I know this is a heck of a time to ask this. I think it's because my brain cells are finally kicking in after being under a smoke filled haze (hardy har), but what do you count as your quit date? The first day you went without a cigarette or the time you put your last cigarette out?
Happy 3-month birthday to me. Boy, this has been a ride. Of all times of this rollercoaster do I have a dream of smoking and wake up wanting one in the worst way. Key word WANTING, not needing. I've learned the difference now.
The first month was needing because I was gradually depleting the nicotine out of my body while I was creating my arsenal. I knew my head addiction was far worse than my physical addiction. The next three weeks after that was stocking up my pantry for this life-long fight ahead me while still emptying the nicotine.
I've learned a lot about myself over these past 3 months and have more to go. I know I'm still weak and that's probably why I still keep myself cooped up in my house. I am venturing out in social settings but find myself being drawn back in. Need to work on that and reflect on why. I so desperately don't want to lose this quit as I've seen so many do over the past 3 months.
I am seeing my happy self return finally after that awful black cloud that was hovering over me for the last month or so. I only have about one time a day of complete mental breakdown and then it passes. I'm sure it's all part of the process or am I simply going mad? Well, I know one thing, I'm not smoking over it.
I remember so early in my quit that I just kept saying how long is this going to take, when is this ever going to be over as I was moping around the house sobbing because I was depressed, I was frustrated. I was just plain old grieving. I remember when my mother died that went on for a year. I had the house to sell. I had a disabled father to take care of who was in a veteran's home. I had their finances I had to get in order. After a year, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I remember that first week after she died with all the cards and calls coming in from well wishers and thinking when are they ever going to stop. I just want this to stop. Reflecting back, putting down the pack was the same way. I just wanted to know when this was going to end. I would have been so much better if someone would have told me that this will only take 4 months and you will be over it.
I think back when I first started this wonderful habit (confused thinking), I was doing it to be cool and to fit in. To be seen as one of the tough kids. First cigarette was at 12 and actually drinking started then too. For unknown reason I felt the need to put vodka in a bubble bath container. I don't remember much of my childhood, but I remember that one vividly. Had it hid under a tree and popped it open and it just bubbled back at me. I understand peer pressure. Probably why I was so vigilant with my children. Then as I got older, 16 to 18, I continued to smoke because it made me look tough. Strange how self-acceptance comes in your older years when the smoke clears, literally, and you have a clear head. I never thought I had a drinking problem because I could stop for months at a time. I knew I had a smoking problem because I couldn't stop for even a day except for when I had my children.
I knew I had a smoking problem, but just ignored it because it was a habit. They always used to say in those ads, just kick the habit. Back in the '50s and '60s, everybody was smoking. In the movies, on television shows, anywhere and everywhere that billow of smoke rose above the masses. They even glamorized it. That's when those slender cigs came out, virginia slims, those dark brown cigs and so on. Then they went the route of lower tar and nicotine is better for you. Ah, yes, Mr. Big Tobacco, bravo for trying to make this seem healthier. No wonder this was never seen as an addiction. Billions and billions of dollars would be lost.
Well, I've saved my life, saved close to 800 bucks, probably saved my eyesight. I was told 4 years ago to stop smoking because of macular degeneration. Did I listen? Heck no. I've noticed now that I'm at 86 days free that I don't have as many black spots floating around any more. I no longer wheeze when I lay flat. I never have leg cramps anymore. Life is good. Life is renewing.............
They have so many AA groups, NA groups all specific to Alcoholism, Narcotics but nothing specific to nicotine, NICA or something would work. When I was first in my quitting stages, I would have loved to have dropped anything and went to a meeting just to vent. Not to have someone show me pictures of my diseased lung, how I can get cancer, how it can develop into this disease and that disease, but just plainly how to get through that second, that moment. Have someone to stand up and say, Back in my first 30 days, I went through this..... wow, so am I.
That's why I am so thankful for finding this site. 2 years ago I knew I couldn't do this on my own. I knew I needed more education because everything else I was doing sure wasn't working. Talking to former smokers that I personally knew wasn't working because all they said was oh, it's not that hard, just quit. it will only suck for a few days. Well, they didn't tell me about the depression, the anger, the constant push and pull, the obsessive thoughts, the broken sleep.
