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April 2, 2018

Today is the day that I "Quit The Beast".  My DD and I are on a trip to for her final college visitation. So it is a good fit. Travel time is 6.5 hours and I do not smoke around my family so it is a nice cushion to make this day as my mind will not be totally focused on smoking. I have become very accustomed to not smoking around my family and know that it would make the first two days easier, as I would not be smoking anyway.    I have bought along some munchies for the evening time, carrots, pistachios, cheezits, and some black lickerish. As well as bottled water, sparkling water. I also have a NTG (gum) as well as regular gum. I know this evening will be tough as I would slip away to the parking lot and smoke a couple once we got to our hotel room. But I have made a commitment and will stick with it. I am determined to "Start A New".      I will be blogging a lot as blogging helps me work through emotions, gives me direction and reenforces my decisions.  ****** At 9:21 today I smoked my last Cigarette. It had been a very busy and hectic morning. I have been up since 3:00am getting ready for a trip with my DD(18), for a college visit. I had planned on smoking my last one before we headed out for our trip at 10:00 I was very stressed out and pushed for time. I planned on romancing my last one, just before we left, but the stress was so bad and I could feel the agitation getting worse as I was trying to finish up packing and the more I thought about getting that last one in the more anxious I got, so I just took the last of the pack ran water over them so that they would not be smokeable, and throw them away. I gave up the beast. 

marie-quit

marie-quit

 

Future Focused!

Depression, Anxiety and Panic Attacks Oh! My!   Well I blow my quit back in 2015, not that is was a very long quit but none the less it was a quit and I never came back. Flash forward almost 3 years and life is out of control.  Teenage son (17) who is making all the wrong decisons Teenage daughter (18) who graduates this year and leaves for college 7 hours away in the fall Menopause is knocking at my back door along with all the hormonal shifts I teach high school, it is high stress, demanding and I never do enough.....and at this point I can not even imagine that I have the qualifications to do anything else.  Dealing with all the responsibilities of being a wife, mother and homemaker So about 2 years ago I started having panic attacks, and now at this point I am on the edge of severe anxiety. I have been to the doctors 3 times in the last 6 months to adjust meds, and they really are not helping.   The one thing I have not done is made important lifestyle changes. So here I am, probably at the worst time mental and emotional of my life to quit smoking. But change has to happen, I am 49 and I want more out of life then what I am getting. Smoking has taken so much away from me that I can not get back, but I can make a change that will give me a better future.    So on Monday my daughter and I will be heading out of town for a final college campus tour. So Monday will be my quit date. April 2, 2018.

marie-quit

marie-quit

 

The Significance of Rewards

This is an old post of mine that still resonates with me and I thought to stash in in my blog so it is easy for me to locate.   Nicotine stimulates the reward path in our brain
and by replenishing ourselves with nicotine, we were rewarded with Dopamine.
Many times a day we went from the panic of, 'I've gotta have a smoke' to 'Ahhh', the brief relief of satisfying addiction.   We were jerking our own chain every twenty minutes or so....for years.   When quitting nicotine, that dance of our reward system shuts down. 
It's a shock and we miss the consistent rewarding rush of dopamine.
Our brain doesn't understand where all the feel good stuff went so, it is essential to amplify rewards, to jump start our natural pathways for the release of Dopamine.   The physical act of rewarding ourselves is crucial for the brain to access Dopamine.
It took me a moment to wrap my head around this,
The Physical Act of Rewarding Ourselves, Is Crucial For The Brain To Access Dopamine.   Our friend, bakon, is a big advocate of rewards, quite rightly, too.
Celebrate your first moments, days...your first weeks and months. The first year, the next...   This can take the form of exotic holidays,  paid with the ducats you were giving to Big Tobacco,
to simple gifts to yourself, a new book, a magazine, a film...
ooh ! plenty of excellent chocolate passed these lips
(dark chocolate, apple, almond, banana, strawberry, salmon, beet, watermelon and pumpkin seeds also stimulate Dopamine).   Choose activities that make you feel pampered like the perfect bath, an afternoon nap in freshly laundered sheets, a candle lit dinner.   Getting through difficulties and experiencing your triumphs are all opportunities to reward yourself.
Keep in mind, you are not spoiling yourself, you are re-training your brain to deliver dopamine as an honest reward.
Like quenching your thirst with a long tall cool glass of water.   Celebrate as the hours go by, while the body adjusts to the new normal.
A normal of being rewarded with dopamine but, naturally, of course,
the way it was before we allowed nicotine to control our reward system.   I remember the first day that I forgot to think about smoking or not smoking,
wow ! this is what being nicotine free feels like !
I was so happy and celebrated by purchasing a small tree,
a Sweet Viburnum full of blossoms, a living reminder of my freedom.   My continuing reward is the luscious freedom I appreciate every single day.
I am in better health and free-er in spirit...
Tell me what your rewards have been, my nicotine free friends, what are your rewards now ?   S
p.s.  Along with Dopamine, we can hack into our other happy chemicals to improve the quality of our lives. All are accessible through Meditation;  taking time for slow, measured breathing.  letting thoughts slip away.
Exercise and laughter induce the release of Endorphins, 
Oxytocin flows with orgasm, giving/receiving gifts. Serotonin gets you high when sitting in the sun, hanging with friends and by reflecting on your accomplishments.  

