Like a pair of crabs in my throat

Over the past few weeks I’ve gradually scaled back my on-and-off-and-on-again smoking habit. I’ve picked up Nicorette and using it like dip, to the tune of about six to ten a day. Withdrawal is a complete bitch: the drug itself isn’t that hard to deal with, rather, it’s the experience of having a smooth cloud of smoke just go down my throat, with the full knowledge that my lungs are on the line.

That said, I’ve been breathing easier, my stamina is coming back during exercise, and I’m expectorating in fair amounts. “It’s all in the road to recovery,” I am told. The past few days, though, I was plagued by the scratchy feeling in the back of my throat that I can’t swallow away nor cough up. Like anything else, it got worse before it got better, but better it did. Today I coughed it up.

I felt it in my mouth; it was almost solid. I walked slowly to the bathroom sink to spit this awful thing out, and I did have a passing thought. Sometimes some things we have to deal with in life have to get really bad before we get rid of them, that is, if they get started in the first place. Credit card debt, addictions, toxic relationships, once we get into it, it’s like that throat loogie that was harder to remove at the beginning that when it was time for it to go, so to speak.

And if there were yet one more benefit to getting on a quit-smoking program, it’s that epiphanies can be found from coughing up phlegm.

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