Thought I was having a breakdown!

I've been going through a bit of reflection and thought I would put down my reasons for quitting, a little late, I'm at 10 weeks, but my reasons at the beginning are different to my reasons now........

I had wanted to quit for several years, trouble was I loved smoking, all my favourite rock stars and idols smoked....Slash from Guns n Roses was one of the reasons I started, there was nothing cooler than a guitar playing god with a fag dangling from his mouth, anyway I digress........

I loved smoking and it made many social circumstamces easier when you could hook up with a fellow smoker, never mind the fact that almost every family member I had (except dad) smoked, so once I became addicted, there was no looking back.....

I managed to quit quite a few times, although i have a gorgeous 4 year old, I have also lost 5 pregnancies, I often wonder if smoking contributed to that even though I would quit once I knew I was pregnant, the doctors say its unlikely, but my body was obviously not in a healthy state.

Following a 10 month quit after my little boy arrived, I suffered the loss of my dad, I took up smoking again like a shot, and drinking too, in fact I wanted to follow the path to self destruction, grief consumed me for 3 years.

I started to feel strongly about quitting 18 months ago, we tried nicotene gum but only lasted 1 day. I became stressed about what I was doing to my body smoking and drinking, I used to wake up OH in the middle of the night and say "we have to give up smoking and drinking, i'm depressed", he'd say ok and the next day it was all forgotten.

A year ago I started to get a lump in my throat, it gradually got bigger, sometimes i would have trouble swallowing. Did I quit smoking - NO, even though I thought it was something bad! I finally got the courage to go and get it checked, it turned out to be a huge ball of acid (there was a medical name for it) and this acid would build up with stress, in fact it was caused by anxiety, Even when the relief set in I didnt give up smoking, in fact I started smoking more.

When my little boy would watch me rush around if we were going out somewhere, he'd say to me "you got your fads mum", he meant fags, he obviously seen me so many times looking in the cupboard, anxiously looking in the packet to check i had enough to get me through the day.

I became quite poorly 8 months ago, I suddenly developed nasty skin condition on my hands and face, followed by respitory problems, over the months it got more serious, I was put on an asthma inhaler and told it must be an allergy and I was put on a waiting list to be checked. I remember lying in bed and having to jump up to get breath, I would yawn or try anything to get some air to my chest, I cut down my smoking, each cigarette was like a couple of minutes of total panic, the lack of breath gradually got worse, once or twice I was close to calling an ambulance as I thought I would stop breathing or I couldnt swallow.

Coupled with this health problem, I was also psychologically unstable, I would look in the mirror and think that I had growths in my mouth, one time i even thought my gums were shrinking, it was madness, I was paranoid about smoking and dying and leaving my precious child. Enough was enough.

I said to myself, I CANNOT carry on smoking, it is making my allergy/breathing worse. So I quit because I couldnt smoke............I didnt quit for me, or my little boy, or the health benefits, or financial benefits, I quit because I physically couldnt do it at that time, what a selfish cow i was.

Anyway after a reluctant quit I found that not only were the amazing health benefits worth staying quit for, but I was not stressed or anxious anymore, in fact I had never been so happy or relaxed. I was checked out and I didnt have an allergy, rather I had a serious case of anxiety which triggered a range of other symptoms. But I also found out I have done some damage to my chest through smoking, luckily nothing that cannot be overcome by staying quit, my breathing will continue to improve by staying off cigarettes. I have been very fortunate, I am lucky and I'm thankful, although very angry with myself for having continued smoking when it was obviously screwing me up inside and out.

My reasons now are the same as everyone else, I stay quit because i love life, my family and the wonderful health and wealth being FREE has given me. I never want to go back now, how could I? Quitting is hard, but being an emotional wreck due to addictions is harder. Quitting smoking has prevented me from having to use anti-depressants, so as you can see, my life has turned around.

Apologies for the lengthy thread, I never intended to reveal so much of myself and my experiences, however, I hope it might help someone who can relate to it to stay quit, at 33 years old smoking was destroying me, health problems aren't reserved for elderly smokers, it could happen to any smoker at any age.

