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2009

What is this about?

Posted by tigs Jan 30, 2009
Hrmmm....the last two days, I have been going through......well, they are a lot *like* cravings, just much lower key. There is this physical.....edginess going on. Each one is pretty short...when I have timed them, they are around 4-5 minutes each. But they are awfully frequent. If I hadn''t been paying attention, I'd have said they were going on for hours, they are so one after the other. If they were stronger, I would call them craves, like the electric, stop everything so you can say "no" physical craves. But these are just weak sisters to those, just...ho hum, Ok, want a cig, yadda yadda..... and I go on with my day.

Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining at all. I see it as a victory! The same general feeling from day 1 and 2, but...its really easy to say "nope, I don't think so!" Poooooor last ditch effort of the nicodeamon? I hope so, as this is annoying (but I love that its only annoying, like a fly buzzing around your head :-) )

So....here's to victory, one step at a time!

2 weeks!!

Posted by tigs Jan 27, 2009
OK, its been a long day, so I am just going to make a short post. Heck week is over, too!!

Journal overview (just the general stuff from this week...)

Mostly, it has been easier to deal with the thoughts of smoking that are still coming along. I still think of a cig on waking every morning, but it is extremely mild and brief (thank goodness...mornings are not my strong time!! lol ) Most days, I still think of cigs that I notice ... ummm maybe 3 to 5 times during the day, and sometimes the desire for a cig is part of that (once, maybe twice a day). Some days really seem a breeze and others my addict brain just doesn't want to let go and will keep talking at me for half an hour or more. Thankfully, even these are getting less intense, although sometimes I think they will drive me nuts....lizard addict brain wants the cig, even when conscious grey matter brain doesn't.

I am beginning to see how I might actually get to a point where I don't even think of cigarettes at least some days now. And after dealing with the last couple of weeks of craves out of nowhere....that is as encouraging as being able to shovel 3 houses walks of snow, and feel GOOD afterwards!

Quitting is great because......

Posted by tigs Jan 23, 2009
It seems like lots of us are heading through that part of the quit where we are having a tough time with our thoughts telling us to "have juuuuust one". We all know that would be a stupid idea. So I thought we could all share the positive changes we have actually seen/felt since we quit. I'll be happy to start...

I can breathe better
My skin is less dry, and has better color
My hair is less dry and looks healthier
I can actually smell the fresh pine trees before I am all the way into the hills here
I can taste more delicate flavors in foods
I can exercise more without feeling like I will *die*
My muscles arent cramping as much
My voice is changing back toward its normal timber
My sinuses aren't constantly plugged up
I can actually hear better! (part of the sinus thing...)
I don't have to freak out about managing a cig in the middle of the day


I guess I should leave some for someone else, eh???

To shut the head up...

Posted by tigs Jan 22, 2009
Ok, this is starting to P*** me off...my head will *not* shut up about a cigarette!! Allll night....

The thing is, I actually don't want a cigarette...but my head keeps doing that "psssstt!! you know you miss it! Just one wouldn't hurt anything...c'mon...you know you want to! Just try it!..c'mon.."

Aaaaarghhh! This is really frustrating. Any hints about actually getting it to shut up? Tried pointing out that I actually don't want one, that I feel good now, looking at the damage it would do, getting busy....blah blah Made it through tonight ok, cause I'm about ready to go to sleep now..but this is gonna get real old real quick, so any suggestion for any future time would be much appreciated. I'm afraid that I'm going to getting beaten down by this if it goes on much more....just to get it to shut up.

Finally...Hell Week is DONE

Posted by tigs Jan 20, 2009
Yes!! Thanks to everyone here that posted and encouraged me (whether they knew it or not!), I finally made it past 7 days without a single puff!! I know I still have triggers, I know I'll still have craves and/or thoughts, but none of those can possibly hurt me, can they? NOPE!

Just a little celebration! A bit of mead....Salud!

Tougher, but doable

Posted by tigs Jan 19, 2009
Today was definitely tougher to deal with than it has been lately. Don't know if that is the lower dose of Chantix, or just the day 5-7 nicodemon last stand that everyone seems to have. Either way, its settled down now, and I'm doing fine. Heading out with hubby to a little dinner party with some friends. Made a nice orange cinnamon flan for the dessert, since others are making a mexican dinner. I do loooooove orange flan. Don't know why so many people make lime, but...to each their own! Hope it has enough time to cool so I can unmold it by the end of the dinner!
Almost back up to day 5, and this time, I am NOT going to slip/relapse. I am feeling much stronger indeed. I do still have cravings, but they are much weaker and they are fewer as well (a few a day). Body is still healing, but at least for the last day or so, it hasn't been a huge deal. Hopefully, that will continue.

