Ok, I have decided to give this forum one more chance.
I am in day 40 of my quit today and I think I must be free from any form of physical dependency. However, I am noticing that I am experiencing some side psychological effects.
Smoking is cool – You are no longer smoking – You are no longer cool – this is an example of the thoughts I am having, which I have trouble getting rid of. The reason is that, for example, when I walked to a girl in bar, trying to look cool, I would light a cig. Now, after 13 years of smoking every time I wanted to look cool, I have trouble even FEELING cool when I don’t smoke. That is why when I notice a woman I want to talk to, I subconsciously try to look cool, but I can’t since I am not smoking and I feel I am missing something and that gets me nervous and I want to smoke even more. (that is where the craving story about the girl in my job came from). I know that I am not missing anything – on the contrary, even adding a lot of things, but its hard ending 13 year habit without even replacing it with another.
Another - I’ve read about that somewhere, but I am experiencing the same problem. When people smoke they often “reward” themselves with a cig after a job well done. I am sure that most of you are the same. For example when I was in sales, I used to smoke every time I managed to pitch a client. That translates to much smaller aspect of our life as well – for example “rewarding” yourself for waiting patiently at the buss stop, “rewarding” yourself after sex, “rewarding” yourself for driving home from work. The first 10 days in my quit I started to reward myself with something sweet on every occasion, however I quickly dropped that habit because I realized that I would get fat very fast. This is not a very big problem for me though, because when you are rewarding yourself you are happy – and I think being happy and positive are our strongest weapons against the smoking addiction.
Last but not least, I am having the hardest time not smoking when I am angry. I miss the relaxing feeling of smoking a cig, all by yourself, concentrating on only it, while forgetting the reason you get angry about. For example, last weekend my mother came to visit me. All things were fine on Saturday, but on Sunday I went out and when I came back I found that all my stuff were – that’s what she said – “organized”. My underwear was organized, my cards and letters from girlfriends were organized, my boxes of ehem “protection” were neatly organized. When I found that I was so “happy” that I started a boxing match with a concrete wall, thinking how “clever” I must be for not locking my bedroom. Even though I’ve managed to stay smoke free for so long I would have smoked if someone offered me. However, I avoided all smoking places and stores and managed to keep this quit going. This is the most dangerous psychological trap – getting really angry and thinking a cig would calm you down. There is nothing calming in poisoning yourself and increasing your heartbeat when you are angry but still the habit stays.
These are the three main psychological effects I’ve noticed in myself since I quitted smoking. However, I am unyielding in my decision to keep being persistent and find new ways to look cool, reward and calm myself.