Do you now consider yourself "Normal"

Hi all - I'm stating this off in the 6 month room - but may spread it out a bit.

A few of us in the 2/3 month rooms have been speculating about "what is feeling normal" after giving up smoking.

I'm now at 12 weeks - and while I'm not having cravings as such, I still sometimes want a cig - but its all very manageable and it passes quite quickly. All the other symptoms that we're all so familiar with have also gone (give or take) but its just that I still don't feel 100% right or normal as I did when I was smoking. Its nothing bad or major its just a little niggle that I'm aware of.

So thats the question - its a rather open one - but to all the long termers in here when did you consider yourself "normal" after giving up smoking?

30 Replies

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  • Hi Atomicguy :D

    Normal huh but what is normal ??????????

    In this context I think it will vary for most of us but I think maybe for me it was around 5/6 months when I suddenly realised I'd gone several weeks without thinking about them at all

    This happened when I met someone I hadn't seen in ages and was asked how the quit was going I just said fine and that was when I realized it really was just that Fine as I no longer thought about them at all

    Love

    Marg xx

  • So thats the question - its a rather open one - but to all the long termers in here when did you consider yourself "normal" after giving up smoking?

    Great post, Atomicguy :)

    Just a quick note in reply...could go on forever on this topic ;) Getting to 5 1/2 months and at last things started to normalize again - in regards to sleeping, reduction in level of craves, eating, stress levels. I know that the time definitely coincided with my acceptance of this new non smoking person that I was striving to become. I finally accepted that I would not smoke again (reality has seen me blip 3 times after my 1 year :o). Also, I had taken more cognizance of the education method and that helped me to get back into a more comfortable place.

    I really wanted to reply to this not so much about the 'getting back to normal' aspect but more the new person that you become. Of course it's not a whole new personality that you become...more a building into yourself of a happier, healthier person. Nicotine brings stress into the system and a lot of folk have noticed that in their general day-to-day existence there isn't the same levels of stress. If that is gone you can imagine how that has a domino effect right throughout your general wellbeing.

    Cav

  • Good question. I think the difference is when you go from being an ex-smoker to a non-smoker.

    For some I'm not sure that ever happens. For others, I imagine it would taken months if not years.

    Sue

  • Still trying to figure that out because I smoked from a child all through most of my life.To be honest I do not know what normal is.I still miss smoking but I will never smoke.

  • Still trying to figure that out because I smoked from a child all through most of my life.To be honest I do not know what normal is.I still miss smoking but I will never smoke.

    Hey dubbs,

    Congrats on hitting the 2 year mark on Monday :)

    I guess you and I aren't the perfect examples of year plus stopped smokers what with my occasional blips and you still missing the smokes. I don't actually miss smoking...more just fek up on occasion :o

    Having said that I guess we are just part of life's rich tapestry and reflective of society.

    Hope the Mustang is still going strong :)

    Cav

  • Hey dubbs,

    Congrats on hitting the 2 year mark on Monday :)

    I guess you and I aren't the perfect examples of year plus stopped smokers what with my occasional blips and you still missing the smokes. I don't actually miss smoking...more just fek up on occasion :o

    Having said that I guess we are just part of life's rich tapestry and reflective of society.

    Hope the Mustang is still going strong :)

    Cav

    Thanks for for the Congrats And yeah the Mustang is still great...:D

  • thats useful info thanks guys. If thats the case then 5 1/2 or 6 months cant come fast enough for me. I'm loving all the benefits of not smoking but roll on january/ febuary as I'm tired of this "thinking about smoking" game. I know im not going to smoke so i wish my mind would just realise the game is over and give up bothering me already. haha.

    i want to be FREEE!!!!! :D

  • nice car man - guess giving up the smokes helped with the petrol money ;)

  • ... i wish my mind would just realise the game is over and give up bothering me already....

    You got to apply yourself to it. It didn't actually happen to me without my hands-on application :)

    ...guess giving up the smokes helped with the petrol money ;)

    That and the previous administration's robust foreign policy ;)

  • Ok, now I know this could go down hill really quick, but what do you mean by "hands on application", I have just done my 12 weeks today (hurrah), and still think about them all the bloody time, not that I will go out and buy some, just that the thought is there at the front of my mind. In the evening it is worse, but I know this is due to the pinot, if I could just not think about them for a whole 24 hours I would be so pleased.

  • Congrats on them 12 weeks, that is great and it will get easier but for me being 2 years in I still think of them daily.I Just think of them,with no intention of smoking though.

  • Ok Dubbs, would have quite liked a lie there:eek:

  • Ok, now I know this could go down hill really quick, but what do you mean by "hands on application", I have just done my 12 weeks today (hurrah), and still think about them all the bloody time, not that I will go out and buy some, just that the thought is there at the front of my mind. In the evening it is worse, but I know this is due to the pinot, if I could just not think about them for a whole 24 hours I would be so pleased.

