Main Article View

Of Timewarps and Failed Smoking Cessation

Published: 15 May 2019

Withered plants beside an ash tray.

I've smoked at least one pack a day since I was in seventh grade until I was well into my 30s. I first quit in 1st July 2012, almost seven years ago.

I picked the habit back up recently, some time on mid-April because things happen— let's talk about that at another time. But I have been trying to quit again since the start of May. And failing.

The first time I quit, I just did it cold turkey. To be sure, an episode of having my blood pressure shoot way up and having Shogun take me to the Saint Camillus emergency room helped. But it was doable. It was a Saturday.

See, that time, I had to always have at least three sticks of Marlboro Reds stashed somewhere before going to bed. That was for lighting up along with my morning coffee. I would then have to buy a fresh pack later in the day. On that 1st of July, I had no stash. It sort of made things easier because I had nothing on me when Shogun and I got back from the hospital. I had no supply to finish before I started quitting.

Having been a freelancer at the time, I had a lot of opportunity to sleep the cravings and the withdrawal symptoms off. By the following week, I had flooded my timelines with messages stating how many hours and minutes that I had been smoke-free. I had a lot of support and at the time, I was indeed smoke-free. For almost seven years.

Since I started smoking again, I tried quitting twice already. The first time— well, let's talk about that another time. The second time was just last week. Thursday. I had been counting the hours and minutes again, and getting all the support from all over. Friends, good friends, strangers. But it was different yesterday.

I had known that it's possible to get yourself in a timewarp as a side effect of smoking cessation. It's when you lose much of your sense of time because of chemical imbalances that happen in your body, particularly in your brain. It's indeed a strange feeling. Yesterday, Tuesday, I experienced that for the first time.

It didn't help that I had not been sleeping well lately, I suppose. When I got some sleep in the morning and I woke up before noon, I had this strange feeling that I was already late for work. I've had one incident where I was late and didn't tell anyone at HR and got into a lot of trouble. I never want that to happen again. So, I told Mang Nestor to drive me right after I took a shower and had a change of clothes. I even took my coffee in the car in transit.

When I got to the office, I was surprised to see that it wasn't even 1PM! I was so sleepy, and tired, and grumpy. So, I slept. Of course, I knew that what I had been feeling was part of the withdrawal process. But I didn't expect it to be so difficult. It was just so difficult.

It was made a lot more difficult when, as I was walking from my new secret place at work back to my station, I came across the Sun that used to shine on Friday nights. Things happen. But I had things to do, which I cannot do at the state that I was in. I lit up again and all seems well. Seems well. And that is all...