The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Personal request to bloggers


Patricia Parkinson

I hate to do this to you, but well, I'm still sick, not as sick, but God, why won't this fucker leave me alone? This virus, this pneumonia.... this cancer!

I always think its cancer. A sore throat turns into strep throat that turns into throat cancer and I picture myself with a hole in my larynx holding one of those machines to it that will make me sound like a serial murderer, and I have a nice voice! I do! It's one of my favourite things about myself. Aching bones become arthritis and osteoporosis and finally, Lou Gehrig’s. God forbid if I get back an irregular pap smear. My current illness has turned into lung cancer.

I am a smoker - a heavy smoker if the truth be known. I perceive I don't smoke a lot because I never smoke the entire cigarette. I get bored after the first few puffs and flick the rest away. I only smoke cigarettes with white filters and have a theory that if all filters were brown, fewer women would smoke. The white ones seem clean, less bad for me and look better in an ashtray.

Anyway, the thing is, this illness is hitting too close to my mortality home and I've decided to quit smoking!! I suppose this is the thing reformed smokers who can be such a pain in the ass, I hope I don't become like that, but, yes, I will, I can see it now… anyway, this sickness has caused the thing that all non-smokers told me would happen, the thing I didn't believe could ever happen and the thing I didn't want to ever happen. I like smoking.

They’ve all told me, "You'll know when the time is right for you to quit." This saying, resisted for 28 years of my life, I've smoked for 28 years! God, I should have written this number down sooner, reminds me of the times I asked, probably the same people, "How will I know when I'm in love?" "You'll just know," they said. "You'll just know.” They were right about that, so, I figure, they must be right about this too. So this Monday, all the books I've read about quitting smoking say to pick a day, and this Monday, November 27, 2006 will be my first official day of not smoking.

My plan is to get those new nicorette fake cigarettes that look like a cigarette but are plastic and have a nicotine cylinder thingie you put in them and you suck it, or, well, I haven't tried it yet. My main concern is that I'll gain a pound and ditch the idea altogether and never try to quit again. I refuse to be one of those people that walk around with this supposedly healthy smile, clearer skin and increased energy spouting,"Oh gee, I may be a fat porker but at least I don't smoke anymore."

My plan to control weight gain is to go off my antidepressants that I take for anxiety, I’m not depressed, I’m not, really. Anxiety is a good weight loss program, that, and laxatives, I'm kidding of course about the last two points, however, I could take less of them as they slow down my metabolisim and I figure, hey, it's all about less!!! And then I think if I take less and already have increased anxiety because I'm trying to quit smoking, maybe I should take more meds and be semi-comatose and sit around all daying eating bags of things that say, “No Trans Fats! You now have insight into the inner workings of my mind, not that you didn't before, but well, I’m freaking about doing this.

I'm telling you all this here, it's making me manic just thinking about posting it... which seems like overkill now, but I wanted to do this, sitting here late to post, because there are a few things I like to think I know about myself. I am habitually late, not too late, but late none the less, my favourite clothes are outerwear. I love coats and robes and shawls and scarfs and ponchos and fishermen’s knit sweaters. I am a whore for the smell of my husband’s after shave and if I tell people I'm going to do something, especially in a public forum such as this, I will be one hundred percent more likely to follow through. I have to quit smokling. I love my kids and it’s not man hater week so Phil is in the good books and besides, I haven’t finished my novel and Barbara Walters isn’t going to live forever, so with that in mind, this is my request to you. Please ask my about this, do not read this and then forget that I'm trying to quit smoking, ride my ass. Okay? Because well, I have to be accountable you see, so wish me luck and pray that my chest x-ray comes back clear.


At the time of posting, my first official day has moved to Tuesday.


Blogger Nance Knauer said...

You can do this, Patricia. You can!!!

Sat Nov 25, 08:05:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger kim said...

I'm right there with you Patricia!!!!

Sat Nov 25, 08:31:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger J.A. McDougall said...

Good for you Patricia! I'll hassle you!

