Farewell to Hell Week

Today is Day Seven without a cigarette.

No person has been harmed in the making of this smoke-free life.

I am stunned.


Monday, when I wondered why in the world I was still suffering so much withdrawal, I did internet research, confirming the nicotine detox takes roughly three days and learning the physical, emotional, and mental withdrawal can last up to two weeks.  The first week was defined as “Hell Week”, the second as “Heck Week”.  The definitions were clear.

I about died.

Two days ago, I was honestly wondering how I was going to make it through the next MINUTE without a smoke.  The mere thought of another week and a half of the misery I felt was enough to make me cry.


The day after I put out my last cigarette, I experienced a sensation of things crawling under my skin, creeping to break free and swarm me in a cloud of enticing smoke.  That was, to put it mildly, a freak-show and a half.

I expected headaches from the detox.  Didn’t get a single one.

I expected anger and constant roiling irritation at everyone and everything.  That didn’t happen either.

Instead, I got a horror movie tremor under my skin and the incessant need to cry.  I had expected neither of those.

Thankfully, the creepy crawly feeling only lasted that one day.

The crying thing, however, didn’t ease up until today, the last day of Hell Week, the first day of Heck Week.  Thank you sweet baby Jesus!!

This is the irony…I would rather walk around stopping myself from slaying people with nasty words and verbal slices than cry.

Given a choice, I would choose b*tch over cry baby.  Is that wrong?

My previous attempts to quit always defaulted into b*tch mode.  I made it a point to warn people I was quitting so they’d stay away and protect themselves from the mighty little terror that is “Hilary Without Cigarettes”.  I did the same this time and yet, the b*tch never appeared.

I admit, I’m a little disappointed…

When fools cut me off in traffic, vile epitaphs remained caged in the dark recesses of my mind.  Finger gestures were never even considered.  Instead, my eyes produced liquid at the mere thought that others can’t drive, accompanied by a sharply in drawn gasp meant to stem the tide of pathetic weeping.

Sitting at my desk at the day job was enough to bring more dampness to my cheeks.  The same with filling my water-glass or eating lunch.

Frequent crying does not instill confidence in one’s co-workers, in case you were wondering.

Odd looks and general avoidance by others were common this past week.  With moist eyes, I implored…

Have pity on me.

I quit smoking.

Thank you to everyone for your support.  I still have a long road to go, but I’m starting to see the light at the end of the smoke-free tunnel.

The withdrawal really is better today.  It seems to have eased off enough that I actually feel productive, but not quite creative.


8 thoughts on “Farewell to Hell Week

  1. I’m proud of ya Hilary! Great job! You have whatever kinds of meltdowns you need to get through this….without fear of anyone thinking any less of you. You are doing great! 🙂


  2. You are doing great. And even if you aren’t feeling creative, this is evidence that you are creative “The day after I put out my last cigarette, I experienced a sensation of things crawling under my skin, creeping to break free and swarm me in a cloud of enticing smoke.” Be kind to yourself, this is not easy.


  3. I’m so proud of you Hillary! Keep at it! I love reading your blog and amazed and jealous of your writing talent.


  4. The health hazards of smoking are bad enough, but the creepy-crawlies when you try to quit? That’s frightening. I’m so glad you’re sticking with it because your body will be so much better off.

    I’d rather be cranky than crying, too. At least cranky can be scary. Intimidating. People don’t mess with you. (I’ve cried at the most inopportune times – including a job interview – so I know it’s gotta be miserable for you.) May your next post be “How Hilary Got Her B*tch Back.” 😉


  5. Thank you all for your support! I’d debated about posting any of my withdrawal experience…it seemed so personal and maybe a little whiny…but the support I’ve received from all of you has been more helpful than I could have imagined!


  6. Keep up the good work, sis… As you continue through the withdrawal, keep your eyes on the prize and remember that Big G and Lil’ G will enjoy kisses with Auntie much more after you complete the journey.


  7. Hi! I’m new here, but I had to add my voice in support of your efforts, both in quitting smoking and in writing about in such an honest, humorous, and ultimately beautiful way. I’m going to send a link of this post to my dear daughter, because your vivid and personal writing of your experience can say more that might be helpful and supportive to her, than anything her “mom” could ever say. I’m rooting for you, too!


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