I am, what some would call, a “seasonal” smoker. At 59, I should not be a smoker at all, but the lure of springtime, open windows, inviting back porch, and chilled Moscato usually proves to be stronger than my commitment to not smoke. So, as I do each fall, I embark on an annual ritual of a course of Chantix to stop smoking. 

Chantix has been a godsend for me. The truth of it all is that I probably don’t need it, but I use the starter pack and I quit smoking. I’m pretty sure it’s psychological. I consider Chantix a miracle pill. I like that Chantix gives you the first week to smoke while building up to “the” quit. It makes me feel like I’m an airplane taxiing down the runway for take off. 

On “quit” day, my belief in the “pill” is such that I am a whirling dervish, secure in my knowledge that I have quit smoking. I run around the house opening all the windows, engage the house fan to suck all the offending smoke out of the house. I rip down curtains and throw them in the washer to get rid of the smell. Every ashtray on two floors is relegated to the back porch. I Febreeze like a mad woman who owns stock in the company. 

I laugh about this now, secure in the knowledge that I know it will work. I made it an entire year a couple of seasons ago, but … the lure of the Moscato was too strong. I went through the denial stage where I told myself I would ONLY smoke when I drank. I started leaving work early to come home and have a glass of wine. It finally dawned on me that alcohol rehab would be much more expensive than the carton of cigarettes, and I threw out the pretension and accepted my nicotine fate.

So, now I am eagerly anticipating Sunday and “quit” day. Already I am sniffing at the curtains. Hubby has little patience with my “quit” day because he knows that by December, I will be making snarky remarks about how he smells like smoke. He knows that come that first warm day of Spring, my butt will be sitting on the porch in a haze of smoke. It seems a little hypocritical to him. I get that. But we do what we have to do to live with our vices.

One of the benefits of Chantix, for some, is the delight of having a fitful night’s sleep because of dreams that can seem off the charts. I have wondered about this. Is this a chemical reaction in my brain or am I truly a psychopath? Last night, I was hanging out with Brad Pitt and he was into electrodes and pitchforks. Suffice to say, if I ever met Brad Pitt, I would run in the opposite direction. Fortunately I was aware that I was dreaming as I caught myself making “asides” to the camera, much like Kevin Spacey in House of Cards. It brought an added element of fun to the gore.

But I forge onward toward Sunday and a month of Chantix. After which, I will declare smoking to be the biggest social scourge of our generation, and will stand on a soapbox denouncing it’s numerous detriments while pocketing a cool extra couple of hundred of dollars a month (kids’ Christmas presents).

Until Spring. And Moscato. By then Brad and his pitchfork will be a distant memory.

 

Kathi Haacke Morehead is the author of HEART BLEED, a retrospective on a Baby Boomer life lived fully and painfully; and, THE BEST FROM THE CHEAP SEATS. She is also the author of a blog, A View From The Cheap Seats, which is a daily rumination on the trials and tribulations of aging gracefully in a complicated world. Kathi is currently working on a novel to be published in early 2015. Kathi and her husband Dave have a blended family of four children, three grandchildren, and four obnoxiously spoiled felines. The Moreheads live in Brunswick, Maryland.