Stories & experiences


984 Days...and here comes the anxiety!

Posted in Quit experiences 03 May 2019

Hey fellow quitters! I’m checking in at 984 days. I’ve been having a bit of a rough go at it the last six weeks. I believe I wrote about being around a bunch of smokers for a week and how badly that made me want to smoke. But, I got over that - took a week of really being tempted but I got over it. This past three weeks, the urge has been back really bad - whereas I used to be able to go months without even thinking about a cigarette, I’ve been wanting one every day. I attribute this to two things: One, I have been watching older shows on TV and a lot of them have smoking in them. That can’t be helpful. The second is anxiety. Don’t ever discount anxiety. I’ve had a really tough time with my underlying illness and allergies and have just gone through a residential move. My anxiety is through the roof and just like back when I was a smoker, I want a cigarette to quell those anxious feelings. But, I don’t smoke because I never want to do my first week of quitting over again. I fight myself and sometimes I cry and I get good friends to tell me no. I take a benzodiazepine medication to deal with the anxiety. Once the anxiety is under control, the need to smoke goes back to almost non-existent. I suspect this won’t go on for too much longer. Aside from the medication that I am allowed to take, I am working on exposure therapy to get the anxiety back under control. I’m doing a lot of self talk too about what is reasonable when it come to being anxious.

Newbie quitters, don’t worry. I have been quit for over 32 months and at least 30 of them were fairly anxiety free and I had little to no urges at all. This is just a bump in the road and a reminder that we have to stay super vigilant.

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  • Happiness May 03, 2019 | 9:30
    I am sure that we don't want to think we will still struggle almost 3 years hence, but you will have us heed warning. As you say over 90% of that time you did not even think of a cigarette, even for months at a time. We should take that in stride should we have a few bad days. Remember the NOPE mantra and review your reasons for quitting. Write the long list of benefits for staying a non-smoker V.S. resuming the vile habit/addiction. Knowledge of the addiction and yourself should keep you on the right path.
  • Robn May 03, 2019 | 18:29
    Hi Wendy, hang in there, you have been through worse than this little blip. You are a very strong woman, much stronger than you realise.
    Stay strong and focused x
  • Maestro40 May 04, 2019 | 4:20
    You poor girl!
    I'm of course no expert.
    Do try to separate the anxiety and the smoke urges.
    Sure, they were bound together back then. But everything You did back then was related to smoking within latest 30 minutes (next smoke).
    So if you can just isolate the anxiety for what it is, and not compound it with pending doom and guilt of perhaps smoking again, maybe that can help?
    I personally did not want to quit. And I have urges all the time!
    Wallow in your pride for having made it so far!!
  • Safe2017 May 04, 2019 | 10:29
    First of all congrats on 984 days being smoke free. Don’t give in. From personal experience here my 2 cents. I was quit for two years and decided to try one. The first puff was just terrible, burned my lungs and the smell coming out of my lungs was simply gross. But most of former smokers, myself included, have their brains re-wired in such a way that you make one puff and you are hooked again. I Got hooked, smoked for 10 more years, forced myself to quit again for a year and stupidly made another puff. The same feelings, the same grossness and the same addiction got me again. And the feeling of guilt plus disrespect for myself to boot. I am On my 3rd and final quit and no way I am lightning one up. Stay strong and remember that cigs are not your friends. Don’t give them any credit or credibility because if you do you will be betrayed. Good luck.
  • softly40, Mid North Coast May 26, 2019 | 9:47
    Great words and advice for you Wendy while you are going through these experiences keep in touch and read other posts it will probably help you to understand you do not want to go back there. If you deal with one issue at a time and concentrate wholly on that regardless of how you feel now, this may help you.

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