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Up in Smoke! Week 2: Cold Turkey

01/24/2012 12:19 EST | Updated 03/25/2012 05:12 EDT

Two of Huffpost's young contributors, Miranda Frum and Daniel Alexandre Portoraro, have volunteered to quit smoking and keep a weekly journal about it. Readers: Support them! And please share your own struggles about trying to kick an addiction, whether it was cigarettes or anything else. Read their first collective post here. You can read Daniel's previous posts here, and Miranda's here.

"First you will come to the Sirens who enchant all who come near them. If any one unwarily draws in too close and hears the singing of the Sirens, his wife and children will never welcome him home again, for they sit in a green field and warble him to death with the sweetness of their song. There is a great heap of dead men's bones lying all around, with the flesh still rotting off them. Therefore pass these Sirens by, and stop your men's ears with wax that none of them may hear; but if you like you can listen yourself, for you may get the men to bind you as you stand upright on a cross-piece half way up the mast, and they must lash the rope's ends to the mast itself, that you may have the pleasure of listening. If you beg and pray the men to unloose you, then they must bind you faster."

-The Odyssey, Book 12

I have done something I would never have thought possible -- I've gone cold turkey. Pardon the rest of this blog post if it seems incoherent, for I do not feel at all well. I have weird stinging/cramping pains all over my body. I feel light-headed. I have already vomited a couple of times today. Sitting up is taking every ounce of power I have. My thoughts keep drifting. I wonder if I were to crawl under my desk would my coworkers be sympathetic if I said I was fighting an addiction?

I feel as if I have seven years of poison seeping out through my skin (although my skin is already looking better -- but that could be wishful thinking on my part). Every cough hacks up the most disgusting mucus. Heat waves flash through my body. This feels worse than the worst hang over I've ever had (and I've had some doozies).

Despite the physical agony, one thing is making me feel good: the realization that I haven't had any nicotine in 24 hours. I feel so strong and pleased with myself. I accomplished a goal. If you had asked me whether or not I would quit smoking, I would laugh and say that I was born with a cigarette in my mouth and I would go that way to the grave. And here I am, defying myself. As terrible as I feel, I just keep chanting... you are defying yourself, you are defying yourself...

The need for a cigarette is gone (I might be saying that too quickly but at this moment I do not want to smoke ANYTHING let alone a cigarette) -- it has been surpassed by a need for this pain to end.

Wish me luck HuffPo'ers.

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