Discussion created by Giulia Champion on Nov 20, 2009
Latest reply on Nov 9, 2017 by Marilyn.H.July.14.14.











Don't reach for that cigarette.  Don't go to that store you've always gone to in order to get your "fix."  Don't bum one from that friend.  Don't smoke the one you just found in your coat pocket that's you'd forgotten about.  Don't pull out that "saved" pack just for occasions like this.  Just don't.  Take a step back.  BREATHE!  Think very carefully first.  Stop it all in tracks right now.  It's your choice. YOU have the power to stop it.  Just make the choice you've already chosen by coming to this site.  You here because you want to be free from this addition.  Keep choosing that.  And ask yourself - "Do I really want another day one?" 


Below are some useful links and dialogues:



Click on - STRESS MANAGEMENT - for a helpful article on reducing stress (Thank you Thomas3.20.2010)  


More helpful links regarding stress:


The smoking stress-cycle


(courtesy of


Smoking actually causes stress.

If you have not had a cigarette for a while, it is common to gradually feel tense and irritable. These are symptoms of nicotine withdrawal . Your next cigarette immediately relieves these unpleasant feelings. This shows that your addiction to nicotine makes you moody . You feel stressed and irritable between cigarettes and smoking allows you to feel normal again. This up-and-down pattern of mood change, throughout the day, is common among smokers. Quitting breaks this vicious cycle.


Does nicotine calm you?


Nicotine causes a spike in your heart rate and blood pressure making your heart work harder. The cigarette appears to relax you because the nicotine removes the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms caused by smoking, and gives you a brief hit from the brain-reward chemical called dopamine.

But because of this spike in heart rate and blood pressure it’s difficult to achieve the level of relaxation and stress relief of a nonsmoker.


What happens when I quit?

For a few weeks you will experience cravings and irritability but over time these nicotine withdrawal symptoms disappear. After a few months ex-smokers report feeling less stressed and depressed than when they were smokers.


Smoking, stress and taking a break

Many smokers associate taking a break with having a cigarette.

There are many relaxing aspects to taking a break – deep breathing (even when taking in cigarette smoke) can be physiologically relaxing, as is socialising, or having a warm drink. These pleasant things get strongly associated with the effect of the cigarette itself.


Quitting offers the opportunity to change your breaks so that you get the genuine stress relief you need, without the harmful effects of the cigarette.


Plan for something else you enjoy:

  • Consider your interests and hobbies   What relaxes you? Do you have a hobby or two that you could use to replace the cigarettes? E.g. a magazine, a sketchbook, a craft or a tool shed?
  • Exercise   
    • Exercising is a great way to deal with stress and is a positive, lifestyle change. Regular exercise will help you clear out your lungs and increase your fitness. However, don’t overdo it. You’ll need energy to resist the temptations to smoke.  
  • Explore the range of non-caffeinated beverages   
  • Turn this into a new ritual. Spend money on this with the money you’ll save from not smoking.
  • Try something new   
    • Learn a new language, take up a new sport or pastime. Invest more time on your passions.
    Try Quit’s 10 Good Ways to Relax audio (below), meditation, relaxation classes, yoga or pilates.


Download the mp3 

  • Set up a relaxing zone, your new time-out zone, in the house   
    • Listen to music, read, do some stretches, put some moisturiser on your hands. Do something you enjoy. You’ll have more money to spend when you quit – treat yourself to an item for your time-out zone




Reply by Dian on May 14, 2008 at 9:39am
    I was just going through this yesterday because hubby pissed me off so much..........
    BUT......... day 8, smoke free, I didn't give in........
Jim Permalink Reply by Jim on July 18, 2009 at 9:39am
    Dian, I was in a trap like that yesterday with my daughter, I have tried real hard over the past three weeks and at times was doing great using the patch; but slipped up and now its time to try again. so I am going right back at it tonight.
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on July 18, 2009 at 9:50am
       That's the idea, get right back on the horse. But why wait 'til tonight.......the more nicotine you put in your body, the harder it's gonna be. I say dump 'em now.
Whimsy Permalink Reply by Whimsy on May 17, 2008 at 6:13pm
      ... and the next thing you know you blow a really fabulous quit! There honestly is no such thing as ONE. I even attempted the "well, I can just smoke 3 a day...after each meal" (this is after that ONE I had). What is so very sad is that that relapse happened well over a year ago and now I find myself dreading the whole process again. I was strong... However, the trigger won the battle. Lesson learned: One's quit is something to be treasured and always nurtured.
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on May 18, 2008 at 8:27am
        "One's quit is something to be treasured and always nurtured."
    You'd better believe it. One very great continuing motivating force for me to remain smoke free is that I dread the whole process of starting over again. THAT's enough to keep me free forever.
Heather Permalink Reply by Heather on September 25, 2008 at 12:28pm
        i think the same thing to myself "do i want to start all over again?" and that keeps me going....i'm 42 days smoke free and i still have difficult times....but there are a few things i tell myself and that is one "wanna start over"??
    Absolutely not!
Nancy Bond Permalink Reply by Nancy Bond on February 11, 2009 at 7:27am
        Whimsy: "One's quit is something to be treasured and always nurtured."
    I think that is SO important! Non-smokers don't always "get" what an accomplishment it is to have not smoked for even one week -- it's HUGE. And we should wear it like a badge! Thanks for this reminder.
Mike in @lanta Permalink Reply by Mike in @lanta on July 21, 2008 at 4:07am    
    Do we really feel that a cigarette can ease our stress or do we finally just get fed up with an irritating situation & say "screw it"? The mind is a powerful thing people. We can be the worst salesperson in the history of mankind but we can make ourselves believe anything we want. If you want to change your life, change your mind.
polly Permalink Reply by polly on July 22, 2008 at 10:28am    
    You got it right on Mike!! LOL -- love your new look, by the way! I used the stress trap so many times during attempts to stop smoking. It always drew me right back in to the battle and of course, then who knows how many years would follow as a smoker. The fact is that smoking is a stimulant. It doesn't release stress, if anything it can heighten it. It's just another easy way out according to what our addiction feeds our thoughts with. We will always have stress in our lives. That's a given. That's a part of being imperfect human beings! The important thing is to learn how to deal with the stress and look at it as a valuable learning lesson. This is how we grow and nurture ourselves!! I feel much calmer now that I am not smoking!!
Mike in @lanta Permalink Reply by Mike in @lanta on July 22, 2008 at 1:02pm    
    Amen Sister! We will always have that stress & must learn how to deal with it.
    But smoking is not only a stimulant. Smoking is whatever we have trained our minds for it to be. It's a stimulant, it's a relaxer, it helps me to think, it empties my mind, it makes me part of the crowd, it defines me as an individual, It's many drugs in one.
    I hear people all the time talking about anxiety attacks since quitting. As far as I can tell I'm the only person that hasn't had an anxiety attack since I quit. I had been having them since I was a kid & learning to smoke. When I quit in 2004 the attacks stopped immediately.
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on August 24, 2008 at 8:46pm    
    I've moved this post to the stress section.


