Thursday, July 11, 2013

#Freaking Out -AND!

Calmly completely freaking out about my move. AND! I quit smoking. I feel this qualifies me to have an opinion on how to do it.

So I am calmly completely freaking out about moving and starting a new life.

What is "calmly completely freaking out"? Well, for one thing it looks strikingly like disassociation. I prefer the term "calmly completely freaking out" because it sounds less... frighteningly medical.

Basically I have a ton of things to do and I'm finding it quite difficult to do many of them in a timely manner. Not that they aren't getting done - they definitely are - but things like "find an apartment" have been going through a cycle of fits-and-starts.


{Last month, with plenty of time to spare} "I am going to find an apartment! I am calling potential landlords!"

{Landlords call back...}

"I... am not going to answer my messages for three days! Because... I feel suddenly totally incapable of coping with the move! It's not real! LALALALA!!! I can't hear you, Mr. Phone! LALALALA!" 

There has been a lot of this sort of behavior. Not proud, just noting.


I also (apparently successfully) quit smoking about 10 days ago.

It's actually been quite easy. I've tried many times and this is, without a doubt, the easiest. I really feel like the first time you successfully ride a bike: after tipping over countless times, suddenly something clicks and it's a smooth and easy ride.

My protips for how to quit... But first: why did I smoke?

The "how I started" answer was that I was hanging out with a lot of smokers. (Yes, I did it because all the cool kids were doing it. #lame.)

The "why I kept doing it": smoking really helps me calm down. Really, really. A sudden shot of a powerful stimulant seemed to totally take the edge off my anxiety.

This is important, I think, because if you smoke for different reasons the tips might not help. But if you smoke for the same reasons I did, then they might help a lot.

So, if you started smoking out of rebelliousness as a teenager, this might not be helpful. If you started smoking in college "just" during parties with friends and/or during finals, this might be a huge thing for you.

SO! My tips (thus far):

(1) If there is something seriously stressing you, take care of that thing first. In my case it was my psycho relationship with my husband. I do love him, but the idea that I could get back into one of "those" situations again was freaking the heck out of me.

(2) Look around. Do the people around you smoke? Probably not, actually. Smoking has become far less chic over the years. Funny enough, I discovered that many of the people I know were heavy smokers in the 80's and 90's and stopped when it stopped being "cool" (or they finished their PhD dissertation.)

(3) THE WEIGHT GAIN IS NOT INEVITABLE... Okay, a little is. In my case, 7 lbs in 2 days. Which made me realize that it was water, not fat. I switched to a low sodium diet and it fixed it. Also - and I have been telling myself this - "weight comes on, but weight comes off."

(4) Nicotine lozenges. This was recommended to me about a year ago from a successful quitter. They actually are fantastic, not like the gum or patches at all. If you're going psycho for a cigarette, pop one, wait ten minutes, and the craving is totally gone.

(5) Replace habits. I have developed a tremendous science fiction paperback and carrot munching habit. No joke. I always liked these things, but I'm going through about 1 sci fi paperback and 3 lbs of carrots every 2 days. Conveniently, sci fi paperbacks now cost less than a pack of smokes! :-)

And so those are my tips so far.

From the Concrete Jungle,



  1. massage. I always recommend massage; just spit-balling.

    1. What does spit-balling mean?

      If my cousin had been in town, I would have asked her for a massage (she's a massage therapist.)

      Just made me laugh at a memory, though: once, my dear friend Connie was learning massage and offered to give me one. My soon-to-be-ex walked in on us. The look on his face was priceless. :-)

  2. Means throwing an idea out there on the table, not saying it's a good idea or bad,