And What does everyone do about the depression that comes from quitting?
Quitting smoking is tough...no denying it. But it is so VERY worth it in the end. I hope that you have done some reading on the subject....may seem unneccessary but it is sooooo important. Please go to whyquit.com and read the articles there. I am sure there is one explaining the depression.........which basically comes from the withdrawal of the dopamine that is released when you smoke. You have to get through this part.......it's just a fact of quitting. Sleep, sing, eat, scream, cry, hit something, run, walk, dance.......do WHATEVER but just do not smoke. If you have to....get through it minute by minute. If that's too long...get through it second by second. Try not to focus on having "lost something".......focus on how GREAT life is going to be when you just get through what will turn out to be a very short time.
Thank you ! for all the encouraging words Yes I have read and read knowledge is power right ? And every day on this journey there is something new that is thrown at you to deal with I would LOVE just one easy day!
Yes, WHYQUIT has awesome articles. Have you tried doing some journaling? It may help you see some strengths as well as some weaknesses that you can work on daily. I know it helped me in depressive times, And... it still does. Getting ready to have a big storm here so am signing off tonight. Take care,and as Sootie says....stay strong
It sounds as if you may be trying to rationalize or justify smoking. Quitting is hard. It is up to you to have a mindset to make it easier. You have to change your mind and not think that you have lost something. You have not lost a thing. Your life will be much better smoke free. Do not give up it does get better. Sometimes it is harder for some but you can not give up or give it. Your quit is the most important thing right now. So no matter what do not smoke. . It is a journey that continues. It does not end it just gets better. With determination and an attitude that no matter what you will not smoke the cravings well lessen because you will learn that you can over power the addictive brain. Just tell yourself no matter what you will not smoke and keep it moving. Don't continue with the same thought over and over again you have control of your thoughts. Do something different to distract yourself 5 months in should be a lot easier. Stay close and do the suggested readings. You can get through this rough spot.
True could be trying to justify but I couldn't figure out where all of sudden this panic came on and didn't go away all day and the first thing you think of is it must be from quitting smoking
You're bringing back memories I had nearly forgotten. When I was younger in my quit I had terrible depression and anxiety. I was going through a vicious divorce with ruthless opponents and a worthless, incredibly expensive attorney; I never knew what was causing my depression and anxiety: the divorce, quitting smoking, or both. Regardless, I swear I felt physical symptoms: a sensation in my chest that I can't quit describe.
Anyway, to answer your question ... I slept a lot. When I couldn't sleep, I stayed as busy as I could: cleaning, organizing, gardening, anything that consumed lots of time, wasn't stressful, and kept my mind occupied. Had I not had more of that to do than I had time to complete it, I would have worked puzzles, built models, or learned a new skill such as carpentry or crochet. Tjandj's painting is a similar outlet. In fact, blogging and commenting here is a great, time consuming diversion. Others find exercise helpful, which I'm sure it is, if only I could get excited about it.
When you start to see positive results from your activity, i.e. a well manicured yard, a clean house, a beautiful painting, a toned body or happy Ex friends, it's hard not to feel better about yourself. The positive change around you and the positive effects of quitting smoking: improved self-esteem that flows naturally from self-discipline, improved breathing, more time, money, sex, (okay, well not sex,) and so much more will eventually lift you out of the doom and gloom in which you currently find yourself.
It is inevitable. You simply must stick with it. You CAN. It's only a question of whether you WILL.
I did. I think you will too.
Here's the thing - Depression is a normal part of Smoking Cessation - in the very short term! It's a small stage we go through for a little while! Knowing that is like knowing that you're going to hurt after you get a tooth pulled. It still hurts but you know it's normal and you know it won't last.
But best of all you know that you will feel a lot better after you get through the other side of the pain! Quitters are happier than smokers! They have less depression! They have less anxiety! They are mentally more resilient! The long run is so much better!!!
So what do you do for the short run? Dopamine!!!! There are lots of articles here about dopamine - how to get it, how to use it to make a Successful Quit! Dopamine - the Double Edged Blade. Read, read, read! You are not alone in this by a long shot!!!! In the end you will become a Happy Quitter!
DEFUSE Your Addictive Thoughts!
Did you know that your thoughts are absolutely normal and to be expected? That's what learning about Addiction can do for you! You know what to expect and even more important, you know what to do about it!
Even though I'd wanted to quit smoking when I did, and even though I prepared as best I could, I still found myself profoundly distressed by quitting. I also imagined that my body/brain would be relieved by my quitting and that after sometime...say a month or two, I'd be happy that I did quit. Didn't work that way. Adjusting to not smoking, learning to live without the smokes took some time--I got exasperated sometimes. I did work to stay quit--walked, stayed occupied, watched comedic clips on youtube when really frustrated and I did a bunch of other things-- still habits today.
The addiction was all I knew for most of my life, all I really remembered. I didn't think I could convert back!!!!! And the fact that I was not HAPPY about quitting as time passed, bothered me even more. But I relearned despite myself. Somewhere along the line of this quitting journey, I started to feel better. It wasn't one day, one event, one thought...nothing like that....it was time.
One area that you might explore is the reality of the tobacco business. There are a lot of good talks online about this stuff.
A while ago I created a youtube channel of collected quit videos (might have suggested to you before but here it is again)...
Marlboro Country is no place to settle in - YouTube
Getting your head around the addiction and getting to the nonsmoking you (you were born this way!!) might take longer than you'd like but keep working it and you will get there.
