I am not chewing nicotine gum, using the patch or swallowing those new pills many of you rave about.
I may yet fill that prescription if the side effects of quitting become more difficult to manage. Just to have the drug handy in a moment of weakness is not a bad idea, my doctor says.
I am eating crappy food fairly consistently. It has never occurred to me, not once, to run out and buy a bag of carrots or a chunky, bottled fruit-shake. I want burgers and fries and pizza.
I am spending more time in front of the mirror, checking to see whether this junk food is adding any flabbiness to my jowl area. Can't quite tell yet.
I have trouble sleeping. I cannot read in bed because suddenly reading is boring and annoying. My skin starts to crawl when I do the same thing for more than five minutes. So I toss and turn for hours. The dog looks at me like I need to be walked. I am getting three hours of sleep each night.
I am buying packs and packs of sugary gum, which I chew into a rubbery tastelessness before my jaw starts to swell and I have to spit it out.
A big help has been the incredible response to the blog.
I am humbled by the number of readers who are sharing their thoughts. Even the haters.
(One wrote: "Sounds like you ... ran out of story ideas for your editor, so you thought you'd pretend to quit. True?"
Oh yeah, totally true. The best part would be when someone discovers I actually still smoke and then I would be utterly discredited and fired. Yippee. All part of the thrill of journalism.)
I am encouraged by those who share their quitting stories.
I appreciate their advice. I have been invited to a session with a hypnotherapist. Should I do it?
I am determined to quit. I have an angst pushing me. I am furious that I have let cigarettes hook me for half my life.
But the quitting will only get more difficult.
Because the angst will fade.
The real test isn't the first week or next week. It will come in a few months, after the physical side effects have passed. It will be a warm night, sitting in my back yard with my ne'er-do-well friends, drinking beer and bourbon, and I know how it could happen because it's happened before.
A Jack Daniel's-soaked internal dialogue will start, and it will go a little something like this ...
"I been quit for months. I proved I don't need to smoke. So why not, on this bootiful summer night - is that Labatt 50 dribbling down my chin or a mosquito? - while my a*****e friend is opening a pack of Benson & Hedges, why not have just one smoke as a reward?"