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.