Sazerac

Sazerac

 

Day 3

As I begin the third day of not smoking I am faced with the hardest decision I will make during this journey.  My wife is still smoking.  So do I say it's okay if she wants to smoke in the house since it is so bitterly cold outside and it is her house too.  Or do I just say nothing.  I know she had to make the commitment to quit herself but I also know it would be so easy for me to buy a pack to "support her" which is just an excuse to go back.  I know I am not going to give up what I have accomplished so far.  I do not want to go through withdrawals again.  My headache is finally going away.  I did not get irritated yesterday.  I am feeling even stronger today.  So even though I love my wife with all my heart, I am not going to say anything.  If she asks I will even tell her I prefer she didn't because it is still a struggle for me.  I got this!!!!   I don't know if it is support I get here or what but I am almost excited this time and confident I can make this quit stick!

Edie

Edie

 

Day 2

Day 2 of my quit.  Last night was a bit rough.  I could feel myself getting irritated with stupid stuff.  Today's focus is going to be not letting things irritate me as much.  A week ago I was not easily irritated so I want to go back to that person.  I feel good about myself.  I know this is what I want to do.  I have to remind myself that I am not suffering any kind of loss by not smoking.  And I love what I read on someone's blog today "stop the craving early by telling yourself it is not an option and move on to something else."  That is what will carry me through this first week.

Edie

Edie

 

I Didn't Click "Send"

"Hey, buy me a pack of smokes on your way home..." "Stop by the smoke shop and bring me a pack?" "Rough day, can you grab me some smokes?" I typed those out in my head, to my husband, over and over this afternoon, but I never sent them. I haven't had a cigarette since October 16th.  No nicotine since last Thursday and here we are on Tuesday and I'm still hyper obsessed with cravings and withdrawals.  Seems they have been lasting all morning for several hours the last few days -- just relentless. Whoever made the video claiming that after the 3rd day without nicotine your little cravings will "happen 3 times a day lasting 5 minutes each" was entirely and utterly hallucinating -- or straight up lying. Still coughing a little, nothing productive but it won't go away.   I've put on probably 10 pounds in the last month now and all for the sake of feeling every bit as crappy today as I did the first few.  On a positive note: donated ALL the rest of the Halloween candy to deployed troops so several purposes were served... soldiers get a little treat, daughter learns about giving thanks & showing appreciation, none of that stuff can make my ass any bigger now. 3 cheers for tomorrow not sucking as badly as today did.

