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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Congratulations on 5 weeks! :)
I know things are hard right now but dig in, you’re racking up the weeks and things will get easier.
Don’t be afraid to come on here and rant!
Thinking of you and sending hugs,
Quit 4th March 2017
I'm writing to you first because I'm thinking you'll be going to bed sooner than Lore will, and I really wanted to thank you both for your care and support. I've had a horrible few days, one way and another, and you've made all the difference. I've read your messages (and have felt bad that I haven't had the time to reply till now, but trying not to beat myself up about that - I know you'll both understand!) but honestly, without your encouragement I think I would have thought sod it, and smoked - and I would be SO annoyed with myself now.
Instead, I've got myself back on a more even keel - I hope - and even went to the gym this morning. Loved it too - there's a really nice group of oldies who go at 9.15am, and it really took my mind off everything. I will be stiff tomorrow (already am!) but I've booked in for more all the same. Things are still pretty awful but I do believe they'd be worse if I was choking myself with tobacco as well.
I'm really sorry you're feeling a bit low. You give so much energy and care to other people, and I hope you look after yourself properly too. If I could give you a big hug, I would! I'm sending a virtual one, and really glad that the swimming is so revitalising for you. However, I have to say that your advertising has really gone down the pan: "so shivery afterwards it was hard to get dressed"??? Hmmm.
On the other hand, you've really helped with getting my resolve back where it should be with "as long as you don’t act on those thoughts, you win" and "only you get to decide whether to smoke or not" - they both really work for me. And thanks for the 5-week congratulations yesterday - I feel really touched that you remember these things!
Thanks Katie. I really hope you've had a good day and that you're feeling a bit better. You are very obviously a kind, generous soul, and I feel very lucky that our paths have crossed.
Thanks for your novella-message! :)
It’s so interesting to hear where you are in your quit. I think I was pretty similar around that time - some romancing thoughts but also knowing I wouldn’t actually smoke. I do think all the good things we associate with smoking are an illusion created by the nicotine addiction, but an illusion of pleasure, relaxation or whatever can be as powerful as the real feeling. In some ways we just have to accept we won’t experience those enjoyable illusions. What do you miss when you romanticise smoking?
What’s changed for me over time is being able to see that if cigarettes didn’t contain nicotine but were otherwise unchanged, no one would go near them even if they did still make us feel relaxed, not bored or whatever.
I think after 2 years I felt properly confident in my quit and that I wouldn’t go back. That said after my daughter was born I had a lot of anxiety and some romancing thoughts crept up, but I knew I didn’t want to be breathing smoke all over the bub.
Thank you for what you said about not trying to fight low mood and just accepting where I am. That really helped me today as I had been wearing myself out trying to force a better mood. Just chilling out with it all has been much better today.
Ooh I love the sound of peering into the rock pool micro worlds! How amazing you once found an octopus. Did you see that film on Netflix called something like My Octopus Teacher?
That’s cool you like surfing (or trying to!) My husband is the same. I had a go once on our honeymoon in Japan - they were just tiny waves luckily and the water was lovely and warm.
So nice hearing about your many crochet projects :) It’s great when you have a pattern off by heart like your shawl, you don’t have to faff around with patterns and mistakes! Lovely you’re doing an Afghan blanket for your daughter. I’ve got two half-finished blankets I started when I was pregnant then got bored ha. I’m knitting a Miffy rabbit for my daughter at the moment. I made the head today and now the ears are emerging - it’s so cute!
In fact I’m going to do some more now.
Speak soon and hope you’re having a lovely Tuesday.
