Stories & experiences

22
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5/08/2020
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Need advice

Posted in Quit experiences 11 Aug 2020
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Just wanted to check if anyone else been experienced something similar with withdrawals. I stopped smoking around 8 weeks ago. I Been smoking for 6 years around a pack a day. First of all I did not stop because I wanted too,I stopped because someone said I could not and I wanted to prove a point. This is also my first time trying to quit. I stopped cold turkey and my withdrawals the first week was so intense my cravings did never go away ever. for the first week or at least the first 5days. I could not even handle my work because everything that was going on in my mind was cravings and my head where screaming go smoke for 1 week straight. I’ve been doing this kind of job for a couple of years and it was a very basic day. I had to go behind someone because I was not able to do any kind of work solution at that moment.

After that the cravings, did come down a bit.but when it came. it could be for 15min-3hours very intense and when I did not have the cravings I still had a hard time manage to concentrate at work or in private. I’m just not able to gather my thoughts at all. Week 2-4 I practically felt like a zombie never felt happy even doing things I like. Started crying for no reason and could not explain why. But I did guess it was because Of withdrawals and that the sadness would pass after the withdrawals . On 2 different occasions after crying all night and feeling bad all morning I got something that felt like a nicotine kick from nothing while working, all of a sudden I was feeling like I was flying on clouds like anything was possible a feeling of pure pleasure that lasted for hours. Hard to explain but it was an amezing feeling everything felt right with the world I still had a hard time too concentrate but everything felt good and I did not want that feeling to ever go away. then I went back too zombie mode. After that or maybe even a little bit before I lost all appetite and blood pressure was starting to go up more and more every week usually I have a very good blood pressure. This was going on until almost the start of week 4. I still felt like a zombie, cravings where less frequent but when they came.

they could last around an hour or 2. A bit intense but by this time I know it would eventually disappear. I still haven’t felt happy about anything except that day when I was flying on clouds. By this time I also realized that my short term memory have become very bad and I’m having trouble remembering what people said the days before and the same day while being able to recall conversations I’ve had before stopping smoking. Also having a hard time placing the days I remember what happend doing the day but it’s hard to place what order things happend or even to be sure on what day like I remember the day but I’m not sure if it was yesterday or 2-4daya ago. all this time I had brain fog aswell.

Beginning week 4 i woke up suddenly feeling completely normal. Doing the 4 weeks up to this point I’ve been sleeping good almost 7-8 hours most days. I usually don’t do that. I pee a lot so usually I have to go up after 2-3 hours sleep too pee. but that’s fine since I’ve always been able to fall straight back to sleep again.

this has been going on since I start smoking but also before I started suddenly when I stopped I was going from peeing 13times a day to 1-2 even though I drink the same amount of water if not more. This first month, have also felt like 3 but I guess that is normal since I fell like I been suffering all this time. Any how this first day feeling normal was amazing. I could think again I had a great time at work I felt happy, I made some jokes first time in a month got home had a great evening almost no craving finally apetite was back I did eat, went to sleep. The next morning the nightmare started. I woke up went to toilet around 2 hours before work went back to bed then boom straight on panic attack worst feeling in my life was completely terrified hearth was beating out of my chest I just wanted to run from my home . where I did not know I just wanted too flee. i had extreme panic while driving to work and during. I just wanted to flee also got tunnel like vision and this panic altered my thinking that lasted for 7hours before coming down even a little bit. I never had any problems with anexity or panic ever before I’m 28 atm. And no problem with anexity or stress before starting smoking.

Week 5-6 I had extreme anxiety doom

Feeling my thinking was completely different from usuall had to move home to my parents because as soon as I went to sleep I wake 1h later with panic not as severe but doom feeling and hopelessness feeling. By this point if not for my parent I would have start smoking again but I did not because if I did and this feelings went away I would never be able to relive all this one more time and I figured it’s been a month it must get better soon.

The panic lasted week 5-7 with maximum 1-2hours sleep before waking up in panic not as severe as the attack but beating hearth and scared feeling that I mange to get down but impossible to fall asleep again

Around week 6 my tunnel vision started to disappear, but instead I felt extreme stress and anexity in some situations in like the store I saw people literally going in slow motion and sometimes the sound on the tv or people talking where going from slow to fast or the other way around. I started to think that I was going completely crazy. Thanks to google I realize seeing people go in slow motion can be stress related so i told myself it’s the nicotine withdrawals I have my family to comfort me take it easy and stand this a little while longer. After this my memory got worse but mostly short term some things are coming back days later some of them is Very blury even just a day or 2 later. Sounds are different and how i experience time the days gose incredible slow for 2month now. and I still feel adrenaline in my body and can’t sit still 2 weeks after the panic attack started. still I’m only getting 2h sleep maximum after 2weeks most of the days under 1h. My blood pressure is also a lot higher and my resting heart rate which is in normal case around 64 have been over 100 the first week during panic and the times during the days I managed to calm down . Second week between 80-115 while resting, my doctor tells me it’s due to stress and panic but dose not think it’s related to nicotine stop. but that’s the only thing that changed in my life. a couple of days after the panic my eye sight also got different I did see everything clearly without the I have to focus my eye to see I did se everything around me in perfect shape, detail no blur no matter distance, on things I did not focus on. I felt super aware of everything. Though watching tv or having a conversation doing this time I could hear what people where saying or what they said on tv but could not take in the meaning or quit understand the meaning. Like if I would get a question I had a hard time anelyzing the question and could just answer very basic then just forget what I answered a while later. I think this is adrenaline/panic related but not sure.This went away after around a week and a half my vision is back too normal. but things felt very unreal when this happened and even though I see normally again some things still feels weird or out of place.

Im usually a very social person, i like places with people and movement but all of a sudden that scares me while I also lost interest for practically everything I like.

Doing week 7, I still wake up with panic. I had one day I woke up needed to pee then it’s blank, I’m in the toilet almost getting a panic attack I calmed myself down and that have not happend again. This might be because I’m sleep deprived. I don’t know but it scares me that it’s completely blank because even though my short term memory is bad I still feel that I remember things after I do them and then doing the day or days after I space on them. Not just a blackout like this where I have no idea how I got too the toilet and what lead up

To the start of the panic.

Doing these weeks since the panic my thinking have been altered but some days this phenomenal with a fake nicokick been coming from nowhere and my thinking is back to what it once was I feel normal can think better recognize myself from the time before I stopped smoking thinking wise. except that I’m unmotivated to do things I like. Empathy is gone and that’s always been a big part of me. but panic is also gone and I feel like life is good and if I have any problems I’m worried about let’s fix them. just to get back to panic hopeless after a couple of hours or the next day.

My doctor think this is due to depression but since it goes back In forth sometimes several times a day from not being able to almost go up. To feeling alright not happy but feeling fine being able to say at least something of value and something that’s sounds more like myself except that my humor is gone and that’s a big part of my life aaswell. I think it has something to do with dopamine or at least not a normal depression . my doctor agrees that it sounds weird how it can change from hour to hour like that. I’ve been taking long walks because this sticking adrenaline feeling in my body restlessness and that had made it impossible for me too sit still since the panic i also been taken up running but it dose not really help with the restlessness. it’s It’s now week 8 and my memory is still very bad but a little better but I can’t concentrate at work working memory dose not work at all. doing the day I go from feeling completely lost I can’t deal with this anymore I need an answer then after a walk or doing nothing it will just go back to normal. I don’t feel that worried and I wonder what I was panic about just to get that back during the night or the next day. I still don’t enjoy anything even when I feel like myself and my empathy and love for animals that’s always been a big part of my life aswell is gone even the days I feel like normal. When I’m feeling normal or depressed Since this begun I’m having a hard time making decisions too if someone gives me 2 things to choose from I just can’t seem to make up my mind even easy stuff like pizza or chines food my mind just gets stuck. same gose for when I’m feeling fine I can’t gather my thought. Peeing is also back to normal since week 6,and blood pressure is a lot better the last week almost as before and I’m able to eat with appetite . The Last couple of days I’m able to sleep a bit and don’t get panic but I still can’t enjoy myself or anything I like. I still go back and forth from full blown depressed but not so much anexity just feeling hopeless and there’s no way to fix this what’s the point etc. To everything’s fine now without the fake nicotine kick, it just switches but I can’t gather my thoughts. Since 2 days ago I’m able to cry again something thats been impossible since week 3 even on the badest of days. Anyhow just want too see if anyone been trough something similar because I really geting tired of mostly my good memory thats become bad I just want it back! I want the world to look the same again I want to feel empathy. I’m afraid that ive been open up doors now and since everything felt hopeless and everything’s been bad for 2 month I’m just affraid that this will always stick with me. my doctor want to put me on anti depressants and I rather start smoking again then go down that road but I’m also afraid that if I start again and this feeling dose not go away then I’m in real trouble. so I just need some confirmation that this is normal or that someone been experiencing something close to it. And if so did the symptoms go away if you started again?because from day to day I’m on my way to lose it and without any answers it just feels hopeless my doctor wants to put me under medication and I feel like that is not the solution to the problem that will just trick my mind!

