This community is open to all who are recovering from nicotine addiction.
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I have started another time to quit smoking yesterday. I have done a good 2 months without smoking last year and it was great. I have started again during the classic Christmas celebration period to find myself chain smoking again after a few weeks. During that period though I have learned a lot. And I am using this trial to restart quitting smoking this time.
So, after I have seen a nurse specialised in addiction, I have re-educated myself about quitting cessation and the path to success.
First, I thought I wasn't that much addicted to nicotine, and only had a habit to smoke. This gave me the feeling that not using any aids to sustain the potential withdrawal wasn't for me. Actually, I did best using nicotine patches in the beginning even though the amount of nicotine felt a bit much for the start. It's true that I can not smoke for a few days when life is good and I am not stressed, but these attempts usually fail once I have triggered by any emotions that happen (happy, angry, excited etc). Alcool is also a big trigger for me because it gives me the feeling that smoking is ok and I get easily tempted, making poor decisions.
However, now I know that using nicotine patches help me lessen the withdrawals and temptation to smoke, especially in the first few days, weeks and months. So I prefer not going without any weapons and strategy to quit. I am now starting this attempt to quit smoking with a series of 3 to 4 months patches and a progressive decrease of nicotine while I am actually not smoking. To be clear, I have found it difficult of course to throw my cigarettes because I was never so sure I would really want to quit. But I know for sure that I prefer motivated, always, to spend my days trying to quit rather than waiting for a lightning from heaven to realise I can quit now. It's a real learning process and even though it is hard at times, quitting is always the only best decision to make for me.
I love doing sports (run, hike, swim, climb etc) and everytime I smoke while having a good time exercising, I can feel a huge decrease in pleasure in exercising because I loose energy by smoking and I can't recover properly because I am suffocating and my heart rate increase tremendously. My resting heart rate is pretty bad as well and so I am not sleeping properly, which affect everything I do the next day and my mood. Although it's not the topic here, but I know as well that alcohol is as bad to my wellbeing and I do pay attention to it now a lot more. All these are toxins and not here to provide us sustainable pleasure like proper nutrition, rest and activities.
So here I am, it's been just 2 days that I started quitting smoking, and I am already feeling much better with a good sleep and clean mind and body.
Cheers and good luck to all!
Hey Dave... You sound inspired and motivated to quit, and you also have a plan in place. Together combined with feedback and encouragement from this forum, you WILL be able to do this. May God bless your quit!
How’s it going? I hope you are doing well with the quit.
I can relate to what you wrote as I always exercised even when I was smoking. WHY? Why do we choose to do that to ourselves? That was one of the things I used to rationalize smoking. As warped as the thinking was, I would tell myself that at least I was countering some of the ill effects. There is a small amount of truth to that, but, like you, I would still feel like crap. Not only physically but mentally. It takes some time to realise some things when we quit smoking, but you will get to a place where you realise that as addicted as you are, it’s still a choice. It helps to look at the things you are gaining and focus on those. For example, instead of saying in your mind “I’d like a cigarette about now…” try reframing it to “I’m noticing my breathing is better without a cigarette “. It may also help to carry a small notebook and actually write those fleeting thoughts down as they occur. Then write down the positive spin.
It’s really helpful that you enjoy physical activity. There are so many things you can do anywhere really. Walking is free and freeing. Push-ups will take your mind off of a smoke really quickly as will just doing a few deep squats.
Different things work for different people. There isn’t a correct way to quit other than just don’t smoke. If patches and/or gum help, then use them! Alcohol seems to be a big trigger for a lot of folks. I can’t relate to that one, but, maybe best avoid it…? Although, coffee was a huge trigger for me and before I quit I couldn’t figure out how I was gonna enjoy my morning coffee without a cigarette. Now, I am into really good coffee that I hand grind every morning and make myself a pour over with. It tastes amazing and at this point I honestly don’t miss the smoke with it. There are replacements for alcohol too. Learn how to make a really good “mocktail “ maybe? Spend some time looking up some recipes and gather some ingredients. Come here and write if you have a drink. Drink Kombucha instead!
Anyway…don’t waste any more time whatsoever waiting for that lighting bolt. It isn’t gonna happen. It’s just another smoker’s rationalisation the whole “right time” thing. Time is gonna go by no matter what. You are re-training your brain to handle things in a way that is more healthy for you and it really doesn’t get any more exciting than that! For the most part, quitting isn’t that bad once you really commit to it. The waves come and go, sure. But really they are interspersed with moments of empowerment and feeling really good about the choice you are making. I used patches at first too and when those waves would hit I’d rub my patch and take a deep breath and think about how great it felt to know the wave would pass. And they did. Then the real magic happens each and every time you persevere….wait for it…each day you are getting stronger. Really really.
Well done. You have quit smoking. Now you get to live the non-smoking lifestyle. What a great change you have done for yourself and your friends and family. You must be so proud of yourself. We here, are also very proud of you.
Everyday you will notice things getting better and better. There will be trials for you to overcome, testing your resolve. Overcoming addiction takes work, but you have taken the biggest most important step.
You would be at about a week now, is that correct? Stay with us, we are here for you all the way.
How are things going Dave ? I had to give up coffee for about 6 weeks when I first quit , the association was too much for me. I switched to tea for the 6 weeks.