Days Without a Cigarette: 34.58333
Days Without Nicotine: 0
Dollars Saved: $92.16
Time Saved: 49 hours
I know this is going to sound silly, but I’m surprised that being a nonsmoker isn’t a bigger part of my life.
I still have three or four cravings a day, but most of them are pleasantly evanescent. I’ll randomly think “I should go outside and have a cigarette”, and then I’ll think “no the fuck I shouldn’t”, and that’s that. Once in a while they linger, but it’s never more than a couple of minutes.
In a sense, I expected that. I didn’t think it would come as quick as it did and I thought the cravings themselves would be worse, but I did anticipate their eventual reduction. I didn’t expect that being a nonsmoker would mean I’d spend a lot of time everyday thinking about not smoking. But it also felt like it would wedge into my personality somehow. Like ‘non smoker’ would become one of my descriptors.
And again, I know how stupid that sounds. I don’t define other people like that. I’ve never thought of ‘nonsmoker’ as somebody else’s personality trait. But I kind of figured it would become one of mine. And largely that’s because being a smoker was part of my personality. It made me part of an exclusive club (or reviled minority, depending on how you wanna look at it). It created camaraderie around the ashtray. It felt in some way representative of my persona. The fact that I was a smoker said “I don’t give a shit what society thinks”, or at least, that’s what it was meant to say. And so in some dumb ass part of my brain that I didn’t fully explore, I figured once I was a nonsmoker I’d give a shit about what society thought.
I thought maybe nonsmoker me might be a jogger. I assumed he’d at least eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. I figured he’d know how to do build wooden stuff and own more ties. But alas, he’s just me. He’s just the same person I was before with a little more money and life expectancy.
The idea that ‘smoker’ was part of my personality was a marketing trick that I fell for. I’d love to think I was too clever to fall for something so patently stupid, but it’s hard to pat yourself on the back for being clever after three decades of paying some corporation to kill you.
2 thoughts on “Day Thirty Five”
Those are quite interesting observations. I never thought about it, but there is a culture of smoking that doesn’t exist for “non-smokers”. And non-smokers come in all shapes and sizes, with only a few doing woodworking. The real key is not that you will become a different person, but that different person will have a lot more time and good health to do whatever else you would prefer to do. I really loved how it let me concentrate for longer periods at work. I didn’t always have to stop for an addiction break.
That’s something that’s only recently occurred to me. Until now I’ve found that I still took the breaks, it was just to pace around angrily and think about the cigarette I wasn’t smoking. Last night was the first time I actually went all the way through an edit without a break in the seven years I’ve been doing the podcast.