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2021-07-03 2:22 PM

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9 years ago 0 island 32 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Introduction

My name is Beth, and I live in California.  I've looked at other smoking cessation places and am trying out them to see which feels right.  My official quit date is July 1st, but I was working on it long before that, cutting back significantly, then to the step-downs with patches.  When I got down to the end of the patches, I found myself bumming smokes occasionally.  So I decided to set a new quit date and go cold turkey.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to quit this time.  Just need some support.
9 years ago 0 island 32 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
July 1st and still going...

My name is Beth.  I've been quitting for a while now, starting in the fall with cutting way back.  Then patches starting in March through June.  But in June when I went off the low dose patches I started bumming cigs here and there so I realized I needed to double up my effort.  I set a new quit date, July 1st, this time cold turkey because there wasn't too much nicotine in my system, but I found myself buying low dose patches today because I'm about to go through some stressful times and I don't want to go back to smoking.  So I have them just in case I need a back up.
 
I haven't found many physical changes.  I always exercised and my doctor says my lungs are in good shape.  But I have lots of psychological effects like high anxiety and low energy at the same time.  I see a therapist for PTSD, so my anxiety is partly from another source, but going off the patches raised that anxiety very high.  I've been using a low dose anti-anxiety med that my therapist prescribed, but that often leaves me sleepy.  
 
I'm trying to find a balance that I know will come eventually.  
 
 
 
9 years ago 0 island 32 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Introduction

Thanks for all your kind responses.  I went through the material last night, and I found it very helpful.  I feel like I have an even better plan now than I did when I started.  And I put a patch on today.  As I said in another post, there's a lot of stress coming so I don't want to go back to smoking.  
 
The reasons I've chosen now is because I'm making a lot of changes.  I'm about to move and start a doctoral program to become a psychotherapist.  I don't want to make this new start in life with old habits.  I've been trying to quit for a long time.  I hate the smell and the taste.  I hate the expense.  Plus I know how unhealthy it is, which is the main factor.  
 
So because I move in less than 2 weeks which will be stressful, I started back on the lowest dose patch to help me get through and get settled in my new place.  School starts about two weeks later.  I hope that the new environment, plus my excitement about starting the program will help me stay motivated to quit so I can go off the patch without too much trouble. 
9 years ago 0 island 32 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
July 1st and still going...

I woke up realizing that I have to get to work on preparing to move, which is stressful, so I put a low dose patch on.  It has the added effect of making me feel more secure in addition to giving me small amounts of nicotine.  During the last few weeks, I've been rather inactive, napping a lot, except for exercise, which I try to do every day.  But now I have to get into gear without getting overwhelmed.  
 
 I read through the materials here, and they are really helpful.  I printed out many of the pages so I can look at them because it makes up a whole plan that I think zeroes in on specifics.  And it's very clear and easy to use.  
9 years ago 0 island 32 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Introduction

Thanks for the encouragement you guys.  It is perfect timing, Ashley.  And Jim that is very observant of you to notice that I didn't sound very sure of myself.  I actually was more confident when I was quitting with patch.  I was surprised when I got so far and then started bumming them here and there.  It undermined my confidence to some extent.  So you read that right.  
 
Putting the patch on today and giving myself a pep talk.  Plus following the idea of the Reward Plan with very simple things, like taking out some time for myself every day or taking a photograph of something beautiful are the two daily things I listed that would be rewards that I would enjoy.  They make me appreciate life.  I'm a haiku poet and a Zen Buddhist so I like to stop and be present, observe very little things.  But I had to remind myself of that.  Simple things can make all the difference.  And a present focus helps in most situations.  
 
 
9 years ago 0 island 32 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
The effects of nicotine

I used the patch for a while, from March through June, and did well, but when I went off the patch, I started bumming smokes here and there.  My anxiety level was very high, perhaps for other reasons in addition to quitting smoking, but still it undermined my confidence to some extent.  
 
I set a new quit date and went cold turkey because I didn't really have much nicotine in my system.  But even though I was doing okay, I bought some patches and started using them, the lowest dose ones.  
 
It has made a remarkable difference.  I'm actually surprised.  I thought that at this point in my quit, most of it was due to psychological factors, but the difference with the patch has shown me that there is a strong physiological component still there.
 
I do want to be nicotine free, but I'm facing a lot of stressors in the next period coming up so I decided to go back to the patch to make sure that I was supported and not even tempted.  It feels like the right decision.  And if I have to, I'll stick with the patch until my life settles down again.
 
I wonder if people have found that there are powerful effects of nicotine.  
9 years ago 0 island 32 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
The effects of nicotine

Well, the first thing that I have realized is that smoking won't make the stress go away.  That was an illusion that I built up over the course of my habit.  So I tell myself that first.  Then do some deep breathing exercises that I learned in a hospital once about calming the vagal nerve.  It turns off the sympathetic nervous system and turns on the parasympathetic so it soothes you with your own body's reaction, rather than putting chemicals in.  If I have to, I have anti-anxiety medication in low doses in case I really get overwhelmed.  But as a practical step, breaking down the tasks into little chunks and trying to one thing at a time will help me manage all the things I have to do.  So if I stop for a minute and sit with my journal and write down how I'm feeling and try to sort it out,  I usually can manage the stress.
9 years ago 0 island 32 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
The effects of nicotine

I agree with you that nicotine in a decent place would be regulated as a drug and the FDA wouldn't approve it because the form of delivery causes cancer and other serious health conditions.   I wish it were illegal, but that will never happen.   And then there would be crime associated with getting smokes so I guess high taxes is one way to go.
 
Today I actually feel kinda sick.  I think the patches were a little too strong even though they were at the lowest dose possible.  I feel sick to my stomach and generally.  I've taken time out to rest.  I'm sure this will pass.  It would be nice to get to the other side of this process of quitting so I feel better and have my energy back.  
 
 
9 years ago 0 island 32 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
July 1st and still going...

Thanks for your encouragement and good luck with your own quit.  I had a rough day yesterday.  Not sure if it was the patches or what, but I felt sick to my stomach and all over really.  I woke up at 1am in a full sweat, but I felt better.  
 
And I woke up this morning feeling some energy back.  It's good because I have to start doing things for my move so it's just the right timing.  
 
Now that the deadlines for things are really about to arrive, I actually feel less worry.  I just feel like I have things to do and I'll do them.  So the stress has actually gone down somewhat.  I might take that back once I actually get into the process. LOL
 
9 years ago 0 island 32 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Sick of smoking

I'm quitting too and there have been some hard days, but it does get better.  And it's really worth it.  I had a friend die this year from lung cancer that spread to his bones and organs.  I had already started the quitting process, but it sure reinforced that I don't want to go back to smoking.  He had already quit a long time ago too, but it caught up with him anyway.  
 
This site is really great.  It's a good choice.  I used the Program tools to set up a little set of helpful guidelines.  The Rewards part was particularly nice because you can tailor it to your specific interests.