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"A gleeful dollop of Blytonian magic ... Reddy Madhavan is also able to tackle some fairly sensitive subjects such as identity, the love of and karmic ties with parents, adoption, the first sexual encounter, loneliness, and my favourite, feminist rage." - Scroll

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8 January 2008

Just about keeping from chewing off her fingers and throwing them at the walls

So... I quit smoking.

It wasn't so much a choice as a necessity. I haven't had any sleep recently, because I've been up all night coughing for the last week or something, and even though there is something oddly romantic about waking up at four in the morning and looking outside your window , it's not so much fun if it's happening ALL the time. Plus, mostly there was less looking outside my window and more curled up in bed in a foetal position hacking like I was sixty or something. And scaring my cat.

After about the third day of this, I realised that a nice cigarette versus feeling my lungs bleed was no contest. (The cigarette had to go, of course, not the lungs, although now, tick tocking into day 3, pffffffft, what's a little cancer?)

How's it been so far, you ask? Well, I have these strange mood swings that keep happening, so one minute I'm fine and the next I'm in the depths of depression. I have INTENSE cravings every now and then where I would kill anything in my path just to get a nicotine fix, but I'm working on that with deep breathing and carrot sticks. Apparently carrots have some sort of chemical in them that resemble, very vaguely, nicotine. I don't know about that, but I like them coz they're roughly the same size as a smoke in my fingers and they keep me from pigging out on the chocolate that is ALSO in my fridge. Oh yeah, I'm eating a LOT. I attempted to keep it under control for a bit but now I'm just going with it. I don't have the energy for THAT much will power.

Basically, quitting smoking has ZERO benefits so far.

I can't go out for a drink, because that might tempt me.

Ditto with smoking friends. (I MADE Lali give me a Godang Garam of which I had one drag and put it out and now it's sitting on my bookshelf mocking me. One more couldn't hurt. No, it could. No, it couldn't. I'm going to hide it now.)

I can't drink coffee.

I'm going to be fat.

Goodbye, post coital cigarette. (In fact, goodbye coital anything since I'm turning into Porky Pig and no one will want to sleep with me anyway)

I think I might cry now. (See what I mean by the mood swings?) Oh sure, less chances of cancer and no premature aging and possibly better skin or something, but they're all such LONG TERM things. I mean, who's to prove that I wouldn't get cancer anyway?

I should've never started smoking in the first place.

By the way, fun fact, all the physical need for a cigarette should be out of my system by tomorrow. After that, I just have to keep telling myself it's psychological.

Psychological, my ass. And my "friends" find this very amusing, this entire quitting thing. I hate everybody. I hate the world. I want to die.



  1. Heh. I've been off em for 6 whole days. New year resolution and all. With the ocassional drag here. And there.

    Try lollipops. Seem to work for me.

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  3. Listen, you're too young to quit. Quit in twenty years or so. Seriously. Or just detox for a month or so.

  4. Hmm. I used to smoke about 5-8 WIllses. Now... im in the states and cant find a brand to smoke. So i roll smokes. and you know what? I smoke like maybe 2 a day coz the damn things need to be relit every four seconds AND they have to rolled. Perhaps some sort of reduction therapy is in order? Or go get one of them patch things.
    I got nothing else. Sorry. Keep at it, i guess.

  5. this is funny, with so many people trying to do this probably each new year. this would include me - one can ignore it during the day but it's too much a temptation during the night. no wonder even i started to have a lot a chocolates hmmmmm..
    but i guess the one should definetly give it a sincere shot

  6. Be like me-- only smoke when you drink. You cut down on the absolute number tremendously, but you still get to smoke now and then. And it has the added advantage of providing you with one more excuse to drink :)

  7. A treadmill and bowlful of gummy bears worked for me. No more nicotine encrusted lungs for you.

  8. Oh no! Another smoker tries to go down the chute!
    This is why I have contempt for the New Year :)
    You're probably still far from becoming a ex-smoker-smoke-hater type though. Forgetting how good it used t feel is the absolute worst part (for others) and the peak (for you) of quitting.

  9. As a ex-smoker for the past 12 years, who tried to quit smoking for 5 years before that, who tried everything from cold turkey to jar-filled-with-cigarette-butts to nicotine patches, the only thing that worked was a happy pill: Wellbutrin. If you are serious about quitting, and your current plan doesn't work out, dial the shrink and get the pills.

  10. going into withdrawal, are we? u r mighty brave to try and quit cold turkey, and smart too. keep it up, and its all going to be worth it!

  11. For what its worth, I don't think that anything except cold turkey works..I don't think I know anyone who "gradually cut down" to any effect.

    PS I don't wanna nitpick, but for the sake of accuracy its Gudang..not Godang..

  12. hmmm... I was nitpicking wasn't I?

    ah well...

  13. a friend of mine just quit too...she says that if you don't smoke for a week or so, you end up hating the "taste of cigartette smoke"...whatever that means :P

    remember, though, you gotta last another 3 days...and then misery shall have company ;)

  14. I smoke, but I'm not a smoker so I don't know what the addiction feels like. But I'm happy each time I come across a smoking quitter because, even though my friends think I'm a prude, I really see no benefits of smoking. You're saving your life eM and all the trouble should be worth it!

