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we just got tired of cleaning our windshield
by Turtle Jones
Inspired by the comments on one of the new writers on FTTW (yes, there will be more) we have decided to take on a subject that is kinda iffy in our book. We know this is a site that is visited by a lot of younger readers so we try to keep all of this stuff family friendly (turle's nose grows) and we try to make this stuff a little easy to our softer readers (turtle's nose grows more) we try not to make any enemies (turtle's nose is now touching the screen) and we all try to have fun (turtle's nose comes back a little). But, sometimes we have to kick in something that was talked about in thefinns post.
This is FTTW after all.
Addiction and withdrawl with a vanilla flavor.
I was on the floor. Just got out of a hospital after a car wreck. I really only knew to save the butts. Save them for an hour later. Mexican children and bad TV were running thru my head as I wondered if I would ever walk again. Sorting out the details of the wreck while trying to feel the fingers on my left hand. Numb. Numb. Feeling. Feeling. Feeling. Well hell. I got three out of five. That's better then fucking Vegas odds if you ask me. Slam my hand on the table and realize you will never feel them again. Shit. Tie the wound up. Oh well. I guess that's just life.
Light another cigarette and roll back on the floor. Stitches rolling up my side from some dumb ass home stitching I did. Let's figure this out. I'm in some weird ass place, trying to sleep, not taking the drugs they gave me, running on three cigarretes. No car. Can't move. Body in so much pain even the baby jesus couldn't help me now. Wallet. Crap! No wallet. It was somewhere else. I had nothing. I couldn't move. All I could do was not sleep and work on the computer. FTTW wasn't around then. In fact, this was the birth of FTTW. This is when the bird and turtle first met. Everyone on another website knew I was going down hard. My parents knew I was going down hard. My fingers were cringing up.
My body was crumpling and I was fading. I couldn't think and I couldn't eat. I had an injury to a private part of my body that kept me up for three days. I sweated and thought I was going to die. Let's keep this straight here. This was three things on one. Not just detox on smokes. I have detoxed off of speed locked in a room for three days, detoxed off smack, which really wasn't that bad, and detoxed off Jack in the Box Curly Fries. I have done this before.
But, this was different. I didn't want to do this. I was at my mom's house in a spare room. She knows I'm covered in ink and I've done drugs and I've done this to myself and talktalktalk type stuff. Hey. She's a mom. What can she do. Honestly, my parents really had never seen me with my shirt off before and when I keep sewing myself up and bleeding at their house, well, they are going to see. I walked out shirtless and begged my mom to get me a pack of smokes. Three days and I could move again and the first thing I wanted was a smoke. Addictive type guy. I asked her to help me out and she said "no".
Well, fuck, I have no car. I'm fucked. The next morning I woke up and vomited. Pure bile. I did it for two hours. My stomach was clenched as I stuck my finger down deeper to get it all out. See, I've done the detox gig before. I know what works. Too bad for my parents though.
They were standing at the door watching their son with his fingers down his throat, tears streaking down his face, totally naked, covered in homemade stitches saying to them, "hey, dude, it's cool. this will be ok if you just walk away."
After about half a day I finally got back up. Restitched myself and sat at the table.
Wondered what it would be like to get back home again.
I need to get home! I can't take this floor. I need to feel my own bed and see my fucking dogs. This has been a fun vacation but I need out. This scene had run it's course. It was a mistake to come out here and let them really see me. They knew I had a lot of stuff on me and they knew I could stitch myself up, but they didn't need to see it. I shook in front of my family and made them worry. My dad took me out to a driving range and watched me throw up. They didn't need to see that.
The last night I was there they begged for me to eat anything. I said sushi. We went out to a sushi bar and I could finally eat something. Sure the stitches still hurt like fuck, but it was done. It was over. I had been hurt but I came thru it.
I quit not by choice, but by circumstance.
Now I would never smoke again.
*As he lights a cigar* - T
I’ve quit a lot of things. I’m a quitter, what can I say. I quit drinking, quit smoking pot, quit taking a bunch of drugs, quit college twice, quit a plethora of jobs, quit caring about life, quit two marriages, quit cleaning my bedroom.....I could go on. But you get it. Sometimes you quit things that are bad for you. Sometimes not. Just the way it works.
I quit my daily cocktail of Wellbutrin and Paxil. Cold turkey. You want to know hell? Go off meds like that cold turkey. You will start looking at death as a viable option. But the thing about me is, when I am determined to do something, I do it. I was determined to rid myself of the evils of those meds, and I did. I got through it. I got through all the bad things I quit. But none of them was quite so hard as kicking nicotine.
When the dust cleared on that portion of my life, the tequila and snickers bars and slurpees were gone. I was left with the coffee and cigarettes and there was no fucking way you were getting either from me. I compromised. I came out from under the covers. I put the slurpee down. But don’t take my smokes or my coffee from me. Ever.
Cut to last year. January 2005. I’m driving home from work and realize I’m out of cigarettes again. I need to stop at the store on the way home. And then something just clicked. Maybe it was my kids’ voices in my head, begging me to quit smoking. Maybe it was the lingering cough I couldn’t get rid of. Maybe it was the fact that I got winded walking to the bathroom at night. Or the way my car smelled like the smoking section of a restaurant. Or that cigs had gone up to about five dollars a pack. Everything clicked. I didn’t want to buy another pack. Fuck this. No more. I’m done.
Oh, I tried to quit many times before that and it never stuck. But this time was different. I felt it. I was ready. Or was I?
Jesusfuck, I was out of my mind. I wanted to kill. Strangle. Take a total stranger and shove him head first in a woodchipper. I was completely on edge as my body screamed at me for a cigarette. It fought me with adrenaline, with rage, with the shakes and headaches. My body threw everything at me it could to get me to feed it some more nicotine. I resisted. I said no. I fixated on other things. I put my CDs in alphabetical order. I washed every counter in the house in bleach, scrubbed them til the wood was about to wear away. Organized books. Rearranged closets. Kicked the wall. Screamed and cursed. I was bottled up rage. I could feel my body fighting me every step of the way, trying to force me into sneaking out into the backyard to dig through the sand bucket for an old butt. Just one puff. Just one drag. I stopped myself. I was going to do this. But I had to keep my hands and mouth busy. Not like that. Busier. I played video games until I had the imprint of the controller embedded in my thumbs. Kicked some more things. The hole in the bathroom door is still there. I have a rage problem. I know this. Quitting smoking just enhances it.
The thing is, you need support with something like this. When the person closest to you is smoking a pack a day still and lighting up in the car with you and blowing smoke your way and telling you’ll never make it, well fuck. That makes it kind of hard to keep going. It’s dejecting. But I stick.
The cravings get more intense as the days go on. I go into full on lunatic mode. Pacing. Talking to myself. I need something to do with my hands because they are waiting for a box of cigarettes to pack against my palm. Waiting to hold one, to light one, to flick the ashes. My mouth is crawling with desperate nerve endings waiting for the smoke. Clenching my teeth. Tight. Everything hurts. My brain hurts. Nails are bitten down to the end. I listen to Husker Du’s Candy Apple Grey over and over again. I write letters to people I hate then shred them when I’m done. I wake up with my body set on vibrate. It’s waiting. Waiting for that nicotine. It’s five days now. Six. Seven. When will this end? I think back to other cravings I had. When I was pregnant and had to have Kool Aid every single day. That craving was so intense I fantasized about the Kool Aid guy. If the Kool Aid guy showed up now I would kick him in his fucking nuts. I’m sure that if I get out of bed and try to face people, I’ll end up tearing someone’s head off their neck and smoking their corpse. I listen to Cypress Hill. Here is something you just can’t understand, how I can kill a man. Oh, I understand, dude. I understand.
A week. Two weeks. It’s getting better. Sort of. Maybe. I’m coughing up pieces of my lung. Lung butter. I feel like I’m falling apart. It gets worse before it gets better, everyone tells me. A month in and I’m still craving at least twice a day. I call my sister at midnight. I. WANT. A. FUCKING. CIGARETTE. She hangs up on me. More days pass. Weeks. Months. I crave less and less. Think about it less and less. The rage is gone. The lung droppings are gone. Six months. Seven.
A year. I’m clean. I can breathe. I can walk without gasping for air. I don’t smell like a night club. I made it. No patch, no gum, no meds. I fucking did it on my own.
And just after that I met up with a guy who was just starting to quit. I remembered what it was like to have no support. So I stuck with him. Talked him through the days. Talked him through the nights. Ended up falling in love with him. See, cigarettes are good for something.
It’s a year and half now. I still get cravings but they pass. Like now. Sitting here jacked on caffeine and anticipation and writing about this has made that familiar sensation rise up in my body. It wants a smoke. I ignore it. I learned how to do that.
I’m a quitter. - M