Saturday, October 12, 2013

Second Thoughts

So, on my last visit with my sweet old Hungarian doctor I was told I needed to stop smoking. Just as I have been told by other doctors, parents, friends, lovers and coworkers ever since I started smoking. The only difference was that this time I listened, which I am now regretting.

Anti-Smoking Sign, Zion, Illinois (circa 1915)
I am now well into the second week of my Champix-treatment and I passed my preset cutoff date on Thursday. As I was having second thoughts then I moved it to Saturday, i.e. today. I have had a miserable week and have started experiencing some of the side effects of the drug, but have soldiered on despite the clear signs of the onset of another depression.

Those signs are are no strangers to me and I recognize them with a small nod as they turn up, one after the other, like long lost acquaintances. The tiredness, the unsociableness, the complete boredom with everything and everyone (but mainly myself), the feelings of ugliness, unwantedness and self inflicted loneliness and isolation.

Today I did not smoke at all during the whole day, and with the medication that went smoothly - physiologically. I felt almost no withdrawal symptoms from my body and when I did, I sprayed some nicotine in the mouth and they passed within a minute. But emotionally and psychologically I have suffered all day, which is ridiculous really because I didn't really think those parts of me would be the problem.

Intellectually I have accepted the fact that I must quit smoking or else I am well on my way to getting COPD. I can stop that developing by quitting, so I must quit. There really isn't much more to it. I also accept the fact that continued smoking can cause my death or cause other health issues. I am finally well aware of the ever increasing social stigma against tobacco smoking.

Yet, I feel like a part of me is being ripped away, a part that has given me comfort, fun and relief for so many years. What will the new me be like? Will I like it? And is it really necessary for me to live past my 70th birthday, I will not have much of a pension then anyway will I? Why am I doing this to myself?

Anyway, even if I did go out and buy a pack of cigarettes at 10PM local time and have smoked three already, I am going to try again tomorrow.

...and if I don't feel better mentally on Monday I am going to call my doctor and ask his advice on whether to continue or stop the Champix-treatment. 


  1. remember those wiser lines from Ars? ''hang in there! " Heard that myself so many times... you'll gonna make it BIL, you are a brave man! <3

  2. Bravo Bock, I quit 16 years ago - was the hardest thing i ever did but have no regrets now.

  3. My Dear Bock,

    I've been missing you since Monday, but now I understand why you haven't been in-world, sweetie. First of all: Quitting smoking is harder to do than almost anything else (the AA gang has no idea). Which is why I still smoke at my tender age of 34. But I've slowly cut my intake back from a pack-and-a-half per day to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes per day in just a few years.

    But I still smoke because I enjoy it. Will it shave a few days off my time in a cold, dank nursing home in the future if I just quit smoking immediately? Probably, but not by much. I'm trying to balance my zest for life with my need to enjoy that life.

    Yes, I said 34. Go see if you can find my birth certificate. Otherwise that's my age.

    Give yourself some credit for the desire and fortitude you clearly have to do that which you know is best for you. I will always applaud that in anyone, and you are so much stronger than you realize. And you are not just anyone. You are family to me.

    But we are human, and we have the curse of being aware of the possible outcomes of our choices. I could quit smoking tonight - only to be hit by a truck while crossing the street tomorrow because I didn't take a left turn to get a pack of cigarettes.

    Life has a horrible sense of humor sometimes, but we both know that.

    Yes, I said 34. 3-4. Thirty-Four!

    You are a wise, caring, sweet, loving, intelligent man. Come back into SL and talk, or answer your Skype when I call. At a time like this you should be with friends. It helps take the edge off. Isolating yourself
    won't help, you know that my sweet friend.

    I have more to say, but you will have to talk to me. Please do.

    There are three words in life that are more important than "I love you". Those words are "Let me help".

    Love always,


    p.s. 34 !!! Jesus, why does no one believe me ??

  4. All this will pass Bock and is temporary,,, Bock my brave buddy...Chew gum, lots of it and eat more to take your mind off it. You might gain weight but it is not as bad as smoking although I gained 30 lbs after I stopped smoking a year ago. Nothing feels as good as realizing when you no longer need cigs, matches, lighters and bloody nicotine patches. Total freedom and knowing you are a strong mother fker. Treat yourself to things you love, food, music, books, trips etc,

  5. Be strong my friend! Sure, if you need a smoke; have one. But know you are doing this all for YOU. I believe in you and that you can do anything you set your mind to. XO

  6. Thanks sweethearts for being so kind to a self indulgent whiner, next time first slap me and the give me a hug!

    34, Dej? I thought we had agreed to say you were 24? Where the f**k did I hide my notes...?

    1. Hell, some days I still have the placenta attached.

      34, sweeties.



  7. 43! nice Age Dej!

    Smoking is a disgusting habit that you should kick to improve chances of having sex with hot young men! So stop wining! But here's a hug anyhow! (( ))

    1. My lie was 34, not 43.

      And a "nice young man" wouldn't lecture Bock about any habits he may have. A petulant attitude is just unattractive, even in children. Next thing you know you'll be saying smoking all that crack is bad for me.

      Gratuitous advice is the curse of a smug man.

      With all the respect you have earned today,



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