real quitters never quit quitting

Well, there it is. I’ve lost track of how long it’s been since I quit smoking. Maybe 3 months? Maybe 11 weeks? Can’t quite pinpoint it. Sure, I could look it up, but the point isn’t that it’s been X number of weeks. Rather, that I can’t exactly remember when I had my last cigarette other than it was around 4PM on a Friday as I left work.

It used to be that my last cigarette was never more than a few hours ago.

I’ve been rather enjoying this nicotineless existence. Most people will comment on the money I’ve saved, but smokers don’t think too much about how much their habit costs. They just think about that they need the thing that most effectively fights The Spider.(1)

No, mostly I think about how I feel, though it’s hard to pinpoint. There are a few specifics: I can breathe more easily(2), I can actually run without getting too winded(3), there are fewer headaches – the Monday Headache has disappeared – and I have more energy.(4)

Otherwise, I just generally feel cleaner. Less toxic. Less like I’m struggling to do things. Like Ty food as opposed to Chinese food.

The absolute best part, though, the thing I think will forever keep me from picking up another cigarette, is the massive improvement of my singing voice. It certainly sounds better – less raspy, less hazy – but I have so much more control now. I can hit quick runs of sixteenth notes where before I would slur through them.(5) When I hear myself sing, I like it. For the first time in my life, I like my singing voice.

This, my friends, is a happy thing.

Last week, when we were still learning what was going on with the boy, I wanted so much to have a cigarette. I could have easily bummed one from his mom or from my brother. Ashley might have been a little let down(6), but she’d have understood. But I made it through without a smoke. And what got me through was the thought that I hadn’t had even one cigarette in X weeks. Not even one. For any reason.

This was a happy thought. And I chose to keep it.

And I choose to keep it.

This, my friends, is also a happy thing.

  1. Infinite Jest reference.(a)
    1. Since these footnotes themselves are Infinite Jest reference, and since that footnote in particular is aware of itself as footnote, I suppose this blog has officially entered the realm of post-modernism. If I had champagne, I’d break it over the blog’s bow.(b)
    2. Also, of course, if the blog had a bow, which it doesn’t. So that comment was really a metaphor for the level of celebration I’d like to attain rather than a literal statement of what I would do to celebrate.
  2. Though, when for some reason I can’t breathe easily, I immediately think I need a cigarette.
  3. Source: That one time a while back when I went for a little walk and somehow found myself running for ten minutes.
  4. Ashley says it’s affected my endurance in the sack. But let’s face it: being able to go three minutes now isn’t that big of a deal.
  5. For the non-musically-inclined: imagine Britney Spears singing a quick sequence of notes, then imagine Christina Aguilera singing the same run. That’s the level of improvement I’m talking about.(a)
    1. Not that I sing as well as Christina Aguilera. Or the same way. Nor are there any other comparisons between us other than wondering what a girl wants.
  6. She frequently mentions how proud of me she is for having quit and once even said that it’s very sexy that I don’t smoke anymore. This is awesome: I can be sexy, apparently, without doing a damn thing. I’ll take it!

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