I'm really glad I found this forum, it's great!
I've been trying all week to give up smoking, and keep relapsing, and any advice would be appreciated.
I'm 52, have smoked since I was 17; used to be 12 a day. The last time I seriously tried to give up was in the 90's, and it was hell; I tried to give up coffee and sugar at the same time. (I know - what was I *thinking*?!) I threw all my cigarettes out, and tried to do it by sheer willpower, but every day was a battle. I felt Deprived, you know: 'Yoou-hoo caaan't have one!' Lasted about a week, and I got so irritable that I caved in rather than go round snarling at people!
I decided that since I seemed unable to quit, I'd cut down. Although they say you can't do that, I did, and for years have happily smoked maybe 5 a day (filtered roll-ups, mild tobacco).
But I now would really like to give up. This time it's not cos of other people, or fear, or the health police, I just have finally got to that point where you genuinely don't WANT to be a smoker anymore. There's not even any reason, it just feels like, I dunno, a crutch that was useful once, but I realise I don't need it now.
What I'm having a real problem with is the psychological habit. If you smoked 20 a day, say, I can see that the benefits to your health & pocket would be so immediate and dramatic that they'd help motivate you. Because I don't smoke much, and my body's used to not that much nicotine, in a way it's actually harder! If I stop for a day, I notice my sense of smell's sharper, and I feel slightly more spaced-out. But I don't get ratty, and there's no strong physical craving for a cigarette.
What does me in is the 'loss' feeling, and I'd love it if you could tell me how you handled that. I read Max on another post saying that the 'hole' is illusory. I get that, so I know that in the long run, we don't need to find a substitute. But if I could think of some kind of temporary ritual/substitute, just to get me past the killer first week, I *know* I could do it after that! It's as if, for decades, five times a day I had this nice pleasant relaxing thing to look forward to, no matter what. (Just typing this makes me want to go and light up, lol!).
It sounds pitiful, but cigarettes were my friends. (I said that once to a non-smoker ....... you should have seen the look of incredulous contempt he gave me. :)) A lousy friend maybe, but unlike humans, always reliable, always there. 'Had a difficult day? Feeling thoughtful, stressed, down? Here, let me comfort you!' That's what I miss, and as LadyK said in a post here, 'What have I got instead? My gum, my bottle of water??' I've read in the past, 'Treat yourself to something else', but I'm having trouble thinking of what. You can't have 5 radox baths a day! :DHave any of you got any advice on dealing with that horrible bored empty feeling, where you think vaguely, 'Isn't there something I'd be doing around now?', and then you realise what it is, and feel mournful?
Thanks for reading my whine,