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Craving a smoke badly. Not Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. Thought about posting an SOS, but I asked myself, "Am I really that close to flipping mindsets and going out to buy cigarettes?"
Nah. It's too cold outside. It's dark. I've eaten a light, healthy dinner. I walked about a mile today with my dog, so I feel pleasantly invigorated. Don't want to pollute my lungs or hand over any savings to tobacco magnates.
I was watching a series on Netflix about people tidying up their homes with Marie Kondo. As the families in each episode go through their "stuff" and decide what to keep or part with, I began remembering my former home and how much I have lost. The sadness made me teary for a few moments, but then I sat up straight and shook it off. I returned to present-oriented and forward-thinking.
Shifting my focus triggered a powerful craving. This is the point where I would have celebrated the transition from gloom to acceptance by going outside to have a smoke.
And now I'm remembering my own post today about a bright line. Gloom is on the other side of the bright line. I am on this side, the right side. The bright line is inviolable.
Deep breaths. Craving is weakening. Another episode of exerting willpower, and now I can relax again. Not taking a chance of recurring cravings today, though. It's only 6:00-ish (pm), but I will go to bed early. I dreamed once, recently, that I was arguing about smoking with someone. I didn't want to, but he was strong and demanding. Other than that, no dreams about smoking or craving in my sleep.
One's willpower ebbs as the day progresses and by evening temptations can feel impossible to resist.
A few dark chocolate chips for a dopamine hit. A mango. Then brush teeth and to sleep.
I am feeling very proud that I've started the new year as a non-smoker. This is my longest quit ever and I look forward to the additional days, weeks, months and eventual years of success. Even though I get a craving now and then, I am able to hold strong in my determination to have Not One Puff Ever (NOPE).
Thank you to Quit Train and all the other quitters who help me get off to a strong, successful quit.
Happy, successful New Year to us all!
I've umm'ed and ahh'ed about writing another blog entry, I don't like to be rushed I guess. I thought I was in a new year and heading for my 4th year quit but on perusing the site, transpires I'm heading for my 5th lol. Smoking is an enigma to me now but those who knew my habit 2+ packs a day for years can't believe I have stayed quit *cough, this site* and new friends can't imagine me as a smoker! The latter is a compliment for sure.
However when I quit it was with two others. My Mum and my then boyfriend, now just one of my best friends. Both relapsed. Chris, my friend, smokes heavily again and has done for 4 years, no quit in sight. Sadly my Mum damaged herself too heavily and last May, 1 day before her 70th birthday, I stood at her bedside after the awful news she wouldn't make it - to talk her over to the other side. Our relationship had been fairly strained but I'm pleased we had marginally reconnected for a few months before she died of multiple organ failure - drinking and smoking were at the heart of it all, quite literally. I have the most awful memories and photographic evidence of me holding her hand and cuddling in as I was telling her to look for our loved ones...when we should have been preparing for her birthday.
If you have children and are on the fence then please consider that it isn't just you who suffers. Get educated and be real.
The quit itself is effortless now. I remember at times that I would have smoked here and smile that it means absolutely nothing, it simply a memory. My children are level 4 and 5 (red and green belt) at mixed martial arts where I used the money from quitting to put them in a club to train. I should really go to that gym I pay for more, oops, but I can still run faaarrrr better than I ever could as a smoker, even with the gaps in training haha. The quit bought me strength, joy and healthier finances....I have never looked back. I completely retrained myself with a new career and am happily teaching both Reiki healing and Tarot Cards that I trained in.
My point is the quit bought me nothing but good and joy. Those who didn't commit have a painful story attached.
Love to all. Marti. xx
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Everyone gets depressed sometime...…. I seem to be depressed all of the time, but I have this most wonderful mask that I made that hides it from everyone - we all have one - the one that we call our 'everyday face'.
My everyday face normally has a wide smile on it, one with crooked yellowing teeth that is just a silly grin, but it hided the real me that I almost never show to anyone. Those closest to me are the only ones that see my real face more often than not, but even then, I have another mask that I try to keep in place to stop them from sharing as much of my pain as I can, because I love them deeply.
I'm here today because it's Christmas and just 3 years and 3 days since my mother died. I had gone sick from work to live with her during her last 3 months of life. She had dystonia from when she was 52 years old, which caused the muscles in her neck and one side of her back to pull her over until she was walking with her head down by her knees. She needed elbow crutches to walk and a wheelchair if she needed to walk more than about 20 yards, but she remained a very strong woman until her death.
Those three months were the worst part of my life, but I kept one or other of my masks in place throughout it until the very end, when I could not hold them stable any more. And after she finally died I just collapsed and kept myself numb for months...…. oh god, this is so very, very hard, but so very necessary for me to face up to right now. Need to stop for a while.
So yes, I know the first question that might pop up in your head is wait, what? Superheroes and smoking?
What kinda connection is that?
