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It gets better - I promise   Quit Support

Started Oct-28 by WhiteKnight (whynot44m); 768 views.

Hello

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 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 57.  I am sooooo thankful I quit.  I wish you all success and I will help you if I am able.

The White Knight

Loreficent

From: Loreficent

Oct-29

Hello White Knight...

You just did help! Perhaps more than you know. One of the best things about being here is folks like you that come back and give your perspective in retrospect. It really helps me to hang on in the NOW as you said. 
What really struck me is you speaking to self esteem. This is something that I noticed early, and I was very excited to make a week, then two, then three...that is when the boost of self esteem really hit and it was wonderful. The craves certainly weren’t gone, and still aren’t fully, but each one I don’t give in is an accomplishment that only I could do for me, and it is motivating.
It can be hard, as you know, when in the throes of misery to just hang on. Man. Quitting is the most serious head game I’ve ever had with myself! And I haven’t been perfect and have had a couple of days I didn’t  win. Coming here to tell about those was both dreadful and humbling, but also...it felt really good to be honest about it with others and myself. This was a huge piece missing before. Forcing myself to be honest with myself, and having a feeling of accountability to others. At the end of those days, I got back up, dusted off, and decided I didn’t lose either. 
It feels more on the way every day now. It is good to read your timeline too, when things started to click. This helps me relax into this quit and accept it may be a while yet. But it is not as scary anymore for sure.
Anyway...thank you for stopping by. It means a lot. So good to know and hear from you folks that have no desire and fear anymore. 

Jaka38

From: Jaka38

Oct-29

Reading your post is inspiring and intimidating at the same time. Let me explain why intimidating...

I'm at a beginning of my quit. It's day 27 for me to be precise. I went through the hardest part I guess but that feeling of missing something is still very present, very alive. We were discussing high expectations before on this forum. Since it's hard to me to let go of them I find myself anxious when reading your post. So it can take a year or so? But, on the other hand, I'm closer to understand that now. It's a process, not event. That's what they say... It's still hard and really vivid for me. Not just obvious cravings, wanting cigarettes right now... it's rather more subtle in a form of general anxiety, fear, anger, facial tension, headache and so on. There is this acting out tendency with a melancholic background. Like there's no air. Actually it's quite the opposite smile

Anyway, not so intense as at a beginning, more tolerable, with more lightness to it. There are days when it's quite OK. There are few but they are here. I don't actually miss smoking. I probably miss only stories connected to it. That's the hardest part, this mental conditioning associated to smoking...

I drank a lot of cold water. Not so much anymore. Then some push ups when it's really intense. Or go for a walk, long one, very often. I start to drink coffee again in smaller doses. But no alcohol and no gatherings with smoking friends. It's safer that way for now. Definitely. 

I'm glad you posted your quit story. It's great to see what can be done. I'm 38 now and actually really happy I made this decision now. Thanks again and have a wonderful smoke free life wink

In reply toRe: msg 3

Jaka

Well done on your quit.  You are well on your way and it really sounds like you are in a good place in your journey.  I remember someone telling me to think about your "Quit" in terms of Seasons.  It might not be on your mind right now, but we sometimes still associate smoking w various events.....perhaps that traditional July 4th BBQ w Family, or Thanksgiving/Christmas with Relatives, or Spring....whatever.  Everyone has different triggers.  The more tools you develop now, the better you can withstand those temptations.  I like the fact you have developed some good coping tools.  You are well on your way!

Good luck!

Loreficent

Well done!  Your self esteem is earned.  Everyone who has fought/is fighting this battle understands and respects the battle - and the sweet taste of victory....one battle at a time.  Your self esteem will continue to grow - and to be honest, it is right to do so.   I have incredible respect for you and everyone who is slaying the Nicodemon multiple times a day.

I also respect admitting to - and learning from - the occasional mistake.  When do we learn the most?  When we pick ourselves back up, dust ourselves off - and enter once more into the ring.  Hide from nothing - look the NicoDemon square in the eye and ENGAGE

I wish you continued success

StruggleHard

From: StruggleHard

Oct-29

Jaka and I are close to the same quit date.  I understand why he says your post is intimidating.  I can't even imagine feeling this awful for months on end; I truly have to take it a day at a time.

Unlike Jaka, I miss smoking. I KNOW this is junkie thinking and not setting me up for success, and I'm working on that. I KNOW smoking is not a reward and what I really miss is the absence of the anxiety of cravings, etc.   

But good to know that it eventually goes away.  I try to take inspiration from others who have battled and won.  I'm still at the stage where I want to smash the people who say it wasn't that hard.  I would never actually do that, of course, but I have a punching bag in my garage that was untouched for many years and is now getting used quite a bit!

StruggleHard

I completely understand how you feel.  As my post stated, I was probably the most addicted of anyone I knew.  I couldn't sit through a 2-1/2 hour movie without cravings.  I traveled regularly and had nicotine gum in my pockets at all times...chewed it like bubble gum.

Early into my quit, I asked myself on a daily - on an hourly basis - when the h*** would I have relief.  It was excruciating.  I literally could not wrap my head around actually going an hour without having huge cravings.  Was that to be the misery I could expect for the rest of my life?   

I remember asking others and never getting the answer I was looking for....or at least not in a way that hit home for me.  I remember hearing about people who were starting to feel better after 1 month....2 months...3 months.  I was not one of them.  I know there are others who, fortunately, are able to experience some relief quite quickly.  I don't know - maybe that is the norm and I was an exception - but I kept on keeping on.  As I weathered storm after storm, building my quit, day by day, I promised myself that if/when the day finally came that I was free, I'd be sure to let others know that it is truly possible.  The day finally did come......and I found relief.

I'm telling you in as clear words as I can muster....I have absolutely ZERO desire for nicotine and haven't missed it for years and years.  I am as free as a bird........and you can be too.  

It's so worth it......

Stay strong and good luck

StruggleHard

From: StruggleHard

Oct-29

Thank you WhiteKnight!  I think I just need to hear this over and over; that it will pass.

Loreficent

From: Loreficent

Oct-29

Yes, I understand the intimidation part too, but, oh my gosh, doesn’t it make us realize when we hear White Knight how normal that is?? So...in the intimidation for me comes great relief. Out of our pain one day we will have such great pleasure. I just know it. We can do this. We are doing this! Yay! And we have a Knight in shining armor leading our way! So wonderful this place is. You all are truly the only people in my life that “get it”. That is a powerful thing for us to have, to be understood and accepted. 

Jaka38

From: Jaka38

Oct-29

Thanks. I like the season metaphor. It's changing all the time. Nice to hear that

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