My Reasons

Hello everyone.

I am about to embark on my first serious attempt and what I'm sure will be my only attempt at quitting smoking. I found this site through a google search for some reason I feel that I want to anonymously go through the experience with some fellow ex-smokers. I'll explain.

I started smoking 11 months ago. I am what is commonly referred to as a 'secret' smoker. It goes much deeper than you may assume. Absolutely nobody is in my life knows I smoke (apart from my ex-flatmate). My mother, my sister, my long term girlfriend, any of my friends - including my best friend of about 6 years, they all have no idea. 11 months ago I made the stupid decision to accept some tobacco from my ex-flatmate and I have felt absolutely ashamed of myself ever since. It almost became my guilty pleasure, despite my rational mind knowing it does absolutely nothing for me.

It has been a gradual decline from there. Almost instantly my frequent exercise and good health declined up until the point where I'm at now - barely exercising at all. I haven't put on much weight, but I feel absolutely awful. Constantly waking up with that awful feeling in my chest, high resting heartbeat which goes through the roof even walking up a big flight of stairs, bad skin, that awful taste in my mouth. Worst of all the feeling that I loathe myself for falling for the hideous trap that is nicotine.

Life as a secret smoker is incredibly difficult. I have to make sure I never leave lighters or empty packets lying around my flat. I have to go outside everytime I smoke, constantly wash my clothes and make sure I haven't smoked at all that day if I see my girlfriend/friends. I spend majority of my time abstaining from smoking - during this year I started medical school (ironic I know) so every week day I would go all day without smoking. Until I started writing this down I have never really reflected on the fact that I often went 10 hours during the day without a cigarette or 3 hour exams and I didn't get one craving, it didn't bother me at all, it wasn't on my mind. Here I am walking along for lunch with my friend who is puffing away and I am masquerading as a non-smoker, pathetic. When I am alone - it's a completely different story. I would smok 10-15 a day on days that I wasn't seeing my girlfriend, if it was a particularly stressful day revising for exams it would sometimes be more.

I don't contest that some people think they enjoy smoking. However, I'm not one of them. The tragic thing about it all is that I despise smoking. I always have and I always will. This could be why I have never confessed my addiction to anyone. I hate the smell, the taste, the way it makes me feel every morning and the gradual deterioration of my health, wellbeing and confidence. It is a miracle that people can survive 20+ years chainsmoking these filthy things. I am studying to be a doctor and and wish to set an example. Not avocating people to systematically destroy themselves.

I just felt it would make things easier if I got things out in the open, to someone, anyone. Even if they are a complete stranger. I know I am a strong willed person, my degree has already made me pretty educated on the health side of things. I know I can make today the last day of my life that I ever puff on one of those filthy things. I plan on posting my progress in the other sections of the forums to document my progress.

My method will be willpower, an audiobook of Allan Carr, and kickstarting my process of quitting with an exercise reigeme.

Here goes nothing.

Regards,

Regretful Smoker.

32 Replies

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  • Hello and welcome to the forum.

    Having hidden my smoking from family when I failed to quit in the past I understand entirely. The number of unnecessary car trips that I made at weekends in order to have a smoke was crazy. I even offered to go and collect the in-laws on Christmas day one year and drop them back so I could have a few secret smokes :eek:

    The Allen Carr book is great and I'd also recommend browsing through the links in my signature. Sorting out your mindset is IMHO the key and seeing quitting as a positive thing rather than a sacrifice is a must.

    Best wishes,

    Nic

  • Hi

    Life as a secret smoker IS incredibly difficult. I empathise with how you feel about the sordid habit. I was a secret smoker for almost 20 years, but quit last week. I've had asthma since childhood, but for some inexplicable reason decided it was fine to have the occasional smoke when out drinking with friends. I started to do this when I was in my 20s. My asthma is pretty well controlled and the hospitilisations never increased whilst I was smoking. Since childhood I have an attack once every couple of years or so which require a stay in hospital. So, you understand that my parents, in particular, would be distressed if they knew that I smoked.

    My partner is one of the few who knew that I smoked. He too hated it. I truly understand when you say, "...it would make things easier if I got things out in the open, to someone, anyone". That's precisesly the feelings I had which made me join a Smoking Cessation Group. I was anonymous with other smokers and could admit that I needed help and support.

