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  1. Throw away all your cigarettes in house, car, porch. Get rid of patches and lozenges. They are nicotine and thus, will stop any withdrawal. Using them just prolongs the pain and no quit will happen. Stay on this board constantly, playing silly games, reading everyone's posts, and importantly, getting in that chat room. When you get the urge to smoke, start walking. Around the block, again, and stay busy for as long as the crave lasts. Take up crocheting. Lots of men do it. Keeps the hands busy. Watch Joel's videos more, and then more. Quitting nicotine is one of the hardest jobs I've done. It is a job, too, but since it is one that will hopefully add a couple of decades to your life, and quite a bit of quality, it's worth it. It WILL get easier; time is different for everyone; for me, between 4-7 months I started to see the change. Some get it sooner. But it will happen. It takes what it takes for each of us. I had to try many things before I finally was able to do what worked.
  2. Not today! Short Riparian hike in New Mexico. Thought I heard a mountain lion growling at one point (one had been sighted) but it turned out to be my stomach ! I would not have been able to hike this if I were still smoking, assuming I would still be alive.
  3. I smoked 3-4 packs a day for forty years. The two questions I had were, will I EVER lose the craving/ obsession to smoke? It was a constant clanging in my brain. I had close to six months off nicotine when I realized I hadn’t thought of smoking for a couple of days.It got progressively better after that. I also wanted to know WHEN that would happen. Everyone gave me the same answer. It’s different for everyone, but trust that it will happen. Stay close to the board, play the silly games, and wait it out. Find out how to make hummus. Slather it on veggies rather than the eating donuts. And, start walking and drink lots of water right now. Be kind to yourself, as well as you can. It is so worth it. One of my biggest motivators was being around for my then 12 year old son. I also wanted him to have a non smoking parent. Kids tend to follow in parents’ footsteps, I think. Not everyone gets a “do-over”.
  4. My wee little nicotine receptors were always deeply gratified when the first hit of nicotine hit my lungs. Same thing as "enjoyed"? Dunno. Love this.
  5. Depression comes and goes for me, most of my life. It was definitely there for the first 6 months or so after I quit smoking. I walked a lot. The emotions bubbled up like crazy, in waves, with sadness mixed the next minute with rage. Eventually, the pendulum slowed down, hitting the middle mostly. It feels like I will implode when strong emotions arise, but I haven't yet! Hobbies. Get them. I enjoy walking, and I have turned into a jigsaw puzzle nut. I'm embarrassed to admit that, but I really enjoy it. lol! It just occurred to me; doing a puzzle is similar, in a way, to one of the parts of smoking I had trouble moving past, and that was what to do with my hands. I was a chain smoker, and so I was always "busy" with the habit. I quit about five years ago now, and I have had a few weeks off and on of some depression, but avoided dipping into the suicidal ideology. I know that when those thoughts happen, It's time to call someone, either a friend or a professional, and get a bit of help until I come out of it. Absent mindedness is a common symptom of withdrawal, by the way, along with, for some of us, a sort of grieving period for that really bad friend (smoking) that was totally bad for us but had been with us for a very long time. Stay close to the forum, Sammy. We'll listen.
  6. That had to have been the most intense, and longest, battle, of all time. I was a nervous wreck. Last season!
  7. The Law of Addiction Most quitting literature suggests that it normally takes multiple failed quitting attempts before the user self-discovers the key to success. What they fail to tell you is the lesson eventually learned, or that it can be learned and mastered during the very first try. Successful recovery isn't about strength or weakness. It's about a mental disorder where by chance our dopamine pathway receptors have eight times greater attraction to a nicotine molecule than to the receptor's own neurotransmitter. We call it the "Law of Addiction" and it states: "Administration of a drug to an addict will cause re-establishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance." Roughly half of relapsing quitters report thinking that they thought they could get away with using just once. The benefit of fully accepting that we have a true chemical dependency and permanent priorities disorder can't be overstated. It greatly simplifies recovery's rules while helping protect against relapse. Key to arresting our illness is obedience to one simple concept, that "one is too many and a thousand never enough." There was always only one rule, no nicotine just one hour, challenge and day at a time. Navigating Withdrawal and Reclaiming Hijacked Dopamine Pathways Like clockwork, constantly falling nicotine reserves soon had hostage dopamine pathways generating wanting for more. Sensing that "want" thousands of times per year, how could we not expect to equate quitting to starving ourselves to death? Again, the essence of drug addiction is about dependency quickly burying all memory of our pre-dependency self. Thus, the first step in coming home and again