Day 9, target stop approaching

Hi, first of all I'm new to the site but not new to trying to stop smoking. I'm 39 years old, live in Aberdeenshire and I work offshore on oil & gas platforms.

I'm trying to stop smoking again as I really don't enjoy it and I hate my three year old son seeing me going outside for a cigarette. I've given up a few times before with my best being for 7 months but for most of that time I was insufferable to live with and hated myself. My big problem when I stop smoking is that I get really irritable and have and incredibly short temper getting annoyed at the slightest little thing. It doesn't spill over to physical violence or anything I just get really really angry and storm off or start shouting, but this all flares up within seconds and just bursts out of me. My usual temprament is very calm, my wife and I very rarely argue about anything and never raise our voices, but when I stop smoking I become a monster. Even to the point that she will insist on driving as the slightest little thing gets me very upset (not normally). I find it very difficult to control as I know in my head that it is the withdrawl from smoking that is causing this and that I'm being completely irrational but still I can't seem to help myself.

So now on to my current attempt. I've been using Champix as recommended by my GP for 9 days now. My target stop date is coming up in two days time but I'm already feeling severe withdrawl symptoms in that my irratibilty had started to return and I haven't even stopped yet. I think the Champix deprives me of the hit from cigarettes so although I'm still smoking until my quit date I pretty sure my body/mind thinks its had no nicotene for about a week now.

I'm currently offshore having come out to the rig today and I'm only here for a week so I'm going to see my GP when I get home to see if he can give me something to make me feel less irritable/short tempered as we discussed this before but he was keen for me to take the Champix first and only get further help if I got the same withdrawl symptoms as I normally do, he said I might not get them the same on Champix but thats looking unlikely.

Is there anyone out there who had experienced similar withdrawl symptoms and has any advice? I've spoken to several quitters who say being irritable is normal for a while but I had it for about 6 months the last time and it was very horrible for me and those around me and depressing for me. It's the main reason I have not quit since (about 5 years).

Even if nobody reads this it had kept my hands busy typing this out on an iphone keypad for the last 30 minutes!

6 Replies

  • Hi Mibazza. Well done on trying again. And we'll done on joining this forum. For me it's the best thing I could've done. Everyone's friendly, understanding and supportive.

    I'm on day 26 of my quit. Not the first time either. I've done it many times, with the biggest success being ten years! Why did I start again you ask? I ask myself the same. Well it seemed like a good idea at the time, but certainly didn't solve my problems as I expected it to. I've started so many quits in the last year with this one lasting the longest and definitely all due to this group.

    I don't have much advice to offer regarding your irritability problems but getting help from your doctor seems the right route to follow. Maybe he can refer you for some therapy? Six months does sound like a long time to have to suffer withdrawals.

    For me, my quit has sparked off a lot of anxiety so I've had to find ways to overcome that and obviously that little voice in my head is telling me constantly that I'd feel better if I just had one little tiny cigarette. I'm constantly having conversations in my head, well arguments in fact, about why I should start smoking again and then why I should continue with the quit.

    What I have done is to ensure my days are absolutely filled to bursting so that I don't have long periods to think because I know I'll be thinking about smoking. (Typing that long post on your iPhone was quite a challenge!)

    I downloaded an app that tells me how much progress I'm making which I check on often to remind myself of how well I'm doing and I do read a lot of the posts on here to see how other people have coped at each stage.

    I know that eventually I'll get used to NOT smoking, it has to happen one day.

  • Hi mibazza and welcome to the forum.

    I just turned 40 last week and like yourself I have tried to stop many many times before.

    Every quit is different and feeling irritable is normal, so is depression, anxiety and many other emotions... Purely because those emotions have been disguised over the years by the addition and when you stop the addition you're left nude and exposed to the emotional storm and you'll have to learn to live again.

    The champix is a great medicine but is no magic pill, I'm taking it myself at present, I'm on week 11 without smoking and pretty proud.

    The champix comes with loads of side effects and irritability and aggressively being just one of the most controversial known ones.

    Myself personally, I couldn't care less, I've had days where I was like a bull, ready to kill anyone that had crossed me...but generally speaking, it's all worth it in the end.

    I've reduced the champix dosage to one a day in the morning only because I can't sleep if I take the night pill, if you feel too tired or irritable you can talk to your Gp about it.

