Stories & experiences


Quitting Shock - in a good way

Posted in Quit experiences 20 Jul 2019

TL:DR - I'm still a bit shocked or confused that it is extremely likely I won't ever be a smoker again.

I've been smoking 20 a day for the last 14 years. Not sure when exactly, maybe a few years ago, I started disliking smoking immensely. So each year, I'd say... maybe this is the year I'll stop. And it kept rolling over to the next year.

For the last year, I've increased my exercise (specifically hiking) to 2-3 times a week. In January I started including running as well, and am now in a solid fitness regime, where it feels strange to only exercise once a week (this is also still something I'm slightly in shock over).

Anyway, at the beginning of this year, I could feel that this was the year I was going to stop and made a commitment that I will stop by 31 December 2019 for the absolute latest. From Feb to May, I cut down to milder cigarettes from 0.8mg nicotine cigs to 0.1mg (not sure if I was inhaling deeper/more or if this actually worked. But psychologically it made me feel better).

End of May came and I realised I don't quite know what to do from this point onwards. So I just kept smoking as usual. Beginning of June, I felt like July was the right month to stop & I picked a date - 15 July - to be my first day as a non-smoker.

On 10 July, I decided to check out Allen Carr's Stop Smoking Audiobook. I really enjoyed it. It gave me a lot of data to repeat to myself (he drills it into you with repetition anyway). He says it will be easy. I can't fully agree with this though. It was as hard as I thought it would be initially. But surprisingly easier after the first 3 days.

My experience so far:

Day 1 - I slept about 16 hours - the time I was awake was torture. After eating, the cravings were the WORST. Did not know what to do with myself. Felt like something was constantly missing, that I needed to do something. Ate a whole slab of chocolate.

Day 2 - Crap... but slightly better.

Day 3 - Still crap... but also slightly better than day 2.

Day 4 and 5 - substantially better. Cravings after meals were still very strong, still eating a lot of chocolate and chips (this could be slightly related to PMS though), but nothing compared to days 1-3. It has now become a feeling of empowerment every time I resist a craving. It feels like each time I accept and move on from a craving/thought.. I'm one step closer to reprogramming my brain for good.

So I say it's quitting shock, because this whole year, once I decided to quit this year, I've been living with a feeling of underlying dread and panic about how difficult it's going to be. How I'm going to feel lost without cigarettes, how I'm going to feel deprived, how I won't stop craving. HOW I WILL FAIL. How I will fail and not have the willpower to quit for another 5-10 years.

Day 5 - Today is the day where I started feeling like the scales have tipped and I'm too far into Non-Smoker territory to go back. The shock, that this is actually happening. Something I doubted would happen or that I would succeed at it after all the half attempts and failures I had previously experienced.

Wow. It feels like a massive battle is over.

Also - OMFG - CANNOT believe how easy it is to smell other people after they've smoked. Even when they are standing at least a metre away. I've always misjudged this, thinking I'm standing far away enough that the other person can't smell the smoke on my clothes/breath. Crazy.

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  • Happiness July 20, 2019 | 23:35
    You are making great strides very quickly Nish 101. I too was over the cravings after the initial 3 days of nicotine withdrawal. It is possible with the right mindset and finding ways to replace the bad habit with good ones. Mine was researching nutrition while yours was exercising before we quit and reading and learning about nicotine on a forum . Both learning and exercise I have learned, increase our dopamine production, which is what nicotine boosts. We don't miss it as much as others because we must have increased production adequately. Embracing the journey, rather than fearing it is also crucial. Fear does not make you happy, but hope does. Accomplishments this far and conquering your fears must make you ecstatic!

    You can do this! Believe and anything is possible. The moral of your story is that there is nothing to Fear but Fear itself. Fear would have kept you imprisoned for another decade or more. Banish the fear , gather your weapons (knowledge) and Believe you that you too can win the battle against nicotine. ...forever!
  • softly40, Mid North Coast July 21, 2019 | 7:55
    I am sure your post will help others who are going through this process Nish101 You are very clear in describing your feelings and physical changes, keep reading and replying on this forum, its a win win situation for yourself and others. My journey or battle as you put it was similar to yours, but I failed a few times in my attempt to keep going, and this forum is so important in keeping you on track. My mind is now geared to keeping and staying quit long term, but I realize that vigilance is also important. Keep it going and great result
  • Nuts July 21, 2019 | 10:18
    Hi Nish. Day 6 today for you. You are doing great. It will get easier and easier from now on. The days go by so quickly and before you know it, it willl be a month, 6 months, a year, etc. Be careful with the snacks, it doesnt take long for the kilos to creep up. Have healthy snacks instead of choc and chips. Be very proud of yourself and stay strong. 👍
  • Lia July 22, 2019 | 17:30
    Hi Nish101. A good decision. How would you feel about the underlying dread and panic if your health deteriorated? Forward and upward and enjoy life and living.
  • Nish101 July 24, 2019 | 6:59
    Happiness, softly40, Nuts, Lia - Thank you so much for your support and kind words! This has been such an empowering experience and it's great to read so many motivating stories on here and get support from random fellow quitters :)
  • Creative8 August 06, 2019 | 7:45
    Hi there everybody. I am on day 15 of Champix and was feeling that the side effects weren't worth it any more so searched for guidance online.

    Wow, I have read through some comments and could just keep going.
    I am down to around 3-4 cigarettes a day now but feel I could drop to one in the morning one at night which is my goal by the end of this week. I have multiple reasons to quit, and good reasons at that so reminding myself of why I need to get through these symptoms works.
    I am having weird dreams, not nightmares as such and night sweats which cause discomfort and wake me up multiple times a night.
    I have noticed my bad mood after taking the night pill too. It was recommended by my doctor for me to take this in the afternoon to avoid any sleep disruptions and so far so good on that front.

    Anyway, if there is anybody out there in the same boat, please, any suggestions to relax, get through the hard craving times. I would deeply appreciate it.

    What an amazing website, so happy I found this!

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