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13 Comments

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  • Safe2017 August 12, 2020 | 4:46
    Hi 22,
    A friend of mine had severe anxiety attacks and all sorts of physical discomforts. She also felt like her skin was burning up and had severe rash break out. After a while, around 6 months, she started feeling more or less normal.
    However, based on your description it sounds like you may want to visit a physician. Good luck and all the best.
  • Esarzeevee August 12, 2020 | 4:57
    Hi 22,
    Congratulations you have gone this far , you are doing great. Just like you, i have gone through dome of the symptoms that you experienced. For me panic attack , irregular heart beating and chest pain are the most terrifying in my journey. Im on my 112th day , a month prior today i felt very normal, i thought im done early as expected with the nicotine withdrawal , but all of a sudden, today my chest seems to pop up and my lungs felt very swollen. its so painful, and its so difficult to breathe at this very right moment while writing this comment. So i guess, what youre having now is just the normal reaction of being a cold turkey. if it goes worse i suggest you pay your doctor a visit. take care. always remember No To One Puff
  • Esarzeevee August 12, 2020 | 4:57
    Hi 22,
    Congratulations you have gone this far , you are doing great. Just like you, i have gone through dome of the symptoms that you experienced. For me panic attack , irregular heart beating and chest pain are the most terrifying in my journey. Im on my 112th day , a month prior today i felt very normal, i thought im done early as expected with the nicotine withdrawal , but all of a sudden, today my chest seems to pop up and my lungs felt very swollen. its so painful, and its so difficult to breathe at this very right moment while writing this comment. So i guess, what youre having now is just the normal reaction of being a cold turkey. if it goes worse i suggest you pay your doctor a visit. take care. always remember No To One Puff
  • Tay12 August 12, 2020 | 7:05
    What a great detailed post. I’ve had a very similar story, and had a really rough start!!! However, it’s been over 4 months for me and the panic attacks that woke me up at night are gone. I still have anxiety, but I can control it now. At times I feel depressed, and miss the happier times in my life. But was it the nicotine that made me happy? NO. My mind has just connected nicotine abs happiness. Now I have to re-wire my brain and make new happy connections without nicotine. Every day gets easier.. we just have to take the good days with the bad days.. luckily the bad days are fewer and farther between.
  • Happiness August 12, 2020 | 7:27
    wow. I have heard many people have different issues, but maybe you were just more ept at writing. I had no problems or even cravings when I quit cold turkey. I am at a loss as to what to tell you. Quitting is a mind game and WANTING to quit and accepting it both make it easier. I believe you want to quit since you are sticking it out. Kudos to you. Everyone says it does get easier and I have yet to hear anyone ever wish they hadn't quit. I am sure you too will put this behind you shortly. I am glad to hear you have confided in your doctor. As for anti=depressants, did you know that certain foods help. Food with lots of tryptophan..... like the stuff in turkey aids in sleep. Lack of sleep and anxiety over these issues tend to worsen them as well.Lack of focus will of course relay itself as a memory issue. Cutting your coffee intake in half while quitting nicotine helps to feel less jittery which people interpret as anxiety. The nicotine made the caffeine less potent just as alcohol diminished nicotine faster, so we smoked more while we drank alcohol.

    If a part of you misses the cigarette as an old friend that you miss, hence the crying, read Allan Carr (click on my name, Happiness and read my story with the link to his free book. ) Nothing to lose and everything to gain. Quitting smoking is a mindset. I hope the truth and a new way of looking at things will help you. His book is a must read for everyone. Knowledge and understanding can make the process easier and sustainable.

    I hope you find your answers and become a happy non-smoker. Let us know how you are doing. Keep up the good work!
  • softly40, Mid North Coast August 12, 2020 | 8:52

