Detox, baby!

Yes, I am going to do a full blown detox.

Why, you ask?

Well, I quit smoking using the help of nicotine gum and lozenges. Unfortunately, that cured my desire for cigarettes, it did not cure my cravings for nicotine.

My friend J Will has been a non smoker for over a year now! Yay to her!! Unfortunately, she is now addicted to the patch.

These little aids that help us break the nasty habit of smoking do nothing to eliminate our brains need for that constant, steady stream of stimulating nicotine.

I’ve tried to ween myself to no avail. Instead of chewing 4 pieces of 4 mg gum, I chew 8 pieces of 2 mg. instead of forcing myself to wait until I get home when I run out of my cessation aids, my first instinct is to stop at the store and grab a pack of smokes.

So, today I decided that it’s time I flush this stuff from my body and go cold turkey.

I’ve decided to wait until Monday. The last thing I want is to lash out at Julie because my addicted brain is in full on bitch mode. Plus, I think with my hectic schedule of school, work and work outs, I’ll have less time to allow my mind to drift off to that happy place where the nicotine flows like honey!!

I’ve got stress balls to keep my hands busy, sugar free gum to help with the oral fixation, my herbal teas to help with the necessary flushing and a plan to rid my home of any and all reminders of tobacco. No ashtrays, no empty packs, no butts, no lighters, nada.

I also have spent a lot of time looking at what my triggers are. The biggest? Coffee!! There’s nothing more soothing to me in the morning than a hot mug of joe and a smoke.

So my old friend latte and I will be parting ways.

I don’t know how I’ll do. I may be a raging bitch for the 3-7 days that it takes to get this out of my system but I have to start somewhere!

I am well aware that my cravings will still rear their ugly heads even after the nicotine is out of my system. I’ll deal with the psychological aspect after I’ve dealt with the physical.

One mountain a day, my friends!!

I’ve officially been chastised… Sorta

So, I got into Chicago this evening and as soon as I climbed into Julie’s truck I got an earful.

“You need to let go of that bullshit! I’m not going anywhere, I’m just as freaked out about all this as you are but your sorry ass is stuck with me… So deal with it!”

For those who don’t know what she’s talking about, I posted a password protected post earlier. (It’s the same password for those wondering)

In it I talked about some of my fears and where they stem from. I wasn’t very nice so that’s the reason for the password.

I don’t hide anything from Julie. While I don’t want her to think I’m some neurotic freak that’s still dwelling on the past, I prefer that we approach our life together from a point of complete openness and honesty. Even if that means momentarily hurting the others feelings.

I’ve explained to her (and she has seen first hand that I’m sincere) that if I don’t know something is broken, I can’t fix it.

Example? Ok.

Julie seldom uses profanity. She doesn’t necessarily object to it, she just uses it when she needs to convey her passion about something.

That being said, she abhors the word “fuck”. I’ve heard her say it and when she does, I get this look of pure terror on my face. For her to reach into her bag of adjectives and pull that one out means shit is gonna hit the fan. Luckily, it’s never been directed at me: not yet….

I, on the other hand, drop the F bomb at least 20 times a day. I deal with rough, uneducated, crude men for upwards of 12 hours a day. I hear dirty jokes, off color language and the occasional obscene gesture. I wouldn’t have made it this far in my field if I hadn’t been able to grow a pretty thick skin.

Just like most things in our lives, we tend to soak up the traits we are surrounded by.

So.. I say fuck to describe a lot of things.

One day, she took my face in her hands, gently kissed my forehead and said, “the next time I hear you say the ‘F’ word I’ll smack your mouth.” Then she kissed me and that was that.

I’ve haven’t uttered the word in her presence since.

Well, her blatant scolding of me as we were leaving the airport caught me off guard, but it wasn’t entirely surprising. She’s blunt and direct. And I LOVE that.

Just as I’m pissed off at Milly for turning my strong, independent, self reliant girl into a woman that walks around on eggshells one day and is throwing her weight around the next, Julie is now pissed at my ex. For turning me from a strong, protective force to be reckoned with, into a suspicious, scared stone.

We’ve spent the better part of the evening catching up, playing house and talking through all the baggage and bullshit that has us planted firmly where we are.

She’s sound asleep and I’m wide awake, thanks to my flipped around schedule.

Tomorrow we meet with an agent to look at a few places to live. We are still trying to figure out all logistics but we are making progress.

Sunday morning I fly back home and start classes on Monday.

She’s going to fly to Houston for the weekend starting after July 4 then I’ll be back up here at the end of July.

This next month will be crazy busy but at least we get to see each other several times.

I know I get impatient, but when you realize what it is you want to spend the rest of your life doing, and who you want to spend it with… You kinda want the rest of your life to start now!

Get out!

I’m ready to kick Louie out on her own.

Yes, that sounds harsh but I have discovered that she is a slob and I’m not ok with that.

These past three weeks I have had a lot of time here at home. With not having to deal with school, I’ve been able to enjoy my down time and relax.

Except… Relaxing involves dealing with her laundry, her mess in the kitchen, seeing her room look like a thrift shop blew up and the cigarette butts all over my garage.

I think before I was so preoccupied that I didn’t notice or had more pressing things on my mind.

I’ll be going to St. Louis, and several cities in Illinois this month. The idea of her being here unsupervised does not sit well for me or the idea that I’ll get my security deposit back.

