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Feb 27 12 5:25 PM
Feb 27 12 7:08 PM
"…and I noticed other people having a tough time around this point too."
From the thread Every Quit is Different.
I have seen a few times lately where a member will write a comment that "ALL" people have "this" experience when quitting or after quitting. The experience written about varies; it may be a specific kind of withdrawal that happens when quitting or a certain kind of thought or crave that occurs long after the person has stopped. The bottom line though is it is never accurate to say "ALL" people experience anything specific when talking about smoking and/or quitting.
No one should think that just because they have a specific physical or emotional response when he or she quit that others are going to experience the same reactions. It is possible other that others may get the same reaction, it is possible that other people will get no reaction or even the opposite of the specific reaction. The fact is that you don't know that if you were to have to quit again that you would get the same reaction next time. Next time might be much easier, next time might be worse. Next time might be impossible or too late. What's nice though is that you don't have to worry about next time as long as you always remember this time to never take another puff!
This thread is important to clarify that every quit is different.
No one reading here at Freedom should be getting the idea that there is some predestined number of days, weeks, months of years that that are going to be bad. The only day that we know will end up being bad is the day that you renege on your personal promise to yourself to never take another puff.
With many new members coming in at once, and even more lurking, it is common for people first quitting or those just thinking about quitting to look over our members experiences to help predict what they might experience now. But the truth is, you cannot predict an exact experience of what this quit may hold for you, not if you talk to thousands of people. You cannot even use your own past reactions as an absolute predictor of what this quit holds in store for you.
While we can't predict the exact symptoms you may or may not have, we can predict certain issues. We can predict that once you get through the first 72 hours, physical withdrawal symptoms will have peaked and will then really dissipate and eventually disappear all together. More importantly, we can predict that once you have gotten through whatever withdrawals may have occurred, you will never have to deal with them ever again as long as you learn this time to never take another puff!
From the post The Miserable Threes
I bring up this post most of the time now to discuss seasonal triggers. The original intent of the string though was broader than this. It was designed to dispel the myth that all ex-smokers are destined to have problems at predetermined time frames. Today there was a member who wrote about having a problem into his second month and a few other members joined in saying how hard the second month was for them. For our thousands of long-term members these posts are of no concern. Those who had a tough time at two months would simply agree and those who didn't would simply recognize that the issue didn't apply to them. Either way though both groups were beyond the time frame.
The problem is people who are just off for one month, or a week, or a few days, or people who are here reading just considering quitting will see posts like this and begin to dread the "inevitable" two month mark where they have now been led to believe that they were going to begin to experience a tough and miserable time.
The truth is that there is nothing inherently threatening about the two month mark. Some people may experience some tough times, others will not. This is no different than the three month mark issue discussed above or any time frame.
Everyone reading here needs to know though that as long as they keep reminding themselves of the reasons that they first quit and keep reinforcing their reasons for wanting to stay off that even at these arbitrary moments of smoking thoughts that their quits will stay intact as long as they stick to the commitment that they made to themselves to never take another puff!
The very same principle applies to people who have been off for 10 days, or 20 days, or any other denomination of days. No one reading here at Freedom should be getting the idea that there is some predestined number of days, weeks, months of years that that are going to be bad. The only day that we know will end up being bad is the day that you renege on your personal promise to yourself to never take another puff.
Edited to remove hidden HTML that was causing page horizontal spreading to its max.
Feb 27 12 7:09 PM
Feb 28 12 9:50 AM
Feb 28 12 10:15 AM
"While I'm not saying everybody goes through it, many of us have a tough time moving on to acceptance. Noting that some, not all of us are sharing a common experience is comforting."
Today there was a member who wrote about having a problem into his second month and a few other members joined in saying how hard the second month was for them. For our thousands of long-term members these posts are of no concern. Those who had a tough time at two months would simply agree and those who didn't would simply recognize that the issue didn't apply to them. Either way though both groups were beyond the time frame.
Feb 28 12 10:26 AM
Mar 1 12 11:13 AM
Mar 1 12 11:44 AM
Mar 1 12 1:04 PM
Mar 2 12 11:27 AM
Mar 3 12 11:27 AM
I think it's fair to say that quite a few of us have difficult times during our quits. These things are what make us human! I had some particularly ropy days around the six week mark, a combination of stress and coming to terms (acceptance?) of the new not-smoking me. Let's face it, I spent 32 years developing my personality as a smoker, I'd worked hard on it every day. It's reasonable to expect it to take a while to adjust to this new me. The new me has to find another way to deal with all sorts of different situations; happy things, sad things, stressful things, they've all provided their own challenges.
I've noticed over the past couple of weeks that a new calm has descended. It's become a challenge that I relish, rather than dread. I see the new me emerging over time. On the whole I quite like the new me. She certainly has some issues! But that's what makes it interesting. This is a truly wonderful journey.
