"We lose one of our most comfortable, reliable, and familiar ways of relating to ourselves and to the world around us."
Thank you, @Barbara145 for sharing this post. It spoke to me as well.
As the novelty begins to wear off, the sense of LOSS comes rushing in.
The journey of quitting smoking/vaping is also having to relearn how to relate to myself and to the world around me in a whole new way....w/o relying on my crutch/nicotine to distract my body and cloud my head.
A fellow Exer posted:
.......the "hit high" from the nicotine is gone, you are learning a new life....a new normal without cigarettes. As most of us come to realize, they were a part of everything we did and when they are gone....it "feels" like a loss. After awhile, things will even out.
Quitting is an emotional thing. Many of us found our way through our quits early on by having the experience of so many emotions we didn't know if we were coming or going.
For me....tears were a large part of that. Mixed emotions stored my thoughts. Deep inside I WANTED DESPERATELY to be a non smoker, but I was afraid. Afraid of failure, afraid of fear...is there such a thing? Being afraid of fear itself?
Tears came unannounced over I would say the first 3 months of my quit. Just look at me wrong and I would cry. I was fragile. I was learning how to cope with life without running to smoke first. This was a key turning point for me once I understood what was happening.
Frustration during my early months was induced by anyone who criticized me, looked at me wrong...again...how do you look at someone wrong?... My perception of everything was knocked out of whack.
I learned here on this site, that I would go through many stages as I began my quit journey. Some would bring intense anger, fear, hurt, pain, tears...oh yes plenty of tears, and feelings that I would lose this battle.
We feel like we've lost a friend. We actually feel something more potent than that - we feel like we've lost our 'selves'. And it's ok to cry over that. Truth is in one way we never WILL be the same 'self' that we've known. And it's okay to grieve that loss. What we don't know, however, is the magnificence of the when we first quit nothing feels OK. Especially us. We feel like fish out of water. Everything is uncomfortable. We feel like we've lost our best friend. We seem unable to cope with anything and are irritated by everything. Or we're lost in a fog and all we want to do it sleep it away, but our sleep pattern has been altered too. We tend to cry a lot. We don't know what to do to get through. We're told it will get better, but it seems to take sooooo long. Our entire being seems foreign to us. And it's UNCOMFORTABLE!
Yup - that's what the early stages of the quit journey feel like. It's uncomfortable. We're out of our comfort zone for sure. Because the behavior that we've practiced for so long - many of us for year and YEARS - is being altered. It's different to go through our days without our binky, without our "go to" to relieve stress; our reward for an accomplishment, exclamation point on a success; that moment where we can relax for a few minutes and that five minutes to pause to think through sorrow or anger and escape it; the sharing of times with like-minded smokers, that after-meal final fulfillment or the one after sex.. the times alone on our back decks where we got relief with a cigarette in hand...
When we quit smoking - everything changes. All our normal routines and behaviors are altered. (But we have chosen this path to freedom, don't forget.) So of course we're going to feel uncomfortable. But only for a while.
HANG IN THERE!!!!
In this journey you learn a lot about yourself and those around you...the smoke screen hid many things ... be sure to make your quit your priority. Colleen 448 DOF
~~~~~~~~~These are quips I've found scattered on this website today that have helped me get through. I know I didn't properly give credit, but credit is certainly due. Please tag yourself if you feel inclined. Just too much work for my battling mind at this moment....Thank you all for your wisdoms and insights......
Great article about the feeling of loss in the quit journey: