Like the first few days or after that?
The first 72 hours are the hardest. I had severe withdrawals and all I ever thought about was smoking. as far as the withdrawals it felt like I had ants crawling up and down my arms. I got severe stomach cramps. I had continuous cotton mouth. Sleeping was blissful, I slept so peacefully the first two nights, I also started breathing easier after the first 24 hours. I kept a stressball with me for 6 months and that really saved my quit quite a few times. Good luck on your journey!
Welcome to EX!
Days 3 and 4 were pretty bad. But the 4th week was just awful! I'm not sure if it was actually more severe craving, or just that it came out of the blue when I thought I was getting over it.
How about you? Have you begun your quit, or are you preparing yourself?
I'm working on starting. It's getting really hard with where I work. I'm trying but my stress has been so bad all I do is smoke.
I just replied to a post here about panicking as your quit date nears. Panic, anxiety and depression were very common for most of us in the early stages. If you have any outside factors that would cause those symptoms (like your work situation), they seem to get worse with nicotine withdrawal, or even the anticipation of nicotine withdrawal. And if you are like most of us, you have used that as an excuse to put off your quit or relapse a quit that you have begun. Please trust me, it really is just your addiction trying to fool you into believing you “need” to smoke to get through this current situation. Life is going to happen whether we smoke or not. And the ingredients in cigarettes, NRTs and vapes increase anxiety, stress and depression, not decrease them.
I like the fact that you are asking about what happens after you quit. Keep asking and reading here so you can be as prepared as possible. That prep, and having this community for support was what made all the difference for me.
Welcome to our community!
I found the first couple of weeks to be the most difficult - because you need to get past the physical and then the psychological addiction and both have their challenges. Read on to better understand it all!
The important thing you can do right now is to educate yourself on what nicotine does to your body and mind. To that end, I highly recommend Allen Carr's “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking.” This is an easy and entertaining read. You can search for it online or at your local library. If you do nothing else to get ready for your quit, please do give this a read.
You should also read the posts here and perhaps go to the pages of folks who you think might be helpful. You might visit whyquit.com, quitsmoking.com and livewell.com for the good information contained there. @https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/best-of-ex has lots of blogs written by members of this site with their experiences and guidance. Here is a video to inform you further about nicotine addiction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpWMgPHn0Lo&feature=youtu.be.
After you have completed the recommended reading, it will be time to make an informed choice of the quit aid, if any, you will use. If you go that route, I personally recommend the aids that don't let the addict control the dose such as the available prescription drugs or the patch. If used properly, gum, lozenges and inhalers are fine, but they need to be used only as a last resort after you have tried to delay and distract. I have seen folks become addicted to them if they substitute them for every cigarette they used to smoke - just trading one addiction for another. You need to start out with a plan to reduce use of them over time - which the patch does by decreasing the dose contained in them.. For the gum, you can start by cutting each piece in half, then in quarters, then sub regular gum of the same flavor in between, adding more and more regular gum. For the lozenge, you need to start subbing a mint in between to begin, increasing the number of them over time. I do not recommend the e-cigarette for four reasons: 1) the vapor has been compared to the polluted air in Bejing on a bad day, 2) they just provide another nicotine delivery system while continuing the hand to mouth smoking motion, 3) the batteries can spontaneously catch on fire and 4) you can become addicted to that and it has not yet been proven safe .
It will be informative if you do the tracking and separation exercises recommended here on the site. As you track each cigarette smoked, note its importance, and what you might do instead. Put each one off just a little to prove that you don't NEED a cigarette just because you think you do.
