Newbie quitter from down under

Hi all,

so after 26 years of smoking my time to quit has come. I'm a 41 year old male living in New Zealand.........Gidday!

I can't lie about the fact that I enjoyed smoking, and it defined a large part of my life for a long time, I've toyed with the idea of quitting but I've never tried to quit before. I recently hurt my back pretty badly and need some surgery, both my surgeons have told me that stopping smoking will greatly help my recovery and that was the push I needed.

So I started on champix about 2 weeks ago, just finished reading Allen Carr's the easy way to stop smoking, I stopped smoking in the house about 6 weeks ago and have repainted the ceilings and washed the walls, I told all my friends and family I was stopping and I had my last cigarette at 11pm on Saturday night, 41 hours and 46 minutes ago.....phew.

This is rough, am fair climbing the walls :eek:, not so much a physical thing as it is a mind game. The fact that I am at home alone and on heavy pain killers for my back, bored to tears and not moving much, isn't helping.

So I've been lurking around this site to learn from the efforts of others and to get some inspiration and thought I would post a quit blog on here to hopefully get some advice and support, and just for myself as a record of this experience. And just maybe my experiences may help others, as reading some of the blogs on here have helped me already.

I am determined to never smoke again, ever.

Best of luck and strength to all those on this journey with me.

It is a new day - wohoo!

111 Replies

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  • Thanks Lostie !

    I went for hard toffee, little buggers are so hard they take a good 10 minutes to get through and keep my mouth busy at least.

    I also heard that quitting can mess with your blood sugar levels so I thought a slow release of toffee goodness might help that too.

    On the savoury side of things, I bought a second hand breadmaker yesterday and loving it so far, did a small plain white loaf yesterday and already munched my way through a small cinnamon raisin loaf today - yum :)

    I've never been a fan of water but am well stocked up on diet soft drinks and tea, loads and loads of tea. Had my first ciggie free coffee yesterday and went surprisingly OK.

    Cheers!

  • Hi There, and welcome to the forum :)

    Its full of wonderfully mad people on an extraordinary journey to be free of the exact same thing.......which is nuts in itself really! lol

    This site is brilliant, as Lostie said, read lots and post lots...it doesnt matter how trivial you think it is cos its a sure thing that somebody else has been through the same and can guide you through! Also, guessing the film or music thread is a good crave beater too! :D

    All the best with your quit.....hopefully your back will be much better soon

  • Welcome, first of all, what can we call you for short?

    Brilliant that you've decided to quit, I second all what Lostie says, distraction is the key to this puzzle. Keep up the liquid intake as this will help flush out all the toxins, also while your busy keep having to have a pee you're not thinking about anything else;) Good luck :)

  • Welcome to the forum, this is the best quit aid you can get. Keep visiting and posting, also ,read ,read and read some more. Knowledge is power as they say and there are many words of wisdom on this forum.:)

  • Thanks for the welcome everyone, the user name was a long story, newday is a good short version :)

    Partly from the Nina Simone song, you know; its a new dawn, its a new day, its a new me ...... and I'm feeling good.

    So starting day 3 this morning, woke with a sore throat but apparently this is common for newly discovered non smokers. First night I have have gotten through the night (mostly) without being up for hours with back pain in ages, so that is nice although nothing to do with the ciggies, at least it puts me in a better mood today.

    I downloaded this free quit calculator and it tells me the following this morning;

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for Two Days, 8 Hours and 49 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 4 Hours, by avoiding the use of 52 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $68.76.

    Kinda cool :) yeah to me.

    Now that I am not saturated in smoke I am starting to realise how much the house and my clothes still stink of smoke, even though I repainted the ceilings white and sugar-soaped the walls.... have booked a carpet steamer for Friday. If anyone has some other tips for getting the stink out I'd love to hear them (or covering it up with something).

    So we are just starting on summer here and the weather is great, pity I'm a bit house-locked with my back, would rather be out enjoying the weather :(

    Trying to stay off the morphine today as it really makes me want to smoke..... so its a fine balance between putting up with pain, taking a range of other pain killers and not wanting to smoke.

    OK, that's me for now, onwards.........

  • Thanks Kat, the champix has been interesting.... I could definitely feel it working especially once I got on to the full dose and ciggies became less and less rewarding, tasted terrible and I started to realise I was only smoking because that's what I do, not that I really wanted to, was an odd feeling.

    Side effects included a weird metallic taste on my lips, feeling a little trippy for the first few days and the dreams.......OMG the dreams :eek: not frightening but interesting to say the least.

    I am on a whole range of other meds for my back some of which sedate me a lot so sleep has been OK, but probably mainly due to the other meds....

    I do worry about coming off the champix, are people mainly just stopping cold turkey or weaning themselves off slowly?

  • Hi fellow newbie

    Well done on your decision to quit! There is so much support, great advice and valuable experience on this forum. That's why I wanted to join in. Good luck and keep going, taking it day by day. :)

  • Hi Newday, welcome and congrats on your quit so far :) Obviously, everyone is different but after about 4 weeks, I started to forget to take my tablet so made a conscious decision to drop down to one a day...I carried that on for a week then started to chop my one tablet in half and by day 44 was off them. I stress though that's just my experience with Champix...it's not a race to get off them, keep your eyes on the prize...a forever quit....:D:D

  • Hello, newday, and welcome! Well done on reaching Day 3 and I hope your back gets better as quickly as possible.:)

    I actually just did a long reply to you but it disappeared into the ether. :mad:

    So, here is a brief account......

    You can get special paints that cover nicotine stains and "lock in" the smell.

    Wallpaper will have absorbed the smell and would need stripping off and re-papering. Beware if using a steam stripper.........the heat and moisture intensify the smell to a horrendous degree. :o

    Champix....I have been taking a half dose for 4 months (the full dose was too much) and am now reducing it to a quarter dose........I will reduce it further by taking it every other day soon. But some folk stop it all at once....we are all different.

    Sorry if this all sounds abrupt.....I want to post it before it disappears like my previous reply to you! :rolleyes:

    Val

  • Hello newday, well done on your quit. It is so blooming hard to get through the first few days, but after three days the nicotine is gone, you will be able to fight what I call twinges, they aren't bad craves, more like oh Id like a smoke now, well I tell myself It won't taste nice , I will get no satisfaction and I will be mad at myself. It works, . I too am on Champix, I am also a tad worried about just giving it up. So I will take the full course and as I come to the end of it I might just take one a day, then reduce that way. Hopefully by the time It is my turn I will let you know how I am getting on.

    I am also a toffee chewer, I love cadburys eclairs, not sure if you have those in NZ, but just toffee with chocholate in the middle. Anything that takes a while to chew is great. I chew Airwaves chewing gum too, The hit of menthol when you start to chew it almost takes your breath away in a good way. It is great having a menthol breath rather than a smoky breath. ;)

  • Thanks guys, although bad news about the wallpaper, not really keen to redecorate my entire house, I'll see how things are after the steam clean on friday and might buy some covering scents of some sort.

    Day three sux, damn, flu like symptoms and seem to be getting some mouth ulcers which I haven't had since I had braces as a 12 year old - WTF?

    Could be overdoing it with the toffee maybe :)

    The fact that this process sux is going to help me not to smoke again, just avoiding having to do this over is another good motivator. This is my first attempt at quitting ever and its going to be the only one, I did my homework, am as prepared as I can be and do not aim to repeat this.

    Probably a good thing I am not at work today, may have hurt people :) , not a happy camper.:mad:

    I like my ticker;

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for Two Days, 18 Hours and 45 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 5 Hours, by avoiding the use of 67 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $86.80.

  • Hi , I think a lot of people get flu like symptoms on the first few days, also the mouth ulcers, not sure but I hear that it is common.

    I chew on some vit c and zinc tablets, so haven't had it too bad. The nausea with the champix is a pain, I have to sit quiet for a while after taking the morning one, annoying I thought I would be used to it by now.

  • Thanks Biddypat, been rinsing with warm salt water which seems to be settling the mouth ulcers down already, not had any nausea at all with the champix, my biggest complaint is the weird and rather unpleasant bitter-metallic taste in my mouth.

    Day 4 today - I seem to be settling in to this a bit better when at home, went to work for half the day today which was odd, my usual day revolves around my ciggie breaks so lost my rhythm and felt a bit aimless, lots of people congratulating me on quitting which was nice, and being extra nice to me :) - I'm reasonably senior in a quality-oriented role and although I am very fair and friendly I am not easy on a good day so they kept the problems well clear of me today :cool:

    Driving without smoking still seems wrong but my back is too sore to take the motorbike, maybe next week...... sleep has been OK, dreamt about smoking which seemed a bit of a tease. My mood has been rather average and time is moving slowly. Bought loads of summer fruit today to try and reduce the toffee intake.... onwards

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for Three Days, 16 Hours and 23 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 7 Hours, by avoiding the use of 88 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $95.77.

  • Hi Newday, I had loads of smoking dreams, I still get the odd one now and again. I remember feeling so gutted that I'd started smoking again, then waking up and realising it is only a dream is wonderful, knowing how gutted you'd be if you did smoke I think really helps the mindset thing :p

  • I can totally relate to the odd feeling of not having a fag break.

    I have been trying different things to fill in the 10 mins i would usually go outside for.

    Its nice not smelling though isnt it and finding the time to do the little things :D

    this morning, I used my 10 mins to go internet shopping and buy a present with my stop smoking money :D

    Keep on going, you are doing great!!

  • Day 5 today and am starting to see some direct benefits of my quit, my resting heart rate has dropped by about 10bpm and my blood pressure, especially diastolic, has also dropped by about 10mm Hg, without a bead of sweat having been expressed :)

    And as princess mentions, the not smelling of cigs is nice, especially my hands, I've been scrubbing the brown stains off my fingers, something I did maybe once a week as a smoker, with a brillo pad and some industrial soap, and they are staying gone !

