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I'm at my wits end with trying to quit. It feels like an endless cycle of shot nerves, bad health, and defeat, then repeat. I'm only 38 and I've tried everything to quit, from gum and patches, to cold turkey and doing hours of yoga everyday. I'm really ready to quit but don't know how to manage the anxiety of not having a smoke. It's how I mark time passing, get work done, calm myself. At the same time I know these are just patterns and habits and part of addiction. I've read every quit smoking book and tried dozens of apps. I know it just takes willpower or a shift in perspective, but I can't seem to ever get it to work. I feel powerfully and devastatingly addicted both chemically and psychologically. Part of my thinks I'm afraid of life without cigarettes being empty. Which is silly because my life is otherwise pretty great. I'm also afraid that if I quit smoking I won't be able to finish my PhD, I can't figure out how to write without smoking. 

 

Can anyone who over-intellectualizes things or also felt at their complete wits end share ways that they quit?

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Hi M 

Welcome to the quit train ... I was a 52 years smoker ...I too had tried to quit more times than I could count .

It wasn't till I joined a forum that I finally broke free....

The good news is ...your no more addicted to what we all were here ....

Knowledge !!!!

Totally understand this horrible addiction ...This is how you fight the monster ...

Take time to get familiar withe board ....Read ,watch and learn ....

Start at the Main Smoking Discussion Board....read all the posts pinned with green ....this will give you a good start ...

You can do it ....believe in yourself ....let's get you to Freedom ...

 

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Welcome aboard Matthewarthur, I too am convinced that finding a support forum is how I managed to stay quit. There's something so comforting in knowing the people you're surrounded with know what you're going through at any given time in your quit. We have people from all over the world and in all different phases of quitting so there's almost always someone here when you need them. And if not, there's a ton of material to browse until there is.

I also used my JAC (jillars air cigarette) for the cravings and couldn't believe how well it worked at tricking my mind into thinking I was getting the real thing. I just pretended I was holding an actual cigarette in my fingers and then went through the motions of "smoking" it. Some members have used cut straws, pens, even licorice whips😊

Lastly for when you just want to give your brain a break from the constant thoughts of smoking but still stay close to your support,  we have our Social forums. We have games, music, funny videos and jokes, even a fitness forum. 

Quitting at your age is such a smart idea Matthew. I wish I had of been smart enough to do that, maybe I wouldn't be on oxygen right now.......

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Hi Matthew :) I only on day 27 of freedom but I can tell you day 27 does feel like freedom and so much better than the first days and couple of weeks. I totally understand the anxiety. I had almost crippling anxiety where all I could do was pace....stop....stand against a wall and repeat again and again....I took hot scalding showers at 3 a.m. because I could not sleep and at least for a bit it distracted me from the anxiety. How I got through was one hour....one day at a time and the full knowledge that others here got through it... many of them did so through extreme times in their life, health, anxiety, depression....they have been through it....they get it and they did it....and if they could....so help me so could/can I! And so can you Matthew I truly believe you can! For me sticky notes of words, phrases stuck around the house helped....positive affirmations said outload and in my head helped....being able to log in here even if I did not read something ...just the act of logging into here helped me.....short fast power walks have helped me find my sanity again 4-5 times a day out that door I go.....I think every one here gets the.... it is how we marked time, got things done and calmed ourselves.....I still working on that and feeling my way to something that feels normal......for me I moved from IL to GA 9 years ago to take care of my parents (my father died 5 years ago now) I have smoked more in these last 9 years probably then the last 31 combined ...as a caretaker there a whole lot of hurry up and wait (and boredom to be brutally honest) there a lot of time and stress on your hands.....part of quitting is rethinking how we deal with time and stress...from your own words I know you get that....you just need to put it into play...I found the video library to be very helpful ...I can watch short videos or just read what they about....the blogs and every ones personal story all helped and do.....for me it helps knowing so many have quit and reached a place where they over this hard part and feel good about it. This is a good place to be....glad you here with us!! 

 

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You smoke because you're addicted to nicotine.  You're addicted to nicotine because you smoke.