    welcome needadvice, well done for 8 weeks, you obviously kept a journal regarding your quit. Now is the time to put your journal to sleep for a while, and take each new day as it comes. You want to quit that is obviously clear so concentrate on your wants this will help any depressing thoughts for now. Of course we are all suffering anxiety to a degree depending on the coronavirus situation you are in so it is also the outside influences that create this problem. Practice yoga breathing and meditation daily and practice NOPE (not one puff ever daily) that is all you need to do for a while.
  • 22 August 12, 2020 | 21:18
    I just feel like i cannot handle it anymore and i think i will lose the battle today! If not something positive happens my hearth is up again without any reason and i just feel like i do anything to get my memory back and feel like myself. i dont know if i should go with a patch or something instead? But if i keep going like this im gonna lose my job and that will cause more stress to me then any nicotine patch or cigarette. Today is one of the better days head thinking wise but i feel this massive stress still and im really trying to do things i enjoy but i just cannot. Today i had a long conversation with myself where i asked myself do you really not want to smoke again for the rest of your life? after 2month without any kind of nicotine i think the answer should be no i dont want to smoke ever again. Just thinking about this made me cry and i felt like i really miss smoking like i lost a friend that i dont have to lose right now. i dont know if this is what causing my problems as well because it feels like im fighting myself all the time. as i said only reason i have not taken up smoking again is because im afraid to relive all the syn tomes the abstinence gave me. the day i decide that enough is enough i really want to quit. i dont know maybe it wont be this hard or maybe i need to slowly go down with nicotine with patches or something. Maybe im not in the right mindset to quit right now or maybe im just to addict all i know is that i have some things i need to fix at home, work and somethings in life and with this Depression i just can't handle it and that makes everything worse. If smoking will help this temporarily or maybe a nicotine patch then im willing to take that chance and try again when im at a better place in life or when i feel like i truly want to stop i dont know it just feels like it would make me functional! Feels bad to write on a stop smoking forum that i concider giving up and smoke today or somehow get nicotine but i feelt like i should write here for some guidance because i cant keep going like this for alot longer!
  • softly40, Mid North Coast August 13, 2020 | 6:36
    The trick is to take one day at a time for now, like I said your thoughts and journal should be trying to give yourself some space, this does not mean you can or should smoke. Think how it will be if you start again - round and around you go again without thinking it through - List your reasons for giving up, count up the money saved. Do not think of the cigarette as your friend it is your worst enemy. Check out "How to grow to be a Happy Smoker" by NASIA DAVOS it is on U tube TedxUniversityofPiraeus. You will begin to understand the self underneath the cravings.
  • PuffNoMore, Southern NSW August 13, 2020 | 22:17
    the trick is Dont Smoke. Not one puff ever and eventually the problem of the old addiction goes away.
  • Happiness August 15, 2020 | 4:38
    You have come so far. I hope you managed to stick it out yesterday and have found yourself in a better spot today. It loathes me to even suggest that using a vape might be an alternative for you. If you feel your whole life is unside down and that your employment is at risk, as well as your mental well being...well... like i said, it may be a viable alternative for some. If used as an NRT is is really no worse, although if you use a nicotine based one, you will have to overcome that addiction again at some point. Perhaps if it is legal where you are (It doesn't seem you are in
    Australia) you could try zero nicotine . Quitting is a mind game. You have to let your mind accept it or it will play tricks and rebel. If you continue to research and read our stories and Allan Carr, hopefully you will turn on that switch to allow you to think differently about smoking. When you realize you are not giving up anything and reaping the benefits and freedom and so much more, you will only shake your head and wonder why you didn't do this long ago.....
    You can quit smoking. Think positive.
  • 22 August 16, 2020 | 0:11
    i did get some panic and i drove to the store and bought a pack. after that i calmed down and decided not smoke it. still thinking of trying gum or a patch or snus i live in sweden. its starting to affect my mental well being so im willing to try a patch or something to get the nicotine. to be honest i dont even feel like smoking. but its starting to affect my memory, job relationship. it feels more that i need the nicotine. the habbit of smoking i dont miss at all.
  • Happiness August 17, 2020 | 7:32
    The psychological part, thinking you miss it, filling a void it leaves after years of lighting up without even a thought is 80% of quitting smoking. If you accept this and don't miss it, I don't know why you are having such a difficult time of it. The nicotine is long gone from your system, and hence the addiction to it beaten.
    Learn meditation, eat things for health and happiness...... find something in life to turn all of your thoughts and energy to. You can let go of the past and move towards a better and brighter future.
  • 22 August 19, 2020 | 17:46
    If any one is interested my doctor/therapist wants me to get tested for adhd/add.
    Since smoking and a lot of coffine or in my case redbull seems to mimic the effects of some adhd medication and that could be the reason why I’m having my symptoms and memory problems after I quit. Turns out I fit in kinda well with some add features and might have been self medicating without realizing it.
    This is not confirmed but I’ve been experimenting with nicotine in some degree the last couple of days and panic is gone I enjoy some things again and I’m gonna try nicotine patches or gum until I’m done with a proper adhd investigation. Thanks for all of the support and all the wise words!

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