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I’m a newcomer pinging in to say hello. I’ve been lurking on the site for a while, but I set up a profile today so that I could participate. Thanks for the experiences and the compassionate, nonjudgmental encouragement shared here. Reading the info and comments has helped me through some white-knuckle moments.

 

My last smoke was 17 days ago. It was not a planned quit. I was having oral surgery, and at midnight the night before I learned that smoking through the post-op was a really bad idea. (As if all the other harms of smoking for the last 40 years were somehow a really good idea?! Yeah, go figure.) Anyway, I slammed into this quit bass ackwards… unprepared mentally, emotionally or physically. I didn’t have any tools to hand, and hadn’t thought through how to be intentional to set myself up to succeed. Just boom.

 

But I’m trying hard to make it work. There’s more than just a dental emergency at play. I want this quit and the suffering it entails to count for something. I’ve been ambivalent about smoking for some time, have been living in denial about the consequences, and have let smoking control my life for too long. Cold turkey was not an option for me, personally. (Did that before, didn’t stick.) So I’m using the patch on a step-down system. I’m constantly fiddling with silly putty. Trying to stay busy. Doing a lot of wall pushups. Attempting to stay positive. Getting a grip on my triggers. Making lists of alternative things to do in those moments. Re-reading the science. Doing more wall push-ups. I’m struggling with feelings of despair and intense physical discomfort as my body adjusts to a lot less nicotine. But this week, on average, was a bit easier than the last. So maybe that’s progress?

 

I think addiction likes to hide in the dark. It feeds on shame and distortions, and whispers false justifications to us. So I guess part of why I am joining this QT community is to fend off those shadows by reaching out for reinforcement, to try to fill my brain with something different. I need to banish that voice from the dark that says nicotine is my best friend (it’s not) and says that I can’t exist without my smokes (I can, and I have 17 days of evidence to prove it). Today I am grateful for having your voices in my head, instead. You are helping me to rewire. Thanks for listening and bearing witness in return.

 

DenaliBlues

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Great intro post, @DenaliBlues and welcome to our site.  First off, huge congratulations on 17 days smoke free. 

 

The first few days and weeks are the toughest.  It does get better but you are still at the point where anxiety can be really big.  Good for you for doing all sorts of things to keep the quit.  Staying busy and positive, as you are doing, is the right idea.

 

Stick around this site.  Read up on nicotine addiction posts here  (it helps to know what you are up against) and just generally communicate with us, as you have done.  Talk about your victories and if you are struggling.  We are a laid back and sometimes eccentric crew here but we all share the same experiences with quitting and wanting to see others succeed in quitting smoking too.

 

It is great to have you here.  You are doing a great thing in quitting smoking.

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Welcome, nice to have you join us.  You are doing great, 17 days shows me that you are truly committed. You will have the good days and the bad but we will all be here, if you need to talk.  

 

For me, finding this place is what has kept me going and sane.  You need to share with people that understand what challenges come with quitting.  I was not built to do this alone. I don't think anyone is.  I see it as therapy without having to pay for it or leave the house.  You will find many people you see as a friend.  They are supportive, kind and funny. 

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Welcome aboard @DenaliBlues, great post and profile name :) Cograts on 17 days already, that's huge. Hell week, heck week and wtf week almost done already! Those are the hardest weeks of all so be super proud of yourself :) 

We've got a great group of 2022 newbies to walk the journey with you as well as your more seasoned quitters so feel free to pick our brains about anything you're experiencing as chances are someone here has experienced it too and can give you a clue or two.

Oh and be sure to check out all our various boards, lots of great info related to our addiction as well as Social forums to help get our minds off our addiction for a bit because as you have probably already found out, when we first quit smoking that is an all-consuming thought that will drive you crazy if you let it lol

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Welcome aboard, @DenaliBlues! My quit started in a similar way to yours...unplanned, but when the health issue reared it's ugly head I knew it was time. Read everything you can here and then read it again! Watch Joel's videos and participate in the forums...it will all help!

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Welcome. Just reach out if you need us. Glad you are here!

And I agree with all that darkness nonsense-we are only as sick as our secrets. This is a safe place to share our shame because it truly is shared. All the crazy things we did/do to feed the demon are understood here and honored. We are not bad people or weak people. We just have a disease like any other disease. We can afford ourselves (and one another) compassion, hope and tough love (the operative word being love) when needed.

Karen

Edited by KEL
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Welcome aboard Denial Blues, it is great to hear that you are 17 days quit. I applaud you on making the best decision of your life. Grab a seat on the train and enjoy your ride to a happier and healthier life.

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Welcome aboard the Quit Train Denali Blues.  Good call on giving up the smokes and congratulations on seventeen days smoke free.

 

A combination of push-ups and pacing around mumbling profanities got me through some of the toughest times in the early days of my quit.  

 

Buckle up, knuckle down, and drive on.

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Hello and welcome ....So happy you jumped on this wonderful train ...it travels all the way to Freedom ..

Congratulations on your Fabulous 17 days quit ....you are almost through the tough weeks ...

It's just a matter now of keeping that Nico Monster asleep....

You have already been with us ,standing at the station ...Reading and Learning....

My advice ...stay close to the group ...join in ...help others ...all this helps your quit stronger ...

You can do it ...🐸

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Gosh, thanks for all the support and for the welcome wagon! Very well timed, because I woke up this morning feeling rather low. First thing on my mind was wanting a smoke - that yearning has not abated yet. Right behind it was the acute feeling that every other activity pales in comparison to smoking. I'm building the skills to not smoke, and strengthening my "Do something else, just don't smoke." muscles. But I haven't yet turned a corner where I can experience actual gratification or enjoyment from those alternative activities. Am wondering if this is typical?

