Day one sans cigarettes: despondency and annihilation


To add to the frustration, the original post for this didn’t save in WordPress. So don’t expect much.

See?! I’m already agitated … again. Do you think it’s the arsenic withdrawals or butane? Methane or ammonia?

Smoking is idiotic. I say this to myself now, and I said it aloud when I smoked. It’s ironic intellectuals smoke when smoking is one of the dumbest things you could ever do to yourself. Nihilistic idiocy.


I quit for 11 months before I started smoking again this past spring at a Marduk concert. I don’t remember smoking being so terribly Lovecraftian. Now I feel like when that girl gets into Freddy Krueger’s brain in the movie, Freddy’s Dead, like some outer force is plucking my inner shadow until it’s time to box. In other words, I keep thinking crazy sh**. I’ve panicked and cried. A lot. All day.

The afternoon was nuts because it was subtle. Meaning, I didn’t even realize what was happening until later. It hardly hit me until mid-day. As soon as I tasted bitter hell’s relentless rage, it became a crutch for the cigarette craving, and I allowed myself to spiral into a delusional nightmare of repulsion and utter dissatisfaction. Namely, incessant attacks on my boyfriend for numerous petty annoyances that, in retrospect, are completely meaningless. That probably sounds like a bunch of abstract nothing. OK. I’ll try to think of something I did, or he did…I can’t even remember now. Something innocuous, like leaving the light on in a vacant room, sent me into a full-blown conniption fit. It was awful. I didn’t even feel present; I was disembodied as my consciousness drifted from my emotions and the tobacco took reign.

At one point I almost blacked out. I was in the shower, and several repressed memories started to surface as the tears welled in my eyes and my chest wheezed with pure despondency.

li-smoking-warning-tarbox-6I even sat in a Fred Meyer parking lot for half an hour, uncontrollably bawling and cursing the sun and it pierced my eyes through the windshield of my 1994 Ford Thunderbird. I cried so hard snot streamed out of my nostrils, onto my lips and down my chin. I don’t even know what triggered it.

So, why are withdrawals worse now than before? Why this inescapable madness? It’s only cigarettes; it’s not meth. So why the melancholic soliloquies and breakdowns in public? I have no idea. But I still haven’t smoked, and the crying fits seem to be over. For now.

*UPDATE: After the aforementioned push to give up smokes, I stopped smoking until I went to France in 2014. Now I have to go through this rollercoaster again?!*



  1. Did you smoke menthols? When I used to smoke I tried a pack of them one night and the next day I didn’t have the energy or will to get out of bed. I felt so listless and despondent, it scared me.

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