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By nebbish (Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 03:15:12 AM EST) (all tags)
It won't last


I haven't smoked for nearly two months

And it hasn't been very easy.

I've smoked since I was fifteen, and although I've never tried to give up before I have cut down substantially over the years. For the last couple of years I’ve been smoking a couple of times a week when I’ve had a drink, although when I drank I practically chain smoked. Last year I'd started having a few fags in the evening as well. I started to develop a constant cough, which got really bad if I was smoking. My best mate gave up in the summer, so I decided to as well, but I decided to wait until New Year.

I gave up drinking for the first couple of weeks as well in the hope that this would help. It did a bit, but the first Friday night without fags was still pretty unbearable, with the added misery of not being able to sleep, something I wasn’t expecting.

The following night I did something I don’t normally do unless I’ve had a few drinks and am feeling relaxed – I stoked my bong with a bit of weed and smoked that. It was an amazing help. For the rest of the evening until I went to bed – probably about four or five hours – I didn’t want a cigarette at all. This from one bong with less than half a spliff’s worth of cannabis in it. Another reason it’s a wonder drug.

These occasional bongs helped me through the first month. I’m not a social cannabis smoker though because it tends to make me a bit withdrawn, so drinking round at friends’ houses or down the pub was becoming a bit of a problem as I couldn’t rely on getting a bit stoned to take away the cravings. A couple of weeks ago a bought a nicotine inhalator which has helped a little as well, though it’s a bit embarrassing puffing away on one in the pub.

I was out in Clerkenwell with some new friends on Saturday night and had a pretty crap time. For the first three hours all I could think about was smoking and fags, I was totally distracted just sat there puffing furiously at my fake plastic fag. It was all a bit embarrassing and I nearly cracked and had a cigarette, it was all just too miserable for words. Then suddenly, as I reached a certain level of drunkenness, it all lifted and I felt like I didn’t need one. I think I might have turned a corner.

So anyway, it’s really hard and I hate it but I’ve been on various types of drugs and not smoked, been down the pub countless times and not smoked, done two months without a fag, I might be puffing on a crap plastic fag like a twat and running off home at the end of the night for a bong, but I haven’t smoked and I’m pretty pleased with myself.

Reading

Read David Peace’s Red Riding Quartet for the second time in time for the Channel 4 dramatisation at the beginning of March. The books are 1974, 1977, 1980 and 1983, although 1977 isn’t being filmed for budgetary reasons – I suspect they decided to skip that one because it has some difficult racial stuff in it, with the “heroes” being very much of their time by being racist too.

The books are set in Leeds and West Yorkshire in the titular years, and are very broadly fictionalisations of the Yorkshire Ripper murders, the premise being that the real-life rumours that there was a second serial killer operating at the time are tied in with police corruption and murky links between organized crime and prostitution, with the police murdering prostitutes and covering it up with the Ripper killings.

I originally read Peace’s books when they came out and were a bit of a cult thing in Leeds, and was actually pretty blown away. They’re stylish, strange and very, very grim, perhaps even more so than you’d think from the subject matter, being concerned with the oppressive atmosphere of the north at the time as well as the crime thriller subject matter.

Since then he’s deservedly gone on to become very well respected with a film dramatisation of what I think is his best book, the Damned United, due out soon as well – though that seems to have been converted into a twee shite comedy rather than the ‘this is how it feels being trapped in Brian Clough’s nervous breakdown’ feel of the book.

Reading them again has been very rewarding. Their dense style is opaque and difficult at times, deliberately so because it isn’t meant to be clear who is doing what, but on second reading I got a much better sense of what is going on. I think this could make for a successful TV adaptation as well by uncovering what is actually a strong narrative underlying the rapid, dialogue heavy confusion. My only fear is that they’ll shy away from the appalling attitudes to women on display, as showing how badly prostitutes were treated back then is probably the quartet’s greatest strength.

I’ll be reviewing the TV dramatizations for Quiet Earth and will post a link (my other reviews are here if anyone’s interested BTW).

