Spark Becomes a Flame

I won’t write about “Jambi” tonight, I promise.

I will say that, after having the CD, 10,000 Days, for a couple of months now, tonight was the first time I’d listened to it all the way through.

What an awesome, awesome CD.

Wait, I wasn’t going to talk about music.

When I first began blogging, Brahnamin was one of the first people I met in the blogging community. I was impressed by his humor and graphics; I was inspired by his rawness.

His post entitled Only as Weak as our Deepest Secrets is a perfect example of why I’m such a fan of this man.

The first time I found this post, I found it profoundly simple and simply profound.

Now, I’m not particularly a dishonest person, but I am deceptively honest which, as anyone who is honestly not evading an honest glimpse, knows that this “deceptive honesty” is still dishonest. I ignored questions I didn’t want to answer; I turned conversations around to be talking about something else when it came dangerously close to my un-comfort zone.

Yesterday, in the middle of my bitching-at-the-world fest, I admitted I was an addict to Sherry. It’s an ugly word, something reserved for “hard drug” users. If you talk about someone with a coffee addiction or a chocolate addiction, it’s typically in laughing, lighthearted terms. “Oh, coffee addict!” “Oh, choco-holic!”

Fun stuff.

I’ve read studies that claim that nicotine is as addictive as heroin. Having never tried heroin, I can’t say for certain. What I can say is that anyone who uses anything does so to get some benefit out of it. Heroin gives the obvious altered-reality which is an escape.

Smoking gives…well. Something for you to do with the hands, I guess. I can’t really figure out what need it specifically fills other than that. There’s the Freudian joke, but I don’t think that’s really it or more non-smokers would have Dum-Dums hanging between their lips all the time.

But with smoking, it’s weird. It’s addictive, sure. It’s harmful, definitely. Very few people I’ve ever met are happy smoking. Sure, there are those people who’d say “I like smoking,” (which I did), but what’s there to like? Taking away all the nasty side-effects, you’re left with…um, something to do with your hands while you drink coffee. Most people say “Oh, I’ll quit one day” or “Yep. I’m quitting at <XX> age.”

So on and so forth, ad nauseum.

The addiction is acknowledged, but the addict isn’t. He’s referred to as a smoker. And, being interested in language, I know what you do is who you are (thus making one who smokes a smoker), it doesn’t sum up the nature of the action.

And it wasn’t until I admitted it yesterday that I realized what I was really coming up against. I knew I was addicted. I knew I wanted to change my life. Hell, I’d tried for ages.

But everything I knew about smoking didn’t really click until yesterday.

And now I have gotten through the worst part. I’ve survived it. I’m done.

Now, in that not-evasively-dishonest sort of way, I broke down and had three cigarettes yesterday. Not one. Not two. Three.

I had one almost the minute after Sherry left. I raced to my parents’ house lit up. I knew I was smoking, but I didn’t think about the smoking. I thought about what a bitch I had been, and I knew that smoking would help relieve some of it. I thought about how much I still resented K. I thought about how I never even invited her over BECAUSE I knew it would be bad. She simply showed up.

I thought about a lot for one cigarette.

I also thought about the other two that were left in that pack. After hanging out and eating dinner, I grabbed the pack on my way out and headed to my place.

Where I smoked the last two, back to back.

Now this time I thought about smoking. How one was bad enough, but two was worse, and three? Inconceivably weak. All of the grossness of the cigarette was back, with double cup of self-loathing for my weakness.

This morning, I woke up, and my sinuses were plugged. My throat was raw and swollen, and I hadn’t even noticed that they had been subtly clearing without my notice before that. I didn’t even realize til this morning that at the second day my throat didn’t hurt when I woke up.

And what I was feeling this morning, after three cigarettes, what was I was doomed to every day of my life unless I chose not to smoke.

I’ve made it through the worst. I know that I will probably have some residual withdrawal from the three yesterday, but the worst is over.

I hate that I broke down, but maybe it had to happen this way, at three rather than three packs, or three cartons, or three years. I just have to remember my throat this morning, and stick with it. Already my life is better.

And, for what it’s worth, Brahnamin’s post from way-back-yonder, planted a seed which is just beginning to sprout in this area of the field.

And for that, I’m grateful.

And from Tool’s “Intension” from 10,000 Days:

Spark becomes a flame
Flame becomes a fire
Light the way or warm
This home we occupy
Spark becomes a flame
Flame becomes a fire
Forge a blade to slay the stranger
Take whatever we desire
Moved by will alone


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