Day Five (Part Two)

Days Without a Cigarette: 4.972208333
Days Without Nicotine: 0
Dollars Saved: -$15.59

I actually had the ‘but maybe just one’ thought today. I’d heard so much about it so I kind of knew it was coming, but it was still a surprise to see it right there in my own head. When I heard other smokers or ex-smokers talk about it in the past it always seems like a thought almost too stupid to actually have, and yet there were intelligent people saying “and then I thought I could just have one cigarette” and other intelligent people nodding along.

And I guess arrogance tricked me into thinking I would somehow be immune to this dumb ass delusion, but for the record, I’m not. It was right there waiting for me, lunging out the second it found an excuse to work its way into my mental narrative.

So here’s how it happens: After lunch, I kind of jogged up the stairs into my office and I didn’t cough. And that felt good. And I felt good. Cravings have finally turned into discrete entities that I can deal with one at a time, as opposed to the three day craving this whole thing kicked off with. And I’d gone whole hours over the last couple days without consciously thinking about not smoking. And my brain is patting me on the back on behalf of my lungs, but along the way, that sneaky ‘maybe just one’ just burst in like the Kool Aid Man. The internal monologue went something like this:

“Wow self, you’re doing really good. At this point, you actually kind of see yourself as a non-smoker. You’re finally looking ahead at the future and assuming you’re gonna pull this off. Because you are gonna pull this off. Hell, even if somebody offered you a cigarette, you’d be okay. You’d probably be fine even if you smelled one. Hell, right now, even if you went outside right now, lit up a cigarette, and smoked it to the filter, you’d still be a non-smoker after that… wait a second. Who the fuck thought that? Somebody bring me the neurons that approved that line of reasoning!”

Leave it to cigarettes to try to jujitsu the moment that I feel good about my ability to breath back into addiction. But the advantage I have – the one thing everybody agrees you need to do this right – is the fact that I genuinely don’t want to smoke. If I did smoke, I’d feel like an asshole. And it’s not like cocaine or alcohol or one of those ‘does something’ drugs. It’s the laziest substance in the history of addiction. It wouldn’t calm me down or chill me out or anything. At this point it would probably give me a bit of a headache and maybe even a little nausea. And it would make me feel like a failure and an idiot. Plus it would make me start that count at the beginning of the blog over, and that would suck. I’m almost halfway to double digits now.

Published by Noah Lugeons

Noah Lugeons co-hosts a bunch of podcasts: The Scathing Atheist, God Awful Movies, The Skepticrat, and Citation Needed

6 thoughts on “Day Five (Part Two)

  1. Chemical dependency is a bitch to overcome. Thank you for continuing to share your insights. I read every post when it hits my email.


  2. I wish I could tell you how many times I started back because of the whole “maybe just one” fallacy. Thanks for the reminder. I’m glad you feel better and can jog up stairs and such. I can run almost a whole quarter of a mile now.


  3. Wow! So awesome! It is really hard to catch thoughts and actually notice where they are fallacious. Good work! I am not sure I would have managed that.


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