20140107

Stop Smoking (satire)

On Saturday I stopped smoking, once again. This has probably been the fifth time that I decided to quit. So this article is being written to remind me to cut the nicotine habit.

First of all, most of my nicotine addiction is psychological. Most of the physiological symptoms disappeared by Sunday. However, all of these psychological symptoms were present before I took up smoking.

From my perspective, the hesitant procrastination, the frantic racing thoughts, and the occasional mood swings are easily remedied by just not thinking about it.

Since I have been meditating off and on for 25 years, it is easy to get over procrastination. I just go out and do my important tasks. On days when I'd rather stay home, I'll either be writing a blog article, creating a song, or most often contributing to Google Plus.

Meditation also helps me with racing thoughts. I just patiently wait them out, and usually they disappear one by one over time.

Mood swings are unpredictable, but subject to patience. Most of the time, my mood is neither extremely happy nor extremely sad. For both feelings are difficult to sustain for long periods. Instead, I feel positive and easy-going.

It also is not important to fixate on happiness as a goal. Rather, happiness is an emotion which inspires the positive mood.

By writing this article, most of my psychological symptoms are kept in control. Writing as self-expression tends to keep my focus on how to remedy the immediate situation. It is difficult to procrastinate on how to present the psychological symptoms, and thus so easy to present the main symptoms.

This is why I like to post on my blog. With all the energy that used to sustain procrastination and racing thoughts now being focused on writing, it is as though my concern about each one of the symptoms fades away.

Now that all of my concerns about the psychological symptoms have been explained, I will present one physiological symptom that has arisen since smoking cessation began: tinnitus.

While I cannot control the tinnitus in my left ear, it is easy to concentrate on writing by using the same method I use for breath meditation. My breathing slows down, and I feel less concerned about that noise in my left ear.

From what can be surmised, having lived with it for decades, a tiny artery that provides life-giving blood to the left side of my head pulses in rhythm to the beating of my heart. With each beat of my heart, that artery pulses near nerves that transmit sound to my brain. An alternate scenario is that my brain "hears" a sound when nerves that used to keep my balance and transmit sound are stimulated by the pulsing of the artery.

In order to accept tinnitus, I think of it as the thunderous flow of life synchronized with the beating of my heart.

When the tinnitus is at its worst, sometimes I think there is an invisible fan somewhere making the noise. However, this is not a hallucination. Rather, this is a coping mechanism in response to the noise that tinnitus causes to the sufferer.

While smoking did not cause the tinnitus, the tinnitus did not cause me to smoke. Most likely, it is an indication that my blood pressure is higher than normal due to the effect of nicotine.

Most likely over time, meditation will help me to cope with tinnitus and the few psychological symptoms I experience everyday. Even the occasional bouts with insomnia have recently subsided.

As well, I have discovered that the noise that tinnitus causes goes away when out in public, where street noise drowns it out almost completely. It is possible that listening to music will help relieve tinnitus symptoms, too.

Returning to smoking cessation, I know that regular exercise does help control the symptoms. So my plan for the future is to continue with the meditation and regular exercise to recover from smoking. Additionally, I will be listening to more music to deal with tinnitus.

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