Part 2 - Developing my smoking and how the hell is Stephanie going to cut down.
So, over the course of that year, I cut down and when I got to NY, I swore I would only have a cigarette once a week - if even that. And, I did very well on that. Not even really smoking for months on end. Ever so often there were a few weeks where I would smoke more. A lot of the AMDA kids did smoke and since you could still smoke in bars back then, I did smoke more some nights than others.
Then, AMDA was over; I quit smoking for almost 2 years when...
I joined a band as a back-up singer. My thinking was - well, the lead singer, she won't smoke. Oh, I was so wrong. She smoked. She smoked a lot. A couple of her band mates smoked. So, the more we rehearsed and the more we performed, the more I began to smoke again. However, when I had more than 4 or 5 cigarettes in one night, I got the cigarette hangover the next day. Some of you might know what this is. It is a headache and feels like your brain is drying up. You can almost hear it crinkle. I hated that, so that kept my smoking down some.
Then, one of band mates introduced me to American Spirits. That changed everything.
They weren't the best tasting at first, but I soon came around to them. And, what do you know - no cigarette hangover the next day. So, I kept up to about a pack a month, or every 2 weeks, depending on what was going on. Bands came and went and so did my smoking.
Then, I joined Nosedive Productions.
And, the smoking has not gone down since. I've quit for a week here or there, but once a production comes up - I am smoking right along side them. But, it is not just them. I have done other productions with other theatre groups and I still smoke. And, there was the whole Master's Degree. Yeah, good time to quit. Excuses, excuses, excuses.
So, after that ball of twine, my knitted sweater above of my life and cigarettes, here is the real point - I am trying to cut down, if not quit all together. And, this is all for health reasons and money. I know I will feel better when I wake up. I know my voice will be better for singing. I know I will have a little more money during the week. These are all things that I know.
But, I do love a good cigarette ever so often.
How am I doing it? First off, as I have learned, going cold turkey does not work. Not that I can't do it, because I have many times. I just get really sick. Bronchitis, pneumonia, you name it. If I quit tomorrow, I would be coughing and wheezing 72 hours. Which, I just always find ironic. When I quit, this is when I get the smoker's cough.
So, I have started by watching how much I smoke during the day. I was at 3 a day in January. Now I am at 2 a day come February. I am hoping to get back to not smoking during the day. Granted, I will still take my "non" smoke breaks, just not smoke. A friend of mine did this. I thought he was a smoker for a year cause he would always go down with the smokers on breaks, but found out he used to smoke, but quit. He went down with the smokers because why should he give up that "break" time.
I have given myself a few more options when the sun comes down. If I go straight home, I can have 2 total. I have to pick when my two will be. I started doing it on my way home from the train, but then had only one for the rest of the night. So, I now listen to my ipod or call someone on my way home from the train. Then March, it will only be one. Then April - no more at home.
Party or going out. I can have as many as I want until March. Then I will start pairing down much like above - probably starting with 5 in the night, then 4, and so on.
However, one part of my life will not change - the Theatre Production. Smoking is definitely part of my creative process/stress reducer, you name it. Like alcohol and cigarettes. Same with theatre. It is technically where I started and along with it being a gift from my grandma, it becomes a little more sacred. Or at least that is my reasoning. And, with theater, there will be a break in rehearsal, before performance, where I will go downstairs (cause rehearsal or performance spaces, there are always stairs), collect my thoughts and smoke a cigarette. It is my meditation in that world.
So, I don't plan on quitting completely. I just can't see myself doing that. This is kind of funny because when I was younger, I never saw myself smoking. So, smokes if you got em'. Cause there is nothing quite like taking a drag off of "the little death".