My own path to enlightenment. Call me Guru CJ. Or just Guru will do.

Quitting smoking is hard. Way harder than I thought. A month ago I would have probably told you that I wasn’t even addicted… that I only needed to smoke when I drink… that I could quit whenever I was ready. That is so not the case.

f6 are famous for their short filters
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Over the past 9 days I’ve gone through so many emotions. I’ve felt irritated, empowered, angry,  depressed, and weak. There have been a few days when I haven’t been bothered at all, then others when it was all I could do not to flip out. I’m not gonna lie… I even broke down on Saturday and had a few puffs (after a few drinks) but I don’t think it set me back much. More than anything, I want to be healthier. Eventually I want to be disgusted by cigarettes- but for now, if I can cut myself down to a few puffs a week, then I think I can be ok with that. In fact, more than anything, I’m just proud of myself for not going postal on everyone who smiled at me and told me with their clean teeth and untainted fingernails that they were not addicted to smoking… that, and for not gouging my own eyeballs out with a number two pencil. I’ve also upped my pen chewing 123%, but I think I can deal with that.

I don’t know whether it’s the quitting smoking or the turning into a  28 year old woman, (and I use that term loosely) but lately I’ve been feeling like doing a little more soul searching than usual. For an example, last Thursday night I HAD to go see the meteor shower. At about 10:30 pm I dragged my roommate LA and Moops out of bed and made them drive me 45 minutes out into the country so that we could have a clear view of the sky. We drove forever, and finally found a patch of grass on the side of the highway to spread our blanket on. The three of us lay there  side by side in peace, trying to understand the vast arch above us. This lasted about 7 minutes when we begin to get bitten my gigantic Mothra-esque creatures, which made me remember the podcast I had listened to earlier that evening about ticks and the diseases that they carried. Just as we were gathering up the blanket, I saw 3 shooting stars which sent the three of us back into a trance for about 30 seconds until a cop pulled up.

This cop wasn’t your run of the mill city cop, no siree. This man was old, walked with a limp, and even wore an old fashioned badge. We didn’t freak out as we ususally would in cop sitchyeeatshuns, because for once, we weren’t actually doing anything wrong. He explained that he “had got a tele that some der folks were layin out on der road.” I kind of wanted to hug him because he was the first person I’d seen in at least a few days that could have walked straight out of a movie. Regardless we left, and I was forced to continue my soul searching elsewhere.

 (I took an ambien this evening and the majority of that previous paragraph was written in southern-cop accent, in case you couldn’t tell.)

Later that night, I decided to try to meditate. I put on a guided medidtation cd that I bought a few years ago when I decided I wanted to be a Buddhist, but all I could think about was how hairy my toes were and how much I wanted to go downstairs and eat some tuna salad and maybe even some popcorn… so after about 5 minutes of feigned calm breathing, I went downstairs, shaved my toes and ate a bunch of food. FAIL.

Javier Bardem at the Cannes Film festival
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Some friends came in town this weekend and we spent the majority of our time playing Mario Party, which in a way a meditation of escaping reality, but for the most part I forgot about my quest to become a better person. Sunday night we went to see Eat Pray Love, which got me thinking all over again. Not necessarily about the movie… it was ok and all and I kind of want to lick Javier Bardem from head to toe, but all in all the whole thing seemed a bit contrived. I didn’t read the book and I don’t know much about the author, but it irritated me a bit that this whole story was based upon a woman who was most likely paid a book deal to go on the “quest” to find herself. But still, it made me want to do so even more. But what can I do?

