Yesterday I wrote about my search for famous people who have quit smoking and remained relevant.
I was curious. I needed inspiration.
What a freaking mistake.
"What the hell do you need a 'hero' for?" a reader demanded to know. "Stop being a drama queen."
"If living isn't enough motivation for you," he continued, "then you're screwed."
If living was enough motivation, I wouldn't have started smoking in the first place. My decision to smoke was short-sighted. My effort to quit -- only a week old but still successful, by the way -- is similarly short-sighted. I cannot see the finish line. I can only get through each hour, one hour at a time. That's just how I am going to quit. Telling me simply that I will live longer isn't going to magically cure me of cravings and self-doubt and all the other crap that comes with an addiction.
Call me weak-willed. Tell me I am grasping at silly gimmicks. I don't care. Anything that works, as long as it doesn't involve murder or crystal meth, is good enough for me.
As I said when I started this blog, I don't care if I quit gracefully. I just want to quit.
There's a reason I quit last week. That's when my wife was scheduled to leave the city to teach at a university in Vermont for three months. I knew I would be alone and free to indulge in what was sure to be a self-centred and generally unsavory span of several weeks.
I am drinking cheap beer. My last two dinners were from the drive-thru window at McDonald's.
I frequently get up and pace when the addiction worm starts crawling under my skin.
I scowl and mutter at people on television, especially the American news anchor who calls himself "Mr. Independent."
I play free Orbitz video games online, like eight-ball and mini putt, sometimes for hours, my jaw slack and eyes rheumy.
I am not angry that readers disagree with something I write. I welcome comments and criticism. I want your stories and tips on how to quit successfully, and in future blog posts I will write about some of these.
But please don't tell me I am a drama queen. I just can't take it. I think I might stop writing this blog, then quit the Star and then start smoking again.