey easier to digest.

Help me fight Ronald Reagan… let’s not win one for The Gipper!



Filed under War Journals

5 responses to “War Journal 45: Firing Down

  1. Stacey

    I’m in the middle of a very good book. “Lone Survivor” by Marcus Luttrell. You tell me, what would those SEAL instructors in Coronado say to some dumbass smoking cigarettes?

    They’d say “Ring that goddammed bell and review Stacer’s story on Critters!”

    Oh wait that’s what I would say.

    They’d say go get wet and sandy!

  2. Stacey

    Oh, and hope you had a nice break. You deserve it. 🙂

  3. Philip MacKim

    Cigarettes are one of the dumber drugs of abuse. They’re highly addictive, ruin your health, and don’t get even get you very high. Ninety percent of the good feeling you get is making the bad feeling of withdrawal go away.

    That said, it’s hard to quit smoking in a war zone, so don’t be too hard in yourself. A guy I know realized he should quit when he risked machine gun fire to retrieve a pack of smokes he’d dropped while diving for cover.

    I quit my one plus pack a day habit twenty years ago by paying attention only to the first one of the day. You analyze what the urge is all about and try to put it off. If you’re lucky that day you build on the fresh air you got while sleeping. Maybe you get 12 or more hours that day (including sleep time, assuming you’re not sleep-smoking ).

    Then, when you finally give in, forget about it. Just enjoy smoking for the rest of the day as usual, with no guilt. Start again tomorrow. After a few weeks of this you understand more about why you smoke, about how to get through craving, and about how the smoke affects your body and mind. Then you might even be ready to say goodbye to nicotine at that point.

  4. Stacey, Phil! Thanks for popping in with advice and overall good cheer. I definitely appreciate your support!

  5. Anonymous

    Think of it this way… every time you light up, you break some neurons… those neurons could be the ones you need to write the greatest book of all time. Immortality dude… eyes on the prize.

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