Do I get a chip for 72 hours?

72 hours.  No cigarettes.  Some second hand smoke, when I’m a super creeper and follow people down the street.  Or sniff the clothes of questionable strangers on the T.  72 hours.  No first hand smoke.

And I feel like I would stab someone for a cigarette.  But getting a cigarette would not require stabbing someone.  It would require going to the convenience store across the street.  Shelling out eight dollars and fifty cents.  Asking for matches, because I no longer carry a lighter.  Walking to a side street where I could light up in shame…and peace and quiet.  Unperturbed by judgment and jealousy and “Can I bum a smoke”s.  Writing this paragraph is the most focused I’ve been in 3 days.

I can’t pay attention to anything.  Except the time.  And the dull ache in my head.  The anxiety permeating my whole body.  Restlessness in my fingers.  I haven’t stopped eating.  I need to switch out these muffins for carrots next week or I’ll be spending money on new clothes to hide my growing muffin top.  Quitting is supposed to save me money.  Today, the third day, is supposed to be the worst day.  I don’t know if it is the worst day because I read that and I’m focused on it, or if it actually is the worst day.  Either way, it sucks.  Here’s an idea of what I’m going through – thanks to wikipedia, the source of all knowledge.

I haven’t really told anyone.  That I quit.  Because I don’t believe it myself.  And I don’t want to talk about it.  No one knows how hard this is.  How I am in physical pain.  How I am legitimately depressed.  Today, I’ve only cried twice.  That’s an improvement.  My eyes well up for no reason.  And I want to lay in bed, sick, watching Lifetime movies, reading the Hunger Games and eating cheesecake.  (Note to self: buy a cheesecake before the self-imposed diet on Monday!)  (Better yet, make a cheesecake!  That will be distracting, time-consuming, AND delicious.)

No one understands how frustrating this is.  I LOVE TO SMOKE.  WHY CAN’T I SMOKE?  Why do I have to quit?  Why do I want to quit?  I don’t know the answers to these questions.  Respect?  Validation?  Approval?  Yes.  Yes.  Yes.

This is starting to read like open mic night at a poetry slam.  Are those even a real thing?  I think I’ve only seen them on TV.

This whole thing isn’t fair.  It’s not fair that cigarettes aren’t like cigars, in the fact that I could just enjoy one once every few months when I’m drinking, for a special occasion.  It’s unfair that cigarettes are gross and not healthy, and so goddamn delicious.  It’s unfair that I am addicted to them.  That I am crying and shaking and eating constantly.  That I can’t control my own actions.  It’s all unfair.

Then why don’t I not quit?  I don’t know.  But I’m not going to quit quitting.  I’m just not.  I can’t.  I said I was doing this.  So I am.  I’m supposed to have a list of reasons.  Maybe I should have wrote those down, because I don’t remember them…It’s embarrassing.  That’s one reason.  That may be the only reason.  I’m embarrassed to be a smoker.  Of course it’s unhealthy, it smells bad, it ages me, etc. etc. etc.  Those aren’t reasons.  They are positive side effects of quitting.  Extra things I get from doing this.  My only reason is that I don’t want to be embarrassed (maybe ashamed?) anymore.

Why is it working this time?  Willpower.  Did you know you can “work out” your willpower “muscles”?  You can.  Over the summer I trained for the Spartan Sprint.  It was pretty awesome.  And difficult.  And exhilarating.  And training SUCKED.  But I worked out more, and more consistently than I ever have in my life.  Then I took the GREs.  For those I had to study.  Even though I procrastinated a lot, once I started studying, I dedicated myself to it.  I think these two things and the hours and months of preparation that came before them, prepared me for this.  Quitting.  72 hours.