    Posted by angeleyes Aug. 24
    stress is my biggest relapse and depression so im gonna need lots of help from everyone ! im ready to stop for good ! keep giving me my kick in the butt i need it
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on August 24, 2008 at 9:15pm    
    We all go through stress all the time. Sad to say, but I don't know that there is a day that passes when I don't experience some kind of stress. It could be a child coming home late, a husband who is overbearing, a pet that didn't come in the night before, a friend in the hospital, a relative coming over that you don't much care for, a promise you've made that you'd rather not keep, a boss that wants 150% NOW, a too demanding wife, a perfection that we know we can achieve that we're not reaching. The list goes on and on and on. And on.
    And the depression of failing to meet not only our own expectations of ourselves (perhaps mostly our own expectations), but those we suppose others expect of us. A parent whom we can never please, or a child whom we think we have failed, or a friend that we could have been better to or a spouse that wea treat worse than a stranger, a child that we have alienated because we didn't know how to simply say I love you. Essentially our depression I think is a feeling of a lack of the worthiness of the grace of our Savior. We know what we can do, and we don't do it.
    This is life. This is our lives going on, day by day. It is not unique to the human species. But smoking is - for many of us. Many people go through these same experiences and don't light up under these same circumstances that compel us to do so. And it is simply because their brains have not be re-arranged, re-wired (due to the drugs in this little rolled up weed). They deal with life's stresses and depressions without smoking.
    Bottom line...butt kicking....there are no excuses for lighting up. Stress or depression - don't matter. Millions go through those emotional realities and don't reach for a cigarette. When you've said NO to smoking. You mean NO. No matter what.
RJ Permalink Reply by RJ on September 12, 2008 at 1:54pm    
    I am a junkie, I'll never forget that again.


    At the time I blamed stress, oh yea there was stress, and I chose to smoke, I placed that cigarette between my lips and lit it, there was no crave, No drop in serum nicotine level causing withdrawl, I just started fantizing and romanticing the distant memory of the relief from withdrawl caused by stress resulting in the distant memory of the aahh feeling, took that puff (32mos down the tubes),
    I did not know the law of addiction - administering any amount of the addictive substance will cause the reestablishment of chemical dependance on the substance- Now that I have educated myself to that fact there is no excuse.
    I am a junkie, I will always be a junkie, as long as I was using the chemical I was dependant on the chemical to prevent withdrawl, the only way I can prevent dependance is to not reintroduce any of the chemical into my blood.
    I know no matter what anything can be faced without nicotine in my blood.
    That is why I live by NTAP NOPE.
    RJ...Free at Last...
Nancy Paddock Permalink Reply by Nancy Paddock on September 17, 2009 at 1:51pm    
    you're right, we are addicts and it's harder to kick than heroin. In 1978 I quit with hypnosis in 1 session with 1 to reinforce it; my mother passed away right after and even that stress didn't make me start again and I was free for 20 years. Then I decided one night with friends to have 1 cigarette (didn't even inhale) and I got hooked again. That was 10 yr ago and I've been trying multiple times to quit; part of me wants to and another part (the addict) doesn't. But I want to because of health reasons. It's harder now than before and I keep thinking the tobacco co's made them more addictive in the last 20 yr (also saw the movie The Insider which confirmed that theory) so it is really hard now. I just ordered some stuff called Final Smoke, a homeopathic way to quit. I've done the patch, hypnosis, Chantix, a behavior modification class, but I keep going back "due to stress". But that's not it. Now I'm just praying for God to restore me to sanity and take the compulsion away. Because I can't do it on my own.


