Stuck between a cigarette and a hard place!

Hi all,

Having an absolute nightmare of late. Im not feeling myself at all. Im angry, sad, confused, tired and displaced.

I went round to visit a friend after another day from hell at work wrestling with these demons. My head was literally about to explode when my friend said "whats wrong? Ive never seen you like this before?"

I explained I'd never felt like this before and the only thing different in my life and only thing that has happened since I started feeling like this was stopping smoking.

she offered me a cigarette. (In hindsight, this was a friendly test, she wouldnt have given me one). Inside I was screaming for one.

But I said NO in distain! ( I honestly didnt want a cigarette, it would have been nice. But I didn't WANT/NEED it)

She replied..."you really have kicked the habit havn't you"!

I agreed, it made sense. What doesnt make sense is this inbetween period of stopping smoking for a couple of weeks and people patting you on the back and saying well done...we'll support you.

After a month or so, they're quick to forget you used to smoke, the support has gone....but you still feel like the depths of hell mentally!!! Afterall life goes on and without the little dopamine fixes...its even harder -dealing with life as well as the anger, sadness, confusion, tiredness and feelings of displacement!!!

So far in the past few days, Ive angered just about everyone I know, nearly quit my job, lost all focus of where my life is going and whats it all about!

Is this all down to not smoking? Or, should I be going to the Docs for "happy pills"? Because if thats the case...im going back on the smokes!

Don't worry...i know this is all down to smoking cessation...how can I expect my mind/personality to be tip top after halting a 12 year addiction stone dead just a few weeks ago!?!

Just having yet another rant!!!! :mad::mad::mad:

thanks for the ear!

13 Replies

oldestnewest
  • Hi Eddco,

    Polster here, and hopefully to the rescue.

    Around day 20ish I was at the height of my "mentalness". I was angry, actually not angry I was furious, it was a boiling rage even. I had anxiety. I couldn't stop fidgetting. I was really tired and then had insomnia. I can't beleive I still have a boyfriend? I was rude to people at work, in the street, everywhere - tolerance was a thing of the past. I applied for another job and decided to jack mine in (thank God I didn't). I even convinced myself I had mental health issues and the "uppers" in cigarette toxins had been keeping me on an even keel all this time. Now I'd stopped smoking I was clearly falling apart mentally and had lapsed headlong into a terminal depression (or so I convinced myself). I was trying to find excuses why I was acting so madly - when in reality most people do (it explains why so many people can't find the strength to quit).

    If you haven't read it before re this from WhyQuit about why you react so bizarrely when nicotine is taken away (I know you're a fellow cold turkey).

    whyquit.com/joel/Joel_04_14...

    I know it doesn't feel like it, but I can confidently say at Day 52 that you will be through the worst of this in the next week or so, possibly sooner. That shouldn't feel too far away compared the rest of your life, which is the length of time you will benefit from not smoking.

    Be strong my non smoking cold turkey comrade.

  • Hi David

    Thanks for posting that, because it really is important to me to hear some of the downs as well as celebrating the ups. I am getting very similar thoughts regarding being displaced, angry and just generally not myself. The one thing I hang onto is I don't want to be the person I was before so not "being myself" is fine. I have gone through huge swings - I nearly walked out on my partner the other night because I was so disaffected and all over the place. Like you, I'm putting it down to withdrawing from the addiction. I watched a fellow quitter have a sneaky one today and played it down because I wanted her to get back on the right track immediately, but I did get a plus from not giving in as well as a feeling of being crap because I couldn't persuade her not to have one. In terms of the lack of pats on the back - in the end it's your quit, your call and your life, noone else's. I started quitting by wanting to prove to other people(like my kids) I could crack this - I now only care about proving it to myself because I realised if I don't want this to be the most important thing in life, then forget it. It's got really personal tso I must prove to myself I can win this fight, and if I having to care less about other things in life so be it - it won't be forever. There's so many people on the site that are much more wise about how you deal with specific problems than me, so at least you are in the right place. :)

    All the best

    Al

  • Hi Eddco,

    Polster here, and hopefully to the rescue.

    Around day 20ish I was at the height of my "mentalness". I was angry, actually not angry I was furious, it was a boiling rage even. I had anxiety. I couldn't stop fidgetting. I was really tired and then had insomnia. I can't beleive I still have a boyfriend? I was rude to people at work, in the street, everywhere - tolerance was a thing of the past. I applied for another job and decided to jack mine in (thank God I didn't). I even convinced myself I had mental health issues and the "uppers" in cigarette toxins had been keeping me on an even keel all this time. Now I'd stopped smoking I was clearly falling apart mentally and had lapsed headlong into a terminal depression (or so I convinced myself). I was trying to find excuses why I was acting so madly - when in reality most people do (it explains why so many people can't find the strength to quit).

    If you haven't read it before re this from WhyQuit about why you react so bizarrely when nicotine is taken away (I know you're a fellow cold turkey).

    whyquit.com/joel/Joel_04_14...

