Day 454 - my thoughts for new quitters! (Long ramble, sorry)

Day 454. OK, so it's not a milestone :)

But as there are so many new quitters on here, I just wanted to share a few thoughts, and things that have helped me get here.

When I joined this site I had no confidence that I would stick with a quit.I felt like smoking was an ingrained part of my identity, something I *enjoyed*, ffs, and the only thing that motivated me was fear for my health. I didn't want to quit, I felt I had to try. And for a LONG time I thought that it was a temporary thing. That it wasn't a question of if I would cave, but when.

However, I kept making the choice not to smoke, day by day. The days and weeks and months ticked by, and something inside me gradually changed. And here I am today, almost 15 months of freedom behind me, and I can look at the old me, and at my old habit, in a completely different light. I could never go back.

And there's nothing special about me. Every one of us has the power inside us to do this thing.

So here are my thoughts for today. They all helped me at one time or another and I hope they might help you.

1) THE FREEDOM IS PRICELESS. I remember the pain of quitting. It's horrendous at times, all consuming. But when you come out of that dark place and into the light, which you will, it is such a wonderful feeling! You will find yourself wanting to skip around like some kind of demented Disney princess.

2) IT DOES GET BETTER! People ahead of me in my quit constantly said this, and I tried to listen but a part of me didn't believe it (particularly several weeks into my quit when I was still having bad days). I thought they were just better, stronger people than me. But try to believe it, because it is true for everyone: the craves get easier to beat, the bad moments get fewer and further between, you can achieve freedom. It takes longer for some people than for others, but it does happen.

3) DON'T BE FRIGHTENED. Don't fear craves, none of them are unbeatable. Even the worst of them passes, as long as you don't light up. Your brain has a number of triggers to work through. Even the most powerful of them can be beaten. Always take it one day at a time. No matter how crappy a day it is, when you wake the next morning you will be proud of yourself, and that bit stronger in your quit.

4) RECOGNISE THE FALSE MEMORIES. When you're down the road in your quit you can have moments where the memory of smoking is really powerful and appealing - when the sun is shining and you're outside having a beer and a barbecue, when you've had a really long and stressful day and you finally sit down with a cup of tea or whatever. You can think to yourself 'smoking would have completed this, my life isn't the same without it, I miss it'. It's a subconscious trigger, folks, just like all the other more obvious ones. Have a stern word with yourself, take a deep breath, move on. Once you've been in that same situation a couple of times without smoking you'll find it doesn't have the same power over you any more.

5) HALT - HUNGRY? ANGRY? LONELY? TIRED? This is a great tip: when you're climbing the walls for a smoke the chances are it's a trigger prompted by another physical need. You might find that a nap, or a glass of water, or whatever will fix that need.

6) CHOOSE YOUR PAIN - when you're really going through it the demon on your shoulder will keep whispering 'is this worth it'? Well there's a great article on the woofmang website with the title 'Choose Your Pain'. Do you want the pain of change, which is what you're facing now, or the pain of regret that you may well face a little way down the line when you have to face a terminal illness? It's a really harsh thought, but sometimes we have to be tough with ourselves during a quit. It IS worth it, and you know it. So keep powering through.

7) CELEBRATE THE MILESTONES - this is a Cavalier tip, and it's a good one. Celebrate getting through the first day, the first two, three, the first week, month, three months, 100 days, six months, year. It's a huge thing you're doing and it's never a bad time to look back at how far you've come and pause to blow your own trumpet. You deserve it!

8) READ, READ, READ - you'll find a lot of people on here telling you this. There is a wealth of information out there, and if you make it your business to educate yourself about what you're going through, to read other people's experiences, support articles, alan carr or whatever - you will find things that resonate with your own experience. It helps you to feel you're not alone and it could be the thing which brings about that elusive subconscious change in your attitude to smoking. At the very least, it'll keep you occupied!

9) BREATHE DEEP - it helps with the cravings to take deep breaths. And if, like me, you had knackered lungs it also helps to realise how much better you can breathe. How much better things smell. How horrific the smell of a smoker is! Take in a good breath of clean air, think about your lungs coming back to life. You can't sacrifice that by lighting a cigarette, it's just not worth it!

Right. This may actually be the longest post I've ever written. If you have reached the end of it you're probably six months into your quit already :D

But I hope some of it helped someone.

