Agonising

OK, long story – bear with me.

Hit Day 1 of my Champix quit a week ago Monday. Made it through to Day 6 – the Saturday – without undue problems, other than that empty, distant, ‘hungry’ feeling that’s little to do with the nicotine addiction and much more to do with the things Allen Carr talks about. From that point of view, the Champix was very effective.

Saturday evening, I broke. I don’t really know why. Perhaps because Saturday evening has historically been a real ‘smoke-athon’. An hour down the pub (3 cigarettes), making dinner (a cigarette with a glass of wine), sitting talking, drinking wine, watching MotD (4-5 cigarettes). If only my son hadn’t had a pack of cigarettes in the drawer…

Still had some cigarettes left Sunday and decided to smoke them. Agonised all day about whether I’d restart the quit or just admit I wasn’t going to be able to do it. Failed to reach a conclusion, so bought a packet of ten. Smoked about half what I’d usually smoke on a Sunday.

Reached a compromise with myself. I wouldn’t smoke at work on the Monday (partially, ironically, because there’s a woman there who I’m trying to help in quitting and I wanted to appear strong). That worked fine – the Champix really does work a treat. Smoked 4-5 during the evening, even though I knew I didn’t really want them. How stupid.

Same again today – the Champix working even better (probably because I was much busier at work). Had a cigarette before I went to work, and this evening looks like it’ll be the same 4-5.

I don’t know where I go from here. I’m so confused. I’m annoyed with myself – but I don’t want to be annoyed with myself. I hate myself – and hate myself for hating myself. It’s really marginal with me right now. Stupidly, stupidly, the Champix means I definitely don’t need to smoke – but I still want to smoke, even though the cigarettes are doing very little for me in terms of ‘satisfaction’.

And my wife and I are going for a rare weekend away on Friday, and I’m struggling to imagine enjoying that without smoking. Fine – start the quit again when I get back. Except that a week later, I go on a business trip to Frankfurt. In many ways, that’d be a good opportunity (long periods in airports, flights, holed up in a conference centre all day) but I’m not sure…

It’s going over and over in my mind. I don’t want to smoke. I want to smoke. It’s got to the silly point where I’m saying to myself “My motivation was my mother’s COPD, and how I don’t want to end up having my quality of life compromised like that” – and answering myself “but look at your dad – he gave up smoking thirty years before he died a protracted, agonising death of cancer”.

I’m not sure there’s anything any of you wonderful people can say to me, as I think I have to work this out myself. Rest assured, though, I’ll study anything you tell me very closely to see if I can fathom a way out of this.

Thanks for reading.

21 Replies

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  • Wow, quite a post.

    Ok here goes my wise words.

    Read, read, read and then read some more. You are so right about this, it is completly a head thing, and the only way to get past that is to read all the links in the sigs. Trust me you will find help there.

    Also there are many great posts around here, I remember WriterChris doing a fantastic one ages ago. Have a look around the reasons thread.

    The other thing that might work is choosing not to smoke for the next hour, and then choosing not to smoke for the next. I spent quite a few of my more challenging times choosing not to smoke for the next 10 mins! It has to be an active thing, say to yourself I will not smoke for the next 2 hours or whatever and then of course stick to it.

    How about everytime you think you are going to have a fag, you come here, and post and read for however long is needed, just do not have a fag.

    Nobody around here will say this is easy, but everyone around here will tell you that it is so worth it, you are so worth it.

    Hope some of this helped, many wiser people than me will be along with their words soon.

    Good luck.

  • Couldn't agree more Ian, you need to get your head right. Seems like you are a bit confused - about when to stop, why to stop, how to stop. And mixed in with thoughts of what you are giving up, rather than what you will be gaining.

    Read up on your addiction. And you will choose not to smoke, and then keep making that choice. You can do this. It may be tough at the start, but it does get easier. Truly, it does.

  • I can agree with so much of what you've said. You know you don't crave the nicotene, but it's the habit of smoking you're missing. You've had the best advice - just don't have a cigarette now, this minute - and read as much as you can about it.

    Many times this past 7 days (and this evening), I've thought I really fancy a fag, and had to conciously say - I'll go and buy a pack in 15 mins, and read this site instead. So far that's kept me going (although my wife did hide my wallet last night "for my own good" she says).

    I'm on the Champix too and it took 13 days to kick in - I was thinking I was immune! You know this stuff works - the nicotene craving has gone - I do notice that and I'm continually suprised about it (and maybe a bit scared if the truth be told. I've smoked 20/day for 40 years and it's getting a bit late to change).

