Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Battle-Cry

I wrote this account a couple of years ago of an event in my life. I have never looked back, sadly I wonder what took me so long to come to my senses. ~~

Wearily I opened my eyes, somewhat apprehensive as to what this day would bring.

Yesterday I was so full of fire and determination about the agenda for today. This morning though most of the flames had dulled a little, as one more time I started to get myself into the survival mode.

Almost daily, I get reminders from my body of where I am today because of the cigarette. That causes me to think of how good things used to be like, oh so many years ago now. Such stupidity.

Of course this is my war against the dreaded cigarette. Like many others before me I have been humbled by the weed for far too long. It almost seems like this has been a hundred year war with no end in sight. So many battles, albeit the war rages on as I win a small encounter here and there.

There was a time when the cigarette was ruler supreme, as he had me puffing merrily away at the rate of thirty five a day hacking and coughing my socks up on a daily basis.

In looking back though I have come a long way since those days, but the war isn’t over quite yet and the hacking continues.

This is not the first time that I have tried to end this war and failed. In the past though, I realize now that I was ill prepared still being at the pack plus a day level. That’s when I reckon you could say I went into training and started my withdrawal routine to get the numbers and their strengths down to where I stood a fighting chance of success.

Now I know that there is some kind of a fallacy about regular strength and light cigarettes. It is true that with the removal of the filter, there is no difference in tobacco strength, however; it does show that with the filter left in place the filter does make some difference in taste. Despite all the semantics, the one unmistakable fact is, there is no minimizing the damage done to the lungs etc, regardless of regular or light cigarettes.

Through whatever means employable, I was able to cut down on the consumption numbers to an improving one pack a day. That was in the beginning of my resolve. Over the period of two years, I have got that number down to an all out attack of four or five smokes a day. But I can’t take all the credit for that achievement, I had a couple of scares along the way which any fool would recognize as an incentive.

Today I had elected to execute the coup de grace, kill this monster once and for all. But as the hours tick by this thing just eats away at you deep inside. I reckon that’s what they mean by craving, luckily so far I am in control and winning this battle today.

That’s what prompted me to sit down and write something about this, for everything helps to keep the Tiger at bay a little longer. Stay focused, face my enemy head on and it seems, get a little stronger by the hour. Nay! Even by the minute.

So what say thee Sir Weed!, feel like a joust today? What’s that you say? I can’t hope to win? Well guess what. Today I think I can!

E. Valentine March 28/06 ©

As a postscript, I finally applied this on July 3/06 and have not smoked since. It is my belief, that one has to really psyche oneself up enough to make this work. It did for me.

C'ya

38 comments:

Margie said...

I'm very glad to know you won the battle with the cigarettes, Eric.
I can imagine it was not an easy thing to do.

Thank you for sharing this!
Good health yo you, my friend!

Margie

Leon said...

Oh Eric. . .at least you won that battle although I know it has left its scars on you. I was one of the lucky ones even though I had started smoking at 15 and by my mid-20s was puffing away at a pack-and-a-half a day rate. Then one day 40 years ago when the rest of my life was crashing down around me, I quit! Cold Turkey! I haven't smoked since although there are still times when I crave a cigarette. But, as I say, I am one of the lucky ones.

So - send out your message far and wide. Let's hope that more and more good people can get the strength to break the tobacco addiction and perhaps even prolong their own lives.

My apologies, my friend! This reads more like a post than a comment. I guess you touched a responsive nerve in me. Sometimes I do react like The Ancient One. . . . :~)

shades said...

I am so very happy to hear this, Eric..!!
:)

zirelda said...

I'm fighting that battle myself and have been for years Eric. I'm glad you were able to put it away. I have not yet and am full aware of the dangers of the beast.

Good health to us all and many many kudos to you.

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

Eric, good for you. My father said they found cigarettes washed up in cannisters on the beach (from boats) during the war as kids - never stood a chance as to not smoking.

I'm doing some painting - it's a lot rough at the moment, but I've got going again!

Eric Valentine said...

Hi Margie, no it wasn't easy, but you have to just stay with it till one succeeds.

Stay well my friend :)

Eric Valentine said...

Hi Leon, yes you started early just like I did, I was 14. It took me a bit longer than you to quit, tho' I tried so many times.

It's been 2 yrs for me now since I stopped & like you I still get the craving. The difference now though is I am stronger so I don't give in. If I want a fix I walk outside the store... 2nd hand smoke does the trick. LOL

There's no problem with the length of your comment my friend, it's nice hearing from people.. :)

Eric Valentine said...

Thank you Shades, it is nice news at any time.. :)

Eric Valentine said...

Well Zirelda good luck in your battle. Only you will know when you are ready.. But at least keep trying. :)

Eric Valentine said...

