Repeat offender

My last attempt earlier this year didn't work, not sure where it all went wrong. Last a couple of weeks then lit up in one of those "just a couple with a drink while I'm out" moments.

Well I guess where it all went wrong is I still can't convince myself that I'm done with cigs for good. Despite everything I know about smoking and all the reasons to quit both personal, family related etc. Stupid I know. But how do you convince yourself if you've heard all the arguments, all makes sense, you feel terrible, you have support from family, nothing seems missing except the belief that it's over.

Even when I start thinking of cutting down and quitting, what seemed to help most is setting a target, like don't smoke until this holiday, and then I stick with it, even though I know that once I light up again I'll probably get back to it on a regular basis. But it seems so much easier to stick with it than thinking I'm never going to smoke again.

Anyway, I'm here again, not sure where I'm headed, day at a time for now.

23 Replies

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  • Hi,this quitting can be oh so difficult at times, and the thought of staying quit can be scary.

    Hope you can find a bit of time to read some posts from long term quitters, it might help.

    For me it's just a day at a time, as really that's all we can do!

    Many people have a few failed attempts before their final quit.

    I do hope you try again, it is true the longer you quit , the easier it becomes .

    Good look:)

    Post and read as often as needed, it does help:)

  • Thanks Tracey. I think one thing that keeps popping into my mind is that about 8 years ago I quit cold turkey for a year and a half (how??!!) and then got back into it with that same casual oh i'll just have one thinking. It wasn't easy at first, and it was my first even attempt after nearly 20 years smoking, but it worked, and at the time I lit up again, I wasn't suffering or having any cravings. I wish I could go back to that moment and not make that stupid mistake, no idea why I did it.

    Maybe that's a reason I don't feel as confident now, every time I've attempted to quit after that first long attempt, it's been relatively short lived and without enough conviction.

  • I feel your pain. I used to set targets like that, you can have one at the end of the third week. You last 3 weeks then you're back smoking again.

    Your problem, which was my problem, is that you don't want to be a smoker but you do want to smoke.

    The thing that I realised was that I wasn't actually addicted to smoking it was the nicotine that I craved. I used NRT and told myself that I was getting my hit so stop messing about.

    If you can get through enough days smoke free then the books become reality. Like you I understood it all but I still believed that life could not be the same. The truth is life gets better but for people like me and you reading a book does not make it true. We need to experience it.

    When you experience your first free day, it's amazing. Not the day you quit but the day when you just get on with life and it doesn't even cross your mind to smoke. That's the day when the books become reality, until then do your sentence, scream, cry, come on here and post but do not smoke.

  • Well said, Debbie :)

    Sue, that post deserves to be embossed on a scroll and hung on every quitters wall.

    Big, all I can say is that the 'lighbulb' moment does come eventually. It took 30 years to happen in my case but it did and it will happen for you too. I sense from your post that you don't really want to smoke any longer and that's half the battle.

    Stick with us as you'll get so much wonderful support and advice here (as Sue's post confirms).

    Welcome to the forum by the way! :D

  • Big I have no advice as I literally could of written that post, all I will say is Sue is spot on and I wish you well xx

  • I had an aim for my quit........I had a picture in my mind of me as a fresh and fragrant non-smoker with an extra £40 in my purse every week. That is what keeps me going! :o

    Val

  • Thanks for your support everyone, glad you're not tired of me starting from scratch over and over.

    Still not smoking and not really finding it difficult, just need to figure out how to block out the thoughts that make having the odd one seem ok.

    I definitely don't want to be a smoker, just in certain situations feel like I really must have a few. Only times that seems to happen is when I'm upset and feel like I need it (even then I know I'm kidding myself), or when I'm on a night out or on holiday out with a few drinks.

    Has anyone had experience with e-cigarettes? I was at one point thinking of getting one not to use regularly, but when the urge for the odd one comes along I could use that instead of buying a pack and getting right back in. But not sure if they would help after a few puffs and then it's done or if I'd be puffing at them non-stop and looking for the nearest place I can buy the real thing.

  • I feel for you. I know that pain. I tried to stop smoking so many times, each attempt failed. Same reasons I guess, I didn't want to smoke but wanted that cig.

    I have tried every method possible. Some with more luck than others but each previous attempt what got me lighting back up? Stress, upset and life failures. I would use the excuse 'I need a smoke after that, it won't make much difference, I'm already getting nicotine because of NRT, just a couple to get me through this bad period' my last serious attemp to quit was over a year ago.

    I have a lot of stress, both at home and work. 4 years ago I was also diagnosed as having COPD, I also have chronic asthma and allergy asthma.

    I knew I needed to stop. I tried the E-cigs, they made me cough so much and dried my lungs out.

    Today I am at week 4 with no nicotine. I took champix for 3 weeks but decided to come off them due to side effects. I still have bad days. Some days are good. What gets me through? The thought of having to go through this again! Knowing Iv not had any nicotine for X days! Everyday I wake up and say I won't smoke today, just today.