  15. Mumbai winter's are dusty not cold.. so the hacking is the weather and the cigarettes combined. And, you needn't quit if you musn't..I'd say do a lil of everything that makes you happy. In this case, very lil:)

  16. oh.. how i agree with you... i went through this ritual a few weeks abck.. was so ahrd came back to ground zero by the tenth day.. but den promised myself that i'd cut down on it.. adn have been doing good at that...
    try.. adn lemme knw if u succeed... i need some inspiration here!!

  17. I didn't smoke from the 30 to the 4th. now i'm back to the old ways!

  18. Immidiate benefits:

    you must quit of course. long term benefits are there, but see immediate benefits (quitting is my new yr resolution too so am hoping this list works as an incentive) and these are touchable feelable benefits mind u
    -u get tired less easily...everytime u feel like u must smoke run up and down a flt of stairs (well not more than that that might demotivate) and marvel a how fit you have become
    - u save more money- take that 60/80 bucks and go buy some chocolate
    - nicer skin- that happens pretty fast- week or so (also helps if u go into one skin care drive at the same time as u are quitting)
    - you smell much nicer- your breath, your hair your clothes. u do u do (as much as u may love the smell of cigs...this is nicer)
    - teeth can get whiter, lips get less dry and stains will disappear
    - and your hacking cough will go ...soon soon

  19. so after 4 days, the physical addiction goes away? i'm trying/thinking of trying to quit too...i just cut back from 6 to 4 to 2 a day...and then a really nasty day happens and i'm back at 6...bah these cancer sticks!

  20. Hey, I feel your pain. Have quit since the new year too because a) the girlfriend said she'd prefer I didn't and b) i was beginning to prefer it too, having been at the exact same hacking foetal position cough place that you're coming from. This is the latest in a line of attempts, the longest one lasting a good two and a half months. (Which is not bad considering i was hooked after the very first cigarette i smoked, no coughing, no instinctive recoil nothing.)
    Have learnt from the previous experiences that the cravings come in waves, and although none are as strong as the first withdrawal phase, you're just as susceptible through all of them. It's only a few people that ever manage to return to selective smoking, and while I say kudos to them, they are a rare bunch. Oh and as for the coughing, there is a chance that the coughing might increase... Because as your lungs readjust to a smoke free environment there may be some violent coughing involved. Just stick with it... All for ze better

  21. i dont really get it. i dont really smoke. not cigs. but i do smoke tobacco in an adultrated form. n ive been doing it for years now. i have never had a craving for a cigarette. not once. not even if i havent 'smoked' in months. some time back when we were smoking alot, a friend suggested i was smoking coz i needed the nicotine fix. i proved him wrong by not smoking for the next month. easy.

    is there any explanation to this? there was a time when i was 'smoking' every day, for months, so i guess the nicotine addiction should have happened. or maybe its coz i just dont want to smoke cigs.

    on another note, i have an awesome knife at home which i havent ever used. its really big, and double edged...

  22. bebe, face it you will always ever be an ex-smoker. but that doesn't mean you can't quit and never want to smoke again. best of luck. however, in the spirit of being a mean bitch i will add this, if you want great skin pray for my genes in a next life. hah!
    and oo! don't listen to opaline. quit now when you want to. just do it! and a patch would only work if you were a compulsive smoker i.e. smoking 20 cigs a day and i don't think you ever smoked that much on a regular basis perhaps when you went out drinking.
    and tell you what as soon as my last pack of classic milds gets over i'll join you. not for the health benefits but because it'll save money. and i'll be able to jog without sounding like an ageing darth vader.
    there. by day after, perhaps, you shall have company.

  23. Cool! I chain-smoked for six years and then went from 15 to zero in one day...and during a bad throat infection too. It was difficult the first month, but then got easier. But the temptation is going to be there for much longer, especially during those late-night drink sessions. Anyway, good luck! And I guess your blog header will need a minor tweak too if you succeed. :-)

  24. i just quit too. it's been 3 weeks, and it feels okay. i still can't hit up clubs without wanting a smoke, but i keep reminding myself how AWESOME my skin looks now. hahaha.

    whatever works, i guess?

  25. Im surprised... no "Prayogshala" references? Atleast "Quitters Inc".....

  26. Ha Ha.You drama queen! On the other hand, I do empathise. Well, its been 3 years, and there's indeed life after smoking. I don't agree with Brad about lifelong temptation. Once the habit gets out of your system (give it 2 months), its gonna be alright. And then, everytime you get a craving, you can remind yourself of why you quit in the first place and how difficult it was to let ago. Oh, and Happydent helped in my case.

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  28. hang in there it takes about two whole weeks to start a new habit
    and 9 weeks for the habit to turn into second nature...
    i'll be by your side slapping the cig's out of your hand looking disapproving and rolling my eyes at the drama over a drag...think of how much you'll save in cellphone bills, when you stop putting me on hold during coughing fits!!!
    enough to get your hair bonded by april!!!

