The Monkey

I figured I'd be strong enough to quit nicotine cold turkey. But after finding myself on day two digging around the trash can for spent tins of Copenhagen from which I might scrape out a small dose, I figured I couldn't last long.

So I've gotten patches. I truly underestimated the grip nicotine has on me. According to my calculations, I was ingesting 57 milligrams of nicotine per day. The patch I'm wearing supposedly delivers about 20 milligrams per day. While this seems to me a painfully severe drop in nicotine, after two days of no nicotine at all, I can testify that the patch provides just enough to make the process bearable. I don't think I could have sustained the process through sheer will power.

I switched to Copenhagen full time about fifteen years ago when I really wanted to give up smoking. My thinking was that I'd find it easier to give up snuff than cigarettes. Truth be told, I do think giving up snuff is much harder as the habit involves essentially free-basing nicotine. I was going through about 2 tins (60 grams) of Copenhagen per week.

While I don't expect many folks to actually find my little blog here, I wanted to document this effort in order to make it more difficult for me to give up this effort. When I gave up all drugs and alcohol about 5 years ago, I let everyone know it. The shame I would have felt in not adhering to my commitment to becoming a teetotaler was a significant motivator in maintaining my sobriety. My ego insists that I am of such strong character that simply deciding to take on a challenge of this importance is sufficient to make it happen.

These are two in a series of dramatic lifestyle changes that I want to complete. I've become frustrated with many aspects of my life and want to become something other than what I currently believe myself to be.

As part of this ongoing effort, I'm going to start journalling here instead of a private diary I've kept for most of my life. Over the last 30 years, I've struggled with a number of serious maladies including depression, anxiety, alcoholism, drugs and countless shortcomings of character :) Since becoming sober, for the first time in my life, I've been making some actual progress.

I want to expose more about these problems and what I've done to address them.


I think that takes a lot of

I think that takes a lot of courage and I admire that. I hope you find success with this latest effort.