meeting the real us is emptying the body of nicotine. It's amazingly fast too. Cut by half every two hours, our mind and body become 100% nicotine-free within 72 hours of ending all use. Extraction complete, peak withdrawal now behind you, true healing can begin. While receptor sensitivities are quickly restored, down-regulation of the number of receptors to levels seen in never-users may take up to 21 days. But within two to three weeks your now arrested dependency is no longer doing the talking. Quitting fears and dread are gradually thawing and melting into "like" or even "love." You're beginning to sense the truth about where you've been. It's critical during early withdrawal to not skip meals, especially breakfast. Attempting to do so will likely cause blood sugar levels to plummet, making recovery far more challenging than need be. Why? A stimulant, nicotine activates the body's fight or flight response, feeding the addict instant energy by pumping stored fats and sugars into the bloodstream. It allowed us to skip breakfast and/or lunch without experiencing low blood sugar symptoms such as feeling nervous or jittery, trembling, irritability, anxiousness, anger, confusion, difficulty thinking or an inability to concentrate. Minimize or avoid those symptoms. Eat little, healthy and often. If your diet and health permit, drink some form of natural fruit juice for the first three days. Cranberry juice is excellent. It will aid in stabilizing blood sugar while accelerating removal of the alkaloid nicotine from your bloodstream. Also, heavy caffeine users need to know that (as strange as this sounds), nicotine doubles the rate by which the liver eliminates caffeine from the bloodstream. One cup of coffee, tea or one cola may now feel like two. While most caffeine users can handle a doubling of intake, consider a modest reduction of up to one-half if feeling anxious, irritable or unable to sleep following caffeine use. One caution. While we need not give-up any activity except nicotine use, use extreme caution with early alcohol use as it is associated with roughly 50% of all relapses. The above is an excerpt from John Polito's article, "Nicotine Addiction 101". It explains the science behind why it is so darn difficult to quit nicotine and to stay quit. The full article is here: Nicotine Addiction 101
  8. When my head starts to tell me why I should try to kill myself, then probably I shouldn't listen. Nicotine in my body, whether it was when I was vaping and trying to decrease from whatever to 0 mg., or smoking three packs a day, works the same. Nicotine addiction demands being fed, and undergoing the constant withdrawal and craving cycle every time my nicotine level dropped was just hell. I vaped for about six months, and honestly, I can't tell you if that helped my quit or just delayed it. I smoked for 40 years and I just didn't know what to do with my hands. So I vaped to try to retrain that habit. That was my path, though. The cravings eventually went away after a few months of being completely free of nicotine in my body. As long as I was getting some kind of hit, though, it seemed like my brain was constantly battling with the pull. Whatever works to get you to that point of no nicotine, then great. If you are still struggling, though, you might try something different. No offense meant here; just a suggestion.
  9. I walked, went to the sos board, learned how to make hummus to dip stupid vegetables in when eating something was all that was left, outside causing harm to others. Lol. Then I walked some more. And some more. I would suddenly leap up at work and go walk around some buildings. It helped to know that most craves last around 3 minutes, though they seem to last 3 hours. I just had to beat basically a soft boiled egg. There are are so many jokes I could end with here...
  10. My mother lives with me. I feel ya. I smoked for forty years because nicotine is addictive. It had nothing to do with all the stories I told myself as to why I "needed" to smoke. Nicotine is a stimulant, so it has NO effect on sedating your emotions. All smoking will get you is more guilt than you are already possibly feeling. Hang in there; craves generally pass much more quickly, 3-5 minutes, than I usually think they will.
  11. Aine

    Uh Oh

    The emotions that came to the surface when I quit smoking were numerous, and worked a bit like a pendulum. At first I see sawed back and forth between high intensity interest and then rage. Eventually, and not too long, really, weeks perhaps, they started to settle. I think the emotions that came up when I quit were similar to how I felt during pre periods; it all counts, and its valid, but typically much stronger than usual! I relate. My 85 year old mum lives with us, and my sister lives 175 miles away. She sends money. Monday I have to go and get bank statements and call insurance companies to get documentation for Mom so she can turn it into Medicare or something. She takes care of herself so far; just slow, which is fine with me. Except when I cook. Argh. Oh, and the reminders about cleaning out the dryer vents. WTF? All I know is it goes to outside the house and the dryer still works. All I need. lol. What I put that woman through when I was growing up. Doesn't bear thinking about...

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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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