Quirky Ways of Thinking

I stopped smoking on Monday (four days ago) - completely by accident. I hadn't planned to but was thinking about the hole in a tenner that my cigs had just punched and I reckoned it wouldn't be a bad idea to stop - that's it just a rational, calm decision.

I wrote down some of the reasons

20 Minutes after my last cig my brain tried to trick me by saying 'no it's not really today you want to stop - you need to be in the right frame of mind' - and so the bargaining began. Luckily, I'd read about the 'bargaining' stage so I was able to nail that big fat lie in one punch.

It's very possible that my mind doesn't work like yours - I know that dopey things can influence my bonce and I know that I'm very suggestible... however here are some of the reasons I wrote down and I wrote them to myself so that when I weakened, I would hear my own words coming back

£200+ a month based on 20/day x 30 days would soon kill off one of your credit cards.

It could indeed go toward a new carpet to replace the one that smells horribly of smoke.

It takes you about 3 minutes to smoke a cig x 20 would give you an extra hour a day for the exercise that you say you don't have time for.

Smoking is really not you.

Take up life - you're 44 - maybe time to get real and grow up

In 16 years you'll be 60!

Smoking is a bit fat lie.

It's a hangover from a bad time in your life.

I'd rather have air

Breathing well would be nice.

I gave up at 2.15 and I think giving up in the middle of the day is a good idea - the whole day doesn't stretch in front of you and chances are you can make it until bedtime and that's your first day over. (In my case it was fluke but I like the logic - I have a friend who always starts diets on a Tuesday because Mondays are already full of woes!)

Next I listed the hours from 2.15p.m. - 2.15 a.m. and every now and then

I tick all the hours that I haven't had a cig. My brain likes doing this. Particularly when I really fancy a cigarette.

My sister is a CBT Counsellor - she talks about happiness being in the balance between enjoyment and small things that give you a sense of achievement - so next I made a list of the things I enjoy and a list of jobs that I have wanted to get around to for ages - like cleaning under the bed and clearing out my car. This means I have a list of good strong displacement activities that I can tick off when I have a craving - one enjoyment and one achievement.

I would be known among my friends as somebody with opinions - I really don't like being controlled (as somebody else on this site said) by a plant! A big part of the reason I want to succeed is that I want to be mentally tough - I want to be somebody who can make a decision based on reason and logic and stick to it. This more than kicking cigs is a big motivator for me.

Now having said all of this and having got all my strategies in a row, I have to say that, for me, the biggest lie that cigs tell you is that - 'It's hard to quit'. Now before you start jumping up and down about the complacency of somebody off cigs for 4 days saying it's easy - I KNOW! I've read about this being a pitfall. I truly haven't found it to be too hard - certainly not as hard as the only other time I tried to give up using patches - I was a basket case. I wonder though if the nicotine replacement people really have an interest in you giving up? Does it have to be hard? A craving lasts 3 minutes - I can sit beside my craving for that length of time - I can acknowledge it and in some ways kind of laugh at it - it's not as if I wasn't expecting it to show up!

I do occasionally get a feeling of blind panic when I think - there's no end to this giving up - you just keep giving up for ever BUT

At the moment my thinking is this:-

Would I like a cigarette? - Yes probably. Will I have one? Not today, no, I don't think will.

I'm really sorry if you have read this hoping for help and finding it to be nonsense - at the very least, please don't let this be a reason for you to lift a cig - just keep on not having the next fag.

5 Replies

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  • Hi Lambut welcome to the forum. I loved reading your post, I sort of fell into my quit too.

    I just had 2 cigs left one morning and thought I'll have to go to the shop now again, then I thought I don't want to do this any more being ruled by the weed, and like you I thought lets see how long I can go without one. Well an hour turned into 2 then 3 then 4 and then 1 day 2 days and so on. It can be DONE, and no it wasn't easy at times I could have killed but the craves don't last that long as you said.

    Well over 5 months later still not smoking after 35 years of it, wish I done it sooner. So if I can do it anyone can! These guys on here helped me alot couldn't have done it without them.

    Good luck to you you are doing so well, if you need help always some one here.

    Maria.:)

    Remember N.o.p.e Not one puff ever!

  • Thank you

    Aww Maria - you sound lovely! Thank you for the encouragement - I can't believe how much it helps. My best friend asks for an update everyday and my lovely boyfriend is so delighted and impressed. I feel great. I don't doubt for a second that there may be bad times ahead but I'm hopeful.

    Five months is brilliant - can I ask if you feel that you are truly out of the woods? I can see how checking in with the forum could help - it all seems very positive and people seem to be very protective of one another. Do you think like a non-smoker yet - have you had any wobbles?

    The only major health benefit that I can report is that my feet are warmer - and a slightly:) more attractive colour! Baby steps!

    Anyway, have a lovely weekend and thank you again for being so kind.

    Take care

    Steph

  • Hi Steph so glad you have support off your boyfriend and friend. My husband is still smoking and it really annoys me because he is the one that has quit before, and won't now, I have he hasn't? He thinks I am brilliant though because he has only done 6 weeks!

    As for do I think I have cracked it, no not yet, I still think about it not craving more habit, I won't have one though. What I hate now is the smell, not fresh smoke, but stale smoke and the smell of a person who has just had one awful!!! I used to smell like that:eek: I also don't miss going out for one in work or on a night out it is so much better relaxing inside without one.

    Nice to speak to you.

    Maria.;)

  • Thanks for that post Lambut.

    I'm about to quit and using champix. Feeling rough and discouraged today and your post just spurred me on....I don't want to be a person who doesn't have the strength of character to quit! it's a matter of personal pride now!

    Your post was inspiring.

  • A great post, Lambut.

    I think if you start off a quit able to - as you put it - 'sit beside' a crave (ie, acknowledge it, accept it, know that it will end, move on) then you're starting from a very good position. Being afraid of the craving is hugely counter productive.

    You'll find there are times when you have to say 'no, not today thanks' even several months in to a quit. But it gets easier and easier to do that, and as you start to really feel the benefits you have more and more to lose as time goes on.

    Just keep making that choice, every day (see the link in my signature). Do arm yourself for the hellacious days because (unless you're unspeakably lucky) they will come. But it sounds like you have your head in absolutely the right place to deal with it. Congratulations on an excellent decision. Onwards and upwards!

    And welcome to the site.

    Helen

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