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Feb 21 10 10:22 PM
Feb 21 10 11:13 PM
When first quitting, one of the early physical repairs that start up is cilia production. Cilia are tiny hair-like projections that line your trachea and bronchus, constantly sweeping particulate matter out of your lungs. When you smoked, you first slowed down, then paralyzed and would eventually destroy cilia. This is why smokers often have more colds and flues, they wipe out the first line of defense against the incoming microbes causing these illnesses.
When a person stops smoking, usually within 72 hours or so, cilia starts to regenerate. The ex-smoker may start cleaning out the lung in a matter of days. One of the early symptoms first encountered is coughing and spitting out, this is mucous and trapped matter that was never being cleaned out efficiently while smoking but now has an escape route and mechanism to start sweeping it. Ugly but good, you are starting to clean out a lot of garbage in your lung. Much of the garbage is tobacco tar--tobacco tars that have a very distinct taste and smell.
Let's say you are dreaming now, maybe a totally innocuous dream having nothing to do with smoking. While sleeping, cilia are sweeping, tobacco tars get brought up, reach sensory nerves for taste and smell and low and behold, you create a dream sequence involving a cigarette. But not only are you now dreaming, physical sensations of taste and smell persist upon awakening. This then becomes a real smoking sensation.
This gives a plausible explanation of why the dream occurred and why it was so vivid. But that is not the end of the significance of the dream. The dream can be interpreted in one of two ways upon awakening, and quit often, the ex-smoker takes it as a sign that they actually want to smoke. After all, they had been off smoking and just dreamt about it, that means they want to smoke, right?
I used to get calls in the middle of the night for clinic participants panicked by the dream. They would start off saying, "They can't believe it, off all this time and they still want to smoke." They knew they wanted to smoke because they dreamt about it. I would then ask them to describe the dream. They would tell about the vividness and realism, and they would almost always say it started to take on a nightmarish proportion. They would wake up in a sweat, often crying, thinking that they just smoked and blew the whole thing, that they were now back to square one. That all that time off smoking was wasted.
As soon as they would finish describing their feelings, I pointed out one very obvious fact. They just dreamt they smoked and assumed that meant that they wanted to smoke. They woke up and upon further clarification, they describe the dream was a nightmare. This is not the dream of someone who wants to smoke; it is the dream of someone who is afraid of smoking. This is a legitimate fear considering the ex-smoker is fighting a powerful and deadly addiction. Hence, it is a legitimate dream too. It kinds of gives you a sense of how bad you would feel if you actually do go back to smoking. Not physically speaking but psychologically. If the dream is a nightmare it makes you realize how bad this feeling is without having to actually have smoked and fallen into the grasp of nicotine addiction again. It can give you some perspective about how important not smoking is to your mental health.
The dangerous dream is when you smoke a whole pack in it, hack and cough, get socially ostracized, develop some horrible illness, end up on your death bed about to let out your final live breath-and all of a sudden wake up with a smile on your face and say, "that was great, wish I could do that when I am awake." As long as that is not the dream you were having, I wouldn't let myself get to discouraged by it. If that is the dream, then we may need to talk more.
In regards to smoking, no matter what you do in your dreams, you will be OK as long as you remember in your waking state to Never Take Another Puff!
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dazzerjp wrote:From their nicotine-soaked body stinking and slumbering through the early parts of the morning, to the desperate increasing tension until a 11o'clock break to dash to inhale. The wasted hours after lunch, the grumpiness and impatience, and the anger. The exhausted push they make to get to the end of the day: you can see in their eyes they are thinking "Soon, I can smoke my precious".And then, smoking like a chimney at a bar, at the train station, on the walk to the hotel, in the lobby and a final few drinks in the bar cause there weren't any smoking-rooms available. And me, even sitting a good 5 feet away, I get back home with the stink all over. The sickening smell!I sat there struggling to understand how this human being sat next to me was allowed to get away with working. He was clearly displaying full-blown addiction and the effect on his work and co-worker relationship was shocking.Guess this is just a transitionary phrase, but at the moment, I cringe at the prospect of ever working again with a smoker.19days
"You don't have the
option of one, and if you try to test the theory, you are going to find yourself
a smoker again."
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Mar 14 10 10:42 AM
The best time to quit is NOW. No matter when now is. In fact, many of the times specifically stated as bad times to quit may be the best. I actually prefer that people quit when experiencing some degree of emotional stress. In most cases, the more stress the better. This may sound harsh, but in the long run it will vastly improve the chances of long term success in abstaining from cigarettes.
When people quit at an easy time in their lives, they begin to feel comfortable as ex-smokers as long as no problems surface. But there is always the fear that when things get difficult they will not be able to cope without cigarettes. Many, when facing their first real catastrophe, return to smoking because they were not equipped to deal with real stress as ex-smokers.
If, on the other hand, they had quit during a difficult time, they would have realized that even under severe emotional stress life goes on without smoking. They will be secure in the knowledge that they can deal with crisis, any crisis, as non-smokers. Once they overcame the initial quitting process they found they were able to deal with stress better. They were able to meet the physical and emotional demands in their lives more efficiently than when they were smokers. They were truly better equipped for survival in our complicated world without the "help" of cigarettes.