I don’t really believe in bullshit self help books (no offense to anyone who uses them) but I was feeling like I didn’t have any other options, so this morning I broke down and downloaded “The Secret.” Yeah, that book that everyone and their great grandmother has read and apparantely became millionaires after reading it. I’m about half way through, and I have very mixed feelings. One the one hand,I agree that positive thinking is a.. well positive way to live your life. The more positive you think, the more active you are going to be in trying to reach your goals (though the book claims that all you have to do is “believe” that you will  become the person you want to be, and that you are that person already, and then acracadabra boom hiss your wish will be granted. )the better chance you have of actually obtaining them. But on the other hand, I have always believed that once you picture a scenario in detail- then there is a 99% chance that that exact scenario will never play out in that exact manner. If it did, wouldn’t that be some sort of deja vu space/time continuim fuck up?

I don’t know, but I think I’m thinking about this too hard. I don’t think these books are meant for cynical, questioning people like myself. I will try to apply more positive thinking to my life, and I do think that I could benefit from meditating more often, but I also think I need begin to work things out on a more rational level. My own way. I don’t have it all planned out. I have goals (see my last post) but I don’t have a clue about where I want to be in 20 years. I would like to be financially stable, but I don’t spend my nights dreaming about being a millionaire. I don’t have a dream job, I don’t have an innate desire to have a family at this point in my life… so maybe I just need to start with my small goals.I’m going to devise my own self-help stragedy. Like quitting smoking. I can do this. I will kick this. (Check out my positive thinking, yo). I’ve quit other things before. So perhaps I shall start with something small to help my cause. Maybe I should list out all the things I’ve quit before.

Here we go.

*I quit chewing on my knuckles at the age of four. Granted my doctor told me if I didn’t he’d cut them off. Also take note.. this was the first clue I had an intense oral fixation.

*I quit going to algebra my sophomore year of college because it stressed me out and cause a 3am breakdown when I ran out of lead of my mechanical pencil.

.*I quit watching Lost after the second season because it was stressing me out that nothing. ever. happened.

*I quit my job at the costume shop because my boss was a misogynistic blow hole, who made me pick up sequins while down on my knees in a mini-skirt and wouldn’t let me go home to get some sanitary help for my lady problem. He also told me I was stupid because I couldn’t work the cash register.

*I quit eating most dairy products because they make me feel like there is an angry, drunken, bowling team in my belly.

*I quit my job at the sandwich shop because I lost a nail in the vegetables and I was  probably going to get fired when they found out.

*I quit caring and talking about politics when I realized both sides are liars, but mostly because I wasn’t sure that I even cared.

*I’ve quit reading the Twilight series, Harry Potter, and every biography I’ve ever started. Mostly because of commitment issues.

*I quit going to my trainer because I had a crush on him and I found out he was like 6 years younger than me and I didn’t want to be a cougar at the age of twenty seven. Also I needed an extra $125 a month. Also because I don’t like people telling me what to do.

Hmmm… I’m sure there’s more but I’m tired and so I think I’ll quit writing now. I think we’ve established that I’m pretty good at quitting things. Especially things that suck. So now I just have to apply that to smoking, I suck on cigarettes, right? So technically they kind of suck (or blow)… Either way, I think this helped. If for nothing else, it’s helped me see that I don’t deal with stress very well, which is precisely why I smoked for so long,

Oye vey this ambien is making this confusing and I’m getting stressed again. More on this later, maybe. I’m off to suck on a lozenge, which is a word I still haven’t figered out how to pronounce.

Tootles.

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  • ScoMan

    My brothers tried quitting a few times. It's hard, but it's good you're sticking with it, well done.

    And I love your adventure to see the meteor shower. Best blog story I've read in awhile.

    And you shouldn't have been so concerned about being a cougars are in. At least, that's what I keep telling Tina Fey in my emails to her.

  • http://www.fvfan.com Kendall

    After saying you took an Ambien, I have to wonder if you would remember writing this??

  • CarissaJaded

    hahaha Barely! It was only half, and I took it half way.. So I was ok… pretty much.

  • http://www.ftcs.wordpress.com/ Clevelandpoet

    I stopped being able to pay attention after you mentioned 'oral fixation' sorry.
    I wish I was able to drive off to see the shower. I went out and you could see it a bit but not as nicely. That cop bit was awesome. Cougars are hot (or you know can be)

    bravo on quitting and I know you can do it (rah rah cheerleader jimi)
    pity meditation can't stick for you. It can really help. I meditate daily.

