Movies and TV did not prepare me for what smoking would do to me. Maybe I watched too many after school movies where the morality of the story was as overwrought as an infomercial failure. You know those commercials, where something as basic as getting a plastic dish out of the cupboard ends in a cascade of fallen Tupperware, a broken nail, and a house fire. Right?
Even at a tender age my eye-roll game was strong. Over acting to make a point never makes the point it’s supposed to. I just learned not to trust people who were trying to manipulate me guide me down a healthier path.
Movies also failed to instruct me on what to expect when quitting smoking. Characters who smoked were rare, characters who quit smoking were non-existent. I think there was a bald guy in a detective show that always had a lollipop because he quit. Correct me if I’m wrong about this one, it was on past my bedtime. Oh, and a movie about a minister who gets a whole town to quit smoking?
All other addiction withdrawal was treated by sending the addict sweat it out for 3 days in bed. After which, he was completely fine. I would so gladly trade 3 days in bed for months in no-man’s-land.
Nothing prepared me for how deeply nicotine was embedded in my system. I wasn’t prepared for the change in digestion, which, in all fairness, might also have been caused by the pounds of M&Ms I was eating or the wads of gum I was chewing. I chewed Trident until my gums blistered, and nobody on TV told me this would happen.
I wasn’t prepared for the headaches or the trouble sleeping and I can’t tell which came first on those symptoms, either. I expected my sinuses to drain a little (which I knew from experience, not from TV) but I wasn’t expecting the sore throat or temporary increase in coughing and sneezing or that my sinuses would molt.
I expected getting a little cranky. I did not anticipate the full-on rage I would feel about the stupidest stuff.
Addiction is ugly and withdrawal is not ready for prime time.
No stunt doubles
Keep the quit