After 40 days of avoidance, distraction, suffering, misery, and Not One Puff Ever...there's a small mountain (ok...tiny pile at this point but still...) of cigarettes growing in my imagination rather than burning smoke, tar, and nicotine into my lungs. I wondering if Phillip Morris has noticed yet?
For those starting the journey I feel like my quit has continued to be harder than I expected. For me, things didn't peak in those "first 72 hours." Heck Week was no better than Hell Week and Day 30 from my perspective was as bad as day one.
As I piled on days of abstinence from nicotine, one after the other waiting for some sign of relief, I suffered day in and day out never seeing it get better.
Except...I'm beginning (just beginning mind you...) to think that that's all a nicotine stained lie.
I'm not hurting on day 41 like I did on day 1. If I'm clearing the smoke from my mind and try to think clearly, things started incrementally getting better after that first week...I just didn't notice.
I'll try to explain.
Week One was like I had a shattered collar bone...the pain was intense and all I could focus on. It hurt and it sucked and I hated it.
Week Two was a dislocated shoulder. I had forgotten what the pain of the shattered collar bone felt like because all I could deal with was this darn shoulder. It hurt and it sucked and I hated it.
Week Three was a sprained ankle. Who knows what the pain I was going through before felt like, this ankle is killing me! It hurt and it sucked and I hated it.
Day after day I've been lamenting the present struggle without having the capacity to fairly compare it to my recent past. The proof that it has in fact gotten better is that I continue in my journey and although after not smoking what would've now been 1003 cigarettes I still struggle...it's just a stubbed toe.
It hurts and it sucks and I hate it.
Anxiety is still a struggle but getting better. I'm learning to live in my new normal waiting for the day when I can celebrate that first day of not thinking about quitting.
It's not easy but I'm here, and sticking with the plan.