Hello, here's my story

Hi everyone,

I'm a 31 year old female desperate to get out of the deadly trap of nicotine addiction. I have been a 20/day smoker, and even got up to 40/day at one point for a couple of years. Every day for the last month has been day one for me. I think my best effort was about 14 hours (including 10 hours sleeping time haha).

I have tried everything on the market over the last 8 years or so to help me kick the habit, including 5 courses of Champix over 5 years. Patches, gum, e-cigs, "Easyway" book/dvd/audio book, hypnosis (my 8th session is on Wednesday), you name it, I've probably tried it.

I am desperate, desperate, DESPERATE to stop smoking. People I've spoken to (people who have quit successfully themselves) tell me I'm "just not ready". Yes I ****** am!!!!! I just don't know what to do anymore. I'm a stay at home mum with severe depression and anxiety. I've noticed that quitting cold turkey increases my anxiety levels ten-fold, resulting in panic attacks. I live alone with my 3 year old and these attacks render me quite useless (especially afterwards. I have been known to sleep for a good 9 hours straight after a panic attack)- Not a good thing when you have a 3 year old running around the house by themselves.

I have zero support around me, and have been unsuccessfully looking for an online forum to be actively involved with, but didn't know about this one until today. True, I'm not British (Aussie here), but I'm hoping you guys will welcome me with open arms anyway :)

I hope all of this makes sense. My mind is a jumble today. Anyway, this is (mostly) my story. Pleased to meet you :)

31 Replies

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  • Hi,

    Thanks for your response. I am aware of the time difference and honestly wasn't expecting a response so soon :)

    My Champix story is that the first time I stopped for 6 months, then it was the usual "I got drunk one night and it all fell apart" story. The next time I didn't finish the course because I kept forgetting to take them. The next time the side effects were MUCH worse than I remembered from the first times (ie. I was doing things like punching holes in walls - I am SO not a violent person usually), so no, I didn't complete the rest either. I tried to get another lot this year, but my doc refused to prescribe them because of my recent onset of severe depression and anxiety (a contraindication, apparently).

    I will have a more thorough look around the forum once I get the chance. Probably after Missy-Moo goes to bed. :)

  • Hi Deb,

    I'm currently not on any medication for it. I mean, I physically have it... But I don't take it. I have anxiety about taking the anxiety meds... Yeah, I know. Sounds stupid, huh. I am trying to work through it with my therapist and hypnotherapist though, so I'm not just suffering in silence and AM actively trying to get past it. Thing is, I really believe that smoking is contributing in a major way to my anxiety issues and is *one* of the reasons I'm desperate to rid myself of the disgusting and completely pointless habit. This is no way to live. Also, failing every time I try to genuinely quit is adding to my depression. I don't deal well with failure. Grrrrrr.

  • Hi Hoot,

    I feel your pain. It's so frustrating. You want to do something really badly but it's just too hard on your own. I can relate to that. This site is not a miracle cure but it will give you lots of support and help you through some tough times. See Tractor Girls's thread yesterday and the amazing response she got.

    I would say to use NRT. I've suffered with depression and anger when quitting cold turkey in the past, but with NRT you're obviously still getting the nicotine and I had no symptoms this time. Your choice though your quit.

    I do not however suffer from anxiety and depression so can't help you there. Is your doctor any good? Can you talk to them?

    Welcome

  • Hi Hoot,

    I feel your pain. It's so frustrating. You want to do something really badly but it's just too hard on your own. I can relate to that. This site is not a miracle cure but it will give you lots of support and help you through some tough times. See Tractor Girls's thread yesterday and the amazing response she got.

    I would say to use NRT. I've suffered with depression and anger when quitting cold turkey in the past, but with NRT you're obviously still getting the nicotine and I had no symptoms this time. Your choice though your quit.

    I do not however suffer from anxiety and depression so can't help you there. Is your doctor any good? Can you talk to them?

