A Rush of Self-Loathing

Dave Winer on his thousandth day of not smoking: “I do occasionally miss it, but not in a literal sense. I can't stand the smell of cigarette smoke and if I took a drag on a cigarette I'd choke, for sure. What I miss is the high, and the pain. It's when I feel a rush of self-loathing that I wish I could light up. I think we all have moments when we don't like ourselves very much. A smoke is the perfect companion for that feeling.”

In general what Dave writes about smoking seems to apply to any unhealthy addiction we have (which are all addictions except love). He seems to understand that self-loathing itself can be addictive, and that finally getting that "hit" satisfies the "urge" some of us have to self-loath. The easy part of stopping is deciding to stop, but as with anything, the hardest part is getting into the habit of not doing it. Dave (and a friend of mine) are doing both, that is, quitting smoking, which is way more difficult and inspirational than temporarily ceasing drinking colas.


Thanks for highlighting Dave's intriguing remarks with your own insight. Who would think that one would miss pain?! Yet I believe we all feel it at times.

When I finally quit smoking for good, that last time was the easiest thing ever... It was almost as easy as just stopping. Sure, I had a couple points in the first year where I missed it; no easy excuse to take a break from work, nothing to do while waiting for the buss, etc... But it was almost too easy when I really wanted to quit. The other dozen times I "quit" I didn't mean it, and it was agony... three or four hours to failure, and I'd go buy a pack of cigarettes. Quitting the caffeine is relatively easy, true, but it's more pervasive... you can use caffeine anywhere, and it's not relegated to outside or dirty rooms in office buildings (necessarily). For social "ease of quitting" I'd say that smoking is easier to quit as it's not typically an "easy" vice to indulge in in most peoples' lives. It's easy to buy a cola without thinking, it's not as easy to light up a cigarette at your office desk without thinking...