Alex (yakshaver) wrote,

It was twenty years ago today....

On February 29, 1996, I quit smoking for the nth time since I started at 13. I was pretty emotionally overwrought at the time, on account of someone I'd thought was a friend turning on me and starting what would turn out to be a years-long campaign of character-assassination — hardly a promising base to pile the additional stress of withdrawal on top of. But I remember thinking that if I quit on February 29, at least I wouldn't have any trouble remembering when I quit. (Which, nerd that I am, had honestly bothered me WRT the last time I'd quit for more than a few weeks: I knew I'd quit in January, and started again in May of the following year. But it irked me not to know whether I'd actually made it to 16 months.) And, no doubt because I was so generally emotionally overwrought, I swore a solemn oath to my best and most dependable friend (you know who you are) that I'd had my last cigarette earlier that day.

And thus far, for twenty years, in spite of the unpromising start, I've kept that oath. Not that I've never been tempted: More than once I walked through a cloud of smoke and breathed it in deeply through my nose, relishing the nicotine high. But in general, I started finding the smell repellent within a few weeks, and over the years have only grown more repulsed by it. It's been at least a decade now since I did anything but seek an alternate route when I found myself about to pass through a cloud of smoke, or hold my breath and walk fast if I couldn't avoid it.

And so today, in the hope of seeing another five leap-days, I've had my last chocolate. That can't be harder than quitting smoking, right?
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