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Is it the punctuation that I've lost? What can I do to replace it that could work? Or should I leave it out and learn a new set of rules?

I am having some trouble feeling in control, and have a sense of 'lost something, what is it?', but KNOW that I don't what to smoke again. I can't seem to get nearly as much done in a day, bit of a wandering, less focussed feeling, am I turning into a lazy, loungy person...... ?

I just can't seem to get started on things as well as I could before, and for that matter, can't seem to finish them either! Right now, I can't get up!!

I think the cigarettes helped me to put the structure in my day, my full stops and new paragraphs, question marks and exclamation marks!!!

For example. Wake up > need nic > go outside > have fag > job done > now get on and do x > finish x or have a break from x > congratulate self with fag > either get back to x or start y >

I could go on, not sure I'm getting across what I mean, but I think it's the punctuation that's missing for me, my structure. Hmmmmm. Any thoughts, help and suggestions gratefully received

13 Replies

Omg that is the best analogy I've ever seen. You have hit the nail right on the head with that. I'm exactly the same, motivation to do anything has gone because all the cues and rewards have gone. I'm still in bed too, what's toget up get uup for?


I have forced myself up and am dressed in my dodgy old gardening clothes, so got m cue about what I am gonna do :) But my god they stink of smoke!! Because before I had the fag, surveyed the land, did the job, then had another fag as a reward! I am taking the inhalator out. Are ecigs the thing to try? Guess that would just return me to the behaviour.

If anyone out there has found something in the meantime, it would be great to share :) :)

Guess the habit will be broken one day!

Onwards and upwards.

Hope you have a good day sinfree, we can find a way without the fags, and be very very proud :) :)


Hiya Betts, yes, Sin and I had this kind of conversation a while ago. The trouble is that I'm a year down the road now and still can't get the motivation to do anything around the house and garden. I've got so much to do that I just stick my head in the sand and going out and about is much more preferable to knuckling down and getting on with it. I'm trying to force myself to do something for an hour or so every day - but it doesn't always happen. :( Sometimes I think I should get rid of the computer cos that's a BIG distraction! :D :D

Today, I think you need to change and wash your stinky gardening clothes and fill up the washing machine with any other stinky clothes that you can find. :) Good luck! :D :D


haha, andi so glad its not just me. If I am truly honest I was pretty lazy before I stopped smoking and yes the internet is a big consumer of time. I sometimes wonder what I used to do pre internet days but that is such a long time ago I can't remember. :D Just don't get a smartphone or things will just go from bad to worse :D On saying that though I have a groovy little app called Pomodroido which is basically a timer thing for breaking down tasks, there is also a website dedicated to the whole idea: pomodorotechnique.com/

I agree, Betts its amazing how long that smoke smell will stick to clothes. I've found the odd item of clothing when I've managed to have a bit of a clear out and if they've not been worn for even a couple of years but have been long forgotten and therefore left unwashed (yuk) there is still a vague smell of stale smoke on them.


Brill idea and I will get the washing on when I have finished these blessed lawns, and a bit more. I am working off some anger or whatever it is, and even found myself chuckling about a thought - so it's working :)

Know what you mean. I am sick of the drudgery and would prefer to be doing things I enjoyed.. Smoking helped me bury that resentment and boredom. Oooh ahhh :) Opening possibilities. New opportunities! Thee's something to think about and chortle over whilst I mow :)

I promise to wash the stinky clothes later. That will be nice :)

Thanks for your support both! :)


Hi Betts,

I'm on my laptop now so hopefully this reply will not get lost.

Earlier I wrote that I think your analogy is spot on and that is one of the beauty's of a site like this where people share their thoughts and experiences. I think that giving up smoking has put me in a kind of 'no man's land'. One that I am okay about though, because I really don't want to go back to being a smoker. Like I have stated in other posts my focus at the moment is my home environment. It's slow progress but tangible because I can see the results and eventually I will get rid of the signs that there used to be a smoker in the house.