    I know it doesn't feel like it, but I can confidently say at Day 52 that you will be through the worst of this in the next week or so, possibly sooner. That shouldn't feel too far away compared the rest of your life, which is the length of time you will benefit from not smoking.

    Be strong my non smoking cold turkey comrade.

    Hi Polster

    Sorry to land on you like this but you've posted at the same time as I'm online so it's wrong place at the wrong time! I've had these thoughts on my mind for a while thanks to reading lots of info on this site. I've got through 23 days using NRT and I do understand that there will come a point where I do have to ditch the replacement product but I still feel I've come a long way from where I was. But when I read stuff from whyquit.com it makes me think I'm kidding myself and to quit properly I should be going CT. Don't get me wrong, this doesn't make me want to reach for the fags bit it does make me feel like I'm back to Day 1 which I certainly am not! Is this just a clash of methods?

    All the best

    Al

  • It's totally normal

    Hi David

    It is good to read about things from another perspective that isn't propelled by the 'I've done it!' euphoria.

    I would like to urge you to remember that quitting smoking doesn't happen overnight, it's a journey - and as it happens, you're further along in that journey as you're now at the stage where you feel sad, angry, confused, tired and displaced. It's rough, but remember - it's still further on than you were even when having quit was still fresh and felt really good. You'll get that feeling again, only tenfold, when you hold on and wait for the rough period to pass. It's all about peaks and troughs - right now, you're in a trough. Without going through it, you can't reach the next - higher - peak.

    Keep going. Even if it's at a crawl, just keep going. The negativity will pass, just go easy on yourself and bear in mind that you're achieving something remarkable. Remarkable achievements don't come cheap.

  • Hi Polster

    Sorry to land on you like this but you've posted at the same time as I'm online so it's wrong place at the wrong time! I've had these thoughts on my mind for a while thanks to reading lots of info on this site. I've got through 23 days using NRT and I do understand that there will come a point where I do have to ditch the replacement product but I still feel I've come a long way from where I was. But when I read stuff from whyquit.com it makes me think I'm kidding myself and to quit properly I should be going CT. Don't get me wrong, this doesn't make me want to reach for the fags bit it does make me feel like I'm back to Day 1 which I certainly am not! Is this just a clash of methods?

    All the best

    Al

    Hi Al,

    Not landing on me at all, we're all here to help in any way we can. I know Eddco is a Cold Turkey but didn't know your quit method so I appreciate it might be harder to relate to WhyQuit as it's pro turkey.

    I guess it is a clash of methods as withdrawal will vary from people going CT, patches, Champix or anything else out there. Whichever way you pitch it, of course you've come a long way and at the same time you know the NRT has to go. The sentiment is still the same, when that point comes, I hope I illustrated in my original post that you just need to dig your heels in and ride it out.

  • Eddco

    Thankyou oh thankyou for making me see I am in fact normal and not a total mentalist.

    I can relate to every single emotion and word you have described.

    And Polster - you've made me quickly retract my CV from the internet :)

    We'll all get there - thankyou for the honesty you all share. This site is a Godsend - literally

    Keep going Eddco - cold turkey? what an achievement

  • 6 weeks and the light has arrived!!!!

    Hey Eddco,

    Chin up my little turkey .... you is banging on a door right now and if you bang hard enough it will open ... or you could just give up and turn round back down the road you came ... ERM NOT ON MY WATCH BUDDY!!!!

    I can tell you now that it does get better ... remember me a few weeks ago? My head was turning itself inside out and I just thought it would be better to start again than live forever feeling that way - all we need is to hear it will end and we have the strength to carry on ... people on here told me it would pass and IT HAS!!! Yipee!! Still feels a bit strange etc but that displacement feeling has got a hell of a lot easier :D

    Back to my old advice of plenty of early nights ... and wine hee hee!! Just drag yourself through the next week or so and you will just notice all of a sudden that life feels abit like it belongs to you again!! Plan a load of stuff to do next weekend ... I found having so much to do from last Thursday til saturday I just kinda didn't have time to think about it soo much!! That won't help initially though ... that will just be a lot of grin and bear it :eek:

    Keep running ... turkey is painful but it is one quick slice ... come on see if you can catch me .......

    see ya turks

    Jodi :p

  • David,

    To be honest I was a total monster. Both at work and at home. I made my 7 month pregnant wife and 2 1/2 year old son cry a fair few times. I basically told my boss at work to feck off because I didn't agree with him on a couple of occasions. If he wasn't such a decent bloke I'd have probably lost my job. I got to the "why do I even bother" stage and was seriously down about everything.. but it's got gradually better. Some days more than others. I'm really struggling with dreams about smoking this week making me crave. I've put on 9 pounds in weight and look like my dad. It's sometimes not all it's cracked up to be the "Quit". But I realised today I've got to 50 days. If you said to me at new year I'd be able to go 5 hours without a fag, let alone 50 days, I'd have said you were mad. Like my moods, it's swings and roundabouts!