That's why I find the articles and the blogs on this site so rewarding. They say exactly what I'm going through and feeling. Of course there's no exact timeline of when it's going to happen such as at 30 days you'll be going through this or at 60 days you'll be going through this. Almost kind of wish they did so I'd have the comfort of knowing that I only have X amount of days to go until this passes. Only 10 more days and it will finally be over.
I think once you get to the thought of you're an addict, you'll always be an addict, you've got this half licked. None of us are born smokers, none of us are born alcoholics, none of us are born drug addicts, but some of us are. It could be the wiring in our brains, it could be a hereditary gene, it could be because all of us addicts are depressed, who knows. Believe me people, this is not just a habit. This is something that absolutely consumes you at first. Grabs ahold of you and just won't let go...... at first. As time passes, at my 83 days, it consumes me maybe once or twice a day, but I understand what it is. I know it will pass. I know I need to get my mind off of it, get busy, step away from what I'm doing........ BUT if you can't step away, get those pleasure centers working and listen to some music, hum a tune in your head, imagine yourself wading in a cool creek. This morning this is what I got my brain working on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EisXJSsULGM
Two years ago today, I wrote this on my Facebook wall: I can't remember the last time when my ashtray has been full, I've fallen off the wagon, and I am very disappointed in myself........ those damn things have taken over my life and I'm done (heard that before)....... please support me in my journey. Tomorrow is no cigarettes, no e-cig, nothing. A wonderful woman who was diagnosed with lung cancer is my inspiration. I struggle as I sit here chain smoking to envision myself not smoking after 40 years. It's been a part of my life and is my demise. to think those things have really defined my being all these years. But the car does start without one. I can pee without one. I can survive without one........... but why does it have to be so hard? I need your support and that's a lot for me me to ask because I never ask for help. Help is a foreign word in my language. You all have been so supportive and encouraging. Help me in my journey because tomorrow is my new day!!!
Needless to say, I only saw this as a habit and not an addiction at that time and failed after three days and then went right back at it again on and off for almost two years. I always made the excuse of once my daughter moves out, I'll quit because there won't be so much stress. Once I get off this payment plan to get all my bills paid off, I'll quit because there won't be so much stress. Key word here is stress. There's been a lot of blogs here lately about stress. and it's true that smoking does create stress. Remember back when you knew you only had two cigarettes left, you don't get paid until another three days or you need to just simply fly up to the store/gas station to get a pack thinking Jesus those things are sure getting expensive. You read in the paper or on Facebook, another person has been diagnosed with cancer, another person died of cancer, but that never made you quit. This is only a habit. You beat biting your nails. You can beat this. Ummmmm, NO.
For those of you in NML like I am, hang in there. You're going to have days where you are so depressed you don't think the sun will ever shine again. You cry at the most stupidest things. The next day, you're fine and the world revolves around its axis again. Grab on to the hope and the thought that this will too pass. It's the one ditch effort for the addiction to suck you in again, whisper in your ear that one more will make you feel better, one more will make everything all better again. I've had some really bad depression days and really wanted to go to the store and take this all away. Be done with it. It's just too damn hard. Just smoke one a day, you'll be fine. That voice will be there always, but it will start as a shout and then die down to a very soft whisper. Let it talk or yell all it wants. That person doesn't live here anymore..............
TDC is calling my name. I'm at 79 days and counting. Only have about two nicotine fits a day. Last for a very short duration. Find myself not even thinking of smoking. They said it would get better. You know what, they were absolutely right !!!!!!!!!!
This is the most craziest thing I've ever been through. First 30 days is I'm going to kill someone if I don't have a cigarette. It's like you've locked yourself away because you so desparately want this. The next 15 days or so, it's like we've got this, talk yourself through it, you're good. 2 months into it, bam, you're hit with an event, an anniversary, this seems weird not to smoke my way through this. You lock yourself away for a few days. 15 days after that, boom, you're depressed for a week, crying because the sun isn't shining, the dogs are barking too much, no one loves me anymore. You're finding any excuse to find a reason why this is not even worth it. Why should I even bother? Why do people pick fights with me when they know I'm going through this? How can they be so damn insensitive? It's that addict talking again. There's no passing the buck anymore. See the situation for what it is. Sometimes you can't persuade people into your way of thinking or even seeing it from your side of things. Do you really think that cigarette is going to wave its magic wand and make things better? No, but it sure is going to cloud it for the next ten minutes. Think about that. The next week the sun is shining again. It's funny, you know that it's how this needs to all unfold. How we relearn life after living most of it already....