    Welcome

    Hi Sue,

    Thanks for the warm welcome. I am actually using ecigs as an NRT. I have limited myself to only smoking when it's daylight, so at night I switch to the ecig. That's all well and good, but it just doesn't cut it. Same with patches. They just don't have the "kick" I need to be satisfied I guess. I don't know. I'm floored as to why I can't do this. I'm a relatively smart person. I know the risks, I know there is no "reward", I know that it's idiotic, yet, I just can't quit *sigh*

  • I think Debbie is right, there is a mental block here. The first few days are tough but you can get through them.

    I found that telling myself cigarettes were just a nicotine delivery system worked for me. You do not need the cigarette just the niotine. I really had to shout at myself and say 'stop whining body' you've had your nicotine. That way I didn't feel like I was being deprived. The hit bit off the cigarette is just your brain's association with getting the nicotine. 'You've had it you're not missing out.'

    I would not say smoke more BUT i think cutting down is a recipe for disaster. It just makes each cigarette more valuable. The e-cig is then compared to the real thing constantly and no it doesn't cut it. If you were just using the e-cig all the time then it becomes the way you get nicotine and the 'hit' from a cigarette starts to fade.

    Try just using the e-cig for 1 whole day. Don't think about the next day just 1 day. Write down how you feel, what are you missing etc.

  • Hya, just wanted to pop by to congratulate you on arriving at this forum.

    Maybe you can have a good read at some other forum members posts, prior to deciding whats the best way to quit for you. It just might help a little:p

    Is it possible you could attend a no smoking clinic? :)

    Look forward to reading your posts

    Good luck my lovely

  • Hi Hoot

    I have had depression and I've suffered anxiety for about 15 years since I had my son.

    In my opinion this is how it was for me (still is cos I failed again) :mad: anyway we get anxious/stressed etc so we have the fag cos it calms us down right? For that few minutes we feel better and that's one of the problems...even when I have had a panic attack and I'm hyperventilating I would start calming down and have a cig cos it made me feel better when in reality all it was doing was controlling my breathing.. Deep breath inhaling the smoke long breath when blowing it out...

    When the penny finally dropped I realised I could still breathe that way like I was smoking if I got stressed/panicky etc just without the cig and it worked and it helped a lot, maybe, if you arent getting the kick you need you would be better off with gum or lozenges, they tend to give you the instant nicotine hit, there are lots of different flavours but for me icy mint is the best because it tastes like normal chewing gum.... You can do this, we all can, all the people that have quit 1/2/3 years on here with the greatest respect are nothing special, they are just the same as you and I and everybody else struggling at the minute.... You will get there you just need to find the quit aid that will work for you, good luck xx

  • Hoot have u tried the 24 hr patches they are a good idea as u get a constant supply of nicotine. What about Zyban that used to be used as an anti d so could help with both problems.

    x

    I had actually thought about Zyban. Then I think to myself; I can't even take my straight-up anti anxiety medication without freaking out, what chance would I have trying to take something else? I will talk to my doc about it though, and thank you for the suggestion. That is, when I find a new doctor I trust... My usual one has just up and left back to Ireland, leaving me to search again :( It's so hard to find a good one that actually sticks around for more than a year. Thought I'd struck gold with this one - Then she left me after 2 years.

    As for the patches, it seems I'm allergic to the glue. Which is weird because it is the only allergy I have (that I have experienced in my 31 years of being alive)

  • We get anxious/stressed etc so we have the fag cos it calms us down right? For that few minutes we feel better and that's one of the problems...even when I have had a panic attack and I'm hyperventilating I would start calming down and have a cig cos it made me feel better when in reality all it was doing was controlling my breathing.. Deep breath inhaling the smoke long breath when blowing it out...

    When the penny finally dropped I realised I could still breathe that way like I was smoking if I got stressed/panicky etc just without the cig and it worked and it helped a lot.

