Struggling with loss?

Hi this forum looks very good. I have quit smoking and I am now on day 8. I changed my environment for the first 7 days but am now back to normal life. The first few days were hard but today has been harder than last few. I am not getting major cravings but I have been taking Champix for 15 days now. I started smoking when I was very young (pre teens). It feels like something is missing or its not me. Although I am not craving a fag I feel like I should smoke anyway because I have lost a part of me. I have never tried to quit before and have been smoking for 15 years. It seems to be worst at times I would normally smoke. Until last year I never wanted to quit and I loved smoking, it was only about 10 months ago this changed.

I feel like maybe i could be OK if i did something else other than smoking at these times not sure what it could be?

I dont want to move to e-cigs or some other replacement product. This feels like cheating.

Anybody have any similar experiences? I try to think back to what life was like before I smoked, I either cant remember or it seems unreal because I was so young.

28 Replies

  • Welcome Libertime and congratulations on reaching Day 8, I too joined the forum on Day 8 as was finding it very difficult at that stage, I am now 4 months smoke free. This forum is a great help as we are all in the same boat. The feelings you are experiencing at the moment are normal (see below what to expect for the next few weeks). The key to our successful quits is focus, determination, being positive and surrounded by positive people and knowledge on what is happening mentally when we quit. Wishing you every success and look forward to reading your progress, post as often as you need to :)

    Withdrawal in the First Two Weeks

    Because the first two weeks are so critical in determining quitting failure rates, smokers should not be shy about seeking all the help they can during this period.

    Withdrawal symptoms begin as soon as four hours after the last cigarette, generally peak in intensity at three to five days, and disappear after two weeks. They include both physical and mental symptoms.

    Physical Symptoms.

    During the quitting process people should consider the following physical symptoms of withdrawal as they were recuperating from a disease and treat them accordingly as they would any physical symptoms:

    · Tingling in the hands and feet

    · Sweating

    · Intestinal disorders (cramps, nausea)

    · Headache

    · Cold symptoms as the lungs begin to clear (sore throats, coughing, and other signs of colds and respiratory problem)

    The first few weeks after quitting smoking are usually the most difficult and it's safe to say that it normally takes at least 8-12 weeks before a person starts to feel comfortable with their new lifestyle change of being an ex-smoker. Withdrawal from nicotine, an addictive drug found in tobacco, is characterized by symptoms that include headache, anxiety, nausea and a craving for more tobacco. Nicotine creates a chemical dependency, so that the body develops a need for a certain level of nicotine at all times. Unless that level is maintained, the body will begin to go through withdrawal similar to alcohol addiction withdrawal. For tobacco users trying to quit, symptoms of withdrawal from nicotine are unpleasant and stressful, but only temporary. Most withdrawal symptoms peak 48 hours after you quit and are completely gone in six months. Mental and Emotional Symptoms.

    Tension and craving build up during periods of withdrawal, sometimes to a nearly intolerable point. One European study found that the incidence of workplace accidents increases on No Smoking Day, a day in which up to 2 million smokers either reduce the amount they smoke or abstain altogether.

    Nearly every moderate to heavy smoker experiences more than one of the following strong emotional and mental responses to withdrawal.

    · Feelings of being an infant: temper tantrums, intense needs, feelings of dependency, a state of near paralysis.

    · Insomnia

    · Mental confusion

    · Vagueness

    · Irritability

    · Anxiety

    · Depression is common in the short and long term. In the short term it may mimic the feelings of grief felt when a loved one is lost. As foolish as it sounds, a smoker should plan on a period of actual mourning in order to get through the early withdrawal depression.

  • Libertine....That was my biggest emotional struggle....I have lost a friend, the moment I stopped 7 months ago.....

    Some people actually say(LIke Rowens above stated )that must make time for mourning and in some case it can be as intense as if you have lost a family member.

    So hang on it passes and you will slowly realize that missed friend was actually killing you

    I have posted Adios Amigo ... and stated my feelings at that time,,,, Strongs !!!

  • I'm lucky I have a different view on it.

    I didn't lose a friend, I finally got rid of it!, he was stalking me for the last 10 years!

    We used to be very good friends for about 18 years, but for the last 10 years I knew there was something wrong with our relationship and it was time to go different ways.

    We had a conversation and we agreed to separate, but everytime we tried to go apart I failed to see that I'm better off without him and I ended up not being strong enough.

