I remember the day I decided to quit smoking (this was a few years back), but I don’t recall it being too difficult, oddly enough. I was averaging one pack a day (if I continued this, I probably would died of lung cancer by now), and yet, I never experienced the dreaded “smoking withdrawal symptoms.” Not once did my body crave for it (if it did, I didn’t notice)—my psychological willpower was just that serious about quitting.

Typhoon Milenyo made realize how incredibly difficult withdrawal symptoms are. Smoking I was able to handle, but the lack of internet and electricity for friggin’ three straight days almost pushed me over the edge (ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit heh).

The moment the typhoon hit on Thursday morning, I was just about to sleep (I only woke up for a few minutes to comfort my crying scaredy-dogs—they were hiding and crying under my blanket). I was already through for the day so it really didn’t bother me much when the electricity went out (then my internet connection went out, then right after that, our phone line). I thought it wouldn’t last long anyway, but IT DID.

The first night of no electricity and no communication didn’t bother me too much. I just thought it was a good opportunity for me to finally take a break. I re-read my Harry Potter books (and the first books of Narnia) until it was too dark to see anything. My dad brought out candles and bought some potato chips and dips from the nearest 24-hour grocery store while my sister and I played UNO Stacko with our household help, Marilyn, till around midnight. My mom watched us until she got sleepy.

The next day, I was starting to feel the withdrawal symptoms. I still had a few bars left on my mobile phone’s battery charge, but I was already beginning to realize how much work I still need (but can’t) do. The more I thought about them, the more I openly (and loudly) cussed MERALCO (our ice cream lost the “ice” and became a huge blob of cream), Smart (I lost signal whenever I needed it the most on that day), Bayantel (I need the damned phone!), and of course, Typhoon Milenyo for taking all these comforts and needs away from me. I begged Marc to take me out, but our trip to the hospital to visit his aunt only made me realize that there were lucky people who already had electricity by then (so I cussed even more).

The day after that… I was losing it. Really. Two days I could still handle, but three??? Marc had their electricity (and all the communication essentials) back. I still didn’t. I felt icky (the lack of electric fans made me sweat all day), my mobile phone battery was losing power (would you believe that I had to go to a vulcanizing shop and avail of that 10-pesos-per-10-minute-cellphone-battery-charge service?), and I had no way of contacting clients whom I correspond with only through email.

I eventually became a total biatch, snapping at everyone because of the teeniest thing that I would find annoying. Then sometime in the afternoon, I went into stupor, stared at the ceiling, and slapped the mosquitoes that tried to make me their afternoon snack (nobody at home wanted to talk to me anymore, that’s how biatch I was being).

But now, I’m back to blogging. I don’t really know if I could survive another day without electricity. I was able to survive more than once already without internet (at least I could still do some work offline… I don’t need to be online in order to design sites), but electricity? It’s damn hard.

I guess I’ve just been so used to (and dependent on) electricity and communication gadgets so much that the sudden removal of them could do so much damage. Geeks like me probably went through the same withdrawal symptoms as I did (I know somebody who was blogging from his car to use the battery and a couple who went to their office just to charge their mobile phones and laptop… Hehehe you know who you are!).

I really felt like I was suddenly thrown into the Stone Ages. Or even the Dark Ages. I’m not just being a snooty biatch here, but if your work is dependent on electricity, you can’t help it. I was suddenly yanked away from the work I currently doing—it’s not like planning a hiking trip where you know you would be “out of civilization” for some time.

If this happened again and electricity will take months to return (or worse, never return), I will probably go through the same withdrawal symptoms. I won’t go totally cuckoo (Marc and my family love me too much to allow me to go totally nuts), but the first few months will definitely be really hard. It would be like rehab for a drug addict.

Some people find it hard to quit smoking. Me, I find it hard to quit using electrical and communication gadgets.

How about you guys? How did you survive the blackout?