By Terry Martin. About.com
The Icky Threes and Smoking Cessation
The icky threes is a term that comes up over and over again. It refers to particular phases of a person's quit program that can be bumpy and uncomfortable.
The first three days of smoking cessation are intense for most of us. Often, the first day or two are fueled by the 'excitement' of taking the initial plunge into quitting, but by the third day, reality is setting in and so are the discomforts of physical withdrawal from nicotine.
At three weeks, we've gotten through the shock of physical withdrawal and we're just beginning to tackle the mental side of nicotine addiction. This turn of events triggers cravings to smoke anew for a lot of us.
And be aware ... psychological cravings can produce very real physical reactions in our bodies, making a mental trigger feel like physical withdrawal. Thinking about that smoke break can cause tension that makes your stomach churn and leaves you on edge. It feels like a physical craving, and in a way it is...but the source is a thought, not physical withdrawal from nicotine.
At three months the "newness" of the quit program is wearing off and we're often left thinking "Is that all there is?" The blahs hit, in other words. That too triggers cravings to smoke, often quite intensely.
Knowledge is Power!
The icky threes are common stages of recovery that most of us will go through as we move through our first few months of smoking cessation. The time intervals may vary somewhat for you personally, but you'll recognize the ickies when they arrive.
Don't let these discomforts throw you off course. They are temporary, and once you move through them, they'll be cleared out and gone for good.