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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