    Wow, I had never actually thought of it this way before... A REALLY good point! I wonder if I could get the same deep breathing satisfaction using a straw or something like that. Something for me to think about. Thanks! So glad I came here :)

  • You mention the hit what about patches then take a nrt lozenge when u need a extra kick and get something herbal for the anxiety like rescue remedy spray x

    When I say "kick", I mean the rancid, putrid taste and smell that comes with the smoking. I know it sounds weird but I actually like it. It's all part of the satisfaction package for me. I guess that's part of the reason NRT isn't that successful for me.

    I do actually use Rescue Remedy Spray a LOT. It's not a miracle remedy as people have tried to lead me to believe, but *sometimes* I can manage to take the edge off if I use it in conjunction with herbal teas such as chamomile, ginger and peppermint (Not all together, of course. Ewwww. lol)

  • When I say "kick", I mean the rancid, putrid taste and smell that comes with the smoking. I know it sounds weird but I actually like it. It's all part of the satisfaction package for me. I guess that's part of the reason NRT isn't that successful for me.

    Hoots, just a thought, but can you purchase herbal cigarettes where you are? The UK version is called Honeyrose and you can buy them at health food shops. If you want the rancid taste and smell without the nicotine hit you'll certainly get something similar from Honeyrose (:D). Possibly they might work in conjunction with lozenges, nicotine spray or gum?

    I also think the idea of attending a smoking cessation clinic if you have such a service in your neck of the woods is a good one.

    And a big welcome to the forum from me by the way. :)

  • Hello Hoots :):):)

    A very big welcome from the other side of the world :)

    It is about half past 4 in the afternoon here so what time does that make this for you?

    I can't give you much advice but lots of folk will be able to help. All good wishes with your quit

    Lots of nice peeps here to help you though :):)

    Hi Jen,

    Google tells me that right now, it's 9.51pm in Bristol, and it's 8.51am here in Melbourne. That would mean you guys are 11 hours behind us. Thanks for the welcome :)

  • Welcome Hoot, Donna is so right that your quit is out there somewhere, eventually you'll find it and once you do, you'll be amazed just how easy it can be....just never give up trying :)

  • Welcome to the forum

    Hi Hootabelle

    Welcome to the forum and good luck with your quit.:)

    The first stages are harder and different for everyone. For me, in those horrible first days / weeks, I would drink lots of water, eat lots of fruit and respond with physical exercise to cravings.

    Sometimes, the physical exercise would be nothing more than running on the spot in my living room. I found it really helped. :)

    All the best.

  • Hi Hoot,

    welcome on board, I'm on your side of the world too - just across the ditch, I've also found this website very useful and very supportive. Although I don't have anxiety problems - I have a few other issues which have made my quit not so easy, but I made it - over 3 months now and it feels great, have a read of my story if you're interested;

    forum.nosmokingday.org.uk/s...

    In regards to the anxiety issues, have a look at this site from Auckland uni, it has some really nice and useful self-help tools specifically around dealing with anxiety and depression.

    calm.auckland.ac.nz/

    and especially this page, lots of free downloads and advice to help you;

    calm.auckland.ac.nz/17.html...

    Best wishes and strength to you, and keep posting, it really helps!

  • Thanks guys.

    I do get what you're saying re: the depression/anxiety effecting my mindset and thus ability to quit. It does make a LOT of sense. I just feel that a significant amount of said depression/anxiety is somewhat related to the smoking. For example; feeling constantly tired, insomnia, heart palpitations, inability to breathe properly sometimes, inability to think clearly because of the non-stop cravings, poor self esteem because of the smells/stains/being a social outcast, etc. Know what I mean? I really think that to move forward in my "recovery" (God, I hate that word!), I need to give up the fags first and foremost. Of course, That may not be the case at all. It's hard to say.

    It's kind of a catch-22.

