Day Eleven - And I've got a right monk on

No, I'm not falling off the wagon. I'm just blowing off steam.

I'm on my fourth day without any patch at all (pure cold turkey now), having concluded that the splitting needles-in-my-eyes headaches and muscle aches might be caused by the nicotine replacement therapy.

That seems to have helped. Also, I still don't have even the slightest interest in smoking a cigarette. I even tested myself by going out with the smokers, and standing upwind.

So maybe you think I'd be a little pleased - proud, even - with my progress so far.

Oddly enough, No.

Only a fortnight ago, I could stay awake till 1am and wake up fully refreshed at 6:30. No daytime naps, no nodding off, no bags under the eyes. And I've been like that, constantly, for my entire adult life.

This is only the second day during my 11 day stint, that I've actually managed to stay awake between 9am to 4:30pm - or get past 10pm without crashing out in the evening.

And even though I am still awake, right now I'm woozy as hell.

A few years back, I was working 36 hour shifts. The way I feel now, is exactly the same as I used to feel after the "second wind" starts to wear off. All I want to do is go back to sleep.

Someone hit me with a two-by-four because a cold, logical, nicotine-inspired earworm is fighting back.

Two weeks ago I was ENJOYING life, and being active both mentally and physically for 18 hours every day, playing with my kids in the evening, and even talking to customers without feeling the least bit... is killy a word?

I've gone from that to hating every minute I'm awake, for the twelve hours that I am awake, because all I want to do while I'm awake, is go back to sleep.

And every time someone starts dumping their problems on me (customers, mainly - the curse of working IT support), instead of feeling all sympathetic, I just groan inside, "For the love of GOD, Read the F**** Manual and leave me alone".

People keep saying, look at the positives of giving up.

What positives?!

I'm losing four waking hours out of every day, to sleep. I'm losing the hour a day of meaningless outdoor social interaction that comes from being a social smoker. I'm losing valuable quality time with my kids because I'm zonked out in the armchair, too tired to do anything.

And the trade-off is.... £25 in my pocket, and I'm going to live 220 minutes longer. Great.

So I'm actually losing MORE of my waking life, every day, to sleep, than I'd have lost in total if I'd smoked myself silly for the past eleven days.

And that £25 in my pocket? Well, I'm now going to have to start looking at putting it into a (depreciating) pension fund.

I'd always had this "never mind 'hope I die before I get old', if I ain't dead by the time I retire I'll book a one way ticket to a volcano" attitude and now I'm wondering if there are enough working years left to keep me supplied with baked beans in my dotage.

Now don't get me wrong. I have every intention of staying off the smokes.

But, at the same time, Lord save me from turning into a BITTER, PREACHY, TETCHY, SELF-RIGHTEOUS, INTOLERANT, SMUG, SANCTIMONIOUS EX-SMOKER.

14 Replies

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  • Oh! bless you don, that could be me saying the exact same things you are saying in your post - I am now at 73 days and like you - dont intend to smoke again, well, at least I wont smoke for the rest of today but that explains so very well how I feel and I would guess so do many others on here. Well done I say for putting across your feelings so very well and good luck with your quit. Will be following your progress now, so please post often and let us know how you are, k? xx

  • AH Living is hard but dying young is harder

    What can I say I know it seems pointless and you reckon you have only gained 222 (think thats right) minutes of extra life up to now.

    WRONG because at the moment that could be the case but five years down the line if you keep smoking you could develope lung cancer and live another 5 years and die.

    But if you stop now and never get it you have saved, well dont know how old you are but you get my jist,

    Live long and love long long time

  • Hi Don,

    Love your description of your "situation" - well written.

    I quit cold turkey. There's a quit method for everyone but as we're nicotine addicts it doesn't make sense to me to remain on nicotine (which clogs your arterteries, damages your health etc etc all by itself with or without a cigarette - they don't tell you that on the gum/patch packet). Well done for getting shot of the NRT.

    Tiredness: I was the queen of insomniacs and chamption night time stayer upper as a smoker (it's still as exciting as it was the first time my parents let me stay up late, now I can do it whenever I want!). That was until I stopped smoking. I am on Day 20. Week 2, for me was a pile of cr*p (I stress for ME others may find it easier) and tiredness was definately a BIG problem. Not only was I tired I felt like I'd been up all night on dr*gs because I was "out of it".

