I’m in my fifth day of nicotine withdrawal and it’s very uncomfortable. I’m in and out of crawling out of my skin. I know some of you have been through this with me before but I don’t see it as a failure. I’ve been on and off some kind of nicotine delivery system since I was fourteen. For the last decade they have been “better” than cigarettes. Gum. Snus. Lozenges. I just don’t think any of it is any good. I’m sick of the dependency. It is real. It is deep. It is tough to kick. I had at least a half a 4mg nicotine lozenge in my mouth almost at all times right up until I went to bed. I have no idea how much I was on or how that compared to smoking. I just know I was strung out on it and coffee. I was chasing that buzz, that balance all day every day. I was drinking about two pots of coffee a day. It speaks to my profound adaptive addiction strategy that happened outside of my reasoning and choice. I was medicating heavily on shit that wouldn’t fuck up my life and could keep me level. It just became too much. I began to hate it. Just the smell of coffee was repelling to me. So, welcome to that bottom.
I am now a raw, open nerve with seemingly no real defense against emotions. I don’t know how I forgot what it was like to pull away the buffer between me and the weight of the world and my own emotions. All my senses are amped up and even my skin feels sensitive. I can smell things too intensely. I went to a show last night and the smell of the people in front of me—the smell of the soap they used—almost made me gag. It wasn’t the smell of their bodies, it was the smell of whatever they were using to cover up the smell of their bodies combined with the smell of their bodies that was disgusting to me. My brain is spinning. The only thing holding me together is reactive OCD. I’m doing a lot of cleaning. Came very close to taking apart my washing machine yesterday. I’m doing a lot of cooking. You’d think I was running a small restaurant over here. I’m doing A LOT of eating. Trying to keep it healthy. I’m eating these disgusting licorice candies that only I like compulsively as well. It will level off. Then I will just have to deal with the boredom of my brain chemicals at low tide. Life.
Animations by Kyle Strope.