    No more but, or if...he is finally gone!

    The house is clean and smells nice now.

    I'm no longer sick or broke

    No more stalking, manipulation... I am finally free!


  • Ha ha...great take on it it.

  • Very true Mmaya...... and as I have said he is a very tuff bugger to get rid of. Very possessive.....!!!

  • ...a stalker... Last night 11 pm, he was trying to get to me, but I just shut the door again.

  • Like a thief in the night.... Well done for resisting and kept to the NOPE pledge Mmaya... Good for you !!

  • I'm with you Libertine in that I see it as a sense of loss in some ways. I don't know if there is a way to replace it, think we just need to learn how to live without it.

    I used to use smoking as an excuse to get away from people or situations that were boring I just have put up with it!

  • Thank you for the responses.Its reassuring to hear I am not the only one with this problem.

    I watched "the easy way" and I don't think it deals with this point very well. Its not a problem that I thought would come up before I decided to quit. So its not an excuse not to quit if you have not tried before.

    I think I am the opposite with social situations, for me it smoking would cause social interaction as it gets me away from the desk I am sat behind.


  • Definitely not an excuse with me, I remember going into very serious depression for not being able to snap out of it.

    It is a phase like any other, once you go past it, you'll be fine.

    That's why the majority of the quitters are serial quitters because we try, relapsed, tried again and so on..

    Any other quit I felt really miserable and missing out, why can't I smoke, blah blah...the usual, relapsed by week 5,6.

    This time, I got a massive cancer scare, I am no longer miserable. I'm blessed that I kicked the habit. My 2 kids could be without their mum by now.

    I'm a survivor, I hated the quitting process and therefore I will get it done once for all.

    I am absolutely disgusted by the smell of it.

    I no longer think smoking is cool.

    Quitting is a mindset game, only you can make it easy or hard on yourself.

  • Hey Libetine, what I done when I felt the exact same at your stage was ask myself, what do the non smokers do when they need to get away from their desk and I observed and seen that there break would involve reading a newspaper/book, chopping up fruit for a snack, chatting to other work colleagues, making tea/coffee/water, weather permitting going for a stroll, we just need to adapt our new routines - once done you will get used to it in no time...

  • I still socialised, but it was a good way of getting away from people I didn't want to talk to...then I could go outside and talk to the smokers!

    Is there nothing you can do as a substitute to get away from your desk? Maybe go for a walk? I know a couple of ex smokers who have done this at work...formed a sort of quitters lunchtime walking club. Seems to work for them. You take your life in your hands going for a walk near where I work but none of them have been mugged yet 😀

    I'm using an ecig so it's a lot easier for me, but they bring their own problems, and it's still far from easy.

    Hope it gets better for you over the next few days. Honestly, it DOES get easier!

    Tried to comment on your last post but it won't let me. This site has gone a bit cranky recently.

  • You Nailed it when you said it is a mind set game....It is a very very serious mind game, It is a chemical war in your brain, it is the fight or flight decision time .... That is why I adapted my motto...Don't defend .....Attack !! I was getting tired to be the nicodemons punch bag and defending all the fierce attacks on me trying to weaken me out so that I could give in....... but proud to say I attacked the temptations with success....!!! I am smoke free and love it !!!!

  • Herc as per usual you always hit the nail on the HEAD!

  • Thanks for the responses. Made it to day 10 now. I don't think i have ever taken a work break without a fag. It doesn't even occur to me to take a break when I am at work now I am not smoking. The craving was the only thing that made me go outside....

  • Hi Libertine

    You seem to be doing really well so far and I think all of us quitters know exactly how you're feeling.

    It does take time to adjust to our new no smoking life and there will be ups and downs along the way. I probably know more than anyone how hard it sometimes seems to change the habit of almost a lifetime. There are times when we all think it would be easier to give in but just try to keep remembering that smoking isn't worth going back to. If you can keep doing this your quit will eventually click into place I promise you.

    It does take time though and a lot of effort (well it did for me) but you won't want to go back to smoking.

    It's been over 4 months since I smoked a cigarette now. Do I ever think about it - well if I'm truthful the answer has to be "Yes" but I know I don't want to go back to smoking now under any circumstances. I know you will feel the same if you can keep going with your quit and I wish you every success. You can do it.