    This is What "WhyQuit.com" has to say about it

    whyquit.com/whyquit/A_Sympt...

    "Feeling Tired or Fatigued

    Our body is shedding the effects of being under years of dependence upon a powerful stimulant and the process of withdrawal and readjustment can be physically and emotionally exhausting. We're also experiencing changes in basic metabolism as our heart rate and respiration have rapidly returned to normal. Time distortion, awaiting that next crave episode, using anger or fear to try and generate adrenaline that we sense is missing, possible sleep disruption, it isn't at all unusual to feel a bit drained during the first few days but after that you should begin feeling much better with more energy than you may have felt in years.

    .................................................................................................

    Moodyness: Wanting to tell people at work to check the F'fing Manual is notmal. I was fronting people out left right and centre and if anyone even tried to p*ss me off they knew all about it. I read this today and it makes perfect sense. You're not moody, you're just adjusting your emotions to act like NON Smokers do. I feel like I'd broken the Enigma Code or something when I was enlightened with this entitled "New Reactions to Anger as an Ex Smoker"

    whyquit.com/joel/Joel_04_14...

    Oh and remember if you think withdrawal is bad I've heard Chemo is worse. It sounds harsh but I have to tell myself that everytime I "doubt" why I'm no longer smoking. You sound like you're in control :)

  • [QUOTE=donsttadt;

    But, at the same time, Lord save me from turning into a BITTER, PREACHY, TETCHY, SELF-RIGHTEOUS, INTOLERANT, SMUG, SANCTIMONIOUS EX-SMOKER.

    Ah but you will still be..............a non smoker:D:D

    Jack :)

  • Thanks. I thought it was just me feeling tired all the time! I'm chewing the gum at the moment and i'm having a good easyish(?) time stopping smoking BUT my eyes are drooping now at 9.30pm????? I'm a 1am up at 5.30am kinda dude.

    Well, if thats the worst effect i'm gonna have.....that'll do me!

    ps- everything i have smells great now car/home/clothes etc. Someone at work had a cig and came up to me...i nearly fainted from his breath! Did i really smell like that? Wow! :(

    2 weeks on Monday.:D < look white teeth!

  • Wow... I was half expecting a dozen "DO NOT FEED THE TROLL" posts. I'm so pleased people got what I was trying to say!

    The whole process of going from smoker to non-smoker, invariably involves a bit of navel-gazing. You're trying to rationalise why you smoked in the first place, why you're stopping smoking, and why you're not going to cave in to the cravings.

    Do you know... I tried that. I really did. List your reasons to quit. List everything that's bad about smoking. Stare at pictures of rotting lungs. Plan your quit. That approach has never worked for me, but now I know why it didn't work. Yesterday's rant was two things: the FEAR of how I'm going to deal with these situations when I don't have an emotional crutch being the first.

    This comment on the WhyQuit article Polster linked to, gets right to the heart of the second part of the problem:

    We nicotine smokers didn't suck tissue destroying tar composed of over 4,000 chemicals, including ammonia, .... or vast quantities of carbon monoxide into our body because we wanted to watch each puff destroy a bit more of our capacity to receive and circulate life-giving oxygen. We did so to get to the nicotine.

    I wonder, perhaps I had so many mund-numbing chemicals floating round my head, that I dulled my head to natural emotional responses, and to proper rational thought.

    God knows, the worst thing I'd ever do at work, in the presence of a complete idiot, was nod politely. And, if they really pushed my buttons, I'd excuse myself and go out for a smoke.

    It seemed so rational at the time...

    And, of course, that extends to my cavalier attitude about life expectancy. Am I even remotely surprised that I felt so blase about the idea of getting cancer? No. Because at the time, I was doped to the eyeballs and didn't even know it, and I thought I was being rational.

    Yesterday I finally woke up to it. I wasn't being rational at all. A week earlier, had I made that argument to myself, I'd have been down to the off license convinced I'd made a compelling argument to stay on the smokes.

    Yesterday I vented those thoughts on this thread.... and a few minutes later, re-read the post, and burst out laughing.

