A message from the past:
It is October 29th 2009. I last sucked on a cigarette 11 days ago. Two days prior to that, the weekend kickstarted with some beers and the buying of smokes, despite a working week's abstinence. I went to a house party the next day, and bought a pack of 20. My friend's missus had also bought a pack for me to share, placing me firmly in fag heaven.
Monday October 19th became my first smoke-free day, coinciding with (or causing) some strange mental breakdown. Then I developed a violently sore throat that's only just cleared. 11 days have passed, and I haven't stopped stopping just yet.
I've smoked for 17 years, my entire adult life, and five years longer than Teenage Me intended, vowing, as I first dabbled, that I wouldn't make a habit of it and besides, I'd've probably given up by my 30th birthday anyway, because that's how teenagers think; Age + time = stuff just happens.
But it didn't, and then I was 35. All my earlier attempts had failed. My most successful quit was 26 days, from 12th November 2005, to December 8th. (Why did I stop? My inner "Fack it, it's Christmas!")
Anyway, if I manage to quit smoking for, say, three months - if I can get to mid-Jan having not smoked, including the 'difficult' Christmas and New Year's - that'll be an overwhelming personal best, even if I can piss on such an achievement by remembering that I'm not technically having to do anything to get there.
And if I do, I'll post this up. How exciting.
Back to the Future...
It's been 3 months and one day. I've saved £244, and I've not smoked approximately 1,000 cigarettes. It's very, very strange, but I just don't think about it any more. Neither do I think my life has vastly improved.
Case in point:
My ex-girlfriend (American) and I have been emailing for some time now. It's been kinda lovely, as I still miss her. There's been talk of me going over to visit her. She's announced her desire to visit London with her girlfriend this spring, and look for work here.
Our emails have ratcheted up recently. For one thing, that evil side of her, the Hell Hath No Fury banshee that appeared around the time I dumped her, well she's gone. Now there's lots of flirting again; her telling me about her strange dreams where we're snogging in the bathroom, while I thanked Thor that I'm still wanted by someone, anyone, who's not already a relative and therefore stuck with me like some kind of growth that complains.
I held back from telling her how my soul has been torn asunder with loneliness and despair since she'd gone, unable to tell her how much I miss and care for her.
Instead, I made a few nob jokes.
Time passed. She emailed some photos of her New Year's trip Midwest for no reason. I think I sent her a picture of a cocktail menu.
I'd go to bed to her emails. She'd wake up with mine.
And then, extremely early on Monday as I eeked out what no longer remained of my weekend and contemplated going to bed, I got an email from her asking if I was still up, and how my weekend had been.
'Fucking terrible,' I replied. 'I've spent it locked in my room trying to write, just as soon as I watch a couple of things on YouTube - except I've done that for 48 hours straight, and I've written absolutely nothing. How was yours?'
And then she told me.
She gave me her list that weekend; Pilates, drinks with friends, blah blah blah, followed the next day with lunch, and a "delicious" tongues down throats/ arse groping session that was all reported with effortless ease and ending with "Swoon", just in case I didn't pick up on any sense of emotional attachment. She hadn't worded it like that, of course, meaning that I'd all but finished composing my reply when I realised what she meant.
'Oh. Then congratulations are in order,' I'd written, followed by, 'Well, it's 2am. Goodnight.'
She wrote to me the next day to continue the thread, something bland and cheerful that I halfheartedly replied to, and that's been it. We've gone from several emails a day, to nothing.
To say I'm disappointed with her is a vast understatement. These last few months of emails, a couple of texts here and there and even a phonecall, they all feel like one enormous set-up; her opportunity to raise the tempo so she can hit me with a casual, 'Oh, and Fuck You All Along!'
But I want to know what you think, seeing as a disproportionate amount of you are women.
Is my ex-girlfriend totally batshit crazy? Or is she still angry? Or is this all my fault for keeping in touch? (Don't answer that one so much. Stick to the other two.)
I'm keeping my distance in the meantime. If I'm just some conduit for her to gloat at, then she'll at least have to contact me first - Ha! And should she contact me, then welcome to Planet Polite, population: Me, being brief.
So despite the overwhelmingly obvious (viz: Why haven't you Moved On, you fucking freak?), can we all agree that the Hell Hath No Fury banshee never left?