    Went out for a Korean meal last night with a friend, as we usually do once a week and I always ask for extra chilly, I like hot (spicy) food and had some pride in being able to eat very hot food, but it seems that I have lost my tolerance to spicy food :( , not a big deal I guess, just have to remember it when cooking and eating, I guess this goes along with the changes in my mouth, the ulcers have almost gone which is nice, but the metallic/bitter taste I now constantly have from the champix is bothering me more and more.....looking forward to getting rid of that stuff - started my second pack of it today, the end is in sight!

    Having a rough day with my back today and back at home and on the morphine which does make me want to smoke more usually, the craving are noticeably less today, more like a passing thought that I can dismiss relatively easily. The worst one is after dinner which is odd as I was never that big on that ciggy when I was a smoker (seems weird to say that..."when I was a smoker"...) whereas I know that it is a really important one for lots of smokers.

    I think the fact that the champix made the last week of smoking unpleasant, in both taste and effect/reward really helps, when I think of having a ciggie I remind myself of much is disliked them when on the champix and reinforce to myself that they will be that unpleasant from now on, that really helps me.

    Driving around yesterday and seeing people smoking on the street and in their cars was OK, I thought that might be hard but I used the Allen Carr idea of feeling sorry for them as addicts and then proud of myself for not being one (almost). Starting reading the "tales from the quit" blog as recommended by people on here, really nice and well written, lots of commonalities there.

    Also nice to be sharing this journey with others on here and feeling part of a movement...... the NZ census just revealed yesterday that smokers are down almost 20% in NZ since 4 years ago. They are also going to reduce the duty free limit from one carton to one pack of ciggies here which would have enraged me a few months ago, now I don't care :)

    Sorry for the long diatribe here :D just mind dumping.........

    Despite my back, I feel good today and proud of myself !

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for Four Days, 11 Hours and 4 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 8 Hours, by avoiding the use of 107 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $112.45.

  • So you should be proud!! Good on ya! Keep up the good work :) xx

  • Thanks for the support guys :)

    Day 6 today - ended up having a relatively angry day yesterday, just in a very down mood with a short temper, not a good day....

    Woke this morning and still feeling the flu-like symptoms a bit, very hoarse throat and congested lungs.

    The carpet is being steam cleaned as I write this, hope that gets 99% of the remaining stink out of the house. Back is kinda average today, will try and stay off the morphine but can't see me going to work, would like to get out of the house though (rather damp house at the mo with the carpet cleaning).

    Hope my mood is a bit better today, good thing I didn't go to work yesterday, it would not have worked out well. Still not feeling myself at all, feeling kinda hazy and strange, not sure what I want (other than the obvious).

    Still determined and hanging in there, just not so happy about it :(

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for Five Days, 10 Hours and 22 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 10 Hours, by avoiding the use of 130 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $136.93.

  • Stick with it you will have ups and downs particularly in these early days but it will get better for you. You are doing the right thing having the carpets cleaned etc, you will not want to pollute them with smoke again so another incentive to stay off the fags.:)

  • day 7 - at 11pm tonight it will be one week - wohoo!

    So had another rather down day yesterday, the carpet steaming worked pretty well and the place smells much better, although moving the furniture around was a bit of a struggle with my back..... managed to stay off the morphine but also missed out on my work's Xmas party yesterday, which I usually enjoy, just wasn't up to it.

    So as a poor attempt to improve my mood and given it was Friday night, I thought I'd get drunk :), given I started smoking before I started drinking as a teenager, it was the first time in my life I'd gotten drunk without having a ciggie, and I thought that alone would be an interesting experiment, given there are no shops within walking distance and I wouldn't be driving anywhere, I had no option to get any ciggs even if I wanted them.

    Actually went pretty well, got moderately sloshed and although ciggies were on my mind, it wasn't moreso with the drinkies, so it isn't the trigger I thought it to be. This is good news for the silly season !

    Woke in a better mood today and my back seems OK so far, might try and get some gentle gardening in today and get out of the house at least. Its a stunning summers' day outside, blue skies, 25 Celsius and the crickets are in full song - sorry to rub it in to the UK crowd :) , middle of December in Europe , bbbrrrrrrrrr :p

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for Six Days, 11 Hours and 36 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 12 Hours, by avoiding the use of 156 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $163.43.

  • Hey! You are doing so well so keep up that good spirt! Quitting is really hard my friend, like you said it really is some weird mind game im telling ya!

    The first week is the worst, its intense but I feel you need to know (and to help with your sanity) its gonna be hard for awhile. I dont mean that to freak you out at all! Its just at times it seems like you are getting no where, and its good to know it will feel like that for about a month.

    BUT suddenly you get these longer pockets of pure freedom where you dont think about smoking at all! Things that used to make you say 'time for a fag' no longer comes and from there its to late to turn back...your a non smoker finally!

    So God bless, keep it up you will be so happy you did :) xxx

  • Hi all,

    day 8 today - that's a solid first week done !

    Ended up getting a little drunk again last night (whoops) :) but it was fine, no crazy cravings or half marathon drunken sprints to the dairy....

    Woke very early (5-ish) with a sore back from the gardening yesterday and half a hangover, but after 4 pints of tea and 3 hours of lazing around I felt better and ended up going for an awesome off-road motorbike trail with a mate of mine, was a big work out and must have lost many litres of sweat - super hot day here, first big work out since the quit and boy did I want a ciggie!

    I think I've had the strongest and longest cravings to date today, throughout the day, something about riding/working out maybe, dunno, but was very much on my mind.

    Got home and cleaned/fixed the bike and still hanging out for one, damn it!

    But I will be strong, I am a non smoker after all !!

    Hope I haven't hurt my back more, but on the other hand, was awesome to get out and go for a blat :) worth some pain....

    Finally cooled down after a cold shower and sitting under the airco and the cravings are slowly disappearing, maybe its the heat....? I am sh1t out of luck if its the heat as summer has only just begun and she gets pretty hot here.

    That's about me - onwards!

  • Woohoo what are u on now? Day 10? You definitely need to be moving through the forum with ur posts now u are in ur second week you are definitely not a newbie anymore!! Keep up the good work! Here's to a smoke free Xmas, I am scared I'll admit but it's edging ever closer and its practically in our grasp!! :D :D

  • Day 9 today and all is well again.....

    Thanks for the comments and support once again - really does help ! I see that there are separate pages for different stages of the people's quit but I kinda like posting into the same blog - my whole story in one swoop for anyone who is interested and for me to look back on.

    Went to work and still felt a little lost at my normal ciggie break times, ended up spending lots of time in the cafe, which is fine, call it "networking". :)

    Ran into our CEO in the cafe and had a chat and scored some brownie points there so that was well worthwhile, turns out he used to smoke too and knew what I was going through - smoozing with the CEO never hurts !

    Right now the game feels about 80% a mental game, 15% automatic memory (like the after dinner one or the morning coffee break) and 5% physical addiction. Kinda miss hanging out with my smoker mates but damn they smell bad (hehehee).

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for Eight Days, 20 Hours and 46 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 17 Hours, by avoiding the use of 213 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $223.49.

  • Day 10 today - it seems to be getting harder....

    Kinda feels like my initial enthusiasm and momentum for my quit is fading but the cravings are not, and hence, I seem to be missing it more than in the first week.

    Had an OK half day at work today and now back home, pretty sore and hovering over the morphine pills. With my back issues I am never without pain and although it's tolerable most of the time, sometimes its nice to just have a break from the pain, the only thing that really works is morphine, or actually, a drug called oxynorm - which is 10 X more powerful than morphine. I spend most of my time when I am not at work lying on my bed with my legs raised, its called 'Z lying' and is the only position that does not aggravate my pain. I am not in a happy place :( , I get the occasional day when the pain is lesser and I can get out and do stuff, I generally end up overdoing it and then having a few bad days as punishment (like taking an aggressive bike ride like I did on Sunday) . Chronic pain really f#$cks with your head, this has been over 2 years now and I'm currently waiting for pretty serious surgery - a 2 level spinal fusion, which is a large part of the motivation for this quit.

    So over 40% of lumbar-spine patients are smokers whilst less than 20% of the population smokes, so smokers are heavily over-represented in his group, the direct links are weak but there is no question that smoking is negatively correlated with outcome following spinal surgery, hence I am now a non-smoker.

    So although my pain makes me want to smoke, it's also a big motivation not to.

    OK, enough of my complaining, at day 10 smoke free today for the first time in 26 years, I am proud of my effort so far, onwards......

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for Nine Days, 15 Hours and 54 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 19 Hours, by avoiding the use of 232 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $243.60.

  • Day 11 today

    Thanks John, I wonder - when do people really start to feel this getting easier? Are we talking 3, 4 weeks or months, or is it hugely varied between people?

    So still feeling a bit aimless during my usual ciggie break at work I decided to go down to the "smoker's spot" where I previously spent every break, and catch up with my smoking mates, I thought this might be hard but it was OK, even with someone sitting next to me smoking - it didn't bother me, I didn't like or dislike the smell - I guess it very much belongs to that spot. It didn't make me want to smoke anymore than I already did :) , we ended up talking a lot about my quit which I think might be starting to rub off on people in a way that; "if he can quit so can I" !

    The bitter/metallic taste from the champix has gotten a lot less which is great, my dreams are still very vivid and seem to involve me smoking a lot - go figure :)

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for Ten Days, 16 Hours and 3 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 21 Hours, by avoiding the use of 256 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $268.98.

  • Hey Thanks John, I appreciate your ideas.

    I am also in the biomedical field (I'm a research scientist) and I hear what you are saying. Having a particularly low day today, very grumpy, and in a foul mood without good reason. In the past, a ciggie would be an easy "reward" or "escape" and I now have to find coping mechanisms that are as instant and yet gratifying. Normally I would get over a bad mood (other than smoking) by rationalising the thoughts, or cause, but the downers I am getting through this quit seem irrational, more related to the quit than any tangible thing, this makes it hard to rationalise my way out of. Its tempting to grab a drink or two but that road is going to take me to a place I don't want to go. I need some psychological tools to replace the instant gratification and reward of smoking - no doubt dopamine related!

    Posting on here help me rationalise sometimes, but again, there seems no tangible reason for my downer moods other than a lack of nicotine and perhaps also the process/ritual of smoking, how does one rationalise their way out of that?

    My back issues are not helping with this, but I've been dealing with them for a while now and so although they are contributing, its not the cause, I wonder if this is a part of PAWS (post acute addiction withdrawal) , not usually associated with nicotine but could easily be;

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-...

    Thoughts anyone? And keep in mind I am a very rational / science based type person, tree hugging and palm reading etc are not on the table :)

    Day 12 today, hanging on, fingernails........

  • I've read that quitting smoking can feel like the death of a loved one. As irrational as that is, there are too many examples of people going through depression after quitting smoking. I believe this happens more on an instinctual level than a cognitive one. After smoking for a while, our brains start to believe that we need nicotine and that we love it, and never in our right minds want to be without it. So when we quit, our brains automatically feel like they have lost something important, even if we don't understand it. I'd combat it with normal ways for boosting your mood. Laughter, exercise (if you can, I know you've been struggling with your back), sex, you know, whatever makes you feel good, make it a point to go do it. And forget about that nasty nicotine stick.

  • Day 14 - hanging in there, but seems to be getting harder not easier :(

    Had a couple of real low days, low mood, almost depressed, like a death in the family, couldn't get my head out of the fact that I wanted to smoke, ended up being weak and drinking my lows away :(

    Have now escaped to an Island retreat literally, am at a friends holiday house on a small island, no roads, no cars, no shops and no cigarettes ! sun is shining, ocean is blue and sitting staring at the beach, life is good again! and nicodemon is out of sight .

    Phew, was a close call.

    Just did a one hour battle to get my phone on the net and bluetooth that into my laptop to get on here, normally this battle would have taken at least 3-4 ciggys, today, it took none, just some swearing. Will celebrate 2 weeks smoke free at 11pm tonight, on the beach howling at the moon.

    its 2pm, time for the first beer of the weekend and a stroll along the beach, ciao all.

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for Thirteen Days, 14 Hours and 44 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 1 Day and 3 Hours, by avoiding the use of 327 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $343.27.

  • Day 15 !! That is a a solid 2 weeks of not smoking for the first time in 26 years.

    Cigarettes are very much on my mind still, at least 20-25 times a day I think about lighting up, not that I would call them cravings they might only come along 2-3 times a day, but these passing thoughts are still very prevalent, all be they relatively easy to dismiss.

    It's also now that I start to appreciate how ingrained the evil weed is in our society, in films and TV, on the street and in the bar, especially with the all the social get-togethers at this time of year, and I am now of course, exquisitely sensitive to all these prompts! Bear in mind that on this side of the world, Xmas is celebrated with sunscreen in one hand and a beer in the other with BBQ's on the beach, so the indoor smoking bans that are everywhere stop having any impact, this just makes the smoking more obvious now that we all live outside so much more. This time of year used to be my fav as a smoker because suddenly we were no longer excluded from the warmth.....the people came to us:) Now it feels like us non smokers are forced to mingle with the filthy few that remain in the grips of the nicodemon :D

    Not that I am free, the demon is putting up a good fight, but I am slowly gaining ground, in 26 years it has managed to establish a stronghold over me that will need more time and more effort and yet a sprinkling of suffering.

    I remain determined that this will be a smoke free entry into 2014.

    Strength to all those on this journey with me , onwards!

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for Fourteen Days, 11 Hours and 8 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 1 Day and 4 Hours, by avoiding the use of 347 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $364.72.

  • Day 18 - Xmas day

    Back from the island and doing OK with the quit, not great, not bad, just OK. Looking after a friend's dog which is kinda fun and getting me out of the house at least although having a rubbish day with my back today so spending it alone, on morphine and in bed :(

    I notice every cigarette around me so keenly, TV, movies, life, out and about, they just seem to be everywhere and they are all screaming at me, wish they would stop.

    I am definitely drinking more, and although this also goes with the time of year, I know that I am partly drinking in an attempt to soothe my irritations and depressed mood, and this is a dangerous road, I know.

    Have put on 3kg since my quit, not a huge deal but something I have to keep an eye on.

    So after doing a bit of self-reflection......I used cigarettes partly as an escape from difficult situations, to break away from uncomfortable social interactions, to help me cope with the frustration of every day life, and they did that, in both a physical and a chemical way. The fact that smoking inside buildings is rarely allowed these days, is something I made use of to manipulate my social world, the prefect excuse to break away and spend some time alone reflecting, I like(d) that. I don't have that any more, I need a new set of tools.

    I'm sick of thinking about cigarettes, but am quietly still proud of myself for giving them away - when the f$#k does this get easier ??

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for Seventeen Days, 13 Hours and 53 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 1 Day and 11 Hours, by avoiding the use of 422 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $443.30.

  • Hi John,

    thanks for checking in, I really appreciate it.

    I'm still around and still smoke free - day 26 today!

    Glad to say it is finally getting a bit easier, still thinking about ciggies every day but its reduced from 20-30 times a day to maybe 5 or 10 and from 2-3 strong cravings a day to maybe 1 or some days none!

    I was hoping to be able to get away for a bit of a holiday, it's summer here and our main holiday season of the year, I was hoping to get away for a week but only managed 3 days before my back issues made me return home, now back lying down and back on the morphine unfortunately. This also means that I will get my surgery done ASAP, I was hoping to stall until autumn just to not spend a summer in bed, but I'm doing worse than I had hoped and now I just want to get it done. The approval for my surgery finally came through on the day before Xmas so now its just a matter of booking it in, given its a reasonably serious bit of surgery, it will take about 6 weeks before they are ready to go anyway.

    I guess the reason I haven't been posting on here much is I didn't think anyone was that interested...... nice to see you are still reading my morphine-induced ramblings! :)

    Went to a big New Years party and got pretty sozzled, some folks there were smoking and the rotten sods had my exact brand of (ex) poison, (rolling tobacco called Port royal), at one stage I grabbed the pack and had a smell of the tobacco, just because I really like the smell, but was not tempted to roll up, my friends were amazed at my strength, yet I found it relatively easy.

    Was nice to catch up with people who hadn't seen me for a while and get told I was looking healthier and younger!

    Best of luck to all those going for the New Year quitting resolution and happy new year to all.

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for Twenty Five Days, 23 Hours and 14 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 2 Days and 3 Hours, by avoiding the use of 623 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $655.10.

  • So glad you're still going strong. I was worried when you hadn't posted. Please don't ever think we're not interested :)

    I hope the back surgery happens soon and that you start feeling a whole lot better afterwards.

  • Thanks everyone for the support and well-wishes, really nice to hear from you.

    Day 27 today and all is OK, after a couple of days lying down the back is feeling a bit better and going to try and make it through the day without heavy meds.

    Giving myself a 50/50 chance :)

    Am still coughin up some nasties in the morning but putting a positive spin on it - that my body is still in "cleaning house" mode.... better out than in !

    I forgot to take my morning champix one day this week and noticed more cravings which worried me a bit, I think I will be cutting them in half and weaning myself off them slowly when the time comes, that time is not here yet. At least the nasty champix taste in my mouth is almost gone and they hardly bother me anymore.

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for Twenty Six Days, 11 Hours and 54 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 2 Days and 4 Hours, by avoiding the use of 636 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $668.43.

  • brilliant news that you are still going strong and made it through the festive season when al that lovely booze and food is around ! I unfortunately failed a couple of weeks ago after a 7 week quit due to too much booze on a night out hence here I am back at day 1 ... would love to be where are you are again right now, well done you!!!!:):)

  • I second Donna's comments, I have enjoyed reading your updates and they do add motivation to my own quit. I'm now 62 hours into it and feeling more positive and determined than any previous quit.

    Here's to 2014

  • Day 29 today, almost a month and its definitely getting easier, thank goodness.

    I still notice the cancer sticks everywhere, especially riding my motorbike around, every smoking car stands out, people standing outside of cafes and bars puffing away.... but it doesn't make me crave, I try and use Allen Carr's thoughts and I pity them :) like, aaawwwww look at that poor addict, bet they wish they were strong like me :)

    seems kinda cruel but its working for me and its never out loud, just my thoughts to myself, although I may tilt my head a little at them like you would a puppy.........aaawwwww :D

    My friends, especially the smoking ones all want to know what my secret or trick was, as they are amazed I quit, given how big I was on smoking, and I put it down to one thing (aside from the champix and toffees), and maybe this will help others;

    I made the decision to stop smoking once, (even though I didn't particularly want to and wasn't particularly sure I could) , but all the same once I made the decision to not smoke again, I don't have to revisit that decision ever, and I haven't. So whenever I feel like lighting up (which is/was a lot) I remind myself that its simply not an option, I don't smoke any more, but I never revisit the decision of "shall I smoke?", that decision was made once 28 days ago.

    Sounds kinda simple and obvious, but if there was a trick I used, that was it.

    Had a friend over last night and we drank way too much, when he went out for a smoke I was comfortable going out with him and chatting, he really stank when we went back inside though, made me glad not to be a smoker any more.

    I am also loving the freedom of not having to have the cancer sticks and a lighter on me all the time, much quicker leaving the house now and I feel free-er (is that a word?), my pockets are not constantly full and bulging.

    They just added another 10% tax on ciggies here this week, ha, good job :) filthy habit you know......

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for Twenty Eight Days, 10 Hours and 42 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 2 Days and 8 Hours, by avoiding the use of 683 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $717.69.

  • brilliant news that you are still going strong and made it through the festive season when al that lovely booze and food is around ! I unfortunately failed a couple of weeks ago after a 7 week quit due to too much booze on a night out hence here I am back at day 1 ... would love to be where are you are again right now, well done you!!!!:):)

    Sorry to hear that DonnaJ, hope you manage to stick it out on this quit, two thing that also help motivate me;

    1 - most people who have a ciggie after a long quit say they really don't enjoy it, tastes like the first ciggie ever - awful and nauseating, and then there's the self loathing guilt trip.....

