I am just a babe in my quit. I have been without nicotine for 25 days. It is long enough to get all the nicotine out of my system, but has barely made a dent in 40 years of routine and habit. In the past 10 years, I figure I quit about 15 times. The longest without a cigarette was 4 days, because I was locked up in a hospital room. I accept that I have hurt my lungs, and increased the chance for COPD. I know there is a greater chance of cancer throughout my body. And how much did I damage my heart? I have forgiven myself for this, knowing that I am moving forward and that will at least help.
My wife never knew how much of a failure I was at quitting. In her mind, I had quit successfully a number of times, and gone back after 2 or 3 months. She did not know I smoked all day at work, and craved cigarettes all night long with her until she left for work the next morning.
To me, this is the biggest damage that nicotine can do. My addiction made me lie to the most beautiful and loving woman on earth. That is the hardest for me to forgive. So, as the cloud of nicotine leaves my brain, and I can think clearly, it is the pain I caused the woman I love that hurts the most. I have asked, and received her forgiveness. She is just so very happy that I have been so successful this time. I am too, I only wish I had been stronger the other times, and either quit, or at least not lied about it.