Stories & experiences


Do NOT give up on you! A message for Newbies

Posted in Hints and tips 31 Dec 2016

As we enter the New Year (Happy New Year! ) I want to talk to the newbies out there. Do not, do not, do not give up on you! As we ring in this new year, I am about to enter my 19th week without a cigarette. As a matter of fact, I did this cold turkey without the aid of any nicotine replacement - so when I tell you that quitting can be done, it can be done. If I were sitting in a room with each one of you, I would look you in the eyes and tell you the truth about what you are facing and what you are about to face. I think that if you have an idea, you can face it head on. I was in a Cold Turkey group that refused to let the experienced non-smokers tell newbies that there would be struggles. We weren't allowed to give any advice and, quite frankly, not giving any information is a lie by omission to the newbies. At 131 Days, I feel like I should be informing you of what's about to happen, so here goes:

1. This will suck. These cravings will suck so bad. But the cravings are gonna end and it's gonna happen way faster than you think!

2. On Day #2, I was in my bed, in the fetal position, thumb in mouth, crying and banging my head against the pillow. I was banging my head in my sleep. That ended by the Day #6.

3. You will be irrational. On Day #2, when I wasn't busy laying in bed, I got pulled over for driving pretty erratically. The officers felt sorry for me and simply followed me home. I was a hot mess. I accused people of having bad intentions and I wasn't a good person to be around. That ended. By the end of the second week, I trusted people again. I wasn't always nice, but I trusted them.

4. You will feel like you have to do everything and that everything is urgent. It's not. Unless your house is on fire, slow down...tomorrow is coming. I paced a lot. I paced an embarrassing amount. I paced and prayed the rosary on the front porch where I used to smoke.

5. You may be so moody that you can be declared to have anxiety, depression, or both. Guess what? You probably are experiencing anxiety and depression. I went through this from Day 35-75. The Xanax they gave me around Day 70 was awesome! I bounced out of my anxiety and depression and am much happier and calmer than I ever was before.

6. You may itch. I WANT YOU TO PAY ATTENTION TO THIS ONE BECAUSE IT'S IMPORTANT: The itching can come from different things. It can be from nerves. You can actually be so distraught that you itch. Secondly, it could be from a return of circulation. Third, it could be poison flushing out of your body, but FOURTH, it could actually be from ALLERGIES. Our body has what they call Mast Cells. Mast Cells respond to allergens. When we smoke, we are covering up those Mast Cells. Many of us have smoked for a very long time and don't really know what we are and are not allergic to because, yes, the cigarettes have been protecting us from the allergens. Nevermind the other 4,000 chemicals, we are being protected from some allergens. If you start to itch when you eat a certain food (for me it was tomatoes and chocolate), you need to take this seriously. Your Mast Cells are no longer covered and an allergy may lead to anaphylactic shock. I'd say any itching past 5 weeks needs to get a ton of attention.

7. You are going to go through a period of not being able to sleep. That will end pretty quickly, maybe two weeks.

8. With each minute that you don't smoke, you are slaying nicotine receptors. As smokers, our nicotine receptors multiplied at a rapid rate. The more we smoked, the more we got. When we start to starve the nicotine receptors, they give up and die off. The more they die off, the less you crave. Every second that ticks by, these suckers are giving up their will to fight. You can and will be able to get back to a normal level within 6-8 weeks.

9. Nicotine will try for one last Hurrah with you. Just when you feel like you've got this thing licked, the cravings are going to come on FULL force. The nice thing about this is that it normally happens at 8-10 weeks when you already have a ton of confidence about your quit. If you're just floating along and then your brain turns into chaos, put a big smile on your face because you are about to cross the Rubicon!

10. You are doing what many consider a miracle. Quitting smoking is not easy. In relation to how many people try, few people succeed. You can be on the succeed end. Accept the sucky days, take it super easy on yourself, read, read, read, and ask others for advice. Don't be afraid to be vulnerable. If you stumble, get back on your horse that very same day - do NOT give the Nicotine Receptors enough time to throw a party and move back in!

You my newbie friends, are going to be so calm in the very near future. I mean, you're not even going to know how long it's been since you quit smoking without an app to tell you. Your skin will be so much clearer. Your blood pressure is gonna drop. Your cholesterol will drop some too. Your white blood cells will start to lower as you won't have as much inflammation. Most notably, you will be about to do anything and everything that you thought you couldn't do without a cigarette. It's coming so soon, Do not give up on you!