 

That's it.  Smoking is a means of getting your nicotine fix, nothing more.  Smoking does not ease anxiety beyond temporarily relieving withdrawal symptoms.  Smoking does not facilitate jobs and tasks.  Smoking does not make you a better writer.  Smoking does not lead to joy and fulfillment.  A cigarette is not a one-way ticket to Big Rock Candy Mountain.

 

We all had to unpack the lies we told ourselves about smoking and confront the truth of why we actually smoked.  The successful quitters realized that smoking gives nothing but will take everything.

 

19 hours ago, mathewarthur said:

Can anyone who over-intellectualizes things or also felt at their complete wits end share ways that they quit?

 

A big turning point for me was when I quit fighting random thoughts about smoking.  Learned to simply sit with the cravings and temptations, recognize them for what they are and move on with my life.  Every thought has as much or as little power as we give them.  When I stopped fighting, I won the battle.

 

The Quit Train is full of former smokers.  We were all addicted to nicotine and most of us had moments when we doubted we could ever quit smoking.  Yet, here we are.  We did it and so can you.

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Hey Matthew,  welcome to the Quit Train. I'm sorry you are having a rough time. 

 

I know you have an open mind and you would consider anything.  I'm not in the USA so I don't know what you have over there but some of us need a proper cessation program, like a Smoke Ender's or Alan Carr. Reprogramming your neural pathways of having a daily habit with its array of associations (and in my opinion a much lesser degree of addiction) and for many of just cannot just stop with a flip of a switch and need a lot more guidance and tutoring. 

 

I hope you get what I'm saying. I wish you the best of luck. No matter what or how you have our support,  one 💯 percent. 

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Hi--

 

I was ultimately able to quit, at 33, by situating smoking cessation in a broader enterprise of developing new sets of healthy habits and activities.  I very consciously and actively attempted to cultivate a new persona:  my thinking was that these activities (working out, eating/cooking differently) would give me positive things on which to focus instead of the thing I was seemingly denying myself.  Moreover, this new persona might serve as a final line of defense during inevitable moments of vulnerability early on in the quit.  Fortunately, this strategy worked for me.  But the initial stretch was still extraordinarily difficult.  

 

Regarding the writing and intellectual work more generally, my experience was that quitting absolutely did affect my abilities in these areas.  Perhaps that won't happen in your case (and it certainly doesn't with everyone), but it did with me.  But I came to understand that I probably needed a recalibration of my relationship to my academic work and different writing processes if I were to have a healthy and satisfying professional life; thus, the struggles were actually illuminating and transformative.  It doesn't mean they were easy or quick.  But, in retrospect, things got better when I realized that I would remain quit even if things never got any better.  

 

This can be done, and it's the single most important thing you can do for your health and your spirit.  

 

Christian99

About 19 1/2 Years Quit

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4 hours ago, Christian99 said:

things got better when I realized that I would remain quit even if things never got any better

^^This^^

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4 hours ago, Christian99 said:

But the initial stretch was still extraordinarily difficult.

I feel that it is so very important that anyone contemplating a quit or recently quit knows that it isn’t easy. That it is hard. Extremely hard. It is ugly. So very ugly. Seeing yourself as someone you never thought you’d become. An addict. But the  addiction can be overcome. So many have done just that.  It takes work and every quit is different. Every path to success is different. 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/14/2021 at 11:20 PM, mathewarthur said:

I'm at my wits end with trying to quit. It feels like an endless cycle of shot nerves, bad health, and defeat, then repeat. I'm only 38 and I've tried everything to quit, from gum and patches, to cold turkey and doing hours of yoga everyday. I'm really ready to quit but don't know how to manage the anxiety of not having a smoke. It's how I mark time passing, get work done, calm myself. At the same time I know these are just patterns and habits and part of addiction. I've read every quit smoking book and tried dozens of apps. I know it just takes willpower or a shift in perspective, but I can't seem to ever get it to work. I feel powerfully and devastatingly addicted both chemically and psychologically. Part of my thinks I'm afraid of life without cigarettes being empty. Which is silly because my life is otherwise pretty great. I'm also afraid that if I quit smoking I won't be able to finish my PhD, I can't figure out how to write without smoking. 

 

Can anyone who over-intellectualizes things or also felt at their complete wits end share ways that they quit?


