Thursday, March 03, 2011

A Series of Obsessions

hello comrades! i hope this fine and sunny thursday is treating you well. so far, things are good on my end, and i do in fact have a few things to update you on. first of all, i decided, somewhat spontaneously, to move my quit smoking date to march the first. for those of you who suck at math or avoid calendars or have been in a coma for the last three days, that makes today my third day of being smoke free.
the reason i decided to move my quit smoking date is two fold: first of all, i decided to sign up for driven to quit, an annual contest sponsored by the canadian cancer society (although it is conspicuously only open to residents of ontario for some reason) wherein if you remain smoke free for the entire month of march, you are entered in a draw to win a variety of prizes, the top two prizes being cars. i have no interest in cars (although if i won one i would sell it and put a fine little dent in my debt), but i am interested in five thousand dollar all inclusive vacations, which is one of the other prizes. truth be told, i was envisioning driven to quit as more of a competition than a contest.... i didnt realise that i would simply be entered in a draw, so it is proving to be less incentivizing than i had thought. that being said, however, i imagine at least fifty percent of the original entrants will fail to remain smoke free, so that should boost my odds. anyway, the other reason i decided to quit early is once i got it in my head that i want to do a triathlon, i couldnt stop thinking about it and i wanted my "official" training to start sooner rather than later. so i thought, forget this june first nonsense, im ready now, and i better strike while the iron is hot. so i did.
anyway, this leads nicely into the real subject of my post today which is that my quitting smoking is going remarkably well, even without the help of nicotine substitutes. the only thing i am taking is an herbal supplement which is supposed to help cleanse my lungs and detox me, which if anything, would make the cravings for a cigarette WORSE. all of this lack of craving and impressive willpower naturally got me wondering WHY this is going so successfully, and here is what i have come to realise. i think that only obsessive people become smokers. or, in the spirit of not leaving anyone out, i think that smoking makes you an obsessive person if you arent already. i suppose this is the "addiction" of smoking: obsession. it isnt habit, it isnt nicotine, its obsession. and if you can find something else to be obsessed about, you will lose interest in smoking. thats how its been for me, anyway. once i got this triathlon commitment solidified in my mind, cigarettes were a thing of the past. now all of my spare time is devoted to training or thinking about training. i have poured all of my obsessive energy into triathletics, and as long as i keep it there, i have no room or time in my brain for cigarettes. even writing about it like this isnt making me want one, which is impressive. so there you go. im sure that other people who have quit may feel differently and their experiences might be completely different from mine, but i never thought quitting smoking would be as easy as it has been, and sincerely believe that has everything to do with my compulsive all-or-nothing personality and very little to do with ritual, habit, routine or nicotine.

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