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This community is open to all who are recovering from nicotine addiction.
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Hello everyone and Happy New Year! Sorry I haven't checked in for a couple days but wanted to see how everyone is doing. The beginning (and middle) is just so hard so just focus on one day at a time. There were times I focused on one minute, one hour at a time. Don't worry about the past or how long you've smoked, you can get past it. I smoked for over 35 years. My husband is actually trying to quit now too so I'm trying to support him also. Taking on that NOPE mantra each morning is huge. Just make it through each day without smoking. You can do this! Read as much as you can to educate yourself and take deep breaths. Once you realize how smoking is an addiction (similar to heroin and cocaine), you can free yourself. We romanticize it and think the cigarettes are our "friends" but that is simply not true.
Some people think they like smoking, but the truth about why smoking feels good has little to do with enjoyment. It's a toxic, addictive relationship.Read more from Verywell Mind
I will never forget this article that I have read over 1,000 times. It was my go-to my first year:
My Cigarette, My Friend
How do you feel about a friend who has to go everywhere with you? Not only does he tag along all the time, but since he is so offensive and vulgar, you become unwelcome when with him. He has a peculiar odor that sticks to you wherever you go. Others think both of you stink.
He controls you totally. When he says jump, you jump. Sometimes in the middle of a blizzard or storm, he wants you to come to the store and pick him up. You would give your spouse hell if he or she did that to you all the time, but you can't argue with your friend.
Sometimes, when you are out at a movie or play he says he wants you to go stand in the lobby with him and miss important scenes. Since he calls all the shots in your life, you go.
Your friend doesn't like your choice of clothing either. Instead of politely telling you that you have lousy taste, he burns little holes in these items so you will want to throw them out. Sometimes, he tires of the furniture and gets rid of it too. Occasionally, he gets really nasty and decides the whole house must go.
He gets pretty expensive to support. Not only is his knack of property destruction costly, but you must pay to keep him with you. In fact, he will cost you thousands of dollars over your lifetime. And you can count on one thing, he will never pay you a penny in return.
Often at picnics, you watch others playing vigorous activities and having lots of fun doing them. But your friend won't let you. He doesn't believe in physical activity. In his opinion, you are too old to have that kind of fun. So he kind of sits on your chest and makes it difficult for you to breathe. Now you don't want to go off and play with other people when you can't breathe, do you?
Your friend does not believe in being healthy. He is really repulsed by the thought of you living a long and productive life. So, every chance he gets he makes you sick. He helps you catch colds and flu. Not just by running out in the middle of the lousy weather to pick him up at the store. He is more creative than that.
He carries thousands of poisons with him which he constantly blows in your face. When you inhale some of them, they wipe out cilia in your lungs which would have helped you prevent these diseases.
But colds and flu are just his forms of child's play. He especially likes diseases that slowly cripple you - like emphysema. He considers this disease great. Once he gets you to have this, you will give up all your other friends, family, career goals, activities - everything. You will just sit home and caress him, telling him what a great friend he is while you desperately gasp for air.
But eventually your friend tires of you. He decides he no longer wishes to have your company. Instead of letting you go your separate ways, he decides to kill you. He has a wonderful arsenal of weapons behind him. In fact, he has been plotting your death since the day you met him.
He picked all the top killers in society and did everything in his power to ensure you would get one of them. He overworked your heart and lungs. He clogged up the arteries to your heart, brain, and every other part of your body. In case you were too strong to succumb to this, he constantly exposed you to cancer-causing agents. He knew he would get you sooner or later.
Well, this is the story of your "friend," your cigarette. No real friend would do all this to you. Cigarettes are the worst possible enemies you ever had. They are expensive, addictive, socially unacceptable, and deadly. Consider all this and - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
thank you so much for sharing this. I came here because I’m struggling a bit tonight and that was great to read!
I’ve slept most of today and am near tears tonight. Addiction sucks.
Hello Jenny - it is a new day and hopefully it will be better! I quit 13 months ago (after more than 40 years of smoking, off and on) -- and this forum helped me tremendously. One thing that helped in particular was changing my mindset about craves. I knew they were inevitable at the beginning, and they scared me. I believed they had the power to keep me from achieving my goal of quitting. I believed they had the power to keep me from ever being content as a nonsmoker. But the wisdom of my fellow ex-smokers taught me that craves are not to be feared. They pass quickly. If I acknowledge a crave and don't try to suppress it but instead do something to cope with it (in my case I take deep breaths and focus my attention elsewhere), the crave loses its power over me. Just as importantly, each time a crave happens and I don't act on it, I count it as a victory for myself. As victories add up, I know I am winning. And the more days go by without smoking, the less craves I have, and the more I notice the benefits of not smoking. The addict in us tells us what we're missing out on. (Lies, of course.) But my true self is so grateful for what I've gained and continue to gain: optimism around my health, a better sense of smell and taste, more money, I could go on! Jenny I hope you keep telling yourself it will get easier, because it will!