Yes Julie, I believe you, I too lived by the ocean, at Blackpool.

Good that you are painting again, I guess one can get a little rusty? :)

jill terry said...

Hats off to you for slaying the Tiger!!

Janice Thomson said...

A tough battle I too know about. I'm glad they have changed the laws here in Canada and banned smoking in public places - perhaps it will save a child or two in the end. I'm glad you won the battle my friend.
It's good to be back and reading you.

Eric Valentine said...

Thank you Jill and also for your visit, nice seeing you do call again. :)

Eric Valentine said...

It's good to see you back Janice, you have been missed by so many. I'm glad you enjoy my writing. :)

samrina said...

Congrats Eric.. :)

Have a look at my blog and take your award :)

God bless you!

Pearl said...

Congratulations! Health paybacks are said to come pretty quickly.

Eric Valentine said...

Thank you Samrina, will do.. :)

Stay well.

Eric Valentine said...

Thank you Pearl for visiting again.

Once the habit is discarded, health improvements soon start to show themselves. Like anything though it always takes a little time.

Yes paybacks can come in many forms, and better health sure tops the list. :)

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

Like the header, btw....

Eric Valentine said...

Thanks Julie, don't forget to look into a photo book.. :)

newnorth said...

I'm glad you won Eric. The craving, it's a difficult thing to understand. You describe it well here though.

I also gave you an award on my blog today. :)

Eric Valentine said...

Thank you Newnorth, glad you enjoyed.

Thanks also for the award, yesterday seems to have been my day as I recieved another award as well from Samrina.. :)

Guess it's ok to put in for a raise? LOL

Middle Ditch said...

It's strange, isn't it, how that little bell still rings on certain times when in the past you had a smoke with that drink or snack at that time.

Good for you.

Eric Valentine said...

Hello Middle ditch, thank you for visiting.

Yes that bell still does its job ocassionally.

Even second hand smoke will do an "Ah Bisto!" job on you.. Scary eh.. :)

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

Glad you enjoyed the geese, Eric ...
do you have any early stories about life in the UK as you remember it?

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

PS - like the new version of the star-spangled banner.....

Eric Valentine said...

Hi Julie, but of course I have stories.. Check out my blogs under the labels autobiographical and wartime series..
There is lots of stuff there.

There are other instances that I havent written about, an example was a double exposure camera shot where it turned out I was walking on water along with the geese.. wish I had that shot now, but that was a long time ago. LOL

Eric Valentine said...

Oops, that is another messing around banner I was working on using photoshop & the Wow program.. great stuff.. :)

Judith Shapiro said...

So glad to have stumbled upon your blog today. Smoking! How I fought with it, love/hate, from age 12 to my early thirties. Gonna link to your wonderful post. Thanks.

Eric Valentine said...

Welcome Judith, good of you to stumble in.. :)

Yes the old tobacco habit sure was a ball & chain to lose. You started before I did, I was 14... 12 is pretty young! :(

Glad you are going to link here.. :)

Isadora said...

Congratulations! It is a heavy physical and emotional addiction - you can truly call yourself a winner.

Eric Valentine said...

Thank you so much Isadora, I think everyone can appreciate kicking the monster ~ even more these days. :)

swenglishexpat said...

Eric - I am glad to read that you managed to kill the craving, or at least stop giving in to it eventually. Good on you! It sometimes takes something special or extra to kick a habit like smoking. I was lucky that my "help" came early in life; the birth of my son. When he was on his way I decided to quit smoking, and in the process I stopped swearing and speeding as well! (LOL) Now (35 years later) I only swear for effect sometimes, and only speed on the motorway! ;-)

Shameless said...

So you are still off the fags? Well done, Eric! What a battle worth fighting. :-)

Eric Valentine said...

Thank you Swen for sharing your method.. I bet you are still a tearaway though on the autobahn.. :)

Eric Valentine said...

Hi Seamus, I remember when they used to call cigarettes fags. LOL

In my time it was 5 willy Woodbines at the store near the school. No more though, those days are over my friend. :)

Thanks for your visit. :)

Singing Stream said...

{{{{{Eric}}}}} It's been an uphill battle with me too. Then when my Daughter was in the Treatment Program for Alcoholism, she was informed that in terms of affect and addiction, nicotine is on the same level as heroin...imagine! That's why the cravings, forever. I've got six months in this time and I could smoke anytime. grrrr...but I've convinced myself that if I take 'one' that 'one' will cost me $80...4 boxes of patches to get off them again. True! Good on ya Eric...

Eric Valentine said...

That addiction news does not surprise me Singing Stream, for it is a long hard road to travel before there's a break in the path.

For you to now be at six months free is wonderful news & well worth the $80 it took to get there, keep on trudging my friend, I wish you good luck. :)