It’s hard to say what happened in my brain the past month. Yesterday marked one month of me quitting smoking. I feel much more balanced, which was disconcerting at first but now I rather like it.
The first week I quit I stressed out so severely that I broke out in shingles across my back. It was blindingly painful, like how a fresh tattoo feels when the endorphiny numbness wears away. It wasn’t just the smoking cessation that caused it, it was a combination of that, the way I reacted to getting ditched and gaslighted by someone I loved, and trying so hard to taper and contain my stress so that I didn’t upset him further or my family I was visiting for the holidays. The way I allowed myself to bottle up and absorb all those self-injurious emotions drove me to the depths of my depressive capabilities, and all the while I was sitting there in blistering hell I couldn’t help but feel accomplished that I had conducted something like my own version of telekinesis. Like I mentally willed so much death into my being that it actually affected changes to my immune system on a microcosmic level and allowed a latent virus to flourish in my nervous system after being dormant for 22 years.
My academic adviser in college always used to comment about me being a scorpio. He’d say, “you scorpios, when you’re not stinging someone else, you’re stinging yourselves.” He was the only person I ever allowed to speak to me about astrology without starting an argument or walking away because the person was so full of crap. He was a philosopher, but he was well aware of science and used astrology as a way to reroute my frantic complaints. Like I would walk into his office fuming or crying over some unfair situation and pour everything out to him for 15 minutes, and at the end he would just say, “Well yeah you’re a scorpio,” and look at me as if to say ‘DUH’ and move on to the practical solutions. Chalmers Knight forever. But yeah, I do tend to sting myself if there’s no one else to sting, or to sting me.
I’ve always been a night owl for as long as I can remember, at times even keeping completely inverted hours, and I’ve always had wildly oscillating emotions. Lately though, I’ve been able to focus much more, though I don’t know whether it’s a product of my smoking cessation or the fact that I’m working on an article I really like. My mood has been pleasantly stable, though I don’t know whether that’s a product of my smoking cessation or excising a person who, in his unintentional though selfish immaturity, grabbed hold of my neuroses and pulled, stretching my patience to its limits. In any event, I feel pretty energized, and as an individual of scientific principles I think I can safely conclude that at least some of the overall changes in my health and affect can likely be attributed to smoking cessation.