    If you can take champix they had me so I felt sick and hated the taste of smoking. I still had the cravings although they were not as bad as previous. I did find them a help as all of a sudden I didn't enjoy smoking.

    It is hard, one of the hardest things I have done. It is worth it though. Other things Iv found that has helped: sugar free sweets. A hobby, keep those hands busy!

    Good luck, ignore the nicotine demon on your shoulder, don't listen to what he says - he is a liar.

  • 4 weeks, that's brilliant! Hope to get there myself this time. I'm not tempted to try any nicotine replacement, only thing I thought of was the ecig I guess because it seems so close to the real thing. But in my case it'll probably just make me want cigarettes, either that or I'll be smoking the ecig all the time!

    I'll stick gum and stress ball for now!

  • Day 2 is much harder than day 28. Things do get easier. I really do not want to be at week 1 again!

    Hang in there. Stay strong.

  • I found my ecig really helped even though I rarely used it. I bought it in the second week when the craves were so bad that it was either buy it or buy a pack of cigarettes like you said.

    Once it was bought though I very rarely used it. Just knowing it was there was a huge help. If I had a crave I'd tell myself I could have a puff of the ecig in five minutes if I still wanted one, and usually I didn't but it stopped that panicky feeling.

    I stopped using it about three weeks ago and never really went through withdrawals from it but that was probably due to how little I used it.

    Each to their own but I think ecigs are a really good idea, yes they contain nicotine but at the end of the day they are better for you than cigarettes so if it was one or other, I know which one I would choose.

  • Thanks, that's quite helpful, if I find myself giving up and about to buy a pack I'll opt for an ecig instead as a last resort, will try without but I definitely do not want to buy a pack "to have 1"

  • can't wait for the day to be over (I work sundays), once I'm home I'm fine, distracted, it's work and social occasions that are difficult sometimes, like right now, when I can't stop watching the clock..... work seems to be the worst

  • Maybe you should try something to stop yourself watching the time? That can be difficult stuck in work though. I can completely sympathise, I'm finishing off a huge uni project today, I used to reward myself every hour I worked with a cigarette so working is definitely the hardest and I'm watching the clock too.

    Focus on something else? What are your plans for bank holiday Monday? Do you have any hobbies?

    It will get easier as time goes on, you just have to stick this hard bit out, it does get easier and I promise you it's completely worth the hard work.

  • Right, done for for the day, heading home before I do anything silly, I'm safe there!

  • Hope you feel better now you are at home x

  • Much better thanks. Going to call it a day now, can't crave when you sleep...

  • Much better thanks. Going to call it a day now, can't crave when you sleep...

    Exactly I always go to bed early when it's a cravey day ;)

  • Sue come and live with me for 3 months your advice u give people is amazing x

    Thanks Deb and Skiddaw but my advice all comes from expeience unfortunately. But hey, now all my lost quits in the past are helping me and others so definitely a silver lining.:D

  • I reckon the best advice always does come from experience Sue :)

    Big, how you doing today mate? I hope you're feeling less cravey. By the way, I'm with Lindy in that far better you buy an e-cig than a packet of real fags. There are many quitters on the forum who have used e-cigs as a quitting aid (Sugarpuff for one) with resounding success. As has been said many times there is no right or wrong way- it's whatever works for you.

    Hope you enjoy your BH Monday. Do let us know how it's going won't you? :)

  • Thanks for checking :-)

    I'm on day 3 now!

    So far seems better than yesterday, had a "oh, haven't thought about smoking in the last few hours" moment.

    Now it's on my mind a bit but feels under control, not worried about lighting up today.

    Thanks to everyone for all the help

  • Well done Big :)

    Really glad to hear you're hanging on in there. Every hour that passes is another hour closer to permanent freedom. :D

    Enjoy the rest of your day.

  • Hi All

    Quitting is not easy. If you don't want to stop and you do not have the courage/conviction, no time will ever be a good time. And let's face it, with an addiction, no time will ever be right because The Addiction controls you. So, it is up to you to draw the line, cross over. It is not easy and the initial days, weeks and in my instance, months will be difficult, but you have to grow a spine, decide where you are going with this. Admit that all the BS that smoking is bad etc, has to be backed up..... that cessation is now and forever.

    You may think, ah it is easy to say this. Believe me the first few weeks and first couple of months were agony (over 40 years smoking and hitting 40/50 a day before I quit cold turkey). Until you reconcile that you are still pulsating without lighting up, you are still YOU without the cigarettes. Give yourself the credit that you are strong and that Easy Street is not an option. Day by day, build up your resolve. Visit this website - believe me, it will keep you sane! I don't think I could have done it without being Here. Today, going on to the 6 month mark, I honestly cannot believe I made it!

    Another thing to keep in mind. If you manage the painful first couple of weeks, do you honestly want to go through it again and again, every time you falter?! Another other thing: my father stopped smoking in his late 70s or just going into his 80s, his blood circulation was virtually zero - worth thinking long and hard about that too.

    I hope your resolve, your mindset is firmly focused to prevail

    Good luck

    Firefly

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