Day Five

Days Without a Cigarette: 4.5490275
Days Without Nicotine: 0
Dollars Saved: -$15.59

Sorry if my lack of a post yesterday got you nervous. But yeah, I’m still gnawing my way through this thing. And lo and behold, it’s actually starting to get easier.

Now, I don’t wanna oversell the change here – I literally hesitated while I decided whether to write ‘easier’ or ‘less difficult’ – it’s still really fucking hard; but less so. There was a definitely a difference in the effort I had to put in yesterday versus the effort of the three days leading up to that. And when I woke up this morning, I only thought about cigarettes when I considered how odd it was that I didn’t wake up wanting one.

I know I’m not through the tunnel yet, but I’m through something. I’ve leveled up as a non-smoker.

I still haven’t experienced any of the benefits people promised me. I haven’t noticed a difference in my ability to taste or to smell. I haven’t noticed myself having more stamina or being able to breath deeper. I haven’t hacked up weird lung detritus. And, to keep all this shit in perspective, I still haven’t actually gone a day without nicotine. But despite all of that… and the fact that typing still occasionally makes me cough… I feel a hell of a lot better.

Published by Noah Lugeons

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

8 thoughts on “Day Five

  1. After a while I found that particularly coffee started to taste much better. While I was still smoking coffee just tasted like… coffee. Once I stopped smoking eventually I started to notice I like some coffee better than other coffee. I don’t remember when this started to happen though.

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    1. I was literally just listening to the old Patreon only AMAs again because I love them, and in one of them Noah says he doesn’t think Heath or Eli would be able to tell the difference between different kinds of coffee if they had them in front of them unlabeled. Maybe it’s time to revisit that challenge.

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  2. It’s nice to see some hope in your tone.

    It’s great that you have such a strong support system and that it’s a little less difficult each day.

    Keep up the good work!

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  3. As an ex drinker, I caution against taking too much stock in how awesome abstinence will be.

    It took me a long time to realize small victories that had been long since won, and there was never that satisfying moment where I got to “slay the dragon.” I think your measured approach will help temper the moments of disappointment. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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    1. Hi, Jay. Congrats on your sobriety! Dude, you slay that motherfucking dragon every day and I’m proud of you for doing that!

      I’m not a drinker and I never did any addictive drugs so I absolutely can’t speak to that except through friends who have been through the process of getting and staying sober. I understand that for them the dragon is never truly dead and that they always have to guard against its return. As someone who quit smoking, I definitely reached a point where the dragon was very clearly dead, and I no longer needed to worry about it coming back and trying to befriend me. I didn’t feel the moment when it happened; I just eventually realized that I really, genuinely no longer had any desire to smoke. The “awesomeness’ of abstinence is the feeling of normal, vs. the feeling of I need, I need. Smoking never made anything *better,* it never tasted good. I started smoking to fit in with a particular group of people when I was young and (more) stupid, and at a time when smoking was still very socially acceptable — there were still smoking sections on airplanes, in restaurants and bars — they hadn’t started making people go outside regardless of weather and be far away from everyone else. Hanging out with other smokers ceased to be a reason to smoke in a short time; the only reason I continued to smoke was not to feel good; it was because I had an addiction and felt bad without smoking. It massively sucked to quit — one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. But there *is* an “awesomeness” to the lack of cigarettes in my life — if I still had to smoke, I wouldn’t be able to afford being a patron to awesome shows like the Puzzle in a Thunderstorm podcasts and donate to campaigns like Vulgarity for Charity. I no longer have the inconvenience and discomfort of having to endure the social consequences of being a smoker and I have the health and the stamina to do things I couldn’t have done at all or as easily if I was still a smoker. So there are genuine moments of joy and epiphany realizing that the dragon is, in fact, slain.

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  4. Outstanding!!! You’re doing GREAT!

    If I remember correctly (and it’s been 26 years now, so I might not) I think the first thing I recognized was the change to my sense of smell. I washed the clothes I’d worn and the bed sheets I used the week I quit. As I was folding that stuff and putting it away, I noticed the difference between stuff I’d just washed, and stuff I *thought* was “clean” because it had been washed before I’d quit. All of those clothes smelled like overflowing ashtrays. I remember thinking, “Shit, is this what I’ve been going around smelling like?” I then washed EVERY piece of clothing I owned. Then I smelled the couch and the carpeting and I used baking soda and the vacuum cleaner to get the smell out of them (Febreze hadn’t been invented yet.) And that royal pain-in-the-posterior cleaning exercise became another nail in the coffin of my going back and smoking, because I suddenly cared how I smelled.

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  5. If you ever do enjoy some non-nicotine smoking you may want to find a higher end vaporizer (like the Volcano or one that is cheaper but similar to it). If you are still smoking other things your lungs may not clear themselves out quite they way they would if you were actually smoke free

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  6. While I never had to come off cigarettes, I’ve deffo had things I found hard to put down. And something that helped me later in life was the realization I’d have “good days” and “bad days”. When I was younger I would have a “good day” and think “Oh, good, I’m getting over it.” I had no clue what my brain was planning though, an assault that would bring me right back down to bad days. I expected a trajectory, but it’s more like a zig zagging chart where it goes up and down and up and down… but overall up. The good days get more numerous and I get more of them until bad days become rare. In the past, I thought the bad days wouldn’t end, or they’d come back and I’d think I’d failed and it was never going to get truly better. But after holding past the bad days a few times, I finally clued in to expect them and just roll with them. I treated them like having the flu–just ride it out till it’s over and accept it’s going to feel like crap. It’s just a process to go through to get a brain to finally release its grip on a thing it really, really loves.

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