I haven't really quit

I often see posts from forum members who talk about quitting smoking, and especially for how long they have quit. I don't want to harp on the fact that keeping an eye on the distance between you and the last cigarette only increases the pressure of quitting, but I do want to say that stopping smoking isn't really about quitting.

Quitting smoking is about not smoking any more. Quitting smoking is about having taken the decision to no longer smoke. There is absolutely nothing that prevents me from smoking tomorrow if I want to. I haven't really quit smoking. Rather, I've simply decided that I'm not going to smoke.

There is no pressure on me, because I'm not counting the days that have gone by since my last puff. I'm not worrying about cravings because I can see beyond them, to my future without cigarettes. I certainly don't look back and have fond memories of the fags that I wolfed down without even thinking about them. What's the point of harping on memories of a few hundred thousand "sessions" of sucking on cancer sticks?

See, I'm positive about what I want to do now that I'm no longer smoking. I don't look back at my quit date and pat myself on the back for how long I've "survived" without a cigarette. I'm not thinking about how brave I am for having reached this far. I am of course thinking what a bloody good thing it was I gave up over a year and a half ago, and feel proud when people congratulate me for that. But above all, I think about the fact that while I'm busy building my future, my smoke-free past is building itself :)

I haven't really quit. I just don't smoke any more.

Alex.

33 Replies

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  • Hi Alex

    For me personally I dont totally agree with what you are saying.

    I believe I have quit smoking and I have chosen not to smoke anymore, same thing to me.

    I will have been quit 112 days at 8am in the morning. I will have not spent £830 on cigs either. I keep a chart and tick the days off each day. It in no way increases the pressure on me, what it does do is reinforces my quit and helps me to move forward. I have only directly posted once on this site saying I had been quit 3 months and I will probably announce when I get to completing 4 months. I am more than happy to encourage that pat on the back. I am so pleased I have stopped smoking and its nice when other people are pleased for me.

    I don't get up in the mornings thinking I wish I could have a fag. I just don't think about it. I carry on my life much the same now as when I smoked. The only reason I ever look back at smoking is to remind me of all the bad things smoking has done for me. I cant look back at the positives because there were not any. I also don't look back regretting smoking as now I only want to look to the future, whats past is now history and can not be changed. Its finish, over, gone so why would I keep harping on about the memories.

    I have stopped smoking and using any NRT. I am not going back to smoking.

    My attitude is very positive and is going to stay positive

    I will not smoke again lifes too good without

    H

  • One thing I have learnt in forum life is that the first thing that happens when you express a perspective, someone will come along and challenge that perspective :D

    Heck, do what works best for you! My perspective is what works for me.

    Alex.

  • LOL! Why post a perspective if you didn't want people to "challenge" or comment on it? If nobody challenged anything we'd be still in the Dark Ages. I kinda sit in the middle in this...I don't cross off days but my mind is vaguely aware of the length of time that I've quit for. It's around 7 months but I don't know if I've past 7 months or not, I just know I've been quit about that time. I think my mind subconsciously keeps track of the length of my quit for patting on the back purposes. Stopped or quit amounts to the same thing for me.

  • LOL! Why post a perspective if you didn't want people to "challenge" or comment on it?

    Challenges / comments are always welcome! I was trying to explain a concept of how one could look at the quit process - and how I look at the quit process - not declare absolute truths. Hence the wry and probably inappropriate comment, sorry!

    Alex.

  • One thing I have learnt in forum life is that the first thing that happens when you express a perspective, someone will come along and challenge that perspective :D

    Heck, do what works best for you! My perspective is what works for me.

    Alex.

    Yes Alex it is called healthy discussion and debate. This is what a forum is all about. I suggest that if you don't want any comments then you don't bother to post.

    I find heck do what works for you best to be a very rude comment. You obviously do not like anyone who disagrees with you or does not put you on the pedistal you think you are on.

