Blogging has taken a back seat while this blogger struggles with self-deprivation.
Being at the computer is a powerful smoking cue in my life - so I have been prowling about it rather than spending time on it. This means that I am desperately behind. And it also means that in doing without one thing I love and depend upon, I am also having to step back from the other thing I most love and depend upon.
It is tough.
I can't believe that the patches are really helping. The cigarette cravings come at all the usual moments and they are intense - rather like a desperate thirst.
They come from some deep visceral source, rising up to make a million receptors strain and reach for the soothing comfort of the cigarette, the civilized rituals, relief.
Only smokers known the calming pleasure tobacco delivers.
Only smokers appreciate the way tobacco can focus the mind and power the productivity.
It is extremely sad and mean that it has become the great danger - the most maligned of activities. Beer-swilling men who fall down dead drunk after beating their children and raping their wives are less criticised than smokers. Alcoholics are nurtured by society, given sympathy and treated as people who have a sickness. It is never their fault. Not even the massive collateral damage left in their booze-stewed wake.
The grotesque manner in which society has treated smokers is one of the things which has made me resist giving up. So repulsed am I by the behaviour of the Australian anti-smoking lobby that I do not wish to be associated with them - even in the business of not smoking.
They are self-righteous bullies who have blackmailed their way into sanction of society - inflicting their ugliness not only on smokers but on everyone. Look what they have been doing by way of shock tactic graphic advertising in Australia?
The medical grotesqueries they expose on television and cigarette packets is a form of violent pornography. It is driven not by a sense of being helpful towards smokers but by spite.
The Americans handle the smoking messages much better than the Australians. Their television ads are suggestive, warm, positive, encouraging... They don't threaten or criticise. They hold out a hand.
And, as I give up smoking, I make it quite clear that those crass and shameful graphic Australian messages bore absolutely no influence. Rather, I had to be on the other side of the world, far away from the ugly Australian anti-smoking campaigners, to be able to undertake the battle. The American hand of kindness has quietly worked.
Ah, but the American advertising industry is way more sophisticated than Australia's.
Here, in the land of Vance Packard and Marshall McLuhan, advertising is an art form.
Australia never quite got the media message about the media message. Gawd, I dread getting back to the cheap crap they call television advertising in Australia. It's nothing more than a talent-free con job. And, giving the advertising industry low-lifes lots of money from the anti-smoking lobby, they have come up trumps with a truly appalling job.
The campaign is a failure. It has not worked. It is a disgrace. It is a national embarrassment.
So I had better succeed in giving up smoking here in America because I know that once back in Australia, there were be only the negativity of that squalid mob in my face.
How the hell did we spawn such malicious marketing inferiority!