    NP - soon to be free at last
Melissa Permalink Reply by Melissa on September 15, 2008 at 2:41pm
    Or like, 10 seconds after you smoke one, you want that particular one to be your last. Happens with every single one you have after that...
DENISE Permalink Reply by DENISE on September 22, 2008 at 4:38am    
    i started out last monday, strong and determined. by wednesday nite, i was at it again. boredome and stress are my triggers.
eric harris Permalink Reply by eric harris on September 22, 2008 at 10:51am   
    I am a new member of this group. I have been a smoker for 30 years. I am certianly going thru this stress thing big time right now. I have used this as an excuse to keep smoking. I am "READY TO QUIT". good luck to everybody.
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on September 22, 2008 at 11:03am
    So are you trying any stress busting techniques? Deep breathing, self hypnosis, biofeedback, meditation, feng shui, Tai Chi, aromatherapy, worry beads......the list is endless. But smoking is not on it. The object is to eliminate the stress, not mask it with smoke.
    This is your chance to discover. Glad you're here.
~Rosa~ Permalink Reply by ~Rosa~ on September 23, 2008 at 8:41pm  
    Thanks, Giulia. I use deep breathing and need so much more to add the exercise! What really helped me was writing a Dear John letter like the Get Quit website subscription suggested that came with the Chantix script. I quit since March 11th. You are so wise and experienced in this quit thing, thanks for your help.
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on September 24, 2008 at 8:14am  
    And you just added to that wisdom. A Dear John letter. Great idea. Thanks for it.
    And congrats on your strong quit there, Rosa. Past the half way point, headin' for that year marker. Yes!
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on September 24, 2008 at 8:47am  
    Someone just sent me an e-mail FWD and I couldn't resist putting it in here (a bit crude though it be):
    Handle every stressful situation like a dog.
    If you can't eat it or play with it,


    Just pee on it and walk away.
Tasha Permalink Reply by Tasha on September 29, 2008 at 7:52am  
    MY Relapse TRAP COULD be ME! My own worst nightmare!! I'm a bit over two weeks smoke-free and for some reason I keep thinking I need just ONE MORE!!! I've been fighting --not a craving---not the physical addiction--but ME, MY MIND, MY OWN THOUGHTS!!! Why is it such a struggle?? I DON'T EVEN WANT ONE!!!! REALLY -- I don't want to have to start over! I don't want to smell like smoke! I don't want my lungs filled with the pollutant! Every ounce of me wants to stay 1000 miles from the crap---SOOOOO WHY?? Why do I want just one more??? Why when I see people out on their breaks at work do I want to take a drag off one?? I won't! No!! I really Won't do it!!! Why can't the addiction just let me be??
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on September 29, 2008 at 9:39pm    
    Why can't the addiction just let me be??
    Because it's an addiction. And one that's rewired our brains, literally. Smoking created pathways that weren't there before. And it takes time to shut the pathways down.
    You're absolutely right. We are our own relapse traps. That's why we have to keep ever vigilant. Have to keep saying NO to the whining baby within. For it's own good.
    During the initial stages of my quit I put up affirmations on little pieces of paper around the house where my eye would catch them throughout the day. Words, ideas which sparked something within me and kept me focused on remaining smoke free. One was "spirituality of intent." I still have that particular one stuck to the mirror over my bathroom sink. Maybe something like that might help you. Your own words, or someone else's spurring you on.
Kathy Permalink Reply by Kathy on October 1, 2008 at 8:43am    
    Giulia....I, too, have and still use post it notes around my office and home. They have been a great help to me through my quit......although my co-workers think I'm nuts...but who cares? They're still taking smoke breaks!
    Some of my notes read: "I am an I refuse to use!"


    "Live Simply...Love Generously...Care Deeply...Speak Kindly....Leave the Rest to God"


    "Just Say NO!!!!"
    "Smoking is no longer an Option!!!!" etc, etc
    Now I have a new one, courtesy of you "Spirituality of Intent"....I love it!!! Thanks


Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on October 1, 2008 at 9:08am    
    And I yours!
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on September 30, 2008 at 8:28am    
    Yeah, we're all schizophrenics when it comes to the smoking voices in our heads, aren't we! Hmmmm. You just gave me an idea. If it goes anywhere I'll post it.


Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on October 21, 2008 at 1:03pm    
Kathy Permalink Reply by Kathy on October 22, 2008 at 8:43am    
    BUMP?????? Please Clarify.....Sounds Intriguing.
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on October 22, 2008 at 9:21am    
    OK, for all of you in the dark, a "bump" is simply a response to get a thread or old post back up to the beginning of a forum. This discussion had dropped toward page 4 or so. New and ongoing discussions start on page one, and each new discussion pushes the next one back. When discussions aren't responded to, eventually they just get stuck toward the end of the line so to speak. In order to get them to the front, someone just needs to respond.
    As I wanted certain of these Traps to remain in the first few pages, I responded simply by saying "bump." Meaning I've bumped them up to the front of the line. Any response, from anybody, would have bumped them up.
    Often someone will read an old post that they find interesting, for example, and just to get it in the limelight will bump it up so others will see it.
    Hope that explains what the term "bump" means.
Jen Permalink Reply by Jen on October 23, 2008 at 6:35pm    
    Well thanks for that BUMP. Cause I've recently fallen into a TRAP myself
    Its nice to read the empowering words from all of you! I found I could handle the everyday stresses but now that it feels like my world is spinning out of control. With no real end insight. I gave in. I circled the 7-11 for about 30 minutes, telling myself its been 3 months.....your a strong woman!! Bah....I fail!
    I now have 2 smokes left an I'm quite mad at myself for giving in to the temptations. Thou I did feel a tiny less stress, it wasn't worth it. Back to square one for me.
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on October 23, 2008 at 9:38pm
         Sorry to hear that tale, Jen. So, you managed to spend 30 minutes circling the 711 before the Demon got you. What I want to know - and what we all need to know - is what was it that won over your heart and mind? What was it that contradicted the "you're a strong woman" thought? Can you explain it? If you could, it would be invaluable in this forum. Was it simply the "I want, I have to have..." feeling? The "no end in sight" either for your stresses or your desire to smoke?
    We need to put our heads in your mind set during those 30 minutes to understand the why you caved and how not to cave in. Was it that there was a strong craving to smoke? Or was it that you thought having a smoke would help you deal with the emotions you were going through? There's a difference, somehow, I think. A craving lasts a short time. Those short times may come in waves one right after another, but in reality, they only last a short time. And you spent 30 minutes thinking about it before you caved in. And your body was well over the nicotine withdrawal stage. So what was it?
    My guess is that you wanted some relief. And you thought smoking would give you relief. Because denying yourself cigarettes is hard and causes stress itself. You have to constantly hold yourself up, maintain a high bearing, be constantly on your guard. And that's tiring. I know. I've been quit over 2 1/2 years and I still have to maintain a certain mind set that isn't always easy. Because you're constantly denying yourself something you think you want which is so incredibly easy to obtain. You have to maintain vigilance and that takes effort.
    When I put myself in your head, I crave a cigarette. Right now, for instance, I want one really badly. I'm an actress, I go places emotionally that most people don't allow. And I've just put myself in your mind. And I can feel the relief you experienced. And the madness at yourself.
    But the bottom line is - if you want to be a non smoker, then you have to make smoking a non option. And that means closing the door on the possibility of smoking. Only when that door is closed and locked are you free.
    Back to square one. That's one of the major factors that is keeping me smoke free. I don't want to have to go there again.
    You have two smokes left. And you're sitting there thinking about them, I'll bet. How many you've got left. Two. Should I smoke them up at once, or save them. Maybe smoke one now and then one before bed. Or maybe save one 'til tomorrow morning....and tomorrow I'll quit again. Will I? Yeah. Well...maybe I'll buy another pack, no, well.....
    Is that the mind game? Am I close? I've been there. I know.
    Of course you felt a tiny bit less stress (and good for your for being truthful about it). That tiny bit less of stress was that bit of stress called fighting the addiction.
    Come back to the fold. A slip can teach a lesson or mean the end of a quit for the next X many years....
Jen Permalink Reply by Jen on October 24, 2008 at 4:49pm    
    I did circle that 711 for a longtime! And after thinking about it for quite some time what I believe made me cave was all the extra stress in my life. The feeling of just wanting to let some of that stress go, made me cave. I know I used cigarettes to relieve stress in the past, so I figured I had no other way. Thou I know it doesn't really take my stress away or deal with my emotions for me. I sure was convinced that day that it would do SOMETHING for me.


    I'm a single mother of 2 that recently separated from a relationship of 2 years. I've been trying to pick myself back up from that ordeal, then came the want of some friends to just hang out with. I just moved to a new city an I don't know anyone so I was trying to find kewl people to just hang out with. Needless to say the first person I opened my life to....well I'll just say he stole all my power an violated me in ways I won't mention.
    So now you know where my head was.. Why I longed for relief! Hell I still long for relief, but it won't come from a cigarette! Yes I felt a tiny bit better...but it wasn't comparable to all the crap I'm facing. Also my daughter was angry at me for having a cigarette. (She caught me outside...) So I'm back on the ban wagon so they say. I still have those 2 cigarettes, why? Who knows! I do know I'd do just about anything to drop this habit for good. I didn't crave a cigarette for 2 months. It was great...then things got out of control an they were the first thing I remembered.
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on October 27, 2008 at 6:07pm    
    Get rid of those two cigarettes, Jen, would be my advice. They'll haunt you.
    Linda, I know what you mean. The thing is with this addiction - you can think you're going along just fine and then suddenly it rears it's ugly head again. That's why one ALWAYS has to be on one's guard.
    Both of you - just keep on. Sometimes you just have to take it one day at a time, sometimes it's easy. But all times your lungs and body are thanking you.
Jules Permalink Reply by Jules on November 7, 2008 at 7:23pm    
    Glad I came and read what everyone has to say here. I have had a tough 24 hours. 3 weeks today and I honestly thought I was going to give in last night. I was doing the whole "one won't hurt" or "it is my life to ruin" etc. I made it through but needed to hear what you all have to say about this to keep free of smokes. Thanks!
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on November 8, 2008 at 7:42am    
    YAY! You held on. Just take it one hurdle at a time Jules. And congrats on your three weeks. Keep your sights on that one month milestone!
~Betty~ Permalink Reply by ~Betty~ on November 8, 2008 at 10:53pm    
    I'm so glad you bumped this discussion up. It was very helpful for me to read right now. Amazing how this addiction tells me that now that I'm feeling a bit better it's ok to have just 1. I know there is no such thing as just 1, but still that nagging, so as Giulia says "BACK, BACK you demon!!!!"