Mar 5 12 12:55 PM
Mar 6 12 10:41 AM
Thanks John. Sometimes I don't think I note the benefits enough in my journal.
Mar 6 12 10:50 AM
Mar 6 12 11:03 AM
Mar 6 12 1:40 PM
"Boy, do I miss smoking!"
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!
Mar 6 12 5:22 PM
Mar 9 12 11:01 AM
Mar 9 12 12:21 PM
The Isolation of a
Life had become a boring routine. She had just been going through the motions of maintaining a normal semblance of existence. Waking up, having a cigarette. Washing up and brushing her teeth, having a cigarette. Eating breakfast, having a cigarette. Doing some light cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, and having a cigarette. Watching a little television while having a cigarette. Preparing a sandwich for lunch, having a cigarette. Taking a short nap, waking up for a cigarette. Reading the newspaper, having a cigarette. Making a list of needed groceries, having a cigarette. Getting ready to do some light shopping, having a cigarette. Driving to the local market, having a cigarette. About to enter the store, but stopping to have a cigarette. Checking out at the cash register, leaving the store and having a cigarette. Going home and starting to prepare dinner, having a cigarette. Eating dinner, having a cigarette. Clearing the table and washing the dishes, having a cigarette. Watching a little television, having a couple of cigarettes. Washing up, brushing her teeth and getting dressed for bed, having a cigarette. Getting into bed, having a cigarette. Going to sleep.
Ever since the loss of her husband many years ago, nothing in her normal daily existence seemed to give her life any meaning or any real happiness. Weeks would go by with her barely cracking a smile. Almost nothing seemed to bring her joy anymore. But this day was starting differently. After breakfast her phone rang. She ran for a cigarette. On the fourth ring she made it to the phone and picked up the receiver. It was her daughter. She lived only an hour away, but because of her career, her husband's schedule and the kid's school, soccer, piano, ballet lessons, etc., they only were able to visit occasionally. Well, to her pleasant surprise, she found out that they were coming on Saturday to spend the day.
For the first time in weeks she seemed truly happy. As soon as she hung up the phone she grabbed for a cigarette. She had to start planning and preparing to see the kids. She called her beauty shop to make an afternoon appointment. When she hung up the phone she took a cigarette. She got dressed and ready to go shopping, and right before leaving, she took a cigarette. In the car driving to the store she hurriedly smoked two cigarettes for she knew she could not smoke while in the store. She hurriedly went up and down the aisles, with a certain bounce in her step for she was still so excited about the visit. When she left the store she hurried to her car and lit a cigarette. She went home, put away the groceries, prepared and ate a quick bite, smoked a cigarette and hurriedly left the house to be on time for her beauty shop appointment. While she was there she smoked and conversed with the other patrons, glowing as she told of her exciting weekend news.
When she got home, she smoked a cigarette, and starting preparing a turkey for the big Saturday night meal. She smoked and ate, smoked and cooked and smoked and prepared for bed. One last cigarette and she slowly dozed off, happy and excited about the joy of the upcoming day.
When she woke up she excitedly grabbed for her first cigarette. She got up and cleaned and brushed her teeth, and took another cigarette. She ate breakfast and smoked again. She started preparing her feast and smoked numerous cigarettes. Even though she was not conscious of the fact, she was smoking more than normal. Through years of conditioning she had learned that since she couldn't smoke when around the grandchildren she had better have plenty of nicotine in her system by the time they arrived. A little last minute cleaning, and cooking and smoking. She was ready.
The door bell rings. She hurries to the door and opens it up. There is her family. Everyone is excited. She goes to kiss the youngest, who says "Oh grandma, you smell like an ashtray!" She was used to these comments, she loved him anyway. After 15 minutes of talking with all the kids and her daughter and son-in-law, she and her daughter go to the kitchen to work on the dinner. After a couple of hours she starts to feel the twinge for a cigarette. But she knows she can't smoke. The kids are running through the house vigorously. As the hours pass, her patience becomes strained. Too much noise she thinks to herself, boy, does she wish she could smoke a cigarette. She starts to complain of a minor headache. They decide they better eat early, grandma is seeming a little tired and a little hassled. They sit down to eat. The food is good and everyone is enjoying.
But grandma seems to be feeling worse and worse. Four hours have passed and still no cigarette. After dinner they all decide grandma needs some rest and mutually everyone agrees they will leave early. She kisses them all good-bye and rushes them out. As the door closes she hurries to her pack and smokes three cigarettes in a row. She finally starts to feel better. She now sits down in a quiet empty room thinking how lonely she feels and how sad that they had to leave so soon. But at least she has her cigarettes. But it had been a long day. She washes up, brushes her teeth, gets dressed for bed, and has one last cigarette.
Tomorrow would be another routine day.
Mar 12 12 8:32 AM
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