    Hey Bev,

    Long time etc...

    I guess what I meant was that I didn't think that a sea-change in ones smoking mindset would occur without direct application by the quitter. However, seeing that written down I would disagree to a certain extent...solely because we are all different and possibly experience differently.

    My 'hands-on' application started when I realised that I continued to struggle because whilst I was stopped smoking I hadn't actually accepted it. With that realisation I actively pursued embracing acceptance, reading some of the information in the links I display in my signature. Can't even remember what parts...but the correct areas fell into place. A few of us talk about losing one's best friend. I basically told that best friend to fek off.

    So, clear as mud I suspect. Happy to discuss further if you need to.

    Cav

    PS: Just saw your response to Dubbs. Dubbs is, from my experience of the long termers here, more the exception rather than the rule. In the main folks do experience a reduction on smoking consciousness. How many folk have you read stating that in their monthly anniversary posts? Even I don't have smoking thoughts. My blips are just minor abberations. You, hopefully, will be in the majority camp ;)

  • I'm not sure I ever will feel 'normal', as I smoked from the age of 13. So I grew up smoking! I think I'll have to redifine normal, or create a new 'normality' for the non smoking me! Normal to me is stinking, smoking, coughing, etc etc. I'm going to need a bit of a mental makeover I think. Hmmm. This has made me ponder!

  • I'm with Dee on this one - I will need to redefine normal as my 15 year old self didn't really have a clear vision of it. Quite a nice thought really, defining one's own version of normal :)

  • Good question!

    the old normal to me was a self loathing, worried, yellowed toothed, cough-a-lot. Finding my true self has been quite a journey. I started smoking as a 14 year old so I too have no idea what I am like as a 'normal' adult. I guess I started to see a calmer me at about 6-7 months. I like the new normal me. I am far more confident in my abilities. If I can quit smoking, I can achieve anything! I still think about them on the odd occassion and ocassionally I visualise what it would feel like to draw that smoke down my throat and get that nicotine hit. The old me would have loved it. The new me gets a sore throat and feels a bit sick at the thought!"

    I guess i'm trying to say that the knowledge I smoked will never leave. But I don't care anymore. I don't miss them. And this is the start of the best years of my life which I intend to thoroughly enjoy and know I can enjoy them without a fag controlling my every waking thought!

  • Cav

    Im interested in this "apply yourself" to it ! Can you enlarge on that please, I am really, really struggling at the moment, I am on Day 27 and could murder a ciggie. Have just been really awful to my OH. I said at least when I smoked I was happy, but now I am just a miserable, depressed woman who has put on weight.

    How do you move on from this ?????

    Dee

  • Ok Dubbs, would have quite liked a lie there:eek:

    Don't listen to Dubbs, Bev.... really! You just keep going and you'll see how much easier things get very, very soon! xxx

    I am really, really struggling at the moment, I am on Day 27 and could murder a ciggie. Have just been really awful to my OH. I said at least when I smoked I was happy, but now I am just a miserable, depressed woman who has put on weight.

    How do you move on from this ?????

    Dee

    Sorry you're having a hard time Dee! My magic day was day 28..... still thought of them tons after but it was the day it became 'do-able' for me. The next couple of months very filled with thoughts of smoking.... thought of them all day, every day it seemed and I just wanted it all to go away. I posted a lot those days, repeating the good messages over and over.... and one day they seemed to stick. Month 5/6 things became 'easy'.... the craves turned into thoughts and the thoughts started to fade.... Now I don't think of them much at all and if I do, it's harmless thoughts.

    I did have one crave that was triggered by an event a month or so ago.... it was a short lived one.

    Did gain a bit of weight too but after some serious exercise that is all back to normal now, too.

    So be patient..... we smoked years and it will take for your brain to reprogram..... please have faith that this WILL happen as long as you stay on your current path.

    xxx Bella

  • Yeah dont listen to me ,I have a house full of smokers ,so that may be why I still think about them...:eek:

    Well thinking about them is not quite craving now is it, dubbs?!! Stop confusing the newbies!! :confused:

  • Well thinking about them is not quite craving now is it, dubbs?!! Stop confusing the newbies!! :confused:

    I think I said Think of them Not Crave them:confused:

  • Hi Dee

    I had a very grumpy time around that time. Tears and dreams and craves and the lot!

    Like Bella I posted lots and got through it. By reinforcing the thoughts that smoking is gone forever you eventually get to the point where you start dismiss the thoughts and get on with it. It almost becomes part of your routine, part of the new normal person you have become. Then lots of those thoughts just pass you by and you don't even realise you are thinking of them. Sometimes a proper big crave (not daily or even weekly!) kicks in and thats a bit of a surprise.

    You do get through it. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. 27 days is brilliant but you will still need to work on the whole mental trigger thing. xx

  • Cor - this caused a bit of a response! Thak you all for your thoughts.