    I'm sure you will be pleased to hear that I will not be making any further comments on your posts

  • Aitch,

    My frustration came from what appeared to me as a line-by-line response to each sentence, and not a response to the overall concept. As I said in the post above yours, I should have kept my thoughts to myself.

    I'm definitely not opposed to anyone having differing opinions than mine, and I'm even happy to change my own opinions based on others input. Whether you respond to any of my future posts or not is entirely up to you, although I do understand why you may not want to.

    Alex.

  • And the good thing about a good healthy debate when not face to face is that folk will read what they want to read or think they're reading, regardless of what the author meant by it. Quite a challenge when you can't see the whites of peoples eyes.

    Ok...maybe "good thing" isn't the right phrase.

    I've not read anything above that would suggest the OP is shying away from different perspectives or comments. It's a good thing we're all adults really or it 'something' could be blown out of context.

    Any way, in response to Alex.

    I always seem to refer to my quit as the quit which seems odd as I've tried to appreciate the fact I'm not giving anything up. I think that was instilled by Allen Carr's view that "not giving anything up, you're gaining a lot".

    My personal experience was to use the forum to prep myself prior to stopping, I found it instrumental in getting my head in the right place. I then stayed away for 8 months or so as for me, the site made me feel like I was quitting something; the process of logging in made it an event in my mind.

    This is what worked for me.

    I can see the benefit of counters etc, I did use one for a short time but again it seemed to work against me. It always bought 'the quit' to the front of my mind.

    S.

  • I didn't have a problem with the original post as it did indeed look as if it were going to prompt "a healthy debate". However, I had an issue with the Alex's response to Aitch's perspective as it seemed to suggest he didn't really give a toss about what other people thought of his post. Hence my question...if the OP doesn't really care about other peoples responses to his opinion why post said opinion on a public forum??

    Alex has explained he was frustrated by Aitch's response and he welcomes different challenges, perspectives and opinions so nuff said.

    In my opinion Stav, healthy debates are only healthy when one's tone is not patronising or condoscending :)

  • In my opinion Stav, healthy debates are only healthy when one's tone is not patronising or condoscending :)

    I find it rather rude, patronising and condescending to be discussing another forum members etiquette or lack thereof in public. But, that's just my opinion.

    Alex.

  • If one cannot say if they find another members posts condescending and patronising without being labelled as that back then suddenly I have other better things to do (probably for the best as it is gorgeous outside in the UK). I'm with Aitch and will not be responding to other peoples posts if this is the strife you get. Actually, this is the main reason I have stopped interacting with the forum lately....too many arguments and disagreements. I just cannot be bothered with it all.

  • I said something inappropriate and apologized. I don't really see what more needs to happen.

    In any case, thanks very much for all your responses. Much appreciated.

    Alex.

  • I thought we got rid of the Snus man ? Lots of bitter words in this thread :eek:

  • I thought we got rid of the Snus man ? Lots of bitter words in this thread :eek:

    Sshhh. Let sleeping dogs lie. :cool:

    Alex.

  • I think there is only one type of quitter - the one that wants to stop the miserable cycle of continually smoking.

    We all have our own reasons for giving up but it all comes down to one thing.

    We all know how stupid, selfish, self indulgent, self destructible, and miserable smoking is:(

    I've tried a few times to give up the slavery. This is my most positive attitude to giving up (even though I've had a few weak moments recently )

    I can honestly say that without you guys on this forum I would probably (defiantly) have failed!!!

    What ever works for you WORKS xx

    WE ROCK

  • It made me wonder if there were two types of quitter. Those that just get on with it (as in your post) and those that actively seek out forums. Maybe seeking out a forum is a clue about how our mindset is not as it should be.

    I don't know about two types of quitter, but I do think there are largely two types of smoker. Those who smoke without thinking, and those who think of smoking as a reward. I know the two can overlap, but broadly I think there are two camps, and it is easier for people who smoke without thinking to give up, because they are not seeking a reward. They're just "not doing" something. Those who sought reward are sorely missing a replacement.