I really like this. It is about the new all round somehow. Out with the old and in with the new.

Thanks, Cleopatra :) I guess it will take a while, but I am keeping working on it. I am not going to give up giving up.


And I am going to finish gardening now with a trip to the tip. Out with some old!

Then wash these gardening clothes, or maybe they're for the bin too, but I will wash them first. Nasty stinky smoke.

I am trying to think really positive, that 'no man's land' is rich with possibilities :)



Hi to you four - Betts, Sinfree, Andi and Cleopetra.

I really, really do wish that I had the answer to your question Betts. You could be describing me virtually to a ‘tee’ just how I am feeling but not to put too finer on it feel that it has so affected me that I don’t seem to care how bad things look as I just cannot find the energy or the impetus to do something about it!! Lethargy does not explain why I feel so bad and like I say I just don’t know what to do to correct it.

I’ve always been – well previous to this ‘feeling’ anyway – proud of my housekeeping skills and the fact that my house whilst ‘lived-in’ has always but always been, under the ‘mess’, clean. Never, ever been ashamed to have people just drop in as lived in is, to me, comfortable it is definitely what makes your house your home! Mess if you can call it that can be ignored and doesn’t take long to clean up, does it?

Now I am getting to the stage where I don’t want visitors whether they ring in advance or not – just don’t want them in my house in any way, shape or form.

To give you an example of how bad it is, last weekend my husband took one of his 1/10th car models from the top of the unit in ‘my’ room where it is on display together with 3 others that size and 8 other models that are 1/18th. The top of its display box was thick (and I do mean thick) with dust and I said to him words to the effect that I really must get them all down and dust them. Can’t remember what he said but he put the one he had brought down back and guess what? Yep, you are correct I still! have not got the energy or will to do anything about all the dust on all of them.

On anti-depressants from the docs at the moment but although they help they don’t fire me up and I think that should really be up to me but I just can’t summon any enthusiasm whatsoever to do ordinary everyday tasks. In fact, it takes me all my time to do anything at all!

Wish I knew what was wrong with me so that maybe, just maybe, I could try and put it right. Perhaps I should read all the replies again and see if that gives me inspiration or possible divine intervention which is what I think I need right now.

HELPPP! Feel like I am trying to get out of quicksand not that I’ve ever got stuck in the stuff but really do feel like there is no end in sight to this feeling and to be honest don't know if it is a feeling or a state of mind - not that I know if there is a difference between the two. I’m afraid that the light has definitely gone OUT in my tunnel and I can’t summon the energy or will to do anything about it. Wonder sometimes if it’s worth living at all – with or without a smoke - as I just don’t seem to feel any of the benefits that I thought I would when I gave up. Maybe that's the problem, thought I would be jumping up and down and so ecstatically happy but just feel really, really flat. One thing I can do though with gusto and gay abandon is eat! No wonder the weight's piling on and that gets to me as well but like everything else, can’t summon up the energy, momentum or whatever you call it, to do anything about that either!!!!!!



Hey Kath

It is lousy, lousy, lousy to feel so bad, but you know, you are actually doing so much for a lot of people right now, yes right now, with all the writings and contributions to this community, at the same time as having this thing hanging on you, and in your thoughts.

Maybe we expect too much of ourselves, still expect to keep up with what we did in our 20s and 30s in our 50s ( you could be younger than me, I am late 50s) I keep wondering about that, I have slowed down physically, but in my head, tend to make lists of to dos that are too long. Overexpecting. And anyway, how interesting can housework keep being after this many years of it - it isn't really that exciting a set of jobs :) Could be part of our minds have seen the light :) but the other part hasn't caught up yet !

