Posts tagged $200 a month on cigarettes
I don’t like to depend on “luck” as we call it, or think we know it. I live in Las Vegas, and I don’t really enjoy or feel compelled to gamble. It’s really ironic to move nearly 2000 miles from Louisiana to Las Vegas and not want to gamble.
I blame it on my cheapness, and my weak but solid knowledge of math, statistics, and odds. I make one assumption when I walk into one of those massive super store type casinos. The odds are in the house’s favor. Beyond that, I realize that any money lost would be a natural consequence for betting against that house.
The cheapskate trait that I have noticed most of my life comes in when I realize all the things I could do with money rather than gamble it away through some lottery or machine. I also make subtle calculations on how much money I would lose over time if I continued with a regular gambling habit that seemed small.
As cheap as I am, and as aware of odds as I am, I still smoked cigarettes for a few decades on and off. I had managed to quit before, for over a year, but something would eventually trigger me into going back to it. I’m only at day 17 and I’m acting like I have beat smoking already, but I am used to using patches and now there is the “emergency e-cig” too.
After just a few weeks, I’m already having dreams about smoking, but instead of fulfilling a fantasy of wanting to smoke in those dreams, they are more like nightmares, because of the feeling of disappointment after taking that first drag on the “dream cigarette”.
I have been in some kind of inner conflict for the longest about if luck is something that really exists, or if an old cliche’ is true about the more you work towards a goal, the more luck you happen to run into. I don’t test my luck in a casino because just like the psychics like to say “it doesn’t work that way.”
When I consider where I am right now, and how things are going, I am forced to remember what it was like when things were so different, and I was so different. My “growth” was hindered by the abuse of just one drug, alcohol, for months at a time, and I didn’t seem to grasp the seriousness of the situation I was placing myself in.
Now, I have only taken a baby step towards being somewhat “fixed” in quitting smoking. That is just one little habit in a long line of impulsive behavior I have to gain control over. In quitting smoking, I have given myself another level of confidence in what I can achieve when I put my mind to it.
The truth is, I was merely procrastinating from quitting smoking because the withdrawal is such a bitch. I would have done it long ago, as I have a few times before, but I just didn’t feel like the hassle of a few weeks in first world misery. Once I started using expressions like “first world” more often, I started to realize the arrogance of this concern over such a minor inconvenience.
I was only so “lucky” to get to smoke in the first place because I had the extra income to blow nearly $200 a month on the drug that would probably end up killing me eventually. It seems so simple, when you think of the assumed logical equation of smoking = death. Maybe people who smoke have a death wish. Maybe people who eat themselves up to nearly or over 500lbs also have a similar wish, but it has been modified to abuse a substance that provides life. Food.
I don’t usually post music videos, but I had to give credit to what I chose to listen to while I attempt to finish this blob post without hitting 5000 words, but then again, there is no way I can predict where my stream of consciousness writing will go.
I’m only 2 weeks into quitting smoking, but I already know I will be successful, because I have been reminded in what could be called a “nightmare” that I have to quit, “right now” apparently. There is some sense of synchronicity in this realization, because Candy experiences such breathing difficulty that she is on 2 different medications now.
I never smoked inside after Candy quit smoking, I started smoking outside before Candy ever quit actually. I made it a habit, because I always knew I would quit smoking, and I didn’t want my apartment and everything in it to be polluted with that horrible smell after I quit.
After I quit for just a week, i started to experience my true sense of smell again as well. Now I can taste better, and I can detect so many things in the air around me with a sense that had been dulled for years by this dreadful habit.
I can detect a female that is heavily “scented” from quite a distance. I can also detect when someone is smoking a cigarette in a very wide area. I can smell someone close to me and know if they are an alcoholic, or a smoker, or a pot smoker, or a crackhead.
With that realization alone, I am motivated to stay far away from inhaling burning matter on purpose, except for weed of course. I went to the trouble of getting a card at the DMV from the state of Nevada to get legal permission to smoke fucking weed. What a rigmarole.
I might be “lucky” to have quit smoking when I did, or in the long timeline, it’s already too late and the real tragedy is that I don’t even know it. Either way, I’ll take a higher quality of life while it is granted to this old, abused body. I am still trying to become more “enlightened” even though I realize that because of my age and my old ways, it will be much more difficult than a much younger version of me.
There was really no way to break through to younger me though, as it is, I didn’t become a full fledged alcoholic until after hitting 40, and I am already backtracking at 46. When I gain control over alcohol though, I won’t need to abstain, I will just use it sparingly when the desire arises to reconnect with this aggravating part of myself.
I have had access to more pharmaceuticals than I can pronounce, and I don’t abuse those at all. I know where that road goes, I chose to start using alcohol when I already knew how fucking serious it was and dangerous that particular compulsion can be to people like myself who have issues with impulse control and procrastination and anxiety and depression.