    I wish you all the very best. You can and will do it. x

  • Hi Snap :D

    Welcome to the forum and well done on the decision to quit possibly one of the most important you will ever make and you will be losing nothing but you will regain control of your life and that has to be good

    You will find all the help and support you need on here as we all help each other just like a family we are here for you every step of the way cheering the good days and sympathiseing with the bad but the good far outweigh the bad

    Read the posts on here you will find a lot of tips and advice and in the signatures of a lot you will find links to other sites just click on them Here are 2 I find very good to start you off whyquit.com and woofmang.com Read, read and then read some more as the more you read and learn about why you smoked and about your addiction the easier your quit will be

    Post often to let us know how you're doing, to rant, rave have a moan whatever you like pretty much anything goes on here OK

    Best Wishes

    Marg xxxxxxxx

  • Thank you for all the words of encouragement. It's really helping to motivate me and the links in peoples sigs are opening my eyes more and more.

    As for the suggestion to go away with my girlfriend for a week, Jim. That would be amazing, but she is working a whole load this summer so the chances of her getting off a whole week off is slm, maybe I'll try and arrange a weekend break. :)

    One question I had, did anyone else have an unusually high resting heartrate whilst smoking? I am contributing this to my lack of cardiovascular exercise and smoking, but it is slightly worrying, around 90-100bpm. I'm hoping this will subside.

    I will definitely keep you all posted on my progress and great involved in this great community here, and again, thanks for all the words of encouragement. It truly is a weight lifted off my shoulders to share my experience with people.

    Snap.

  • Hi snap, great decision to stop.

    I can understand your desire to stop smoking. My brother is a doctor and the ironic thing is that him and all his collegues smoke even though they know it kills them. i've always found it relatively amusing, but it isn't really, it just shows that Addiction is a terrible thing, and your level of education has little impact on controlling it. However, it has given you early motivation which is great. 9 months is way better than 9 years or 40 years like some do before facing into the realities of being addicted. or 15 years in my case - sad insn't it.

    anyway im rambling. the reason i wanted to post was to give you some encouragement, this board and everyone on it is great. oh yeah and 90-100 bpm is what I get when unfit and smoke, which is shocking considering it drops to about 65 bpm after a week of quitting. Just goes to show what a strain on your heart smoking causes, trying to get all that blood round your body faster to make up for the fact that the blood cant carry as much oxygen due to all the carbon monoxide you just pumped into it.

    good luck mate. everyone's here to help you out,

    cheers,

    B-Man

  • Hi snap, great decision to stop.

    I can understand your desire to stop smoking. My brother is a doctor and the ironic thing is that him and all his collegues smoke even though they know it kills them. i've always found it relatively amusing, but it isn't really, it just shows that Addiction is a terrible thing, and your level of education has little impact on controlling it. However, it has given you early motivation which is great. 9 months is way better than 9 years or 40 years like some do before facing into the realities of being addicted. or 15 years in my case - sad insn't it.

    anyway im rambling. the reason i wanted to post was to give you some encouragement, this board and everyone on it is great. oh yeah and 90-100 bpm is what I get when unfit and smoke, which is shocking considering it drops to about 65 bpm after a week of quitting. Just goes to show what a strain on your heart smoking causes, trying to get all that blood round your body faster to make up for the fact that the blood cant carry as much oxygen due to all the carbon monoxide you just pumped into it.

    good luck mate. everyone's here to help you out,

    cheers,

    B-Man

    Hi B-man, it's very interesting to hear about your brother. It seems to be much more common than people think for Doctors to smoke. It's encouraging to hear about your comment on the heartbeat. The stress smoking has on the heart is absolutely insane - before I smoked I really didn't appreciate just how hard the heart must work to keep up the oxygen supply. I'm glad to hear yours has returned to 65 after a week of quitting. I will document mine here and see how it goes. It was 100bpm the night of quitting.

    I stayed up all night on Tuesday to finish the Allan Carr audiobook and had my last cigarette at about 6am. So today I guess is my second day and it has been much easier than I expected (so far). I only times I've wanted to smoke have been automatic triggers like answering the phone or driving my car where I suddenly think 'I usually smoke when doing this'. The thought leaves me pretty quickly, I just shrug it off. I'm going to document my progress in this thread if I'm allowed to. Hopefully it will remain as successful as it has been so far.

    Thanks again to everyone for the support. You probably dont realise just how much it helped me to some people that I was a smoker.

    :)

  • Day 3.

    Going strong so far, very little desire to smoke and it feels amazing to be free. I'm assuming this is due to the fact that I didn't smoke for a huge amount of time. However I'm keeping my guard up, the nicotine monster is sneeky and very cunning. I had a nightmare that I was smoking last night. It's encouraging that I woke up and was relieved that it was untrue.

    On the plus side my heartrate is already starting to drop, which is an amazing feeling as it really had me worried. I measure it at between 60-70 resting, which I am ecstatic about. Another note is that I'm having random bouts of coughing, which I never had as a smoker. I can only hope that is my lungs trying to expell the gunk that has accumulated.

