Welcome to Sharudin Jamal Blogspot

More than a decade ago, I was diagnosed of having a peculiar illness known as Bipolar Affected Disorder. My world as I known it crumbled; I lost my business, then my job and later my sense of purpose. It was during this dark moments I rediscovered the joy of running and writing. Most of the articles here are about my rekindled pleasure of hitting the tarmac, my coming to terms with the illness and my discovery of the meaning of life.

I always on the lookout for inspirations to write in these three areas with the hope that they will shed new ray of hope to others who are in the same position as I am.

Do keep in touch if you feel connected through these essays.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Freedom, Health & Happiness

"Do what makes you happy."  Said a friend.  I love running but I love smoking too.  Both makes me happy.  For as long as I can remember,  I had been trying to find a common ground where I can enjoy my run and my cigarette as well.  So what I end up doing is, once a year I will enroll in a road racing and quit smoking for a month to train for the race.  Subsequently, after the race, I will then happily go for my cigarette and start smoking like chimney again.

With me and cigarette, the relationship is beyond puffing some tobacco leaves wrapped in glistening white paper.  Smoking consumes me.  I can quit for three weeks or three months or three years even; the moment I light up, I'm back to a pack a day smoker.  When I quit I have to abstain from three things, the craving, the boredom, and the depression.

Getting away from the craving is easy.  If I don't smoke for three days,  I'll be ok.  Then comes the boredom.  This is easy too, I just keep myself busy or I just doze off.  What I can't stand is the depression mood.  This is hard.  Even after three weeks of quitting, I feel like a sack of potatoes.  To compensate I eat a lot of fattening and sugary stuff.  This is no mind over matter anymore.  The depression is real and it grips me like an anaconda coiling a caiman.

It is ironic considering that my utmost value in life is freedom.  I pride myself when I'm not smoking and able to walk in the mall without anxiously looking for a cigarette break every one hour.  I know smoking is a menace but I can't seem to let go of the filthy habit.  Worst, smoking takes my time away from my daily runs.

Same as before, this year I enrolled in a 12 km race which will happen on the 25th of September.  Earlier last month I quit for three weeks.  But the depression is overwhelming.  On the last day of August, I smoked a pack.  I promised myself to quit the next day.  Sadly,  I continue smoking the next day and the next and the next.  I'm back on being a chain smoker.

My friend told me to find the root cause of the problem.  After some deep thinking, I concluded that this may be due to me being lonely.  However, I am a solitude person by nature.  That's why my sport of choice is distance running.  I am fully aware of the health setbacks due to smoking.  And yet, I still can't let go of smoking.

If I can only predict how long the depression lasts, things will be for the better.  It's not that I can't quit but rather, how to stay quit.  Tomorrow is my birthday, and I intend to quit again.  How many times have I quit?  Perhaps a few hundred times.  It doesn't matter.  I will continue to quit until I can overcome the depression.  I asked my doctor to prescribe some antidepressant.  She refused to comply because she said the medication might get me to mania mood.  In other words, the doctor rather has a depressed patient than a manic one.  Easier to handle I suppose.

I am not giving up on finding the solution.  Somehow, I got to tackle the depression state of my dependency.  Now that I know I can handle the craving and the boredom, my focus on quitting, this time, is to vanquish the depression.  I'll go for another twenty-one days and see how it goes.

One strategy I can think off is to counter the lethargy with being active.  Always on the move.  Perhaps the motion will lift my spirit up.  I don't know for sure.  What I know is that when I am depressed, I have a low amount of energy.  So, motion creates emotion.  Hmmph...  I'll give it a shot.

Other than that, I intend to drink a lot of water.  It might work.  Finally, I will not smoke another cigarette.  That had backfired before but at this point, that seems to be the most sensible thing to do.

Wish me luck.


Please be generous & kind with your words...