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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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December 2020 Ex-Smokers    Quit Buddies Unite

Started Nov-30 by Terry (abquitsmking); 4932 views.
lizlemon90

From: lizlemon90

Dec-14

Hi all....

This is day 3 for me quitting my juul. (was hitting the equivalent of 1pack/day for 2.5 years, though had been smoking mildly for over 10 years before that). I decided to quit kindof improptu the other day, it was something I have been on the verge of doing for months, and i felt this urge inside my body to quit for good that i felt i needed to follow.

I'm currently going cold turkey and it's not very fun to say in the least. Today (day 3) has been the hardest for me by far though... perhaps because I had to take a full dose of adderall (10mg instant release) + work all day (or try at least!). I've had awful GI side effects all day, plus very bad body tremors, headache and light-headedness. Also have pretty bad chronic pain already and i've been experiencing many more flare ups today. I feel like I have absolutely no control of my body or mind and i am just blindly riding this wave into an unknown space to see where it takes me. Yet somehow, with all of this, I still feel that the urge to smoke is weirdly the most painful thing to experience...even if it doesn't always feel like that in the moment. The more lightheaded and out of my body i feel, the harder it is to keep these realizations close to me, however. Also.... the feeling is so strong it's honestly just impossible for me to get through all this introductory text. I hope I am doing this right. Would love a quit buddy/community to talk to about all these strange and awful symptoms. 

I will say... a big part of my drive to quit juuling finally is that I have been slowly and miraculously recovering from years of awful chronic pain and chronic physical symptoms. Hard to explain in full right now, but I've been able to heal many of my awful symptoms after diving into the research of Dr. John Sarno and colleagues on the brain's responsibility for physical maladies, then realizing and bringing light to some childhood trauma i've carried over into the rest of my life, and beginning to talk with a somatic therapist (we haven't even talked much about my juul addiction yet but boyy can i not wait for our appointment later this week). If anyone else has heard of PPD, TMS, Mindbody Syndrome, John Sarno, Howard Schubiner, Nicole Sachs (anything related) and would like to chat on bringing those insights into the nicotine addiction recovery process, I would love to hear about it. I am experiencing a huge cognitive dissonance at the moment, between feeling like superman and knowing that I can battle this addiction without any pain or upset — and then feeling sooo defeated by it. Regardless, I definitely see the link between this stupid juul addiction and the pain cycle. It's pretty uncanny actually. It's not making me 100% better yet but it did give me the courage to start the battle at least.....

Wishing everyone well.

Loreficent

From: Loreficent

Dec-15

Hey there,

Welcome aboard! Best decision you will make for the rest of your life probably. I can’t speak to most of those side effects, but can definitely speak to being an addict and the withdrawal. I don’t want to open a can of worms in the way of discussing “which way is best to quit “, and I largely think it is irrelevant and whatever works for one particular individual is THEIR best way to quit. I am curious though, with the ongoing pain issues and other things you mention, why did you choose cold turkey as opposed to NRT like patch and/or gum? True, one inevitably needs to wean off those, but it is in controlled, measured fashion. Just curious is all, and again, not that it is better, but more wondering if it is something you tried previously and weren’t successful?

Either way, stay close to here as there is tons of support. Also, of you haven’t already, read from the beginning of the month New Quitters thread. There is a ton of good “get started” information that is very helpful there!

Keep posting and take it one moment at a time! You can do this.

lizlemon90

From: lizlemon90

Dec-15

Hi Loreficent... thx for the reply! And thanks so much for your support!! Grateful to have found this community. I sent a long response to you earlier but looks like it didn't go through :-/ ...and then I had to go back to work. But your question is interesting/thought-provoking and i guess a blessing in disguise that I have to type out my answer to it one more time... Although, as a side note i've found that ever since middle of Day 1 it's been super hard for me to articulate like a normal human lol. I just want to scream or dance or run or do pretty much anything except rationalize or form thoughts... not sure if anyone else experiences that too? 


