Cook Therapy and, Wow, I can Laugh without Coughing

Blog Post created by Bdwallhau on Mar 25, 2018

Still mired down in the blues. I took a nose dive after 2.5 weeks of high energy, and I haven't been able to come back from that. I think it's a combination of the sleep issues I've mentioned, the post-adrenalin rush of the first two weeks, and the weather. It's been rainy, cold, and cloudy. 


I've been engaging in cook therapy. There's something about making meals from scratch, and all that methodical cleaning and chopping, that's grounding somehow. So, I made African Peanut Stew with cornbread yesterday. I have adventurous taste buds, so I'm always trying something new. The husband is always totally on board, and the kids are good sports about it, too. You should try it. It's mostly a tomato-peanut butter base spiced with garlic, ginger, and red pepper, with a chopped sweet potato thrown in for body and flavor. We always top it with a scoop of brown rice (or a fun grain like farro or quinoa), chopped peanuts, and cilantro. It sounds so unusual, but it's absolutely delicious.


It's 27 or 28 days now and, other than the blues, I feel okay.  The cravings are few and far between, but sometimes they linger a bit longer.  I've cleared a few hurdles, like being home alone for the first time without being able to smoke. I slayed that dragon by napping and cooking. I spoke publicly for the first time without smoking (a pretty regular part of my job, and I'd always smoke immediately after). And I did a lot of driving alone, and I did fine.


Public speaking, and how my smoking affected it, was a major motivating factor in my quit. I started to notice that gravel-like quality to my voice, especially when I did live radio. And I would get short of breath so easily. And laughing....I had gotten to a point in my life as a smoker where laughter almost always led to a cough. So, if I laughed while speaking publicly, I would cough.  I tried not to laugh to avoid that problem, both when speaking publicly and also when spending time with co-workers and friends. (How pathetic is it that smoking literally takes joy away like that? And that we let it?)  I also found that, the louder I needed to make my voice when speaking, the more likely it was that I would cough or feel short of breath. 


I can't express how wonderful it is not to worry about being able to speak, breath, and laugh.


I'll leave it there, on a positive note. Maybe it'll help chase these blues away. Plus, I'm off to grocery shop with the boy, who's leaving for a week-long trip to D.C. with his class early tomorrow morning, and he wants tons of unhealthy snacks for the trip. I'm nervous, but I have to let the boy fly, I guess.


All the best to everyone!