i want to smoke but instead i’ll complain

jared & i are once again trying to quit smoking, so i am crankier than usual. we didn’t smoke at all on tuesday, but i knew i was hanging out with a smoker friend on wednesday night, so i broke down & bought a pack that afternoon. we finished it on thursday night, didn’t smoke at all yesterday, & have managed to avoid smoking today. i feel like my desire to smoke is far more psychological than physical. thinking about the physical impact of smoking makes me feel icky, & then i am happy i’m not smoking. but smoking really calms me down & helps me focus. it’s a nice way to split up my day, to gather energy to move from one project to another. & i find it almost impossible to socialize without cigarettes. i get very impatient & crabby.

my to-do list for the weekend says “clean kitchen,” so i decided to get it out of the way this morning. i started by scrubbing out the cast iron, which i had used to make beef filling for burritos on thursday night. of course my arthritis has been raging out of control lately: hips, back, shoulders, wrists, hands, ankles, & feet (wrists are a new locale for pain). i actually broke down in the middle of my scrubbing & cried because i was so frustrated with the pain. jared was nice enough to finish it for me while i pulled myself together, & i found washing the rest of the dishes kind of relaxing. i could just turn my brain off & think about nothing. but i didn’t manage to clean the entire kitchen. i washed most of the dishes & then gave up on finishing, wiping down surfaces, sweeping, etc. maybe i’ll get to it this evening.

i know i’m just extra-crabby about the pain because i don’t have cigarettes to distract myself.

from the “my therapist is ridiculous” files: i told my therapist that i was trying to quit smoking again, & she asked how much i smoke. i said maybe five to seven cigarettes per day–sometimes less; on very rare occasions, a little extra, if i am having a really stressful day. she said, “oh. well. i don’t know why you’re quitting. it’s not a bad habit.” she means, you know, it’s not a HEAVY habit. but i think smoking ANY cigarettes at all is a bad habit, in a judgment sense. i mean, maybe they won’t kill you…but it’s kind of a big maybe.

though it does strike me as ridiculous that i am trying to quit at the same time i’m going off the pill. you’re not supposed to smoke at all while you’re on the pill because it boosts your risk of deadly blood clots & strokes. & i smoked anyway. & i thought about getting a blood clot or having a stroke every time i smoked. which has been five to seven times per day for the last year or so.

my last few entries here got a surprising amount of attention. i told jared that i fear i may have accidentally become part of the feminist blogosphere. i have never wanted that to happen because most feminist blogs i have made the mistake of reading seemed to mostly link back to other feminist blogs that contained ideas that with which the writers disagreed. it’s like this weird closed circuit loop of everyone picking little niggling fights with each other. not that people didn’t sometimes make really good, or really important, points. but there’s a painfully solipsistic quality to most internet discourse, & i don’t want to contribute to that if i can help it (i can’t always). apparently someone linked something i wrote on some feminist blog, & it got a lot of positive feedback, which is cool. even though i didn’t know about the linking until someone mentioned it to me in passing. but a lot of the feedback was long the lines of, “this hit home because [insert detailed personal problems here].” that’s cool. glad people can relate. i really have nothing to say about a stranger’s personal problems though.

there was also a certain strain of feedback about my now-infamous “i am disabled” post, in which people wanted to remind me that not everyone who might benefit from being on disability successfully qualifies for it. yes. true. & also not my personal experience. i never wrote that post expecting it to get as many readers as it did, or for it to resonate so much with other people receiving disability benefits. i was really just trying to tactfully write about an argument i’d had with a friend. so becoming the first & last word on disability benefits was not my goal. i can’t speak to the experiences of people who have failed to qualify for disability benefits because i am not in their ranks & i can’t imagine what struggles they face. my piece was mostly about what it’s like to have the benefits, & attempting to complicate the narrative of it being this 100% positive thing that sets someone up in comfort & security life. did…that not come across?

just kidding. i know it came across. just like i know that most self-identified radicals on the internet (myself included more often than i would prefer) are incapable of reading something they agree with without inserting an irrelevant opinion or caveat in a game of radical one-upmanship.

never has my “nom de blogge,” as it were, been more accurate than it is today.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

2 thoughts on “i want to smoke but instead i’ll complain

  1. I think you summed up my feelings about the feminist blogosphere. Although my main complaint with feminist blogs is kneejerk reactionary posts. But that seems to be mostly with the bigger blogs so it’ll drive up hits.

  2. Yea, you hit the nail on the head. I was in this phase for a while where I constantly read feminist blogs, but then I got sick of all the arguments and trite things. I’m more into personal blogs now, or blogs by people with disabilities. But even the latter can fall into the same trap as the feminist blogosphere.

    Even my OWN blog is starting to annoy me.

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