Thirteen days ago, I smoked my last cigarette and drank my last cup of coffee.
Depending on who you talk to, withdrawals from nicotine and caffeine can take anywhere from a few days, to a month (or longer in extreme cases). I can definitely attest to the fact that it takes longer than two weeks.
Every night, I go to sleep hoping that when I wake up tomorrow, the cravings will be at least a little bit less… but every morning I wake up and they’re just as strong as they were the day before.
I hate this feeling… and I hate admitting that I still crave “just one smoke” – especially when I put so much effort into telling everyone how committed I was, and have survived twelve whole days of constant urges and cravings, and an almost non-stop feeling of “all of these symptoms could go away in about thirty seconds, if I just had one cigarette…”
But the problem is, they wouldn’t really go away; one cigarette would just give me a temporary reprieve… but all the symptoms would return, every hour or two until the next “one cigarette,” now and for the rest of my life.
And I know that, intellectually.
But emotionally, I don’t care. I’m tired of hurting; I’m tired of suffering; I’m tired of having these cravings and not knowing when (or if) they’re going to go away.
Without coffee and nicotine, I quite literally don’t see any reason to get out of bed. I feel confused, discouraged, depressed… like I can’t deal with anything more complicated than binge watching reruns of my favorite shows on Netflix. (Seriously, it’s taken me almost an hour to write this one post… and this one is so short it would normally take me about 15 minutes.)
I “know” that with more time, with consistent effort, and with continued therapy, I will learn to deal with all the stresses that used to drive me to smoke and drink ridiculous amounts of coffee… and that the cravings and the urges will become less, until ultimately I won’t even think about coffee and cigarettes anymore.
But today that doesn’t “feel” true.
Today, it feels like I’m destined to spend the rest of my life suffering for want of “one more cigarette” or one wonderful cup of coffee. (Never mind that I’ve never actually liked the taste of smoking, or coffee, emotionally I’m absolutely convinced that I need my fix, and that I’ll never again be happy unless I can get it.)
Intellectually, I know that’s not true. I know that’s the addiction speaking, and that the cravings will go down, and my mind and my body will adjust, and one day (probably soon) I will fell better, and in fact, will be glad that I quit. I know that will happen… and yet, I feel like I’m trapped… like I’m a prisoner to these addictions, and no matter how hard I try I’ll never truly be free…
And those feelings… seem far more convincing… than any number of facts.