The Beast

The Beast

It beckons me
every minute
of every hour

So often
I succumb
to its gnarly claws

I hate the power
it has over me

If only
there was
someone else
I could bounce

it wouldn’t be
very nice of me

with the things I’d say.

I might say I hate you
but I wouldn’t mean it

I might say
go away
but I wouldn’t mean that either.

30 years ago November
I did the same
and it wasn’t so hard.

I was with child
and had too many things
to occupy my mind.

There were no chemicals
then either
in the body of the beast
to latch on within me
threatening my existence.

I hate the beast
I love it too
Its been a friend
Its always been there
for me
the last five years
of troubled times.

The troubled times are gone.
Now I want the beast to go away.
And I mean it.

by Pamela J. S. (aka PainterWoman)©

About pam

I am retired from real 9 to 5 jobs. I do my artwork and occasionally write poetry. In September 2010, I moved to Fargo, ND after spending 60 years in Phoenix, Arizona. Now, five years later, July 2015, I'm back in Arizona. And yes, I love the heat!
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26 Responses to The Beast

  1. PainterWoman says:

    Just on here for a few minutes folks. I'll catch up with all your new blog posts in a few more days. I am ready to claw the walls.

  2. Unasia says:

    I have faith in you, its your body and you control it.

  3. Suntana says:

    Oh, Okay! I saw the title and I somehow missed the small "Quitting Smoking" tag below it. I then read your post / poem. Referencing it to the Pic, I thought you were trying to quit that West Lake Tea. 😆 But, then after reading DBabbit's comment, something didn't add up. I read the poem again. I eventually somehow did look up and finally saw the "Quitting Smoking" tag. I then finally got on the right page. :doh: Go Pam Go! Go Pam Go! You can DO it! 🙂

  4. DBabbit says:

    In three days, the nicotine is out of your body. Hang in there. I've been cutting back and have done a lot better today – only 1/2 a pack today, where I'm normally opening a new pack about now. I know I can't quit cold turkey, so I'm not even going to try. I'm not using it as a crutch for stress, and I'm not lighting up until well after lunch.

  5. BabyJay99 says:

    You can do it Lady Pam 🙂

  6. gdare says:

    Stick to your decisions and you will be happy afterwards. You have friends here to encourage you :up:

  7. edwardpiercy says:

    Just make sure to put all the sharp kitchen knives in an out of the way place. Best of luck, Pam.

  8. Unasia says:

    Dont quit quitting :up: :up: :wine: instead 💡 😀

  9. PainterWoman says:

    Thanks all for your support. I have NOT succeeded…yet.:bomb: I smoked by the end of the second day. :down: I wish I had someone around me. The packs I have left, I have divided up and put ten cigs each in some empty packs. Maybe this way is better. A little less each day. :irked:

  10. PainterWoman says:


  11. Suntana says:

    Maybe I can give you an idea, Pam … an incentive.Make a bet with someone, a bet that will make it NOT in your best interest to NOT succeed. I was reminded of a bet I made with a friend a long time ago. He was in the process of another of his "I have quit smoking" claims. I told him, "Yeah, right. You've said that before." Then I believe it was he who suggested that we make a bet. He suggested we bet a Pizza. 😀 I don't remember the length of time, but it was probably around 1 or 2 weeks that he was supposed to go without smoking. Of course, I immediately went, "Yeah Right! How the heck am I supposed to know you didn't smoke when I'm not around?" He goes, "You'll smell it on me. And besides, it'll be on the honor system. I'll tell you if I did smoke." I thought it was a stupid bet as I couldn't watch him 24/7, but I took him up on it anyway.Before the bet's deadline was up, my friend actually did come to me, "Hey, Carlos, I lost the bet. I snuck a smoke the other day." 😆 Pizza Time! :yes:

  12. PainterWoman says:

    Thanks for the suggestion Carlos. Making a bet with someone sounds like a good idea but the unfortunate thing is that I'm rarely around anyone. I have one very good friend of 25 years who now lives up in the mountains. She moved up there 10 years ago to get away from her husband who lives down here. I see her maybe twice a year. She has never smoked and would be a good one to talk to. She has so much going on in her own family, however, that I hesitate burdening her with my whining. My next door neighbors smoke…the funny stuff too…so that's no help, nor is anyone in my family. Being in North Dakota with my daughter and her husband was the best. They treated me wonderful. I didn't smoke for eight days. We were so busy doing stuff and talking that the urge to smoke wasn't very strong, or I didn't notice it. That is the key. I need people, positive people, around me. I know, excuses, excuses, excuses! I'm talking to myself now, not you.

  13. gdare says:

    Well, you have us here and now, all around the clock (there is always a day somewhere).You know, it would be really nice to hear that you quit smoking :up:

  14. DBabbit says:

    How cold is it, Pam? Standing out in the cold winter air might change your desire to smoke.

