Days Without a Cigarette: 54.5708333
Days Without Nicotine: 0
Dollars Saved: $178.41
Time Saved: 77 hours, 19 minutes
Here I sit, closing in on the eighth week, desperately nervous about the milestone that stands ahead of me. My patches are an eight week program. I’m hours away from the part of this ordeal where I actually give up nicotine.
As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I’ve got every reason to be nervous. I forgot to put a patch on one morning and within hours I was crawling up the walls. Up until that moment, I thought I was doing great. Hell, when I realized I hadn’t put on the patch, I didn’t rush to put one on. Instead I decided to let it play out in the silly hope that I could save forty bucks on the last box of patches.
That being said, I also have a counter example that balances that fear out a bit. Because I have an extra patch in the box.
I suppose it’s possible that I just got the box that they accidentally put too many patches in, but that’s very unlikely. I worked at a pharmaceutical packaging plant once and, as you’d hope, they’re pretty fucking serious about the right amount of everything going into the right packages. The much more likely explanation is that there was also a day where I forgot to put on a patch that I didn’t notice.
That’s not to say that I spent a day not wearing one. I almost always wear them overnight and my routine is to swap them out around eleven in the morning, regardless of when I wake up. The patches are waterproof so I’m used to wearing them in the shower. All it would have taken is forgetting to swap one out and not realizing it all day.
Of course, even a used patch delivers some amount of nicotine. The packaging warns you to be careful how you dispose of it, as the residual nicotine could harm your pets or your kids if they fish it out of the trash. So if I’d forgotten to swap out my patch one day, it would have still given me some small amount of nicotine, but it would have been next to nothing. The step three patches that I’m on now are smaller than a quarter. They deliver 7 milligrams of nicotine over a 24 hour period, which is the equivalent of smoking about four cigarettes. And I was getting the left overs of that. Basically it would have been like smoking four cigarette butts. And yet, I didn’t notice anything missing.
And that’s a great boost to my confidence, but to be honest, I don’t think I want my confidence boosted. I think I wanna go into this next part the same way I went into the first part. I’ve talked to too many people who said they were fine when they were on the medicine or using the patch or whatever, only to fall back into the arms of Joe Camel once the nicotine substitute was gone. I’ve almost kicked the psychological habit. I only think about going out for a cigarette once or twice a day at this point. But I’ve barely even started on the physical addiction. I know most people say the former is easier, but that’s not universally true. And I’ve gotta go into this assuming that it won’t be.