Following the process of this book, I present chapter two of From the Valley to the Fountain
CHAPTER TWO – I’m an Addict
Okay, this is becoming a bit clearer; The fact that this book will be dredging up a lot of my faults and inner shrapnel. I wanted to write each chapter out to different people from my past and did so by starting with Thea. This chapter I wanted to write to Brent Ross, though the situation of where I was with my cigarettes have guided me to think that this chapter should be outwards and not direct to one person. I’m not sure even if I should write out to Brent at all because that’s a story and history that is not mine alone to share.
The issue that guided the title of this chapter is smoking cigarettes. When I wrote the first chapter to Thea, it dredged up more reminders of how I’ve been emotionally unhealthy and obsessive. With my own financial lack through the past few days, I also became very aware of my obsessive nature with my addiction to tobacco.
I have referred to being shackled to some things. I hadn’t fully known of how I had chained myself to things and people in the past so much. We know I was obsessed with Natalie, and I didn’t (before starting this book) recall how obsessive I was with Thea too. My mental (and emotional) health issues go back a long time, and I also think that the drug use that I engaged in was highly influential in my derailment from a decent life. It was during high school that I first dabbled with marijuana, though this chapter is not about the illegal drugs I smoked.
Through most of yesterday and today (the last week of November 2016), I’ve had no pouch, tin, or pack of smokes, and still have scrounged up some fragments of tobacco to smoke. I went through almost all of my cigarette butts, fished fragments of tobacco from my office garbage can, and even found two or so smokes from the tobacco that fell into my computer keyboard.
I know I am an addict now with how my behaviour has been through the past three to five days. The chemicals that I smoke and drink now (ciggies and coffee) are legal drugs, though legality is not the issue. The mental and theoretical physical dependency that I have with coffee and cigarettes are NOT something I like. I made a choice to not smoke drugs (meth, marijuana, coke) and have kept to that, though the cigarettes (and coffee) are still a vice upon my being.
Four days ago I made a commitment to myself at 12:42 AM (November 25th-26th 2016) to go 24 hours without a cigarette. I did maintain my commitment, though with five to seven hours before the 24 hours were complete, I was getting very edgy and pissed off. When the clock reached 12:42 AM the next night, it was soon after I lit up a rolled smoke.
Through the past two days (November 29th and 30th), I also have been freaking out a bit due to not having cigarettes. Felicia (Ruby Sprite) dropped in two nights ago with a pack of smokes that I mooched from her. As of right now when I write, I’m without any clue as to where I can get ciggies, and layer a different issue upon the lack of cigarettes; The idea of sminking.
Sminking is a word that I stole from my mom’s friend Gloria Doran many years ago. Gloria used the word as a combination of the words smoking and drinking and used the word in reference to how she didn’t like her son doing so. I later took the word and used the term as a way to describe the mooching of cigarettes.
I can’t (when written) afford to finance my own addictions, and I also have a want of not mooching or sminking from others. I even have been thinking of how I want to be a functional addict; that I want to have access to tobacco and caffeine and just make sure I don’t need to mooch from others. My own being has gotten very hedonistic and focused on the chemical want found from what I even see as a dirty habit.
If I am to write a different book that is to help guide people (a ‘purpose’ book called Fractured Formation) then I really need to sort out my own self before I can guide people accurately. I can give lots of advice or information about what I have done that has not been good, though I need to find my own positive solutions. I have made a lot of progress with my own independence, though I am not there yet with living a fully healthy life.
I was taught a process that helps with growth and personal understanding. The idea is that we must first become aware of things, then acknowledge them, and then thirdly accept them. Within my smoking process, I am aware I’m deeply addicted, I acknowledge it (to others and myself), and I do accept it. I don’t like that I’m addicted, though acknowledge and accept that for now.
I also then want to remind myself to build myself up, as so often I have spoken very negatively to and of myself. I’ve made comments about ‘the kid in the mirror’ and sometimes I have sworn at my own reflection when displeased with how I’ve been. I note that the person in the mirror also has had that goofy smile on their face and that I’m glad they talk to me too!
For building myself up, I also know I should remind myself that I have made it through breaking the marijuana and illicit chemical habits. Tim Morgan commented about my sobriety yesterday and asked how I have done it. There are two primary reasons (and a third) as to why I don’t smoke drugs anymore, and I will need to remind myself of how I have gone 10+ years without puffing on a joint (even if I do love green).
The first two reasons why I don’t smoke drugs anymore are my parents and my own mental health. I’ve made the joke that if I ever puffed again, that I’d immediately teleport. It’s also partly fear that keeps me from drugs. I can imagine what would happen for me if I ever drugged again, and the fear of what would happen helps fortify my resolve. As I type this paragraph, I can feel the anxiety and fear in my stomach that reminds me that I’m also afraid that I would puff again.
