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Week Two Hurdle Cleared

I posted a celebration and mentioned some things I'd lost because I quit smoking, but I also want to mention what I've gained … the QuitTrain Community. Every has been so very supportive and I know that I can come hang out any time I need support or want to be supportive. THANK YOU ALL!   I'm celebrating my losses... My last thought before heading home is no longer "do I need to stop for smokes?" I no longer park in the back lot where the smoking area is; I park in the front lot. I don't have to stand in the cold or rain to enjoy a smoke. OR THIS FREAKY WARM WIND!!!! Sorry I still have issues. I don't worry about not spending money so I always have enough for cigarettes. I don't worry about how I smell. The hand sanitizer in my car is for sanitizing--not smellatizing. I don't need to ask where the smoking area is. Travel time no longer includes a smoke on arrival.  

DragonsFancy

DragonsFancy

 

My Rewards

I have decided that I'm going to reward myself for every milestone no matter how small a step. The treats will range from something basic (such as a magazine) to something amazing at the first year mark.    I also wanted something that I could keep forever to remind me of my quit and I have decided on a charm bracelet. Every month I will buy a charm that represents something about my quit, and I will post a photo along with the reason I chose it.   I bought the bracelet itself as my quit day present and can't wait to buy the first charm. 

Lilly

Lilly

 

If You Are Thinking Of Quitting

I have been dabbling with quitting since the nineties. My quits varied in length ie 10 minutes, 10 hours and now and again weeks. I threw the towel in on every quit I had because I just wasn't willing to endure a bit of discomfort. It was much easier to go and buy a packet of cigarettes than it was to feel "out of sorts."   I would provoke arguments at home so I could blame the other person for driving me back to smoking. I would get a flat tyre and be dancing at the roadside because nobody would expect me to keep my quit under such trying circumstances. I wanted to be a non smoker but at the same time I just couldn't let go.   If you find yourself in the same position then join the forum and ask for help. Reaching out to people who have already quit could be the missing piece of the jigsaw for you like it was for me. I did it a couple of days ago and am so grateful to everyone who took the time to encourage and share their hints, tips and recipes for success.    I found out today that when I smoked a cigarette I kind of did it on auto pilot.  I would think of a cigarette, light it, smoke it and put it out. Today I really concentrated on each cigarette and realised they don't taste great at all and I didn't enjoy any of them. The realisation that I actually was just an addict getting their fix was a bit of a revelation. I always disputed that theory and was adamant I loved smoking but now I know I was blinded by my addiction.    Read this site as much as you can because it really is a treasure chest of information. Set a quit date and stock up on plenty of quit food. You will get so caught up in the excitement of quitting here you will be desperate to start your own quit. As they say here you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.       

Lilly

Lilly

 

Learning

Everyone tells me how important it is to increase my quitting education. Today I learned that I have reduced my chance of a heart attack. I wouldn't have believed that last night when it felt like I was having one. It's also good to know my energy levels will start to increase--all I did yesterday (all day) was yawn. I am, however, enjoying the occasional dizziness, but I was recently put on blood pressure meds and should probably get it checked.  

DragonsFancy

DragonsFancy

 

Hanging In

I'm still hanging on. My biggest challenge so far was morning break--I was so tempted. I spent the time reading the SOS posts. I laughed when I recognized several I had been thinking at that very moment.  Now lunch time is almost over and I have QuitTrain and solitaire to thank.

DragonsFancy

DragonsFancy

 

Friends

I have several circles of friends.  I divide them up.  Maintain relations with each of them . We are all in varying stages of life, big kids, little kids, no kids, stress, remorse, and contentment.  I never really thought about how I categorize(d) my friends.  Perhaps it was mentioned in passing many years ago in between banter with the bartender.  I see it -so much more clearly now that I observe my young child's social interactions.  I observe through a microscope and telescope.  Both are equally helpful.    It is amazing how I can still be an outcast in social situations.  The varying social situations I often find myself in.  Nearly two years ago, I was the only smoker.  So I thought.  Secret smokers are everywhere!  I always felt on edge, wanting to leave the discussion or party just to go home and smoke in the privacy of my own patio.   Being a secret smoker sucked.  I felt isolated.    I have a new set of friends.  I've kept the old.  It is safe now for me to socialize with my old friends that still smoke.  Safe because I am not a smoker.  I stay inside and they spend more time outside.  Again,  I feel isolated.     They are safe because I am not a cheater.  I'm inside alone with their card hands face down on the table.     I'm honest.     I'm a non-smoking, non-cheating crappy card player.     