The Chantix has been a huge help, especially the first few days of my quit. I think it also helped me get right back on the wagon when I slipped. I didn't finish the cig, cause it tasted horrible and didn't give me the "ahhhhhhh!" I was expecting, either. Two puffs, put it out. But you know what? The urges ramped right back up for the next couple days! If I had any doubts about being an addict, that pretty much clinches it, doesn't it? So...NTAP for me has to be the way to go, unless I want those 3600 more every year.

Interesting thing happened though on Friday morning. I did my morning routine getting ready for work, got the breakfast down, got more juice opened the Chantix, and realized I totally forgot BOTH of Thursday's doses. I had been more restless on Thursday, and thought "Gee that's weird", but that was about it. Craving levels/frequency were about the same. So today, I had the first nausea reaction to chantix after almost 3 weeks! I have decided to wean myself off of it so I don't have any huge changes in mood etc. I guess the Thursday misses were just to let me know ahead of time that I'd be OK if I did this. It prepared me to wean off with confidence instead of stress and worry.

Update

Posted by tigs Jan 16, 2009
Hi all

Wanted to let everyone know, I'm doing OK. Feeling a bit better than the last several days. No more fever, less sweats. Still detoxing, so I'm sure things will continue to evolve. Still staying strong this time. Craves happen, craves pass. I wish I could say its just boring, old hat. Its not, they are definitely still craves and they still sneak up on me. But I am remembering to laugh at them *and* myself, and remembering to not let myself get too tired again.

So far, so good! Up to 3 days smoke free again, and still counting.

Detox or Contagious???

Posted by tigs Jan 14, 2009
Ok, I know I am going to have some issues caused by getting 30 years of smoking crud out of my body. Lots of old toxins to deal with. So..I am dealing with the usual/common: sore dry throat, drippy sinuses, on and off achey lungs, etc. What I haven't see mentioned before is low grade fever, breaking out in sweats, and some sore lymph/glands in the neck.

I work in an office that deals w/ community based medical (injury) rehab. Some of the people we work with are pretty susceptible to infection, so I need to find out if these last are also common symptoms, or if I am sick? I don't want to create extra issues for the patients!! Today, I went to funding and professional meetings, but did not work with the patients because I didn't want to take that chance...went home sick instead. So...could people sound off and let me know whether or not you had any sweats, low fever (up about 2 degrees), or such during your quit?

Thanks for the input!! (PS started the quit on the 8th, started having these issues Sunday, slept all day yesterday)

Sigh

Posted by tigs Jan 14, 2009
Well, I slipped up. I want to be honest, because I know otherwise, I'll start telling myself it was OK. See? It really didn't do anything bad, and then addict brain will have the upper hand. Long day at work yesterday, and I really didn't feel well (detox, I think..sore throat, a bit of nausea, dizzy...), then had to run out immediately to a birthday party for a 9 year old "adopted" cousin. I actually thought about begging off because I was just sooooo tiiiiiired. But ended up going because his uncle just died, and wanted to help give him a good memory after the funeral. EVERYONE there was smoking!!! (except me..). Hubby and I left after a couple hours. I worked on some stuff on the computer before going to bed, went downstairs to do laundry. And there was this cig right THERE! Half under the dryer, and I lost the battle,. Got it, lit it, took 2 puffs, and thought what the *%&% am I *doing*???? and put it out. Munched it! Mashed it!! Brushed my teeth and went to bed.

I think my big mistake was not going to bed when I got home. I was sooo tired. Once there...I couldv'e gone and talked it out w/ hubby, or come here with you guys....I messed up, but back on the wagon.

*sigh* This sux. Back to day one on the counter for me, for 2 puffs (cause I'm an idiot)

Great Friends!

Posted by tigs Jan 12, 2009
I love my friends sometimes! I went out w/ a friend the other day to the bookstore to celebrate first 2 days smoke free. (woohoo!!!) Then I took my dog over for a "play date" with her dog. They love racing around her huge yard and playing together.

