Day Eight (Technically)

Days Without a Cigarette: 7.03541667
Days Without Nicotine: 0
Dollars Saved: $0.21

Alright, so it’s barely after midnight, and I didn’t quit at exactly midnight last week, so this really isn’t day eight. Hell, I didn’t even bother adding in the money for the pack of smokes I didn’t buy this week, but it’s still worth getting excited about. And not just because we’re used to dividing days into chunks of seven.

See, as anybody who knows me is aware, there’s a difference between “an eight hour workday” and “a full workday” in my life. And the way I set this up, I had last Thursday all the way off (a rarity in my life). I had Friday mostly off (about a 3 hour work day). I had half days (or so) Saturday and Sunday (5 hours or so). Then Monday and Tuesday I stepped back in for eight hour days. And it was tough. Working is when the not smoking thing gets to me the most (so far).

But Wednesday is a ‘no fucking around’ kind of day for me. Hell, that’s the main reason I decided to quit on a Thursday; it meant that I’d have the maximum amount of time possible before a Wednesday.

So this Wednesday was about typical. I started work a little before 10am, and I wrapped up a little after 12:30am. I had an hour off in the middle of it somewhere to eat food and wrap some presents for Lucinda. So all in all, about a thirteen and a half hour workday. You can see why I was a little worried going into it, knowing that ‘being overworked’ was gonna be a huge trigger for me.

Well, I pushed through it. And for the first time, I actually started to fully grasp that somewhere in my future were whole days when I won’t think about cigarettes. I’m not sure when they’ll come, but I can see them from where I am.

Published by Noah Lugeons

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

10 thoughts on “Day Eight (Technically)

  1. Feel free to ignore this if you are getting too much advise, but I noticed you seem to be having some trouble with not doing anything with your hands. Some people on Ravelry say knitting has helped them keep out of cigarettes, but that can be frustrating to learn and you can’t do it while walking to your office so I was wondering if you have ever heard of drop spindles. They are the oldest yarn making tool, and also the most portable. After enough practice you can spin while walking, especially if you don’t care how the yarn turns out. I recommend starting with Corriedale or blue faced leicester roving. Just stay away form merino that stuff is way too sticky.

    Any way it is awesome that you are quitting smoking.

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  2. Outfuckingstanding!!!

    Listened to the diatribe when I woke up this morning and was so happy to hear that you went to see your doctor about this before getting started and discussed the best method with them. (Aside: Non-gendered pronouns are a good thing; every time I’ve ever felt like I had to write “his or her” or “He/She” I’ve always been resentful of how bad it made a sentence look/sound!)

    Great diatribe. I’ve always thought it was just laziness and hubris when people try to make major changes affecting their health, e.g. quit smoking, start a diet, etc. without getting expert advice. Never thought of it as a lack of appropriate skepticism, but of course! I also didn’t realize the stats on failure — now I feel more proud than before of that accomplishment.

    Lots of love to you and Lucinda. She also did her usual wonderful job on TWIM — proud of both of you.

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  3. At the risk of running afoul of this week’s diatribe, I do have a little suggestion for the future. One thing you’ve mentioned repeatedly is that there is a void where you’d usually place cigarettes, the biggest void being when you’re frustrated.

    This is nowhere near the level of addiction that nicotine is, and I wouldn’t even call it an addiction at all, but I used to self-injure. Frustration and anger were huge triggers for me (as was blood.) And when I quit, my counselor worked with me to insert safer alternatives to deal with frustration, with different methods depending on the situation.

    At home, I hop in the shower. I wash my hair thoroughly. I shave the various places ladies shave. And when I’m clean, I’m much less frustrated.

    Try to find something mindless that you can do with your hands, whatever works for you. Hell, try a fidget spinner if nothing else.

    You can yell at me if I’m being stupid. Oh, and keep listening to the nice doctor.

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    1. I’m an Olympic level fidgeter. Fidget spinner is to my immediate right. My spinning pen is to my immediate left. Great advice.

      And for the record; this is EXACTLY the kind of advice I was trying to solicit with that diatribe. You’re sharing a personal experience and telling me what helped you in hopes that it might help me. That’s precisely what I need. Thanks.

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  4. After the diatribe today, I began thinking about adding my voice to the choir because, while I’ve never been a smoker, smoking has impacted my life in huge ways. Your quitting, despite you not really knowing who the hell I am, matters to me. Dammit, you’ve even gotten into my subconscious (we’ve had so many conversations in my dreams, and there are usually kittens somewhere).

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  5. Ok, this is just going to be hard because my reflexes keep winning and I can’t delete or edit a comment, and I can’t figure out how to make line breaks. I apologize in advance because I’m trying not to be an asshole and yet not succeeding. I’m one of those people who are “allergic” to cigarette smoke (and a few other things). Not pipe tobacco, not cigars, not even handrolled in general, but manufactured cigarettes make my sinuses start flowing to the point that I usually start choking and coughing and sometimes passing out. Both my parents smoked and it was like that when I was a kid (which was back when they still advertised cigarettes on TV). I’m super sensitive to the smell, too, which sucks, although that’s just “ugh” and not “I’m drowning”. So I’ve spent a lifetime avoiding the things because who wants to deal with me? Years of holding my breath and walking fast through the smoking areas, not going to parties or restaurants or bars (back when smoking there was still legal), even avoiding hanging with friends who smoked because they wanted to smoke. Smoking bans made it possible for me to do things like hear bands at bars or go out to the local. I also lost both my parents to smoking related illnesses, as well as two grandparents and an assortment of aunts and uncles. My mom dropped dead (literally) of a stroke when I was 16 because she could not quit smoking and it made her high blood pressure worse. She tried to quit. I brought them back to her because cold turkey was just impossible for everyone (this was, again, in the long ago before meds and patches. The gum, I think, was still pretty new). I hated being in the car with them when they smoked and often chose staying home alone instead of going somewhere with them. So, yeah, you quitting — because I’m a fan and I hope to see you again at another live event or convention — has an actual impact on me. Aside from being irrationally fond of you and not wanting you to suffer (one uncle spent years with emphysema, which was horrible, and he never stopped smoking even after he could barely walk without gasping), it means my chances of enjoying your work for a long time is much improved. By the way, are you reading anything interesting right now?

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