Martha, I very much appreciate your message! Last night I told myself I’d at least hold off until today and today I feel much better. I had a small tiff with my family last night and was frustrated, which had me thinking smoking would make me happier. I knew it wouldn’t really, but wanted to all the same.
I’ve been working hard to acknowledge my cravings as just what they are and choose what I’ll do instead. I think that’s helped a lot.
I hope you have a wonderful Sunday. Again, thank you so much for writing. It really makes me happy to wake up and read an encouraging message.
I'm happy to send encouragement -- and I hope you feel proud of yourself for your victory last night!! Hang in there:)
I LOVE everything you wrote! And I did have my last cigarette early yesterday morning! So it has been 24 hours since my last cigarette I am proud to say! You were right January 7 was a great day to quit!
My friend used to have nicotine lozenges, but then he got addicted to those. I understand why you suck on the cinnamon candies instead of the lozenges. Crosstitch project for your daughter’s music teacher. Sounds like it’s going really well. I’m glad you have been able to put time into it! When I had six months, this forum helped me so much.
And I think you living in California is very interesting. Try and remember the name of the burger place ha ha unfortunately my roommate Bob bought a pack of cigarettes yesterday. He’s just not ready I guess. But I am a bartender and I work at California Pizza kitchen (what a coincidence!) I made sure when I got out of work I did not buy a pack of cigarettes.
So how many days do you have now? Is it six?I’m so proud to have one day you have no idea. I hope we both stay quitting through this journey and I like how you compared going back to cigarettes like going back to an abusive person.
There are so many great articles on this forum but I hope you get back to me later today so you’re three hours behind. I remember when I communicated with the girl from France I think she was like six hours ahead? So it’s almost 6 PM here. It’s 3 PM in California. What did you do on this Sunday? I am a huge patriots football fan and unfortunately they lost their game today, but I’m not letting that make me pick up a cigarette!
Hope to hear from you soon and very proud of you Jenny! Xxoo Erika
Congratulations on your first day nicotine free! I think you will do amazing! I might find cinnamon candies to suck on as I am addicted to the lozenges and it is my goal to eventually be free of them. Sorry fir the short post. I'm at work but just wanted to pop on here quickly to say... WAY TO GO GIRL!!! You' ve got this.
Erika, that’s SO great you got your 24 hours!! Congrats! Funny you work at California Pizza Kitchen I think I’m gonna have to do some investigating to find the name of that burger restaurant. Hmmm, we used Uber to get there, so I bet the address is in my husbands Uber history! Ha! There’s hope!!
I think I’m finishing day 5 today. Last night was a bit rough and I had a few strong craves today, so I’m hoping tomorrow is better.
With the time difference, I’m often here at 8 or 9 pm, when most people are in bed. Bummer your team lost the game. It sometimes amazes me the things that will make me want to go lose my quit. I once wanted to go buy cigarettes because I overcooked some noodles.
I took a small nap today, which seems to be happening frequently the last few days. Our area had a really bad storm and so many people lost power last night. Ours stayed on, so we’re thankful. My mom and brother lost theirs and it still wasn’t back on this afternoon, so they came over to cook some food and chat for a while. Then they went home before it got dark so it wouldn’t be too hard to get inside the house.
We have another storm coming in tonight, so I’m happy I’m not trying to go outside every hour!
It’s awesome of you to go for it on your own, with Bob not being ready yet. I know that when I watched a friend quit, it lit something under me (No pun intended, but it made me laugh when I read it). I was mad for a while, since I missed her going outside with me, but I eventually got to the point of quitting and I know her quit helped me get there.
I hope your evening went by well and that your Monday goes great! I’m getting a simple procedure done on my back tomorrow and hoping it makes a huge difference. It won’t last long, but if it helps, we’ll plan to do something less simple done soon.
Hope to talk more tomorrow! I’ll make it by before 8 pm this time
Wow Martha! Everything you said is so true and so powerful. I try and think back to those first days and have probably blocked them out of my mind. But changing my mindset was just so true and absolutely key to my success ... I no longer felt like I was giving something up. I was overcoming my addiction and hit it head on. I prepared myself whether it was ice water, deep breathing, going for a walk or just hitting the sack. As Gloria (from Jul 2018) said, we were warriors and put on our armor and went to battle. Great advice!