    For me personally I don't think cravings are as bad as we believe they are, in fact for me they are non existent. It's all about breaking the habit.

    Does that make sense to anyone but me :D

    Yup, it makes perfect sense. The nastiest part of giving up happens inside our heads, for sure. Letting go of the (false) notion that we need cigarettes to live our lives fully is the hardest part of giving up. My gf told me that she felt that giving up smoking was "losing her identity". That's pretty profound, I think.

    Alex.

  • I still maintain that reading about negative side effects on forums plants the seed into the sub-concious. My prime example is the terrible 3's. If you read about craves at certain times enough it must make you eventually have them. We all know how powerful the sub concious is so maybe it can make us go through things that we wouldn't experience if we didn't keep reading them.

    :D

    Similar to this is my experience related to a previous quit where I went 11 week. My current quit has been fairly easy except when I had in mind my last failure at 11 weeks. The 11 week mark in this quit was I think for me the turning point in this quit. For no reason other than this is where I failed before it suddenly became quite difficult for a couple of days and found that my quit was challenged. So what was different? Nothing except that I associated 11 weeks with failure.

    The lesson is to not think of the negatives but concentrate on the positives.

    Stop press. So I was not going to post again on Alex's thread. Lifes too short. A misunderstanding. Onwards and upwards

  • Well if you're gonna post Aitch so am I :)

    I try not to ana-lyse stopping smoking/my quit as I'm trying to treat not smoking as second nature....Do I ana-lyse taking a dump every morning?......why no I don't sir. Do I over ana-lyse why I'm in a mood, why no sir I don't, I'm just a git at times.

    I do get why people want to understand the addicts brain and recommend reading aboout quitting etc, etc, etc. However, at my point in my quit all I need to know is that I don't smoke. Therefore I don't smoke. Simple. Do I want to spend my time ****ysing my quit all the time...nah I'd rather not. I doubt all the people I know that have successfully quit have done that either. My dad certainly didn't....to quote Francob he just manned up and stopped with hardly a word spoken about it since (10+ years ago). Apart from he'd still want one now and again...like you'd maybe fancy a bag of maltesers or a cold pint on a sunny day. Does he have one...nope...he remembers the baggage of the ciggie after that and the ciggie after that one. Anyways...sometimes you can ana-lyse the shit out of something and at the end of the day get nowhere.

    I repeat...for me, at this stage in my quit, I find dissecting stopping/quitting smoking to the nth degree unhelpful. To others starting out and new in their quit it's very helpful. At some point however, I think you have to say enough with the dissection, let's get on and do it. WHen you accept this the quit becomes normal routine which is as it should be. Until you have a shitty, pissy day like I've just had and you feel fed-up ha ha ha. So, I'm going to bed and hopefully tomorrow it'll be back to normal.

    xx

  • phew!

    this was like listening to my parents argue,

    you two gave me such good advice, i didn't know who's side I was on,

    anyway!

    well done to all of us!!!!

  • have all the bees quit buzzing about ,i aint seen a nairy one o em this hot spell. anyone seen any ?

  • Must admit i did like reading this!;)

    I agree that quitting shouldnt be looked too much into, because your head can end up in a right tattered mess if your trying to explain your actions, thoughts and feelings too much to yourself :eek:

    Example, " I fell out with my mum because im quitting smoking and its such a tough, stressful, hard thing too do" .................or " i fell out with my mum because i didnt agree with her" or "i fell out with my mum" I still smoke (Well not me, just hyperthetically)

    What im trying to say is that just because someone dosnt smoke anymore, dosnt mean they get a personality transplant at the same time. Things happen regardless of us smoking, we react exactly the same to certain situations. Which I may add probably a little better not having the "find time for a smoke" moments clouding our mind.

    I also think that thinking about how long you havent smoked for does sort of give you a warm fuzzy feeling, it dosnt necessarily mean that you are clinging onto the memory of that last fag, that last moment in some ways quite the opposite.

