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What do your cravings FEEL like?   Quit Support

Started Nov-30 by fortemdomina; 335 views.

From: fortemdomina


As smokers, we talk about having cravings quite a bit, but what does that actually feel like for you?  I don't think mine are "normal" and I am curious.

My first serious quit attempt would have been about 15 years ago now, but I remember that experience like it was yesterday.  I got a very tight, uncomfortable feeling in my chest early on in that first day, that increased in intensity until my heart was racing and I was sweating.  I started breathing and sipping water, confident it would stop in 5-10 minutes.  Imagine my shock and horror when it lasted 45 minutes.  I had about 15 minutes of "normal" before it happened again, that time lasting for an hour and then again and again.  This experience happened every time I made an attempt to quit.  It took me years to understand I was having a panic attack.  I always assumed, that is what everyone experienced when they "craved" a cigarette.

I'm curious as to how it feels for you all.  I don't think that is the usual.  I'm older and wiser now than I was 15 years ago, and am better equipped to handle these symptoms, but I am curious as to what everyone else feels.


From: Loreficent


Yeah, that sounds like a panic attack. Had those too. Not that fun, right? That phase didn’t last that long for me. But they were and are always very mental. I found for those physical ones they were relieved quickly with some physical activity. Almost as if my mind/ body were telling me like with the fight or flight thing to MOVE. So it worked and still does. Others though are sometimes these romantic longings, telling myself I can have a “date with just one”, etc. I tried that once early in my quit and it was awful. Overwhelming guilt and regret and it messed with my confidence kind of bad. Took a few days after that to stop that chatter, so I highly recommend not doing it. It just started the process over like all the old timers say. Such a mind game. Second time I bought some with intention to smoke for the day. I think I was in a bit of self destruct mode maybe. Rebellion? Not sure and gave up trying to figure that out soon after. I smoked 8 that day and threw the rest away. Didn’t even give them to a street person like I would have. Just threw them out. I regretted that slip too. That was almost 6 months ago. Guess what? Nothing around me changed. I do think that is when it really sunk in that the world was gonna go on whether I killed myself smoking or not. I accepted it was a choice and conscious decision and that I could smoke and feel bad about myself mentally, spiritually, and feel bad physically, or I could continue as an ex smoker and feel a little better about some things. We all whine and get caught up in the crappy withdrawals, rightly so; they suck. We all also forget very quickly that smoking DOES NOTHING FOR US that we cannot do without smoking. Except stink more maybe. I have had many craves that I watch like a movie. Kind of fascinating and, in hindsight, fun. Getting to know our minds on a different level and meet ourselves where we are in a moment. Doesn’t mean you have to give yourself what the addict voice is asking for. It’s interesting to listen to it and watch it play the part it does though. 
Yeah. All mental. Even with the patch it was. 

  • Edited November 30, 2020 3:56 pm  by  Loreficent

From: gkim


It could also have been withdrawal systems snd not a craving. I had headaches, which I know were a part of the withdrawal symptoms. I also read a lot of people have issues with their sinuses when they quit. So physical occurrences are withdrawal symptoms and cravings are what your brain is telling you you must have. I need I need. Withdrawal symptoms go away a lot faster than craving, obviously. My one friend quit a year ago and she said the little voice still come to her saying “I want a cigarette.” We’re in it for the long haul!


From: StruggleHard


Yes, this! People did not know what I was talking about. My husband, who used to smoke, said he never felt that chest stuff, not heart racing. I never started sweating, but joked that my heart wasn't getting in better shape bc it was racing after quitting. 

I figured my cravings were just stronger than others. It took a bunch of my friends, including a nurse, to convince me it was anxiety and not withdrawal. For me they seem to be one in the same. 

Ten weeks in and the anxiety is better, but I won't pretend I never get it anymore.