Eight years ago today, April 19, 2021, I took my last puff on a cigarette. That’s eight full years, or ninety-six months or two thousand nine hundred and twenty days, give or take a leap year or two, where I have not taken even a single puff.
Over those eight years, my life has turned upside down and inside out.
I have seen my own weakness and done–or not done–things I am not proud of, dusty spiderwebs in the corners of the attic of my heart and mind.
I have felt pain both physical and mental that might have eaten holes in Superman’s cape.
I have felt happiness so overwhelming that the flitting butterflies in my stomach put on boxing gloves and tried to knock each other silly.
And I have found depths of strength and resilience inside myself that had been lost in the dead letter office of my soul for decades.
Throughout all of those joys and challenges, there is one thing I have know and have never doubted: smoking would not have made any of it easier. Even though the Nicotine Monster still raises his ugly head from time to time, he no longer has any power over me.
This, gentle reader, is a very good thing to know.