Lust4Life

Lust4Life

 

Riffing on H. A. L. T

I have read about the acronym, H A L T, in recovery paraphernalia and have used it to a great degree of success in changing my patterns from a nicotine addict to a Free person.     Having a Crave ? H. A. L. T.   Are you Hungry - Thirsty - need a deep breath of Oxygen ? Angry - Happy - Emotional ? Lonesome - Bored ? Tired ?     In many, many instances, when I would reach for a smoke, my poor body was actually trying to alert me that it needed attention in some way. My addiction silenced these natural signals.     I still catch myself these days...no, it is no longer a crave, it is my body hollering for water or food or something it really needs ! Now, groovin' in my new freedom, when these signals come up, my first thought may still be, 'Oh cigarette, dammit' However, it is followed immediately by, 'No, not smokes...you're Hungry, baby !' or, you're thirsty or, you need to go sit outside and take a big gulp of oxygen and figure out what your body or spirit requires.     The piracy that nicotine practiced is still mind-boggling to me. Allowing nicotine to take over my basic human needs of sustenance and comfort was a grave error on my part. I am grateful my body is so forgiving . I am grateful to be free. Free and learning how to read my body's signals and remembering how to take good care of it.     So, next time you have what you assume to be a Nic fit, have a think...what is your body really telling you ? It won't be hard to figure out.   For me it has been obvious and I have to wonder, how could I have neglected my body for so long ? It is a miracle it survived.

Sazerac

Sazerac

 

three days

I've hit the three day mark. Yay! I suppose I'm doing pretty good, I haven't been obsessing over cigarettes like I was last time. I guess I'm just too busy and stressed out to be obsessing over it. Lots of cravings, but not obsessing for hours at a time. Quite irritable yesterday. I feel less irritable this morning. I am quitting caffeine as well. Doctor's orders. So I will be drinking my last cup tomorrow morning. I had to cut down over several days. I have had insomnia the past three nights. it gets better each night. I got a little pissed yesterday morning as I woke up, when I realized I couldn't have a cigarette,and I said "goddammit!". I just have to remind myself I CAN if I want, I just choose not to. I CHOOSE NOT TO!!!!
 

two days

I'm now past the second day mark for this quit. I still have a good feeling about this time, like this is finally the time that I'll do it. I am pretty stressed out about other things that I'm dealing with. But I seem to be managing fairly well with out a cigarette.
 

The good and the bad

Almost two days into this quit. I have a good feeling about this one.    The good: heart palpitations have just about stopped, time seems to be going at a normal pace, not obsessing about smoking/cigarettes   The bad: severe insomnia, I can only sleep for a few minutes to about a half an hour. very irritable, which is highly unusual, even for a quit attempt   Thoughts: this seems like a horrible time to quit, with everything that is going on right now, with family and with health issues. On the other hand, there is never going to be an "ideal" time to quit. I'm always going to have something going on.    With my oldest son here it helps out a lot. 
 

Amazing to me

This morning I just realized that yesterday I didn’t have one smoking thought. I had periods of boredom but I didn’t think about smoking I just did something else. I accomplished work stuff and didn’t think about having a smoke as a reward or to transition to the next task. I had stress at work and I didn’t think about having a smoke so I could deal with it better. Amazing! I’m really retraining my brain to act and think without dependence on nicotine after two months. The power of being human!   Last week i had had lots of smoking thoughts. But they passed without me smoking. This week I’m not having any and I almost took it for granted. I’m celebrating the truth that it does get easier.      
 

Haven't given up

I just have to keep trying. I can't sleep, it looks like an all-nighter. I am going to make it worse by having coffee in a half hour or so. I will sleep for a couple hours after my boyfriend gets up. It's easier to sleep when he's awake anyway. Luckily it's the weekend so he's home all day. He didn't buy a pack tonight, so I think he's ready to quit. I hope so. I will quit again by wednesday, for certain reasons I won't go into here right now.     
 

it will be easier tomorrow

I am not normally a drama queen, but it's just really HARD for some reason to quit and I feel like I'm being a big baby about it. The other times I tried to quit, it didn't seem to last for hours. Maybe I just gave in soon after the obsessive thoughts started? Or possibly I'm just having a manic episode. This is a possibility due to being schizoaffective. Either way, I need to deal with it. I am running out of energy from pacing around too much. I even went to sit in the smoking chair in the garage, to see how I would feel. It didn't do anything, except the air STANK like old cigarette butts.   I do feel somewhat better than I did a half hour ago. Still thinking about it, but it is not overwhelming. I've been smoking since I was twelve. Most of my life. I really want to quit. I will quit this time. 
 

