I haven’t had a smoke in five days as of today (again). This is when it usually gets hard for me and I break down.
But I can’t break down this time. No cigarettes before the surgery, and definitely none while healing. So I’m screwed on that front.
It’s really the hardest thing to quit, of all the things (vices) I’ve had to stop. To bear some history, I’ve been dependant on pain pills. I’ve been addicted to snorting and smoking cocaine (freebasing). That was a long time ago, hence the “freebasing” (pre-crack) days. I used to drink too, but I don’t know if I was addicted to that, as it wasn’t hard to stop that at all. It became harder to drink than to not drink, and now I’m on too many psych meds to drink.
As a kid, I smoked a lot of pot, but now it makes me insane. Either because I’m partially schizophrenic or because, these days, it’s superweed. Or both!
Anyway, now I don’t know what to do with myself on breaks, or anytime I finish a little task. (I guess that’s what a break is.) I don’t know what to do with my hands. I’m a bit bored out of my mind when my mind isn’t fully occupied with something intense.
Sheesh, I need to reach the two-week mark so I can get over this torturous hump.
In the meantime, making art isn’t all that easy while quitting. It just isn’t. I crave a cigarette every three minutes. So, I spent the last couple of days replacing all the “shes” and “hers” text on my website with “theys,” “thems,” and “theirs.” I decided it was important to me. It all hit me much harder after the last consultation I had with the surgeon.
Of course, this surgery is all I’ve been thinking about. (No shit!) A few other things too, especially since New Years, but what my life is going to be like after the surgery has been at the forefront of my mind. I think about how it’s going to affect the gender dysphoria I’ve had all my life. Maybe it’s not going to “fix” everything, but it’s going to be significant. It’s going to help the outside match what I feel on the inside, and that’s huge.
Until recent years, I’ve continually asked myself the question–who am I in terms of gender? And the answer is definitely fluid. It does not land on some binary finality, and it never will. It never has. It has become more about radical acceptance and being good with that–not a “dilemma” or having to make some “decision,” like girl or boy, man or woman. I’m so through with that.
That doesn’t mean I’ve never identified with being a woman. Sometimes I do, and I have. And so what? My memoir had a lot to do with that, and while working on it (specifically toward the end), I had some cathartic breakthroughs about where I found myself on that spectrum. I knew what kind of book I wanted to write next, and then I was somewhat torn about publishing the one I had poured my life into for nine years.
I will wind up writing a blog post about all that soon–about what I truly regret about Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley and whether or not I’m taking it off the market. I’ve been seriously considering it. I have very mixed feelings about it, and I have to work it out.
But I can’t make any decisions about that or anything during a time I’m withdrawing from cigarettes. That’s for sure.
Okay. That’s my story for now.