Hey, Matt, as you know, there is no one size fits all approach. For me, who is doing this for the second time, cutting down first worked. I am a super logical thinker. I took a page from the people who use nicotine patches. They work by wearing a certain strength for a period of time, then gradually decreasing, until you need no patch. So I gradually weaned myself from cigarettes. When I got down to 7 a day, I stalled and kept smoking 7 a day, telling myself, ”I am a light smoker. This is fine.” Then there were days I would inch back up to 8 or 9. In the end,  it was my Cardiologist and my boyfriend who convinced me. My cardiologist said it was the very best thing I could do for my heart. My boyfriend said he wants as many years with me as possible. So, in both cases, my heart was the reason I quit. So, down to 7-10 cigs a day, I smoked one at 8:00 PM a week ago Monday, and told myself, “this is the last one!” So far, it has been. Finding this group has been a bonus.

 

Kat

Edited by Katgirl
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On 5/15/2021 at 8:20 AM, mathewarthur said:

I'm at my wits end with trying to quit. It feels like an endless  I'm really ready to quit but don't know how to manage the anxiety of not having a smoke. It's how I mark time passing, get work done, calm myself. At the same time I know these are just patterns and habits and part of addiction. 

We have all been there. It feels like IT has us by the balls,  but we eventually discover that we feel happier and more peaceful without it.Smoking is actually an unnessary stressor. We do things a MILLION times better without it. Start with small steps. Starting today,  buy a lower nicotine brand. To satisfy your hand to mouth gratification sip water or OJ out of a sippy bottle. Snack on grapes. The brain is powerful!!  Set a date and every day tell yourself I will be free, I will be free,  I will be free... Freedom will be mine on the (insert date)  say it with conviction.  Say your mantra at least 20 times per day in your head or out aloud. Look yourself in the mirror when you are at home. Look straight into your eyes,  into your soul which only wants the best for you. Mean it with all your ♥ 

 

Best of luck. You've got this and we will be with you every step of the way xx

 

 

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In my case I tried to quit the past 20 years and I feel I'm finally done with smoking! 

I'm on the patch on day 25 and no doubt feel good!
Yes, over-thinking can hinder, at least that was to blame in my previous attempts.  It felt like all that thinking made it all the more stressful.

 

I'm on the patch and taking it easy. I sleep 14 hours a day and have a low-grade depression but I'm hoping it is temporary.

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Posted (edited)

Depression is a serious condition. Anxiety, equally bad. It can have a profound impact on your life. It has, on mine.  Right now I am struggling with anxiety over my upcoming cross country flight. I am going to Philly to be with all 3 of my sons, and to meet my youngest grandson, for the first time. My youngest son will be on leave from the USAF, and he is stationed in Japan. I don’t know when I will see him again, after this month, but it will be awhile. Because I suffer from panic attacks, the thought of thistle  trip terrifies me. I think, “what if I have an attack mid-flight? “ I should add to this that I’m not fond of flying, in the first place. I know I can choose not to go, but at what cost? I would disappoint all my sons, but most of all, myself…….

Edited by Katgirl
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I don't suffer with anxiety and Depression ....but I was introduced to this very early in my quit ...

It helped me so much ...I still do today ....it just may help ...hope so ...

Qi Gong ....Wonderful 🐸

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I hope that you go. I can’t begin to tell you how to get through it. It may be horrible. It may be frightening. You may have an attack. But you will survive it like we always do and be the stronger for it on the other side of it. Your family is worth it. You will have the greatest time. You will be so thankful you went.  🤗

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@Katgirl, flying gives me anxiety too. I hate it. Maybe you can ask your Dr for something to help with the plane trip there and back? Regardless, I think getting to see your three boys and your new grandson will be so worth it 🤗

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1 hour ago, jillar said:

@Katgirl, flying gives me anxiety too. I hate it. Maybe you can ask your Dr for something to help with the plane trip there and back? Regardless, I think getting to see your three boys and your new grandson will be so worth it 🤗

I will definitely up my anxiety meds for the trip. In the end, I would be very disappointed in myself, if I cancel. I have to fly again at Christmas, and perhaps all the way to Japan early next year. I just wish I were normal.

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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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