    2- the first two weeks of my quit sucked big time, never want to have to do that again!

    Take care !

  • Awesome!

    Well done and you know you can continue now.

    All the best for 2014,

    Paul.

  • Very well done! You are doing great and should be very proud of your self and now it will just get easier for you:)

  • Thank you all again, it really is nice to hear from people and know that my rantings may help others. Posting on here certainly helps me, nice to just mind-dump to people who are on this journey with me.

    Day 30 today and went back to work for the first day since the holidays, well....... went in for half a day until the back gave out, now back home and just waiting for the pills to kick in :(

    Was good to catch up with everyone, including the smoker mates and even went and sat in the smoker's space and watched them smoke, was no problem, I am not at all inclined to smoke and the smell bothers me more and more. Funny thing was that another smoker friend quit and we were both in there catching up with one smoker who was still smoking, so the smoker was the odd one out hehehe.

    I think I am going to turn into one of those hater/bitter - ex smokers, the ones that used to really piss me off when I was smoking, oh well, so be it.

    Most people did not expect me to keep it up over the break so they were pretty impressed...... yay me :)

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for Twenty Nine Days, 15 Hours and 28 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 2 Days and 11 Hours, by avoiding the use of 711 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $747.97.

  • Hi guys,

    day 31 today and another sh1tty day spent lying down But not smoking!

    For the gruesome details; I have destroyed the spinal disks between L4/L5 and L5/S1, they are herniated, prolapsed and completely occluding the descending nerve tracts out of my spinal cord. I also have some cysts on my vertebral facet joints caused by this (also called z-joints).

    That means sciatic and lumbar (leg and lower back) pain, pretty nasty, the surgery I am waiting for is called a 2 level ALIF - (Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion), where they will fuse those three offending vertebrae L4, L5 and S1 into one bone by removing what's left of the two disks and replacing with artificial cages filled with bone growing matrix and bolting those into the 3 vertebrae , they go in from the front (hence the name anterior). Its a 4 hour surgery requiring 2 surgeons, should be able to walk (shuffle) in 4-5 days, home in 6-7 days, full recovery is 6 months (all going well).

    Chance that this surgery will help is a lousy 70% :( but its the only option I have.

    Waiting for the date but should be within 4-5 weeks, I just want to get it over with at this stage.

    Sorry for a depressing post, not in a happy place today.....

    Good news is my ticker tells me I hit one month today - about 15 minutes ago!! woop woop.

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for One Month and 17 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 2 Days and 14 Hours, by avoiding the use of 744 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $782.50.

  • Hi all,

    day 35 today and still doing fine with the smoking.

    Not doing well with the back unfortunately, had a friend over for dinner the other night and slipped on the carpet - since it got steam cleaned its really smooth and slippery, fell over backwards on to a dining table chair and destroyed the chair and hurt my back pretty bad, 10 x 15 cm purple bruise :(

    Hadn't even had a drink - just clumsy (doh).

    Have been immobile and on the heavy meds since :( , also why I haven't been posting, just been too wasted on the meds.

    Although I did go and see my GP the other day (same day as I fell) - first time since I told him I was going to quit and he prescribed me the champix, and I was very proud to tell him that I was well over a month smoke free. He's been my GP since I was 9 years old so knows me and my indiscretions (ahem) very well :), I am lucky to have such an awesome GP. I work with a lot of clinicians in my job and am well aware of how many rather poor and confused ones there are out there, mine is awesome.

    I am feeling very confident that the ciggies are out of my system and I think I will start cutting the champix tablets in half soon, might just wait until the back settles down a bit.

    Good luck to all the new-year's quitters, the light at the end of the tunnel is definitely on ! Smoke free living is great and smells heaps better too :)

    Ciao

  • Oh, and thank you so much to all the well wishers - I really love getting feedback and it helps me to keep going, not only with the ciggies but also through the back issues, like a friendly wave through the fog of morphine..... :)

  • Lovely to hear from you and that your quit is still going strong :)

    Very sorry about your back though. Sod's law to fall when you were sober. If you had been gantered you would probably have bounced :D

    Hope you are feeling better soon.

  • Day 37 today and smoking feels like a distant memory.

    Wish I could say the same thing about back pain :(

    Still not in a happy place with that but at least the smoking is a distant memory, even watching people smoke on TV doesn't irk me any more and it really did for a while.

    I feel confident in the knowledge that I will never smoke again.

    Hope everyone else is doing well, although its summer over here, given I am spending 90% of my time lying down means it might just as well be snowing - I'd actually rather it was miserable outside then I wouldn't feel like I was missing out so much.

    I feel my morning pills starting to kick in - yay! and the breadmaker just went beeb I am ready - yum :)

    Onwards.....

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for One Month, Five Days, 12 Hours and 33 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 3 Days and 1 Hour, by avoiding the use of 877 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $921.78.

  • I've really enjoyed reading your story so far, mate.

    Triumph over adversity and all that.

    Any news on your op?

    Raising a toast to your health from across the globe,

    Steve

  • I agree with John, it is great that it is all in one thread it reads like your personal diary. Brilliant stuff! Well done:)

  • Day 39 today

    Thanks once again for the support guys, always welcome and appreciated, I have just read back over my whole thread and makes an interesting read, if it helps anyone in their quit then that is awesome, it has certainly helped me. I though about that some more and it's helped me in the following ways;

    - by being a way to brain-dump my thoughts and frustrations without feeling like I am being judged

    - to feel like I am not walking this bumpy and steep road alone

    - that I am communicating to people who know EXACTLY what I am going through, most of whom have been there / are there themselves

    - by gaining a variety of advice on how others have handled the same issues allowing me to choose which I think might help me best

    -I also like the relative anonymity and freedom of it, I choose to share what want and don't feel pressured to contribute if I don't feel like writing.

    So again, thank you all for existing :)

    On another note, seems I jinx myself easily, just as I share that things are much better and smoking seems like a "distant memory", it comes back and bites me in the ar5e....

    Had a truly rubbish day yesterday, got bad and stressful news from work, got sh1tty news from my doc, was having a bad back day and was really let down by someone I was counting on, all in the same day and I could have sucked back a whole pack of cancer sticks in on sitting. Was interesting and worrying at the same time to see that my stress reactions - at a high level - are still very much in the grips of the nico-demon. Worst cravings I have had for weeks and very hard to dismiss them too. If I had already stopped the champix, as I was thinking about doing a few days ago, I think I might have caved...... :(

    Has reminded me that this is very much an ongoing process and I am not free of it yet, perhaps like the alcoholics (and Allen Carr) say - once you're an addict, you're an addict for the rest of your life, and you have to choose to abstain, and therefore must remain vigilant.

    If a prefect storm occurred right now, and for me that might include; a day like yesterday, I'd forgotten to take my champix, I was half drunk and had my brand of ciggies on hand....... I would probably fall.

    Might sounds defeatist, but I think its good to be aware, to remain vigilant and work hard to ensure the perfect storm can't happen.

    OK, am ranted-out :) have a good one everyone !

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for One Month, Seven Days, 13 Hours and 2 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 3 Days and 5 Hours, by avoiding the use of 925 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $972.83.

  • so again, thank you all for existing :)

    .........

    Qotd :)

  • Thanks John and Max, you both make good points, yesterday was a real low point, feeling a little better today but still surprised at the strength of the craving yesterday (for the whole day pretty much). Somewhat less this morning.The heavy meds I am on most of the time are not helping with this as they decrease my will power, concentration and common sense and increase my wanting to smoke at the same time.

    At work right now and hoping to stay off the meds for today. I have ordered a treadmill to help with the preparation for surgery and recovery from surgery, should arrive today and hope that will be a good stress reliever and also help with the pain levels. Seems its important for me to walk/jog on a flat surface and I live in a pretty hilly part of town, so I thought this would be a good help and motivator. We shall see.

    Might also be a good thing to act out some not-smoking-frustrations on!

    Day 40, and counting.....phew

  • Day 42

    Thanks Kat, treadmill has arrived and its a pretty swish one, well padded walking platform, motorised everything and very smooth. Has a max of 16km/hr at a 15 degree slope which I can't imagine anyone doing when I saw it go at that :)

    I'm pretty happy at walking pace for the mo....

    Been a bit of a rough week ciggie wise, but staying strong and resolute, back feels good today and might go out for a dive with some mates, I know I shouldn't and I know I'll pay for it, but I gotta live too, and enjoy life.

  • Day 43

    Had a great day yesterday, had one of my best dives ever (and I have dived >3000 times so that is saying something).

    Crystal clear water and big schools of large 30-40 lb fish surrounding us most of the time, endless clouds of small colourful reef fish and warm waters, just awesome, topped it off with fresh scallops for dinner - yum !

    And my back seems Ok today, although punishment is usually delayed by 2-3 days, so we'll see how it goes....

    Been good on the treadmill and doing at least 25 mins/day, haven't missed a day so far. And needless to say that no cancer sticks were consumed in the making of this day!

  • Itsy, have just read through your thread and want to congratulate you on your terrific quit.

    Having been enslaved by nicodemon for 47 years, I am currently on day 3 - going into day 4 - of NO FAGS, although I am using Champix and ecig - so don't feel as brave as many of you.

    How you have coped with giving up and with your back problems is inspirational.

    Dive deep and soar high, my friend, because you will. :)

  • I bet swimming/diving is easier on your back than any other form of exercise isn't it?

    Glad you had such a lovely day. It sounds idyllic. It's really hard to imagine hot weather and warm coral water in an English January. :)

  • Day 45

    Thanks for the congrats and support guys ! and good job on the quit sugarpuff, hang in there, first week is sh1t but it gets better :)

    I have already paid for my treadmill, I got it second hand on our version of Ebay for only $300 (was worth $2000 about 3years ago and owned by an older lady who intended to use it but hardly did - was a very good deal ! ).

    My ticker tells me I have saved over $1100 already - and bought myself a wee present today as well...... a very nice graphics card for my PC at about $400 (yes I'm a geek), having a go at litecoin mining (google it if you're interested, its the new hot thing in geek-world).