Jules Permalink Reply by Jules on November 11, 2008 at 7:04am    
    I find that I have to come here every morning or the demons do get me. I am having physical symptoms today. Almost feel like I smoked a pack yesterday. I did step up my work out and was seriously breathing hard at the gym last night so maybe I am detoxing more today. Glad everyone is here to help me stay steady.
Louise Permalink Reply by Louise on November 14, 2008 at 5:58pm    
    Yes, Yes, and Yes, Stress, has always been my relapse trigger. AND it got me once again after an 80 day quit. Definitely true all the above and more so- called reasons to relapse. I thought I really honestly had it beat this time. You know, I've learned a little more that you can never think that way. I was back in my addiction full throttle in no time and even though I knew it continued on for about 2 months. I avoided this site just as I honored it. I was embarassed, ashamed and all the other excuses I could think of. I finally came down with a serious case of brochitis and had to take off and stay in bed for two weeks. Those of you that may remember that when I first quit, I thought I was so fortunate to not have any real symptoms, ie: not beingable to breathe deeply, or no short ness of breath etc. No cough. Well this bronchial thing made up for all that and then more. I couldn't breathe at all! I am still coughing very badly and it is taking time to go away. So, I'm back and quit again. Unfortunate that it had to happen but, better now than later. I've been reviewing the site and am sending good wishes to all. Glad to be back.
Jules Permalink Reply by Jules on November 14, 2008 at 6:09pm    
    Welcome back Louise! Glad you are back to quitting. It is hard and for me it sucks but gotta do it anyway. I guess you could be grateful to the illness for putting this back on track for you. Good luck and hope to see you lots on here!!!
Louise Permalink Reply by Louise on November 14, 2008 at 6:13pm    
    Thanks so much and yes, I am grateful in a big way. Chances are the relapse, could have gone on for a very long time.... thanks.
~Rosa~ Permalink Reply by ~Rosa~ on November 14, 2008 at 8:22pm
         Wow, lots of activity here on the cravings, just came back from a party and was actually bothered by the smoke and tried not to be a pain about it. I gotta watch commenting on others but it was my nephew's birthday and he's smoking, I hope that he can find the satisfaction in being smoke free soon. Louise, I'm so glad you are hanging in with your quit and doing it and Linda you go girl!
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on November 14, 2008 at 8:58pm    
    I'm gonna chime in since I consider myself to be somewhat experienced with my "more smoke-free experience." My take on it is - they never "go away" completely. For me cravings seem always to be in the background. Don't mistake, there's no comparison to the intensity of a beginning quit. But even so, those whispering cravings are there in the background of my life. But you've been quit almost six months, yes? I don't recall there was a big difference for me between six months and a year, a year and two years. Now, that's just me. And I am not you. And I am not my husband who had no problems quitting AT ALL. Stopped and never looked back and never had any hauntings about it. But then he's very unique and deeply disciplined.
    I think one of the reasons people lose their quits is because they fail to recognize that this is an ongoing process. For some of us. For you and me, for example. And those that have relapsed. It seems we're always going to be tempted. That's just the way it is. And if that's the "given," then we must accept it and always be ready, always be on guard, always be prepared.
    And what does our preparation consist of? Ah, there's the rub. I don't think any of us really have a storm shelter set up. And I'm talking right off the top of my head here. But really. We may have set up a quit program for ourselves, but we haven't set up a "how to stay quit program": Probably because it never occurred to us that we'd get to that point! LOL
    Wow. Now I think I may have hit on something here. Weigh in, please y'all. We spent all our time on how to become smoke free, but we've not spent an equal amount of time on how to REMAIN smoke free. And they're two different scenarios.
    I guess that's why I started instinctively "What Keeps Quitters Quit" in this group. Because I don't really understand what it is. Why have I been successful at this "game" for 2 years 8 mos + and not someone who relapsed after six months or a year, or any time before or after me.
    SO...Thank you Linda for spurring my brain onto a new thought. And that thought being how to maintain a quit when you've finally got it. Because all the emphasis on a stop smoking site is for the new quitter and how to get it up. Not the old quitter and how to keep it up. LOL
Jules Permalink Reply by Jules on November 15, 2008 at 6:30am    
    For me to stay quit I have to keep tapping in to support like this and I MUST consider myself a smoker in recovery. I am a smoker who hasn't had one in 29 days. As soon as I consider myself cured or a non-smoker then the relapse begins, because it is at that point that I forget how damn hard it is to quit and how easy it is to become a pack a day gal again.
Louise Permalink Reply by Louise on November 16, 2008 at 6:20pm    
