Monday, July 28, 2014

The requiem for a dream -Redux


Before you picture me as a doppleganger under a bridge snorting heroin(thats what they snort..rite..?or Cocaine ..whatever) I must confess that writing this was a bit of leap of faith. Why?

Because when I started this blog I started it with an aim to be honest in my writing. I cant write fiction ..nor do I want to...(Infact I wrote a fictional piece about two tortoises who save a raft of shipwrecked men,and finally get eaten by them..It was so bloody depressing that I decided never to write fiction again )..
 So the only option left was to write about what exactly I felt. Because somehow I have a strong faith that art(writing, poetry, painting) touch the world only when they are honest. Actually I am not bothered with 'touching' the world...too much. They can touch them,selves for all I care ...I am only bothered that I should be honest about what I write. If I think Sushi is crap..well its crap. I cant write anything otherwise..!It will be a fake set of words and wouldn't make me happy..

Coming back..I thought a lot because writing about addiction meant that I would be exposing a part of my life that isnt known very publically ..So here goes..

Smoking !

Now I was never a smoker in the true sense of the word. I was the 'occasional puffer' . I took a fag after a drink. Maybe from a freind who was smoking or on a borrowed ciggie... But around two years ago I bought my first giggie pack ..! and that was it. I was 'into' it ..
I never admitted to anyone that I did smoke, after all one or two sticks a day or once or twice in 2-3 days wasnt addiction..Or so I thought.

The problem was that I thought there was no problem. I cycled. ..trekked..swam with equal vigour and life had no issues as far as smoking was considered. I wasnt smoking the big league plus it made me pass my time when I was painting or writing..I tried to leave it once but then thought ..what the heck ..its ok to continue..!I wasnt a smoker..

The problem was still not there when I came to Delhi. I was still trekking and trekking better than people 10 years younger.There problem..

Sometime in June 14..I saw a film that I had seen many times earlier. It was called 'Requeim for a dream' . The film is supoosedly about 'addiction'. Pure and simple addiction where the effect of addiction is same it drugs or weight loss. This was afilm I had seen earlier but taken in the context it rammed home the point that I had a fight on my hands...

And then I thought. Is it an addiction that I was in denial about? If I 'need'  it..its an addiction.
The more I thought about it the angrier I got. Was I addicted to cigarettes? It was such an embarrassing thought that I was repulsed more by the thought than by the fact that I was a smoker.Me ? Addicted ..? Shit..!I felt so much like a loser...

 I am a believer of this theory:There is no onetime  ransom pay once keep paying ransom.  Which means that if something holds you hostage you can set yourself free only by denying that by which you are held hostage. For example if you feel you are being held hostage by 'French fries' ..its only by completely convincing yourself to cut off French fries is that by which you can be 'free'. There are no half measures. Especially in any kind of ..emotion.

Which is to say I dumped the habit. On 01 Jul 14 .....

I expected drastic 'withdrawal symptoms'(did check on the net.). I expected me to kind of get those high intensity cravings etc etc..What happened was ..well Anti-Climactic.

Sure ,I did get cravings , triggers for a puff (especially during tea breaks..or after dinner). These things are very very alluring for the first few days . Infact I did steal in a ciggie (rather a puff) on the third day. It was surprising as to how bad it tasted . I guess thats the power of the mind..Or its just that I wasnt really a hard core Marlboro Man.

Now its almost been a month since I gave up and from what I read is that the worst part of craving is over. I didnt feel any so called 'withdrawal' symptoms..perhaps because I wasnt really a dedicated 'smoker'. In fact the only side effect I had was that my apetite went shooting up..and yeah the food tasted better.

But the reason I wrote this piece was not because of the experience of quitting. It was the experience of winning a small battle in my mind that has kind of effused me. The fact that you can defeat yourself is at some point of life very gratifying.

Its somewhat like those last few pedal strokes on an uphill climb where there is this constant battle in your mind. A battle where on one side there is a comfy van with cool water ..and the other side is a WIN. The issue is that you win this ALONE. This is a victory of your mind over your body.
Its a victory we experience so fully that its indescribable. Its a victory which you wear silently and proudly..or maybe write a blog about ;)

PS: The whole anti climax is that since I wasnt a Bona fide Smoker, Most people in my vicinity instead of prodding me on ...Ask me that stupid question ..'I didnt know u smoked ' :(