  • hi Hoot

    Which side of Australia are you? I'm from WA. Have you tried the Australia quit line?? I do remember someone here saying they were useless, but I can honestly say I wouldn't have started my quit, when I did, if it hadn't been for them and regular follow up calls. About day 11 I joined this place which got me through the rest of it:D

    I have suffered from depression and anxiety for years. Oddly my anxiety eased a lot after I quit, but has come back the past few months:(

    Yes, I remember having palpitations but they stopped soon after quitting, the same with coughing up every morning:eek:

    Good luck with what you decide.

    lostie:)

    Hi Lostie,

    I'm in Vic. I haven't tried quitline. I'm not quite convinced it would work for me. I guess it's worth a shot though. Can I ask, did your anxiety get worse before it got better? That's one of the things I'm terrified of. The last thing I want to do it make it worse. I wouldn't wish anxiety on my worst enemy, I really wouldn't. :)

  • Hello Hoot and welcome to the forum

    Good luck with whatever you decide. :)

  • Hi,

    I am so sorry you are having a rough time of it. I am not British either, American here. So we are from everywhere I guess and we all share the same desire so no matter there.

    I can identify with having tried every known method with little success. I have as well although this time I am trying Chantix (as it is called in the States).

    What I can tell you is there will be a trigger, some thing that will work for you. Don't lose heart. We just have to help you find out what that is.

    Welcome and please keep trying. Everyone here will be behind you 100%.

    Keep posting and read lots of material, I think it will help.

    FYI: there are addiction recovery methods that you may not have tried. I personally use AVRT and am also recovering from an alcohol addiction. This method has really changed my life and my thinking from I can't to I can. Now ready to tackle the smoking addiction after spending all of last year trying to sort myself out and many starts and stops on this forum.

    Anyway sorry so long winded here. :eek:

    One foot in front of the other and you will be on the path ;)

    Best wishes,

    ~S

  • Welcome Hoot. I hope some of the wise forum folk here will be able to help you. You are coping with a massive amount. Be gentle with youself. x

  • Thanks for your warm welcome and kind words guys. I really appreciate it. I'm just super frustrated at the moment. I literally break down in tears with each fail. I just finished having a massive cry-fest, yet again.

    I hate myself for not being able to quit. I was just talking to a good friend of mine who is a non-smoker (a marathon runner - never smoked in his life), and he said to me "all you need to do is not buy any cigarettes". Then he went on and brought my child into it by saying I should be able to quit for her. My daughter is a soft spot for me, and I beat myself up every day knowing that I'm subjecting her to this. I SHOULD be able to just stop and that would be that. Someone else here mentioned that they are an alcoholic. I wasn't going to say anything, but hey, I'm all in now. 2 years ago I quit drinking copious quantities of vodka on a daily basis cold turkey. It could have (and I'm told should have) killed me, but it didn't. I know quitting smoking is not going to kill me. I've been through much worse than nicotine withdrawal. But I can't. Why can't I? I've proven that I have the strength and willpower to do it. This is why it's so frustrating. I try every day, but I fail every day. I don't know why and I don't know how to improve my chances of success. I have tried literally everything. So shi**y right now.

    Sorry guys, this was part vent. No judgement please.

  • hoot: you won't be getting any judgement here. Folk that do that to you, or pull the guilt trip stunt just do NOT understand the nature of addiction, period.

    If you don't mind me asking, have you spoken to your current GP about quitting recently and what has he/she said on the matter? No need to reply to this if you don't want to, or to say anything abt yourself you don't want to.

  • If you don't mind me asking, have you spoken to your current GP about quitting recently and what has he/she said on the matter? No need to reply to this if you don't want to, or to say anything abt yourself you don't want to.

    I actually don't have a GP at the moment. The one I had up and left back to Ireland a few weeks ago. I keep meaning to find a new one, but haven't as yet. I have, however decided I'm going down to the local walk-in clinic to ask about Zyban. Who knows, I might be able to kill 2 birds...

