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2017

I've often wondered if there was someone who monitored this site. Not just for content, but for correctness in the advice given. If there was a counselor or addictionist or social worker, a Ph.D. Someone who was fact checking advice being given. I come from a research driven occupation. I have to fact check at all times and verify information. I have to be the perpetual doubting Thomas in what I do.

 

That's what makes quitting smoking so difficult. There is no set timeline on you will go through this for a week and then progress to this for a week, kind of like a personal trainer who is trying to whip you into shape. This is such a personal progression. I think the reason for that is, is the emotional ties we have to smoking. My doctor told me that smokers are the pleasure junkies. We're always looking for the next hit of something that will take us to where we need to be. We've all heard it. I hate being tired when I quit. When is this fogginess ever going to go away. I can't seem to concentrate. Well, think about it. You've been zapping your brain for YEARS to get it going on a daily basis.

 

Nonsmokers, people who never had the desire or thought of even smoking, do have the same complaints EXCEPT they deal with it differently. They're not running to that one solution to solve the problem of the day. They're tired; they nap. They have a hard time concentrating; they divert their attention for a while and refocus, regroup. They feel foggy; they get some fresh air, exercise. You see you have to develop the thought patterns of a nonsmoker, a life without smoking. Get your dopamine fix in other ways. Research it, find one that fits your lifestyle.

 

Never take the easy road. Never throw in the towel. Take the time the figure out what is stirring up the thoughts of smoking again for you. Trust me, it's either something physical, hunger, lethargy or some memory that's being sparked that makes you instantly THINK of smoking. Again, think of all the zapping you've done through the years. I read a very good article the other day that can be applied to smoking and thoughts of smoking. Give it a read and see what you think: https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/01/20/why-ruminating-is-unhealthy-and-how-to-stop/

 

Blessings to all and hope this finds you all in good health,

 

Lori

I want to thank everyone here for their insight and tips and tricks on how to fight this battle with smoking and how to remain smokefree. I am proud to announce that I am still smokefree and fighting this battle with less of a deathgrip than I once had.

 

I will tell those of you beginning this journey, there will come a time when you finally stop thinking about smoking, wanting that cigarette constantly. There will come a time where you find yourself saying I'm so glad I don't do that anymore and mean it. Just the other day I decided to treat myself to lunch and was sitting at a drive-thru and this woman in front of me was smoking. The cigarette smoke was wafting out her window. The only two thoughts that came to my head was “oh, somebody must be smoking” and “boy, I'm so glad I don't do that anymore.” Now, a year ago, I'd be gripping the steering wheel thinking, I've got to have one; boy, I could really go for one; why do they have to be smoking in front of me, blah, blah, blah.

 

I'm very glad that I took the time to figure out when I lit up, what the reason was for it, what I thought it was replacing. I never knew what anxiety was and how to deal with it until I quit. I realized my triggers, my smouldering points. I knew if I wanted this to stick, I needed to think of ways to overcome this anxiety or manage it somehow. Even now at 500 days, sometimes especially during the times when I'm so tired and I need to get work done, I think about it would be just so much easier to just buy a pack and keep going. Just throw in the towel, give up and just go back to what I've always done. I was never tired when I smoked. I have insomnia at times. And I remember back when I used to chain smoke at least 2 to 2 ½ packs in one day just to keep going, gotta get the work cranked out.

 

They have just increased the price of cigarettes again in some states range from $1 to $2 a pack more. I remember a long time ago when a pack was only 50 cents. Don't let the vapers fool you into thinking that's the way to quit, that it's the cheaper alternative. Remember that it's the nicotine you're addicted to, you crave, you want. The cigarette companies just like to throw in all those wonderful chemicals to the mix, as do the e-juice companies. Here's a good article to read: http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/smoking-facts/e-cigarettes-and-lung-health.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/. Be sure to go to a trusted site or a known and established organization when researching things. The internet can be a tricky place with lots and lots of articles of what I call fluff. Simply articles to boost sales of their products.

 

So in conclusion, to all of you that have helped me along the way, thank you. For those of you that are just starting, don't give up. Go to some of the oldtimers on here that have a few years under their belt, heck even go to my profile, click on content and sort by date created; oldest first. Read some of their earlier blogs, when they first started this journey. You will find many similarities to what you are going through and what they have went through. There's certain stages that you go through during the course of about a year. We all go through them at different times. Eventually you do plateau off and reach the smooth sailing. There's a few bumps in the road, but those bumps are just life. Life does continue to throw you some curve balls. Just remember smoking never solved any problems and is never going to make problems go away. The only thing that can do it is YOU. Believe in yourself, trust yourself, love yourself. Quitting and maintaining your quit is doable. ... Blessings, my friends

crazymama_Lori

On the road to 500

Posted by crazymama_Lori May 2, 2017

It's been a wild ride, this whole quit smoking train. The ups and the downs and the twists and turns. We can only go off of what other people have experienced and reported to somewhat understand what is going on and the similarities we all go through. The main theme throughout and what everyone agrees on is you have to educate yourself on the quitting process and put together what I call your game plan.

 

The first couple of months when you begin your quit is when some white knuckle it. You are hanging onto that cigarette with all of your might and just don't want to let go of it. But then again, my friends, we have clung on to that magical thing to solve our problems of the day. We looked to it for comfort, reward, calming device. It's a personal thing that we use smoking for. Everyone has their own reasons for continuing and also for going back.

 

You finally reach the plateau of around 130 to 190 days and you look around thinking so where do I go from here? There, the ride is over and I'll somehow be over it. That is so far from the truth. So many that I've seen on here panic at the thought of when the crave or urge to smoke suddenly comes over them out of nowhere. My goodness, I should be done with this already. The truth is, is that it never does go away. The psychological hold is something that will linger for quite awhile.

 

Do you notice that certain songs or smells will spark a memory, something from your past that made you feel good or made you smile? The brain is a facinating thing. It stores things. It's a virtual file cabinet of information, unique to each individual. Hence why smoking is not a one-size-fits-all “habit.” You have periods during the first year where you will smell smoke clear out of the blue or sometimes even see it. You will find yourself reaching for the phantom pack or performing the hand motion almost subconsciously. Have you ever while daydreaming while driving finding yourself traveling on autopilot to a familiar destination or a place where you've been going for years? Welcome to the filing cabinet.

 

Another thing that I've noticed in my year plus quit is somewhere around 400 to 430 days the cycling finally ended. The crying jags, bouts of depression, bouts of anger, extreme frustration. I'm wondering if it's because I find myself now saying I'm just really irritated right now instead of saying I'm having a nicotine fit or I could really go for a cigarette right now and that's WHY I'm irritated. It doesn't pop in my head anymore. I just found myself the other day saying, well, that's not true. It has nothing to do with smoking at all. It's not part of who I am any longer.

 

I'm on my second go-around of milestones in my life, experiencing birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and such for the second time as a nonsmoker. I can tell you all that it's much easier this time. The first time was the anticipation of the event which made dealing with it so much harder. Now it's just a birthday, holiday, anniversary. It has no association with smoking. Nothing in my life has an association with smoking. I removed the association. I stopped putting two and two together. That is just something that I used to do. It's not part of who I am any longer. It no longer has to define me. It no longer has to label me. It no longer has to control me.

 

So for you newbies out there, use the search box on this site and look up things, arm yourself with knowledge, gather your arsenal to fight this for the next 6 months. Take the time to figure out what you've used smoking for. Go through the steps they have outlined on the site, especially tracking your cigarettes. Understand what you use smoking to replace and develop a game plan to substitute something in its place. Create a permanent file in that filing cabinet. You can do this, really you can.