Helen x

44 Replies

oldestnewest
  • Great post Helen! It's such a relief that the whole 'I smoked because I really enjoy smoking' feeling passes. Even if it takes a long while. Last time I gave up I thought I would always feel like I was missing out on something, and being that miserable was not worth not smoking for. It's seems most people go through that faze at some point in their quit and I'm so happy to find from your post and others that it will pass eventually! :)

  • :D Well done Helen

    i love reading your posts and im nodding my head like a dog as i was reading and agreeing with everything you said :)

    its weird how your perception changes the longer you stay quit you go for long periods where you only think of yourself actually smoking now and again and wonder wtf why did i poision myself for so long :eek:

    As long as you remember that there are still triggers that will rear there ugly heads to tempt you back no matter how long you have been quit its remembering to just ignore them

    onwards and upwards is the only way to go

    Carol

    ps your def getting 5 stars for this post

  • I like it Helen, very helpful.

  • a brill post helen and soooo true

    you mentioned about people being ahead of you and they always said it got better, you have always been one of my 'ahead of me people' if i were in a quiz and the question was wats helsbelles quit day i could confidently say 22/12/2010 and know i was right lol i always knew if you were feeling better then a couple of weeks down the line i to would feel better, got me through some tough times in the early days.

    and i always was amazed you quit 3 days before christmas day i know you were ill at the time but still a brave move i have always thought

    so many true statements in your post and reading it was like a short version of our quits

    the freedom i have gained through quitting was worth every bit of struggle in the early days and to see smoking for what it is instead of making pathetic excuses for doing it is a real eye opener

    i just wanna shout from the rooftops and help all the poor smoker slaves but they wont listen to me untill they are ready the would just put there fingers in there ears and go lalalala

    boo

  • day 6 and struggling

    Thank you very much for this posting. I am using chewing gum but still suffering from the loss of my best friend (or so I thought !!) Struggling through one day at a time so it is great to read these posts to give me strength. I will not smoke again...made up my mind after lots of previous attempts...but still need a bit of help and your comments did just that. Thank you x

  • Thanks.

    Very helpful read on a very tough quit day.

    Just a warning... If viking dances around like a demented disney princess... Don't ever watch that video.

    Vike

  • If a viking is dancing like a demented disney princess then he ain't no viking in my book :)

    Lets all shout phwoar for Thor! (the Marvel version)

  • Great post, one I know I will read again & again - well done on beating the demon, my lungs are knackered too but hopefully i'll feel much better soon :)

    Denise - day 5 of quitting :cool:

  • helen you are so right!!!!!! i feel exactly the same way ...almost 15 months quit! wow...all newbies listen to this post of helens!! she is so on target!

    its great to be free...none of us are better that another...we all have the power inside us....you can win..its up to you!! all bad feelings pass but the good ones never go away..they only stenghthen!!:)

  • Great post Helen. Should be made a sticky.

  • HEY Bless you Helen thats a lovely post.

    Mashx

  • Fantastic post, inspiring. Thanks x

  • Such a good post. Thanks Helen.

  • Thanks for the fantastic post Helen, and for introducing me to talesfromthequit.com

    Suze x

  • Day 4

    Thanks for the post relieved to know there is light at end of tunnel difficult too see at the beginning of a journey xx

  • helen, as usual. you are right on target!!

    i feel just the same as you!!

    your posts are always a joy to read and i love this feeling i have....i will never go back!! choose your pain has got me through every crave...anytime!!

    all newbies her advise is solid and true!! keep going:D

  • Thankyou

    Thankyou Helen for giving your time to write this, it has bucked me up no end and I will come back and read this every time I have a craving moment. I will be 10 weeks on Tuesday and feel really good about myself xxx

  • Bumping this for the newbies.

    I'm not sure about the etiquette of bumping ones own post - is that just horribly egotistical? I hope not :D

    But there are a lot of new quitters since I first posted this, and since it still encapsulates the best advice I can give, I thought it might be useful to someone.

    H x

  • You will find yourself wanting to skip around like some kind of demented Disney princess.

    Somehow you captured the very essence of how I feel! :D

    ---

    Egotistical? Nah, I think you can get away with it, considering it's great advice.

    Alex.

  • Good Bump

    Helen

    Great post, I don't think the bump is egotistical!! As well as the newbies, this will also greatly help those at a few weeks who are struggling.