    Using the treadmill for 25mins everyday and going really well, I did take my punishment for the days' diving on Monday, spending the day on heavy meds and in bed, but been OK other than that.

    Having a pretty good time psychologically this week and so not been hanging out for the cancer sticks, did have a mean craving this evening after successfully getting the litecoin mining thing working (was quite a battle), but had a chocolate instead :) Funny how I want a smoke both when things go really well and when they go really bad.........

    Just checked my ticker and have not smoked over 1000 fags - that is a lot!!

    Yah me :)

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for One Month, Thirteen Days, 23 Hours and 12 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 3 Days and 17 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1079 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $1,135.26.

  • 45 days and going strong

    Day 45

    Thanks for the congrats and support guys ! and good job on the quit sugarpuff, hang in there, first week is sh1t but it gets better :)

    I have already paid for my treadmill, I got it second hand on our version of Ebay for only $300 (was worth $2000 about 3years ago and owned by an older lady who intended to use it but hardly did - was a very good deal ! ).

    My ticker tells me I have saved over $1100 already - and bought myself a wee present today as well...... a very nice graphics card for my PC at about $400 (yes I'm a geek), having a go at litecoin mining (google it if you're interested, its the new hot thing in geek-world).

    Using the treadmill for 25mins everyday and going really well, I did take my punishment for the days' diving on Monday, spending the day on heavy meds and in bed, but been OK other than that.

    Having a pretty good time psychologically this week and so not been hanging out for the cancer sticks, did have a mean craving this evening after successfully getting the litecoin mining thing working (was quite a battle), but had a chocolate instead :) Funny how I want a smoke both when things go really well and when they go really bad.........

    Just checked my ticker and have not smoked over 1000 fags - that is a lot!!

    Yah me :)

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for One Month, Thirteen Days, 23 Hours and 12 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 3 Days and 17 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1079 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $1,135.26.

    Well done on 45 days, it does get better doesn't it?

    I have to says that the craves on this quit, for me, have not been too bad, but psychologically it has been difficult. I'm just into 6 months and have only just started to feel much more positive about it. So if your having a better time psychologically now, fingers crossed you have mastered this : well done.

    Margie

  • You are powering through this quit! As usual a great post, lovely to read:)

  • Day 48 today

    Hi everyone, lovely as always to read your thoughts and replies, big news for this week is that I have started to drop my champix dose !

    I had a really busy morning on Tuesday, had a 9AM meeting with the big boss and so was very preoccupied and completely forgot my morning champix, didn't bother me at all and I didn't even think about it till late in the afternoon. Given it was already late in the day I just left it and took my normal one in the evening. Did have very intense dreams though, like I did when I started on them, which I think may be due to having low circulating levels because of the one I forgot and then hiking it up suddenly in the evening. I tried cutting them in half - so I would have relatively steady-state levels but at a lower dose, but the little buggers are very hard to cut in half and taste awful. So decided to stick to one a day and just have the morning one, given I don't crave ciggies at night and might avoid the crazy dreams this way. Been doing this since then (only 3 days) but so far its been fine.

    I'll do this for a couple of weeks I think and then try dropping them all together. I have just started my last pack of champix so officially have 28 days to go.

    The other big news is that I finally have a date for my spine fusion surgery - May 23rd, long way off but gives me a chance to lose a bit more weight and get a bit fitter to help with the recovery. Quitting cigges has caused me to gain about 5 Kg - not so much given I am a pretty big bloke at 6'4" and 103Kg.

    Somewhere around 92-95 Kg is a good weight for me and this will be my target, go the treadmill ! (and ease up on the Nutella, my Achilles heel :) )

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for One Month, Sixteen Days, 12 Hours and 42 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 3 Days and 23 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1141 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $1,200.08.

  • I am pleased you finally have a date for your surgery :)

    Really good news re the champix too. I have a feeling this is going to be your year :D

    PS: I know exactly what you mean re Nutella. I don't have a sweet tooth really, but I do love Nutella. I daren't have any in the house at the moment. :o

  • Day 50 today !! woop woop

    feels like a milestone (or is that millstone :))

    Still on just one champix per day and haven't noticed that having any effect at all. Looking forward to getting rid of them all together, maybe in a week or two.

    Long weekend here at the mo, not really up to much, just chilling out, kinda rainy for the next few days, so its hot and sticky here, but bearable.

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for One Month, Eighteen Days, 12 Hours and 42 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 4 Days and 3 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1189 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $1,250.68.

  • Day 53 today

    Still on one champix a day and have been missing the cancer sticks more and more so definitely not ready to stop just yet. Getting a bit of stress from work and that doesn't help, really need to be spending more time on my back but too busy with work so have been pretty sore, doesn't look like its going to stop anytime soon :(

    Good news though, went on a date this week ! went pretty well, going out again this weekend :) Been single for a while now so thought it was time,every shot not fired is a guaranteed miss - so am back at the firing range !

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for One Month, Twenty One Days, 23 Hours and 24 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 4 Days and 9 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1271 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $1,337.89.

    damn - 1271, thats a f##king lot !:D

  • Day 58

    Hi everyone, so the date went really, been out a few times since and going REALLY bl00dy well :) Think I might be on to something here...... :)

    It was actually a morphine and boredom induced stroll through an online dating site I hadn't been on in ages, I hardly remembered the next day, but seems I was rather active :D and got a few replies...... this one amongst them (shhhh).

    So far so good, the quit has been OK last few days, feeling pretty close to getting rid of that last champix pill, maybe in the next few days.

    Back has been average, some good days some bad days, been good on the treadmill and only missed 2 days since I've had it, mainly due to the heavy meds.

    Onwards and upwards....

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for One Month, Twenty Six Days, 21 Hours and 46 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 4 Days and 19 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1390 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $1,462.73.

  • This is going to be your year Itsy :D, I can feel it in my water.

    Good on you! Onwards and upwards indeed. :)

    PS: I'm only 24 hours behind you so I shall be bursting through the Penthouse door in your wake!

  • Day 61 today and finally flying solo

    Haven't had a champix for three days and feeling OK, not great, but OK, had the most insanely vivid dream last night about having a cigarette, it tasted awful in my dream and made me spin even though I didn't inhale deeply, but it was so real that I felt guilty when I woke and disappointed in myself. Even when I realised it was a dream I still felt disappointed in myself for dreaming about smoking :confused:

    Having a sh1tty week with my back this week and on the heavy meds for the last 3 days.

    Nice work Skiddaw! - I keep hearing about this penthouse - what is that about and when do I get there? Does it involve dancing girls ? cause it should :)

    And congrats to you JohnJ -300 days is awesome, do you still think about smoking much? I feel really strong in my quit but the dream last night really did shake me a little - you still get the odd fright at 300 days?

  • Hi Itsy,

    The Penthouse is where we all end up if we can quit for a year. It's where all those big league players like Max and Kat live. I understand it's bursting at the seams with dancing girls, swimming pools, bottles of ice-cold fizz and beer and everything else you could possibly want. Sort of Hotel California without any of the sinister bits. :D

    Poor you with your back- I do hope the surgery will help. No wonder you're having wierd dreams. Probably a combination of pain, the medication and coming off the champix. Well done on coming off them by the way- flying solo now! :)

    Take care of yourself won't you?

  • That made me laugh.....you,ll be telling us George Clooney and Brad Pitt are in the penthouse next and we can't get to meet them til our year is up :D :D :D

  • ...so what happened with your date Itsy?????

    Spill the beans mate! ;)

    Well done as always re: quit :D

    Cheers, Steve

  • Yeah what happened with the date??? :) well done on 61 days Itsy, totes amazing :D

  • Day 62

    Thanks guys, pity I have to wait a year for this penthouse, but happy about the dancing girls, they make just about anything better :)

    As for the date - went very well, even though I am well out of practise.....

    We ended up going for a second date, where the plan was to go for a walk around the waterfront of Auckland city, it was a blisteringly hot Saturday and so pretty busy with people. We had a nice walk and stopped for a drink at a cafe where I mentioned that one of my all time fav beaches in the entire country is a place called Whatipu, she hadn't been there and was intrigued so we kind of went on the spur of the moment and headed out there late in the afternoon.

    Whatipu is a very remote west coast black sand beach about 45min from Auckland on gravel roads - its really wild, empty and has stunning sunsets. Do a Google picture search for "Whatipu sunset" and you will see what I mean. The beach is a 20 minute walk from the carpark and there is just nothing out there, no houses, no roads, no people, just awesome NZ nature at its best.

    So we got some grab-and-eat food from a shop on the way, headed out there and then walked along the desolate beach for about an hour, built a wee fire and cuddled up just in time for a spectacular sunset.....

    Fair to say that this scenario is pretty much a guaranteed winner :) as it was on that day......:cool:

    We saw each other again on Sunday for dinner and a movie at mine and although we've both had busy weeks, are going out again tomorrow. So still very early days but all good and exciting - you know that whole butterflies thing ......

    OK so not sure why I am sharing all this, nothing to do with smoking !! - but you asked :)

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for One Month, Thirty Days, 16 Hours and 14 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 5 Days and 3 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1480 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $1,558.20.

  • Day 62

    Thanks guys, pity I have to wait a year for this penthouse, but happy about the dancing girls, they make just about anything better :)

    As for the date - went very well, even though I am well out of practise.....

    We ended up going for a second date, where the plan was to go for a walk around the waterfront of Auckland city, it was a blisteringly hot Saturday and so pretty busy with people. We had a nice walk and stopped for a drink at a cafe where I mentioned that one of my all time fav beaches in the entire country is a place called Whatipu, she hadn't been there and was intrigued so we kind of went on the spur of the moment and headed out there late in the afternoon.

    Whatipu is a very remote west coast black sand beach about 45min from Auckland on gravel roads - its really wild, empty and has stunning sunsets. Do a Google picture search for "Whatipu sunset" and you will see what I mean. The beach is a 20 minute walk from the carpark and there is just nothing out there, no houses, no roads, no people, just awesome NZ nature at its best.

