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Feelings and Distractions

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. kate r, quit coach
    kate r, quit coach avatar
    49 posts
    16 Jan 2019
    29 May 2019
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    Quitting can often bring up a number of different feelings for people. Some common feelings include anxiety, sadness, anger, nervousness, irritability, and many others. These feelings can be linked to withdrawal, but also to our relationship to smoking. It is sometimes hard feeling these unpleasant feelings and to not reach for a cigarette and remind yourself of distractions.

    What feelings did you feel when quitting, and what worked best for a distraction when you were feeling that way?

    As an example, when someone is feeling sad, they might find comfort in cuddling with a pet. This might not be the best solution (or be helpful) if someone is feeling angry, though.

    Kate R

    Last modified on 01 Jul 2019 22:34 by kate r, quit coach
  2. atp
    atp avatar
    501 posts
    31 Dec 2018
    06 Jun 2019 in reply to kate r, quit coach
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    I found that the first few weeks of my quit I missed the ritual of smoking. It was something that was a part of everything I did. In a way I was mourning the loss of something that I thought was meaningful to me. It is hard to explain but there was a real sense of loss at first.  

    Those feelings changed as days became weeks and weeks became months and I started to feel healthier, and realize what a terrible addiction smoking was. Strange how something I was so addicted to, and so afraid to quit, now is something I regret ever starting in the first place. 

  3. treepeo
    treepeo avatar
    832 posts
    29 Nov 2017
    06 Jun 2019
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    Hi Kate,

    Like atp, smoking was a ritual for me as well.  I smoked before and after I did anything.  When I was happy, I would celebrate with a smoke.  When I was sad, I would sit down, light up, and think about what was bothering me.  I always had an excuse to smoke.  But when I decided to quit, what I started to do was to ask myself, "What would a non-smoker do in this situation?"  And I realized that instead of having a coffee and a smoke, I could just have a coffee.  And after having a meal, when the cravings were really intense, I would open my computer and immerse myself in a game, or read a book I was really enjoying.  I also reached out for help from the people here on this site, or I would call one of my supportive sisters or a friend and talk through my feelings.  Or if the weather was decent, I would do some grocery shopping, or simply go for a walk.

    For me, distraction of any kind was key.  But I also really tried to look at my non-smoking friends and see how they handled different situations.  And then I tried to emulate them.
  4. ocean
    ocean avatar
    286 posts
    29 Nov 2017
    09 Jan 2021
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    Hi Kate r, I'm in my first days of quitting and I battle strong feelings of wanting things to be 'normal'.  Everything has a tinge of "differentness" now, and I used the excuse to sneak a cigarette as an "I just needed a smoking break to  feel normal before I go back to not smoking for the rest of the night". So I cope by just recognizing that everything is off, so I ust be working overtime to keep up with all of these tiny adjustments throughout my day.  I can't wait until my days feel normal again, but for now my thinking cap is busy dodging and adapting, Alterting, Avoiding, and as is with this post, Accepting.  I accept that it's going to be hard for a while.  But that's okay.  I can do hard for short bits of time, like today.  But don't ask about tomorrow.  Just for today, I can do it.
  5. dublinguy
    dublinguy avatar
    349 posts
    09 Dec 2021
    20 Dec 2021
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    Ocean is right in saying we can only cope with today. Thinking too far ahead can be overwhelming and too difficult to think about. Im using coffee as my distraction.... Im able to stand in the kitchen now in the mornings and have my espresso to set me up for the day. Before it used be an espresso and two smokes... then a third when i arrived at work then a 4th smoke once Id read all my emails... and then on the hour every hour... I didnt realize just how much I was smoking at work till I tried to give up. Thats why im finding it harder at work than i do at home to stay quit. The spray mist is really helping with that at work. 
  6. wandam
    wandam avatar
    241 posts
    05 Feb 2019
    26 Dec 2021 in reply to dublinguy
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    Hi dublinguy, 

    I was the opposite of you & found it easier not to smoke at work. I did struggle on coffee & lunch breaks too, because that use to be my smoke breaks. So I started going for walks on my breaks & found that really helped in squashing the desire to smoke at work. The walking helped me with my cravings, keeping the weight down, gave me more energy & overall just felt healthier. Hope this helps you out! Keep up the great work! I’m rooting for you! 
    Last modified on 26 Dec 2021 10:55 by wandam
6 posts, 0 answered