I now appreciate every breath I take and love the saying 'Breathe deep, hug hard, live long'..........so apt.

Good Luck to everyone........Shelly xx

6 Replies

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  • Hi shelly

    A great deep post & thanks for sharing..what a rocky ride youve been on...emotional ups & downs...Im sure some people can relate to your post and value your honesty:)

    Can i just say your right .....why do you want to go back after 10 weeks of healing & getting good at the quit thing... Your doing very well despite everything

    keep fighting

    ps slash is hot:p

  • Hi Shelly, that was a very honest post and emotional for me cos there are so many parts of it that I can relate to. It is great to be free from it all isn't it, and just the thought of what it used to be like is reason enough to stay away!

    A HUGE well done you, keep breathing, hugging and living!!

    Lorraine :)

  • Shelly that thread as long and thought provoking as it is will give momentum to many a newbie who is or has been down the same road, I think that like you I suffered with massive panic attacks, and anxiety for years before I found the courage to quit and so have a few more on here, but we can as humans become convinced that all those terrible symptoms cannot possibly be psychosomatic, can they?? But you bet you cotton socks that they can and often are as we and millions more learn every day, we also learn that they can’t kill us but smoking can aggravate them and can also kill us.

    And although this probably sounds mean I am pleased that for you they have turned out to be just that and that now you have managed to get control of your habits and that you will continue to improve as you get stronger and longer into you quit.

    I also lost 2 baby girls and was also told that smoking hadn’t caused it, and my doc at the time had test done and he was correct, so don’t beat yourself up over that as guilt is a wasted emotion and you don’t have time for that with all the new things you are going to be doing i.e., exercise and good diet and it will be as if you never smoked.

    Well done 10 weeks is astronomical and you should be so proud x

  • This is the most heartfelt post- and I want to thank you for sharing your story.

    As others have said it is hugely helpful to know we are not alone and are on the same journey to freedom.

    I too have like so many of our forum pals been to hell and back with anxiety , panic attacks and agrophobia. I thought my friend nicotine was my only ally.

    It has taken a long time , but somehow I know now what a false friend it has been.

    I am so proud of you -for telling us your reasons so honestly -and for your quit which is just so inspiring for us behind you .

    I hope like me you are seeing the person you want to be emerging strongly-with better health , self esteem and no more panic.

    this thread I will read again for the truth , support - and sheer understanding.xx

  • Thank you so so much for your words of advice and encouragement guys, I would be blooming lost without this site. I had to get my feelings down and make them honest, its a release to share it and then I can move on and hopefully forward with my quit.

    If I'm being honest, I'm struggling at the moment, not sure why, is it the nature of the beast? I can feel on top of the world for weeks and then just hit a wall. There is absolutely no chance of me having a cigarette, I'm not craving as such, just feel bluurgh!

    I have had pretty bad digestive problems since quitting and think this is a strong contributor to why I am dipping. When you're eating a much as me and the body isnt working as it should, it takes its toll, I feel bloated, tired, lack motivation and the last thing I want to do is exercise!

    Tell you what though, my skin (especially my face) is as soft and plump as a babys bum, little fine lines I had have all but gone I am well chuffed, a great incentive ladies!

    Skylark, I didnt realise you were 56, dont know why just had a preconception that you were really young, maybe you sound it he he! Thanks you're an inspiration too, my mums age too, just wish she had your great attitude to quitting..........shes a loud and proud smoker and it's only now 10 weeks into my quit that i am a little more able to handle her, she comes for dinner on sundays and her favourite line is 'Im going for a smokey wokey', it rattled me for ages, I wanted to go out with her and have one of our chit chats but personally I think she flaunts it coz shes insecure about it, maybe. I now have the courage to be with her while shes smoking, I pretend I'm not even aware shes smoking but inside Im like 'aaaaargh i want a fag'.

    Onwards and upwards, Shelly xx

  • It's good to share and a great inspiration to us all to help stay quit. So thank you. :):)

    The breathing difficulties and anxiety you mention, i suffer with this but actually alcohol and sleep deprivation are big contrubuters in that also. It is horrible i know but you can only do your best not to get stressed when it does happen.

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