    Regards,

    Proud Non-Smoker

  • Hi Snap :D

    On day 3 well done you

    I'm pleased to hear that your heart rate is down now to about normal isn't it amazing how quickly things like that happen once we kick the weed

    Sorry about the smoking dream but afraid they're fairly common for us as well but they will go given a little time

    Love

    Marg xxxxxxxxx

  • Just about finished day 5. Feeling good. Has been a bit tougher for the past few days but I'm not going to give in, life is infinitely much better not being dictated to by nicotine. Already saved myself about £30 too which is nice. :)

  • Hi Snap :D

    Well done on day 6 you're doing fine just hang in there

    Sorry the last couple of days have been a bit tough for you

    Used that £30 you've saved to treat yourself it's a great feeling to be able to do that

    Love

    Marg xxxxxxxxxxx

  • Thanks Margareth :)

    You know it's fascinating. Just tested my heartrate and it's at 60bmp without a huge increase in exercise. I'm almost at 1 week now and I'm pretty sure the way I feel now will make sure I never smoke again. I can't believe how quickly my body went from 100bmp to 60bmp heartrate. The human body really is the most amazing thing - the most advanced thing on our planet. Glad I started respecting mine. :)

  • Hi Snap :D

    I agree the body is truly amazing in the way it bounces back no matter how we treat it at times

    Glad your heartrate is down from 100 to 60 bpm that's great

    You will find that your body heals fairly rapidly from the abuse you gave it through smoking

    Love

    Marg xxxxxxxxxx

  • I'm on day 12 now cold turkey and I'm pretty much sailing. I'm glad I didn't bother with champix or NRT. Sure, I'm having the odd desire to smoke, but I know I won't. To me - the thought of going through the whole process again is something I'd rather not experience, so long as I keep this ingrained in my memory I wont start again.

    I started my running today, and doing a weight session tomorrow. I'm really annoyed at myself for smoking - my cardiovascual fitness is awful. I could only run about two miles and when I finished it took me 10-15 minutes to stop breathing heavily. Awful. I'm sure it will improve.

  • Hi Snap,

    Day 12, very well done, so glad that you are finding it easy, some seem to find it easier than others. Keeping in mind what you have already done is a great way of never having to do it again.

    Your health will get better and better now you have quit and sounds like you are going to be really putting in the work too. Enjoy your new exercise regime, and keep on letting us know how you are getting on.

  • Hi Snap :D

    Well done on day 12 that's great

    Glad to hear you're finding it reasonably easy

    Also well done starting running and weights

    Your health will soon be much better now

    Love

    Marg xxxxxxxxx

  • margareth, whilst I don't want to sound ungrateful and I know you have the best intentions. You seem to just repeat what my post contains and agree that they are good or bad, no discussion, that and the copy/paste introduction feel a bit cold.

    I hate to sound like im complaining, but I was hoping for more constructive replies with reflections from personal experience, not just my post repackaged. Hope I'm not causing offence.

  • Your health will get better and better now you have quit and sounds like you are going to be really putting in the work too. Enjoy your new exercise regime, and keep on letting us know how you are getting on.

    I most certainly will, thanks. :)

  • Sounds like you are doing fantastically Snap!

    (I wish I could run 2 miles too BB! Although I can do run a mile, walk a mile, run a mile as proved when I did the race for life at the beginning of July).

    Marg - I think you are the most supportive member of this forum so please continue with what you are doing - you have undoubtably saved many a life on this forum!

  • Hi Nicki :D

    Thankyou I fully intend to while I feel I can do some good on here I'll carry on trying to help people

    Love

    Marg xxxxxxxx

  • Hi Snap

    Not trying to be offensive but I don't understand why the comment was made to Marg :confused:

    You have stated that you are a secret smoker so can not discuss your quit with anyone and find this forum helpful. If you have a look at your posts there was a couple of days that you posted a thread and the only person that bothered to answer you was Marg. Would you rather she hadn't answered you and you had felt alone and that nobody was interested in what you had had to say?

    You may not like the way Marg answers posts but how can you criticise someone for caring?

    Carol

  • Sounds like you are doing fantastically Snap!

    (I wish I could run 2 miles too BB! Although I can do run a mile, walk a mile, run a mile as proved when I did the race for life at the beginning of July).

    Well, get this - I ran a half marathon just before I started smoking which is 13.1 miles. Needless to say I'm pretty pissed off with my level of fitness. Nevermind though - things can only get better from here and I've got bags of time this summer to improve my diet and fitness levels.

  • Hi Snap

    Not trying to be offensive but I don't understand why the comment was made to Marg :confused:

    You have stated that you are a secret smoker so can not discuss your quit with anyone and find this forum helpful. If you have a look at your posts there was a couple of days that you posted a thread and the only person that bothered to answer you was Marg. Would you rather she hadn't answered you and you had felt alone and that nobody was interested in what you had had to say?

    You may not like the way Marg answers posts but how can you criticise someone for caring?

    Carol

    Yes, I was a secret smoker, as my initial post says. However, the relief of getting it off my chest lowered when I read around the forum and saw almost exactly the same message copy/pasted to every newcomer, it just felt pretty generic and not personal at all. Come on, we've all been there - never had a really nice text message from a friend you haven't spoken to in a while, only to later discover that it was a mass text they sent to many people? Takes away from how personal it feels.

    I am not criticising her for caring, you completely missed my point. I was giving her nothing but praise for the amount of support she gives, I was just questioning the content. As Jim said - which I agree with, it should be 'quality over quantity.'

    Most of the posts are tantamount to me writing 'that's good' or 'that's bad' after each post I read.

    I'm probably coming across as cold hearted, I am just more into the discussion and reflection side of things.

  • Yes you are coming over as coldhearted. Do you really expect Marg to come up with a different message to every newcomer on this site?

    One minute you are thanking her and the next you are telling her her posts are cold.

    And yes I have received a lovely text that makes me feel good and I have also received many lovely posts that have made me feel good and kept me quit from a lovely lady called Marg.

    It just think that your comments were uncalled for and personel and there was no need for them.

    Carol

  • Since when were personal opinions outlawed on this forum?

    When they are personally attacking someone who is just trying to help.

    you can't thank someone one minute then attack them the next.

    carol

  • Hey Snappy

    I guess you must be experiencing some overpowering cravings to post such unacceptable and offensive remarks.

    I am a non-smoker, I do not crave cigarettes.

    Since when were personal opinions outlawed on this forum?

    Well it turns out just as I thought, everyone is taking it as some sort of personal attack - which it wasn't. I was just stating that recycled posts and repetition isn't great support in my opinion.

    When they are personally attacking someone who is just trying to help.

    you can't thank someone one minute then attack them the next.

    carol

    It wasn't an attack, it was an opinion. I'm not apologising for having one.

  • Some opinions are better kept to yourself.................believe me I have a few but I will keep them to myself.

    Carol xxxx

  • Yes it's just a pity Snap didn't keep his to himself.................

    Carol

  • Do not i repeat DO NOT wind caz up. She is strong but still in an early stage of her quit and came back on this forum after a very bad experience and some empathy and encouragement from a long standing member as yourself would have been nice.

    You seem to thrive on stirring trouble. PLEASE STOP

    Chrissie

    Wait, so she can voice her opinion, but he can't defend his? Now that's double standards for you. All he did was joke about her completely missing the fact that he was being ironic, hardly going to drive her back to cigarettes.

    I didn't realise this forum was so sensitive. One could argue that it's you that's stirring trouble. I made a post which I felt to have good intentions. There was no malice involved at all, I stand by my opinion and all Jim did was agree with it, it wasn't an attack at margs personality, or her level of support, it was just questioning the content quality of her posts.

    It's interesting that you think Jim is the one stirring trouble, if you read back you'll find that Jim and I have been the relaxed ones here, whilst attempting to be contructive - you are both being incredibly hostile.

  • Hi Carol :D

    I'm glad you think that some opinions are better kept to yourself.

    It's nice that you have a few and good for you for keeping them to yourself.

    Love

    Jim :D

    Lol, brilliant. :P

  • Her has a name and I didn't miss the point that he was being ironic..........but I'm glad you got some amusement from it.

    Carol

  • Lets break it up

    Ok guys, as i see it (and this is only my opinion) everyone has a right to their own opinion. All BibleBlack did was agree with Snap, and i think they both made it clear that they did not want to upset Marg or anybody. i don't think Snap was trying to suggest that Marg is unfeeling or anything else he was just voicing his opinion, which, as i said i thought we were all entitled to do. i certainly don't think anything posted was personel.

    As for bully, i could be wrong but i thought a bully was someone who tried to get their own way by using power or strength or intimidation.

    Maybe we can ALL agree to disagree, we do all have our opinions and sometimes these will not be to the liking of all, however in a free forum (and free country) we should all be allowed to voice them.

  • If i can add one thing though, in an environment full of folk attempting to quit the demon weed, there will be the odd raised tension now and again, personally so far, i've found margs posts to be very welcome indeed but i can see how good intention can be misread because it goes on every single day with our OH's.

    So much tension, and lets face it, very little venting methods for it in this overly stressy world, i'm sure we're all thick skinned enough to brush it off, but nonetheless it wouldn't be normal if we didn't have the odd tetchy moment.

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