    Hoot we would never judge we know how hard it is.Can u get tabex over there. Its not licensed here yet. The only side effect is upset tummy. Its a 4 week course week of tablets. They use it in Russia and western Europe x

    I don't think so. I've never heard of it. I could be wrong though.

    Hoota

    Karri is right, it will eventually happen.

    No one here will pass judgement on you, everyone is here to help you quit.:)

    Your friend told you just to stop......sorry it's not as easy as that. A lot of us do have a bit of a struggle to quit, but hey, I've made it through, along with a lot of others. You can to, when your time is right:)

    I feel I must warn you now though, you mentioned you've been crying. A lot of us (included males) did a lot of that when we first quit.

    Don't be so hard on yourself.

    lostie:)

    I actually got really internally mad at my friend for saying that. Not his fault though. He knows nothing about addiction as he's never smoked, done drugs, or even had a single alcoholic beverage in his life. Heck, I don't think he's even taken an aspirin before! (not that it's really relevant to addiction, but you get my point). Regardless of what he said, I know he will be there to support me in some way. He's just not the best with words...

  • hoot: Please do get signed up with a GP asap, hopefully a good one. Get him/her on your side and access whatever and every clinical support that is on offer locally including support groups etc. With ongoing MH issues quitting is best done with medical help because some quit attempts can be more damaging than not under those circumstances.

    No one here has a magik wand...the moral support is great and can be a real help, but in the end, the real guts have to come from you.

  • So, yesterday I made an appointment to see a doctor today. I was going to see if I could get some Zyban, or try Champix again. Then I did something stupid and turned to Google. Biggest mistake ever. Long story short, I had a panic attack and ended up cancelling my appointment. Super. I'm so pathetic.

  • Yes, zyban is an antidepressant, but it is also "speedy" (which is why people tend to lose a lot of weight on them) and shouldn't be prescribed to those with anxiety issues. I'm anxious enough as it is. The thought of piling more on top makes me nauseous.

    I've tried all brands of patches available at my local chemist. I was going to buy an inhaler today, but figured it would be exactly the same as my electronic cigarettes, but not nearly as tasty.

  • Welcome Hoot. I also am allergic to the patches. Not sure if it is the adhesives or nicotine but couldn't wear them. Got big welts.

    Any way, I am here to tell you that you can QUIT!!! I tried 4 times before I finally quit. And when I quit I was up to 60 fags a day. I wouldn't talk to anyone because all I ever did was cough. I pretty much went cold turkey after 4 days. So, it is possible. Just keep trying.

    BTW...I have been quit for 2 year 3 months and 29 days. It is possible.

    Welcome to the club....ppat

  • Thanks guys. So circumstances have stepped in and made the decision for me. As of today, I will have literally no money to buy cigarettes for the next 4 days. I have 7 left which might last me until this evening. From that point, it's cold turkey for me. Going to spend the rest of today arming myself for what I'm assuming will be a rough ride. Wish me luck. Day one pending.

  • Best of luck!! You CAN DO THIS!!! Your confidence and self esteem will go sky high when you succeed with your quit. At first concentrate on not smoking for an hour, then 2, then a day, then 2. Soon those days turn into weeks, then months... It's an amazing feeling to be free of the drug. I had multiple failed quits prior to this but I used an e cig to help me crack it for good. I used the e cig for around 5 months and then went cold turkey after that as I felt strong enough by then to do it alone. Use this forum as much as you need to - we are all in this together!!!

    Good luck!!

    Sarah

  • Thank you! Not feeling that confident, but maybe this is just the kick up the butt I need. Got loads of anxiety today. Not sure if it's related, but ive been hitting the Rescue Remedy hard.

  • Hoots, sometimes a prod is exactly what is needed to kick-start us into doing something. You can do it girl, you can, really you can. :)

    We shall all be here cheering you on so keep posting, keep reading, and go for it.

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