Changes in behaviour? Is this normal?

Day 4. Today I was thinking that there must be a link between addiction and the reasons behind starting smoking in the first place. Perhaps understanding those reasons, or reevaluating them today will help me stay away free. Hope and will is all I have and clinging on it!

For me all started when I was at uni, away from home, wanting to be part of the group and more people were smoking then than today. Plus, at 17 I was not really bothered about the negative effects of smoking. In my defense – second- third –passive – etc smoking were not notions that we were familiar with and info was not so readily available. Local support was also non-existent. You only stopped smoking (or rather took a break) when you were sick.

As I look back, smoking was always part of who I was – an outgoing personality. Plus, a coffee or a drink without a cigarette – was unreal.

This is my 4th free day and I am afraid more about the effects of non-smoking on my behavior than on my health and looks as time goes by.:o I am approaching the end of the first free smoke week and already see the positive changes in my behavior – less mood changes, less grumpy and more positive. However, I also see the negatives - less chatty, less sociable and professionally less the one leading and initiating things but instead taking a step back.

Is this normal – an adapting phase or something else? Of course smoking is not an option for me anymore but I will hate to think that some aspects of my “who I am package” will be changed or whatever.

Am I overdramatizing things or you also had this feeling?

Alix

13 Replies

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  • Alix,

    You are going through a period of adapting. You say in your post that you used to think smoking was part of what you were, and that it is hard to imagine certain situations without a cigarette.

    These are thoughts common to everyone, especially in the early stages of quitting. This is just the addiction talking; just ride through this early period of adjustment and you will come to see that these feelings are an illusion and are simply NOT TRUE!!

    You will come to realise that smoking does not define who you are. In a couple of months you'll feel just like the same old you (but a new improved version:)) and you'll be able to enjoy those cups of coffee without giving cigarettes a second thought.

    Just stick with it, never doubt your decision, and you will soon find yourself feeling 'back to normal' - you really have done the hardest part already!

  • This is exceptionally important post Alix....

    What you have brought up here in your question is one of the most important aspects of smoking to be understood. Why do some people smoke? Why some people start the smoking in the first place? Why some start but quickly get to the fact that smoking is not for them and never touch the cigarette again? Why some people keep on smoking despite knowing it is hurting them seriously? Why some people wake up in the morning with the history of smoking over 30 years and don't smoke anymore? Does our personality has to do anything with this habit? Does personality disorders (depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar disorder etc etc) has to do anything with getting smoking in one's life? And hundreds of such questions can also be asked to figure out the root cause of smoking? During past few years, I have read a lot to get some answers...and this remains my area of interest too in present....

    One of the important thing while reading Transectional analysis theories, is that still in our mind, we still don't feel OK...and to prove this to our parents (in our life or in our mind), we want to kill ourselves....by adopting behaviors including smoking...(a sign of rebellious child in us) ...

    Anyway, we can talk about this further, but please take my words on this that things will get extremely better in all aspects of your life, just give yourself some time...you will glow again...today while I woke up (by the way this is my day 10) I though smoking is kind of blessing too in one way which is that after you quitting you feel so marvelous on daily basis which never smokers might not....don't know but this is what I am feeling today...so just hold on and give some time to your body, mind and heart and they will be align and you will feel as perfect as you were while you born .....clean, peaceful and energetic....

    Rick

  • Hello œufmeister!

    I feel much better reading your post. Also read around that it takes around 6 months to adapt. Still long way to go.:rolleyes:

    Alix

  • Hi Rick,

    Thanks for your comment and really great to hear you reached D10 and keeping stronger!

    I am not too familiar with TAT but I hope I moved a bit further from Child/Child behavior. :cool: Of course, over time situations and environments changed but today I am not smoking to get “pack approval”. Quite the contrary – I felt rather embarrassed when I took breaks during meetings to have a cig and came back smelling like a chimney.

    Physically feel more full of energy (still some sleeping problems) but need to watch out for any personality traits changes or, as you and œufmeister said – need to give it time.

    Alix

  • Hi Alix :)

    Yes that's definitely normal - when you stop smoking you take out something that was a part of you. Was like you and thought smoking was part of who I am, which it wasn't but it took a long time to get used to the idea of me being a non-smoker. Am still not quite used to it really, but am 90% there and happy to never smoke again.

    Think it's a bit of a scary time, and consciously or not you tend to go into your bubble a bit until you feel more settled.

    If you think about it, we smoked when we were upset, worried, happy, with friends, bored, drinking, excited - well everything was an excuse to spark up wasn't it? - and suddenly that's gone so it is a shock but like all the negative feelings you get when you quit smoking, it does pass. Then you realise you enjoyed the good times despite inhaling however many toxic chemicals and a pesticide, not because of them :)

    Was terrified of having a proper long afternoon and evening out with my friends like i used to a lot 'cos some still smoke (as opposed to all of us a few years back) so was nervous of doing it but managed fine last Saturday - even drinking more than usual. Not bragging, just trying to say you definitely get back to being *you* again!!