    So we got some grab-and-eat food from a shop on the way, headed out there and then walked along the desolate beach for about an hour, built a wee fire and cuddled up just in time for a spectacular sunset.....

    Fair to say that this scenario is pretty much a guaranteed winner :) as it was on that day......:cool:

    We saw each other again on Sunday for dinner and a movie at mine and although we've both had busy weeks, are going out again tomorrow. So still very early days but all good and exciting - you know that whole butterflies thing ......

    OK so not sure why I am sharing all this, nothing to do with smoking !! - but you asked :)

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for One Month, Thirty Days, 16 Hours and 14 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 5 Days and 3 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1480 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $1,558.20.

    Quite frankly that sounds awesome! No wonder she's keen to see you again sounds very romantic and it was a date that's different from the usual going for coffee/dinner/drinks etc....ooh you never know we may have to buy hats soon! ;) p.s gonna look up on google now :)

  • Ooohh, Itsy, have just looked up 'Whatipu Sunset' :D. I see what you mean...what a spectacularly beautiful place. It doesn't get much more romantic than that does it? Very glad you have a further date pending and hope your new relationship continues to develop. :)

  • Hi Itsy, lovin your posts, just read them all, you are doin great. I wanna go to that beach. 5 weeks taday since quit and am well proud of myself. finding it really easy so far, it must get harder somewhere along the way. good luck:)

  • Day 66 today

    Hi all, thanks for the feedback and glad you liked the date-blog....

    Back to smoking however, am having a rubbish time of it ! ever since I stopped with the champix I can't seem to get ciggies out of my mind....ggggrrrrrrrr.

    Was at a BBQ this weekend and someone lit up "my brand" and damned it was hard, its not that I am any less resolute about smoking - I am still totally confident that I will never smoke again, but that doesn't mean that its any easier, I really though it would be easier after all this time.....:(

    I genuinely miss my cancer sticks and probably think about them 20-30 times a day at the mo, trying to use the Allen Carr psych tools but they are just not doing it for me. It seems that the world is FULL of smokers, it doesn't help that I'm pretty stressed with work stuff backing up and the whole back thing, surgery etc etc, although the back has been not too bad the last week or so and only 2 days on heavy meds in the last week, which is an improvement.

    In search of a non-cigarette cigarette-like-thingie, I even had a go at meditation and using binaural beats, just to get that time-out chill effect, but to no avail. So even after 66 days and over 1500 unsmoked ciggies, its not easy for me, damned weed.

    Am hoping that this is just me weaning off the champix and my dopamine system having to re-balance, wish it would hurry the f#$#k up :)

    Sorry to vent and I appreciate that there's not really an answer for me other than time, just feels good to have a wee vent to some people who understand.

    Oh, and in regards to the dating thing - seems to be going along OK but at a pretty slow pace, which is fine by me, going for dinner again tonight - bit more of a standard restaurant one :)

    Onwards and upwards !

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for Two Months, Three Days, 18 Hours and 29 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 5 Days and 11 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1578 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $1,661.91.

  • Thing is, Itsy, you have so much on your plate it's no wonder you're a bit twitchy at the moment. The main thing is that you've held on in there.

    Funnily enough, I had a twitchy day yesterday- various pressures and have a cold coming on- which shouldn't be enough to make me miss nicotine but it was. Like you, though, I am certain I will never smoke again.

    You're my quit buddy as you're just a few hours ahead of me, and I am looking forward to entering the penthouse in your wake as it were :D

    Hope you have a better day today. :)

  • Day 72 today

    Hi everyone, thanks as always for the support and advice, things have calmed down a fair bit since my last post and I am doing Ok again.

    And Skiddaw - keep it up, I'll be holding the door to the penthouse open for you :) First round is on me!

    OK, so I think the champix is well and truly out of my body now and things have somewhat normalised, cravings/ciggie thoughts have been down to average, similar to when I was on the full champix dose, so I consider that an improvement, and am keeping on strolling down the smoke free path.

    Was at a wedding this weekend with a fair few smokers but also a few people I hadn't seen in a long while and it was nice to get comments about the fact that I looked better/younger, and even that the colour of my face had changed to a much healthier hue, from a greyish-yellow to a more normal rosey pink :), it was kinda funny as I went with a really good friend of mine who has just had a one sided mastectomy 2 weeks ago, she was cripple #1 and I was cripple #2 (with my back), was nice to be able to support each other and find good seats wherever we were. She was absolutely awesome, this was the first outing post-op and she was really positive and happy - was great to see, after what had been a very rough few months for her......

    As for the other "she" from the recent dating, that is going bl00dy well :cool: ahem, been seeing a fair bit of each other and growing closer, exciting and all good..... I think that has taken more years off me than the ciggie quit :)

    Hope everyone else is doing good on their quits, sorry to hear about all the flooding and cr#p weather over in the UK, hope you're managing to keep your heads above water, wouldn't mind a few cooler days, been blistering over here.

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for Two Months, Nine Days, 17 Hours and 55 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 5 Days and 23 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1722 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $1,813.37.

  • Hi Itsy,

    Really glad to hear the dating is going well :D and that things in general seem to be on the up. I do look forward to your updates! :)

    Hope the week treats you well.

    Still above water here although only just. Garden fence took a bit of a hammering in very strong winds on Friday night but other than that no damage to report thankfully...

  • Day 76 today

    Hi everyone,

    just checking in to say gidday, the week has been pretty average in regards to my back, have had 2 days on the heavy meds although I'm still trying to work out on the treadmill. I've been trying to lose the weight that I gained with the ciggie quit and good news is I managed to get rid of 4 Kg over the last 2 weeks, mainly by not eating crap food and lots of summer fruit instead. Its still FREAKING hot over here, sticky and sweaty and I am kinda over it.

    Ciggie quit has been fine this week, I flushed the last of my champix pills this week , about 40 or 50 of them and it felt liberating - my last chemical tie to the nicodemon has been cut:) and I'm flying solo and feeling good about it. Two of my previous smoking buddies have been seriously asking for advice on how to quit, they figured I would never last as a non smoker and now that they see me as a happy non smoker for over 2 months they reckon they might be able to quit too ! What I do notice is how unhealthy their skin colour is, and how bad they smell, something I never really noticed before.

    As for the dating thing - still going Ok, although I'm really not sure, women are hard - I guess I forgot how hard they were :confused: ..... strange creatures ! I'm not very good at subtlety and 'games', preferring to be direct and honest, which doesn't always work in my favour but its just the way I am, I find that although women say that this is what they want - I don't think they really mean that, more of an ideal thought than an ideal reality I think :p ..... we'll see I guess, so far its still OK but I have no idea where I stand :)

    I'm not helping this confusion myself as I find myself recently being drawn to a dear old friend in a more than friendly way - I am complicating myself :rolleyes: maybe quitting ciggies is an aphrodisiac???? could be worse :cool:

    Onwards and upwards....

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for Two Months, Fourteen Days, 13 Hours and 31 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 6 Days and 9 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1838 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $1,935.48.

  • Hang in there Kiwi - I'm an Aussie - coupla weeks and you'll be golden!!

  • Hi Itsy,

    Always good to read one of your updates. :)

    Many congratulations on finishing the Champix. It feels good to be flying solo doesn't it? :D

    Dear me- your love life appears to be getting rather complicated. I shall very much look forward to hearing how it pans out. Still, as you say, it distracts you from any thoughts of the Demon Nic, though perhaps you'd better not tell either of the girlies that. Might not go down too well. ;)

    Onwards and upwards my qutting buddy :D

  • Hello Itsy....your posts are so informative and full of news,love the updates:D

    Your sounding so confident in your quit now,looks like youv cracked it x

  • Day 81

    Hi everyone, thanks as always for the continued interest and support, nice to think that my random ramblings may be of help to others :) if only for entertainment value.

    I am feeling like I have cracked this smoking thing, most days they might only cross my mind once or twice and are easy to dismiss, wouldn't call them cravings, just thoughts. Although on the other hand, given the recent dating events - I have come across a new and rather strong trigger......the ol' ya know :) damned cigarettes :p still, things could be worse.... could be simpler too though, no real clarity yet, just going with the flo in regards to the women folk right now.

    Having a rubbish week with the back this week, but may also be related to the new trigger, what can I say :D ...... just unfortunate that it is during a very busy work week and I just can't take days out on the heavy meds, just having to bite the bullet. Supposed to be going diving this weekend but thinking I might bail on it, have another heavy work week next week and need to rest up.

    Needless to say the whole dating thing is still going pretty well, weather is still hot and sticky and I am still a non smoker. woop woop yay me !

    Strength and best wishes to all those on this journey with me. Given I have saved over $2K this week (see below) I bought myself a new camera.

    Never another puff peoples !!

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for Two Months, Nineteen Days, 19 Hours and 48 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 6 Days and 19 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1964 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $2,068.95.

  • Well, if you're going to put your back out, may as well be as a result of doing something you enjoy :)

    Good on you Itsy, on all fronts :D

  • Yes that trigger is a real one....it's how I got up to 20 a day!

    .

    Nice one John :) I'm nowhere near 20 per day, bowing down to your prowess !

    Day 95 today and all is good with the ciggie quit.

    Have been having a particularly bad time with the back over the last couple of weeks, spending up to half my time high as a kite on morphine staring at the (nice and white) ceiling. Just heard from my surgeon that my op has been moved out to June now so not very happy about that but outside my control.

    Ciggies still cross my mind every day and sometimes the thought is pretty persuasive, but the idea of actually smoking has been so far removed from my reality that its just not going to happen. I did have to walk out of a small room the other day with 2 people both smoking my old brand of cancer sticks - was just a bit much.

    Happy to be a non smoker and quietly proud of myself for having done this in my first go at it.