  • http://perfectlycursedlife.com/ Kimwithak

    Enlightenment is a hard task to concentrate on. Especially when you're quitting smoking. That's a huge step and I congratulate you on the nine days you've had thus far.

  • http://www.nikkidz.blogspot.com Nikki

    My Mother in law swears that the only way she could quit smoking was to quit everything she did while smoking. That included drinking and coffee. Since she always had coffee during her smoke breaks. My Mom quit by having her tonsils out and said it felt like she was breathing fire when she tried to smoke again. You can do it though, I seriously have faith. Blame your mother. She stopped breasfeeding you too soon.

    If you want to come to Seattle I'll take you to yoga…We can eat and pray together. Maybe love a little too. I won't let you lick my Husband from head to toe though. He doesn't look anything like Javier anyway. Wait I thought you were coming to Seattle and we were going to karoake?? What happened to that?

  • http://watchoutworldimatwentysomething.blogspot.com/ JustMe

    Quitting is hard. Have you tried acupuncture? I hear it works…although I hate it.

    I actually think positive thinking, “imagining” what you want and training yourself to get it can work…why do I think this? Because I'm doing it right now. And I need a cheerleader.

  • http://www.theTsaritsasez.com/ Alexandra the Tsaritsa

    I quit smoking last year. It was tough, and every once in a while when I'm drinking at a bar I'll break down and bum a cig from someone, but I'm really happy that I quit. It's a disgusting habit, and you can quit! I did it cold turkey and it suuuuucked at first, but it was easier with time.

    Re: the Secret– I think the only people who became millionaires from that book were the people who wrote it. The best get-rich-quick scheme is to write a book about getting rich quick. It's all nonsense. Self-empowerment comes from within, girlfriend! You can do it :)

  • http://meandthebee.wordpress.com/ steff

    i have quit smoking too many times to even remember. basically i have quit quitting. i don't really consider myself a “smoker” anymore but i DID break down when i went to BlogHer and smoked to ease my nerves. ok, i did that last night too after a partik stressful evening of working on a guest list for our reception. clearly i'm in denial.
    keep at it though. even reducing the amount you smoke is a good thing even if you never quit-quit entirely.
    right?

  • Hip Hop Hippie

    I'm so proud of you!!! There's a dozen things I need to quit, but right now I'm living vicariously through you.

    You're a badass. Plain and simple.

  • The Idiot Speaketh

    Hello Carissa! Always nice to drop in on other people trapped here in Texas! Good luck with that Ambien :) Last time I took a few, I swore that my bedroom ceiling was made of cotton balls and I was sure that all my hands had become webbed! I am adding your blog to the blogroll and will pop back often. Have a good one!

  • http://www.sipsandshots.com/cocktails-for-a-cure Scraps

    Good for you for quitting.

    The Secret is based on the Law of Attraction but there's a thin line between visualizing success and creating delusions. Anything that develops a cult-like following is highly suspect, in my book. (pun! sorry…)

  • http://karisa-tells-all.blogspot.com/ Karisa Tells All

    That movie opened my eyes to Javier Bardem too! But that's about all it opened my eyes to haha. I agree, it was very contrived and self indulgent.

  • Pollypoptart

    Ahhh, I'm so glad I never started smoking. I have such an addictive personality i would NEVER be able to give it up. I don't know if it's a good or a bad thing that I chose alcohol to be my main vice instead . . .

  • Amber Tidd Murphy

    quitting (the smoking) is so hard. i couldn’t immediately quit when i got pregnant, which made me feel like an epic fail of a human being and a poor excuse for a mother-to-be. i had to get the wellbutrin medicine, which really does help with the cravings, but it isn’t 100% foolproof or anything. it sucks. so i salute you.

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