    TO AL ->

    I would say what Polster is suggesting is relevant whatever type of quit you're on. It will help to be prepared - I think we can all acknowledge that educating yourself is a key point to quitting.. Whichever way you quit you're going to have to do nicotine withdrawal at some stage. The advantage of NRT is that you get rid of your psycological smoking triggers before you do the withdrawal. So when you are doing the final push, you aren't dealing with those mental triggers too. The downside is that whilst you're doing NRT, you're isn a state of prolonged withdrawal (albeit with the edge taken off by the gum/patches whatever).

    To me, CT was the lesser of two evils as I thought it would be easier to hurt more for a shorter period of time, rather than to hurt less over a longer period.

    I don't think anyone here would say there is a better or worse way for anyone to quit and nobody who's done nearly a month off the fags is "kidding themselves"..it's obviously working for you so far!

  • I've put on 9 pounds in weight and look like my dad.

    That's funny!

    Cheer up Eddco, look at what Munter is going though.

    ;)

  • David,

    !

    TO AL ->

    I would say what Polster is suggesting is relevant whatever type of quit you're on. It will help to be prepared - I think we can all acknowledge that educating yourself is a key point to quitting.. Whichever way you quit you're going to have to do nicotine withdrawal at some stage. The advantage of NRT is that you get rid of your psycological smoking triggers before you do the withdrawal. So when you are doing the final push, you aren't dealing with those mental triggers too. The downside is that whilst you're doing NRT, you're isn a state of prolonged withdrawal (albeit with the edge taken off by the gum/patches whatever).

    To me, CT was the lesser of two evils as I thought it would be easier to hurt more for a shorter period of time, rather than to hurt less over a longer period.

    I don't think anyone here would say there is a better or worse way for anyone to quit and nobody who's done nearly a month off the fags is "kidding themselves"..it's obviously working for you so far!

    Thanks for that! I still don't count 23 days off fags as "real" yet as I smoked for 30 years but I do realise I need to cut myself a little slack. I'm full of admiration for those of you that have done this cold turkey. My brain occasionally tries to play tricks and persuade me I'd be better off just giving in but I know what an idiot I can be, so I pay no attention to it!

  • Hi all,

    many thanks for the replies. its good to know Im not heading for the nut house.

    And to Jodi and Polster especially...I know you two warned me this was coming..but as you know when the "feelings" overcome you it can kinda distort reality!

    I think Ive written my resignation about 3 times this week!?! Its a total feeling of wanting to be somewhere else doing something different with someone new!

    No friend, family or event can make me feel content at the moment. Everyone is getting on my nerves and I just want to ride it out alone...but I cant as life gets in the way and it makes me feel....:mad::mad::mad:

    The odd thing is, there are two ways to make my self feel better....

    1. have a cigarette

    2. ride it out.

    and to be honest, even though route 2 is much, much harder and has no light at the end of the tunnel...It is THE route I want and Im going to take....and I care not for what sacrifices I have to make in order to fulfil my dream of being a non smoker! Be it friends, work etc...they're all replaceable, my life and quality of life....IS NOT!!!!!

    Even if I could get rid of the mood swings it would be a start!Its horrid to think your mood can change to an array of moods be it happy, angry, depressed, elated...at any time for no reason!!!! Sods law its mainly angry and depressed that win when they press the happy hour button though!!!

    And as I previously stated, now the novelty of my quit is wearing off, with friends, colleagues etc...especially the "never had a smoke ever-ers". Its difficult to maintain support for the mood swings and irritability. Now its personal rather than sympathetic. "you havn't smoked in over a month...get over it!" etc.

    thanks again for listening :)

  • Hi David :D

    feeling as you do is normal and happens to some extent to most of us OK

    It will pass though I promise as your body heals life will return to normal oly better as you don't smoke

    Click the bottom link in my signature there are a lot of little articles about the psychological part of quitting that I think will help you as it did me

    Love

    Marg xx

  • Its funny you should mention the blood pressure Dave...

    I went to the docs for tests for something else today and asked the nurse to take my blood pressure. It was really far too high for my age/fitness level etc when I smoked. It was about 139\89!

    I was really looking forward to it being back to a normal none smokers level today of 120\80 or something...average!

    After the nurse had been through both arms, two blood pressure reading contraptions and several attempts the lowest I could achieve was 135/85!!

    The nurse wasn't impressed and ordered me back in 3 months for another blood pressure test after all this stress of quitting disappears!! After I explained how I was constantly angry, restless, insomniac, anxious and on the verge of pulling my hair out....it could be due to all that as opposed to me having dodgy internal pipe work!!!

    Although, when I explained high blood pressure runs in the family and my mother suffers badly with it...she asked how old she was...I said 57...she said If I hadn't stopped smoking now and continued to smoke, with genetic high blood pressure I probably wouldn't have got to that age!!!!:eek::eek::eek:

You may also like...