Sat Nov 25, 10:28:00 am GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is great, Patricia! I promise to nag you ceaselessly!


Sat Nov 25, 10:44:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Phil Jones said...

That's great news honey. I guess they're right about the husband being the last to know. I know you can do it. Me and the kids will be pulling for you. I promise we'll call every day, or at least email. I think that's the cab outside, gotta go. Remember we love you sweetie. See you in a couple of months.
P.S.- We'll send you a postcard of that huge crater. Bye.

Sat Nov 25, 05:23:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Patricia said...

thanks everyone!! two days to go!!! thanks Phil, I'm doing this for us honey..xoxoxo

Sun Nov 26, 03:47:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

Good luck. If you're going off your anti-anxiety med, consider switching to Zyban which is also the anti-depressant Wellbutrin, I think. That way you can kill too birds. With one stone. Talk to your doctor.

If you're anxious, won't you want to smoke? When I'm anxious, I do. And I don't even smoke.

Sun Nov 26, 11:34:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

Bye 'good luck.' I meant, "Good luck!" in a positive way. It reads like I'm saying 'fat chance'. I hate email- and posting sometimes. It's hard to get the connotations right.

I met with a colleage the other day because she'd sent me a 'snippy' email. We had a long talk. She hadn't meant to be snippy at all. But it read that way. After our long talk, I read it again, and sure enough, seeing it the way she meant it, it wasn't snippy. Then I felt stupid.

Sun Nov 26, 11:36:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Patricia said...

thanks andrew, I tried the zyban before, it gave me horrific nightmares, it was awful, I am going to see my doc, she has a support program for people wanting to quit, and yes, increased anxiety...god...I'm more worried about the weight gain...which is know, two more days..aghhghghgh

Sun Nov 26, 12:52:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger MelBell said...

I'm right behind you, Patricia. Dec. 1 is my date to ditch the cigarettes, so consider me your quit-buddy, if you like.

Sun Nov 26, 07:09:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger tamara said...

Best of luck, Patricia (and Mel). I quit over 10 years ago, after smoking for 16 years or so, so I empathise about the writing/smoking 'associative' thing. My suggestion is to find 'new ways' to write. I started doing my thinking in the shower and on long walks instead of staring at the computer and dragging on a smoke.

Mon Nov 27, 06:45:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Patricia said...

oh Mel and Tamara, I just don't know, I don't...I've been freaking out allll day!! and yeah Tarmara, writing and not smoking!! ohhhh...I don't think I can bear it....we shall see

Mon Nov 27, 10:44:00 pm GMT-5  
Anonymous Jeff Landon said...

Patricia, you can do this, don't give yourself built in excuses to not do this! You can write and do everything else you do without cigarettes. Plus, you'll smell even better! do it!!!

Mon Nov 27, 10:56:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Steve Gajadhar said...

My mom did it, and she's so happy she did. Think of how good it's going to feel when you at the end.

Tue Nov 28, 04:50:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Patricia said...

i can smell better?? why the hell didn't someone say that before!?? I wouldv'e quit alllong time ago!!! lololol..thanks guys, I' fine!! I'll just drink more..xoxo

Tue Nov 28, 04:56:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Okay, so this is your first official day, right? And, tomorrow is another day, as Scarlet said. I quit almost 16 years ago. You can do it! One day at a time. Don't think about giving up forever, cigarettes are too much of a "friend" for that to work. Just don't smoke today and, then, don't smoke tomorrow. If you "fall off the wagon" one day, just quit again the next. Try to change other habits you associate with smoking -- like drinking coffee and booze. Drink lots of water. Go to bed early. Take naps. Brush your teeth every time you have the urge. In two weeks, the nicotine should be out of your system. After that, the withdrawal is from the psychological need. Let us know how you're doing?

Tue Nov 28, 09:30:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Myfanwy Collins said...

It's such a difficult thing to do but I know you can do it, Patricia! Good luck!


Thu Nov 30, 01:41:00 pm GMT-5  
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