Formerly known as the About.com Smoking Cessation support forum, this community is open to all who are recovering from nicotine addiction.
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Every once in a while, I remember a promise made to myself a decade or so ago. I was a 2 pack a day Marlboro Hard Pack smoker. I gunned those suckers down. The first thing I looked for in the morning and the last thing I looked for at night before bed was a smoke. I found this forum as I was going through my quit. I can't remember exactly when I first found it (I'm a bit disappointed that all my posts and history are most likely gone with the advent of the new forum layout but also understand that this new forum doubtless brings many new features and benefits for the group) but I do remember it was early in my quit. I remember all the phenomenal support and willingness to share knowledge, tricks, wisdom, etc. I believe it was key to the success of my quit. Heck, some of us got close enough that we all met at Deputy Dan's house in Detroit and had a cook-out! There was probably 15-20 ppl there and I remember some of them...Tweety Bird made an appearance, Wonder Woman, and many others. All of us shared some camaraderie and a shared goal of putting those smokes down for good.
My promise was this - for me, I had a hard time believing I could ever go a day without withdrawal symptoms. So powerful was my addiction I literally could not conceive life without smoking other than endless days of suffering. I remember reading some posts where people could already feel a sense of no longer missing cigs after just a few months. For me, 2 or 3 months into the quit, I was still suffering. How long - if ever - would it take for me to get free of these chains - I asked myself hourly.
I can promise you this - stay focused on your quit - better said, stay focused on building as many days as you can between your NOW and your Quit Date and you will free yourself of this addiction. For me (and I'm very serious when I tell you I was more addicted than anyone I personally knew) - it took me 8-9 months before I felt it letting up. 12 months was probably the first day I literally went without thinking about a cigarette. I know many others hit that goal much sooner than I did but that is my personal milestone. After a year, I felt confident I was free BUT I also know if I had even one puff I'd be back. As I moved into my second year, I'd go days and weeks and eventually months without ever thinking of them. Today, I might remember I smoked if someone brings it up, or if I'm at a store standing behind someone who just smoked and I can smell it. I am FREE. I don't miss them AT ALL. YOU can be free too.
This was not my first quit attempt but it was my last one. The secret of this one? The reason why it finally worked?
1. I used the patch. Didn't go cold turkey.
2. I developed as many coping tools as I could and put them in my toolbox. Do things you never did while smoking to get through those hard cravings. Try swimming, a shower, whatever has NO connection with smoking to weather the storm. Cravings are temporary. They might come one right after the other but they each have a start and a stop. Every craving is a battle. Every time you make it through you have a victory and a lesson - take confidence in your record of defeating every single craving.
3. Concentrate on building your Quit. As the saying goes, "The longest Journey starts with a single step". That is correct. This is a journey - not a sprint. It's going to SUCK. You are going to learn about yourself- about your life, your strengths, and your weaknesses. Stare them down each and every day. Your self-esteem is going to increase every day - you will know if you can do this you can do anything (and you will be right). Every day is a victory. Every day is a step towards freedom.
I promise you - as hard as it is (or might be) to believe ....you WILL wake up and not think of smoking some day. You will have that freedom. I quit when I was 41. I'm now 53. I am sooooo thankful I quit. I wish you all success and I will help you if I am able.
The White Knight
What a wonderful post. Thank You so much.
Day 37 for me and to be honest I was flagging a bit today. A bit down. You gave me the idea of trying a few new things over the next couple of weeks. Thanks again and many congratulations on your quit.
Dear White Knight,
Wow, that was a very powerful post. I for one needed that today. It said it all and thank you for thinking of us quitters on the forum.
I'm almost at 2 years and I admit it is better. I have days where I think about smoking, but they are only thoughts. I can't wait until they go away. Actually, I don't think I have a day without thinking of smoking, but these too are just the memories of it. Too many years and too many triggers to still overcome.
I'm moving forward and do not want to start again. If I did start, I know I would never quit again.
Many thanks to you again for such a powerful post on this 1st day of the New Year.
Happy New Year to you and many more, my friend.
Quit date: Feb. 18, 2015
WOW White Knight - that is 12 years quit. That is awesome and my mind can not even wrap around that length of time.
I am at 9 1/2 months and yes it is getting easier ans easier as time goes one, but I still get the twinges and thoughts. Had on a little while ago while at brother and SIL house. All going well and all of a sudden thought about how I used to go home and have a smoke and how nice that would be - quick NO to that thought and all was fine. I know I will always be an addict and probably have those thoughts off and on and have to be ready for them to occur and NOT react to.
Thank you for your post....SueP quit 3/17/2016 X 9
Thank you Sueuk. Congrats on your quit! 37 days is EXCELLENT
Thank you Laura
That means a lot to me. As you know - we must remain vigilant and never let our guards down. Well done on your quit!!!!
You've got this!!! Well done on your response to the unplanned Craving! Keep up the great work
Thanks......SueP quit 3/17/2016 X 9
Thank you for your post! It really helps to see a light at the end of the tunnel...
Elena (2 weeks today)
Hey White Knight
Thank you so much for a beautiful, encouraging post.
I've had and, occasionally, still have moments when I wonder when it will end and why some of my quit buddies have found peace when I have still been suffering. I've recently accepted that the length of time and amount of cigarettes you smoked does have some bearing on the length of time you suffer in your quit. I smoked heavily for 52 years so now know that I have to pull every ounce of patience I possess out to see this through.
Having said that, it has got easier and easier and, as my one year approaches, I am happy to say that the benefits I have recently been feeling far, far outweigh any desire to smoke which could still lurk in my brain. I am a very obstinate and determined old lady and I will do this. Reading posts like yours gives me the necessary ammunition I need and being a daily reader and contributor to this Forum ensures that I will do this. It's definitely the support that I have received here which has made my quit possible.
Thank you and have the most wonderful 2017.
Big Hugs, Sue
Quit 11th January 2016