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9 years ago 0 Hengest 9 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Need to quit, but can?t

I am 26 years old, and I have smoked since I was 18.  Although I have always been a daily smoker over these past eight years, I have not been a particularly heavy smoker.  Except for a couple months during my master's program, I have never smoked anything close to a pack per day.  
 
But I know that any level of smoking is bad for me and that I should quit as soon as possible.  I've just found it impossible . . .
 
Over the past year or so I have tried several methods of quitting -the gum, the patch, cold turkey, ecigs, etc.- and I can never seem to go more than a few days without a cigarette.  I have succeeded in cutting my smoking down to one small cigar per day (those flavored cigars you see at gas stations -I feel better buying those since they come individually).  I also chew nicotine gum during the day to stave off the cravings, which I know I'm not supposed to do.  
 
Nights are hardest for me.  I get very restless and a little anxious when the day winds down (I've suffered from anxiety and insomnia most of my life), and the boredom that comes on in the evening makes the cravings impossible to ignore.  That's when the gum will no longer do and I drive to the gas station to get my cigar.  
 
I think this is part of the reason I've found it so difficult to quit.  With my relatively low level of smoking I probably find it very easy to rationalize excuses to cheat -it's not as if "failing" for me means going to two packs per day.  
 
Anyway, I just signed up on this site hoping to find people to talk to about my/our addiction and hopefully get some advice that will one day get me quit once and for all.    
9 years ago 0 Hengest 9 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Need to quit, but can?t

Thanks, Ashley.
 
I think if I ever do quit, it will probably be cold turkey.  I think the nicotine replacement methods have only perpetuated my addiction.  You might be able to tell that I'm not incredibly optimistic about the prospect of quitting, and that I'm not approaching this whole thing with a positive attitude.  The knowledge that I will more than likely fail -as I have done dozens of times before- is more depressing to me than the idea of continuing to smoke.   I guess working through this pessimism is one of the small steps I have to take before actually quitting.  
 
Hengest 
9 years ago 0 Hengest 9 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Need to quit, but can?t

Hey guys, I just wanted to thank you all for the empathy and the advice -it really moved me.  I won't reply to you guys individually, as it is very late and I have other things to do, but I would invite you to visit the blog I've started on this site so we can continue this conversation.  Thanks again!
 
Hengest 
9 years ago 0 Hengest 9 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Need to quit, but can?t

Can't take champix, unfortunately, due to my history of depression.  Thanks for the suggestion, though, and congrats on your six days.
9 years ago 0 Hengest 9 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Need to quit, but can?t

My last post was directed to Kitten.
 
Deb:  No, I haven't quit.  If anything my smoking has only gotten worse over the past few weeks.  Basically the next six years of my life are hanging on how productive and concentrated I can be over the next few weeks (grad school applications), and bringing upon myself the temporary side-effects of quitting at a time like this would verge on irresponsible.  
 
I desperately want to quit, though.  I really do.  I'm trying to figure out what I can do differently in my next serious attempt to really make it stick -I live alone, and I'm seriously considering moving in with my parents for a couple weeks next month so they can keep me in line as I go through that very difficult initial phase of cold turkey.  
9 years ago 0 Hengest 9 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Need to quit, but can?t

Hey everyone, just offering a small update and a few thoughts I've had recently.  Also, thank you Eyja for the reference and the insight.  I'll be sure to think about what you said and check out that book.
 
My smoking hasn't gone down at all, in fact yesterday it was really, really bad due to some stress I was having.  But on the positive side, I've begun to think a little more seriously about the costs/benefits of quitting, and I'm beginning to think a little more positively about the prospect of actually accomplishing it.  
 
I've just been thinking a lot about how much smoking has impacted my life, in small, subtle ways that I haven't even really noticed until lately.  Just today I thought about what I was like when I was 17, before I started smoking.  I was creatively and intellectually vibrant, I felt pretty good most of the time, and I could feel emotion strongly.  Now, at the age of 26, and after 8 years of smoking, I'm tired and apathetic most of the time, and incredibly emotionally numb.  Now, I've been through a lot over those years, including the normal aging process, but I can't help but feel that part of it is because of my smoking.  I just think about all the thought and energy I put into making sure I can get my next "fix" -it almost seems like that vibrance and energy has been sucked up by this habit.  
 
My girlfriend doesn't like that I smoke, so I never smoke around her.  I wish I could be around her without the irritability and fatigue that comes with withdrawal.  I want to be *me* when I'm with her and not have this habit tarnish our relationship.  
 
I've been dabbling in meditation for the past few months.  It's amazing how, when I have a really good meditation session, I can come to such peace and clarity of mind, even if only temporarily.  I want to have that state of mind without the aid of substances that can kill me.
 
Now, keep in mind I haven't quit yet, but I am cutting down again after the excesses of yesterday.  I have a fairly bad headache right now, to be honest.  But it doesn't really bother me.  Hopefully I'll be able to handle the *real* withdrawal headaches when the time comes.
 
Thanks for listening. 
8 years ago 0 Hengest 9 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Need to quit, but can?t

Just wanted to thank you all again for your support and to let you know that I have updated my blog on this site.  If you have any further questions or advice, please post it there.  
 
 
Hengest 
 
8 years ago 0 Hengest 9 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Back and on day number 2 and woke up thinking about smoking UGH

Aquarius,
 
First, congrats on your quit.  I'm only three or four days into mine, so you and I are in much the same boat.
 
You said that dealing with the mental aspect of quitting is the hardest part.  I find this is the hardest part for me as well.  I'll tell you about one strategy that has helped me, and maybe it will help for you as well.  
 
When you get that inevitable headache, when your mind feels foggy, etc., don't tell yourself, "I need a cigarette," or "If I had a cigarette, this would go away."  You might be factually correct (except for the "need" part), but this mode of thinking only makes you think more about smoking, thus opening the door towards rationalization of why you "should" have a cigarette or why "it wouldn't be a big deal" if you had a cigarette.  Respond to it more in the way that a non-smoker might respond to these symptoms:  "Crap, I have a headache.  I should take an aspirin . . . " or "Gee, I feel foggy today.  I should take a nap sometime if possible."  Think of the withdrawal symptoms simply as physical phenomena that happen to all people at one time or another, not as dire consequences of your decision to quit.  This strategy has the double benefit of decreasing your likelihood of falling off the wagon and of habituating you to the non-smoker mode of thinking.   
 
Hope this helps, and good luck! 
8 years ago 0 Hengest 9 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Need to quit, but can?t

cvdeb:
 
I'm doing okay.  I'm basically at the very beginning of the actual quitting process now.  I've slipped once or twice since setting my quit date for Dec. 2, but I'm learning ways to handle my triggers.