Days Without a Cigarette: 46.97222
Days Without Nicotine: 0
Dollars Saved: $128.81
Time Saved: 66 hours, 32 minutes
It wouldn’t be right to say that I miss smoking cigarettes and it certainly wouldn’t be accurate to say that I want to go back to smoking. But I kind of want to want to go back to smoking.
Let me preempt any further explanation by stating up front that I’m not wishing death on any of my loved ones or hoping for a terminal disease diagnosis. I don’t want anything terrible to happen to my friends or my family. That being said, it does repeatedly occur to me that if something bad enough happened, nobody would give me shit for going back to smoking cigarettes. I think to myself, “Man, sure would suck to find out I had six months to live, but on the bright side, I could smoke all the cigarettes I wanted between now and then.” Cigarettes have come to represent the consolation prize for rock bottom in my mind.
That’s a bad thing for more reasons than how macabre it is to think about the upshot of a death in the family. It means that somewhere at my core, I still think of myself as a smoker without a sufficient excuse. But it also means that my habit is hiding right around the corner of the next personal tragedy in my life. I’ve lived a pretty charmed life up to this point and I’m way overdue for some personal tragedy, and between now and then I need to exorcise this notion that smoking is okay if I’m depressed enough.
Of course, this all goes back to the identity aspect that has become the recurring theme of this blog. In my mind, I couldn’t truly even reach rock bottom without a cigarette in my hand. And sure, it’ll be problematic if I think that the death of a loved one is a ready excuse to go back to smoking, but it’ll be even more problematic if I manage to convince myself that I can’t really be mourning or depressed if I haven’t even gone back to smoking cigarettes over it yet.
It really says a lot about what an insidious habit this is that it’s left me considering the bright side of brain tumors. I can feel the addiction worming its way into that part of my brain, as if to say, “Okay, I’ll go away for now, but if you ever find yourself truly overwhelmed, I’ll be waiting.” That means that the present assignment is to evict that motherfucker between now and the next time I feel truly overwhelmed.