I didn’t expect this to happen. Actually, I thought that it would have ended up the opposite.
I’ll do my best to explain…
As some of you know, yesterday was sort of a “trial run” for me, to see how long I would last, to get a taste of what my new life will be like. Because at the end of that day, as of that night, I would flip a very big switch.
As of last night (the night of Monday 22 May, for those who see this later), at 11.30p Central US time, I tossed the stub of my last kretek over the railing (they blend in well and disintegrate well into the grass, so nobody get mad at me).
I’m done. Not with blogging, of course! But with indulging in kretek use.
So far, so good. No “nic fit” (yet?), no munchies, no super-crank that would make the Resting Bitch Face look like Sleeping Beauty (lol).
The good news is, my body feels lighter (alas, it isn’t, but it feels that way) and slightly more coordinated. It moves with smoother ease, greater energy, and less effort. I can climb stairs a lot more easily.
The catch? Whatever those kretek-things did to hold up my brain, to keep it in focus, to hand me my words when I had sworn that I lost them, just got the rug pulled out from under it.
Having done some digging, I found out that this is One of Those Things that “They” don’t tell you about the stoppage of smoking. Everybody bestowing quitting advice/information focuses all the attention on cravings and whatnot, which some of the bloggers of personal stories say is BS; it’s the actual nicotine withdrawal that is the heart of the beast. (I’m with the bloggers; my story mirrors theirs so far, albeit I’m still wet behind the ears…and from smacking my lips, too.)
Part of the nicotine withdrawal includes the complete deflation of a brain-chemical “bounce house”; the whole apparatus goes flat and useless.
Which is exactly what happened to my brain. It completely flopped over today. I noticed it, to my horror, during a meeting (!). With fairly recently-added clientele, no less.
My ability to organize my thoughts?
Gone, at least for now.
My ability to form complex/compound sentences?
That’s on hiatus, too.
My ability to choose the most appropriate individual word?
Clumsy at best. Much slower, too. That is, if it, too, hasn’t taken a holiday/vacation day.
My executive function in general seems to have gone down for a nap. Seriously, I started drinking my fruit and vegetable smoothie after I had put on light-colored, dressy clothing for the morning meeting. My executive function has left the building.
After my meeting was over (and hopefully it was a success, although I don’t have high hopes), I went for a fairly lengthy walk, came back inside, sat down at my desk, and stared for a while, losing track of everything I had easily held in my brain’s RAM memory the day before.
My brain was telling me to stop for the day.
We even came home early from work. After lunch, I wrapped up a few odds and ends, and we left. It’s not that I could afford to do that; it’s more like I couldn’t afford not to.
The point of this post (it took me this long! See what I mean? My brain is molasses today!) is, well, exactly that: my brain is one floppy bolus of molasses. A deflated bouncy-thing.
This may take my normal awkwardness and amplify it. I might choose wrong words. I might get a little ranty or touchy at times. I might be a bit slower to respond to comments (etc), because I might not be online as often or my comments might be a bit shorter/simpler because I can’t think as well.
Which means that my blogging abilities, for a while, may also flop over a little. I’m not sure how long. Today only? Tomorrow too? A week or two? A month or two? (God(dess), I hope not; I promise, if it gets to be more than a couple days, I won’t disappear for months at a time; at the very least, I’ll muddle through a post to show I care, much like I’m doing today lol.)
I didn’t expect my cognition to nosedive like that. It’s also not something I’ve figured out how to hide or mask or act my way through (yet?). It’s really weird to be able to bound up the stairs more fluidly and effortlessly (compared to usual) and yet, struggle to string together words like individual beads on a necklace. (Oh, and you’re looking for a specific bead. And it’s in this little plastic organizer compartment with a whole bunch of other beads. I feel like I’m pawing through the tray for the right word. With blurry, first-thing-in-the-morning eyes.)
So, I thought I’d at least give y’all a heads up, since there’s been a (probably temporary) drastic change in my ability to think, and possibly, then, my blogging frequency for a while(?).
But at least it’s for a happy, much-needed reason – it’s been 18 hours since my last kretek!
Since I came home early today, that means I still have an uncomfortable amount of work waiting for me tomorrow.
But I promise you that I will continue to blog when–and as well as–I can, at any given time.
I’m not leaving. This is not goodbye. This is just a heads-up about a pretty drastic life change, its unexpected effect, and a long scenic explanation. 🙂
(PS: yep, if anyone is wondering, I had indeed gotten the inspiration for–and had written out most of–the blog post that appeared earlier today, a while back, and had written and scheduled it for publishing back then. I’m pretty sure by now it’s obvious that, given the nature of this post, that it wasn’t written today lol.)
(PPS: I’m exploring and experimenting with supplements; this might shorten my cognitively challenged phase.)
(PPPS: I’m allowed to dislike my slow-moving brain and the 40-45 extra pounds of adipose tissue that I referenced in this post. If anyone yells “ableist” at any part of this post, I will hunt you down, drag you back to my office, and make you do all my thinking, walking, and weight-lifting for me until my brain comes back online.) 😉
(Image Credit: Cyril Rolando)