    It is wonderful that we never stop learning!!! The key however, I believe ,is in the understanding of this statement. I who quit for 2 years and then one day on a cruise decided that I could smoke again went into relapse for 4 years! This time, I quit for 80 days, with lots of support from here and one stressful ( more so than most days) caved in and smoked for 2 months and until I became ill with a severe sinus and bronchial infection, probably would have continued to smoke, for who knows how long... So, yes, I think a new thought, a new idea worth looking into is how to remain quit, is a great idea. In my opinion, the addiction, lways remains albeit in the background, however, at the ready when we least edxpect it. So, scared am I , of this addiction that I for one am ready to help assist any type of group and or research delving into the realm of remaining quit for good..
John C. Permalink Reply by John C. on November 15, 2008 at 8:12am    
    Hello, this group is new to me. I have been online here since June, and have had several quit attempts. The longest of these lasted no more than a week. Since I am in the beginning phases of cutting out the smoking, I'd like to introduce myself and say that I feel more confident than I ever had at this stage (1 1/2 days).
    I know that this is a short period, hardly anything to be *very* proud of, but I still have confidence that I will be able to make it, and if not, learn another lesson. I've heard that the more often and powerfully you try to quit, the higher your chances. Perhaps it is just that those, like you all, who are very dedicated, continue programs like this. I am finding this group very encouraging with a wide variety of time scales for everybody involved.
    All the BEST to ALL of you-- keep up the GOOD WORK! and continue to be role-models for people like me, and maybe I will be able to share my quitting experience soon enough!
Jules Permalink Reply by Jules on November 15, 2008 at 7:49pm    
    John, I totally agree with Linda. It is not who has more time it is that you have some time. Keep up the good work and keep coming back here. It really does work!!!
Louise Permalink Reply by Louise on November 16, 2008 at 6:48pm    
    Hi John, Good for you and you are absolutely correct in your knowledge of each quit lasts longer and gets better. Perhaps, even easier. Good for you for coming to this site! We all share alot of common goals and you will find that it is extremely empowering. You are in the right place!!!
Jules Permalink Reply by Jules on November 21, 2008 at 9:23am    
    Good for you Sergio. Life is good! Hope to see you around here a lot.
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on November 21, 2008 at 10:42am    
    Perhaps your friend is simply scared of the change that might take place in you once you're in control. You won't seem "you" to him without a cigarette dangling out of your mouth. It's strange, isn't it, how the ones we think will support us the most can sometimes have just the opposite reaction.
    Never mind. Keep the friendship and let go of his reaction. Simply, assuredly, prove him wrong in his assessment by standing strong in your resolve and commitment. As you said, don't let him be a trigger.
Jules Permalink Reply by Jules on November 21, 2008 at 10:57am    
    I have a very dear friend who has quit smoking in the past as well as other stuff in 12 step rooms and she knows what addiction is like and how hard it is to quit something. She said she was behind be all the way and has been supportive this last month. But, before I quit she said I can't picture you without a cigarette. She said I am very expressive with my hands when I talk and there was a charm to the way I would gesture with a cigarette. Well that is all well and good but I began to doubt what my "charm" would be without a cigarette. The other day I was talking about something I said to someone last Spring and I mimicked myself with a cigarette in hand and she said that she still sees me that way in her head and missed that. So, that is not really 100% supportive but, whatever.
Jules Permalink Reply by Jules on November 21, 2008 at 12:10pm    
    I believe I am going to write that on my mirror - unable to enable.
     hwc Permalink Reply by hwc on November 22, 2008 at 7:22pm
        Everyone gets to fight the addiction forever, just like a drug addict or alcoholic- the wanting a smoke NEVER leaves, does it?
    The thoughts of wanting a cigarette definitely go away. I'm sure the timing varies from person to person, but typically it's sometime around the 2 month mark when you might have an entire day without thinking about smoking.
    After a while, it gets to be like a food you can't have. Like if you had an ulcer and your doctor said no more spicy food. You might still remember that you like spicy food, but it's not like it's tearing you up to not have it. That's pretty much the way it gets to be with cigarettes.
    Actually the trick becomes making sure you think about smoking enough to stay 100% committed to never taking another puff. That's important to avoid a stupid careless relapse.
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on November 22, 2008 at 9:14pm    
    It does suck, and it will get better. But don't count on the "soon" part. If you want to stop the quit/start cycle from continuing year after year, you have to be committed to never putting a cigarette to your lips again. You must find another way to deal with stress. You must find a part of yourself to rely on, instead of a drug. You're not LOST without a rolled up piece of tobacco laced with chemicals that you burn and inhale. Really you aren't. Don't let the demon fool you. You're quite capable of dealing with life's stressing without a drug. You can take a break from the situation in a different way. If you think you've tried all the ways - you haven't yet figured out the one that works, is all.