Still having menopausal mood swings and then dealing with this intermittent depression has been one hellofa ride. It's that NML once again. I'm going to blog the heck out of this thing so those of you in it can read this and go, yeah, me too. I'm at day 76 and still treading water. I'm like a swimmer who is tired but doesn't want to give up. I did type "quite yet" right after that and then deleted it because I know that "quite yet" is not even fathomable at this point. 50 days ago, yes, but not now. I can really understand why people fail in this stage. Mr. Nicobod is trying to sweet talk me back in. I'm treading people, I'm treading....... just trying to catch my breath and moving toward the finish line
Never in my life would I have thought I'd make it this far. A friend of mine quit on the same day that I tried to quit, 12/31/2015. I failed, he encouraged. He stuck it out. Found out yesterday he failed and I'm still going. Directed him to this site, sure hope he signs on. This site sure made me realize by reading all the blogs on here that it's the steps that you have to wade through to get to easy treading. There's no clear sailing with this wonderful addiction, because it's guaranteed to sneak up on you again. Learn to karate chop that sucker and skip away........
BTW, what is the "Tags" thing at the bottom of these blogs for? Anyone know?
I've been really saddened to see a few of the members that started with me fall of the wagon, but I do understand how it can happen. They were in the NML as I am. I'm at the point of no one even asks me how many days it's been or no one cares how I'm doing or even if I'm smoking or not. That whine with my cheese scenario, gesh..........In my case, that addict is sure working overtime over these past few weeks. Been dealing with some really cruddy personal issues that would have put me over the top. I would have been chain smoking and drinking myself silly nonstop. Both drinking and smoking always went hand in hand. They were the best friends skipping down the street. that's figuratively. I'd probably break a hip if I was skipping at this point. It would have been so easy to just say screw it, buy a pack, you'll be better. Then you don't have to deal with this. Okay, Ms. Addict. So whatcha gonna do tomorrow? Does that little stick that really does taste awful, makes your eyes and throat burn really make it all better for that split second or for that five minutes? Yes, it does. Okay. So then what?
That cycle keeps going and going and going. When is it ever going to stop? When are you going to learn to sit back and say to yourself, okay, what about this situation can I physically change? If you can physically change it, then change it. If you can't and it's beyond your control, or you reach out to the person and they just completely shut you down, then step back. Let that dust settle. Then look at it clearly. Even if you have to walk around your house like a damn crazy person having a conversation out loud to yourself and answering yourself, so be it. You're going to figure out what's the garbage, what's that baggage that you're hanging on to that's allowing you to want that crutch. You don't need that crutch. Needing is substanance, something for survival. You don't need cigarettes for survival. You just want them to cover up the problem. That's the garbage in. Saying I don't do that anymore, that's the garbage out. Scream into that pillow when the stress hits. plug in those earphones and go for a walk. Do whatever it takes, but keep saying I don't do that anymore, NOPE.
Every morning I come and visit this site. First to see how many days I've got down. Second to see how the people who started with me are doing. Third to see if there's any new members and read how they are progressing. I see how everyone is so supportive when someone blogs and say they need help or are struggling with something. I'm in awe how everyone reacts when someone slips. They pick you up off the floor, dust you off, and start you right back where you were. It's amazing how very similar the stages this addiction takes. I found that out when I was having a weak moment of "just one," and then read how very common it is that that part of your brain is trying to lure you back. It's very reassuring to know that you're not in this fight alone and you're not the only one having these reactions. I'm at the emotional stage. Read about how it's common at this point in NML. But I'm finally embracing it instead of fighting it. See it for what it is, throw it in the sorting bin and then later sort it in the right drawer and shut it and move on. I encourage the newbees to blog as much as you can. Every day or multiple times a day. You will see that the feelings you have are normal and you will get over them and they will go away. It may seem like they will last forever, but really they don't. The members have been through it and will hold your hand along the way. I commend every single person on this site. You are truly amazing!!!!!!!!!! Oh, and by the way, my name is Lori. what's yours?
Had to see a dear friend of mine who had lung surgery 2 years ago due to cancer to drop off some paperwork. She's just thrilled that I've reached my 70th day. The very first thing she had to do is give me a big hug and take a deep sniff. Boy, it's sure nice not to smell smoke on you anymore...... Just warmed my heart ;-) Also may have a friend who will be jumping on the forever quit train here shortly. I'm excited !!!
