Day Twenty Four

Days Without a Cigarette: 23.6041666
Days Without Nicotine: 0
Dollars Saved: $66.85
Time Saved: 33 hours, 26 minutes

Today’s been a rough one and it’s gonna get rougher.

I feel like I’ve moved into a new phase of quitting . I’d say I ‘leveled up’ to keep with the video game analogy I’ve been using up until now, but that seems wrong. There’s nothing ‘up’ about the phase I just moved into.

So when I first quit, there was this giddy momentum that I had going for me. It was so novel and unexpected and I just kept looking at my hands and saying “crazy how long it’s been since I saw a cigarette there.” The sheer unexpectedness of it was enough to keep it going. And from there, I moved into a phase where each day brought fewer, weaker cravings and it felt like I was in a perpetual state of progress.

But it doesn’t feel like that anymore. As I predicted, “day 24” doesn’t sound any more impressive to my brain than “day 23”. What’s more, going from an average of 2.94 cravings a day to 2.73 doesn’t seem like much either. At this point, I’m just frustrated. I keep having these cravings, knowing that I’m gonna beat them back down, and asking myself “Is this just my life now?”

And, of course, it is. That’s what I’ve signed on to. I’ve talked to plenty of people who quit years or even decades ago that admit to me that they still go through what I was going through this afternoon – this almost painful desire to just smoke a goddamn cigarette and feel normal. And now, every time one of those cravings comes along, I can’t help but think about walking around with this unscratched itch for the rest of my fucking life.

I mean, I know it does get less frequent. And a lot of people who quit smoking 15 or 20 years ago tell me that they never even think about it anymore. But the fact that there’s a non-zero chance I’ll relieve myself of this misery before I’m sixty is cold comfort if it’s any kind of comfort at all.

Published by Noah Lugeons

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

3 thoughts on “Day Twenty Four

  1. Congratulations. I’ve been a quitter for three years and some change. I’m keeping up with your progress and though I get a sting of pain with your updates, I also get a knowing smile. Your going through a tunnel. You’ll get through it. Though it’s hard to remember (that should be some comfort to you) I think the last time I had a hard craving was at about the four month period. The good new is that at three years, the cravings are no worse than a craving for a piece of cake or a nice steak. I’d like it but I can live without it. Thanks for being such a great representative of the atheist community.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is why people say to take it a day at a time. It doesn’t get worse, and it does get better. No one really knows what week or day you will realize you haven’t had a craving in days. But to use an imperfect analogy, remember the pain in losing a loved one. Does that pain go away? No. Does it get lighter and less frequent? Yes. Will you completely forget about the pain of losing that person? No. But life will go on, and the more time that passes the more being a “smoker” will be more remote in your mind. You are right in saying that the exciting part of the quitting is over, not it’s the long haul. Just keep going, you are actually doing an amazing job.

    Liked by 2 people

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