PinkyPromise

PinkyPromise

 

*Cough Cough*

Just a quick recording for personal reference.   So, it's coming up now on 4 weeks since I smoked a cigarette.  I never developed a daily "smoker's cough" or found myself clearing my throat regularly, but I assumed that after quitting I'd probably end up coughing a lot just as part of the healing process.  Well, nothing happened.  Nothing until a couple of days ago anyway. I started in late September/early October replacing smoking with vaping a few times a day and from then through mid-October I decreased cigarettes until my last one on Oct 16th.   After that I continued vaping with the 6mg fluid through October.  Then about 2 weeks of 3mg, then a few days ago, down to 0mg.  During this time I've also minimized the frequency of vaping, not doing it at times I'd "normally smoke", leaving it at home when I leave for errands. SO -- during this entire time I hadn't been coughing, but I have been now for the last few days.  I don't feel sick at all and do not have any symptoms aside from the coughing.  It's mostly a dry cough, but I feel some chest congestion -- it kind of feels like I NEED to have more productive coughs, but so far, nothing.  I know that coughing after quitting smoking is common, I'd just expected if it was going to happen it would have been sooner.  For me it's correlated with the absence of nicotine... I feel like that has to be coincidental though. Far from scientific -- but the handful of people I know who used vaping as their "quit bridge" each said that after 5-7 days is when they could feel significant physical differences; reduced or eliminated coughing, more energy, shortness of breath was reduced, overall they said they "felt" better. Whatever.  I'm gonna go swallow a spoonful of honey now. 

PinkyPromise

PinkyPromise

 

Friggin' "Turkey Time"

I don't even know how that happened.  I was going to write a quick blog entry and call it Turkey Time -- but somehow managed to name my entire Blog Turkey Time.  So, whatever, there it is. Before I start, I better run and get a fresh coffee.  Back.  So... in conjunction with my quit, I've focused on quite a bit of reading & research.  So much so that I've fallen behind on a lot of my normal, daily responsibilities.  It's almost an obsession.   I've found that with just about every single sub-topic regarding smoking cessation, you can locate supporting articles or studies, blogs or opinions, etc -- to support your personal belief.  I've concluded that there is, indeed, one "right way":  Not smoking.   I read a post last night regarding how people were successful in their quit prior to having access to message forums.  Even with the easy access we have today, support groups or online forums may not be the best idea for all people.  I think I fall into this category, at least to a degree.  I was browsing this article this morning and when it got to the part about determining the best quit method for yourself, this was one of the questions: Is there one best way to quit smoking?  (This is the article link, for reference) I've got extremely limited experience and exposure to quit smoking online communities.  I mean, super limited.  It did not go down as I had anticipated it would; what I'd envisioned and what actually happened = 2 different things.   It was noted in the article I posted here that people tend to believe that what worked for them is the best method.  It makes sense, but I think we have to be very careful holding on too deeply to that belief because in the end, the goal is the same = not smoking.  From what I have seen, most studies will show "cold turkey" as the method with the highest success rate, but does that mean it's the only way or even the "best way"?  Or simply the best way for those who found success with it?  The best way for those who were successful with something else would argue their support for whatever it was they found success with. Sooo... back to whether or not online support communities would be a helpful addition to your personal quit method?  For a lot of people it is a resounding *absolutely*, but for other people, it seems to be somewhat less helpful.  If a person can immerse themselves in the vibe of the community, I think it's a positive & crucial ingredient that aids in the success of the quit. On the other side of the coin, If you find yourself in the position where you're spending more time defending your quit than you are experiencing support in it, the results are not as positive and may end up being more counter-productive inside of your quit effort than anything else. So, that's where I'm standing right now.  At the early stages of my quit, surrounded by all sorts of different turkeys, some cold, some warm, some weaned off smokes, some vaped as their nicotine step-down, some used patches, some used gum, some used chantix, some tried zyban, some got up every morning and said "Nope", some taped a motivational quote to their bathroom mirror, some wore a locket with a picture of a loved one they lost to smoking, some put their saved money into a jar, some went to the gym, took a walk, some ate some candy or chocolate, some chewed a toothpick or straw, some spent a lot of time researching, some did not, some wanted to discuss their feelings, some did not, some read a great book, some did not -- everyone did what they believed was most beneficial to their quit. As for myself, I feel good.  I'm proud of myself that I haven't smoked a cigarette since October 16th.  I'm comfortable & confident with my choice to use a vapor to step-down my nicotine levels.  It's ok if someone else doesn't recognize it as an effective quitting tool, it's not my job or my place to try and convince them otherwise, rather it is my job to do what is working the best for me.  If I'm going to be a member of an online support community, then to me that means I agree to offer support when and where I can.  It's not my responsibility to pick the best quit method for someone else.  I don't get to decide what should motivate them.   This is the part where I "dig my heels in and rebel"... I spent way, way too much time and energy trying to convince other people that I was ok.  I was offended at being called "special snowflake", or being told my children were simply not motivation enough, how I "was doomed to fail" because I'd honestly admitted that I'd enjoyed smoking.  Was called a junkie, told how I needed to have the one specific mindset because it's the "only way" -- which really just brings me back to the post I read last night.... how were people successful prior to support communities?  The answer is that they each did what worked the best for themselves, individually.  They clutched onto their personal determination to leave smoking behind and they did so by utilizing whatever they felt was the best personal motivation.   I enjoy being able to relate with others about the commonalities of what we're experiencing.  That's what draws me to the desire to participate in an online community.  It brings me some comfort to see other people's success stories, to hear all sorts of ideas about what they did when confronted with early craves or withdrawals.  I enjoy hearing what motivates other people.. doesn't mean the same things motivate me, but I still like hearing it.  What makes it all the best for me is being able to be exposed to the diversity -- that different things are successful for different people and all that truly matters is that we're quitting smoking here.  That's what we're doing, for whatever reason and however we choose to get there -- we're putting cigarettes down.   We don't "need" online support communities, obviously... people quit long before they existed, but it's definitely a nice option.  Being able to have that kind of connection.