So I agree with you 100%, there are different effective ways, and there's really no way to know what will work for you. My decision to quit was totally spontaneous, so I wasn't prepared in the ways that are probably recommended. But in a way, I don't feel 'spiritually' unprepared because I had been battling with quitting vs. not quitting for years. That battle ate me up inside constantly, and in a way, it was almost like I was experiencing the same suffering of quitting but on a very deep, repressed, hard to reach level. For me, the thought of quitting made me literally sick to my stomach (having to get the right NRTs, talk to the right doctors, find the "perfect" day, etc. etc.)....when in reality, it was gonna suck the same amount no matter when, where or how I did it. I know this as a fact, not for everyone, but at least for me. My motivation to quit is admittedly just a big step for me in a holistic mind/body healing process to cure my chronic health issues.... so it's not as much for me about those known risks of smoking and my doctor told me to quit, etc. etc. (which i'm very lucky to be able to say!)... but it is all about listening to my body and caring for it, in a pretty deep way. 

Of course, right now, I only know how my method feels... but I also know that, if I wasn't going through this awful, painful struggle of doing it cold turkey, the thought of the patch would make me feel crazy restricted. Now... thinking about the patch makes me salivate lol. So now i'm at this point after 4 days of my nicotine withdrawal, and it sucks, and like....as much as I crave it, I just really don't think I want it at all....because it's really just not necessary and my body doesn't need it. If you're feeling the same after a few days, then that tells you everything is in your mind...and your mind has the power to heal it. 

Also....to bring some of the insights in from my from my experience with chronic pain and research into the MindBody paradigm (7-8 decades of research accumulated by esteemed Western pain physicians).... they all recommend to immediately stop all physical interventions (such as Physical therapy, pills, topicals, injections) and then start to reintroduce things like exercise, journaling, meditation, psychotherapy, activities or certain foods that you had to restrict yourself with when you were sick. The reason to take away the physical interventions is that they actually create such a strong pavlovian response, conditioning us to believe we have no control over our pain (and that we need these treatments even though they don't do much help anyways). There's about a 90% success rate with this treatment, and 75% or so for long-term cure. And while I have been focused more on physical illness treatments, these doctors also say that chronic, unexplainable physical symptoms are "equivalents" of disorders like addictions, eating disorders, insomnia, anxiety and depression...which I would entirely agree with. For me, my juul addiction is a mirror image of my experience with vertigo, and jaw pain, while my past eating disorder is close cousins with my pelvic pain. Again, I feel like there's much more insights and ups and downs i'm about to have along the way but... this is definitely some knowledge that will keep me grounded through it all as I find my way up and out. And I also don't believe i'm even 'cold turkey' or anyone could be really unless they were only drinking water and a super-strict diet lol... I am using soo many things to cope.... gum, cough drops, snacks (trying to keep somewhat limited), medical marijuana (CBD/THC blend), coffee, friends to bug, a therapist, exercise, dancing, tea, water...and i'm kindof cycling through it all very intensely and urgently which i don't think is really very healthy or stable but still I'm only human!

gkim

From: gkim

Dec-15

The brain fog and inability to concentrate is definitely one of the nicotine withdrawal symptoms. There’s a lot but it’s not as bad as the craves that come, in my opinion. It seems you have a good attitude. Stick with it snd good luck!

In reply toRe: msg 21
Londiann

From: Londiann

Dec-17

Hi there, I wish I were on day 36 in my quit journey.  I'm on day 5 and don't have any cigs in my apt. I definitely feel a loss. It's as if cigs are the last thing of the my pretty fun and exciting days when I lived in L.A. and worked in the movie biz, went to parties where most of us altered our attitudes (in a pretty lightweight way), nothing serious.  Letting go of the only thing that's left that could be seen as a reminder of those good old days.

I reason with myself:  There is nothing good about smoking, nothing at all. There is everything good about not smoking. When I feel the urge and want one, I remind myself that by not smoking, I'm not doing anything that hurts my body or my health. I remind myself that smoking is such a stupid thing to do. It is.  And, I have had fears of lung cancer. I'd feel even more stupid if that were to happen. I hope to communicate stories and share experiences with  many of you on this forum.

I hope we all do stick with our commitment. My thinking is to stay in the headspace that I don't "want" to smoke, then it's easy. Align my conscious with my subconscious.  So long for now.

fortemdomina

From: fortemdomina

Dec-17

Realigning your thought process is def a good strategy when quitting smoking.  This site has lots of good information and articles to help you understand and realign your mind.  Keep reading and posting here and things do get easier.  Tonight will mark 3 weeks for me.  Are you quitting cold turkey or using NRT or medication?

In reply toRe: msg 19
Lubbercat

From: Lubbercat

Dec-17

Sorry I did not reply sooner.......my home internet is sketchy at best.......and I have been super busy at work!  I am now on day 12 and actually feeling pretty good about all of this.  Hoping to be done with patches and all before the end of the year but, I will use the patches if I need to........still determined to make 2021 with NO SMOKES EVER.......

5 Months is fantastic.  Let's keep going forward!

Londiann

From: Londiann

Dec-17

The act of quitting was cold turkey, but my mind was prepared for it first. I have nicotine patches, but haven't used them. Maybe I should.  I'm doing self-talk, not just thinking it, but saying it, just the truth about this ridiculous habit/addiction. I don't want to smoke, it's my time to have control.  I realize now that what I did before when I was "trying" to quit was unproductive; I vocalized my yearning for a cig, internally and out loud. I let that yearning grip me and build up pressure, the pressure felt really bad emotionally, then I'd bolt to the smoke shop, buy a pack, get home, light up and feel relieved, temporarily. Then feel failure. Then I'd wonder what I was doing that wasn't working.

I was aligning conscious with unconscious, giving my feelings of wanting validation.  That didn't feel good. Made me realize that I had to align my conscious with my subconscious, more, the deepest part of me that I had not been using.  The powerful part of existing in the mind.

Reminding myself that I appreciate not making my apt. stinky, not coughing first thing in the morning, not feeling weak of mind, hoping my lip lines will diminish somewhat, and most of all, knowing that I'm not hurting and poisoning my body. Toying with the idea of exercising to the point of exertion that would demand more oxygen and show me where I am, how out of shape I am. Several years ago, I was still doing some singing and now I wonder if these old pipes and these old lungs could, with enough practice, work up to holding notes for longer than 10 seconds without sounding raggedy, and liking the sound of them. Don't know if I could get that, but a commitment to try would feel good. Wish I had a keyboard. I could sing along with jazz CDs with female vocals.  Time to start my day, get to my "To Do" list, get stuff done, accomplish, work on long-ignored sewing projects. Get another case of water, a new calendar. Peace, out. Sorry to be so lengthy.

Anne2020

From: Anne2020

Dec-17

Hello and congratulations on day 5.  If you have gone this long without NRT's and think you can continue I strongly recommend it.  I quit cold turkey on January 1, 2020 (almost a year now) and found that I recovered from the cravings and foggy brain etc. very quickly. (within a month).  Most of the people I talk to who did quit cold turkey found their experience was not that difficult and that scravings lightened up and disappeared rather quickly (all gone in three months) compared to those using NRTs.  I am also all about attitude and know that the happier your are about your quit the easier it is on you.  Whenever a craving struck, my first instinct was to feel happy that my body was telling me I was winning.  My mind wouldn't be telling me to have a smoke if my body wasn't losing all that nicotine and I wasn't learning new reactions to situations like stress, partying, other smokers etc.

So if you can maintain your quit without NRTs you are rewarded with a quicker over the hurdles type of experience. 

Welcome to your new smokefree life.   CHeers!    

tjump

From: tjump

Dec-17

Hi everyone!!!

I am reading a book I recommend to anyone. It offers many helpful ideas we need, as recovering lung and body damaged individuals. 

"The Smoking Cure" by Caroline Cranshaw

It covers addiction in a very interesting way.

Other than I'm doing all I can daily to overcome this horrifying nicotine and smoking issue, I still fight everything all day, except being in bed.  All of my things I have to get done like important bills, laundry, holiday things, are in heaps and strown piles I don't want to deal with. My moods are as extreme as hot and cold with my family. I've quit for 7 years since smoking for 21 years lately, and I don't remember any of the details of quit days anything like this.  I am still using a 21mg patch because I don't feel I'm ready to go without it quite yet.  When it runs out after 24 hours, I start noticing my attitude go to hell real quickly.

Anyone else going through this? I am 60 Years old, if that has much to do with it.

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