While I was over at her house, we were talking about my quitting, and that I am either eating (and craving carbs/sweets) or chewing gum (regular gum....I can't handle the sugar free anything, gives me raging headaches!!). Anyway, I told her I need to stop by our local whole foods store to pick up some licorice sticks (erm, yeah, that's sticks of the licorice plant..actual wood). I am still dealing with a lot of craves. They are the right size for a cig substitute, they taste a LOT better, they are good for a whole host of things that cause problems for some people while quitting smoking, from depression, to nausea, to constipation, etc....

She stopped by after work today with a little wrapped package for me. It was filled with..you guessed it! Licorice sticks!!
So I am here chomping away on this sweet wood, and it brings back childhood memories, and is a great way to get over the craves, too! (Good thing my coworkers already realize what a strange duck I am...gonna be walking around chewing on wood a lot lol)

I love my friends!

Body is Healing

Posted by tigs Jan 11, 2009
Yep, the healing started yesterday. The aching lungs in the morning got better later, then progressed to sore throat (and I think a bit of low grade fever) by the evening. My poor body! Trying to work soooo hard to get 30 years of damage and toxins out of it. In an odd way, it still feels good to feel this, as it helps me stay strong for my quit. I can feel how much damage I've been doing, and I trust my body to heal itself if I give it the chance it needs.

Last night, I went to the company holiday party, and it was great to not have to go stand outside in the freezing cold and wind to grab a cigarette! People at work are really great, too. They asked how the quit was going over the weekend, and are very encouraging. I am blessed.

I am feeling physically better today, lungs don't ache as much, sore throat gone for now, and it seems my cilia are moving that garbage out of my lungs. Not coughing, just more mucous-y and needing to clear my throat more because of it. Good to know my body can still heal :-)

Well, gotta get off for a bit. Need to get the bread rising, get the laundry started, go out for my walk before the snow comes, and go spend some more time looking for the book I want for my 2nd day reward! Take care all and keep strong with your quits.

Yay!! its getting better already!

Posted by tigs Jan 10, 2009
I had always heard that the first 2 days were the absolute worst of it all! And for me, it seems to be true....I know I will have some really challenging times ahead, and I can't let my guard down, but I have been surprised how easy its been so far today. I woke up with my lungs screaming at me....I think they are starting to wake up again without being poisoned daily. So here, they wake up and are saying "oh my God, what the H#($ have you been doing to us???" They just ache! But I know its the beginning of the healing process for them, so in a wierd sort of way, it feels good, lol.

Spent some time housecleaning, started some bread (bake tomorrow), went out with a friend who was a former smoking buddy (she still smokes, about 1 cig a day, and wants to quit). We talked about what it is she is getting/not getting out of smoking. Very positive for me, cause it was basically "what's a good plan for me to give up those last few cigs?". She gave me some good props for having quit all together, and we hung out at Borders, and looked at books. I still haven't found a book I want to buy for my 2 day reward, so I get to go looking again tomorrow!! 0/ Sor far today, I've had a few mild cravings that went away quickly, some restless energy, and a few fleeting thoughts of "oh, this is a time for....oh....no it isn't anymore." Its really been a great day!

Lungs are feeling a bit better now, just feeling kind of constricted, but not really achey. So, hopefully, the worst is over, and I can spare some attention for more of the healthy changes I want to make. Going to start some mild exercise to help with the nervous energy, and with general aerobic fitness. I want to be able to bike to work come spring, when the weather is back above 0 degrees regularly.

Thanks everyone, and keep up the good fight!

Day 2

Posted by tigs Jan 9, 2009
I actually have finally gotten past the furthest point I made it quitting before! (I always caved by the morning of the second day). Last night I had some bad urges, but hubby was very supportive, as were people here, and I got through them. Had some trouble sleeping last night, but did finally get some good rest, and when I woke up today, the physical urges were mostly not there again... *Why* is night time so much harder??? lol

I think the Chantix is great! It isn't helping as much as I'd hoped, as I am still getting physical cravings/urges/whichever you want to call them. But they are much less than cold turkey, or even with NRT. And the big thing is that my headspace is much better. My mind doesn't want the cig, just my body..that is something I can deal with.

Thanks for all the support so far everyone, you all can be proud of helping out!

Amy

PS: I meant to say how great my hubby is being, too. He is not ready to quit, but when I got home last night, he had been having seizures all day (not unusual). Still, when he wanted his next cig, he went all the way downstairs to have it on the back mud porch just to help me out! Made me very nervous, as the last thing I want is to deal with a seizure on the stairs and falling all the way down. But he is being very supportive. My secret hope is that he wants me to succeed so he can decide to quit too! But shhhhhh I don't want him to know that, cause I do know he has to be ready to quit.

First Day Good So Far!!

Posted by tigs Jan 8, 2009
Hi all;

Today is quit day, and it hasn't been nearly as bad as my fears (and not quite as easy as my hopes). I have been dealing with my body craving nicotine since this morning. I was trying to define the difference to a co-worker on chantix from straight cold turkey attempts I have made. I tried several times, and finally came up with one he understood. My body is definitely saying it wants its nicotine! The difference is that my mind is still separate from that craving. I can recognize that my body wants the nicotine, but *I* don't. Its a physical reaction, but without the same mental/emotional involvement I had with cold turkey attempts. In fact, most of the day at work was pretty easy to deal with. Things didn't start ramping up at all until about 4 PM. Now its getting better again (5:45 PM)

In relation to that, this evening as I was driving home and feeling the nervous, restless energy that is my withrawal, I realized just how much of our reactions are based on our perceptions. I was really trying to feeeel what it was I was feeling, to accept it and work with it. And suddenly I realized that what I was calling nervous, or restless (negative words) is actually exactly the same feeling I have when I am excited and anticipating something good. You know that feeling when you "just can't wait for......"? That's really the same feeling. It was my expectation that made it seem negative. So I told myself: See how excited you are about starting your new life as a nonsmoker? And it really helped!

One last thought, an adaptation from a book quotation that some of you may recognize. It makes a good quitting mantra for me:

Craving is the mind-killer,
Craving is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my craving
I will allow it to pass over me and through me
And when it has gone,
I will turn my eye inward to watch its path
And there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

Teh Tigs, Day 1

Tomorrow is Quit Day!!

Posted by tigs Jan 7, 2009
I have continued taking the Chantrix. No really bad side effects so far, just the sleeping problems, and those aren't really bad. Today, I brought a cig to work, just in case I wanted one (been trying to break the work stress trigger...). I figured since it was my last day smoking, I would give myself the freedom to smoke if I wanted it. My body was saying I wanted it by about 3 PM (working 9-5), but it wasn't SCREAMING at me that it needed a cig. That was great!!

I had been worried yesterday about my quit day, because I was really craving more than usual. When I smoked a cig, I wanted another. But by the end of the day, I finally got past that and didn't even finish my last couple of cigs. That was a great feeling, because of the worrying. I have much more confidence in tomorrow now that I know how the Chantix is helping with the cravings. I can separate out that its my body that is craving them. My mind can still be clear enough to say it doesn't. That is the best feeling I have had in a long time.

I won't say wish my luck tomorrow, because it isn't luck that will allow me to quit. I will say I hope everyone sends good thoughts my way over the next couple of days. I'm ready with my plan, support at work and from friends ( and my still smoking hubby, who has agreed to smoke in the back mud room or outside to help). I am ready with my will, and ready for my freedom. I just had my last cig ever, and like before, I didn't even finish it. Now I am not worried or scared, just excited.

01/01/09 Here we go again!

Posted by tigs Jan 1, 2009
Hello again all,

I haven't been on because while I did make it through the first 24 hours, I slipped BAD the next day. I felt so weak! Tried to get right back on track, but just couldn't seem to get the gumption up again. So....I talked to a doc and got a Chantix Rx. Filled it yesterday, started it today, and set my quit date for 1/8. I am NOT giving up on it this time. Funny thing..since I roll my own cigs (anyone else here that did that? Everyone talks about reaching for their "pack", not their pouch lol)..Anyway, since I roll my own, it's going to take like 6 months to just catch up on the cost of the Chantix. As I am a total tightwad, that says how much I want to quit! Only spend about $35/month on tobacco, and the first month of Chantix is costing me $120! I know the long term smoking costs and all that.....so you don't need to tell me, that's WHY I am willing to spend the money up front now on my health instead of later on my illness... So wish me luck! I will be stopping in here as I can, but expect to be a bit spacey and want to be able to concentrate on work. I really appreciate the support of everyone here..no one gives you s*** for slipping, just encouragement and advice for moving on from there. Thanks!