  29. Just cutting it off won't do it. I've been with about twelve different people who wanted to smoke, and the only way to do it is to cut down with goals over a matter of weeks. Just takes one puff while having cut off completely and you're back on your regular few packs a day.
    Way we did it was handed the box of cigarettes to a non-smoker(me), and put off the desire to smoke one until a fixed time, say midnight. Cut down to about 5 a day, then 3 a day, then 2, then 1. In about three weeks you're through the habit.

  30. with a carrot resmebling a ciggie, you were smoking Cristo number two's or what?

    Oh! and to help you quit, there is always the stuff that Shiva boomed!

  31. i smoked so much in the two weeks before and after NY that I coughed myself to death and I convinced myself smoking would help clear the phlegm.I havent smoked in two days and its quite difficult!And its seriously not worth the effort.No point worrying about lung cancer if I'm going to get run over by a car tomm right

  32. @fob- What if you don't get run over by that car!

  33. Hey EM
    I was forced to quit smoking last year (yes forced by my doc cos my BP was 145/90 at 27!!) this is how I went about. Drank loads and loads of water so you are in the loo half the time to battle the craving. (if you used smoke when you take a crap then try lollipop then). Look at this site and keep telling yourself as every moment passes or every milestone passes the benefits your body is getting. Drink loads of juice. try climbing the stairs and you will notice the difference in the way you breathe and every time you get a craving remind yourself of the great healthy feeling you got when you climbed the stairs.
    Psst and sex is great too cos you can you know do it longer without losing your breath.
    All the best

  34. He pointed to a little puff of a cloud overhead. "There. Your turn.
    Ready? Go."
    I looked at the wisp of a thing, and it looked back at me. I thought it
    gone, thought an empty place where it was, poured visions of heat-rays up at
    Page 26
    it, asked it to reappear somewhere else, and slowly, slowly, in one minute, in
    five, in seven, the cloud at last was gone. Other clouds got bigger, mine went
    "You're not very fast, are you:" he said.
    "That was my first time! I'm just beginning! Up against the
    impossible...well, the improbable, and all you can think to say is I'm not
    very fast. That was brilliant and you know it!"
    "Amazing. You were so attached to it, and still it disappeared for you."
    "Attached! I was whocking that cloud with everything I had! Fireballs,
    laser beams, vacuum cleaner a block high..."
    "Negative attachments, Richard. If you really want to remove a cloud
    from your life, you do not make a big production out of it, you just relax and
    remove it from your thinking. That's all there it to it. "

    (From 'Illusions' by Richard Bach)

  35. Hello,Em....Do not Stop Smoke instantly..These all commentators wud come instantly and inscribe ur grave with "Beautiful Bouque" ++++++RIP(Roasted In Poles)+++++++++++++++++++.....So Hate Whoever extole...Listen u just reduce slowly reverse like ur favourite XXX...Could u nalyse me?????????????

  36. YAWN ! Another 'trying to quit' story!

    But , hey , if you really want to quit you can QUIT !

    Atleast thats what i say to myself ! :-P

  37. Every year I reolve to quit smoking and every year I smoke. This year though was different as I didn't smoke even on the New Year's Eve. I've quit earlier than that - I hope to stay that way as long as possible. And, this process of quitting and starting and quitting again has been going on since '94!

    The trouble with me is I really LOVE smoking!

  38. how about thinking ...
    are better with it, or you are better off without it ?
    pretty sure you would then have a better resolve to keep it away!
    sincerely hope it works for u...
    believe me you are doing the right thing!
    chocolates in small dosage aren't that bad


  39. "pffffffft, what's a little cancer?)"
    haha thats hilarious. keep it up gal i know u can do it

  40. if you are scared of cancer heres a fact
    only 1 out of 2 people who smoke get cancer
    so you can take your chances honey

  41. I called my father and told him, “Dad, I have quit smoking!”
    He retort backs, “Son, you are quitter!”

    Can it get any worse than this?!?

  42. On a tangentially same note, I’ll tell you why I started smoking. Though the logic was bordering on ad-absurdum, still it was reason enough for me to take the plunge. The point was that I firmly believed (I still do), as someone said that people who don’t have vices are bound to have some pretty annoying virtues. So I always used to romanticize of about having a vice, which after being years of practice gets entrenched within me that it almost becomes innate. And to get rid of it one day would require last ounce of willpower and determination, which will be near (if not in totality) nirvana like experience. But then a year back my fickle mind had one-of-the-many-to-come epiphanies. And I came to the conclusion- “never reach a point where you need to quit something”. So here I am, all hale and hearty, and smoking my lungs out. The gist is to smoke, but not to burn.

    Statutory Warning- If you are having hacking cough please consult a doc (if you haven’t), and join a gym (again, if you haven’t) coz of the kilos of rebound weight you might gain. Sorry for being pedantic, but think this as an advice coming from a friendly guy next door who happens to be doc. Get well soon. :)

  43. Just when you thought it couldn't get worse...

  44. eM, reading your blog inspired me to quit pretending that I hate reading and writing blogs.. my first post is about you and the impression you make..
    please go through it:

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