If I ever smoked a joint again, I have the belief that I would land back in the psych ward. I don’t want to go there again. I also think of how my parents would disown me, and they are two of the most valuable people for me in my life. I have no brothers or sisters, and without my parents, I don’t have many strong connections with too many other family members. Alex and Graham are two other primary family love supports, though I value my parents the most.
Maintaining that I don’t smoke drugs is a commitment made to my parents and myself, and the fear of the consequences of what would happen if I ever did drug again keeps me from doing so. (One other key point is even if marijuana was legal, I still would not be okay to smoke it).
I note that the ciggies are part of my current life situation, though I also hope and pray that they are not guaranteed to be a full lifelong entrapment. I don’t know how to quit, and I also don’t have enough future sight to think of the long-term points of my life. There have been points where I’ve feared getting killed, and have thought that I enjoy smoking. If ciggies would not be the cause of my death, then why take away that pleasure? I do have a want of a long life, though I may be in denial about how I may actually live another few decades to the point where smoking would be shortening my life.
I am (perchance) too present based and hedonistic. I have thought of doing what I like regarding consuming (e.g. smoking and coffee) and haven’t enough faith or care for how they affect me. If I do want to live a long life, then it seems contradictive to be a smoker.
(Later, January 2017, I added this paragraph. I have found that part of my smoking is my own declaration of doing what I want to do. It’s been a push and arrogance of freedom to do what I want to do, and when. I also found smoking to be rebellious and me ‘punishing’ the universe when I don’t get my way, or when I’m displeased with what is happening.)
We also know, and should remind ourselves, that chemical addictions are also not the only type of addictions that people have. Some people are addicted to working. Some addicted to sex. Some addicted to exercise and obsessed with health. Some are addicted to gambling. Some are addicted to retail therapy or buying things. There also is another addiction I had, Magic:The Gathering cards.
Some Magic players know about the term ‘cardboard crack’. I was heavily invested in collecting Magic cards for a few years. I had spent a lot of imaginary (credit) money buying cards from eBay. I had hoarded away an extensive collection of cards and do see my buying and trading of cards as an addiction. Again, the Magic situation was from an obsessive nature. As this book is forming, I realize clearly that the word ‘obsession’ is key to a bunch of what I do. (I even have gotten obsessed with my creative process and ‘book book’).
With some nicotine fits I had the last week of November, I also found that I have a deep layer of hating myself sometimes. I was taught at PD Seminars that addiction is a cover for a self-hate cycle and that the addiction is used to hide that. With the first 3A’s (Aware, Acknowledge, Accept) I now know more clearly that there are more deep layers of self-hate and dissatisfaction with myself. I had found myself verbally saying “I smoke cigarettes so I don’t want to kill myself.” The cigarettes being used as a distraction or pacifism of my own negative feelings about myself.
I have broken the addiction to buying Magic cards. I have maintained my commitments to sobriety. I did make it through 24 hours without smoking. These three things remind and blend into me an idea that it will require me to commit, and that I can make other choices to reduce my intake. I do know that there are many positive things to be gained by quitting, though I still have not yet made the choice, or have garnered the courage required to quit. My lack of faith and fear of a smoke-free future is also a part of this.
If you are a smoker (or another type of addict) maybe it’s a good idea to get more conversations formed about the addiction. A belief of mine is that talking about problems is a way to resolve them. Conversations about why we do what we do also may help us dig deeper into ourselves to find the causational or trigger points. This can often lead back to parts about ourselves that we don’t like.
Maybe that’s a Natalie thing!?! That I hate myself, and my own lack of resources, and that a magical beauty would swoop in and steal me away from a life I sometimes don’t like? The idea of being ‘saved’ by another person would ‘fix’ my situation and bring me into a positive future? That’s a different topic though, and not about addiction, more linked to self-worth and why we have the lives we have from what we ‘think’ we deserve.
So, yeah… I’m an addict. I know this, I accept this, though I’m not sure yet what I will do about it. I like the chemical pleasure of cigarettes (my own hedonistic nature) and when I have enough resources to smoke, I am glad to have them. I wonder what would happen if I got obsessed about my health? Some people say that to drop one addiction that we need to take up another. I have noticed when really focused in and on my work that I sometimes will not break from the computer. I don’t want to replace one addiction with another though.
What is this internal reward and want system that keep us chained to things?
I’m not sure that I know right now… maybe it’s best to return to this later.