    Fiona - I must say I thought your reply was great. I love your attitude in it.

  • Finding my true self has been quite a journey. I started smoking as a 14 year old so I too have no idea what I am like as a 'normal' adult.

    same here fiona. infact it was this fact that made me cave in quite a few quits as I couldn't deal with the wierdness of discovering myself again as well as quitting. I think I had to get to the point of not liking my old self, so that the changes and journey this time have been welcomed rather than freaking me out.

    If I can quit smoking, I can achieve anything!

    hell yeah. I'm with you on this one big time. Infact, the longer I quit for the more its becoming clear how much life has been half assed and half lived up to this point and to say that I'm excited about making up some lost time is a massive understatement, haha!

    bring it on :D

  • infact i remember actually being quite convinced that I had in someway affected my development as an adult from starting smoking and drinking as a young teenager and I always remember thinking that I'd somehow cheated myself out of some much needed confidence in social situtations.

    I used to swear that I felt "normal" after a pint. i.e balanced and confident. I used to think that as I'd started drinking young that my brain or body or whatever had somehow been affected by this and I'd cheated myself out of feeling like this all the time - I knew I should feel more alive and a pint or two would always bring me back to normal, but it annoyed my that this was the case.

    Giving up smoking has been a lovely revelation as this "balance" has come back. The sense of calm and alertness you get as a non smoker is much like that 1st pint stage I used to think that I felt normal in.

    now I realise it wasnt sharing a few bottles of Cinzano or maddog 20/20 down the park when i was 15, it was 15 years of smoking that had caused the lack of balance and confidence.

    what a lovely realisation it has been as well.

  • I think I said Think of them Not Crave them:confused:

    And so you did dubbs, go take that confused look from your face :)

    Congrats on them 12 weeks, that is great and it will get easier but for me being 2 years in I still think of them daily.I Just think of them,with no intention of smoking though.

    I feel I'm at that stage (thinking of them every day but not wanting) and at 1 Month and 11 days I'm really pleased with that. If that's how it is in years to come, I'll still be happy with that...... so easily pleased

  • I think I said Think of them Not Crave them:confused:

    Guess I was in your face a bit :o

    i153.photobucket.com/albums...

  • excellent thread!

    Yea, definitely agree that fifteen or so years of smoking recreates your baseline of normal, as smokers -smoking when happy, sad,stressed, drinking whatever, everrywhere and in every situation, plus being an addict to a substance and poisoning all the body's systems with 4000 chemicals is kind of creating a different "normal" where relief of nicotine withdrawal is normal.

    I have got to the point (and i NEVER thought i would) of hardly thinking about them now (7 days since a pkt of ten lapse, plus horrendous work stress from bully bosss0 but i have been giving up for over a year. I only think about them if i let myself have one, they are so addictive you want more and more, and reignite the addiction.

  • Know what you mean

    Hi Atomic , very interesting thread that you have started.

    Having quit a 30 year old smoking habit 7 months ago , I have often ****ysed my new found feelings without the administration of nicotine ( along with all the othen nasties ).

    Cigarettes were a huge part of my life and were there for me , to comfort me through any uncertainty that I faced , to cheer me up in times of sadness, as a reward , to be part of "the gang" etc , while chilling out in front of the tv , relaxing in the garden ........the list is endless. So YES after 7 months not having one does seem strange and not normal , I guess the severity will differ from person to person and may well depend on the number of years smoked x quantity per day v time since the last cig .

    Now having eventually woken up and while realising that smoking is actually a VERY STUPID thing to do, I can now put it all behind me now and be even more determined never to light up again. I am really enjoying this quit and still feel fitter and healthier with each new day that comes along.:D

    Trev

    20 A DAY FOR 30 YEARS :eek:

    QUIT 28TH APRIL 09

    3 months patches

    4 months C.T tomorrow :cool:

  • Blade - yeah its been interesting to see the replies here - some of them are quite passionate.

    It was going to be something that varied from person to person. I've smoked more than 26 years - and was up to 25/30 a day (more on weekends) - so at only 12 weeks smoke free its still fresh in my mind.

    I read loads of posts here with great interest - especially those in the 6 months and over rooms - just to see how they are feeling.

    I feel quite good at the moment - very energised - and since I started this thread I'm even more determined to be successful in this, my first and only quit.

  • Similar

    Hey Atomic , I guess we have probably smoked similar quantities and going through the same thought process.

    I joined a gym in july after week 9 of my quit to counteract any weight gain and more importantly to get fit again , rid my body of toxins and keep me focused in staying off the cigs. I can honestly that this has made this quit A LOT easier than my others in the past.

    I am starting to feel more normal again than I was a month or two back so I am sure in time being a non smoker will feel normal to us , and a whole lot better too .

    You are doing well !

    Regards.

    Trev .

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