If you a newbie and have any questions, feel free to ask them below and I will try to answer them from my perspective for you. Be a tad bit patient, I'm in the United States. From what I see on my cell phone, I'm over half a day behind Australia, but I will try to answer. Because it's my post, you won't get any notification when I answer, you just gotta check back. It's not a bad idea to keep this page open at all times. I've had this page open since September!

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  • WendyOhNo December 31, 2016 | 14:41
    *sorry for the typos/syntax errors at the end. My fingers sometimes work faster than my brain* You are welcome to ask me for my personal advice and I'll try to give it to you. It's just my experience but it probably will mirror what you are facing quite a bit!
  • Caz Kib, Hunter New England December 31, 2016 | 18:36
    Thank you WendyohNo needed a pep talk lol.
    I'm 29 days smoke free and it's New Years and normally a important day on my calendar our anniversary and I can't get over being so cranky and I don't know why, everything is pissing me off feel sorry for my poor husband he can't do anything right, why today of all days l have been good untill today so over it 😒
  • Caz Kib, Hunter New England December 31, 2016 | 18:38
    And yes it's a shame we can't edit after posting lol
    Have a great new year and again thank you
  • WendyOhNo December 31, 2016 | 19:08
    Hi Caz Kib,

    Happy Anniversary! There's good news and there's bad news. The good news is that the chances of this mood being permanent are very slim. The bad news is that it can be pretty intense. At 29 days, I wasn't pissy, but I was headed for a severe depression that started around Day #35. I cried, and cried, and cried, and cried some more. I cried at the drop of a dime. I cried for no reason. I could be talking to someone about the happiest thing in the world and just start crying. I had a difficult time expressing myself or my true feelings. Mid-conversation, my voice would crack, my eyes would well up and it was back to crying.

    There's a lot going on in your brain right now. At 29 days, your nicotine receptors are just starting to die off. When you smoked, you could continue to feed them and there was no disruption in your brains reward pathway. Now, all of your thoughts are out-of-order and your clumsy brain is getting its new sea legs. You have to learn how to do everything without a cigarette and, while the brain certainly has the plasticity to do that, it would prefer not to try. Your brain would just as soon keep things the same as they always have and, pardon the pun, would prefer that you change your mind and go right back to smoking. Don't!

    This fog is going to lift. Don't put the pressure of your anniversary on yourself. Give yourself one more month. In that month, monitor how much irritability you have. Ask your hubby if it's getting better or worse. If it's getting worse, ask your physician for some mood stabilizers. What you are experiencing is temporary but you may need some help. I needed some Xanax for a very short amount of time. If you are already on medication, not smoking alters the amount of medication that you need. Please keep up on that.

    My personal opinion is that this will come to pass. Please let us know how you do - and, again, Happy Anniversary!
  • Johnnie, South Eastern Sydney January 01, 2017 | 8:31
    Happy New Year Wendy. Very well put together so explanatory. You should consider writing up a book on "quitting smoking". Cheers for now.
  • AnnieBear January 08, 2017 | 5:22
    Did u hate yourself for picking cigarettes before food or bills? Im not even quit yet but i want too. I'm surrounded by smoker (husband and daughter) who wont take it seriously and we have this never ending circle of quitti g and then getting so angry with each other and giving up. I HATE being controlled by these stupid little sticks. What do i do
  • Drama72, Nepean Blue Mountains January 08, 2017 | 10:42
    Well Done WendyOhNo.

    Annie Bear, I so feel your point. Im a single mother with two teenage boys nagging me to quit since we left their father. No money to pay bills, but always found the money to buy smokes, I genuinely felt I wouldn't get through the separation without them. The guilt was terrible though, and they wouldn't let me forget it. Tuff times. Lets do it together xx
  • Myf, Nepean Blue Mountains January 30, 2017 | 18:16
    Really don't know how to attack this! Absolutely awesome to read your posts, esp. WendyOhNo's (warnings?). It is super exciting and scary at once. M Xoxo
  • NotThisTime February 26, 2017 | 6:45
    Thank you WendyOhNo. Your posts are very helpful for me. You mentioned that at weeks 8-10 the addiction comes back with avengance. This describes my current state. I am at 68 days and experiencing the worst cravings (lasting long periods of time). Reading that this a normal part of the quitting process gives me the strength to just get through another day smoke free. Hoping tomorrow is better!

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