Okay… after a few some hours of the day, I wind back to what I say in this chapter. I am puffing again while this chapter forms. I’ve had some twisted ideas about these ciggies and I want to delve into what I like about the habit. Acknowledging that to myself may also find the point of me wanting to stop it. While the ciggie hangs from my mouth while I type, I almost have to force the puffs. My clouded lungs almost wishing to eject the next delicate point of how I’m still part of the habit.
In Searching for Tomorrow (and also Shared Node (a book I wrote fully in rhymes)) I conveyed some of the Survivor dream. I wrote how I gave a challenge to Jeff Probst to accept my challenge of quitting smoking if I could compete on Survivor. I will maintain the commitment to quit if given a chance to compete, yet also wonder if I would return to the habit after the season. I don’t know, and since I’m Canadian and can’t play, we may never know.
I sometimes love the lungfuls of smoke. It’s not a good thing, though. I know this from a few points. I would never recommend smoking to another and am conscious that it’s not a good habit to have for others to see me have. I want to be a good example and if I do move forward as a role model, then I want to live ethically and honourably. I don’t see smoking as something I ever want to promote or seed for another’s life. I also think of how people may not want to support me if I’m a smoker. That’s a ‘green in’ thought, though. I found a statement in the past week; that I want my works (music/books) to have value, purpose, and meaning for others, and not to use them just for my own monetary gain.
Then, also, if I speak of the things I like of smoking, I don’t want to promote it. There’s a teetering point of sharing my honest truths without seeding potential negative behaviours by sharing what I like of some things. I’d prefer to have a positive effect, though I also want to tear myself apart to rebuild without some of the bad things. If I value radical honesty, and writing about my faults is therapeutic, then should I dredge up all my thoughts about the smoking? Maybe.
I think the smoking is another obsessive thing. I said that earlier, I know I repeat myself a lot sometimes. There is the theory that I’m told not to do this or that, or that I have (had) to follow rules and such, and that smoking is my defiance by doing something that I like (or think I like).
I know there is a spiritual component with smokes too. There also is the point that I draw and learn some truth from ciggies. Depending on when I take a pull of a cigarette, or if I tap a cigarette, or even how my thoughts are when I spark or extinguish a smoke, I know that ciggies are a communication tool too. Is this why some people are social smokers?
I also think that my claims of wanting to quit are also stemmed from my self-consciousness and projection as to what people think of me, and the opinions of others that smoking is bad. I have written that if I’m one who values and wants to create and support life, then it seems contradictory that I smoke, especially when it’s also an awful thing for my health. Even in the Magic code cigarettes are ‘black’ mana as symbolizing death and decay. I think I have been conditioned and told by so many people that smoking is bad, that I almost want to argue that, and also that I defiantly smoke (sometimes) to claim my own sovereignty (I add too that God is the authority, and I am not).
With the fact of me always having enough tobacco, though, I think of how I’ve also thought that God letting me have enough tobacco is also a blessing. Even last week, when I was literally scraping out every source of tobacco in my home to smoke, I found a way. I wonder what would happen if I gave thanks to God for every cigarette. I instinctively think that I would intuit that God doesn’t want me to smoke, and I wonder how I’d respond to this spiritual component.
A few many years ago I wrote a list of fifteen or so real good reasons to quit smoking, and each and every one is exceptionally valid. There’re so many benefits of being a non-smoker, yet the hedonistic and present based pleasure part of myself seems to hold the habit with more strength. With the 24 hours without a smoke, I knew very clearly I wanted to smoke before the 24 hours were up. To give up the habit forever will not be easy.
I want to get addicted to health; to get so focused on doing good, positive, and healthy things for myself! This is for my mind (learning), my soul and spirit, and even my prosperity (money). I do want to be a healthier person, and I also believe in incremental improvement. I read once about how if a tennis player wins 55% of their games (first six games win the set, three of five sets wins the match) that the results are huge! (Think also Anthony Robbins and about compounded interest). If I can start winning with my own internal battles towards the future, allow myself to believe long-term, and make many incremental advantages (James Altucher), maybe I can and shall start really making some drastic changes.
Anyhow… Break this off from now… From where I was when I started this chapter, I know I am addicted still. I also know that I feel inspired to make changes and refine my life as being many parts, and not just the ciggies. Even if they’ve consumed me sometimes, I will move forward and make small grips towards who I want to be; even if not for Natalie like some years had called me. I also will find the synergy of what I do for who we are.
Orbiting around a star like the tar bars that burn, I learn to develop and adjust and trust in myself to keep myself held on the shelf, even if I need to improve my health. The wealth of time and attitude shift into how to truly allude to another crude and rude dude (Raphael!). Forget not that the nunchucks call out some of the ducks and find that even if she thinks it, I’m not just one of the dumb clucks. My plucks to be healed and renew so that I can live, love, and thrive too!