Binge

Unchartered territory.  No oars, motor, navi, or map.  Howdy!!!   Still not sure whether or not this content will be read.  How did you quit smoking?  Was it planned or on a whim?  Mine was both.  I planned, quit, then failed,.  Tried again and again.  Until I finally quit.  Just quit.  Decided that was that, read Carr's book again (yep, first time failed), found a supportive forum.  I quit. Quit. Done. Next. Moving on.  I did not binge prior to my final quit.  I have binged before.  The mentality being -"I'm going to smoke and drink until I'm so sick I'll never want to do this again!"   So, after 18+ months, I am thankfully labeled a non-smoker. ex-smoker,  PERSON THAT DOES NOT SMOKE!   I don't smoke.   I eat.  And ate.  A lot.    I ate too much over the course of 18 months.    This evening I binged.   On food.  And drink.     I re-read the books.     A different quit starts tomorrow.   I binged today knowing I would not tomorrow.   This weight must come off & it will.   I quit smoking.  I can do anything.   And I will.  

Lust4Life

Lust4Life

 

Stop Smoking Recovery Timetable - The Body's Ability To Mend Is Beauty To Behold!

This is so motivating and in fact, it's what I kept handy on my phone when I first quit.  I would look at it several times per day as motivation to keep it moving and not look back.   Within ... 20 minutes Your blood pressure, pulse rate and the temperature of your hands and feet have returned to normal. 8 hours Remaining nicotine in your bloodstream has fallen to 6.25% of normal peak daily levels, a 93.75% reduction. 12 hours Your blood oxygen level has increased to normal. Carbon monoxide levels have dropped to normal. 24 hours Anxieties have peaked in intensity and within two weeks should return to near pre-cessation levels. 48 hours Damaged nerve endings have started to regrow and your sense of smell and taste are beginning to return to normal. Cessation anger and irritability will have peaked. 72 hours Your entire body will test 100% nicotine-free. Over 90% of all nicotine metabolites (the chemicals nicotine breaks down into) have passed from your body via your urine.  Symptoms of chemical withdrawal have peaked in intensity, including restlessness. Unless use cues have been avoided, the number of cue induced crave episodes experienced during any quitting day have peaked for the "average" ex-user. Lung bronchial tubes leading to air sacs (alveoli) are beginning to relax in recovering smokers. Breathing is becoming easier and your lung's functional abilities are improving. 5 - 8 days The "average" ex-smoker is down to experiencing just three cue induced crave episodes per day. Although we may not be "average" and although minutes may feel like hours when normal cessation time distortion combines with the body's panic response, it is unlikely that any single episode will last longer than 3 minutes. Keep a clock handy and time the episode to maintain an honest perspective on time. 10 days The "average" ex-user is down to encountering less than two crave episodes per day. 10 days to 2 weeks Recovery has likely progressed to the point where your addiction is no longer doing the talking. Blood circulation in your gums and teeth are now similar to that of a non-user. 2 to 4 weeks Cessation related anger, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, impatience, insomnia, restlessness and depression have ended. If still experiencing any of these symptoms get seen and evaluated by your physician. 2 weeks to 3 months Your heart attack risk has started to drop. Your lung function has noticeably improved. If your health permits, sample your circulation and lung improvement by walking briskly, climbing stairs or running further or faster than normal. 21 days The number of acetylcholine receptors, which were up-regulated in response to nicotine's presence in the frontal, parietal, temporal, occipital, basal ganglia, thalamus, brain stem and cerebellum regions of your brain have now substantially down-regulated. Receptor binding has returned to levels seen in the brains of non-smokers (2007 study). 3 weeks to 3 months Your circulation has substantially improved. Walking has become easier. Your chronic cough, if any, has likely disappeared. If not, get seen by a doctor, and sooner if at all concerned, as a chronic cough can be a sign of lung cancer. 4 weeks Plasma suPAR is a stable inflammatory biomarker that helps predict development of diseases ranging from diabetes to cancer in smokers. A 2016 study found that within 4 weeks of quitting smoking, with or without NRT, that suPAR levels in 48 former smokers had fallen from a baseline smoking median of 3.2 ng/ml to levels "no longer significantly different from the never smokers' values" (1.9 ng/ml) 8 weeks Insulin resistance in smokers has normalized despite average weight gain of 2.7 kg (2010 SGR, page 384). 1 to 9 months Any smoking related sinus congestion, fatigue or shortness of breath has decreased. Cilia have regrown in your trachea (windpipe) thereby increasing the ability to sweep dirt and mucus out of your lungs. Your body's overall energy has increased. 1 year Your excess risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke has dropped to less than half that of a smoker. 5 years Your risk of a subarachnoid hemorrhage has declined to 59% of your risk while still smoking (2012 study). If a female ex-smoker, your risk of developing diabetes is now that of a non-smoker (2001 study). 5 to 15 years Your risk of stroke has declined to that of a non-smoker. 10 years Your risk of being diagnosed with lung cancer is between 30% to 50% of that for a continuing smoker (2005 study). Risk of death from lung cancer has declined by almost half if you were an average smoker (one pack per day).  Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus and pancreas have declined. Risk of developing diabetes for both men and women is now similar to that of a never-smoker (2001 study). 13 years The average smoker lucky enough to live to age 75 has 5.8 fewer teeth than a non-smoker (1998 study). But by year 13 after quitting, your risk of smoking induced tooth loss has declined to that of a never-smoker (2006 study). 15 years Your risk of coronary heart disease is now that of a person who has never smoked. Your risk of pancreatic cancer has declined to that of a never-smoker (2011 study - but note a 2nd pancreatic study making an identical finding at 20 years). 20 years If a female, your excess risk of death from all smoking related causes, including lung disease and cancer, has now reduced to that of a never-smoker (2008 study). Risk of pancreatic cancer has also declined to that of a never-smoker (2011 study). http://whyquit.com/whyquit/A_Benefits_Time_Table.html
 