  • Hi Ian

    So sorry you have had such a rough time, can only reiterate what other member have said, read and read. I typed up my favourite quotes and sayings and have plastered them on to kitchen wall units. The OH says its fine for now as he wants me to quit as well. Just wander in there and look at

    WHY DID U QUIT ? / DONT DOUBT YOUR DECISION ! etc.etc

    Not saying it would work for you, but so far its working for me.

    hope this helps

  • Hey Ian,

    the mind battle you describe "I want to smoke, I don't want to smoke' is a pretty common phenomenon...... probably most smokers have battled your battle......... we know we are fools for smoking, yet we want to anyways. It's the addiction. That's all. Yeah, the Champix may help with the craves but the psychological addiction is still there and at some point you'll have to make the decision to deal with it.

    The physical withdrawal is quickly dealt with but the psychological withdrawal takes time.......... you've got to give it that, time. Do as the others suggested, read up on your addiction, make up your mind, set a date, and from that moment give it time............. trust that it is absolutely possible to overcome this no matter how long you have smoked.

    Making changes in life can be hard...... getting off nicotine is not easy for most but I tell you it is so worth it.... even if you can't quite see it just now. Hope you figure things out for you!

  • All the previous posts have a great deal of good advice for ya, but in the end you have to decide to quit and ignore the little voices saying you can do it tomorrow or next week or whatever they are saying. It's simple..... Do you want to quit? yes? STOP RIGHT NOW. It won't be easier next week or next month, shit happens all the time. Life will not stop phucing up cause your trying to stop smoking. Champix may be a great help tool for quitting but in the long run its you that has to make the decision and just do it. I'm a bit straight forward and don't mix words so sorry if I come off a bit harsh. All the best luck with your quit.

  • Hi Ian

    I'm sorry you're having this inner battle with yourself and the Demons for be sure they're at the bottom of this shilly shallying

    The bottom link in my signature has a bit about the mental part of quitting just scroll down to find it I think it will help you

    At the end of the day though only you can make the choice to smoke or not to smoke and it has to be done sooner rather than later

    There is never a good time to stop just excuses for putting it off not reasons I did this for years I'll stop next week, next month, next year that sort of thing result I smoked for over 50 years what a waste of time and money that was both of which of course could have been put to better use

    I still have the odd moment when I could easily have just one but I know myself and know full well it would never be just one I would want a whole pack and even then want more

    Just as an alcoholic can never have just one drink we Nicotine addicts { for that's what we all are} can never have just one smoke ever

    I'm sorry if this has come across as a lecture it's not meant to but I do want to help if I can

    Marg

  • Very, very many thanks to all of you for taking the time to try to help – it’s so good to have a resource like this. You’ve each given me some great stuff to think about – and you’ve also confirmed what I guess I knew, which is that I have to want to quit enough, I need to just make the decision, stick with it and then use the kind of strategies you describe to ensure I stay stuck with it. I’ll be back…

  • Hi Ian :D

    Good

    Marg

  • Hi Ian

    Sorry you're going though difficult times. I can only endorse what the others have said:

    1. You have got to commit to quitting in your head. No pill or patch is ever going to stop you lighting a cigarette if you want to - even if you don't want/need a cigarette.

    2. Try not to think about the entire future.One day, one cigarette at a time. Don't think how will you cope with this or that in the future. Just choose not to smoke that one cigarette at that one time. I kidded myself that I hadn't really given up for 'life' and if I really wanted a smoke I'd have one, but I was only going to have one if I deparately desparately wanted it, not just out of habit. Of course, with the help of Champix I was never in that position of deparate craving.

    Good luck, think about it and let us know what you decide

    Sue

  • Thanks Cyprien. I'm definitely starting to think hard about the point that you and others have made about "one cigarette at a time, one day at a time" and try not to think of "the rest of my life without cigarettes". The other idea that's rolling round in my head is that I may one day regret not quitting, but it's very unlikely that there will come a day when I regret quitting. I think I need to hold on to that.

  • Ian stop being so hard on yourself, it won't help you to get your head in gear if you are calling yourself stupid etc. You are a decent human being trying to make a big decision. Like the others said reading is a great help it also slows down the chaos in the head for a while. There will be triggers but you are bigger than them. I didn't use Champix so can't comment on that but I bet some of the others will help you with that.

    A few hours at a time Ian, all will work out fine.

    Jackie

  • Sorry to hear that your struggling - i've had much the same thoughts but the thing that keeps me going stupidly! is that i'm never having a cigarette again because i never want to have a day 1 again, it was hell!!!

