Wednesday, 22 November 2006

Hello, I'm Jamon and I'm an addict

Ok, time for a confession. I'm an addict, and I'm bored now by being one.

I smoke cigarettes. Not heavily, but I smoke every day. I stopped smoking for 4 weeks recently. The hardest part was stopping at work where there's numerous smokers to tempt me. But I did it. I can stop smoking relatively easily to be honest. I can go a week sometimes without missing them. My problem is that I start smoking again insidiously. A sly one when I've have a drink, or another when I'm stressed. AS soon as I've had that sly one it's a slippery slope back to habitual self abuse.

Right now I'm hiding the fact I'm smoking from my work colleagues. I'm no longer smoking through the day, but I'm coming home, seeing the kids for 5 minutes, then out the back for a sly fag. How desperate is that? I'm embarrassed writing about it to be honest.

And it doesn't end there. Now I'm certainly not an alcoholic, and I don't mean to belittle the daily battle that many people dependant on the stuff have to endure. But Miche & I drink wine fairly frequently. Perhaps a bottle 2-3 times a week. Sometimes a bottle and a half between us on an evening. Now this isn't particularly heavy drinking I know, but I can often tell that I've had a drink the night before. I rarely get so drunk that I'm hungover, it's just that alcohol affects the quality of my sleep. Which brings me to my next addiction.

Caffeine. During the day I can drink 5-6 cups of coffee. Particularly if I've had a drink the night before and am feeling a bit tired. I use the caffeine to brighten me up on a morning. It's also habitual.

I also recently discovered that nicotine increases the speed at which the body metabolises caffeine, dulling the stimulant effect of it. Therefore, smokers often drink more coffee.

So, this is my vicious circle. I'm physically and psychologically addicted to nicotine. So I drink more coffee than I should. I drink wine frequently and it effects my sleep, making me drowsy in the mornings. So I drink more coffee than I should. And because I smoke, I need to drink even more of it. This can make me over stimulated in the evenings, so I might have a glass of wine to come down, with a fag or two.....and round it goes, ad nauseum.

So, I need to break this cycle. The question is where best to make the cut?

Given that the focus of this blog is making sense of spirituality I thought I should try a little experiment in fasting. It seems to be all the rage for the religious. Checking out the wikipedia page on fasting I don't think there's a religious ideology that doesn't have elements of fasting in it.

So, here's my experiment in fasting from legal drugs;

Starting tomorrow morning I will stop smoking. Period. Neither will I drink coffee. And in the evenings I will not drink alcohol.

I plan that I will stop smoking for good. This will be the cut in my vicious circle. I will have the odd single glass of wine a month from now, which takes us close to Christmas. I plan to reintroduce caffeine into my diet after three weeks, following physical withdrawal from nicotine.

Just like David Blaine's current stunt of hanging about in a gyroscope for three days, I'll let whomever wants to watch me demonstrate my feat of human endurance :-).

Each day I will rank my cold turkey fever for each of my addictions on a scale of 1-10. 1 being totally OK and 10 being on the brink of breakdown. A 'F' will signify a failure eg, a fag, cup of coffee or glass of wine.

I'll keep on blogging in the same way as usual but will append the stats to each post. If there's a particular addiction drama relating to spirituality, then I'll talk about it.

I'm going to bed now, in readiness for a brand new day.

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