    It's not funny, really. I had a viral infection in my myocardium at 25, cue stabbing chest pains all night long. Took a handful of Ibuprofen, and went to work. I carried on working for a few more hours till the pains got so ANNOYING that I reluctantly called a cab to the hospital, apologising to my colleague on the way out of the door that I was bailing out on him. The first thought that entered my head when they said, "we need to admit you NOW, you've had a heart attack" was, "HA! So a heart attack isn't as bad as everyone makes out..."

    I'm only just starting to get with the programme. This sort of rationalising is not rational. It's a by-product of filling my head with all sorts of chemicals that have distorted my view of reality.

    Since yesterday's rant, I feel positively reborn. The only thing from yesterday's post that I still agree with, is the idea of turning into an ex-smoking fascist. But even that's wavering. I suspect that it's more rational to be an ex-smoking fascist than an ex-smoking apologist for the habit. But I still identify with the apologists, more than the fascists. So maybe that's the next big hurdle.

  • Keep posting, love the rants - I empathise. Also love your own reaction to the rant. Makes me feel normal knowing that everybody is as abnormal as me!!

    Ness

  • Hi Don :)

    What a lovely rant this is :D you just rant as much as you want or need to we really don't mind at all just as long as you stay off the fags promise

    All the things you're feeling right now are temporary and will pass your body has to heal from the abuse you gave it as a smoker

    Patience please it will heal itself I promise you that and you'll start to feel better before to much longer

    Another Promise here your life will go back to normal with one big very BIG exception

    It will be a better and even more enjoyable life than you had before, you'll no longer have to find the time to smoke just think how much more time you'll have to really enjoy your smoke free life

    It does take time and I'm sure at times you'll feel like it's never going to happen for you [just as I did] but it will happen if you just give it time

    It happened for me and many others on here my life is so very much better now than it ever was as a smoker and I smoked for over 50 [yes 50] years

    Love

    Marg xx

  • How refreshing

    No, I'm not falling off the wagon. I'm just blowing off steam.

    I'm on my fourth day without any patch at all (pure cold turkey now), having concluded that the splitting needles-in-my-eyes headaches and muscle aches might be caused by the nicotine replacement therapy.

    That seems to have helped. Also, I still don't have even the slightest interest in smoking a cigarette. I even tested myself by going out with the smokers, and standing upwind.

    So maybe you think I'd be a little pleased - proud, even - with my progress so far.

    Oddly enough, No.

    Only a fortnight ago, I could stay awake till 1am and wake up fully refreshed at 6:30. No daytime naps, no nodding off, no bags under the eyes. And I've been like that, constantly, for my entire adult life.

    This is only the second day during my 11 day stint, that I've actually managed to stay awake between 9am to 4:30pm - or get past 10pm without crashing out in the evening.

    And even though I am still awake, right now I'm woozy as hell.

    A few years back, I was working 36 hour shifts. The way I feel now, is exactly the same as I used to feel after the "second wind" starts to wear off. All I want to do is go back to sleep.

    Someone hit me with a two-by-four because a cold, logical, nicotine-inspired earworm is fighting back.

    Two weeks ago I was ENJOYING life, and being active both mentally and physically for 18 hours every day, playing with my kids in the evening, and even talking to customers without feeling the least bit... is killy a word?

    I've gone from that to hating every minute I'm awake, for the twelve hours that I am awake, because all I want to do while I'm awake, is go back to sleep.

    And every time someone starts dumping their problems on me (customers, mainly - the curse of working IT support), instead of feeling all sympathetic, I just groan inside, "For the love of GOD, Read the F**** Manual and leave me alone".

    People keep saying, look at the positives of giving up.

    What positives?!

    I'm losing four waking hours out of every day, to sleep. I'm losing the hour a day of meaningless outdoor social interaction that comes from being a social smoker. I'm losing valuable quality time with my kids because I'm zonked out in the armchair, too tired to do anything.

    And the trade-off is.... £25 in my pocket, and I'm going to live 220 minutes longer. Great.

    So I'm actually losing MORE of my waking life, every day, to sleep, than I'd have lost in total if I'd smoked myself silly for the past eleven days.

    And that £25 in my pocket? Well, I'm now going to have to start looking at putting it into a (depreciating) pension fund.

    I'd always had this "never mind 'hope I die before I get old', if I ain't dead by the time I retire I'll book a one way ticket to a volcano" attitude and now I'm wondering if there are enough working years left to keep me supplied with baked beans in my dotage.

    Now don't get me wrong. I have every intention of staying off the smokes.