It's a funny age, things changing anyway, and then we impose this massive amazing change on ourselves - stopping smoking - best thing we can do :). Like I said at the beginning though, I used it to get myself going to start a thing, and reward myself for having done it, and to give myself little comfort breaks in between. We deserve medals! And applause! We are doing this big thing, even if we falter occassionally :)

Let's take it minute by minute, blog by blog :) post by post :)

And Kath, feel good about what you are doing, to hell with the housework!

We are getting by, and there are some wondeful parts to each day, like your walk I felt I'd joined you on, it was so vivid, it made me feel gooooood :)

We'll wake up in sunshine some days, and ride the waves in between. By the way, I just finished a big bag of maltesers, pigged out I'm afraid, after the healtiest salad you have ever seen. Full of contradictions! :) being human.

I have felt happy writing to you. Thanks for being there for me :)

Big hugs xxx


Oh Betts

What a lovely, long reply. Felt better but I think because I am under the doc and they are now saying it isn't Menieres and Migraine but they don't know what it is things just seem to be too much! Have had more blood tests in the last couple of months than I've had in my life before. Have to go for an ECG on 14th and to be truthful, I'm scared stiff! All she did was listen to my breathing and then say I want you to have an ECG and then come back for the results of that and the blood test. Me, a grown woman and I'm petrified and of course the first thing I want to do is reach for, yeah, you guessed right, a cigarette but so far, although it's been bl***y hard, I've managed to resist. This time I am determined that I won't falter but who really knows if I will succeed (and no I'm not a bird sucking seeds honest!). I was 58 by the way in March and although I do say it myself, I'm tired now whether that's because I'm worried about what is wrong with me or just old age catching up with me, I don't know. I've worked since I was 14 - always full time - never blessed with children but I always think there is a reason for that 'cos if it was meant to be it would have happened. My other half was 67 last week and when I looked at him this morning, I hate to say it, but he is beginning to look a bit frayed round the edges. Three score years and ten is what they say but I think these days people are definitely living longer. I've had to stop driving and to be truthful if it is menieres, I shouldn't drive anyway but I have to rely on him now to go anywhere that involves a journey. Hate that much as I love him though it's sometimes not easy to ask to be taken to the docs or the hospital. Guess I'm just worrying about nothing but it's in my make up and I can't change even though I want to and I do honestly try to. As one of my friends children said the other day "Life's a bugger isn't it Kath?" and she's all of 10 going on 20! Try to make the most of what I have and I know that I have a lot more than some but with not smoking feel sometimes like there's something missing - you're probably right actually, it is punctuation - more than likely with me the exclamation mark!!! Can't repeat your life no matter how much you want to but do feel sometimes like I've missed so much with not having a family and not having a family of my own - one sister who lives in a posh part of the country and hasn't spoken to me in years and believe me I have tried but you can only do that for so long. Writing blogs actually helps/makes me feel better and I do so want them to help other people. Perhaps my next blog should be entitled 'I must practice what I preach' or maybe 'how to feel sorry for yourself in one easy lesson' - now there's a thought isn't it?

I do appreciate you taking the time to write back and I will, I have no doubt, look back at your reply many times as it does give me a boost that you cared enough to respond.

Enjoy the rest of this beautiful day.

Love and hug to you,




I'm going to try multi-vitamins. I've been reading through the answers to this particular question and I'm also in my 50s. 56 to be exact. The body, in particular the female body goes through an enormous change anyway at this time for many women so giving up smoking just adds to it. When my mum died 3 years ago I felt awful and I knew I had to do something to help me recover from the massive shock that it was, so I decided to eat properly. Well at the moment, I am all over the place but I think that if I try the multi-vitamins, it might help to get me back on track.

Just a thought. :)


Hi Sally

Might try that myself - let us know how you get on and I will let you how I do - what sort of vitamins are you going to try.

This change in a female body - any idea how long it lasts? If its this change that is making me as I am it would be nice to know for how much longer as it seems like forever but is probably only a couple of months or thereabouts.

Thanks for thinking and sharing your thoughts - two; three or even four heads are better than one anytime! :D


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