The idea is to change up your routines so the smoking associations are reduced. Drink your coffee with your OTHER hand in a place different from when you smoked. Maybe switch to tea for a bit. If you always had that first smoke with your coffee, try putting your tennies on right out of bed, going for a quick walk, then taking your shower and THEN your coffee! Rearrange the furniture in the areas you used to smoke so the view is different. Buy your gas at a different station. Take a different route to work. Take a quick walk at break time where the smokers AREN'T. You need to distract yourself through any craves. You can take a bite out of a lemon (yup - rind and all), put your head in the freezer and take a deep breath of cold air, do a few jumping jacks, go for a brisk walk or march in place, play a computer game. Keep a cold bottle of water with you from which to sip. Don't let that smoking thought rattle around in your brain unchallenged. Sometimes you need to quit a minute or an hour at a time. You will need to be disciplined in the early days to distract yourself when a crave hits. Get busy! Here is a link to a list of things to do instead of smoke if you need some fresh ideas: https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/blogs/Youngatheart.7.4.12-blog/2013/02/25/100-things-to-do-instead-of-smokeThe conversation in your head in response to the "I want a cigarette" thought needs to be, "Well, since I have decided not to do that anymore, what shall I do instead for the three minutes this crave will last?" Then DO it. You will need to put some effort into this in the early days, but it gets easier and easier to do.
Stay close to us here and ask questions when you have them and for support when you need it. We will be with you every step of the way!
Every day was different in my quit. First three were a piece of cake. Day 4 I thought I'd lose my mind. Cravings ebbed as time went by, but then I'd get one that was just like day four all over again and I thought ... what the heck? Aren't I supposed to be over this by now? Nope. Expectations, Timelines and the Reality YOU Create
What time was the hardest? Every time. Until I learned how to ride the craving waves. Obviously the beginning stage of the journey is the hardest for most of us. But you can be well down this smoke-free path and come up against really strong cravings. And that's why I think a lot of people relapse. Those out of the blue cravings after having been quit for a goodly amount of time are surprising. And often we forget how we dealt with them in the beginning. That's one of the reasons I think it's important to stay connected here. Being on here, whether you're offering support or just reading, reminds us from where we've come and helps to keep our tools polished in our quit kits.
I'm struggling. I'm trying but the first 3 days I get mean. I'm having a hard time. Like really hard time and I feel bad about it.
You really AREN'T Superman, or are you? If not, you are in the same boat the rest of us were in the first days of their quit. It WAS hard - but the only way out is through. The good news is that if you stick to it, you only have to get through it once. Find things to keep your mind off of the craves - get exercise - drink water - distract yourself. I gave you a list of 101 things to do instead of smoke. Start with #1, or let the list give you your own ideas.
You CAN do this - not easy, but doable. Hang in there!
Hey - why are you feeling bad about having a hard time? Quitting is hard! It was hard for 99.9% of us. Welcome to the first couple of weeks of misery. Time to find distractions to get your mind off the monster in the corner. I'll tell you one thing, gathering up your sense of humor will help a great deal. And if you don't have one, then it's the perfect time to develop one. Quitting isn't the end of the world. Although it may feel like it. Be stubborn and rejoice in that stubbornness. Take this as a challenge, not a punishment. Put on a funny hat go by a binkie, stick it in your mouth and look at yourself in the mirror. Then LAUGH! Welcome to the Quit Club!
Thank you. I'm glad I have yall to help me thru this!
It does get easier as you add days. I remember wanting to yell the word, WHEN? My first few days were not hard in terms of nicotine withdrawal because I was really sick. I didn't miss smoking for several days. I had mood swings that were off the charts, I was easily angered but by the same token, I found some things to be hilarious. It's not an event, it is a journey.
Welcome to EX,Ellen
Thank you. Today is day number 1 and before when I tried to quit, I was easily pissed off and mad at everyone..I'm trying to find things to do to keep me busy and everything. Thank your for your advise!!!
Anger was my number one trigger...I had never learned to deal with it and I always wanted to stuff it down. This is a journey and you can't expect to take short cuts, it is not always easy and there will be challenges but you CAN do this. Congratulations on day one, by tonight, it will be DAY WON!
For me, it was not what day or hour was the hardest, but what thought was the hardest to deal with: I believed that smoking helped me and that I needed it. That was the hardest thing to let go of. Time and commitment did the trick!!!
I found the first month the hardest ... and especially around dinner time...but here I am free of smoking for 245 days ... so even though it was uncomfortable in the beginning...I made it...you can too...~ Colleen 245 DOF
The only time I thought it was bad besides the first 24 hours was about 6 weeks in when I was a juror on a first-degree murder trial. The testimony and autopsy photos, long boring lunches and sitting out in the hallway waiting on the attorneys nearly sent me over the top. I coped with that by eating a lot of trail mix and walking up and down the parking structure on my breaks.
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