I slept horribly. No cigarettes since yesterday morning before the doctor’s appointment.
The trouble I have with nicotine withdrawal is night terrors. They are indescribably terrifying.
Twenty minutes after falling asleep I wake with a scare that is at once the worst depression you can imagine, where you wish you were dead, coupled with the excruciating fear that you are, in fact, dead.
I can’t breathe,
my heart is pounding,
I am paralysed,
I am freezing cold,
I am burning up,
the world is ending
and it’s all my fault,
nothing can be saved,
least of all me
– and I wake up with a screaming shudder.
Nothing logical about night terrors, which is why they are so terrifying.
In the past the night terrors have driven me to get up and have just a puff or two on a cigarette. I’m sure you can see that is why I never really manage to give up.
But not this time!
This time I am giving up EVERYTHING – tobacco, sugar, wheat, salt, coffee, alcohol, and over-eating, all at the same time, so I have decided not to use any nicotine substitutes. I want to do everything I can to lower my blood pressure before the dreaded 24 hour monitoring in 11 days time.
The doctor asked me yesterday how much I weighed and I vaguely answered “about a hundred kilos”. Kindly, she didn’t ask me to hop on the scales to confirm it, but I think the truth is more likely to be anywhere from 105 to 110.
Ok, well that’s just embarrassing.
But I am not buying scales. Too many sets of scales have been kicked across my bedroom and bathroom floors over the years; I know they depress me and demoralise me. I will lose weight, but I don’t think weighing myself will help.
I’m going for an 800 calorie a day diet, mainly because I know I won’t achieve that, but by aiming for I will possibly achieve 1,200 to 1,500.
Fruit or muesli or sugar free yoghurt for breakfast; salad with cheese or a poached egg for lunch; fish and salad for dinner; almonds for snacks.
Except it’s not.
And I am totally distracted from any hope of working due to my constant craving for a ciggie!
I go for a walk.
I shake as I walk around the park on the next block. My legs wobble and the ground feels like the deck of a ship, bucking and swaying. My knees hurt and there is a sharp pain in my right hip.
I had intended to start easy with a gentle 20 minute walk. In less than 5 minutes I am home, feeling nauseous.
I sit down at the dining table and pray.
“Oh God, help me!
I know you love me, so heal me, please!”
But this is all wrong.
It’s not God’s fault I am in this mess. He is certainly there to help me, but the responsibility is mine; I got myself into this and I must get myself out.
My prayer changes:
“Dear God, you gave me this precious vessel for my soul and I have treated is with no respect.
I am so sorry!
Please help me and guide me on my journey to restore it to health as a vessel fit for your service