3 1/2 weeks - good day

For me, it seems things have settled down this week and are back to a good balance. Been a wild and crazy couple of weeks. It is a good thing I can laugh at myself.    This week, I get a thought of going and having a cigarette about 4 or 5 times a day. It usually happens in one of two situations.   One scenario I am intensely engrossed in something I am doing and then accomplish or figure out how to accomplish it. I feel a great sense of accomplishment and am "proud" of myself. And the into my brain pops the though " time for a smoke...you deserve it". So I just tell myself...NOPE!  You got things backwards gurl. What you really deserve is NOT to have one. Got  And I laugh at myself and how absurd that thought was.   Another scenario is if I am working in something and hit a roadblock - just can't Figure it out. Thought comes in...ahhh but going and having a cigarette ALWAYS helped you figure things out before. So I just tell myself - NOPE, smoking  not an option anymore. Come on...you know that is stupid. Go for a nice walk, clear your thoughts and see things from a different perspective and you will figure it out. It wasn't the cigarette that helped, it was getting away from it all that helped you figure things out. So I go for a nice walk figure it out.    But it is not a crave or urge. It is just a thought that pops in quickly, but then vanishes quickly.    I understand why week 1 is called hell week, week 2 is called heck week and week 3 is called tricky week.    I don't miss smoking. I dont want to smoke. I like not smoking.    When i see my smoking buds smoking, i dont think anything of it. When i smell a cigarette, the only thing i worry/wonder about is if the second hand puff will delay my nicotine receptors from going back to normal. I wonder... But i do hope that they too will soon begin to see...

lml

lml

 

Difficult or easy to quit smoking?