    The most obvious benefits that I enjoy everyday include;

    - I smell better and so do my clothes

    - my house, car and office smell heaps better

    - I have more breath and clearer breathing

    - I leave the house without having my pockets full of ciggies/lighters etc

    - my fingers and teeth are no longer stained yellow

    - my garden it no longer littered with stinking buts

    - the ceilings and walls are nice and white and staying that way

    - I don't have to empty stinking ashtrays

    - I am no longer a slave to my addiction

    - I am free to enjoy a 2 or 3 hour movie without having the nag to go outside for a smoke

    - I don't have to stand in the cold/hot/rain/wind to smoke and lose my seat in the pub !

    - the carpet is not constantly covered in a fine layer of tobacco (I rolled my own)

    - my pockets are not constantly lined with tobacco

    - I don't have to worry about running out of ciggies/filters/papers etc

    - I don't need ciggies to enjoy a drink or coffee

    - food tastes better and the taste lasts longer

    - I never cough in the morning anymore

    - I don't worry about the fact that I am killing myself anymore

    - I am proud of my own newly-discovered self control

    - people no longer pity or shun me because of my addiction

    - I am saving HEAPS of money

    - I don't have to worry about my lighter running out and having back ups everywhere

    Phew, that's quite a list :) - I am so happy with this list that I am expanding it and making it into a new thread to hopefully inspire a few others !

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for Three Months, Five Days, 15 Hours and 50 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 7 Days and 23 Hours, by avoiding the use of 2296 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $2,420.13.

  • Howdi all,

    day 105 today

    all is still just fine with the cigarette quit, starting to truly feel like a distant memory. Have had the first few days where I don't think smoking has even crossed my mind :D

    I made the list of benefits from quitting from my last post into a bigger list and started a new thread with it in "day one", I asked a mod to make it a sticky as I think it might be a good motivation for newbie quitters - especially on day one where we all know we need it most! Will see if they agree.

    For the rest, my back has been decidedly average for the last little while, though mostly (read all) self inflicted :) which brings me back to the whole dating thing (thanks Skiddaw) - still going pretty damned well and safe to say I am now officially "in a relationship" :) feels good, been single for a wee while and making up for lost time is loads of fun......

    Summer is slowly coming to an end although its actually much nicer now, nice weather and not so stinking hot, not getting much diving in with the bad back but did get an awesome bike ride through the forest in this weekend. To those in the know - I'm thrashing my KLR650 through forest tracks they were never meant to be taken down ! Great fun! And although I'm broken today in payment for my forest ride - it was worth it :D I've realised that it's sometimes worth the extra pain just to do stuff I love to do - man's gotta live right?

    Hope everyone else is doing well and holding strong on their quits! Have a good week all.

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for Three Months, Fifteen Days, 20 Hours and 57 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 8 Days and 19 Hours, by avoiding the use of 2541 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $2,679.64.

  • Many congrats Itsy on all fronts :)

    I do admire the way you refuse to allow your back issues from stopping you living life to the full. You're an inspiration mate. :D

  • 160 days smoke free !

    Howdi all :)

    I'm still around and still a non-smoker, sorry I haven't been posting much, I guess to tell the truth, I haven't really needed the support to maintain my quit, its been going just fine and I feel myself to be a true non smoker.

    Unfortunately, the relationship didn't last and I am back on my own, but I am fine with that, it was my call, and even though these things are never nice/easy, it was the best call. So after a pretty full-on 4 months fling we parted ways in a reasonably amicable way.....:cool: Although this was the first emotionally challenging thing I have ever gone through as a non-smoking adult and I must say that the nicodemon did pop his nasty little head up a few times, but I was strong.

    Helene - it probably doesn't matter anymore, but yes the champix here is also a 12 week course and I took them for about 8 weeks before going to one per day for another 2 weeks before stopping all together without any issues.

    For the rest - am still counting down to my back surgery, about one month to go and find myself full of nervous anticipation. Its a big surgery and I have learned far too much about the technicalities and possible problems (what has been seen cannot be unseen :( ), but I'm also looking forward to finally being pain free and getting rid of this issue once and for all, its been over 2.5 years now!!

    My big plan is to get the back fixed, recover and then take a year off work and ride my bike around the world. Can't wait.

    OK, that's about me, hope everyone else is doing well and best wishes to those struggling with their quit.

    Ciao !

  • At last!! :D

    Itsy, I was beginning to think my quit buddy had fallen off the planet.

    SO glad you're still with us and still smoke-free. You never did join the Nov/Dec quitters social group did you? We're hitting Halfway House like no one's business and you will be there the day before me. :)

    Sorry the relationship didn't work out, but sounds like it was fun trying :D so nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    Now- I must go because we're off for a week in the Lake District. Take care of yourself Itsy, and let us know how the back op goes if you don't post before then.

    All the best from me.

  • Gidday , Mate

    Firstly well done on the quit !

    On a lighter note do you follow super rugby? If you do how was the Sharks Crusaders game? Awesome rugby! To beat the crusaders in Christchurch with 14 players those are my boys !

    Hopefully we can give the sharks green jersey n call em the boks lol

  • Hi SA-dude,

    sorry but I'm afraid that I'm probably one of the few people in NZ that's not a big rugby fan :) don't really watch any sports, couldn't even tell you what cities those teams represent :confused:

    Good luck with your own quit!

  • Hi Itsy,

    Happy to hear from you. Well done.

    Best of luck with operation. Give us some news.

    If you ride around the world, come to my place...just be careful not to plan it between november and april. (snow and cold) and law if I remember well from 15 dec to 15 march. not allowed bikes and fines if you have no winter tires.

    Hélène xxx

    Thanks Helene, might just take you up one that! Was planning to take a boat from Magadan (Russia) to Canada, then cruize all the way down the America's.

    And YES - will definitely be in your summer ! Although maybe near the end of summer, probably aim to hit Canada somewhere around late August / September.

    The rough plan as it stands is; ship to Oz drive up to Darwin, ship to Timor and island hop the Philippines to Malaysia, tour SE asia then ship from Bangkok to South India (can't drive through Burma or China), drive from there through Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, then into Southern europe and pop into my birth country (Holland) to see the rellies, head East through Russia, hitting the Stans and Mongolia through to Magadan, ship to Canada and cruize down the America's to the very southern tip and then shop back home........

    I aim to take at least a year, its a dream at the mo but its the big motivation to help me get through the surgery and recovery etc. I have the right bike and am slowly pimping her to get up to round-the-world standards.

    I did a 6 weeks tour around NZ as a practise run 2 years ago and loved it, Cant' wait !!

    My baby......

    9998

  • Howdi all,

    not having an easy time of it at the mo, can't seem to get cigarettes off my mind for some reason and I keep dreaming about smoking which is kind off upsetting. I would have thought I was well and truly over it but just goes to show - can't let your guard down even nearing the 6 month mark.

    The recent relationship breakdown and my impending surgery are my two biggest stressors right now and the back pain has been pretty awful so I am taking a lot of heavy meds again, I guess those things together are what is making me think about ciggies again, its like I really miss them.

    You know how when you remember things from the past you only think of the good times, not the bad - in that way my brain seems to be glamorising smoking, I have to try and be rational and make a point of remembering all the horrible things about smoking, the stink, the stains, the socially unacceptable nature, the poisons, the cost, the hassle, the cancer etc etc.....

    Still using my ticker (below), its looking pretty impressive these days especially the number of cancer stick I haven't smoked and the money I saved - woop woop!!

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for Five Months, Thirteen Days and 10 Hours, while extending my life expectancy 13 Days and 16 Hours, by avoiding the use of 3946 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $4,171.44.

  • Stay strong Itsy its just another mountain to cross. Surgery will make you feel, better, you will get back on your bike and you will go round the world on it. As a distraction start researching the costs for your trip., set up an itinerary spreadsheet and starting planning your real time budgets. when you have accounted to the amount you have saved from not smoking look at how much of your trip is left to cost and use this as impetus to keep the quit as each day is a ferry ride, or another few miles if petrol or a hotel. Keeps the mind occupied after surgery too

  • 6 months done

    Howdi all,

    am back on track and nailed 6 months :D

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for Six Months, One Day, 20 Hours and 54 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 15 Days and 7 Hours, by avoiding the use of 4413 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $4,668.75.

    Having been buying more toys for myself given all the money I am saving, and loving it :cool: latest toy was one of these bang sticks ....

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SKS

    All is good here even with winter settling in, only bummer is the surgeon has postponed my surgery by another month :( not so good, scheduled for 18th of July now...... at least its still scheduled i guess.

    Best wishes to all those who are struggling, smoke free life is good :)

    Ciao

  • :D

    SO pleased Itsy! I was really hoping you were going to post as I knew you were due to hit the 6 month room the day before me. I nearly PM'd you yesterday to congratulate you but didn't, just in case something awful had happened....;)

    Many, many congratulations from me. You're a star, you really are, especially in view of all the other things you have to cope with in addition to quitting. Sorry to hear your surgery has been put back by a month but will hope that it is worth the extra wait and proves to solve all your health-related issues.

    Have a big hug from me my fellow quitter- 6 months from now we shall both be in the Penthouse all being well- how fab is that?? :)

  • Quit Calculator

    Greetings NewDay...can you share with me where you found the Quit Calculator you downloaded? I think it would help me greatly to start my days smokefree and keep me motivated.

  • Hiya Dnznboots , fellow kiwi? - strength to you - Quit counter is here;

    xarka.com/freeware/

    today's counter tells me;

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for Seven Months, 13 Hours and 46 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 17 Days and 17 Hours, by avoiding the use of 5102 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $5,403.93.

    woop woop :)

    BTW on 10 more sleeps till my surgery - having a rough time at the mo and and can't wait to get fixed up !!

  • Hi Itsy,

    Always good to hear from you mate.

    Just wanted to congratulate you on your 7 months (I've hit 7 months too this morning :)) and to wish you loads of luck for your op. I really hope it solves the back problems once and for all and will be thinking of you.

  • Hey wassup friends !! Its been ages but I am back and still smoke free, counting down the days until those pearly gates open wide on the one year bar (with dancing girls right?).

    It's been a bit of a rough time, finally had the back operation and had a double spinal fusion in July, long recovery and just now in the throws of trying to kick a morphine habit, if you think ciggies are hard - try oxycontin . Day 7 clean and struggling but resolved.

