Thank you very much to all those who shared something in response to my post yesterday. I appreciate that! There was so much varied and valuable advice: the freedom of choice since I am grieving to maybe try not to do it all right now, and then a stern call to not smoke and hang in there. I appreciate choice, there's power in choice; and I appreciate direction from experience. There was sympathy and empathy, understanding and contrast to other life challenges; and somehow my despair translated into hope for some. I'm grateful for all that, for the chance to be heard.
There was also some sweet and kind encouragement around the money I'm saving not smoking which made me chuckle. It's definitely costing more to quit, and even if I saved every penny I used to spend on smokes, it would take close to 500 years to pay off my debts. Regardless, I appreciate the positive encouragement.
One of the most illuminating pieces were responses from 2 people saying they didn't feel free/it didn't lift until sometime around day 80! That's amazing. When you look at quit sites, they give the nicotine 3 days to get out and then say you'll have a few weeks of cravings that taper off quick. What a load of crap! Anyway, it's good to know a little more about reality and set realistic expectations.
I know for me, a lot of times the cravings now are also accompanied by profound frustration because the craving is a way that my system/body/mind is trying to save me from enduring an intense experience, and yet the part of me that is craving doesn't understand what I now know which is that smoking doesn't work anyway. So I am longing for something that I know won't make me feel better or help, and the frustration comes from having this divided self that's going in 2 directions - craving and reality - and not really having anything else to tap into to relieve the intensity of the moment in the way that smoking used to. It's a unique form of madness for sure, and when coupled with grief I can become so despondently altered and even unable to function at times.
But alas, who knows what words or blessings, circumstances or strength did the trick. I think all of it played an important role, and I'm into day 43 now. Honestly, I don't care about the number anymore. Someone mentioned no-man's land between 30-120 or something like that. That makes sense. Getting a day, and then 2, then 3, and then a week, and a month - those are huge. And now in the low 40s drifting a sea somewhere waiting to feel better. I guess this is the "doing time" part of it. Down the road, I'll be celebrating 90 days (I hope) which is more than 2x what I have now, and then a year will be a big milestone. So 43 as a number of days smober is kinda blah, but one good thing about it is I can still remember the pain and sweat and tears I put in to get here, and I know if I smoke, I have to start that over or take the other road towards self-imposed illness and likely death.
So I just wanted to chime in to say THANK YOU to everyone who responded. It's so strange how I know none of you in person, and many don't even have a face to go with your handle, and yet in some ways I feel closer to you right now that most others in my life, and you are the only ones I can truly talk to about what I am going through. It's beautiful and bizarre, and I am grateful.