I lost so much while I chose to experiment with alcohol. Candy didn’t even know the full extent of her ability to emotionally disconnect and withdraw when exposed to a “typical alcoholic”. She had family issues going way back with alcoholism, and me being “that guy” brought her back to a family situation that she fled from as a mere child. There was no way she would tolerate that behavior from me.
I don’t think it’s too late for me though, I started reading “Be Here Now” and it gave me an insight and perception that I had not thought of or realized for a very long time. It was like reading that first Dianetics book and realizing that there were a lot of statements in there that I “knew already but never thought of in that way.”
I realized as I was reading Be Here Now by Ram Dass how similar his ability to recall things everyone already kind of knows in a different way is to L Ron Hubbard. The severe difference is that L Ron Hubbard doesn’t write from the perspective of someone who has done LSD.
Ram Dass also traveled India extensively and met with many gurus who made a profound impact on his perception of this reality. The influence of being on LSD a lot of the time could have impacted or biased that experience, but when you think about it, it would bias it in exactly the direction he was meant to go.
Be here now is all about figuring out the simple truth that you are exactly where you are supposed to be at any given time, given your desire to either find enlightenment or hide from it.
Everyone is on a path, and some people ride that path with blinders on, protecting them from seeing the potential branches that they could take which would change their lives for the better, forever.
I have used “drugs” to open my perception beyond what my bias and upbringing and limited education would allow. I have expanded the very experience of my reality by opening my mind up to alternate states of consciousness.
People who are all like “drugs, ew” are so “white and uptight” that it kills me. I can easily see why so many Caucasians will reject the race that they happened to be assigned at birth in favor of one that isn’t so fucking uptight!
I have spent a great deal of time in waiting rooms, getting the much needed and neglected medical attention for myself and “The Candy” simply because the opportunity was provided by this thing “Obamacare” that so many “fake conservatives” are all worked up over. I dread another “republican in name only” getting into office to destroy any chance I have to get medical care while at the same time creating a moral panic over “obscenity” to appeal to the religious right. 🙁
I have read a great deal of spiritual material in those waiting rooms, and I feel that I am very very far from total enlightenment, but even the very first step towards it is enthralling, exhilarating, and beautiful.
I have realized that no matter who I was, or have been, there is room in my heart for change, for the better.
I know that no matter what beliefs I have stubbornly held onto in the past, I can see the “big picture” just a little clearer now. I know that my dependence on any substance has been some kind of false idol that I worship and make sacrifice to in order to maintain my personal status quo of procrastination.
If the first step in solving a problem is admitting there is a problem. I passed that little nugget of self awareness months, if not years ago. I just needed a reason to grow emotionally. I needed to find hope and salvation in the potential of a future I really wanted in order to make myself prepared and available for that future to occur in this reality.
Now, as I take the baby step of quitting smoking, I realize that there is something in my distant future that requires and demands that little positive change in order to allow a chain of events to occur. I am thinking of time a little differently now. Instead of thinking of time on a straight line, I can see how the present intersects with the future due to consequence in ways that I could not see or did not want to see before.
The simple act of quitting smoking has caused me to begin to realize a whole set of new future realities, that never would have occurred to me without having had the experiences I have had, good and bad.
If I had not gone through so much bad shit, I would not have had the motivation or inspiration to continue to get better, and continue to grow spiritually. When I say grow spiritually, do not confuse that with the whole fucked up and contradictory phenomenon known as “religion”.
They are not the same, and can’t be, because current mainstream eastern religion inhibits personal growth by keeping women down and restricting sexual behavior. It will always seem back woods and “redneck”. Just look at any given argument against “same sex marriage”.
I have to laugh when I see what bigoted fools the highly reverent and religious are making of themselves to this current, slightly more enlightened generation.
Maybe I am so lucky, because while in one of my altered states of consciousness, I had this crazy idea of leaving everything I knew so well to travel west and land in allegedly fabulous Las Vegas. I followed some sense of what I know will happen in the future. I know that Louisiana will be one of the very last hold outs to legalizing marijuana.
I know that as voters turn down medical marijuana in the deep southern state of Florida, voters in Nevada approved medical marijuana over a decade ago, but the state of Nevada is pussyfooting around because they are so scared of being hassled over “gaming”. Dicks.
I think that I realize just how lucky I am, to have moved to where I did, just when I did, and follow a highly disciplined regimen of living on next to nothing for over 3 years. It sounds totally crazy, even to me, but I seem to know what’s coming, and I am planning every step of the way before I even realize what I am planning for.
Everything just happens as it is supposed to. I take limited risks in tiny micro social environments, and I create an outcome that I really want. I am faced with a challenge larger than I have ever attempted in all my life in the future. I have to make everything exactly the way I want it, in a way that is even more perfect than I have set it up in the present. The scary part is, I know I am capable of doing it, and it will be done.
I am just that lucky. 🙂