Hello all, new to the forum - on day 19

Hi all,

I was a heavy (>25 a day) smoker for over 40 years. I have tried to quit innumerable times before but have previously never gone one day without a sneaky puff.

I stopped smoking at 8am on 9 June and it has been a bit bumpy. I am using an inhaler and lozenges. I did try patches for a couple of days but they brought out a big rash.

I feel I am just hanging in there and am trying to focus on the positives and give myself a break. I still feel frustrated however as I still feel like smoking (or not smoking) controls my life. I think about it almost all the time.

I know everyone is different, but can someone share their experience about how long it took for them to feel like a non-smoker - rather than someone who is denying themselves cigarettes.

I only just found this forum and I think it is wonderful.

Cheers

14 Replies

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  • Great question, Kazola...and welcome!

    You're doing brill :)

    Truthful answer: between one and two months, I guess, but there was never an actual tangible time/day.

    It just kinda creeps up on you.

    S

  • Hi Kaz, just wanted to welcome you to the wonderful madhouse, unfortunately I have stalled slightly in my quit so I can't really answer as to when you start feeling like a non smoker but there are lots of people such as Egg, Teflon, jennienegs and Skiddaw who have quit for quite a while now and will defo be able to help answer that for you, I just wanted to say hi and good luck you we doing brilliantly, what I do know is that the third week is pretty tough and as you are now in that period maybe that's why you are finding it a but difficult at the moment, it will pass thgh and hopefully next week you will feel a bit better again xx

  • Last edited by DonnaJ; Today at 12:13 AM. Reason: Spelling issues due to Pinot Grigio ;)

    Love it! Am having spookily similar alcohol-based spelling issues myself, DJ.

  • Love it! Am having spookily similar alcohol-based spelling issues myself, DJ.

    Haha my excuse is I am celebrating a promotion lol what's yours? :D x

  • Haha my excuse is I am celebrating a promotion lol what's yours? :D x

    It's the weekend :)

    Congrats! Nice one

  • Thank you all for your replies, I am sure it will all be okay and having gone this long I am determined to stay off the smokes! Just can't wait for the day when it isn't an effort to stay smoke free.

  • Welcome Kaz and well done on the quit. In answer to your question of when does it get better, my experience was that it happens in stages.

    The first stage is a real battle of just getting through the day with out smoking, it's constantly on your mind and you can't think of anything else. You don't feel like it will ever end and every day is a celebration of 'Great I made it'

    Gradually over the first month these feelings lessened but they were still there.

    Eventually my brain switched and although I got the odd craving and desire to smoke, I knew that it wasn't worth it. It felt like being on a diet, you fancy a burger and chips but know that it really isn't a good idea. This was the dangerous bit for me as in previous quits I'd always convinced myself I could just have one. Utter garbage.

    Finally you forget all about smoking. I have no desire to smoke, my brain questions my sanity when I see people smoking and I remember I used to do that. If a thought of a cigarette does come into my brain, it feels like history. I used to smoke, I used to work there that sort of thing.

    Be patient and give yourself time to recover from being addicted. It does get better and being smoke free is really worth the difficult first few months.:D

  • Hello Kaz and welcome to the best distraction for quitting I've ever found. I was like you, for the first month all I could think about was a cig, I felt a bit of an oddity because I thought that the intense desire was supposed to be over in three days - nah, no such luck, about a week or so in I found this place and realised that every one of us is different and there is no set time limit for how long the stages of quitting last - gradually though as the benefits started mounting up I also realised I was going longer and longer without thinking about a cig and I even picked up some really good tips about putting my cravings into perspective, such as timing them - at the moment it may feel like life is just one long crave, but if you set a timer when they hit you should notice they only last about three minutes and that they are getting further and further apart. If you think back to the first couple of day's I reckon you'll also realise just how far you have come already? The first time I really felt like a non-smoker was about six months into my quit, when I suddenly realised that "the constant taste" at the back of my tongue had disappeared completely and that I only very occasionally had thoughts about cigs - Okay, I'm not saying "I'm Cured" but sometimes I can't believe that this time last year I was a fully fledged member of the lifetime smokers club. I always try to encourage people to enjoy their quit, learn from the lows and embrace the good bits. Good Luck and keep us posted ;)

  • Welcome Kaz! :D

    You'll love it here. It's such a wonderful place to be. We're all in the same boat whether we're on Day One or have been in the Penthouse for yonks. It's a journey for all of us and we all share our experiences, whether good or bad.

