A week ago on 5/18 I took the tiny 12 mcg Fentanyl patch off of my arm and that as they say was that. Five months before it was a 100 mcg patch. I cut it in half monthly more or less until I got painfully down to 12 mcg/hr. Then I just pulled it off. I was so done with the whole process.

I stopped smoking the same way. Just took the open pack out of my purse and threw it away. Done.

Sound easy?

It’s not easy. Perhaps easy is not the decisive issue in the decision to quit smoking or to quit using narcotic pain meds. If you’re looking for easy, well get a nicotine patch or get to a methodone clinic. Cold turkey, as it is called and I don’t know why, is not easy. It’s hard.

But it is swift and certain, if difficult. Difficulty does nothing for my ego, which would prefer both to stay on opiates and to smoke cigarettes, were it at all feasible. The feasibility studies are all in, so denial is not possible. Smoking tobacco and taking opiates daily will shorten your life in nasty ways. The party is brief, the results are fatal.

As I have said before, I’m too nosey to die before I must. I want to see what comes next. I want to see my grandchildren grow up, maybe hold their babies. There’s a lot I have a continuing taste for in life. I want to frolic on the beach, in a mountain meadow … well there is too much to tell. I just want to live a while longer.

And then there is a spiritual motivation as well. I have long been troubled by how the drugs interfere and dull me psychically. I could be more help to others if I weren’t dulled down.

But whatever reasons I may enumerate at any moment, bottom line is I did this because it was necessary, not because I prefer being drug-free. I like drugs. But I like being wide awake more.

So I chose life, because I like life more.

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