Days Without a Cigarette: 9.70347222208333
Days Without Nicotine: 0
Dollars Saved: $16.41
At this point, every day is still a milestone and every activity is still an accomplishment. When I got off work last night, I went downstairs and got about halfway through dinner before it occurred to me that I didn’t even crave a cigarette after work. Hooray me. Today I finally went Christmas shopping and I walked right by two people smoking outside the mall. First time I’ve actually seen real life cigarettes since I quit, and I didn’t even want one. Kudos Noah!
And at this point, being a nonsmoker is still so novel that each of these occurs to me and I take time to congratulate myself for them. Every day is worth celebrating, and every new experience is worth applauding. But it won’t always be that way, and that’s what worries me the most now.
At some point, it will all become routine. Eventually, I’ll go a whole day without craving a cigarette and I might not even notice. I’ll pass my six thousand one hundred and third real life cigarette. I’ll reach day 139. And even though, in the long run, that’s every bit as important as reaching day 3 or day 7 or day 10, I’m obviously not going to celebrate it the way I’ve celebrated those much smaller milestones.
At a certain point I won’t blog about it. I won’t talk about it. Nobody will pat me on the back for making it this far. I’ll just be a nonsmoker and me not smoking cigarettes will be expected rather than lauded. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I could probably still toss out a post that says “This is my 3,336th straight hour without a cigarette” and get a bunch of likes; but it’ll be impossible for me to maintain the enthusiasm I have now for months or years to come.
Of course, the plan is to be over the addiction by then. I don’t need to stay at peak motivation forever, I just need to be a little more motivated to quit than I am to smoke. And hopefully I can maintain that balance. But will my enthusiasms wane in conjunction? That’s what I worry about. I know far too many people who have quit smoking for months or even years just to wind up back where they started. I know it happens, so I feel like a big part of my job at this point is figuring out why before I have to face whatever demons bested them.