Rants & Essays


By Marcus Pan

Saturday, as you know, I originally intended on having filled my prescription for Zyban - that being a prescribed drug that eliminates and/or reduces the withdrawal symptoms associated with nicotine. Unfortunately, my insurance company has deemed this particular drug as "unnecessary" and I have not the $120 extra to get said prescription. Hell I don't have the $60 necessary to drop the last issue of Legends in the post just yet - and 142 just hit my producer’s house as done so now I'm like 3 piles of unmailed shit behind...

However, Friday night I purchased what was to be my last bought pack of cigarettes. Somehow I've managed to keep that promise to myself. I'm going completely fucking insane especially at night when there's NO recourse around (no cigarettes anywhere). During the day I can find a cigarette here and there at work - Tommy for example has found it in the best interest of the hospital as a whole to give me his locker combination for those moments when I have the choice of either killing somebody, or having a cigarette (I spent part of the morning on the phone with Revenue Analysis today after they asked me to fax down yesterday's schedule for the OR - "I just got here, you have to DEAL with that. This is MY paperwork, my faxing it to you is for YOUR head's up, so you know what's coming before I hit you with it. It's a GIFT, so SETTLE DOWN SPARKY," to paraphrase) so that I may retrieve one when necessary.

Now Saturday night I ended up at a small get together at a friend’s, having some smokes following a completely smokeless day. And they gave me some for Sunday (here's some logic for you - "Honey, I didn't BUY this pack, so I'm still good!"). So Monday hits and it's time to start slowly inching onto the nonsmoking train following a long and arduous half-my-life career of 25 a day average...
Monday = 15 smokes (guesstimate)
Tuesday = 12 smokes
Wednesday = 8 smokes

Upcoming goals is to push tomorrow down to 5, Friday down to "a couple" or "a few" and by Saturday try and be 0. Maybe. I don't know. Did I mention I'm going fucking insane? Here's a run down of some of the withdrawal symptoms I'm in:

1) Depression (stemming from the fact that I'm a fucking weak bastard being puppeteered by a chemical)

2) Lack of Concentration (stemming from the fact that it's hard to work when I don't have a goal - having 'a smoke when I finish this article' used to be my 'goal')

3) Insomnia (stemming from the fact that I no longer have my 'last cigarette' of the night so when I go to bed or try to my brain says, 'you forgot something asshole!' and there I lie)

4) Nervousness (purely lack of nicotine)

5) Agitation (purely lack of nicotine)

6) Headache & Occasional Major Migraines (purely lack of nicotine and/or forcing myself to concentrate on something I can't)

7) Severe Coughing Fits (as my lungs start kicking out shit stuck in them for the past 16 years - supposedly this is a good thing, but I'm not convinced that my chest heaving and feeling like jags of glass are run through them is good)

That's all I can think of for now...right now I figure I'm on day 5 of the quitting trail with varying results. One side of my brain will tell me, when I do go to have a cigarette sometime tomorrow early afternoon, that having that cigarette is going to prolong my misery. But the Nic the Monkey on my back beats it up and I go have a smoke.

I'm such a junkie.

Originally a MagMan LiveJournal entry dated July 21, 2004.