Quit 4th March 2017
THANK you for being so lovely, and for the song too - it DID make me smile, and I may even use the lyrics to persuade Mike of the benefits of Wodney. A whippet is much smaller than a pony after all, and also has more fibreglass-friendly feet. "Just think of the damage a pony's hooves could do," I will say - and the whippet will be mine
I am very behind with messages, but I loved reading about your scarves! I THINK I can picture the shape and the drape of them, but please send a photo if you can. How interesting, too, how the colours affect you. I think we're all susceptible to that, but I don't think many people notice. Mike is a big fan of magnolia paint (not sure if it's called that in the States, but it's a pale creamy beige, designed to be inoffensive - which may be precisely why I hate it, but then again he does all the decorating and it makes it a lot easier for him, so I can't complain). However, when we moved into our new place we decided to go for white walls and bright colours in everything else, and I absolutely love it. When I walk in it feels like home - relaxing AND energising, which I know doesn't make any sense at all, but that's how it feels.
The other wonderful thing is that we've decided not to rent it out to holidaymakers this year. We have two flats, and normally we would rent both out and move into our campervan for the summer, so as to have enough money to get through the winter. But because it's been such a difficult year - not Covid really; more my son struggling so much) we've decided to stay put, and I am so glad! We bought some houseplants, knowing that we can be here to look after them, and that makes it feel so much more homely too. I'm very much a novice with plants, but none of them have died so far and some of them even have new leaves - I'm guessing that's a good sign?
Thanks too for being honest about smoking thoughts. I know we all want to be miraculously 'cured', but I'm sure the reality is that we will always be ex-smokers rather than never-smokers, and will have to deal with the odd thought, or even full-on craving sometimes. A small price to pay, really, when you think of the huge benefits of staying quit.
You also made me smile about your closet smoking. When we were doing domestic service full-time - and all wealthy households seem to want non-smoking staff even if they smoke themselves (!) - I used to go back to the staff cottage in my lunchbreak, wrap my hair in a towel and put a blanket round myself, and then go and hide behind a bush for my furtive smoke. It really, really, wasn't worth it, but somehow I still felt compelled to do it - even though I knew I'd be worrying all afternoon about whether anyone could smell it on me. How thoroughly ridiculous and pointless, and thank goodness I don't have to do that any more.
Anyway, I'm rambling, but what I'm trying to say is thank you, and I WILL hang tough. A 100% success rate every moment I don't smoke is wonderful!
I saw My Octopus Teacher - absolutely wonderful!
I'm so sorry, but you've been through a hell of a lot lately, and I really do know how hard it can be when those smoking thoughts come up. I think it's especially hard for you when there are cigarettes so readily available.
I'm glad you're planning to get back on the horse after a good sleep. I really want you to have all those lovely things you talked about, like being able to walk up that hill behind your house without having to catch your breath. The great thing is that you know you can do it if you choose to - for weeks, you've managed fine without poisoning yourself, so you know it's not only possible, but can also be nice. I'm rooting for you, and I know everyone else will be too.
Back on track now and thankfully all geared up for rehabilitation from my hip surgery, saw the physio yesterday and now have a plan for exercise.
It was a rough couple of days smoking, I was tempted last night when I saw cigarettes on the dining table, I took a double take and thought I'd really love one but then I realised I'd be right back where I started.
Thanks for the support and Congratulations on 5 Weeks, awesome stuff Suzy
Thanks Anthony - I am really glad you're here. x
So lovely to receive your message and virtual hugs! But also definitely don’t feel bad about replying - life can be busy and sometimes you need your own space, I totally get that.
I’m sorry to hear things have been so tough. How is your son at the moment? It’s really great and impressive you’ve stuck to your quit despite what life is throwing at you. Yes you’re right things would only be worse if you were choking yourself with tobacco! I’m so glad it helps to be reminded that YOU are in charge of whether you smoke or not.
Good on you going for some group exercise classes. Endorphins can give you such a boost when needed. What sort of exercises is it? There was some sort of weights class happening by the pool as I was swimming today. It looked pretty horrendous to me and I was glad to be safely hunkered down in the water.
Haha sorry my cold water PR went off the boil - did I say shivering? I meant smiling! Yes I was smiling so much I couldn’t get dressed. Does the sea look inviting when you go for your walks?
And what’s the latest on your boat? Will it be ho for the open seas anytime soon?
Thanks for your kind words about taking care of myself. That does go a bit out the window when I feel low but my husband is great at preparing nourishing meals and sorting the housework so I’m certainly being cared for.