  • Day 4. Today I was thinking that there must be a link between addiction and the reasons behind starting smoking in the first place. Perhaps understanding those reasons, or reevaluating them today will help me stay away free. Hope and will is all I have and clinging on it!

    For me all started when I was at uni, away from home, wanting to be part of the group and more people were smoking then than today. Plus, at 17 I was not really bothered about the negative effects of smoking. In my defense – second- third –passive – etc smoking were not notions that we were familiar with and info was not so readily available. Local support was also non-existent. You only stopped smoking (or rather took a break) when you were sick.

    As I look back, smoking was always part of who I was – an outgoing personality. Plus, a coffee or a drink without a cigarette – was unreal.

    This is my 4th free day and I am afraid more about the effects of non-smoking on my behavior than on my health and looks as time goes by.:o I am approaching the end of the first free smoke week and already see the positive changes in my behavior – less mood changes, less grumpy and more positive. However, I also see the negatives - less chatty, less sociable and professionally less the one leading and initiating things but instead taking a step back.

    Is this normal – an adapting phase or something else? Of course smoking is not an option for me anymore but I will hate to think that some aspects of my “who I am package” will be changed or whatever.

    Am I overdramatizing things or you also had this feeling?

    Alix

    Hi Alix :)

    I suppose it's a bit like an abusive relationship in a way.

    You felt as though your confidence and personality came from the very thing that has been destroying you. It took everything from you. Your health, your money, your pride. But you thought that this was the thing that made everything better, that made you you, and the thing that you relied on daily to pull you through. When you finally let that go, your poor mind feels as though you have been stripped of the very thing that helped you through life.

    I'd be surprised if you didn't step back from situations where you would have previously been right up there at the front. :)

    The amazing thing is that when your confidence begins to return, you realise that it's completely natural. The only thing making you happy and pulling you through each day is you. It's a great feeling!

    Your moods settle, you approach stressful situations more relaxed. And all that is required is your own confidence and pride. Do we really need nicotine to do that for us?

    Smoking never helped us. Now that we can open our eyes and see what the relationship really was, it's quite scary. :rolleyes:

  • I suppose it's a bit like an abusive relationship in a way.

    I think that's bang-on right Sarah; having never endured an abusive relationship (with a person at least) I've never really thought of it like that, but you're right, that's exactly what it is. The only difference is the entire relationship is a complete illusion within our own minds - in a nutshell, that's addiction.

  • hello all

    i think you are all reading far too much into this yes its addiction pure and simple its not rocket science and i don't feel rocket science will provide an answer to keep us from making the same mistakes however we will be able to stop ourselves from repeating history well ok u got me there .... he who does not understand history is doomed to repeat it however in this case its addiction and as with all addictions its 95% mental addiction and 5% physical addiction

    if you are determined and stay vigilant history will not be repeated

    cheers

    gra

    One year, four months, one week, one day, 10 hours, 8 minutes and 14 seconds. 29725 cigarettes not smoked, saving $16,943.44. Life saved: 14 weeks, 5 days, 5 hours, 5 minutes.

  • Never thought about smoking as an abusive relationship, more like a double personality:). Very true and very sad!

    I was a smoker. You take smoking away, who am I?

    Need some time to think about that but the most important step was taken – quitting and stay quit.

    Many thanks for your feedbacks, really helpful.

    Alix

  • LOL Craig :D

    Guess ok, as long it was your toilet not the neighbour's.

  • Well I went to hang my jacket up in the downstairs toilet, instead of the cupboard. Work that one out people. Been a bit ditty sometimes with this quit. Be worth it though:)

    I was really, really dopey for the first few weeks, lots of people would say dopier I know but wow :p

  • An interesting thread Alix, thanks!

    I am now much calmer, and it was noticable from about three weeks into the quit. Whether it was my percpeption (having felt like an intensely irritable werewolf for a while) or reality doesn't matter, I feel calmer as a person. great! And I was very dopy like Gemma too, in a complete tizz from day 3 to 5.

    It also helped me revisit the point where I started smoking to begin with. My curiosity, the environment, social acceptance etc to realise that, while hindsight is wonderful, not one of the reasons apply now. So I have no reason to start smokng again ever, and a million reasons not to.

    As Gra said the quit was (is!) 95% mental so a level of self-analysis is helpful, but nowhere near as much as the absolute 100% conviction that the quit is forever and you will never smoke again under any circumstances. This determination and mental resiliance for a CT quitter can overcome just about anything, and is hugely important.

    Whatever the reasons for quitting they are justified, any negative feelings, emotions or physical symptoms are temporary, and the 'new you' will be better and healthier all round.

    Good stuff! :)

  • It does make you calmer Hawk, its amazing 'cos you *think* smoking calms you down but several people have said how much calmer I am now than when I was a smoker :)

    If you think about it, smoking gives you its own stresses.

    Have I got enough fags/lighter/etc

    Where can I go for one?

    Will this person b**ger off so I can smoke?

    Why is that person looking at me like that? It's a fag not a crackpipe

    Blah blah all of which we don't have to worry about :D

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