Saturday, January 29, 2005

The Chicken or the Egg?

All this talk about quitting smoking must be boring for you non-smokers out there. I mean, for you the reasons to quit far outweigh the reasons to smoke--I won't even attempt a list. But for us addicts, the mindgames are killers (pun intended). We can come up with dozens, no, hundreds of justifications. That's what I think my worsening depression is, although I'm not really sure. I mean, am I getting more depressed because I can't smoke, or is the lack of my drug of choice causing me to become more depressed?

Physiologically, both are true. Depression is caused by the brain's inability to manufacture or store neurotransmitters such as seratonin and dopamine. Withdrawl from a substance that one is addicted to also affects those neurotransmitters--just wacks them out completely from my understanding. All I can really tell you at this time is that my brain sure ain't functioning!

The only thing that's keeping me from smoking right now is the knowledge that I'd be letting so many people down. That simply wouldn't work if I were't so depressed--I'd just say, "Screw them" and light up. But, being depressed, my low self-esteem needs all the positive reinforcement I can get. In other words, this really sucks!

Does the title of this post make sense yet?



At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Lu,

We have worked together on many shows. Most memerable is The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged. You are the best at what you do. That is why I asked you to be my A.D. for Harvey. And, when you where unable to do it because of the evil villian called depression, I decided not to get anyone else. I didn't want to work with anyone else in that position, because we work very well together. I am thrilled that you are working on this show, and I hope all of us can help you kick that villian out of your life.

I have three family members who deal with this nasty critter every day. I know what it does to people. At least from the outside. Stick with it girl. We got your back!!

Yours Always,
Ellen AKA Nelle

At 11:28 AM, Blogger cricket said...

hiya lu! the title absolutely makes sense :) we're all rooting for ya! :)

At 11:36 AM, Blogger Chick said...

I agree...I had to think about it...but when I makes sooo much sense.

Get have a crowd out here rooting for you.

At 11:50 AM, Blogger theresa said...

Nice post, Lu.
Even using the nicotine lozenges, I'm not feeling like myself these days. Yesterday I almost HAD to tell someone to "bite my ass!"
It messes with your Body Chemistry, Routine and Social Life.
I read somewhere that short term memory is effected for about 30 days after quitting.
I have no idea what to do when I transition between tasks. And, I miss the smoke after work more than any other.
I won't be able to go to a bar for at least 6 months because 1st I'm weak, and 2nd, who wouldn't bum me a cigarette if I asked nicely?

A Big Ego-Boost from my girl, Cricket, who saved me from the "Fuck-Its" last night. I'd much rather make-out with her than smoke! Who wouldn't????

At 4:54 PM, Blogger John Q. Public said...

Hang in there, Lu. I quit smoking after 18 years of it, before being treated for MDD, so I have no idea what you're going through right now. I can say that it made me crankier than I even was at that time, but what's a little more anger and depression when you're already suffering with it?

Here's the advice I gave to Theresa:

Get the patch, or some other help for the nicotine urges.
If you feel pissed off and cranky, run with it. Revel in it, because if you try and fight it, it's even worse.
Find something to occupy your hands, something you can totally sink yourself into. Writing helped me quite a bit.

You can do it!

At 10:32 PM, Blogger Larry Jones said...

I wish I could say anything that would help you through this. All I can tell you is that kicking tobacco is really tough, because not only is nicotine highly addictive, but cigarettes are readily available all over the place. The good news is that when you succeed at this, you will have a major accomplishment on the books. Best wishes from California, Lu.

At 4:13 AM, Blogger Jay said...

You are way too informed not to be a success! Keep up the good work.

At 1:08 PM, Blogger Ed said...

Well, I'm a non smoker (I never did start in the first place) and I'm not bored by the quitting smoking posts. Hope you two stick with it. Any yes, it all made good sense.

At 1:45 PM, Blogger audrey said...

Lu, it took me 3 times before I quit and know first hand what you are up against. Depression, which I too suffer from, doesn't help.

The last time I quit, I played a game with myself...I would white knuckle (literally) the craving until it passed, thinking my mantra "this is only a feeling, it will go away. It will go away and if it returns, it will go away again".

Not sure if it was having the flu when I quit (now I associate me smoking with puking - niiiiice) or if my hanging on to the mantra worked. All I know is that craving went from once an hour to once a day to a few times a week to in stopped showing its face.

You posting about it is likely one of the most helpful things you can do as it's safe to talk about it. Nothing worse than fighting something and having no one who understands.

Oh, btw...I quit 15 years ago after smoking almost 2 packs a day. That isn't kudos for myself, that is to show you that this is not impossible. Believe me, I avoid the apparent impossible all the time. (I cannot drive a car)

Hang in there!

At 5:27 AM, Blogger Lu said...

Wow. This is the first time I've read 2 hot chiks since I posted this. Thanks so much, all, for your wonderful supportive comments. You can't know how much it helps!

Funny thing, though--at first I didn't remember writing this post. I had to read it through a couple of times before I could convince myself that T hadn't accidently posted it on my login. Perhaps, T, the short-term memory loss lasts a bit longer than 30 days(I'm almost at 60!)!



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