Today is the Day

Well, I fucking did it. At the time of writing this, I haven’t smoked a cigarette or done any nicotine in about 20 hours. It feels fucking great. I used the way I’ve used in the past to stop smoking which is reading Alan Carr’s “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking” and I feel like it stuck well this time. I feel some minor physical withdrawal (one of which made me take a nap mid-day) but overall am really excited to not be smoking. It’s amazing. Now to just keep it up.

In the past when I quit smoking, I would get severe depression around week 3 or 4. One time it actually resulted in hospitalization which we’ll probably get to in a different post. I’ve anecdotally proved a direct link between nicotine, withdrawal, and depression. You can look it up to validate this because I’m not going to bother finding it for you right now, but nicotine is an antidepressant and getting off of it has similar effects to dropping any other antidepressant like Prozac or Wellbutrin. Knowing this lies ahead of me, I asked my ex girlfriend from a couple years ago (which I’ve been hanging out more regularly, and that’s been great — but again a different story for the purposes of right now) if she would mind being my person to call and talk it through when it comes down. Knowing I have a pillar and a point of sanity already puts me at ease. She’ll be really fantastic to talk me up/down/whatever direction makes the most sense. We’ve been leaning on each other a little bit emotionally and a lot existentially. This has been a godsend of an exercise because I’m feeling every facet of not smoking, benefits of working out, stretching, eating better, and everything that I’ve been consciously doing.

Last night, I had the craziest person reach out to me on social media. It was my “ex girlfriend” and that’s in quotes because we were 4. Really we were kids that were friends and our parents kind of made us up as boyfriend/girlfriend. It’s a little strange, but she is a really great person. Turns out she’s also made a lot of her living independently through the web. Looking forward to getting to know more about this as it’s kinda coincidental both of us going into software despite not having any contact for 30+ years. And she’s a gorgeous woman, however considering any romantic relationship with her seems far-fetched and kinda strange, frankly.

Speaking of strange franks, I played my second show mostly sober. I had one beer before and during the show, a shot bought for me when we took the stage, then another beer at the end of the show after loading equipment. It was hard to choke down that second beer. Also my social anxiety was in full gear without alcohol to numb things so I’m trying to stay as least involved as possible so I can find my exit. My oldest kid is attending the event elsewhere, but they have a headache and are just a block away from where I’m at. Huzzah!

“Come meet me and let’s get the hell out of here.”

The rest of my night last night, I found myself contemplative, talking with my ex about life and things and feelings and where her and I are at together and all the things. It was somewhat depressing but overall in a good direction. I felt nicotine craving just leave my body completely. By the time I got to my last cigarette of the evening I felt pretty over it. No anxiety as I pulled the last one out of my pack. It was really interesting how unfazed I was by it and how excited I was to wake up for the first time in a while.