advice for a 19 year old

Before I get into the kind of advice I need, let me explain my situation.

I was 16, 3 years ago, when I started smoking. I am now smoking between 20-30 a day, particularly at night. It gets worse, about a year ago I began taking kapake, a highly addictive pain killer with 30mg of codeine. The result of the 2? In the last year I've dropped from 13 to 8 stone, at 6ft that's skinny... I can't walk up the stairs without being breathless, I've been asked by friends and family if I'm a cracking addict due to my complexion going to hell.

I've become a hermit, and I dropped out of uni due to my issues. I can't talk to anyone about it because it's so scandalous, my dad's a doctor and mother a executive area manager for asda. I've got a second chance for Cambridge uni in 3 months and want to be my old self again.

I'm moving to my grand parents house for 1 week in 2 hours. Not going out, no money, I want to be clean. I doubt anyone can help in terms of the codeine addiction, but for smoking:

- how do I keep myself busy and not think about cigs?

- when will I notice a steep decline in urges?

- any tips on how to hold back urges in a social environment?

- similar stories and general tips would be appreciated!

I know I posted a lot, just needed to tell someone. Thanks everyone!

12 Replies

oldestnewest
  • Well done for making a positive step by joining this forum! There are some very supportive people on here.

    Can I first ask why you started taking the painkillers? Have you seen a doctor about this? I have no experience in that addiction, so would not know what advice to give there.

    Regarding smoking, it is possible and it can be a bit of a roller coaster but it's worth it. Set your goal (to be a non-smoker) and then map out how you will achieve this (with or without some form of NRT). Try reading the Allen Carr book (easyway).

    The first few days are sometimes tricky, but after that it gets much easier. Lots of people take up exercise, eat more than usual (probably a combination of these would be good for you due to your weight). In any event, I would strongly urge you to speak to your gp about the medication and smoking.

    Read through the forum - you will see there are loads of different stories on here that might help you.

    Good luck and we are all here to support you.

  • Well done for making a positive step by joining this forum! There are some very supportive people on here.

    Can I first ask why you started taking the painkillers? Have you seen a doctor about this? I have no experience in that addiction, so would not know what advice to give there.

    Regarding smoking, it is possible and it can be a bit of a roller coaster but it's worth it. Set your goal (to be a non-smoker) and then map out how you will achieve this (with or without some form of NRT). Try reading the Allen Carr book (easyway).

    The first few days are sometimes tricky, but after that it gets much easier. Lots of people take up exercise, eat more than usual (probably a combination of these would be good for you due to your weight). In any event, I would strongly urge you to speak to your gp about the medication and smoking.

    Read through the forum - you will see there are loads of different stories on here that might help you.

    Good luck and we are all here to support you.

    Thanks.

    I don't know why, everything was perfect. I took them and it felt good I guess. Some friends say it's a way of escaping the pressure of the folks.

  • I will, thanks.

    But about the smoking; tips?

  • To answer your questions about getting 'smober'

    It's hard to say when the urges to smoke tail off, because it's different for everyone - depends on what method you use to quit, for one thing. And what kind of mindset you have. But... Look at it this way. You have a whole bunch of smoking triggers, which you've spent the past three years training your brain to respond to. Everything from exam stress to first cup of coffee in the morning. So when you stop, your brain will prompt you to smoke as these triggers occur, and you will get an urge. Each of these triggers, if you manage to hold out, lose their power after facing them a couple of times. Then as time goes by and you keep beating them down, they become fewer and further between, and it gets easier and easier.

    How to keep yourself busy ... well, do anything and everything that suits you! Walking, having a bath, playing computer games, anything really that will distract you.

    Social situations. My advice would be, prepare in advance for temptation - take gum or something if you need to. Tell your friends you're quitting and ask them not to offer you a cig (or let you have one). And have a drink by all means (it's a trigger that must be beaten!) but try not to get too hammered, as that can be fatal in the early days.