I’m sure I’m being grumpy but I do think it’s time for a change.

In related news… I have informed her that she now has to pay for the luxury of living with me.

Starting tomorrow she is responsible for buying the groceries. We’ll see how well that goes.

Here we go again

I finally got my school schedule straightened out. No, I didn’t give up.

I decided that quitting isn’t the rational or logical answer to my frustration.

My chem class starts at 10:15 am. I am enrolled in the Honors Program so I have to take at least one class at the campus I originally started at when I was living in another town. Bummer.

If I take the toll road, it’s about a 40 minute drive. If I take the back roads, about 55. Not much of a difference when you consider it’s a cost of 6 bucks a day.

My class is Mon-Thurs from 10:15 am until 2:15 pm (2 hr lecture, 2 hr lab). My current work schedule is 9 pm to 5 am.

Now, factor in drive times, class time, current work schedule and I’m left shaking my head.

If I stay on my current schedule, I’ll get home about 5:30 am. That only gives me about 2 1/2 hours to sleep before class. Then I’d be getting home around 3:30 or 4 which would give me about 4 hours to sleep again.

Splitting my sleep up does not work for me.

Alternative #1. Change my work hours to 11 pm to 7 am. I can come home, shower, eat and then head to class. I’ll have about 1 1/2 hours before I need to start my commute so it gives me time to do my workout before heading to class. Only problem? No time to deal with other stuff like shopping, laundry, etc.

Again, I’d get home (or at least into bed) around 4 pm. That gives me 6 hours straight of sleep.

Scenario #2. Change my work schedule to 7 pm to 3 am. Sleep from 3:30 to 8:30. Head to class. Get home and deal with personal stuff between class and work. I’d get 5 hrs sleep but at a different time when I expect it would be more productive sleep than during the day.

None of these options appeal to me. I’m at the “vampire” stage of working nights and it’s time to flip. I’ll be switching back to days in July so this schedule will only last for 6 weeks. In addition to my chem class, I also have my technical writing that is online. My hope is that I’ll have enough down time at work to tackle it.

Julie is starting to worry that I’m doing too much.

Trying to work full time, go to school full time and maintain my work outs, trips to see her and spend time with friends.

It’s a LOT. This summer will probably be one that I look back on and think, “what the hell did I do?”

I may find myself burnt out and screaming for another vacation away by the end of the term.

Whatever the case, this is where I’m at. I’ve got 3 days to figure it out so I’ll find a way to do just that.

Hell, I’ve worked on less than 4 hours sleep a night before but I was in my 20’s and I didn’t have thousands of dollars in scholarships on the line.

I feel like I’ve come too far. The end is close enough to touch if I just stick with it. I know that it will all be worth the effort but some days…. A beach, a chair and a beer sound sooo much more appealing!

Starting over vs staying put

“Sometimes the hardest part isn’t letting go but rather learning to start over.” Nicole Sobon.

I read this today and thought that it is pretty darn accurate.

I’ve gotten really good at starting over. Actually, I’m not good at it, I’m just used to it. And let me tell you… It sucks!

I have found myself in relationships that I should have left long before I did. All for the simple reason that I didn’t want to start over.

To some, starting over is exhilarating. It gives them an energy and a high like no other. J Will is like that. In fact, she has gotten so good at starting over that she has turned it into an art.

“IKEA is the starting over headquarters! Instead of moving all my shit, I leave it and find the nearest IKEA and get all new stuff!”

While I sometimes envy her wanderlust mentality, I do not envy the notion of EVER having to start over again.

But, that’s exactly what I’m doing. New career, new girl, new home. All of it scary and exciting. That wasn’t the case at the start. I was angry, resentful. Hurt and confused. I had settled into the idea that I was done looking for happily ever after.

Was I happy? Some days. I was content. At my age I’d resigned myself to the idea that contentment was better than being alone.

My mother reconnected with her high school sweetheart when she was 47. They married when she was 48 and sadly, he passed away when she was 52. Just five short years.

After he passed, she stated, “I’m done. I don’t want to start over again!” And she didn’t. She passed away at 78 years old single and alone.

At first I didn’t know why she would make that choice. Why she would rather live life alone than find someone to share it with. Today, I’m right there with her.

I’m not a young pup anymore. I have a career, children and a grandson to think about. I’m in love with a woman that I’ve never stopped dreaming about and life is right on track to be amazing.

If I ever find myself in a position that I have to start over again, I think I’ll opt out the way my mom did.

It’s hard. It’s draining. It gives a person a feeling of not being quite good enough.

I’m getting too old for that shit!

Julie and I sometimes find ourselves on different sides of a situation. There’s never any yelling or anger. There’s no passive aggressive, “fine!” to indicate a counter-strike. There’s just two people picking and choosing what’s worth holding on to and what’s worth letting go of.

That may some day change. I may wake up on day and discover that I’m tired of making compromises. She may wake up and wonder how she felt love for someone as abrasive and rough as me.

For now, though, I’m ok starting this journey. As always, I have a plan B. I have a way to salvage my dignity and self respect should I ever find myself looking at her with anger and resentment the way I have in my past.

I’ll walk away. Go back to being a bachelor and live out the rest of my existence with my dog.

While I will never allow myself to remain in a loveless home again, I refuse to continue to start over when I’m worth hanging on to.