Hello everyone!! I quit smoking almost 5 months ago using the 7mg patch still finding it very hard most days
Are you off the patch?
Quitting is 90% mental.
What are you finding is so hard that you can't change your thinking or routine to overcome?
What have you learned that got you this far?
Quitting is as hard as we make it.
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Maybe the patch is reinforcing your triggers. The physical response of the body to nicotine is going to be similar if you are a chain smoker or are using a transdermal patch. The chemical enters your bloodstream and your brain goes through a physiological routine. It doesn't know where the nicotine came from. Your conscious mind does know where the nicotine came from of course and that is the rub, problem, deal breaker. You are sending mixed signals to the brain. You fight the triggers and keep on reinforcing them with the patch at the same time. You couldn't possibly make it harder to quit. You are not smoking but are still reinforcing the triggers that make you want a cigarette. Everything that you do as part of quitting, applying a patch, chewing a piece of gum, anything related to smoking or nicotine, is reminding you on some level and reinforcing the importance and power of those triggers.
I have a theory that is a pretty negative look at us as people and our self indulgence is the center of it. The important part of my little theory is that we need to conquer the self indulgence. Simple. No substitutions, just quit and find ways to distract yourself. You will forget. We all do.
nonsgm I was a serial quitter, never used NRT except for one piece of gum that so grossed me out, I didn't use it again. What helped me to quit was to read everything I could about nicotine addiction, most of it is available on this site, to prepare for my quit and change things up. If you are struggling, you might be white knuckling your quit instead of letting the craves come and go and accepting the fact that they WILL come and go, whether you smoke or not. No crave ever killed anyone, no one can say the same thing about smoking. Figure out things to do when a crave comes on, drink ice water, suck on an ice cube, do jumping jacks, run in place, wash dishes, take a shower. If you are ready for a crave with a distraction, it makes it MUCH easier. I lost quits because of white knuckling...fighting every crave, going just about completely crazy. Education and support really help and this is the site to get both. I came here first thing in the morning and last thing at night and I read blogs, commented, wrote some of my own blogs, and became a part of this community. Over three years later, I am still smoke free.
Welcome to EX!
If quitting was easy, you would have quit a long time ago. I'm not sure how long you smoked but you are unraveling thousands of associations with nicotine-induced, dopamine highs. It was never the smoking; it was always the nicotine. Now go find your buzz-joy some other way: laugh, dance, exercise, get your groove on! Love Life! Love Yourself! Love ME! See your cup as half full rather than half empty and find yourself giggling with jubilation as it overflows with new-found freedom from addiction.
Welcome! I read the Alan Carr's book the Easy Way to Stop Smoking if you haven't read it yet I suggest you give it a read. It helped me understand the addiction of nicotine and that has been very helpful to me on my quit journey.
Stay with it! Congratulations on your 5 months!
Stick with it. You won't regret it.
Learn How to Quit Smoking (and Make it Stick)
Practicing distraction techniques will help. And the more you turn you mind away from the cravings, the more adept you'll get and the easier it will become, until eventually it's just second nature. Oh, a craving, yeah, right, bye! They can pass that fast once you learn how to shrug them off.
What do you do when a craving comes around?
Thanks for checking in. Quitting is hard! Not impossible, though. If you are still struggling at 5 months, don't feel alone. And congratulations for sticking with it. It is an addiction of course and detaching from it, accepting the change is a one day at a time process. Some come to terms with quitting faster than others. I was pretty slow...I put smoking first. I only understood that fact when I quit...so I felt worse... I'd wondered how would ever put anything else first...I'd smoked for years and expected to until the day I died.
But I stuck with my quit-- and the addiction, the want, the attachment, the "I need a cigarette" thoughts have faded away. Getting unstuck from the cigarette life is so doable. Good news is you still get to be you, get to improve your health, save tons of $, and be free from want. Dig deep, keep looking, keep asking, keep giving yourself permission to change and you will find what you are looking for in your quit.
Keep your head up. I'm right there with you on this being hard. Almost gave up. Determined this time though.
pittfan1109 good attitude. It takes determination. One of the ingredients to a successful quit.
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