    I see people smoking and could quite happily put a ciggy in my mouth but then i remember how horrid day 1 was for me and i walk away with a smile :)

    Good luck xx

  • Jackie, Carol - many thanks. Jackie: not stupid - just very confused... :confused: Carol: yeah, perhaps it would have been better for me if I'd had a really bad Day 1... :( Oh well...

  • Information

    Ian,

    For me, the big difference has been taking the time to do the reading about the addiction and the physiological effects etc etc.

    The people (such as Joel) who do these sites really do know what they're talking about and are not just holy-rollers.

    My guess is that if you apply the same critical intelligence and attention to finding out why you feel the way you do about smoking as you would to the information you will be getting in your business meetings, it will help to shift the register to ;'How on earth could I even have contemplated for a minute that there's any sane choice involved about whether to continue with this smoking cigarettes habit?' looked at in the light of the facts it truely is bonkers and needs to be stopped!:eek:

    All the best with it,

    Bill

  • Same boat

    Ian:

    I too would go back and forth with quitting and the guy that I date would be like oh so you are quitting "again" how long is that going to last? 2 weeks, 2 days? Which he was right, I could go 2 weeks and then fold because I would drink or because I would get stressed, which is all lame excusses. Or push my quit dates back due to this party or this gathering over like 100 times in 2 years.

    Granted I'm only on day 2 of my 1,000,000 quit but I have been creeping here for weeks and another site and I read this one journal posting and it was like the light went off and then reading your site today was another light goign off. I'm going CT and I'm going on 24 hours to get the nic out of me, granted I have patches on stand by but gonna try CT and see how it goes.

    I wanted to share this article that made my light go off and realize it was so much of me in it like reading yours. I wish you the best of luck and hope this might help a little:

    Four years and 11 months ago was stop the insanity. The roller coaster of quitting was making me ill, dizzy, and completely obliterated by the shame of my lack of ability (or so perceived) to stop smoking. For years I devised plans and ways to quit. I picked "special" dates (03/03/03). I picked special occasions (Friends birthdays, anniversaries, full moons, eclipses, and on and on and on). I quit when I found out loved ones got lung cancer, and I quit after they died. I watched loved ones die and then out of "my grief" began to smoke again. I found excuse after excuse. I thought I was going to lose my job so I smoked. I did lose my job so I smoked. I was forced to drive in 14 inches of snow, and it took me 3 hours to get home, so I smoked. I got in a fight with my husband so I smoked. The excuses could have been anything really.

    Do you know why that is? It is because I really did not want to quit smoking. I might as well have smoked because a leaf blew off a tree, or it rained, or the sun came out. That is just silly to smoke over such light things, but I now know it to be truth. The truth is that you will not quit smoking until you truly want it with all of your heart and all of your mind and all of your soul. That is when you finally can stop an addiction. And only then.

    So when I did quit, it was not anything special. It did happen to be a friend's birthday, but that was coincidence. I just truly was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I just woke up that day, and flushed whatever tobacco I had left, and said I AM DONE WITH THIS. And this time I meant it.

    Mic.

  • Bill: yes, Allen Carr is as readable on those subjects as anyone else I’ve read – and I’ve now read his book twice through. It’s starting to sink in. But isn’t that the insidious thing about smoking? Of course it’s bonkers, of course it’s not sane on any level – how could anyone rational ever even contemplate it? And yet…

    Michelle: that’s so, so true.

    The problem I’m wrestling with at present with the “one day at a time thing” and choosing not to smoke at the beginning of each day is that you can, of course, choose to smoke that day. Tactically, I’m sure it’s right – but strategically, I have to get it absolutely straight in my mind that I’m in it for the long haul.

    Still agonising – but thinking that I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel (hopefully, it’s not a train rushing towards me…)

    Thank you both for taking the time.

  • Ian there is nothing I can say that has not already been said hun.

    Dont be too hard on yourself...if you check me out you will see posts from 2 years ago when I tried to quit. But I came back.

    No lecture, no advise just BIG HUG....:)

    L

  • Lorna: you know how to make a guy feel good... :D Thanks!

  • Ian

    I'm similar age and smoking experience, but I've managed 9 days! The longest time ever for me. I've spent so much time reading the links and the advice/support from the guys here (and of course, my Champix) - when you're ready you'll do it just fine. Don't give up on yourself mate - if I can do it anyone can

  • Thanks Dave. I'm sure you're right.

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