    Obviously you're an expert in quitting, and for goodly amounts of time. Now you must figure out how to maintain your quit. I don't know how you can keep putting yourself through the quitting process over and over again. 'Cause to my mind, THAT's the hardest part. Maintaining a quit is a piece of cake compared to the initial process.
    Keep talkin'. If I come up with any brilliant ideas I'll letcha know.
Jules Permalink Reply by Jules on November 22, 2008 at 9:43pm    
    I don't really have any brilliant ideas yet either. But I do know that cigarettes have been with me through every stressful time in my life since I was a teenager. And I too did not know how to deal with stress when I quit. I have been quit for 36 days now and in that time I have had to learn to wait for the crave to pass, wait for the anger to pass, wait for the sadness to pass...and on and on. Because it does. That is what works for me. And while I am waiting I come here and see what other people have to say. Or I go to the blog page of someone who inspires me and read some of their stuff and send them a message and stay connected. Without support it is too easy to forget how freakin hard it is to quit and how terribly easy it is to become a smoker again.
Jules Permalink Reply by Jules on November 23, 2008 at 5:38am    
    So, the intense crave passes and you still want one. That is the deal pretty much. It does get better over time but there are craves or even entire days when no matter what I do I want a smoke. I figure that is just habit and not having years dealing effectively with my emotions. We can do this!
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on February 8, 2009 at 9:25pm    
    You know, Linda, that's so true. Whenever we talk to people who smoke and they find out we've quit they usually are eager as pie to find out how we did it. Well, either that or it scares the h*ll out them because they think we might start preachin!
Diana Permalink Reply by Diana on February 21, 2009 at 3:59pm    
    I don't think any of us actually believe that the cigarette will make the stress go away - but we are so addicted that we look for an excuse to give in, so we don't have to admit that 'we gave up'. It almost sounds like a 'real' reason to smoke. At least that's what I told myself in December, after being clean for 14 months. It only took 2 months to have the same crappy congestion, breath, and dependency on finding somewhere to smoke where it was still allowed. Tonight's the night, from tomorrow on I will never, never, never, give in to 'lame' reasons to have just 1.
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on February 21, 2009 at 8:36pm    
    That's really an amazing concept to me, Diana. Had never thought of that before. That we create, subconsciously, an excuse to start again because of stress rather than admitting that we "gave up." I was never one who smoked to relieve stress so it's kind of out of my realm of thinking. But that "looking for excuses" to give in. Oooooh. That's really interesting. My dog died, so it's an excuse to smoke. My mother died, so it's an excuse to smoke. I was fired today, so it's an excuse to smoke. I found out I had an cancer today, so it's an excuse to smoke. My best friend left me today, so it's an excuse to smoke. Wow. The list can go on to infinity with this thinking. My boyfriend made me feel real bad today so...My refrigerator broke down today so...I got drunk in the bar today so...I.....I didn't maintain my quit. Period. There ARE no excuses if you want to be smoke free for the rest of your life. HEAR THIS: THERE ARE NO EXCUSES.
    Gotta think about this one and make a blog out of it in this group. Because you've hit a nail on one of the many heads. Thank you Diana!. Come back and post SOON!
    Wow. Yes. They're all excuses to enable us to go back to - what we think will - relieve the unpleasantness of whatever situation we're unhappy about.
    A new subheading: Relapse Traps - there are NO EXCUSES.
Jules Permalink Reply by Jules on February 22, 2009 at 7:19am    
    We call it the back door in I left the back door open a crack just in case.
    I quit before for a year and 9 months and the whole time I did the "if this or that happens I can smoke". When I did smoke it was just a regular old day. Nothing special. Having faced the death of my spouse I can tell you that thinking if the worst happens I can smoke is faulty thinking indeed. Nothing makes the pain of a great loss any easier. And an everyday loss is going to be something that happens, well, everyday.
Audrey Permalink Reply by Audrey on March 1, 2009 at 8:40am    
    I was on my 3rd month of not smoking and I was pregnant... New Year's came around... I thought "hey if I can't drink, why not just smoke one?" I really truly thought if I smoked one or even 2 at the very most, then I could just forget about it and keep on keepin on the next day... was I wrong! The next day, I wanted 2 again.. the day after I wanted 3... and so on and so forth. That was a little over a year ago... Now I'm on day 5 again and almost relapsed on day 3 when I was so stressed out with work crap... but I remained strong.. because I know that having "just 1" is never just one like others on here have said.. it's so so so true!!! Must remain strong for my family... my two kids need me.. So everyone, remain strong! We all have someone that needs us around.. even if it's just to annoy the crap outta them