    Different types of quitters! dont thinks that either, think different types of people, personalities, lifestyles that pay a part in the quit process, but quite clearly we are all the same, how many people agree with each other, and post " oh god me too" ..that answers a lot!

    Whatever stage we are at, we are all individuals, and we all deserve praise for keeping on and getting to our comfort stage!

  • I like to think about quitting, reading, and trying to understand what goes through people's heads when they quit. It helps me to understand their motivations, and to see patterns in their thought processes; who is testing their own convictions; who is genuinely suffering; who needs a helping hand, or a kindly word to help them on their way.

    My point in starting this thread was to express my feeling that there are those who looking at quitting as a means of leaving the past behind them, watching their loved ones standing on the train platform as they travel towards a new and uncertain life, whilst others are dreaming of the sunshine, mountains and plains ahead of them as they build their futures in their minds.

    Of course, there can be an intersection of the two, but to muddy the waters and say there is nothing in between is what modern day businesses call being "politically correct", and which I find quite frankly, rather boring.

    Alex.

  • Personally I decided I didn't want to smoke again and I haven't :)

    That may sound overly simplistic to some but as far as I'm concerned quitting is pretty simple - once you've decided you truly want to it's easy :) Sorry but I had no desire to abandon my past and I had no dodgy, fluffy bunny view of the future either - I just got fed up with smoking!

    I'd tried on numerous occasions - mainly to keep others happy or from feelings of guilt and needless to say it never worked. One day it hit me that I was sick and tired of wasting money that I needed elsewhere and hey presto here we are - quit over 2 years :D I totally agree with not reading too much into the whole quitting thing either - good for checking how you may feel but gives you too much negative stuff - quitting can be a positive thing if you make it.

    For anyone starting out the best I can say is just make sure you are quitting for you and no one else - it never works out!!

  • I just wanted something better.

    M

  • I'm kinda the same. I just stopped smoking. Not because i had to or needed to, i just didn't want to do it anymore.

    First night i actually went & stood in the smoking shelter at work with someone to keep her company. Someone asked why i'd torment myself by doing that but i told them i wasn't. I could smoke if i wanted to, i just chose not to.

    My first ever failed quit was a "i HAVE to quit smoking" one & i'd have been chewing my own arm off if i'd tried that then.

  • Lost Youth

    Hi all

    I think that some people find it hard to quit because they started smoking when they were young & it's like "losing their youth." That youth thing: I think it's why we all love the rock music that was popular in our youth. Apparently, after 35 yrs old, new music will never give the same thrill - something about the brain wiring up. I think most of us started smoking when our brain was pre wired and hence vulnerable to impressions. Maybe nothing else will have such an impact on us & that's why it can be hard to quit.

  • The early part of this thread is hilirious. Lots of weird misinterpretations and contextual mishaps.

    Forums are cool.

  • Personally I decided I didn't want to smoke again and I haven't :)

    That may sound overly simplistic to some but as far as I'm concerned quitting is pretty simple - once you've decided you truly want to it's easy :) Sorry but I had no desire to abandon my past and I had no dodgy, fluffy bunny view of the future either - I just got fed up with smoking!

    I'd tried on numerous occasions - mainly to keep others happy or from feelings of guilt and needless to say it never worked. One day it hit me that I was sick and tired of wasting money that I needed elsewhere and hey presto here we are - quit over 2 years :D I totally agree with not reading too much into the whole quitting thing either - good for checking how you may feel but gives you too much negative stuff - quitting can be a positive thing if you make it.

    For anyone starting out the best I can say is just make sure you are quitting for you and no one else - it never works out!!

    In the absence of a like button I have to opt to quote the above. My quit was exactly as above.

    Despite my one recent misdemeanor I have no interest in smoking, I don't think of it or miss it. However, on previous attempts I had continually felt deprived, was quitting because of money or because someone told me I should or guilt. This quit I just didn't want to smoke anymore. My desire to not smoke was stronger than my desire to smoke therefore I stopped doing it.

