1. Understanding every time you light up that you really do hate smoking. Doesn’t matter whether you’ve been smoking for 20 years or 20 months. You smell like smoke. Your partner complains about it. You know it’s not good for you, and it’s the only habit that cordons you off outside in the worst weather situations, like some kind of incompetent person who has been officially banished from society.
2. It takes a big occasion — realizing how expensive smoking is, seeing those commercials with that lady, a doctor’s visit, a scolding by someone you love, a birthday, or as a New Year’s resolution — but finally you decide that, once and for all, you’re going to quit smoking!
3. From the moment you decide to quit, you make sure the fact you’re quitting is public knowledge. You Tweet/Facebook/text your friends that you are quitting and you tell them where you are in the process. Day 1: 47 minutes without smoking yissss.
4. Henceforth you keep tabs on every minute, hour, day, week you have gone without smoking. It’s a game!
5. Withdrawal sets in. You’re anxious. Or angry and agitated as shit, ready to start fights, punch things, or go off at any moment. Basically everything is pissing you off ATM.
6. You remain calm.
7. You wake up like, “Today is day four.” Every day is a battle — and a notch on the scorecard.
8. You start to worry about what on earth could possibly comfort you after an awful hook up, a stressful meeting, a delicious meal, an amazing hook up? How are you going to flirt with people now? Ugh, everything is the worst.
9. What used to be a “smoke break” has now turned into a pint of “Butter Pecan ice cream” break. So, ugh oh.
10. You feel all healthy, kind of like above it all, and you start to judge other people’s health habits because you quit smoking!
11. IT. IS. SO. HARD. Must avoid all contact with cigarettes, cigarette paraphernalia and especially large groups of people smoking because they will look amazing and cool and just omg.
12. Feel like you have already made it a week, might as well keep going. Consider investing in an e-cig.
13. Take discreet hits from your e-cig at dinner parties, then have to explain to people what you’re doing because you look kind of weird secretly sucking on a black stick.
14. You’re so healthy right now you might as well just become a vegetarian, too! Only organic foods! Juices and berries and cleanses!
15. Feel proud of yourself as you realize you’re doing so well AND that you’ve saved $200 bones this month by not buying cigarettes. That’s, like, a whole outfit, wow.
16. Have a friend tell you that you should just smoke weed instead, because at least weed is a PLANT that grows NATURALLY.
17. Continue to feel proud of yourself, as you should.
18. You hit a threshold. You either continue down this path of health and serenity OR you find some reason — any will do — to relapse. Getting totally trashed at a party and smoking while drunk; having a bad break up; getting any sort of bad news. Well, shit. There goes that.