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The Great Nicotine Free Mental Fog


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 Surviving The Great NicotineFree Fog 

 

Some people experience a mental fog soon after they quit smoking or using nicotine, others don't.

It can last from a few hours to a few weeks or longer. 

My fog wasn't consistent, showing  up unannounced and somewhat dismaying.

Who am I kidding ?  It was disarming and seemed impenetrable.

I couldn't have made thoughtful decisions and was glad they weren't necessary.

 

My fog lasted over a month and lingered far too long. 

Not what you want to hear, I know,  but remember, this was only my experience.

Everyone's quit is unique, much has to do with attitude, general wellness, behavior/lifestyle, nutrition...

Keep some tricks in your tool box to help you, just in case, and keep your blood sugar up.

 

Antidotes ?

 

forced walks, cold air, intentional breathing, too much coffee,  

'embracing the suck', attention to my blood sugar, 

alerting people that might be affected,

not stressing out about it...understanding that it will pass.

 

Duration and Density ? 

On a scale, (10) drastically impaired to (0) normal.

 

-For three days, with OTC help and Whisky,  I  flirted with informal catatonia   (10)

 

-For two weeks, I had little concentration, I wasn't making executive decisions or problem solving  (7)  

 

-At four weeks, I slowly wakened to lethargy (3) and indolence (2.5) 

 

-It tapered off so  s l o w l y,  it was hard to mark but, that could have been my inattentiveness. pfftt.

 

 

 Have you experienced The Great Smoke Free Fog ? What helped you ? How dense was it ? When did it clear ?

 

Enjoy this lovely short film and listen to Sounding the Sumburgh Foghorn in The Shetlands.

 

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53 minutes ago, TravellingSunny said:

I'm still in the fog myself.  Thank you for sharing - I'm intrigued by informal catatonia.  Preferred poison would be wine, but the numbing outcome would be the same.  :)

 

'informal catatonia' was just word salad,  Sunny, though you made it sound like a delicious cocktail, informally of course !

I used  'informal' to differentiate between a true medical catatonic state ( inability to move and lack of response to stimuli)

and to signify that I just felt catatonically inclined but, was able to move and respond (albeit slothfully)

 

 

13 minutes ago, reciprocity said:

Mine was about like what you describe Saz! It was by far and away the most debilitating and longest lasting quit symptom I experienced. I felt pretty much useless for a month or more ?

 

I'm glad to hear it, reci.  Well, not 'glad' exactly but, you know what I mean.

"It was by far and away the most debilitating and longest lasting quit symptom I experienced. "

yes yes yes.

 

 

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1 hour ago, reciprocity said:

I call this ................. Saturday Night ?

(inability to move or react to stimuli)

 

I call this......my second husband.

Oh, is that too harsh ?  Darn.

Edited by Sazerac
exchanged first husband for second husband for accuracy
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The fog for me seemed to last for a long time. I'm certain it must have been improving bit by bit over the period, but I think marked improvement came around month three. 

 

I may be being over dramatic, but that is how it has felt at least. I reckon I'm in a better place now than I was at the start of my quit. The slavery to the addiction had become pretty debilitating. I'm certain there is still more to come though. This makes me happy. 

 

Whoops forgot about how it improved. I think the longer I've been able to go without thinking of a cigarette the better my concentration has got on other things. And the better my concentration has got on other things the longer I go without thinking about cigarettes. Win, win :)

Edited by Sslip
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Well Saz much of my fog was very similar to yours though I believe it only lasted, in a strong sense of the word, a little less than 3 weeks.  It took another couple of weeks to completely wave it off.  Luckily I am retired so it did not affect me in making decisions or working.  I do agree with you that it quite disarming, something that hit me hard at first and did not expect.

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7 minutes ago, Sslip said:

The fog for me seemed to last for a long time. I'm certain it must have been improving bit by bit over the period, but I think marked improvement came around month three. 

 

I may be being over dramatic, but that is how it has felt at least. I reckon I'm in a better place now than I was at the start of my quit. The slavery to the addiction had become pretty debilitating. I'm certain there is still more to come though. This makes me happy. 

 

Whoops forgot about how it improved. I think the longer I've been able to go without thinking of a cigarette the better my concentration has got on other things. And the better my concentration has got on other things the longer I go without thinking about cigarettes. Win, win :)

 

This is so right on Sslip !  It's hard for me to remember when or how it got better but, you completely nailed it.

the longer I've been able to go without thinking of a cigarette the better my concentration has got on other things.

And the better my concentration has got on other things the longer I go without thinking about cigarettes. Win, win

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I got a double dip into the land of fog... when I initially quit that first 2 weeks was a nightmare... If I couldn't be doing a repetitive task at work that was the same thing over and over and didn't require independent thought I may as well not have been there... so many boring tasks I usually put off were done the first 2 weeks... then I oscillated between the fog and moments of lucidity as the thought of smoking took up less of my time... and then... my world got tilted on its axis, majorly, twice in the space of 2 days .... and I had to be strong and present and there for a lot of people who mean shit to me and I didn't have time to dwell in the fog, or think about having a smoke, I had big time shit to deal with and I just couldn't indulge the fog... I think subconsciously I was treading water furiously to hold my head above the frickin fog but it had to be done and it was... and I was back to normal (well my version of normal) most of the time... much less crazy random thoughts now than earlier in my quit (or maybe I'm just not sharing)... I mean who spends there spare time plotting their countries ascent to the world super power (although how awesome would the world be if Straya ran it)... ok back on track, talking about the fog... so my second dip into the land of fog came when I quit the NRT gum... that was a fun little time for us all wasn't it... mental breakdowns over, oh, just about everything... but the fog came back... and this time I was more prepared for it... and I had the awesome train gang to help out but I controlled the fog by focusing on things... if I could focus on swimming a cartoon shark around an imaginary ocean while I ate tourists and fish or if I could get into a quick flowing game of the answer is a question that went back and forth all (my) night or playing one of the silly A-Z games and trying to find the innocent sounding really rude things to post so I (and maybe a few others) knew what I was up too but no one else did.... or posting on a secret theme and wondering who else would pick up on it.... stupid, silly mindless games within games but it kept the fog minimised.... While the first week of the fog take two was probably more intense than the initial fog it was shorter lived and I saw the light much sooner and without any trauma to push it away. ...