    Fab advice as always! :D

    Shazza

  • Brilliant post just what was needed. There are a few struggling at the moment. It would be good if this could be something that any new person is directed to as they join up as a sort of welcome post?

  • Great post Helen:D

    I think we all need to remember these points from time to time no matter how long we've quit.

  • I think this post should be kept permanently at Day 1 where it can be referred to time and again.

    Wonderful Helen

  • Loves It! :)

  • OOh ooh ooh ooh ooh.....I remember this. I remember reading this back in the days when I used to hide in the forum cupboard. Obviously now I dance in and out of its various rooms shouting toot toot....and yahoo...and get a load 'o me with my 12 weeks quit....but I remember this back then when I ran out of one room if anyone came in and into another to hide under the bed. But Helen. Its posts like this that were responsible for my lovely 12 week quit.......and Helen.....most probably for my belated 'outburst', as you like to call it. PS Pear drops always win. Aniseed balls just seemed funnier. All antique and funny. Its important to me that you know though.....i'm more of a pear drop girl. Glad you bumped this post. Look.....there's our Leeroy lovin' it.

  • Dippy, I can't ever imagine you hiding in a cupboard. Ever. You're a feather boa, party popper, wacky hats, cartwheeling, sax playing, sparkly doc martens, jangly earrings, woop woop woop sort of gal, aren't you?

  • Hi Helen im so grateful that u left a trail for me to follow u are a great big trailblazing star u are. i fear that this pain im choosing, the pain of change, will one day devaporate and i may indeed dance like a disney princess. As painful as it is i can never return to where and who i was.

    Mash x

  • Is there any way we can get this on a welcome page or do I have to post to it every day to keep it going?

  • Is there any way we can get this on a welcome page or do I have to post to it every day to keep it going?

    Haze, I asked that yesterday

  • Haze, I asked that yesterday

    Hi Una, good to see you are doing well and feeling better. It aint easy is it? That is why I think this is great for the newbies.

  • Hi Haze, No it isn't easy but I'm on half a patch now and going to shave a bit more off every day until there's none left. I'll be interested to see if I get away without any more withdrawals. I have really hated being so sad and anxious. I'm quite optimistic about this. I've still got the inhalator but I'm sure there's nothing left in the cartridge and it helps to have it when I have a drink. Alcohol that is :D

  • The whole thing about having a BBQ and drinks but what completes it is a cigarette... So true! I still think that way but avoid my thoughts. This is a very good post! Glad I read it :)

  • Bump!

    Bumping it up again for those who are struggling, and re-producing Helen's post here. Apologies if that's against etiquette!

    Stay strong everyone. :D

    Day 454. OK, so it's not a milestone

    But as there are so many new quitters on here, I just wanted to share a few thoughts, and things that have helped me get here.

    When I joined this site I had no confidence that I would stick with a quit.I felt like smoking was an ingrained part of my identity, something I *enjoyed*, ffs, and the only thing that motivated me was fear for my health. I didn't want to quit, I felt I had to try. And for a LONG time I thought that it was a temporary thing. That it wasn't a question of if I would cave, but when.

    However, I kept making the choice not to smoke, day by day. The days and weeks and months ticked by, and something inside me gradually changed. And here I am today, almost 15 months of freedom behind me, and I can look at the old me, and at my old habit, in a completely different light. I could never go back.

    And there's nothing special about me. Every one of us has the power inside us to do this thing.

    So here are my thoughts for today. They all helped me at one time or another and I hope they might help you.

    1) THE FREEDOM IS PRICELESS. I remember the pain of quitting. It's horrendous at times, all consuming. But when you come out of that dark place and into the light, which you will, it is such a wonderful feeling! You will find yourself wanting to skip around like some kind of demented Disney princess.

    2) IT DOES GET BETTER! People ahead of me in my quit constantly said this, and I tried to listen but a part of me didn't believe it (particularly several weeks into my quit when I was still having bad days). I thought they were just better, stronger people than me. But try to believe it, because it is true for everyone: the craves get easier to beat, the bad moments get fewer and further between, you can achieve freedom. It takes longer for some people than for others, but it does happen.

    3) DON'T BE FRIGHTENED. Don't fear craves, none of them are unbeatable. Even the worst of them passes, as long as you don't light up. Your brain has a number of triggers to work through. Even the most powerful of them can be beaten. Always take it one day at a time. No matter how crappy a day it is, when you wake the next morning you will be proud of yourself, and that bit stronger in your quit.

    4) RECOGNISE THE FALSE MEMORIES. When you're down the road in your quit you can have moments where the memory of smoking is really powerful and appealing - when the sun is shining and you're outside having a beer and a barbecue, when you've had a really long and stressful day and you finally sit down with a cup of tea or whatever. You can think to yourself 'smoking would have completed this, my life isn't the same without it, I miss it'. It's a subconscious trigger, folks, just like all the other more obvious ones. Have a stern word with yourself, take a deep breath, move on. Once you've been in that same situation a couple of times without smoking you'll find it doesn't have the same power over you any more.

    5) HALT - HUNGRY? ANGRY? LONELY? TIRED? This is a great tip: when you're climbing the walls for a smoke the chances are it's a trigger prompted by another physical need. You might find that a nap, or a glass of water, or whatever will fix that need.

    6) CHOOSE YOUR PAIN - when you're really going through it the demon on your shoulder will keep whispering 'is this worth it'? Well there's a great article on the woofmang website with the title 'Choose Your Pain'. Do you want the pain of change, which is what you're facing now, or the pain of regret that you may well face a little way down the line when you have to face a terminal illness? It's a really harsh thought, but sometimes we have to be tough with ourselves during a quit. It IS worth it, and you know it. So keep powering through.

    7) CELEBRATE THE MILESTONES - this is a Cavalier tip, and it's a good one. Celebrate getting through the first day, the first two, three, the first week, month, three months, 100 days, six months, year. It's a huge thing you're doing and it's never a bad time to look back at how far you've come and pause to blow your own trumpet. You deserve it!

    8) READ, READ, READ - you'll find a lot of people on here telling you this. There is a wealth of information out there, and if you make it your business to educate yourself about what you're going through, to read other people's experiences, support articles, alan carr or whatever - you will find things that resonate with your own experience. It helps you to feel you're not alone and it could be the thing which brings about that elusive subconscious change in your attitude to smoking. At the very least, it'll keep you occupied!

    9) BREATHE DEEP - it helps with the cravings to take deep breaths. And if, like me, you had knackered lungs it also helps to realise how much better you can breathe. How much better things smell. How horrific the smell of a smoker is! Take in a good breath of clean air, think about your lungs coming back to life. You can't sacrifice that by lighting a cigarette, it's just not worth it!

    Right. This may actually be the longest post I've ever written. If you have reached the end of it you're probably six months into your quit already

    But I hope some of it helped someone.

    Helen x

    __________________

    Smoked for 24 years

    Quitting method: cold turkey

    Last smoked 22/12/10

    "When it comes to silencing the inner voice, the secret is repeated conscious choice."

    - Woofmang Tales from the Quit. To read the whole article, click here. What the man says is TRUE:

    talesfromthequit.com/silenc...

  • Relevant

    Great post and really does mirror my quit, I'm trailing you by a couple of months but I definitely relate to your post.

    I think the major revelation for me, was that there is no destination, this is a continuing journey which starts real bad and gets more pleasureable the longer you are on it, almost to the point where you love being on this trip.:)

  • I will keep bumping this up. Great post!

  • This is a great post forall us new comers.There is light at the end:D

  • Yes it is one of the best I've ever read. Here it is again.

    forum.nosmokingday.org.uk/s...

  • Excellent thread bumped

    I loved this post, so I thought it should be bumped again

  • I agree with you Molly. Another one that should be a sticky because its a great help especially to newbies. Why won't the moderators do anything about it :confused:

  • This is just what I needed. Day 3 cold turkey and a crap day at work so I hope it doesn't get much worse than this as this is just about intolerable.

    Reading this post has helped.

    many thanks

    Ollie.

  • I love this post, :D

  • this needs to be on the inspiration wall

    title says it all, i hope they can find a lil place where we can have just the posts like yours, hopeful and helpful, we need that wall, not to comment on but to peruse and find strength

  • Bump!

    This needs a bump. I know this is an old post but it has gotten me through my first week of quit. This and all the wonderful people here.

    Cheers!

  • You are so right helen! I havent been on the site for so long but i am still quit! Over 3 yrs now!! Never thought it was possible! Hang in there newbies! Its so worth it. Hope all my quit buddies are still going strong!

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