    But the important thing is I have beaten the nicodemon hahahaha . My counter is telling me I have not smoked 8371 death sticks and saved myself almost $9000 , woop wooop.

    Hope everyone else is sticking with their quits and strength to all those who are struggling - the light at the end of the tunnel is on, and tobacco free life smells sweet in so many ways :)

  • Ooh, BTW as far as the love life - the last one I mentioned turned out to be a bit of a mistake and safely etched herself into the "bunny boiler" category, you live and you learn (some slower and more interestingly than others....), but I have recently met a sweet and authentic NZ lass who has real potential :) early days but time will tell....... like a box of chocolates :) onwards !

  • HURRAH!!! :D So pleased you're back Itsy. I was thinking of you a lot recently being as you'll be entering those hallowed halls exactly 24 hours before me. :)

    So glad you've had the surgery at last, Itsy, and I hope you make a full recovery. Can you tell whether it has helped yet? I've had clients whose lives have been completely turned around by spinal fusion surgery. I'm sure weaning yourself off the morphine hasn't been easy but having weaned yourself off nicotine anything- absolutely anything- is possible.

    Thanks for the update re your love life too. I'm very glad you've met someone who sounds like she may be the very ticket. Have you taken her to that lovely place you once posted a pic of- that beach where the wonderful sunsets are?

    Welcome back dear Itsy- you have been missed. :)

  • Hey thanks for the welcome back guys, awesome to see the old guard still in place, but easy with the slap on the back Max - still a wee bit tender there.....

    And I haven't taken the new girl to that awesome beach yet, but its coming, soon...... taking this one a bit slower, maybe I do learn? I just gave her the link to this thread as a way for her to see what I've been up to, so will cease all chick talk here :)

    Seems that the surgery was a success and has fixed the problem and the pain I used to have is gone, the pain I have now is different in nature and is due to recovery from the surgery. But it has not been easy - hands down the worst thing that has ever happened to me by far, but am out the other end of it now and slowly improving all the time. Just started rehab and physical therapy last week, and day 8 off the morphine today - my entire body is screaming; "WTF are you doing!! " . Gunna take some time to come into line but heading the right way.

    And my ticker today;

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for Eleven Months, Fourteen Days, 10 Hours and 50 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 29 Days and 2 Hours, by avoiding the use of 8387 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $8,933.87.

    Best wishes all, but some bevies on ice max, I'm not far away and will hold the door open for you skiddaw !

  • Thanks Itsy- I can't think of a nicer chap to prop the door open for me. I'm so proud that my quit buddy will be entering the Penthouse, with head held high (and upright, thanks to the surgery :D). It would truly have been a loss if you hadn't still been here.

    So glad that the surgery seems to have proved successful. Many good vibes heading your way with best wishes for your complete recovery.

    Hello indeed new girlfriend! I hope we won't put you off him. ;) (we're all very nice really and I promise he's not been up to anything naughty :))

    Have a lovely day Itsy.

  • Thanks guys - and Tea - that's about 4500 UK pounds :) - I am saving towards a big trip, I still want to take two years off work and ride my bike around the world - and that takes a few pennies.

    Thanks skiddaw - you're right about the upright - in fact they made me 1.5 inches taller with this surgery, I am now at 6'5" in your measure, didn't really need the extra height and took a good month to stop face planting the shower fosset. Very odd feeling to suddenly get taller, kinda like wearing heels I guess.

    So at day 9 of morphine free and not having a good time about it, its no trainspotting but no fun either...... onwards!

    Never another puff !

  • Blimey, Itsy, 6'5' makes you one tall chap! :rolleyes: (that's me trying to see the top of your head by the way...;)) Actually, I once had a boyfriend who was 6'5'. As I'm only 5'4' I looked a right squirt when standing next to him. It goes to show how poorly your back was though doesn't it? Is your new girlfried tall?

    I do hope the pain isn't too awful now that you're off the morphine. How does quitting morphine compare to quitting tobacco?

    The round the world bike ride sounds wonderful by the way. When you come to Blighty we should try to organise a Forum meet. I'm sure some of the gang would be up for it and it would be lovely to see the faces behind the names properly. :D

    Have a good and hopefully pain-free day.

  • Hi itsy good to see you dropping by and that all is going well, glad your back op was a success I was due to have the same op but declined, instead I just plod on with the painkillers.... Glad it worked for you and your love life seems to be on the up too? Happy days, take it easy mate xx

  • Hi guys,

    nice as always to get your support, day 12 off the morphine today and it is finally getting a bit easier, so I think I'm over the hump. The nausea/diarrhoea has totally stopped thank god, and I got 7 hours sleep last night only waking 2-3 times. This is a HUGE improvement over the last couple of weeks where I have not slept longer than 45 mins at a time, apparently typical of morphine withdrawal. I'm still restless and achy with high pain levels but that is to be expected, apparently for another 4-6 weeks... :(

    Having this abstinence coincide with the start of physical rehab is probably not the best timing but I am just determined to get this monkey off my back, have been using WAY to much morphine and for WAY to long, and although its always nice to bulsh1t yourself, I knew damned well that I was taking it for the effect just as much as for the pain, and that I was becoming a raging addict, damn stuff feels nice, no denying that. At one stage I was at around 200mg of oxycontin per day - that would kill three people - and I hardly noticed it..... hhhhmmmm. I am also not alone with this, up to half of the people who use this drug don't want to stop and heroin addicts are known to prefer them to heroin! (there are some youtube docos called "oxycontin express" and "hilbilly heroin" that have alarming stories on this drug if anyone is interested.

    But today I am ridiculously sober - the clarity is frickin blinding after 3 years of morphine use....... somebody hand me my shades :)

    Compared to the ciggies, this is both a physical and mental game, where I felt the ciggies were primarily mental. There is no ignoring the physical symptoms of morphine withdrawal; cramps, sweating, nausea, diarrhoea, restlessness, irritability, insomnia, aching joints and high pain levels. Strangely enough, when I quit the ciggies I made very sure there were was no tobacco of any kind in the house and all the ashtrays were smashed etc, but now I have a bottle of morphine on my bedside table (calling to me), my friends are constantly offering to get rid of it for me or store it, but I don't feel the need to get rid of it, or am scared to , the little morpho-demon may still be hiding inside me.... ?

    Feeling good and strong and ridiculously sober today, I'm off to the gym, ciao!

  • Hi Itsy,

    You're a brave and extremely determined bloke and I am sure that if you can be hoving to the Penthouse (only a week and a half to go!) in relation to the Demon Nic you can successfully fight offf the Demon Morph as well. :) You must be more or less out the other side of the physical withdrawal symptoms now and goodness only knows you've plenty of experience in dealing with psychological withdrawal. They do say that nicotine withdrawal is even harder than heroin/morphine don't they, and if that's true, once you've really put the physical stuff to bed you'll be well and truly on the way to not being dependent any longer.

    I hope the pain stays at manageable levels and it must be wonderful to feel 'sober' again. :D

    All the best to you dear Itsy, and don't forget to hold that Penthouse door open for me when I slip in behind you. How exciting!!

  • ONE YEAR TODAY - WOOHOOOOOO - WARM UP THE DANCING GIRLS, CHILL THE DRINKS AND OPEN THOSE GATES I AM COMING IN !

    And what a year its been - tumultuous to say the least and full of big ups and a few big downs, but today we celebrate a year of freedom from the nicodemon - never another puff !!

    Have had a lovely weekend, took the new girlfriend on a motorbike tour of the Coromandel - a peninsula near here which features in the top 10 motorbike rides in the world, so needless to say its an absolutely stunning piece of road, hugging the coast and covered in a native tree we have here which is currently in bright red bloom (the pohutakawa) - for those interested try a google image search on "Coromandel coast" .....

    Stayed at a cute little place in Coromadel township and rode back home today, beautiful weather with summer finally kicking in after an average spring. Its Xmas BBQ's on the beach here remember.

    Hasn't been great on the back but am surviving, it's also three weeks morphine free yesterday, although I did have some on one particularly rough day last week, so 21 morphine free days out of 22 - and I didn't go back into withdrawals after that one day so I think I have beaten that one too.

    Come on down skiddaw - I'm holding the door wide open for you tomorrow.

    And a huge thanks to all the people on here who have helped with support and comments and for just being here and sharing this wagon of ours :)

    Best wishes to all those struggling with their quit - the light at the end of the tunnel is blinding :cool: - go to the light !

  • YAAAAY ITSY!!!! GO, GO GO!!! :D:D:D

    Oh Itsy, I was so excited when I woke up this morning knowing you'd be entering the hallowed halls. Can you see me waving my flag and jumping up & down? No one deserves it more than you Itsy- how you've managed to not only hold onto your quit but positively waltz through the months whilst battling those awful problems with your back (and constant pain) is beyond me. I hold you in awe and you have my heartiest congratulations mate.

    Your trip sounds wonderful and what a very fitting way to celebrate the close of your first smoke-free year (the first of many I am certain).

    Welcome to the Penthouse Itsy :) (and thanks for holding the door open for me tomorrow. I shall, as always, be in your slip-stream....)

  • Hi everyone, just thought I would pop in and say hi and report that all is still going well and that I am still very smoke-free. My quit ticker is still going and today it says;

    Itsanewday - Free and Healing for One Year, Seven Months, Nine Days, 13 Hours and 43 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 48 Days and 21 Hours, by avoiding the use of 14078 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $14,422.60.

    I am still recovering from my spinal fusions and have to report that I did slip back into a another rather nasty morphine habit since my last post but have since quit this one again and am currently doing OK. It's been a year since my surgery this week and I am finally back at work, albeit part time, and slowly re-entering normal life. The recovery has been much slower and painful than I was promised and hoped but the light at the end of the tunnel is back on. I have had to delay my big bike trip by a year but I am still determined to ride the world :)

    Hope everyone else is still doing well and a huge thank you to the people on here and the site, I don't think I would have ever got here without your help.

    Loving smoke free life and best wishes and strength to everyone struggling with their quits !

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