Finally, for the first time in a blog, I feel I can proclaim that I am an EX-SMOKER!
75 days without cigarettes and smoke and ash and stench and shame. 14 days without lozenges, meaning that I am free enough from nicotine and cotinine (nicotine's metabolite/byproduct) that I could, more likely than not, pass the most common saliva tests, urine tests, or blood tests used to detect the presence of nicotine/smoking. I wanted to meet these benchmarks before posting something like this, for some reason. Go figure. It just felt right. (And, yes, I do know that there are wildly different numbers and figures and testing timeframes out there, but I decided on the 2-week choice for myself so I could move on, emotionally.)
The journey still continues, of course, and always will. But, I'm free of the drug now, and accelerating forward on the path with a detoxed body and a clean state of mind I have not known since the age of 18.
(Note: For me, in my personal quit, "ex-smoker" is the correct and accurate label. I forfeited my status as a "non-smoker" at the age of 18, on the day I finished my first pack of smokes. I understand that many here prefer to be called a "non-smoker" after they quit, and that's totally acceptable for their personal journey.)