Ben Permalink Reply by Ben on April 8, 2009 at 6:18pm    
    Ive had an horrible day and need to vent. Right around mid morning I had a kick in the gum drops and my day hasnt been right since. Every little thing today has pissed me off to the highest level of pisstivity as Tony would call it. I couldve spit nails I was so frustrated. This morning I got paged over the intercom at work saying I had a call on line six. I NEVER get phone calls so I was quite curious who in the blazes would be calling me at work. So I answer the phone and its my student loan company wanting to talk to me about some outstanding loans I owe. To make a long story short I had a choice of starting to pay them the loan back or they threatened to garnished my wages by 15%. My monthly bills at the moment already exceed what I bring in working 3 days a week. The only way Ive been able to stay afloat the last 2 months is my tax refund money. After I got off the phone with them, I wanted to smoke a carton of cigarettes and the whole situation ruined my day. I was so frustrated and angry this morning I almost burst in to tears at work. I wanted to smoke but knew it wouldnt solve adamn thing. I had to calm myself down so i could avoid relapse. I couldnt hop online and reach out for support since I was at work at the time. What I did was I wrote down the names of my quit supporters and that refocused me on not smoking. I also thought about how awful I would feal if I lost this quit. For the rest of the day every little thing made me want to scream. Im still wound up pretty tight as I type this. Smoking is not a option for me. Right now I am frustrated beyond words with life in general. Thank you for listening to me.
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on April 8, 2009 at 7:41pm    
    LIFE SUCKS! It just does. I'm sorry yours is sucking a lot at the moment. But don't you suck to make up for the suckiness of life. LOL. Think of it this way, Ben, if you started smoking again now, especially with the prices of cigarettes going up the way they have, you'd NEVER pay back that student loan.
    From my experience and knowledge of people/institutions/doctors/whatever you owe money to, if you pay a little each month, even if it's $15 or $25, it shows your good intent. And THAT's what they're most interested in. To know that you intend to make it right. And every month you pay that, it continues to show that good intent. And your credit score remains healthy. They just want their money. But bottom line is they want it any way they can get it. My suggestion: if you can actually go in person and talk to the loan officer, do. Tell them your situation, tell them you can give them X amount a month now. It will show your good intent. Most loan organizations are going by the book. But if you can reach a real human being, and not a robot, you can get them to change the rules for your needs. I don't know the law about debt, but my guess is if you at least give them SOME money each month, maybe/perhaps they can't garnish your wages. Check it out on the internet. Look up wage garnishing. They're a wealth of information out there to help you.
    If you need to work five days a week to pay off the loan, then that's just what you have to do. Or, if you're not making enough at your current job, start looking for one that pays you more. Or take a second job. Or start a home internet business. If you have the power to quit smoking, you have the power to do ANYTHING. Really. Quitting is the hardest thing I've ever done. It taught me how strong I can be. Acknowledge that within yourself and don't be discouraged. You've got imagination - use it.
    We are ALL friggin' frustrated at what life presents us. Smoking will only put you back at being a smoker frustrated with what life presents you.
    Quitting is so hard. But we can stand strong against the urges - together. I'm with ya!
Ben Permalink Reply by Ben on April 9, 2009 at 1:27pm    
    Im fealing alot better today and glad i didnt smoke that carton of cigarettes. I knew smoking wouldnt solve any thing. I do agree im going to have to try to find a better work situation and get the debt paid off. thanks guilia for the support.
Jules Permalink Reply by Jules on April 9, 2009 at 1:42pm    
    Glad to hear you did not smoke Ben. You would still be poor and stressed and would have added sick to your stomach, light headed, nasty tasting mouth and a sense of failure to the mix. This really is a one day at a time kind of gig. I am a few days away from 6 months smoke free and I have days I think about it but now it is a thought and not a craving. Good job Ben!
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on April 9, 2009 at 6:02pm    
    Ya know, we always fail to remember that "tomorrow is another day" when we're going through the day to end all days. And so often we discover just that. We awaken to a new day and all the horrors (well at least SOME of them) of the day before have dissipated. Glad you stayed strong and proud and tall, Ben. Kudos.
Celeste Faris Permalink Reply by Celeste Faris on May 14, 2009 at 3:24pm    
    I have just read every single post in the discussion because I am still a smoker - albeit one who NEEDS and wants to quit. I've gotten some really great ideas (like the sticky notes) to help me maintain my quit and I've learned a lot about relapsing and stress management. Thank you all for being so candid and forthcoming with your experience. It gives me hope.
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on May 17, 2009 at 5:06pm    
    I'm glad the posts on here have helped spur you on. Do not fear quitting. It is an incredibly enlivening experience. The energy you will get from quitting - that craving energy - can be channeled and focused into a laser beam of artistic expression and creativity. If nothing else it'll help you clean your house! Keep a sense of humor, be zany and wild and free and experiment. It can be so exciting if you use it positively. Go for it!
A.D. Permalink Reply by A.D. on May 22, 2009 at 4:08pm    
    So true! I have lost weight and taken up the guitar!
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on May 22, 2009 at 8:21pm    
    Cool, A.D. I play the guitar. What kind of guitar playing are you most interested in? Folk, blues, Flamenco...? Got any calluses on your finger tips yet? Or are they still sore?
A.D. Permalink Reply by A.D. on May 22, 2009 at 8:46pm    
    I do have calluses! I have no skills, but they look like guitar playin' hands. Ideally I would like to learn to play blues and maybe write folks songs.
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on May 22, 2009 at 8:54pm    
    My guitar was my constant companion when I was in my late teens and early 20s. And when I am in a needful creative mood I will sometimes pick it up. It takes you mind away from what ails ya, and feed your soul. Don't let anything stop you from playing. If it nourishes, it's good.
Lynne Welke Permalink Reply by Lynne Welke on June 20, 2009 at 2:52pm    
    I am now in my fifth day of separating triggers. Of all the triggers, stress is the worst (work stress). My hardest day was the day I was so busy that I was hungry, didn't take time for lunch. Before my quit day I need to find other ways to deal with stress. At home I can yell, or whatever, but how about at work? I guess I could go into the bathroom and talk to myself in the mirror. Or I could go outside to an area that echos and sing a song. Any suggestions?




Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on August 5, 2009 at 9:34pm  
    Vaughn, I have a question for you: What made you think about smoking? What made you consider it after 12 years. Was it something you always wanted to do during those 12 years, but just kept at bay? Was it hiding in the back of your brain, wanting to release itself? I'm asking because I'm beginning to wonder if we ever really are free of this addiction. If your father hadn't of died would you still be smoke free? Was his death a good enough excuse for you to start again? I've often thought that we're just waiting for what we consider to be a good enough excuse to light up again. Would really appreciate hearing your thoughts on this.
    And by the way - congrats on starting another quit. That takes guts.
Trica Permalink Reply by Trica on November 3, 2009 at 9:37am    
    Thank you I needed that. I just came out of horrible long meeting where I found out my boss's secretary is getting an office and I'm not! I need to add jerkface boss to my triggers. He could have atleast told me before I went into the meeting. But the deal is she'll have about 6 or 7 file cabinets in it to hold our division's stuff. She won't have much privacy but she'll have walls when the rest of us will be in cubicles! We move to cubicle city sometime in Feb/Mar. Uuuuuggg