Is it difficult to quit smoking or is it easy peas? I have read opinions on both sides. Some say it is the most difficult addiction to overcome. Some say it is easy peasy.   For me, so far the answer is YES!   I had heard for years that quitting smoking is more difficult than heroin or cocaine (but I wasn’t a nicotine addict and nicotine wasn’t addictive…hmmm)  I remember hearing this years ago. So of course, my mind was programmed to believe it was going to be extremely difficult. I remember quitting Cold Turkey when I was pregnant many years ago, and I slept for 5 days because I was non-functional. Now I wonder how much of that was quitting smoking or how much as stopping my 4 cups of coffee a day. Before I quit smoking, I was fearful of the withdrawal and doubted that I was going to be able to quit.   Fear and doubt - how did they become part of me?    I think the mind is the most important/difficult battle – at least it was for me. I had programmed my mind (or let it be programmed -but either way I am fully responsible) that smoking cigarettes was glamorous, cool, relaxing, a big reward for a task/job accomplished; the wonderful and beautiful attributes I had given to my smoking addiction. And before I could really fully want to get rid of this addiction and banish smoking from my life, I had to reprogram my mind.  Before I could reprogram my mind, I had to see and face the lies of wonder and beauty I had associated with smoking. Then I could commence with  replacing those lies with the truth of what smoking was doing to me. I had to see all the negative things that I did because of my addiction and how much control smoking had over me. This was difficult at first; but once it started to unravel and with help of those who had gone this path before me, it went quickly. At that point, I was at peace with myself. A calmness came over. I want no more cigarettes or nicotine in my life. In my mind, there is not one good thing left associated with smoking; yet there are many wonderful things associated with not smoking in my mind. It wasn’t painful, but it wasn’t easy. Many things in life that are good for you are not easy and requires effort.  But with this reprogramming of my mind regarding cigarettes done, it is much easier to dismiss the thought of having one, when it arises.  When the “want” to smoke unconsciously arises and I bring it into my consciousness it is puzzling to me because Why in the world would I want to smoke a cigarette, now that I know how awful it is and all the wonderful things I would give up if I had just a puff? Our minds are something else.     For me, I think there were craves the first several days being off nicotine but they weren’t physically painful. Bothersome yes, but not what I feared. I was stronger than the craves. Why had I doubted myself? I am missing the Dopamine effect, but am hoping that will return to normal (whatever that may be) in a month or so. I am researching a supplement L-tyrosine and may try taking it.   I can see that a deep daily NOPE moment will be critical for the rest of my life, to my remaining free. While I have reprogrammed my conscious thoughts, smoking became a subconscious activity that I did without thinking. So I do think if I do not daily instill NOPE into my subconsciousness, I will relapse. I do not know (yet) how to get smoking out of my subconciousness - time may help some, but I don't know a way of erasing / deleting it as if it never existed (yet).    I would say that for me, quitting smoking is not as difficult as I feared, but it requires more effort and more change. And change is not always easy. 😊   So YES! 

lml

lml

 

I am a non-smoker

I went to the art museum Saturday. For several hours, I immersed myself in the various types of art on display and let it take me away 😊 .   After I had been there an hour, the thought of going out to have a cigarette interrupted my wonderful experience. And I chuckled to myself…What? Go have a cigarette? I don’t smoke! And poof…the thought disappeared; without a fuss.   How powerful it is: I don’t smoke; I don’t want to smoke!   It is that simple!   Later, I began thinking of all the different museums, in various countries, that I was not able to fully enjoy because all the way through, a part of me was thinking about how I could get out quickly enough to have a cigarette soon. Yet this time, I fully enjoyed the beauty of each piece of art – not just saw it but experienced it, because there was time and nicotine was not controlling me. This is wonderful! I really enjoying this.  

lml

lml

 

I am an addict

So what have I learned so far:   NICOTINE is addictive It changed my brain  It changed my DNA I needed a fix every hour It hurt my lungs, my heart, and other body parts Cost me a fortune Took a lot of my time  Controlled much of my life   I spoke to my daughter and she said of course I am addicted to nicotine. She gave me examples and now, what she had been telling me for years now made sense. I was not in control of when I had a cig, it was in control of me.    Why was I resisting acknowledging that I was an addict? I always "prided" myself with the "fact" that I was in control. Yet, with an addiction, one is not in control. Yet it is obvious to me now, that part of me is out of control. I have given that power and that control to nicotine.  I AM AN ADDICT.   While that was difficult to admit to myself, it was paramount to be able to begin my healing, to come to a place where I really wanted to quit...forever, where I realized the lies I told myself to rationalize my addiction. For now that I know and acknowledge  I am an addict and out of control with this addiction, the choice is for me to leave that part of me out of control or do something about it.   I choose to do something about it. I choose to heal my addicted part and become whole.  I choose to take back the power I gave to my addiction. No more fear. Each time I have the urge to Smoke, I will face and challenge the urge and absorb its power. And before long, I will have accumulated the power over my addiction and the addiction will lose its power over me. I look forward to each urge. I look forward to becoming whole again at to becoming free.    NOPE

lml

lml

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QuitTrain®, a quit smoking support community, was created by former smokers who have a deep desire to help people quit smoking and to help keep those quits intact.  This place should be a safe haven to escape the daily grind and focus on protecting our quits.  We don't believe that there is a "one size fits all" approach when it comes to quitting smoking.  Each of us has our own unique set of circumstances which contributes to how we go about quitting and more importantly, how we keep our quits.

 

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