I'm writing this for those that are really beating themselves up for slipping. Two years ago when I was basically trying on this whole "not smoking" thing and not seeing it as an addiction while smoking 2 packs a day, I never suceeded. Only because I didn't see it as an addiction; I saw it as a habit. Now that I'm very close to 70 days, I stil THINK about smoking, but I don't have that overwhelming urge to run the store and buy a pack. When I was seeing it as a habit, I thought well, that one butt that's in the garbage is not going to matter. It's just a habit that I'm breaking. I've got this. I can break that habit. Boy, was I wrong about that whole situation.
With me, it was the mental addiction that I had to get over before I dealt with the physical addiction. I had to educate myself, I had to understand why I was smoking and what it was replacing. Tracking my cigarettes in the beginning helped greatly back two years ago because it made me understand WHY I was smoking, not just because I wanted one or needed one to feed Mr. Nicobod. I came back to this site at least six times after that trying to quit. I did the wellbutrin, I did the cold turkey. I realized that my emotional attachment to smoking was far greater than anything. So I went down the road of Nicotine patches as I dealt with understanding my emotional addiction to these things.
The first 30 days I dealt with stop, think about why you want one now as I'm touching my nicotine patch to assure myself that my physical need is being met. I was retraining my mind. I stayed on the highest level longer than what they suggested because I felt that I needed to. I tried to step down to the next level only to find myself driving to the gas station (no worries, turned around and came back home). I promptly went back to the first step for another two weeks. When I felt strong enough mentally, I stepped down to the next level. It was rough for the first few days, but I did it. Stayed on those for another two weeks and went to the lowest level for a week and was off officially on March 20th. I began with the patches on January 27th.
Now at 69 days, the emotional issues are resurfacing again only because of some personal things going on right now. A member stated it was the addiction making the last ditch effort to lure me back. There's been many times these last few days that I just wanted to go buy a pack, bum one, find one somewhere, take a hit and I'll feel better. I don't like these emotional things. I'm not a crier. I'm not weak. STOP, there it is. You're not weak. So flip Mr. Nicobod off and go about your business. Just simply say I don't do that anymore and move on. Don't give it a thought or allow it to enter into your thoughts. Get up, do something, fold that laundry, make that bed, sweep that floor, rearrange your desk drawer, clean off your desk and then get back at it. Remember, it's all in your head !!!!!
Now I understand what everyone was talking about, about this 130 days. Day 64 and 65 were just terrible. Day 64 I basically slept all day and day 65 I was screaming inside, PLEASE JUST ONE, ONLY ONE....... Then common sense took over and said, seriously, you want to throw away 65 days just for that lousy puff, um, don't think so. See it for what it is. You finally got your taxes done. Survived, no smoke. You got through the anniversary of your mother's death. Survived, no smoke. You had a huge blowup with your daughter over a personal issue. Survived, no smoke. Day 66, breathe deep, this will pass, you'll be fine, AHHHHHHHHH. Why now, what the hey? Well, they told you this was going to happen and you thought to yourself, ack, not me. I've got this licked. I can handle this.
The fleeting thought of oh, just check that old ashtray on the porch, maybe you missed one. Check underneath the sink, there's got to be some butts you missed under there. Now, read back those two thoughts and tell me how ridiculous that sounds. Oh, how easy it would be to go buy a pack and a six-pack or a bottle and just say screw this. It's too hard. I just can't. It's almost like a split personality this addiction is. The good part is calm and really liking this whole new life. The bad part is dangling that carrot, swinging it back and forth, ah, come on, you don't need to go through this. Not now, not at this time, you can do it some other time. You've done it. So you can do it again. You don't like being with hateful *****... oh, come on, just one.
The good part of me is saying to the bad part, um, don't think so. You didn't like going through it the first time. You actually hated going through it 66 days ago. In actuality, I started going through it 96 days ago but never stuck with it until 30 days after. So let's reprogram the brain here. You're going to throw away 3 months' worth (1 month of on and off and 2 months solid) of being clean for what, a weakness, an addiction, a habit? Just for that “one more” that will taste awful, that makes your eyes water, your throat burn. Gee, have ya noticed you can do more things now without getting winded. Have you noticed that those daily headaches have now disappeared, leg cramps are gone, lower back pain has subsided, shoulder pain isn't quite as bad. You hang in there, sunshine. It's one day at a time; not just one more anymore.