PinkyPromise

PinkyPromise

 

November 9 2017

So 2nd quit while on the Quit Train is quite strange indeed.......only 3 days in and I feel like its been at least 2 weeks! Seems like forever........Ive had some beautiful people contact me privately and its so nice to know that you care..........had to laugh this morning as my significant other went out to have his half a smoke this morning and how cold he was when he did....I really did chuckle........  

LisaMK

LisaMK

 

November 8 2017

Hello Blog.......feeling kinda strange today........little blips of "IWAC" but not really......kinda weird, they're not really serious thoughts, more like just little balloons of thoughts that pop.......the thought comes and then when I think of how horrible it REALLY will be, its like "No thank you, Im good"......other than that feeling kinda energetic and spunky........getting ready to do some walking, then come home and take care of other things.......maybe make a homemade carrot cake with the carrots from out of my garden.......making a homemade pizza tonight for supper and get some work done of the computer for my biz.......

LisaMK

LisaMK

 

November 7 2017

Not sure what to write today.......a little scared to write anything.........quit time was actually yesterday at 8am........24 hrs has been achieved........I hope that others who read this understand, we all have our different journeys for this....we all have our different stories.....we all have different minds, souls and beliefs........I do hope to help others one day in their journey (when I understand the journey myself) and do hope I will not judge their actions along their journey........

LisaMK

LisaMK

 

Uggghhhh, I Slipped

So, had a weak moment.......I slipped Friday eve.........not feeling very good about this AT ALL........start over? AGAIN! Never give up! Keep trying........

LisaMK

LisaMK

 

First Entry into Blog Oct 30 2017

So here is the funny part.......in my past attempts to quit, I had often thought about starting a blog or more like an online journal if you will.....so this is pretty darn cool I must say :D Destiny maybe?? Day 3 of not smoking........actually 36 hours as of 10:07am this morning......feeling pretty good, actually spectacular.....breathing is getting better and overall just plain feel good including my attitude. This can actually be a dangerous time for me as in the past, I have said to myself......"you're doing good! Lets have 1 to celebrate" :o So, with that being said, I did have a IWAC thought this morning but dismissed by going walking and doing other things.......it has passed and I no longer want one.........(PS: I have smokers who live in the same household so its not hard to smoke at all--smoking is not allowed in the house tho) Bought a couple books today to read when I finish the one Im currently reading.........thanks to another suggestion on here I will be reading more to help detour my mind to better things.......also bought a crossword book. Its been my experience that if I dont occupy my mind, it can go a little berserk with the smoking thing (and just overthinking in general) so the more things I do that occupy it, the better........Last night I colored while I listened to the subliminal no smoking video and that was pretty cool if anyone else is interested in trying that method to help :)

LisaMK

LisaMK

 

Still going strong.. over 6 weeks

It's been awhile since my last post.. A Lot has happened..   I have been smoke and nicotine free for over a month!   I have been in a few social situations involving alcohol and people smoking (both triggers). I have made it through without issue. Big accomplishment for me.   I have been exercising regularly.. breathing is getting much easier.   My mind wonders ocassionally (couple of times per day) but a quick distraction or deep breath and any craving or thought about smoking goes away.   Still taking it one day at a time.. I realize that I am not completely out of the woods, but I is definitely getting better!

Jayhawk

Jayhawk

 

Anxious

I've tried quitting so many times. I'm so nervous about my approaching quit date. I'm 55 smoking since I was 17. I'm so tired of feeling crappy. I want to feel good. Any tips or advice I would so welcome ❤️

Wizmo

Wizmo

 

Day 1 - 24 of my quit

Hello I wanted to start this blog to capture my quit journey and staying nicotine free. For me this started 22-July (24 days ago)   I just had enough. I was tired of the coughing and having to plan my life around smoking breaks. In addition to being healthier, I wanted to a better role model for my kids. I didn't want to have to hide or lie about my addiction anymore.   For the most part I quit cold turkey.. I did use nicotine gum for the first couple of days. I stopped when I realized I was just prolonging my addiction.. I realize this method isn't for everyone and NRT is better and healthier that smoking.   I can honestly say that the first two weeks were hard.. I was cranky, and had cravings.. to get by, I did isolate myself as much as possible.. To pass the time (when not at work) I binge watched a couple of TV shows.. in addition, I spent slot of time on similar sites reading quit stories and postings.. I also exercised on the treadmill to distract myself and to combat any weight gain. I have actually lost 4 lbs since I quit!   At the start of week 3, I had my first (of 3) dreams where I was smoking.. luckily it was just a dream.. my mind just playing a trick on me.. This phase didn't last long.. during this week I did have some nights were sleeping was difficult. During this week I took a 3 day vacation with my family.. it was great not to have to sneak off and find a place to smoke.   I am now in week 4.. I feel "normal" for the most part and only minimal cravings or thoughts about smoking. At this point I am so glad I am nicotine free because I know my body chemistry is returning to normal.. I believe it is called nicotine downregulation.. basically withdrawal symptoms stop around 1-2 months and it takes 3 months for the brain to return to "normal". I am not an expert here but the addiction and withdrawals are some of the main reasons why it is hard to quit.. for me this is an important milestone..   Time to pause and think of a away to reward myself.. any thoughts? I am thinking about another piece of exercise equipment.. stationary bike .. not sure but running is hard on my feet and knees so I need to supplement the treadmill., I still have 25 lbs to loose to hit my weight goal and I hope to run a my first 5k this fall..   I am new to "blogging" any suggestions for future entries?   I am doing this to capture my thoughts and it helps my through the process.. I also want an account of my thoughts to possibly share with my wife and kids one day.   also I really hope I can be a help to people that are starting their smoke free journey..   One minute/ One day at a time.. I promise it gets easier!

Jayhawk

Jayhawk

 

crawling.

i feel like i am crawling right now, but soon i will be running!   so far what i am feeling is like i am going to rip my skin off still. i've also been feeling as if i am gritting my teeth throughout the day [even with gum in my mouth] or clinching my jaw together. i am wondering if that is something that is normal, which i'm sure it is.   today the husband and i went out for a bit and it was hard walking around shops with people outside of them smoking, not going to lie. i wanted to rip one out of their pack and run and light it with two sticks!   i wish there was more to update here, but honestly the last couple of days have been rough and my head has been up in the clouds somewhere. i am still trying to maintain and keep as busy as i possibly can, but i feel like i have run out of things to do. my house is completely organized from top to bottom, though. i do need to jump on the pantry and get it sorted so maybe i will do that this evening.   here is my update, blog. i still am feeling like absolute poo! but i know god doesn't give me more than i can handle. and i know that my body is an amazing and powerful thing, and will continue to push through as best i know how.