    You've done amazingly well to get 19 days (now 20 days in fact!) under your belt and you've probably already experienced the worst that Nic can throw at you. Every time you resist a crave or successfully negotiate a trigger moment you get stronger and your quit arsenal becomes more formidable. As to the point where you really don't crave any longer, it's difficult to put an exact marker on it. Like Steve, Sue and Jenninegs say, it just sort of creeps up on you without you noticing and the difficult moments get fewer and further between. I'm close on 7 months in and these days those moments are fleeting and more like a memory than a crave if that makes any sense. I certainly don't miss anything about smoking and it will be the same for you.

    All you need to do now is keep putting one foot in front of the other and you'll get there. That, and post/read/join in as often as you like. :)

    Have a fab weekend Kaz ;)

  • Hi Kaz

    Welcome and well done for getting this far. I have found this site is a great support. I'm am on day 28 today and I feel really positive now. Keep logging in to this forum as the people are lovely. :)

  • Hi Kaz,

    Welcome and congrats on your quit, doing so well!

    Like everyone says we are all different and we all struggle at different times, I have quit a few times in the past and they have all been different, my quit this time seems so much easier than before and I think it is due to me getting my head in a different place, I read Allen Carr Easyway to stop smoking before I quit and I do think it has helped alot, I also listened to hypnotherapy for the 1st 3 weeks, doing all this has definitely got my head round it. Just think about one day at a time and time will soon fly by, trust me!

    Good luck and stay strong,

    Bev. xx

  • Does NRT just draw out the pain?

    Hi

    Thanks very much to all for your words of advice. Over the years I have tried many many ways to give up smoking including quit progams, retreats, self help books, hypnosis and patches.

    This time I am using a combination of inhalers and lozenges ... Thus far this has been my most successful attempt because previously I was 'cheating' by sneaking cigarettes.

    My question is ... am I kidding myself by using NRT, will it just draw out the process of giving up? Everything I read about quitting and the body's recovery is about when you give up nicotine. Thoughts?

  • Hi Kaz

    My thoughts are that you are the only one who will truly be able to answer your own question. Everyone's quit is going to be different because there are so many unique physiological, psychological and circumstantial permutations to everyone's experience. Having tried to give up many times over the last year, I knew that cold turkey was the only way for me because I know myself, and so far, I'm on the cusp of my third week whereas before, the thought of 24 hours was inconceivable. Trust yourself knowing that you can make tweaks or changes at any time that are going to help you stay quitted! And keep posting and sharing...There's so much fantastic shared experience on here about how people have got through all sorts of feelings and situations and haven't had a fag, which have certainly kept me going :)

  • Hi Kaz

    As others have said - everyone's experience of quitting is likely to be different - but here's brief notes of my journey so far.....

    I smoked for over 50 years - so I did have very strong cravings for the first few weeks of quitting. I kept the craves manageable by using nicotine spray (left over from a previous attempt to quit 2 years ago.)

    Some days have been not too bad - but others are still difficult - even after 4 months. But the 'not too bad' days are definitely increasing. I'm all but over the nicotine cravings - but still have to deal with coming to terms with being a non-smoker. Smoking was part of my identity for half a century !

    But I am enjoying being a different me.

    It's a huge relief to no longer wheeze when I lie down to sleep. It's a joy to be able to walk further and faster without becoming breathless. It's a novelty to no longer worry about running out of tobacco and/or papers. I no longer have to scrub my fingers with pumice to get rid of the stains. I don't have to gargle with mouthwash before greeting my grandchildren. I don't have to stand outside in the rain to get my fix. I feel generally more relaxed.

    Three weeks into my quit - I fractured my foot - and was on crutches for 6 weeks. I amazed myself by not resorting to smoking. My foot has now healed - and I really can't believe I went through all the pain and discomfort without cigarettes. But I did. Possibly the complete change of my daily routines caused by being plastered up and on crutches provided sufficient distraction from thinking about lighting up.

    So - you might consider breaking a leg to take your mind off fags ! :)

    I don't often post on this forum as I'm never sure how helpful I can be to others. Some may be struggling to quit after smoking for just 10 years - and if they see that I'm doing OK after smoking for 50 years - I'm not sure if that will inspire them or not.

    I still use an inhalator (again, left over from a previous quit attempt) on a daily basis - but only one cartridge a day - sometimes less than that.

    I hope something in what I've written will help you Kaz. I wish you well on the road to freedom.

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