  • Last few days I have started to notice some side affects from the Champix. Did not really seem to have any major side affects previously but now the pills seem to make me feel pretty sick and fairly quickly. At first I thought I had eaten something bad. I had a quick look are there any sticky treads of experiences with Champix or any tactics to deal with the sickness? Seems to be worse if I have not eaten?

  • Yes, take it with tea and toast, avoid taking it with anything like jam, muffins etc. Keep it simple tea and toast, you won't be sick anymore.

    I skipped the night pill because I couldn't sleep and it was turning me into a demonic antichrist lol

  • I think I have got to grips with the sickness thanks for the comment. I think food is what I was lacking. I have been having a bowl of plain porridge at work in the morning after taking the pill and this seems to work. I feel like my mood has sunk to what it was before i even wanted to quit at all. Not sure what's going on.

  • Hi Libertine..! I had been smoking for 16 years. From 1999 to 2015. Feels like an obituary, right? Because yes a part of yourself dies then and there with the quit. Or maybe its like a dear friend of yours that dies. Yes you mourn, you rebel, you cry, but you know your friend in not coming back. Fulstop! Smoking simply is not coming back. Its dead and buried.

    You can do so much after you fully grasp this can be so free and full of can do whatever you want. Want to be an even better person doing say charity work? You can do it! Cause its easier than really quiting. Want to become fit, acquire a six pack? You most definitely can my friend! Cause its easier than quiting! Soo many things you can now do.

    And of course be prepared to get to know a new yourself...a self that hided a bit soon after you started smoking back then. To me 309 days after, this is the hardest part. In my mind I still believe I am a smoker...but I am not...and I often repeat it to myself...not a smoker anymore..not a smoker anymore. But then who I am? I am somebody who respects my body, and is clever enough to see that our years on this planet r too fragile to be burdened with smoke as well. Sorry for my english..Im from Greece. Good luck!

  • Thanks Antonis. This is very helpful and heartfelt. I seem to be getting some major mood swings at the moment and I am wondering if this is a side affect of the Champix.

  • The champix gets the blame for a lot of the symptoms... They would have been there regardless.

    The mood swings exist because for years and years you've hidden behind those 2 minutes of deep inhaling smokes

    Now that you are no longer smoking, you will have to learn how to deal with those situations without the cigarettes. - It is very hard.

    The champix actually makes the cravings bearable...and takes the need out of the quit, you still have to deal with the want yourself.

    I was physically very agitated with palpitations and a very irregular heartbeat - champix.

    After 2 months taking the medicine I noticed aggressive behaviour which was completely out of character and scary.

    I kept going because although the idea of taking the champix was bad, the idea of smoking was worse.

  • Libertine...As Mmaya said... Champix gets the blame for a lot of things but to quit smoking is actually very difficult on whatever method...

    Remember... the brain is rewired...and there will be mood swings and temporarily personality changes....It takes time to become ourselves again !!!!

    But... oh boy.... if you get to rediscover yourself again it is fantastic..... !!!!

  • Today marks the end of week 4! I was nearly sick after taking the champix today. I am getting far less cravings now however I still miss smoking.

  • Well done Libertine. You haven't found this easy but you've stuck it out and that has to be testament to your character, and your desire to stop. If it's any help, you're not alone in missing smoking. I thought I was pretty much over it but got a shock last night. I put on a jacket that I hadn't worn for a while, and felt a small, card box in one of the pockets. For a very brief moment I thought it was a forgotten pack of cigarettes and I instantly felt pure elation because I had some to smoke. I didn't even think about it, it just came straight into my head. Scary. They turned out to be a box of paracetamol! I'm pretty sure I would have destroyed them if they had have been cigarettes but it just shows that I'm still subliminally wired up to them.

    We'll get over it - just have to keep going and we will get there!

  • Hi Libertine... very well done reaching week 4....Don't be afraid but the struggle continues although it becomes easier every minute...I have been reaching for my cigarettes up to six months after my quit....It never really stops...but is much further apart...sometimes weeks !!

    The other day I was with my Mechanic in his vehicle to a breakdown and he light a cigarette...Geepers !!! what a lovely smell that was for me on that instant..Fresh !!.. but the next cloud of smoke almost made me vomit...So I don't know if it will ever stop but I am glad I did !!!

  • Well done Libertine on reaching Week 5 - you are doing great!

  • Thank you everybody for your responses, this support is helpful.

You may also like...