 

Now the fog has cleared (get the occasional little showing for half an hour or so) for the most part and I am back, I can even multi task again... I nearly died when I realised I had lost that ability, totally shattered. But only on Friday at work was I updating spread sheets at the same time I was having a discussion on the phone with a customer and having a hand written note discussion with a co-worker about a third issue.... I am back people... I can now be crazy in three different ways simultaneously!

 

I do think Sslip nailed it though....the fog's impact on my life was definitely proportional to my frequency of think about the coffin nails.

 

I wish I had seen a post like this thread early in my quit when I thought I was going insane... SO ANY REAL NEW NEWBIES READING THIS don't let the fog scare you... there is nothing sinister in it, its not courtesy Stephen King... the fog wont hurt you.... and once you make your way out of the fog you will find yourself in the land of freedom, where the air is clear and you are the master of yourself once more.... walk through that fog, run through it or crawl, however you do it just make sure you do because it is so worth the journey... please keep on the path.


 

Edited by notsmokinjo
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Hmm, I think I’m still in a fog. Recently couldn’t concentrate at all! ?

 

in the first weeks of the quit i suffered from insomnia and this contributed to my state of mind(lessness) perhaps even more than lack of smoke. 

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Yes i had the fog!!!

 

No-one really believed me about how bad it was but i seriously couldn’t think properly for a long time. I tried to avoid controversy, arguments or anything that required me to think something through rather than just lose my sh*t. 

 

I actually still have it. It is less than 1,3,5 months ago but i still don’t think it completely gone. Moral to the story is try not to fight with me because im not quite the full quid yet. ?

Edited by Giveintowin
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1 hour ago, Giveintowin said:

Moral to the story is try not to fight with me because im not quite the full quid yet. ?

 

I feel like those of us who are in hell or heck week should be required to wear this quote on tee shirts when we venture out in public.

 

Front and back.  LOL!

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For me, the patch has taken the edge off the fog so far - but i am still putting nicotine into my body/brain; wondering what I will experience when I go off the patch completely. 

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5 hours ago, Giveintowin said:

 

 

I actually still have it. It is less than 1,3,5 months ago but i still don’t think it completely gone. Moral to the story is try not to fight with me because im not quite the full quid yet. ?

I am irritable and prone to crying, better let’s not argue ?

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3 hours ago, lml said:

For me, the patch has taken the edge off the fog so far - but i am still putting nicotine into my body/brain; wondering what I will experience when I go off the patch completely. 

 

Everyone is going to be different, but the fog I had wasn't entirely down to nicotine. I know right from the outset when I was on NRT it was there and probably worse in those early days with NRT than when I fully came of nicotine.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/4/2018 at 6:27 PM, Sslip said:

I think the longer I've been able to go without thinking of a cigarette the better my concentration has got on other things. And the better my concentration has got on other things the longer I go without thinking about cigarettes. Win, win :)

 

Useful observation, giving me hope that when the brain fog lifts it won't take such effort to distract myself from thinking about smoking and cigarettes.

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  • 1 month later...

Just giving this a bump for @Tammy ... you might get something out of these posts as I think you are one of us that has to face the quit fog... Its gets better just stick it out chook and you'll be having an easier time soon.

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Yes Tammy. It won't last forever even though it may seem so in early days. Lots of great stories here to help you understand how others have dealt with it. I always believed that part of the problem is that not only is your body adjusting to the lack of deadly chemicals you suck in through your lungs every 30-60 minutes of each day, your brain has so much more idle time once you've quit. Just think about all the time you spent not only smoking but the things around smoking. Smoking consumed a larger portion of your thought process each day than we realize. Suddenly .... all that's just gone - no longer there so now you have to fill that void. It just takes time. Be patient and it will happen.

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  • 2 months later...

Ohhh this is a great thread! First three days of quitting,  Fulltime Fog. Not making sense whatsoever, almost felt drugged. I slept like a maniac, which contributed great deal to The Fog. After that, insomnia hit. Which... ofcourse... contributed to The Fog ?. Now Im back to normal sleeping patterns, but still dwelling in mysty lands. I try to be comfortable with it and not expect to much of myself (except for NOT lighting up ofcourse). I think I kinda suck at my job right now, but whatever. Things will be better and I'll Shine like never before!  ?

 

 

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  • 3 months later...

As you can see from the successful quits above, the fog is not permanent.

So, cut yourself some slack, be kind to yourself

and be careful with heavy machinery, playing with knives or, 

 

        download.jpg.41f8a7be417aa096820a3c9f6e92cb61.jpg

Edited by Sazerac
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  • 2 months later...
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  • 4 months later...
  • Sazerac changed the title to The Great Nicotine Free Mental Fog

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