    You mentioned you are going to try to stop smoking, the words have more power over your mind than you can imagine.

    If you are trying to do something... Any result will be good, even if you fail.

    Stop smoking is about mind set. Either you are smoking or you are not smoking.

    If you are not smoking, accept the fact that it is difficult, painful and rotten for the first 5,6 weeks.

    It is worth it and it doesn't last forever, I have no cravings at all

    Good luck!!!! Stay strong.

  • I forgot the most important...

    No coffee, sugar and specialy no CHOCOLATE.

    I know no one agrees with me but that's the beauty of a forum, every one has a different opinion.

    Sugary foods will make you more irritable and hyper, avoid stimulants at all cost.

    Coffee and chocolate actually increase the cravings, stay away from them.

    Drink LOADS of water, again, not coke or sweet drinks, just water or green tea.

    Sleep it point killing the wife in order to stop smoking... A good sleep will do you better.

    Avoid stress...just walk away, you are in no condition to deal with stress, my advice to you is as soon as you see it coming...just excuse yourself and walk away. Go have a big glass of cold water and post will help.

    Anger management tip number one. Identify the situation before it escalates, do a set of 10 deep breathes from the abdominal area....very slowly.

    Big glass of water...slowly.

    Another 10 deep'll be fine :)

  • Hello Mibazza and Welcome,

    I don't think any of us quitters would say quitting was easy. We've all enjoyed smoking in our time and it is a hard habit to break.

    What I think you have to try and do (and this has worked for me) is to analyse the whole smoking process and how it affects you. It's just a habit, that's all and a very expensive one at that. You managed your life well before you started to smoke and you can manage it perfectly well if you stop.

    It is an addictive habit and so you need to prepare yourself for your quit.

    You obviously want to quit and probably have a load of reasons of why you want to do so.

    The question you have to ask yourself is 'Do I really want to quit?' and if the answer is 'Yes' (as I know it is) then you just have to tell yourself that the time to do it has come. Accept that there will probably be cravings and that life will feel strange for a while. Think about the really important things in your life - your wife and your family - smoking in comparison just doesn't measure up!

    Accept all the help you need - the Champix and nicotine replacement etc because any help can only be good.

    But, at the end of the day you are making the decision to quit. Accept that you will need time to adjust and come to terms with it. When the cravings come be ready for them - they won't last forever, they will get easier and remember that you are the one in charge and who's decided that smoking is not for you anymore.

    I wish I could say that quitting is easy but sadly for most of us it's a hard habit to break - at least in the first couple of weeks or so. Don't think you are denying yourself anything. Instead think of your quit as a reward and be proud of every smoke free day you achieve.

    Positivity is the key to success but sometimes we just have to grit our teeth and bear the anguish that we think quitting causes.

    I'm sure you can do it and I'm also sure you'll be glad you made the decision to quit now. Believe in yourself that you can do it, that you REALLY want to do it.

    Wishing you lots of luck and looking forward to charting your progress.

    You can do it - Onwards and Upwards:)

  • Hi Mibazza... First of all congratulations on your decision to quit....and welcome to this forum where you will get really good advice and support as been clear from all the above posters.

    Truly every one of us experience this quit thing different...I used Champix and could stop smoking completely after 9 days...I smoked 40 per day for 38 years and whilst on Champix went down from 12 on day 3 to 1 on day 9. My target was also set for day 12.

    We must except that there is no magic pill and Champix is definitely not.

    I see myself as one of the lucky ones where I had very little side affects from Champix....Do not get me wrong...the withdrawal symptoms was all there and just as fierce.... The most imoprtant part is to know thy enemy.....Nicotine is a very potent drug and messes with our crosses the blood brain barrier and actually alters our happy chemicals (Dopamine) pathways and makes us think the only way we can be happy or calm is to have that nicotine fix and if we don't get that nico-punch we become monsters.

    So to become human again I supplemented with herbal over the counter supplements and lots of green tea (Theanine).

    For me this was a painful but wonderful journey or roller coaster ride just because for the first time in 38 years I was in control of my life and made my own happiness.

    I became me over the last 5 months and was not depending on a stinking cigarette, poisoning my body, to make decisions or to be calm.

    Stay strong and keep us posted.!!

  • Hi all, thanks very much for your kind words and support. I have a real bad headache tonight so I'm turning in early but first I just wanted to say thankyou to all for the support.

You may also like...