 

It's like my dopamine receptors have been warped or scorched into wanting just one thing: a big horrible blast of nicotine. I'm trying to throw other stuff at them (sunshine, favorite foods, games, tactile activities, etc.). But the feel-good response receptors in my brain seem almost impervious. I've started to look into the idea of "savoring" in the hopes that might help. So far I can notice sensations other than smoking, which seems constructive. But gratification or enjoyment? Not yet.

 

If anyone else has any experience with this, would love to hear it. Or if I'm just an oddball, that would be useful to know, too! Appreciate you all so much.

 

DenaliBlues 

 

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What a wonderful introductory post and welcome aboard Denali Blues! 17 days in is an awesome feat especially when it is done solo. Keep reading everything on site and remember to ask for help or general information information when needed. We all want to see you succeed! 🤗

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When you are in the first stages of your quit this is pretty much the norm. You are an addict going through withdrawal so everything is going to bleak and miserable for awhile. I read so very much on this site. When I first quit and was reading older posts made by others, two things seemed to be a common event that became the catalyst in them knowing that brighter days were certainly coming. The first is that one morning they noticed that taking that first waking breath of the fay didn’t trigger a coughing fit and the second was that they had gotten out of bed and was well into preparing for their day when they realized that they had not had one thought about a cigarette. Brighter days are ahead, it just takes time. You are doing great @DenaliBlues!

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@DenaliBlues, what you are feeling is completely normal. Most of us are either sad or irritable, or sometimes both, in the early stages of quitting. 

Smoking was such a huge part of your life that quitting is almost like a death in the family. Your perceived best friend is gone forever. Just hang in there and in no time you'll be past this stage 🤗

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@DenaliBluesOh my yes. What they said.

One of the reasons I mucked around with cigarettes for as long as I did was because I imbued them with all sorts of magical things. So that is what they became until they "turned" on me. 

Unfortunately, this release is oftentimes a tedious process. We had, at our fingertips, a way to instantly change/control how we were feeling. Now, we have to let all the stuff we stuffed down arise and sit with it. It really sucks (excuse the pun). That is until it doesn't.

When that happens is different for each and every one of us. But a decades' long way of managing our mood is not going away after 3 weeks. 

What I can share at this early stage in my quit is that I feel so much better. I'm not saying I don't still have cravings or thoughts of smoking (including dreams) but its not the obsession it was for the first couple of months. Others here with more time can speak to their experiences but the more you can focus on the blessings of not smoking, the quicker the mind will shift to not wanting it.

Glad you are here.

 

 

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I will be blunt and honest. For me, at 8 months out, I still struggle.  That is okay, it just one of the other things that can make life difficult. I have not and will not smoke because I do not have the strength to go thru this again.  I think this realization about myself keeps me on the train.  

 

I have this place where I can talk, struggle, be silly....and know I am not alone in this.  I have people I can turn to for support, advice and comfort. I think that has made a difference for me. Try to keep more focus on the why you quit. Do not focus on the why you think it will be okay to have just one because it will not be okay.

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On 2/28/2022 at 1:07 PM, KEL said:

One of the reasons I mucked around with cigarettes for as long as I did was because I imbued them with all sorts of magical things. So that is what they became until they "turned" on me. 

 

The magic cigarette.  

 

I had to smoke one first thing in the morning because it woke me up.  Also had to smoke one right before bed so I could get some sleep.

 

I had to smoke when I needed to focus on something.  Also had to smoke when I just needed to clear my head and zone out for a bit.

 

Finally figured out that attributing so many contradictory "benefits" to identical cigarettes was ridiculous.  I need to relax or I need to focus sounds better than I need another fix.

 

Facing the fact that I smoked because I was addicted to nicotine and I was addicted to nicotine because I smoked was important for me.  Helped me recognize the futility of smoking.

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On 2/27/2022 at 5:04 PM, DenaliBlues said:

Doing a lot of wall pushups.

To all of the above, I would just like to add, "one can never do enough pushups".  Regardless of the type.  The pushup is one of the most wonderful exercises there is.  Not only a great upper body exercise, but free, convenient, and can be done most anywhere.  I do some form of them daily as part of my workouts.  There are easily more than 15 variations of this exercise.
As far as tips, the only one I can offer is to come here, type, and meander with your thoughts.  Very distracting.

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Welcome!  I am new as well.  If I can do it after 64 years a smoker then  anyone can.  17 days is a great start.  I’m not far from where you are.  Do I THINK of them?  Yes!  Do I WANT one?  No!  That’s how I have to keep answering my craves.  You wouldn’t be here if you still WANTED to smoke, right?  So just keep reminding yourself of that.

 

I’m home recuperating from lung cancer surgery.  Lost half a lung.  Don’t end up where I am.  No fun.  Keep posting and especially reading.  We can do this.  YOU can do this.  

Edited by JudiMD
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……..Besides, I don’t have time to smoke.  I spend too many hours a day trying to figure out this website!  🤣

 

I finally made a ticker after a week and a half of trying.  Unfortunately, I’m still struggling with the rest of it; like replying to posts.

 

I want to thank everybody who has replied or spoken to me.  I’m still floating around trying to read/find replies to thank people.  Am I really this dense or am I in a brain fog from not smoking?  Anybody?  🤪

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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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