So here we go again:
I'd like to go back in time and kick my 20-year-old ass. I was 20 when I started smoking. Why did I do this? Because I was young and stupid. I knew that smoking was bad for you, but decided to go ahead and do it anyway. I guess I thought I could just quit if I felt like it. A week later I was up to a pack a day. 16 years later I smoke between 1 1/4 and 1 1/2 packs a day. I've spent somewhere in the vicinity of $28,000 on cigarettes (not including cloves) over the past 16 years. I've tried the patch several times, I tried gum once, and tried cold turkey many, many years ago. Fucking obnoxious 20-year-old me.
But hindsight is 20/20, and time travel hasn't been perfected yet.
Over the last year I've been through a lot of changes. I developed a terrible sensitivity to all synthetic detergents. I started out having to eliminate sodium lauryl sulfate from my life, and wound up having to eliminate all detergents that would be applied to my skin. This was difficult. Shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, it all had to go. I used a "natural" SLS-free shampoo for a while. It used cocomidapropyl betaine as a detergent. Then I started developing red patches on my scalp. Now I use pine-tar soap instead of shampoo, and use a diluted vinegar rinse afterward. Every other day I give myself a scalp massage with olive oil. My hair actually feels great - thicker even. It was hard, and very depressing to have to kiss shampoo goodbye though.
Eliminating toxins from my body products led me to start eliminating them from my food as well. While I was starting to use olive oil to wash and moisturize my face, I started to think about the crap I was putting IN my body, in addition to what I was putting ON it. I decided to eliminate a lot of things, starting with anything hydrogenated. I also cut out the soda and switched to drinking water. I've lost 30 pounds.
So here I am, busily banishing toxins and man-made chemicals from my life, and smoking like a fiend. Can you say hypocrite? Okay, so maybe I should cut myself a little slack. When you have a monkey on your back you don't always think rationally.
So we are now moving on to the next step in the betterment of Brent. I have set a date to quit smoking. Saturday, November 18th, 2006. I am starting on St John's Wort now to let it build up in my system, and the day before I will begin using a combination of herb including: lobelia, passion flower, wild oat, valerian root, skullcap, and kava kava. I will drink cranberry and orange juices until I am pissing pure fructose to head off the blood-sugar problems that happen during withdrawal. I am also painting the bathroom that day, so that should distract me a bit.
As a last resort I bought some herbal cigarettes that don't contain nicotine or tobacco - in case I just HAVE to smoke something. They taste, uhm, weird, and sort of burn my throat, but they will do while I am detoxing.
I am scared to do this, but I am also hopeful. I understand a lot more about what happens when you quit smoking than I did last time I tried to quit. I just need to keep in mind that the majority of the withdrawal symptoms are psychological, not physical. My brain will try to fuck me over, and trip me up.
To my brain I say: FUCK YOU! I'm doing this, and you can't stop me.