Day Fifty Seven

Days Without a Cigarette: 56.80208333
Days Without Nicotine: 0.34375*
Dollars Saved: $194.61
Time Saved: 80 hours, 28 minutes

As of today, that second ticker starts moving. Days without nicotine? No longer zero. Sort of. On the advice of Melissa, I actually left the patch from yesterday on today, so some trace amount of nicotine is technically still getting into my system, but it’s effectively nothing. It’s more of a security blanket than a nicotine delivery system. And to be perfectly honest with you, I haven’t noticed a difference. If anything, today is actually a bit easier than yesterday, because yesterday I was dreading the idea of having to go without any nicotine at all the next day.

As you may have noticed if you’ve been reading along, I’ve been really nervous about this moment. I’ve been looking at it as the ‘boss villain’ of quitting. But it turns out that the cessation program has it worked out pretty well. After eight weeks of weaning myself off, it really was just another step down the stairs.

I can feel the panic setting in on my id right now. For the last few weeks, I’ve caught it preparing rationalizations for this moment. It wanted to make sure that if things got rough enough, I had a nice soft bed of excuses to fall into if I should want to give up. I guess it was hoping this was gonna be its last great stand. So when I’m not careful, it’s been sneaking into the back of my brain and pointing out what a very good effort I gave it. It’s been whispering that all the people I committed to would be a bit disappointed, sure, but they wouldn’t feel like I’d neglected them. Eight weeks is a pretty solid attempt, after all. And the physical addiction isn’t as malleable as the psychological one. To a degree, you can muscle your way through a psychological addiction, but is the same true of a physical one? My id thinks not.

But instead of a fortified line of trenches, this latest obstacle seems to be a dip in the road that scarcely merits a sign. The passage from non-smoker to non-nicotine user turned out to be a lot like a state line in the middle of a long trip. It feels like progress, sure, but it’s just one mile closer than the last mile and one further than the next.

And again, I’m sorry that it wasn’t more eventful. I’ve been building this up on the blog for a while now, but it passed with a whimper. And to be honest with you, I’m not even sure what milestones there really are after this one. Sure, I’ll have anniversaries. I’ll pass my hundredth day without a cigarette, I’ll save my thousandth dollar, I’ll go a whole day without thinking about smoking. And all of those milestones will matter as much as this one because every trip is just a series of milestones. But the trip was to “Non smoker”, and I’ve made it there. From here on out, I’m just driving around non-smoker and seeing what the world looks like on this side of the line.

Published by Noah Lugeons

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

7 thoughts on “Day Fifty Seven

  1. Hey, you’re doing great! A good friend of mine quit for almost 5 years, and then started again, and is still smoking, despite knowing what it is doing to her. So, don’t discount your accomplishment or the future milestones you have to pass. I’m kind of glad this wasn’t a big deal, because there will be big deal days for you to handle, and you’ll need what you’ve learned. And your observations are always fun to read.

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  2. FWIW, the only temptations I remember having after I had evidence that I had beaten the addiction and could seriously call myself a nonsmoker were caused by being around smokers. That was really tough, because for a while, someone lighting up still smelled good and still invoked pleasant memories. (This was almost 27 years ago when there will still “smoking sections” in a lot of places — you didn’t even have to step outside. Also back then, a large number of my friends still smoked. I couldn’t just not be around smokers, beause I gave up smoking, I didn’t give up my friends, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to proseltyze to them about quitting! But I did have to make the decision to not be around them when they smoked because the one time I just hung out while they smoked, damn, that was seriously, seriously hard!!!

    Fortunately, I only have a very few friends who still smoke; they’ve never known me as a fellow smoker so they don’t expect me to hang out with them while they smoke. The only time I run into random smokers any more is when I leave an airport and in all my years of traveling, there has NEVER been anything that would entice me to purposely hang out *longer* at an airport!

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