Today my daughter and I met up with a couple of friends from our antenatal class in the park. One of the ladies has just had her second baby - I honestly don’t know how she or any parent does it! My daughter decided to chuck her water beaker into the duck pond, then cried real tears when I couldn’t get it back... dearie me.
I can feel a little nap coming on.
Well done again for weathering the storm in your quit - you’ll be all the stronger for it.
I’m so glad our paths have crossed too!
Quit 4th March 2017
Oh good, I’m glad the novella didn’t bore you to tears!
I love that “rock pool micro worlds”. Aren’t they though? Just brimming with life going on whilst the tide is out and then it comes in and so much of that world can change until the next tide. Such a beautiful process! Yes! That Octopus was young and very tempting, but I didn’t bother him much. I think it was a bit stressed as I know the don’t like being just out in the open and vulnerable. I’m sure he was outta there with relief when the next tide came. I did see that show and just loved it. The cinematography was stunning wasn’t it? Actually, when you first started speaking of your cold water swims I thought of that gentleman and how he told of conditioning himself to the cold water temperature over a period of time in that place. It was such a touching story and I did cry a bit at the end. I know it is the circle of life and all. It was just so touching on different levels. Knowing that experience was such a gift for him and how precious a relationship that was built and so brief in the grand scheme.
Haha, well, yes, I like to surf, and I’m sure it is quite comical for anyone watching! There are some things in life that just don’t matter if one is good at, and I know I will never be, and I accept that and I think it makes it more fun for me.
So I’ve been thinking, about your question; what is it exactly that I think I am missing when I am romanticising about smoking? Well, I think what you said makes sense, the illusion of pleasure. Sometimes I think it made me feel like my mind was connecting briefly in a more physical way. I mean, I think that rush of nicotine and that brief “ahhh” feeling. I think it was nothing more than getting my fix, but because I was so depend on it physically, it gave me the illusion of my mind calming with the physical feeling of that first hit. It’s so awful really Katie, isn’t it? I know I get that same connection and relief and, “release” if you will, now when I run. You know that feeling when you first start out and your breath isn’t in sync yet and it feels hard and your mind is all a flurry and then, once you hit a certain pace or time or something, you get that feeling of your breathing calming and getting in sync and your mind calms and clears and even though your still running your body kind of relaxes and just gets a flow to it and you can feel the movement relax you and you keep going for a while, just gliding now? That moment you feel that click of synchronization inside. I think I thought I got that in my first drag or two. Perhaps I did in some way, from the drug and being an addict. I guess maybe sometimes I think about how quick and easy it was to get that and now it takes some work to get it from running. That sounds awful, I know. Don’t get me wrong as I would not trade what I am physically capable of now as an Ex smoker to have that back. No way. It’s just I think I sometimes think about how much “easier” it would be to get that feeling quickly without the work. Again, that thought is brief, and I am full aware I don’t really want to get my fix that way anymore. Maybe some moments I’m just lazy and want it quickly is all. I’ll think about it some more, but I do think it is along those lines of just wanting the “ahhh” feeling quickly. The trade off though? Oh heck no. Nope.
Yes...all my crochet projects. And my yarn addiction! Why is it we feel we never have enough? I have enough wool in so many colors and sizes to last a very very long time, yet, I will still see a particular hank and just have to have it! Is this part of an addictive personality? I know lots of knitters and crocheters who are the same way who have never smoked! Your little bunny sounds precious! Ahhh...yes...the half finished blankets. Don’t we all have at least one of those? I find I am either very motivated and consumed with a project like that and obsessed with getting it done quickly, or, like you, get bored half through and it then becomes a chore to get it done. I have actually given half finished projects away with all the yarn to complete them. Isn’t that terrible?
Ok Katie...Goodson hear from you. I’m going to ponder some angles and questions you brought up. It’s good for me to process really, in a realistic way and not just the superficial “crave” and ride the wave kind of way. More on that too maybe, lol!
Thank you Katie for being here! You’ve brought a ray of sunshine to the forum for sure!