    But, at the same time, Lord save me from turning into a BITTER, PREACHY, TETCHY, SELF-RIGHTEOUS, INTOLERANT, SMUG, SANCTIMONIOUS EX-SMOKER.

    I know exactly how you feel, can't stand the pain and my figuring is, why live longer just to be miserable, my Hubby who has also quit looks and says he feels great, I, on the otherhand feel like hell, and also he informs me... I look like hell, but I'll live longer.... ooohhh what fun , but being a glutten for punishment, I'm sticking with it, because my 10 year old is really proud of me !

  • Just read the post from donsttadt and the reactions from you other guys.

    Glad I'm not the only one who feels tired and stroppy. I can put up the with muscle aches and even the head aches, but the tiredness is the worse! The tiredness only started about 2-3 weeks ago.

    Because I'm tired, I am making mistakes (because I'm not thinking straight)! Then I get stroppy and angry.

    I hope this tiredness go pretty soon because I'm getting real fed up with it. I'ts not like me to be stroppy and miserable, and at the moment I don't like feeling like I do.:eek:

    Must admit I haven't thought about taking up smoking again even though I am getting craves.:)

    Never mind I'm sure all this will pass.

    Ju x

  • Don just want you to know keep ranting because this helps others going through the same thing to deal with it.

    I am slowly getting better but I went through the I just want to go lie on the couch and I would go to sleep. Even now at 1.55pm I could go to sleep and I didn't get up until about 10.30am but it is getting a bit easier to fight it. I have a big gun now.:D

    Jack

  • I went down to that there Holland and Barrett yesterday after a tip-off that a smoking cessation counsellor would be there.

    My twin brother's coming up for the day (completely out of the blue), and he smokes more than I did, and we are stereotypical in the sense that we finish each others' sentences, and do the same things at the same time. I knew this was really going to test me.

    So I explained how I'm feeling to the counsellor, who suggested some very strange concoction of herbal tea for the evenings, which should hopefully stabilise my sleeping pattern... And, herbal cigarettes. WTF? I've stayed off the smokes for two weeks and the suggestion was herbal cigs?!

    The counsellor reasoned thus: the ingrained habit of two identical twins doing the same thing as each other without thinking about it, as we have been doing since the womb, is the biggest threat of all. Compared to that, an aquired habit that I'm in the early stages of beating, is small potatoes.

    All things being equal, the worst outcome of all, is to fall back on any form of nicotine. It's almost out of my system and I'd have to be a complete idiot to reintroduce it in ANY form. But, I'm not out of the woods yet.

    So, rather than me chewing gum while standing next to my twin subconsciously snorting his second hand smoke, the counsellor said I might as well spark up a completely nicotine-free cigarette and just remember to stand upwind of him.

    I have to say, I went with the advice on both counts: herbal teas and herbal fags but was deeply conflicted.

    TBH, I'm really surprised because the advice turned out to be correct. As soon as my brother and I were in a room together we subconsciously started to synchronise our behaviour. My wife commented on it: we even drank our coffees with complete synchronicity.

    We both got out of the chairs at exactly the same time, walked outside at the same time, sparked up at the same time. No verbal cues. I swear, I didn't even think about it.

    It was only after I took a drag and thought "this tastes rank" that I realised what I was doing.

    Can I honestly say I would've reached for a stick of gum instead of taking a cigarette he'd offered me (even this isn't a conscious act BTW, whenever we'd go out for a smoke we'd always offer a fag to each other even if we both had smokes of our own), had that been the alternative? I don't know.

    But now my brother's gone, I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in sparking up a herbal cigarette.

    Does that count as a lapse?

  • No, there is no nicotine in them but would bin them in case they start up the idea of having one in your hand. Well done with your quit, let's hope your brother is influenced by your stopping.

    Jackie

  • hey ive gone 13 days up to now, but ive been the complete opersite of the tiredness thing, i got insomnia at the start and didnt sleep for over a week and a half.

    I would fall alseep no problem at the start of the night but would wake up every hour and then find it hard to go back to sleep with hot sweats.

    ive just got my sleep pattern back, but im not waking up tired and groggy n coughing anymore! i bounce out of bed.

    i wanted to mention this not to rubb it in as it were but i wanted to know if anyone else was in a similar situation to me?! as alot of you state the tiredness.

    tom -

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