I found that positive thinking really helped me when negative thoughts such as, "I miss smoking or I am so depressed etc hit me. I realized I could dwell on these thoughts or I could change my thinking for example : "I miss smoking it was like losing a best friend to .......... "Boy it is nice to be getting my freedom back from that Ole Nicodemon who really was an enemy in disguise what kind of "friend " would take away my freedom and make me a slave and ruin my health and steal my money !!! I am so glad that I am quitting and it will take awhile to find a New Normal but I believe all of the Elders when they say it will happen ! It will it really will and believe me you will be glad you stuck it out ! I Love this one !!!
PS What Thomas said about dopamine is very important and I found out that music also produces dopamine in the brain I walked a lot in the beginning of my quit and listened to music that helped me a lot because I tend to get depressed easily and quitting made it worse for awhile but as an Ex-Smoker I still have bouts of depression and I had them as a smoker too unfortunately it is a part of my personality !
Thank you everyone for all the great encouragement ! When I say I'm tired I'm really tired Have read everything for the last 5 months and still I don't seem to be able to get it in my head that Im a non smoker now and let it go So all day long I fight it I've been in some really bad situations where I feel like a zombie for hours and its always been when I remove Nicotine from my life that this happens Very scary when it just gets worse everyday
Alright, if you have given up...and I am not sure that you have, you might consider saving every cigarette butt in a clear glass jar. Keep the jar in the open where you can see it. Give yourself some time to consider your future with cigarettes. Nicotine does not have to be your master. Lord knows, the tobacco companies will be glad to see you back, but me, I'm hoping you'll come round to that part of your mind that is wanting to quit...
MOO (My opinion only) - you haven't give it up. You haven't accepted your choice to be smoke free. You still want it because you still know it's out there, yours to have. You have to kill that in you. OK, so you haven't been able to do that yet. WHY do you want a cigarette? It's no longer a physical addition for you, you're way past the chemical stage of that. So what it is that you're not getting in life that you think, or believe, you'll have by putting a cigarette in your mouth? WHAT? Do you have an ache in your gut that you think will be relieved by a cigarette? Do you think a cigarette will undo your depression? How so? What exactly will it give you that you are lacking right now? Will it make you sigh with relief? You say you've done the reading but have you practiced the suggestions made for relieving stress and the like? Another thought - if the techniques offered by others who have been on the journey don't work, then it's up to us to figure out what will. We have to be creative in this process and imaginative and think out of the box. We need to experiment and FIND our happy place with quitting. Or at least our "OK" place. Because if you can the OK place emotionally, the happy place will - fall into place eventually.
But seriously - what IS it that you feel you lack in your life by not putting a cigarette in your mouth?
And one other thing - yeah, it gets real tiring fighting cravings all the time. And you will lose the battle unless you discover a way to work around them. But it also can take some us (more stubborn types) more than 5 months for that change in levels psychologically. You obviously WANT this. You've stuck with it this long. I say hang in. That's an awful lot of struggle to give up when your "BINGO!" moment might be right around the corner.
I re-read my blog posts last night. I was you for a long time. You can be me too. Keep at it. DON'T give up!
Onward to FREEDOM!!!
Puff 630 DOF (days of freedom)
Thank you for the support you are really a great bunch of people but for right now the fight in me is gone hopefully it will come back
When you're ready ... we're here for you.
Here's one of my blogs, we've all been there....... I'm tired
for right now the fight in me is gone
Sorry to hear it. I assume that means you've given up after 5 months? Well, I'm guessing you'll be back. Once you've had a taste of freedom (even if it wasn't that tasty yet), you'll never be a happy smoker again. Because you now know too much about the truth of this addiction and what it does to us. Peace to you. The light is always on here.
nonsgm, I have read all the responses to your blog and each tell you to keep going, don't give up, offering you suggestions. Every one is right we all have been where you are right now and we all clawed, cried, and screamed our way through it . But the day my depression about quitting came to an end was when I quit fighting and started defending. I would get up each morning and I would start to defend ME. Each day I would pick one room I would enter it and claim that it was MINE it did not belong to nicotine any more than I did. I stripped all the curtains off the windows and washed them, some of them I had to wash several times to get the smell out of them, I washed the windows inside and out till they looked like there was no glass in them. You would be surprised how much of a film nicotine leaves on glass. I shampooed carpets and furniture and then put a coat of odor blocking paint on the walls, because I found out that no matter how many times you just wash the walls down you still have the odor from smoking. When I would finish a room I would hang a plaque in a predominant spot in the room. The plaque was simple was the message said "I hereby claim this space MINE" sometimes to win the hold that nicotine has on you, you have to accept that nicotine will try to control you but you just have to show it that you control it. Quitting is not an easy thing and I did it with a husband who smoked and would blow smoke in my face and tell me if you are going to quit you just have to get used to it. There were times that I would want a smoke so bad that I would go in the bathroom and cry to the point of making myself physically ill. so put on your armor and begin defending YOURSELF and what is YOURS from the most vicious enemy you will ever have to fight, yourself.
Congrats on 5 months - I hope this message reached you before you let yourself be defeated.
I think we all have gone through the depression state...it's a 'loss'...., I talked
with my dr. , and we came up with a plan that suited me, that was a year ago, the depression is gone as well as my treatment. Depression is no longer associated with the loss of my addiction, and can deal with situations in a more positive manner. You'll get there, I smoked for 40 years, there are times...but sooo much more manageable than the early part of my quit. And knowing the different stages of the quit, and where I am now, that's the shot in the arm I need, to continue to say N.O.P.E!
5 months is great...be proud...6 moths is better...congrats on the 4 months!
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