    As I say, despite my once recent very very drunken slip, of which I know I smoked but don't actually remember it, smoking doesn't enter my thoughts anymore because I just have no interest in it. I no longer get to the 13th of the month and go oh x months quit as I have no idea how many it has been. I know on the 13th October it will be 2 years but other than that I don't think of it in terms of time, just in terms of I am not a smoker.

    x

  • I agree Alex .. This time I am going to play down the whole smoking malarkey and concentrate on building the healthy version of me.

  • One thing I have learnt in forum life is that the first thing that happens when you express a perspective, someone will come along and challenge that perspective :D

    Heck, do what works best for you! My perspective is what works for me.

    Alex.

    I did post a response to the above, but then went back read further in the thread and realised that it was no longer relevent.

    However, I don't really agree with the concept of not being 'quit', but just 'choosing' not to smoke. It's the sort of thing I'd say about deciding not to wear earrings! I don't quit wearing earrings... I just stop wearing them. It's far too simplistic a concept to apply to getting over an addiction and all the related psychological habits and triggers that are created when that addiciton is being fed and then denied.

    I have quit smoking. I no longer smoke. I chose to quit and by doing so chose to no longer smoke. However, unlike stopping wearing earrings, stopping smoking has brought a whole series of changes - physically and psychologically.

    I wish I wasn't so tired as I don't think I've done my argument justice but a long day at work and I barely have the mental capacity to concentrate on Emmerdale!

    ps... I do actually still wear earrings... I'm far to vain to stop!

  • Hi Lauren,

    You picked up on a secondary comment in the thread, which is fine but it was not relevant to the OP.

    My OP was intended to encourage people to stop thinking about the distance they've put between themselves and their last cigarette (quitting), and start living their lives as a non-smoker. It was also intended to help relieve the tension that people feel when thinking about that distance between themselves and their last cigarette, recognize that stopping means making a conscious choice to no longer smoke and that the pressure can be relieved by not looking at quitting as a final and irrevocable state of being, but rather understanding that life's choices are exactly that: choices.

    I'm not saying it's easy, or not difficult. I'm just saying that there are different ways of looking at giving up smoking.

    Alex.

  • Hi Lauren,

    You picked up on a secondary comment in the thread, which is fine but it was not relevant to the OP.

    My OP was intended to encourage people to stop thinking about the distance they've put between themselves and their last cigarette (quitting), and start living their lives as a non-smoker. It was also intended to help relieve the tension that people feel when thinking about that distance between themselves and their last cigarette, recognize that stopping means making a conscious choice to no longer smoke and that the pressure can be relieved by not looking at quitting as a final and irrevocable state of being, but rather understanding that life's choices are exactly that: choices.

    I'm not saying it's easy, or not difficult. I'm just saying that there are different ways of looking at giving up smoking.

    Alex.

    I think your original post was excellant and this post hits the nail on the head.A friend of mine is planning to quit in a weeks time but was expressing doubts and wobbles today.I "told" her your way of looking at it and you should of seen her face! It lit up with pleasure and I could almost hear her sigh of relief as the 'pressure' and scary idea of no more cigarettes was extinguished by your simple effective way of looking at it.THANK YOU ALEX!! You have also helped me too.I had got through the Nicotine addiction,got through and handling original triggers and then got really upset and despondant at 5wks by being plagued by disembodied emotional/thought/psychological/subconcious unsatisfied/loss/urge type feelings out of the blue.I seriously thought that I couldnt live my life with them and felt it too and that if they carried on that Id have to smoke again.However your angle has saved me.Pressure off and my life cut up into bite sized smoke free chunks AND also giving me the feeling of being free.Thanks again Alex. Sue and my friend Nat x

  • Sue and Nat,

    Thank you so much for your kind words. It's always a pleasure to hear that I've been helpful.

    Alex.

  • Sue and Nat,

    Thank you so much for your kind words. It's always a pleasure to hear that I've been helpful.

    Alex.

    When people ask why you still post on this forum you can refer them to this post and they will see how you make a difference. Thankyou Alex.xx

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