Well, I'm a huge nerd/geek/fangirl (whatever other fancy term you may want to use) and a big big follower of the comic book/superhero universe. And though I love both DC (Batman, Superman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Cyborg, Green Arrow etc) and Marvel (Ironman, Spiderman, Dr. Strange, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Thanos, Loki etc) the one guy that stands above all for me is Batman.
Why him you may ask?
Because Batman is amongst that rare breed of superheroes, who doesn't necessarily have any superpower, per se. He's not faster than a speeding bullet, webs don't shoot out of his hands, he doesn't have the strength of a God. In fact, he's a lot more human than any other superhero I know. What he has is grit and determination, to train better, have better gadgets, use technology and science to overcome superhuman challenges, and yes of course he's rich :p
Point being, Batman grapples with his own self every single day, when confronted with the question: Why does he fight? Why not leave it to the others who have a lot of extra things going for them. Why put his mind and body through incessant beatings, efforts and still see himself come up short sometimes against people with higher abilities, and then why doesn’t he give up, but enter the foray again?
And the answer he gets is because he can. Because it is possible to try and make his city (Gotham) safer. Because he can fight back, even if not win each time. Because the body may heal, but not acting when he could have, that scar the mind cannot get rid off. Day after day, he chooses to fight and each time he chooses not to bow down to his own fears, he wins.
That's where each of our battles with smoking come in. Nicotine addiction is a relentless foe. I have read so many posts here about people coming so close to smoking. Some in week 3, some in month 5, some even after a year or more. It sneaks up on you in your weakest moments, and makes you believe that lighting up will solve everything that is going on with you. And each of us fights that addiction, day in day out, incessantly. Each one of us is a superhero. We’ve all got our weaknesses, our problems, but each one of us chooses to fight them rather than give in to the craving of smoking. It’s the easier bit, giving in. But keeping on fighting, now that is the stuff of legends. So kudos to each and every one of you.
As Alfred Pennyworth (Batman’s Butler and confidante) once reminded him: Why do we fall sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.
Its been a hell of week
But i survived
Nicotine gums are like my new best friend
I could not have done without it
Thanks to all the people who have supported me
I believe the ability to think is blessed. If you can think about a situation, you can deal with it. The big struggle is to keep your head clear enough to think. - Richard Pryor
I sailed through the first week but this week has been a lot harder.
On Day 9 I became obsessed with the "have I quit too late" thought. I had read a few personal stories where people had got a smoking related health problem after they had quit, and the seed of fear spiralled out of control in my mind. I don't really regret anything in my life but I do regret relapsing so many times.
I don't think I can ignore the damage smoking does or that it is a killer. I do think though I need to start focusing on the other benefits to quitting besides health. Fear and sadness at what could happen, or that other people are going through can end up being quite destructive. Positivity is a big part of any success.
The rest of the week has been pretty tough going and it's as though my brain has split into two. Quit half is full of knowledge and knows that quitting is the best thing I have ever done. When this half is in charge I am at my happiest. Smoker half clearly still has a lot of catching up to do as it is constantly trying to justify why I should go and buy a packet of cigarettes. The internal debates are relentless and it has become quite overwhelming.
I love the Joel Spitzer quote below. This week it definitely would have been easy to go back. I'm extra proud I have got through smoke free as it has been challenging. I've needed friends to reassure me and hold me up but I'm walking into the third week.
The factor that really shows the addiction is not how hard or how easy it is to quit. What really shows the addiction is how universally easy it is to go back - Joel Spitzer
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While filmed on Thanksgiving 2011, video relates to how any holiday or special annual event can result in more smoking thoughts than normal, and the importance of being mentally prepared for the occurrence of such thoughts. https://whyquit.com/joels-videos/holiday-related-resources/
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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 a non-smoking, non-cheating crappy card player.
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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.
Hungry - Thirsty - need a deep breath of Oxygen ?
Angry - Happy - Emotional ?
Lonesome - Bored ?
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.
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.
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...
Finally. It's finally happening.
I'm beginning to feel like a non-smoker again. I find myself thinking about it less and less; mostly just the occasional "vague thought." (Description of vague internal thought: 'Hmmmm, am I supposed to be doing something now? Oh, yeah. I'd normally smoke a cigarette. Is this a craving? Nah. I don't want one - that's just a habit. What am I going to do instead? Ooooh! SQUIRREL!) So, I'm starting to feel like my old self again. YAY!
For the last few days, though, I've been super-cranky in the evenings after work. What's awful is that I'm irritable towards my husband. It's not his fault at all, but the weather is turning and after being in an office all day, I enjoy spending my evenings sitting on back patio, having a glass of wine, reading a book while the sun is setting. That's my unwind time. It's also the "smoking" area since we don't allow smoking in the house. The problem isn't that my husband is a dirty smoker. The problem is that he is being so CONSIDERATE of my quit, that it's actually causing me a problem.