nervousnellie

nervousnellie

 

day one.

i am over the hump of my first day.....again.   i can honestly say that this is the third time i have tried to quit CT and i am hoping the saying rings true that third time's a charm! the first time i tried, i went about 22 hours and felt like i was going to rip my skin off and beat someone else with it. the second time i tried to quit was just this past week where i went 55 hours into my quit and gave up. no excuses, this was my doing and i know i need to do this the right way -- for my own safety, life and health.   i am one of the oddballs with this though i feel like. because i beat myself up, over and over again, because i kicked a nine year opiate addiction in two weeks and now any sort of medication scares the dickens out of me. i won't even look in the direction of medication because of what i went through. i did my opiate [percocet and vicodin] withdrawal at home, by myself, no medications - just me, my cigarettes, TV, water and gatorade - and lots and lots of showers. cigarettes helped me get through that two wee time period in my life. here i am almost eight years sober from that addiction and i find it so hard to quit the cigarettes.   some people say that quitting something is the easiest thing they have done in life. even after the dust has settled for almost the past decade, i can still say without a shadow of a doubt that quitting pain pills was the hardest thing i had done. scratch that. quitting them was easy - withdrawal was the hardest thing i had ever gone through in my life.   i like that this site gives you the option to keep a journal. i want to have something where, in a few months and years, i can look back and read what i was going through to keep me motivated.   so far, here is what i have been feeling:   depressed antsy sleep escapes me, so i am having broken up sleep heart races off and on cloudy/foggy head irritated a lot   i went out this morning and got two packs of gum. i had bought myself two small bags of werther's hard candies during my last attempt to quit so i have been using those every now and then as well. tonight is grocery shopping night for me, so i am hoping that this lousy feeling in my head clears up a little before that. i feel like i am going to fall over and faint - and i feel dizzy and lightheaded a lot as well.   i have to keep telling myself that i would rather take these symptoms than the ones i had with pain pill withdrawal. trust me when i say that poo'ing on yourself a couple of times a day because you couldn't get to the bathroom fast enough isn't a good look for anyone.   i have also been feeling intense sadness. when i went through my pain pill detox at home - i relied heavily on a forum that i am proud to say i am still an active member on after all of these years. the forum used to be flooded with people needing help with their detox, but i am seeing that dwindle down a lot. what used to be such a bust forum/message board is now a place where you're lucky if someone posts once a day. it doesn't make me sad for me.....it makes me sad that there aren't more people out there taking charge of their lives like so many have and want for these people. i dunno, just makes me sad - that's what i was getting at.   i had a phone call last night from someone i went to school with named brandon. he is doing his thing in the big apple and is an actor - i always knew he would go far - but he is on week five of his quit and he is loving life now. he saw where i had posted on my facebook page about quitting and reached out and it meant a lot to me. i don't know what it is, but i enjoy hearing about what people have suffered and gone through with their quits; i am just that type of person that loves being prepared for the worst, if it were to ever come to that.   having panic disorder hasn't helped my quit, honestly. i am so fearful of any and every thing that could happen to me. i didn't have panic disorder when i went through my opiate nonsense, so i sort of tried to breeze through it and had little to no worries about it. with this, i have worries.   i think that's it for now. lots of rambling and i apologize for that. i guess it's okay, though, because i feel like this can be somewhat of a safe place for me to put every thing down in words.

nervousnellie

nervousnellie

 

My Little Trick

Today is the fourth day of my quit. I am just trying to keep track of my feeling for the first week. I'm told that the nicotine is now gone from my body and I have reached the peak withdrawal from it. I'm not sure what that means. If the nicotine is completely gone, why would I still be going through nicotine withdrawal which I'm told could last 3 months.   Lately I have been having urges to reach for a cigarette. I have decided that instead of trying to ignore it, I just tell myself that I just had one. I am really very convincing and I actually think I just had one and therefore I don't want one anymore. lol Unfortunately, this is not my long term plan of action. The longer I tell myself I just had a cigarette, the more I will look at my self as a smoker. NOT GOOD. It does help with the first few days though.

Breathless57

Breathless57

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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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