  15. PainterWoman says:

    Thanks Darko and Denise. One day very soon, Darko, there will be aother poem posted about this. I've already written it and it's called: The Beast is Dead. It's not too cold here Denise. Right now it's about 42 degrees at 8:45 am. Phoenix doesn't get those cold, snowy winters like so many Opera people do. I am slowly but surely disciplining myself, especially when I'm on the computer. I give myself 15 minutes each time on the pc and as soon as I get the urge to smoke, I turn the pc off, get up and go outside to do yard work or scrape some more on getting the glue off the floor in the livingroom. That's one of the home projects I'm working on. I've been taking pictures and will do a post on a 'do-it-yourself' thing. I really do get lots more done when not smoking.

  16. PainterWoman says:

    Thanks Brendan. I'm glad you don't smoke and hope you never choose to start. It's a dreadful habit. I'm also glad my two daughters don't smoke and never have. However, my son does and he is almost 40. I will get there!

  17. brendantombe says:

    i know giving up is hard but its a good choice. It might not be long b 4 your craving stops.i dont smoke but i'd hate to go without tea and coffee. It would me miserable to be without my coffee and tea.

  18. brendantombe says:

    my brother in law say the urge to smoke comes in waves or cycles.he got off it . My dad quit smoking in 1973 when the gov in the uk put vat on them. I heard people say they still crave cigs 6 months on maybe longer. You addicted to the feeling. Exercise can be addictive becauseour bodies produce endorphines ,our own morphine . Don't sit in a room with other smokers like your son . Think of all carcinogens in cig smoke . Polonium can actually be found in cig smoke but not to worry its found elsewhere

  19. DBabbit says:

    My mother smokes, Pam, and when I'm around her, I tend to smoke more. It's probably because we're busy talking and I'm not aware of how much I'm actually smoking. The urge to smoke only lasts about 5 minutes, so try doing something different. I'm joining you – It's time I quit. 🙂 Make a list of things you can do to fight the urge to smoke. Here's mine: When at the computer – get up and find something that needs to be organized, put away, or cleaned, or walk on the treadmill for 5 minutes. (Considering I smoke about 1 pack a day, that's nearly 2 hours of excercise.) When around anyone who smokes – realize they aren't smoking because they want to smoke – It's an addiction. When drinking a cup of coffee – Write in my journal (Keeping both hands occupied makes it harder to hold a cigarette.) After meals – walk on the treadmill for 5 minutes. (Since I always light up after eating, opting for exercise instead will make me feel better in the long run.) When craving a cigarette – Tell myself that I am intentionally starving the craving to death. Take one hour at a time if I have to. Don't worry about when the next craving for a cigarette will happen. Expect that it will and do something to take my mind off the urge. Ask myself if I want to feel better for not smoking, or do I want to light up and feel guilty. (Not to beat myself up, but to be aware of how dependant I am on smoking.) When feeling stressed – Concentrate on my breathing and work at relaxing. I have a friend who stopped smoking 8 years ago. He says that he still gets the urge sometimes, but it isn't very often, and he knows that he's healthier by not smoking, so does not pay it any attention. I'm not looking at future of thinking about not smoking – I plan to beat this by concentrating on the "here & now."

  20. Suntana says:

    Good Luck to you as well, DBabbit. Hopefully having a solid plan yields the ultimate result / reward and you achieve your goal of independence from the addiction.

  21. DBabbit says:

    Thanks Suntana. Pam, check out this link: There's a forum there. I haven't joined it yet, but it might come in handy.

  22. PainterWoman says:

    Brendan, I'm glad your dad and brother quit. Not sure what a 'vat' is? Some kind of tax? We certainly have that. Yes, exercise is the best deterrent. I did so regularly for a good 30 years. Have not the last ten. I smoked for a short time in my late twenties, then quit when I became pregnant with my second child. I did not smoke for more than 25 years, then started up again five years ago hanging out with a new set of artist friends. They all smoked. I would say, even within that 25 years, there occassionally was an urge. Then to hang out with the wrong crowd was the clincher. We older people can get off on the wrong track too. Denise: Excellent list. Part of the first one would take care of it for me: "When at the computer – get up and find something that needs to be organized, put away, or cleaned…". There are many things to organize in my house. Would love to have a treadmill but in this little house there would be no room for it. With the mild weather we're having, a good brisk walk around the block would replace the treadmill. Carlos, yup, a solid plan gets a good result. I am down to 12 a day. I had taken the remaining packs in a carton and divided them up, putting 10 in each empty pack. Ended up smoking two more. In another day, I'll try the ten again, then will start decreasing.I know if I didn't wake up in the middle of the night like this, I wouldn't have those extra ones!

  23. DBabbit says:

    I tend to smoke more at night than during the day. Moving the smokes into a different room than where the computer is will probably help if I can keep my mother from smoking when she's in the office – otherwise, I'm just going to ask her for a smoke. 🙄

  24. studio41 says:

    nice poetry, Pam… what a struggle you are determinedly facing! I hope you achieve your goal to conquer the beast!

  25. PainterWoman says:

    Denise, I also tend to smoke more at night. I am down to ten a day. I no longer smoke in the car and I've cleaned the dash. After over a week of that, there is hardly a smell. It's been passengers who have noticed that and not me. Plus, I threw out all my lighters and matches, well not the matches, I put them in a draw with the candles. But this forces me to have to get up and go light up at my gas stove in the kitchen. Jill, thanks. I've been pretty busy the last week so it's getting easier. Getting out more helps tremendously.

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