    My other tips would be, take it one day, one hour at a time if need be. That's all you need to worry about for now. Read, and educate yourself about the process of quitting. Remember that it really truly does get better. Write down your reasons, and refer to them when you need to.

    Re the other stuff...

    Mr E - I'm with the others in saying that you really ought to seek some proper support about your codeine addiction. I think there are issues here that you're going to need to address if you want to get your life properly back on track. It's pretty important to have your head in the right place if you want any kind of quit to succeed, and sometimes it can be hard to do that on your own. It's not that scandalous mate, you're not alone, and there's a ton of support out there. Start with your GP!!

    Best of luck,

    Helen

  • Well I'll certainly be checking it out with my doc. I'm already starting my CT at a relatives house, I'll talk with my doc after the 7 days by which time I will be clean (optimistic confidence)

    About drinking, never have never will. So that's not an issue.

    About the brain prompts, so when I'm facing an urge like right now should I use my e-cig or not? Surely using it won't be as effective in removing the prompts.

  • Well I'll certainly be checking it out with my doc. I'm already starting my CT at a relatives house, I'll talk with my doc after the 7 days by which time I will be clean (optimistic confidence)

    About drinking, never have never will. So that's not an issue.

    About the brain prompts, so when I'm facing an urge like right now should I use my e-cig or not? Surely using it won't be as effective in removing the prompts.

    Most people will tell you not to use the e cig. I think the e cig makes it a slower process, but less painful (at least for me it is). In your case if you can manage CT then great, but if you are absolutely desperate, I personally think a puff on your e cig is ok if it stops you smoking a real ciggie.

  • It's your quit and anything that stops you smoking is good. You can get ecigs without nicotine. Good luck.

  • Mr E,

    I'm wary of telling anyone not to use quit aids, as I strongly believe in the 'whatever gets you through' policy, and if you feel it helps, then go for it. As others have said, it's your quit, do what you need to do. And at least with an e-cig you rid yourself of a bunch of the harmful chemicals in real cigs.

    But my personal feeling is that I really don't believe those things help much. They mimic everything about smoking so artfully, especially if they are feeding you nicotene too, that you are sustaining the habit. If you continue to respond to the subconscious prompts by smoking something, the prompts won't go away. Have you considered other NRT?

    Anyway, best of luck with this. It's really tough at the beginning, but this thing can be beaten. Have you tried frozen grapes? For some reason they are quite soothing to snack on when you're craving. And try some breathing exercises (I expect you can find something on youtube :)) as that helped me a lot.

    It's all worth it.

    H

    Editing to say, by the by, I just remembered about five months into my quit when I was doing fine, I was in a play and was mucking around with someone's fake cig - not an e cig, literally just a plastic thing with a painted red tip. And I was pretending to smoke, and I was hit with the most enormous crave! Just the hand-to-mouth action had set it off! Amazing what devious tricks the brain is capable of!

  • Most people will tell you not to use the e cig. I think the e cig makes it a slower process, but less painful (at least for me it is). In your case if you can manage CT then great, but if you are absolutely desperate, I personally think a puff on your e cig is ok if it stops you smoking a real ciggie.

    I wouldn't *tell* anyone not to use one, but do advise against it apart from when you're really desperate, 'cos I do think they hold on to the "smoking" action for longer.

    Think the patches/gum route is better *but* there isn't a wrong way to quit smoking so whatever works for you is a good thing.

  • Thanks everyone. I'm 18 hours in atm, ive used the e cig twice only, so I'm keeping it low.

    I'm surprised, no real symptoms as of yet. No flu, only about 2 cravings too.

  • Well done. The first 3 days are the worst. If you can do it CT it's best. I couldn't do it but I got past a year in the end.

  • wish you all the best

    I wish you all the best and take one day at a time small steps are easier;)..

    __________________________________

    SMOKED- 30-35 roll ups a day for 22 years

    QUIT AID- champix and this forum

You may also like...