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I’ve got to quit smoking.

After picking up the habit again due to dissertation stress, I’m thoroughly addicted. I like smoking; however bad for me, it serves a purpose.

Four months of cigarettes for two is a lot of money.

But my breathing and sinuses are affected, and I’m nearly the age at which cardiac risk should rule out hormonal birth control for smokers. It’s also freaking expensive – I quit about 10 years ago when it cost $4.25/pack, and now it’s closer to $12/pack for my preferred brand. And of course, there are the long-term health effects. It’s just bad stuff.

Mr. Chickadee and I agreed that we don’t want to buy any more cigarettes. But as I sit here typing this up, I think of the paper I have to revise in the next two weeks; the survey results that must be completed and written up by the same deadline; the four presentations that I have to assemble in the same time period; the two weeks of travel that will follow all of that. Things are a bit stressful right now. Surely it’s not the right time to quit.

Then again, when would it be? Life doesn’t slow down much, and new stressors take the place of every one that gets resolved. In the past, my approach was to go “cold turkey” while self-medicating the cravings out of existence, in addition to changing habits that revolved around smoking. Mr. Chickadee and I smoked a lot of pot last time we quit cigarettes.

Right now, that’s not an option – we’ve nothing on hand and no indication of when that might change. Nicotine withdrawal will make us both very cranky for at least two weeks as the physiological addiction is broken. So what to do in the meantime to reduce cravings and irritability?

I’m not a fan of nicotine replacement; it’s similarly expensive and addresses only the lifestyle habits, with which I need little assistance. The addiction remains. I already take Wellbutrin, so the prescription route to reducing cravings is also out. I can’t really drink the withdrawal away either. I could make use of the Ativan, but I can’t rely on that too heavily nor for long. I don’t want to end up with benzo addiction instead of nicotine addiction.

I picked up one last pack apiece with the intention of making it last as long as possible, and then leaving it at that. Reducing quantity prior to eliminating smoking altogether will make the withdrawal slightly less painful. Slightly.

So what can I do? Nothing, I guess. Grin and bear it. Grit my teeth and cowgirl up. Just quit it.

This week is really going to suck.

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