Picture this: I've just spent 10 hours commuting and working, with only the occasional vague thought of smoking. As long as I don't think about it - or, as long as I don't DWELL on the quit - I'm in great shape. But then, just when I get comfy for the evening, here he comes pulling out his pack of cigarettes and specifically showing them to me and asking me if it's gonna be a trigger for me. Seems perfectly reasonable and considerate to anybody else, but to the person that is trying to NOT think about smoking, it's just - UGH! His smoking is not a trigger for me; I honestly would've maybe just looked at him, had a vague thought, and then moved on. But, instead, I'm sitting there not even thinking about smoking, and then he asks me a question like that and BAM I want a cigarette. And, it makes me cranky. And the addict in me wants to blame him unnecessarily.
But, I finally told him (well, fussed at him, really) how irritating I found his consideration and WHY it was causing me a problem. He put his unlit cigarette back in his pack, told me he understood, and that he wasn't going to smoke that minute, but from now on, he'll just do what he normally does instead of making a production of it. And, to be honest, I'm not sure if he smoked again after that. I'm certain that he did, but I either didn't notice or didn't pay any attention.
Is there a point to this story? Is there a moral to be learned? I dunno. But, I guess the important thing, what I'm grateful for most today, is that I have a support system - even if he is a dirty smoker. And I'm taking full advantage of it by being open and honest about how I'm feeling - not just to my support system, but also to myself. I know I'm just being sensitive, so I'll give him a pass. And he knows I'm being sensitive, so he's giving me a pass too.
DD and I made it home safe and sound. And as I had anticipated the urge to smoke was very strong, knowing that I had money and a store just 5 miles down the road, I had to battle the urge to go and buy a pack, just for one. But I did not. I NOPE-d every time I felt the desire to. I was surprised that the urge was mental and not physical. It was just fleeting thoughts that I had to work through. No anxiousness, it was somewhat a loneliness, which seemed a bit strange.
Now this morning it is a different store, today it is physical, very apprehensive, a physical feeling of jitter-ness and not really thoughts in my mind. But some of that is because of "life" itself.
I am home today and I will be sticking close to the boards and this blog. I have some emotional stuff to of the mind to work through. So prepare for some ramblings, self reflection and moments of truth. Sorry in advance, but I came to this board for a community of people that would support me and lift me up as I make this "huge" change in my life.
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!
"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.
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........
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!
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.
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.
Haven't written anything in a while about two months ago started having a weird pressure in my lower abdomen. Not like the pains I've had previously when my stomach acted up. Thankfully no where near that pain however this strange constant pressure hasn't let up. So far seen my regular doctor who rushed me off for a CT scan with contrast he was thinking a diverticulitis attach and that wasn't it sent me to my GI doctor who sent me off for a colonoscopy Well that shit was not fun I wasn't due for one of those suckers until I hit the big Five O (50) nothing showed Crohns, or a blockage is what he was thinking. Gave me a medicine to help regulate things so to speak. Well two weeks on that was enough now we are off to the GYN for a sonogram then back for another CT scan nobody can figure out what is going on. Me I just want to feel better not liking any of this. Quit smoking eating healthier than I ever did, no artificial anything lots of water exercising 3-4 times I just don't get it It really sucks.... Was trying to get off these stupid extra pounds now I feel like I swallowed a bowling ball. Bummed to the max and hoping one of my doctors figures what is going on. I shouldn't complain after what my mom and friend are going through and what they have gone through with their Cancers this is nothing but I still want to feel better want to feel like my old self again. I always think Health and feeling good is everything nothing else is really really important compared to that. Well lets see what they find out.
8am. So i hope i dont have to start over again because of my slip yeaterday. Y was i thinking so stupidly. More importantly, y was my boyfriend being stupid? He had almost a month of not smoking, and he gave away his quit for somewhere around 3 cigarettes from what i counted, provably more after i left. And he knew i was on my 3rd day, it seemed dickish of him to just leave me inside and go smoke with his friends. Im boiling with anger. But fr me at least it is a new day, i cant let all of that hinder today.
12pm. Busy day cooking food going to work later, and just keeping things on track. School starts up again next week so i gotta make sure i am prepared for that.
10pm, finished with work, no real bad cravings today, i think the worst is behind me? Maybe
Ok, so I picked up my Chantix today! I'm ready! I quit about 10 years ago, after using patches for about a week! Unfortunately, I started back 3 months shy of 3 years!! So here I go again!
I'm dedicated... problem is -> my boyfriend smokes 2-3 packs a day.. he's had a box of Chantix (that he's not yet used) for a year!!! He also drinks pretty heavily, so I'm just going to have to change my routine around him! I'm only a social drinker, and declined his offers to have a beer, today!! (Go me!! :D ) Car's cleaned out (we've never smoked in the house), but there are ash trays in the garage, and on our back deck (we live on the lake!)... HIS truck is smoked in all the time.. maybe I'll just not go anywhere with him for the first few weeks.
So I'm gonna need extra reinforcement. :blink: :excl:
I'm taking my first one in the morning!! Let's get this going!! :yes: