Formerly known as the About.com Smoking Cessation support forum, this community is open to all who are recovering from nicotine addiction.
39943 messages in 3229 discussions
Latest Apr-20 by blackbird912
46794 messages in 969 discussions
14213 messages in 743 discussions
2386 messages in 200 discussions
3826 messages in 260 discussions
77 messages in 18 discussions
255 messages in 33 discussions
1059 messages in 64 discussions
150 messages in 74 discussions
9479 messages in 126 discussions
98977 messages in 198 discussions
80 messages in 6 discussions
55695 messages in 14 discussions
137 messages in 126 discussions
I joined this forum mid April 2019 when I seriously quit, again. I had such a bad case of acid reflux / indigestion because, I believe, my system was so acidic exacerbated by smoking. It was great to quit!!
But, I socialized too soon and with a cocktail or two, I reverted back to my "favorite" things, you guessed it.....cig, cocktail, music and friends! You know why it was my favorite? Because it was ALL because I wanted to escape the stress that nicotine creates. I didn't really realize that then. But this is for those of you who may be hoodwinked like I was and boy was I! So, I drank like a fish to negate the stress that nicotine created and smoked to offset it too....Resulting in colossal hangovers!! All which would have been solved if I just quit smoking!! Crazy, huh? Can anyone relate? This consistent cycle was insane and I constantly questioned myself and what I was doing!! What is wrong with me and my life? My non-smoking friends certainly don't share the same problems as I do....I couldn't understand at the time.
I know now: 1. Don't socialize too soon....at least wait a month.
2. One max. two glasses of wine AND THAT IS IT to keep my head about myself.
Well, 2019 was such a year of quitting and starting...it was a crazy yo-yo cycle. 2 weeks off and then on, until July 2019 or so when I developed a dry cough but no other symptoms. Saw 3 doctors and they said bronchitis. I also had inflamed sinuses. Another Dr. visit and it was diagnosed as sinusitis.
With all these smoking related issues I had for the first time, I quit AGAIN. UNTIL......COVID STRUCK. 2020. I was feeling so good no smoking and exercising I was bouncing off the walls! I lived alone. I was completely isolated. All I could do was work on the computer, which was a source of stress and I just couldn't relax with no other outlet but work.
I had to bring my energy down.....yes, meditating was something I did. But, also, the madness of solitary confinement was depressing and a way to escape.....listen to music, glass of wine, ciggy and talk to friends on the phone....all of which meditating couldn't give me.
I really didn't want to start....but the circumstances got the better of me. Frankly, I didn't care about the downside of smoking at that time. I wanted an escape from insanity because, in addition to the isolation and all I mentioned earlier, I was living in a war zone!! Los Angeles and in the heart of constant helicopters, sirens, firecrackers, curfews and absorbing everyone in the community's stress and panic. I realize everyone is in their own unique situation, so it may be hard to relate...not sure.
So, I moved! Yay!! Freedom!!! To a peaceful place near family....isolation and war zone problems solved. But, the smoking continued because now I had the freedom to ENJOY smoking where It was stressful where I used to live because there was limited space to smoke there...I know all this sounds ridiculous to a non-smoker, which shows you the smoker's mentality and how convincing it is!
9 months later and I am quit again...THIS TIME FOREVER. Conviction gets stronger with more clarity gained after each quit, has been my experience. I can't "get away" with it any longer no matter my bargaining (just 3 a day, you see, I never smoked more than 5-7 a day so I thought "that's ok"....for 28 years, LOL!!)
I quit because I went out with friends dancing and I next morning I had a sore throat ( I smoked 3 cigs. that night). I felt a cold coming on. Weak, sneezy, sore throat, tired. I felt better in 2 days, broke down and HAD 3 CIGS!! What's the matter with me??? Anyhow, regretted it immediately and quit again....Now, I am waking with the most gnarly mucus ever. I used to wake up, clear my throat of a very small amount of clear mucus when I was a smoker for about a year and half....My body saying NO was beginning to get loud and clear.
One thing that helped me was writing out all the ways smoking affected my life - the pros and cons.
This helped a lot! So, I recommend it. I also recommend Allen Carr's (Alan?) The Easy Way to Stop Smoking. It really DOES WORK for most people, at least.
Here's my atrocious list. You can see why it's very easy for me to quit now for good!!
Downside to smoking:
1. Fatigue caused by lack of oxygen to the body/brain.
2. Brain fog for reasons listed above. Comprehension, concentration, memory, dizziness were all quite impaired which brings me to the next complaint.
3. Anxiety/stress/depression. Experience because of the nicotine itself inducing it but also, because the mental limitations and the frustrations it caused.
4. Makes exercising 50 times harder (stamina, breathing, strength, motivation and energy is also impaired)....intense muscle soreness afterwards due to lack of oxygen rich blood. General muscle stiffness tightness that is actually NOT due to age or lack of exercise even though it's easy for one to tell themselves that.
5. Lower immunity. Frequent colds, sore throats or ability to catch flu. Acidic versus alkaline system creating a hotbed for terminal illnesses.
6. Blurred eyes - I believe due to overall inflammation in the body...inflammation (caused by an acidic system caused by smoking) is irritation which allows the body to break down and create the perfect environment for terminal illnesses and other inflammatory related illnesses.
7. Sinusitis! Ugh!!
8. Constant muscle tension. Tightness of chest...Always wanted to stretch. I did daily morning deep breathing breath work for 20 minutes, and that would help, but sometimes, especially if I "over smoked" I felt like I was wasn't breathing deeply enough overall to get enough oxygen.
9. Morning mucus. Mainly clear and not too bad but still, one says, "What the hell?" That's not a good sign. This started in 2019..YUCK!!!
10. UNMOTIVATED! Everything was such a chore and "took it out of me". This was REALLY due to the stress I was carrying around with me from the stress nicotine creates thus causing fatigue. It's sneaky. One THINKS one is stressed because of outside circumstances. Also, I had an anxiety disorder diagnosed 20 years ago. Although I was "cured", whenever I felt a bit anxious and experienced the symptoms listed above, I blamed it on my disorder flaring it up because if you search for it, you'll see most if not all symptoms I listed above associated with anxiety/depression disorder. IT WASN'T MY DISORDER...IT WAS SMOKING!! See how freakin' sneaky it is?? Obviously, if I was clear my symptoms were smoking related and not anxiety related I would have quit to stop the symptoms, but instead, to calm the anxiety, why not have a smoke to dispel the stress? HAHA!! The stress is CAUSED FROM SMOKING, not the other way around.11. Indigestio
My story is the same but different. I think all of our stories are basically the same and that story is cigarettes are addicting and the only way around it is to never smoke again. I hope this stick clicks for you and me and for all of us here. I just know I am here today on this forum and that I made another pledge today. I am too early in this to feel confident about this quit. I have quit more times than I can even ever know.
I had to quit drinking. I am not a full fledge alcoholic but I used it too much to escape and to fill a void. Cigarettes do the exact same thing. OR SO I THINK SO! I say think because I am too fresh in my quit. I know better to ever put addiction in past form because I know how easy it is to light up. One puff and I am sure I will be back to smoking. I am tired of playing the mind games with the cigarettes. Crazy thing is the only thing I was playing with was myself. Cigarettes don’t have a brain, feet, heart or soul.
You’re in the right place for your quit :) I also loved the Allen Carr book and did the day course, but I still relapsed a couple of times. I think he has it spot on, that the only reason we smoke is we are addicted to nicotine. But I’m not sure knowing that makes it ‘easy’ to quit. It’s still hard! We have to break a lot of associations and warped thinking that addiction entails.
For me it was a combination of Allen Carr and coming on this forum that worked (I’m 4 years quit now). Especially hearing people say the whole first year is hard but as long as you take it one day at a time you will get free. Eventually that restless feeling of something missing goes, and you stop feeling deprived. It’s so lovely not to have the stress and anxiety of dependency hanging over me.
It sounds like having a drink with friends is a stumbling block in past quits. Ultimately you have to accept that smoking will not be part of those nights anymore. Otherwise you’ll spend years in this awful back and forth cycle. You might feel deprived at first but trust in your decision to not smoke, leave that in the past and in time it will feel normal and enjoyable to not smoke in those situations.
I wish you all the best in your quit!
4th March 2017
I hope you are doing well today. You asked about what helps clear your lungs. Have you looked up Mullein tea or tonic? I have seen a lot of great reviews.
Thanks for checking in with me...No, I haven't heard of those teas..I will look it up.
I"ve been drinking a lot of homemade tea:
1. fresh mint (rubbed between palms)
2. 1/2 squeezed lemon
3. teaspoon of honey
4. stick of cinnamon
5. quarter of jalepano
6. raw ginger
7. herbal tea
It really help decongest and purify. I do recommend to anyone especially if they have a cold/flu. Instantly one feels at least 50%-80% better and the effects are extremely long lasting and of course, can be repeatedly imbibed.
I can say this that is very different from my other quits: I don't think about smoking at all. My mind doesn't inform me that something is missing. My mind doesn't wander over to memories of smoking. No urge is there for me. It's as if I am someone who has never smoked. It's really weird! All other times, I would get distracted in conversation, lose focus about what I was talking about and focus instead on smoking. I would dream about smoking. I would pine for my moments/routine with smoking and drinking coffee. Now, I don't see that as ever being satisfying or wishing for that kind of satisfaction. I wonder if it is different because I moved from a chaotic, oppressive place to a peaceful and absolutely beautiful environment. Maybe before I had the urge to smoke and stop being quit mainly to escape that hellish environment. Now, I have freedom I didn't have before. What is for certain is that I believe what Allen Carr says: IT IS MORE PSYCHOLOGICAL THAN PHYSICAL ADDICTION. Nicotine leaves the body quite quickly.
thanks for giving me the space to air out my musings and reflections. I will check on the teas you recommended.
Very insightful and true share, Chris. Thank you, it makes a big difference that you chose to reply to my post. :) Great you said escape, because cigs/drink is an excellent way to avoid life. I don't want to avoid anything in life and since I've quit, there is nothing I WANT TO AVOID. Isn't that ironic.?
It sounds like having a drink with friends is a stumbling block in past quits.
Yes!! but, funny thing is. I thought about this last night and I remembered last time I quit, friends had me over for wine. I would absolutely not allow myself more than 1 glass. I knew I would lose self-control and sneak a cig. I was uncomfortable and a bit rigid and stiff. I think I wished very much that I could just have one cig. Compromise. Just be able to get away with smoking 3-5 cigs a day. But, that I was doing and that was too much addiction/habit and smoking for me - that little amount of smoking took over my whole life!! There is no compromise! I am clear about that more than ever!! I used to think, wouldn't this be a perfect world if I could healthfully smoke a few a day without any drawbacks. Not any more.....!!!
I've moved out of state since then and Funny thing is, last night I thought If my new friends invited me over for drinks AND if they smoked, I would not be interested in the least! In fact, I had one of my neighbors over for dinner a few nights ago. I served wine (not for myself, I am getting over a head cold) and never did I associate socializing with smoking, which I would ALWAYS DO BEFORE. Socialize? Best part about socializing is smoking....that was me in the past. Seems moving to a peaceful environment makes it that much more easier to quit.
Ultimately you have to accept that smoking will not be part of those nights anymore. Yes!! Yes!!
Otherwise you’ll spend years in this awful back and forth cycle. No! No! It's the WORST!! Stopping and starting....Awful!!
You might feel deprived at first but trust in your decision to not smoke, leave that in the past and in time it will feel normal and enjoyable to not smoke in those situations. That's the goal!! :D
you are doing quite well!!!!
The tea sound wonderful except rhe jalapeño. I
I think Allen Carr is spot on many aspects of nicotine addiction. I used his program 4 times!! I bought the book for the 1st quit and paid a hefty chunk for access to their online class. This last time i put cigarettes down, his seminar didn’t work. I have listened to the seminars so many times that I probably have,part of it memorized.
I am on day 11 of this quit. I did struggle more this time. Although Today is the best day yet. I will eventually get comfortable with my quit and that’s when I will have to be more gentle but cautious with myself.