So, no matter what is going on in your life, quit smoking. When things get tough - show yourself how tough you are. And once off smoking, deal with all future problems in as constructive a manner as you possibly can, always keeping one essential stress management technique foremost in your mind - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
Video Title: "If I relapse I'll smoke until it kills me"
Mar 14 10 1:20 PM
Great Post and I share your sentiments!Congrats on GREENING!!! It is a wonderful, fulfilling journey. This journey from nicotine dependence. What a feeling of FREEDOM!!!Sarah52;Bronze+
Mar 14 10 1:38 PM
If you say it often enough you really start to believe it. But would life be different if you smoked again? You bet it would. From the moment you awake to the time you go to sleep, life would never again be the same.
Once again you have to smoke as soon as you wake up just to have the strength and energy to drag yourself out of bed. You cough up some of that phlegm in your lungs and get a drink of water for that horribly dry throat. You have a lousy taste in your mouth and a slight headache. But none of this concerns you since you feel this way every morning. Funny though, if you think back to your ex-smoking days, you used to wake up feeling clean, healthy and refreshed.
You start to dress and get ready for work. Fifteen minutes go by so you smoke a cigarette or two. At breakfast the food sure tastes bland. Better add some salt and pepper to those eggs. Coffee sure seems weak today, no smell or taste to it. Better brew it longer next time. When you were an ex-smoker things smelled and tasted so good.
You realize you had better start moving faster since you are already behind schedule. Where does the time go? When you were not smoking you seemed to have so much more time in the morning. Better hurry or you will be late for work again.
The inside windshield sure seems dirty. It is kind of surprising since you just cleaned it three weeks ago. Better try to scrape that brown film off over the weekend. No wonder the kids are always complaining about the smell in the car. Remember when you were an ex-smoker and you cleaned your inside windshield about every six months.
You just hate driving during rush hours. Its forty-five minutes of pure frustration. Three or four cigarettes between home and work. But it sure is better than taking that train where you can't smoke at all. Near the end of these trips you sit with an unlit cigarette hanging out of your mouth, a lighter in your hand. When the train finally stops you push your way out to light the cigarette as fast as you can. When you were an ex-smoker and you drove or took the train you didn't even think of a cigarette.
You are really late now. You run half a block from the parking lot to your office. You start wheezing and coughing. You can't catch your breath and your heart feels like it is going to explode out of your chest. Funny, when you were an ex-smoker a little run like that wouldn't even make you perspire.
At work the phone just doesn't stop ringing. You almost don't have time to smoke. But you know you will make time to smoke at least three an hour. In fact, with that hour-long staff meeting where you are not allowed to smoke coming up, you had better smoke a few extra. You don't want another episode like last week where the boss asked you some difficult questions and all you could think about was when could you get a cigarette. Sure was simpler when you were an ex-smoker.
Rush hour going home is just as bad as going to work. You should stop and get cigarettes, you might not have enough to get through until tomorrow. Another couple of dollars down the drain.
Well, you are finally home. You had better smoke while getting ready for dinner since your kids won't let you smoke at the table. Another half a pack or so before going to bed. You sure are tired. I bet you feel like you smoked too much today. As you doze off your last thought for the day is, "Boy, do I miss not smoking." Consider what life was really like as a smoker. Remember all this and NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
Sleep can get pretty disruptive the first few days. Some people will get very little sleep, waking up every hour or not sleeping at all yet not feel tired. Others can sleep 20 hours a day and be exhausted during their waking hours. Whichever way it goes, sleep will adjust itself when you quit and eventually go back to normal.
But there is a catch. You don't know what normal is. Normal is what it was prior to being a smoker with aging thrown in. Some people have not been normal for decades.
Nicotine is a stimulant drug that once it wore off through the smoker into a physiological depressed state. To overcome the smoker would smoke again, thus stimulating him or herself. Which would soon wear off and so on and so on. All the while shooting up blood sugar and hormonal levels and crashing them later. By the end of the day the smoker could be physically exhausted from this chronic stimulant/depressant roller coaster. They had to adjust their sleep around these effects.
Without this chronic abuse, these ex-smokers may find that they can get by on less sleep after they quit smoking, sometimes knocking out hours of what they thought was needed sleep time. Others only minimize sleep by a short time period but it is very obvious when the alarm goes off they can jump out of bed full of energy and ready to go or sometimes even wake up before the alarm with new found energy. When they were smokers they were often exhausted upon waking, hating the alarm and needing cigarettes to wake up and get going.
There are a smaller number of people who need more sleep when they are ex-smokers. These are people who often smoked heavily at the tail end of their days. Their bodies were crying for sleep but they kept pumping nicotine into their system to override the bodies need. Without a constant stimulant they now have to listen to their bodies and go to bed when tired. They could take speed and get the same effects but normally realize that they wouldn't resort to a drug for this effect, yet they can rationalize that smoking was OK for the same purpose. Well it wasn't, it was allowing the smoker to maintain such a schedule at a cost. And the long range cost for this "benefit" could be death.
Anyway, don't panic by the sleep amount the first few days. It is not your normal amount of sleep as an ex-smoker, it is your normal amount of sleep while in drug withdrawal. This is not a normal time or a long lasting time period. Sleep will eventually settle in to a normal pattern for you as an ex-smoker. Then aging will exert its normal adjustments. Whether it turns out to be more sleep or less, you should at least sleep sounder knowing you are no longer under the control of nicotine and no longer posing such a deadly risk to yourself by still smoking. To sleep happier because you know you are staying healthier and likely to live longer, always remember all the times you are awake to never take another puff!
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