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I see Jade Goody got married | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Smoking etc. by Metatone (2.00 / 0) #1 Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 03:31:38 AM EST
I gave up in 2001 or so.

The good news is, it's 2009 and I haven't started again.

The bad news is, I was at a party in Germany the other week, with lots of people smoking around me and by the end of the evening I probably would have cheerfully committed murder for some tobacco. But then, most of the drugs I've given up affect me that way. I think I need some new entertainments.

I never read the Red Riding Quartet - I figured growing up in the area was grim and oppressive enough without being reminded of it - but maybe I'll have to give it a try.




God by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #2 Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 03:41:51 AM EST
The hope that it gets easier is sort of keeping me going, I hope I don't still feel like this a few years down the line.

Actually it is slowly getting better. Slowly.

They're worth reading, but yes they are very grim, enough to upset you considerably. I found parts of 1980 really difficult.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Oh it does get easier... by Metatone (2.00 / 0) #5 Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 05:03:08 AM EST
if it hadn't, I'd have cracked... but watching other people smoke remains the hardest thing.

I'll leave the books a while, I don't need much extra upset at the moment.


[ Parent ]
I've discovered I can quit booze by MohammedNiyalSayeed (4.00 / 1) #3 Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 04:45:28 AM EST

and I can quit food, but I am not willing to quit cigarettes. They're like the last thing I like that I will cling to until I like something else again. Kudos, though, sir. Kudos.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
I hear you by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #4 Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 04:50:28 AM EST
There the one unhealthy thing I can quit (though I suspect I will quit drinking at some point when I'm older as there are a lot of things about it I don't like), which is why I'm doing it.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Not drinking, for me, has been easy by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #8 Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 07:04:36 AM EST

In that I don't generally drink alone, and lived that way for some time. Now that I have roommates who I see drinking every day, I also see the cackling, yelling, slurred, inarticulate speech, muddled thoughts, and other excesses of drunken exuberance, in addition to seeing the complete lack of control these people have over themselves and their lives, it makes me not want to drink in the social settings I used to drink in, either.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
My colleagues... by gazbo (2.00 / 0) #6 Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 05:06:05 AM EST
...groaned and then eyed me with disgust when I repeated that Jade Goody line.

Awesome.


I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

Hat tip to my flatmate by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #7 Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 05:09:06 AM EST
Who also managed to effortlessly slip it into a conversation for extra effect

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
I quit smoking 2 years ago. by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #9 Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 07:34:42 AM EST
For the first year or so, and occasionally since, I really only missed it after a meal.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Congratulations. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #10 Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 09:26:07 AM EST
I've been trying to find the discipline to lose weight again; but I just can't find it.


An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
I'm trying that one as well by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #11 Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:41:52 PM EST
It's not going too badly but it's a slow process. How are you going about it?

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Whining and complaining, mostly. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #12 Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 03:52:35 AM EST
The problem is that it really is a matter of will power; I spent 6 years fighting with myself to lose weight, and I did, but it's exhausting trying to keep up the required level of self-loathing.

So, for the 5-6 years after that, I kept the weight off by doing ever increasing amounts of exercise instead of calorie restriction - but, hell, I'm 44. I simply can't do the amount of physical activity I was doing when I was 34; if nothing else, my knees and elbows can't take it.

So, at this point, the booze is out of the house and we have already decided (for financial reasons) that we're going to stop eating out every week, and SWHTL has announced that she's going to start nagging me if she finds me in the kitchen, so we'll see.

The biggest problem is breaking the carbs addiction. It doesn't have to be candy, it doesn't have to be sweet, but I definitely find myself craving carbs all the time. Finding something I can substitute for those is going to be the critical piece, I think.



An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
I know what you mean by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #13 Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 04:04:40 AM EST
I stay off carbs all day then find myself getting up in the middle of the night and stuffing bread in my mouth. It's weird.

Cutting down on food definitely seems an easier way than exercise, though I quite enjoy exercise (cycling and hiking) so I do both.

I've cut down on meat loads which seems to have helped, and this is totally anecdotal and may only apply to me, but rice seems to be a better carb than pasta or bread.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
I see Jade Goody got married | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback