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Missy's Journey

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  1. missy05
    missy05 avatar
    17 posts
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    15 Jan 2018
    03 Jan
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    Hello everyone:)

    Today is day 8. Over the last 5 years, I have quit so many times I lost count. Some quits lasted a few days, some a few weeks and my longest about 8 months. I call myself a professional quitter, but if that were true, I would have quit smoking permanently.

    It was always my goal to be smoke free by the time I was 40- but that day came and went in July. So I decided that I would quit before the New Year- so here I am. I am doing it cold turkey as I do okay getting over the physical addiction (besides some insomnia). For me, its the mental game that gets the best of me every time. 

    I have come on here before but never really stuck to it. I figure that perhaps if I come here and seek support, this might just help me achieve the forever quit I have been looking for. 

    Hoping to get to know some of you through my journey. 

    Missy
  2. treepeo1
    treepeo1 avatar
    155 posts
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    06 Feb 2020
    03 Jan
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    Hi missy05,

    I am so glad to hear that you haven't given up.  Good for you, and congrats on your first 8 days smoke free.  

    It is understandable that the mental side of quitting gets to you every time.  As smokers, we associate everything with smoking, both good and bad.  I can't tell you the number of times I would hear a Rolling Stones song (yeah okay, I'm dating myself LOL), and remember a party I was at, smoking and drinking with my friends.  Or having a hard time at work and remembering going outside with my buddies for a smoke while we commiserated.  We probably have hundreds of memories that are linked in our minds to smoking.  What you have to do is break that mental cycle.

    When I quit, I used to say to myself, I don't need to smoke before, during, or after whatever I was dealing with.  So not before going to work, not while having a coffee, not after a meal.  At first, it was really hard, I'm not gonna lie.  I could sit here for 20 minutes or more trying to talk myself out of lighting up.  But I kept telling myself that quitting is what i really wanted to do, and in order to succeed, I had to start doing things differently.  And you know what?  Eventually I started living my life without being ruled by the need to light up.   

    Try to keep yourself distracted, missy05.  Focus on other things.  Remember that lighting up is not going to relieve your boredom, your tension, your aches and pains.  It's just going to continue to hurt you.  And you deserve so much better than that.  Hang in there.  You can do this.  Believe in yourself.
  3. wandam
    wandam avatar
    206 posts
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    05 Feb 2019
    03 Jan
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    Hi missy05,

    First congratulations on your brand new start with an 8 day quit! Second way to go on being determined to never give up! Thirdly I can totally relate to quitting & relapsing. I’m on my fourth quit & determined to make it stick! On my first quit I relapsed at 9 months, sucks that I could of been celebrating 4 years this past Sept. Looks like we are alike & both determined to forge ahead! Wishing you all the best, hang in there, you can do this! 
    Last modified on 03 Jan 2021 21:57 by wandam
  4. atp
    atp avatar
    496 posts
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    31 Dec 2018
    04 Jan in reply to missy05
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    missy,

    I tried to quit multiple times as well, It seems it takes some practice until we get it. 
    You are here and trying again. That is what matters. Take it one step at a time.
    It helps to write out your thoughts and struggles.

    Have you noticed that things are starting to smell and taste better yet? 

    Look for the positives. 
  5. missy05
    missy05 avatar
    17 posts
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    15 Jan 2018
    04 Jan
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    Good afternoon everyone,

    Thank you so much for the responses. I appreciate them.

    In all honesty, with this quit, all I have done is focus on the positives! I smell so much better, I am breathing easier, I am getting in regular exercise- for me, this is a protective factor in helping me keep my quit. The biggest difference I have noticed is my increase in energy. Smoking stole all of my energy. 

    Every smoke free day is a great day. Each smoke free day that I wake up, I give thanks and am grateful. 

    I really want this quit to stay. I hope and I pray for strength and positive vibes throughout the day. Right now, this is my priority. 
    I do worry slightly that because things are a bit more relaxed right now, I am coping. I worry when work kicks into high gear and when school gets going (I am working on my last year of my Masters), I will struggle more. I also have 4 children- so my life is hectic...... time will tell.

    I will come and post here though. You are all my only support. The thing is, I have always been a closet smoker. Very few people knew about my habit. I was too embarrassed to tell anyone about it. 

    Have a good day!
    Missy
  6. atp
    atp avatar
    496 posts
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    31 Dec 2018
    04 Jan in reply to missy05
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    Missy,

    I went out of my way to find positives during my last quit. I think I spent the first 6 months trying to convince myself I could quit. In a lot of ways that was one of the changes I made in my last quit. Being positive. 

    I think for some of us smokers we just get to a point when we know we are done and ready to quit. No amount of public shaming or my wife complaining would get me to stick to a quit. I did it for myself in the end. 

    Keep digging for your motivation. It's there. 

    BTW- no such thing as 'few people knew about my habit'. I used to think that too. Until I quit. Now I can smell a smoker a mile away. Everyone who doesn't smoke knows you smoked. They may not think about it, but they know. 

    I really clinged onto this in my early days as a motivator:

    20 minutes- Your blood pressure, pulse rate and the temperature of your hands and feet have returned to normal.
    8 hours- Remaining nicotine in your bloodstream has fallen to 6.25% of normal peak daily levels, a 93.75% reduction.
    12 hours- Your blood oxygen level has increased to normal. Carbon monoxide levels have dropped to normal.
    24 hours- Anxieties have peaked in intensity and within two weeks should return to near pre-cessation levels.
    48 hours- Damaged nerve endings have started to regrow and your sense of smell and taste are beginning to return to normal. Cessation anger and irritability will have peaked.
    72 hours- Your entire body will test 100% nicotine-free. Over 90% of all nicotine metabolites (the chemicals nicotine breaks down into) have passed from your body via your urine.  Symptoms of chemical withdrawal have peaked in intensity, including restlessness. Unless use cues have been avoided, the number of cue induced crave episodes experienced during any quitting day have peaked for the "average" ex-user. Lung bronchial tubes leading to air sacs (alveoli) are beginning to relax in recovering smokers. Breathing is becoming easier and your lung's functional abilities are improving.
    5 - 8 days- The "average" ex-smoker is down to experiencing just three cue induced crave episodes per day. Although we may not be "average" and although minutes may feel like hours when normal cessation time distortion combines with the body's panic response, it is unlikely that any single episode will last longer than 3 minutes. Keep a clock handy and time the episode to maintain an honest perspective on time.
    10 days- The "average" ex-user is down to encountering less than two crave episodes per day.
    10 days to 2 weeks- Recovery has likely progressed to the point where your addiction is no longer doing the talking. Blood circulation in your gums and teeth are now similar to that of a non-user.
    2 to 4 weeks- Cessation related anger, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, impatience, insomnia, restlessness and depression have ended. If still experiencing any of these symptoms get seen and evaluated by your physician.
    2 weeks to 3 months- Your heart attack risk has started to drop. Your lung function has noticeably improved. If your health permits, sample your circulation and lung improvement by walking briskly, climbing stairs or running further or faster than normal.
    21 days- The number of acetylcholine receptors, which were up-regulated in response to nicotine's presence in the frontal, parietal, temporal, occipital, basal ganglia, thalamus, brain stem and cerebellum regions of your brain have now substantially down-regulated. Receptor binding has returned to levels seen in the brains of non-smokers (2007 study).
    3 weeks to 3 months- Your circulation has substantially improved. Walking has become easier. Your chronic cough, if any, has likely disappeared. If not, get seen by a doctor, and sooner if at all concerned, as a chronic cough can be a sign of lung cancer.
    4 weeks- Plasma suPAR is a stable inflammatory biomarker that helps predict development of diseases ranging from diabetes to cancer in smokers. A 2016 study found that within 4 weeks of quitting smoking, with or without NRT, that suPAR levels in 48 former smokers had fallen from a baseline smoking median of 3.2 ng/ml to levels "no longer significantly different from the never smokers' values" (1.9 ng/ml)
    8 weeks- Insulin resistance in smokers has normalized despite average weight gain of 2.7 kg (2010 SGR, page 384).
    1 to 9 months- Any smoking related sinus congestion, fatigue or shortness of breath has decreased. Cilia have regrown in your trachea (windpipe) thereby increasing the ability to sweep dirt and mucus out of your lungs. Your body's overall energy has increased.
    11 months- Smoking decreases the thickness of the brain's outer layer, the cortex. Smoking induced cortical thinning is associated with poor decision making, risk taking, a lack of impluse control, early dementia, and nearly 14% of Alzheimer’s cases worldwide. According to a 2015 study, it takes 0.9 years (10.8 months) without smoking to recover from the cortical thinning effect of each pack-year of smoking. Congratulations, your cortex is growing thicker and the quality of your thoughts, decisions and actions has improved.
    1 year- Your excess risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke has dropped to less than half that of a smoker.
  7. ocean
    ocean avatar
    286 posts
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    29 Nov 2017
    04 Jan
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    Hi Missy05,
    You're on to something right when you say you want to be positive.  I have periods of insecurity of my ability to stay quit.  I have to move or watch something motivational to fight back and feel bold.  I too think the mental aspect is much tougher than the physical.  Which is a laugh because we're both in the 'physical withdrawl', but I flop around 6 months.  This time I'm not using much NRT because I figured these long cravings I used to get at advanced days/months were probably mental afterall.  I found a package of smokes hidden under my armchair yesterday, I impulsivley smoked 2 then I had to drown the pack as I can't have temptations near me yet.  But I've hardly had any nicotine gum, so I am cutting to the chase still.  I'm still figuring out some goals, mine are usually experiential, but I can't plan for them until the summer when COVID won't have us as shut-ins anymore.  Best Wishes,
    Ocean
  8. missy05
    missy05 avatar
    17 posts
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    15 Jan 2018
    09 Jan
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    Good morning to all :)

    Thank you all for your kind words, encouragement and sharing of personal experiences.  Much of what you have all said has resonated with me and for that, I am so grateful and feel much less alone in this process.  Some of you longer term quitters really inspire me and make me feel like this might just be possible. 

    Today is 2 weeks!  And besides being a bit tired from lack of sleep, I am feeling amazing.  I am breathing so much easier and am able to exercise with more ease- I went for a 5K walk and a 10 minute row yesterday.  I am hoping the gym opens soon.  In Manitoba, we are in another 2 weeks of super strict lockdowns.  My cloudy thinking is subsiding and so far, have not had much for junkie thinking.  In just 14 short days, my husband and I have saved almost $300!  Cigarettes in Manitoba are super expensive and we were spending $21 per package.  Everything tastes better and my sense of smell is returning with a vengeance.  I walked by someone outside yesterday as I was walking and could smell the stale smell of cigarettes (he wasn't even smoking).... made me think of atp's comment about people knowing I too, smoked.  I am still not sure about that, but am willing to consider it, lol.  I went to great lengths to try to hide my habit.  I smoked only at home in a specific clothes / jacket and only outside.  I either showered before I left and brushed my teeth, washed my face, scrubbed my hands, put lotion on, sprays, etc.  Typing it out sounds ridiculous and I am grateful that I don't have to go through that burden anymore.  And either way, I am so glad that I no longer smell that way.  I have also noticed a big difference in my complexion and the stain on my middle finger is gone.   

    I am feeling very proud of myself, but am cautious.  I almost don't want to be too proud, just in case I have a slip or just end up smoking as I have done multiple times in the past.  This quit for whatever reason does feel strong though- my confidence and my desire to stay quit are really strong.  It does help that at this point, we have to be away from others.  I struggle when with my family as they are ALL smokers.  Until I build up some more quit muscles, I think its wise just to be doing my thing, getting on day by day.  

    Have a great smoke free day! 
    Missy
     
  9. wandam
    wandam avatar
    206 posts
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    05 Feb 2019
    09 Jan
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    Hi missy, 

    Congratulations on being 2 weeks smoke free! Love, love some of what you are doing on staying smoke free like being positive & exercising! For me staying positive & exercising were key in helping me stay smoke free! I chuckled to myself as I read your comments on smelling another smoker who wasn’t smoking at the time. Every time a smoker passes by me or has walked down a hallway before me, not in sight but I can still smell their cigarette smell/stink! Ew that use to be all of us former smokers! Keep rocking your quit!
    Last modified on 09 Jan 2021 12:33 by wandam
  10. treepeo1
    treepeo1 avatar
    155 posts
    Registered:
    06 Feb 2020
    10 Jan in reply to wandam
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    Hi missy05,

    Yes, the smell of a smoker.  OMG, that was me for the majority of my life.  I truly am embarrassed by that.

    It sounds like you are doing everything right.  Good for you!  But you are right.  Remain vigilant, because you never know when this addiction will rear its ugly head to try to tempt you again.  Even after 4 years, I remain cautious.  This is on heck of a powerful addiction in so many ways.

    It's funny how once we quit, we start to exercise and take better care of ourselves.  When I smoked, I figured, why bother trying to do that stuff because I am just killing myself with smoking anyway.  And I really couldn't exercise at all because my breathing was so bad.  But once you have quit for a while and your breathing improves, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities.  And you will also find you have more time to use as you please.

    You are doing great, missy05.  Keep up the good work!
  11. missy05
    missy05 avatar
    17 posts
    Registered:
    15 Jan 2018
    25 Jan
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    Good morning everyone!
    I have been trying to find time to get here all weekend to come and say that I made it to 4 weeks smoke free (as of Saturday)!!  I cannot describe how good I am feeling and how grateful I am to be smoke free.  Last weekend (3 weeks) was a tough one and I almost smoked.  It was my husband who supported me and kept strong for us both.  I am glad for his support.  I know just like all my previous relapses, I would have wanted to quit a couple days after I started.  On another positive note- I have lost 6 pounds from my increase in activity.  In fact, I am up early to do some work on my Masters course and then will be hitting the rower for a 5 km row. 

    I have been writing a paper all weekend and I find that in the past, this was an ideal relapse time for me (or so I thought).  I felt that smoking somehow gave me insight and made me a better writer- was I ever fooling myself!  I do find that I get a head of myself and dream of this quit being it and that I will be smoke free forever.  However, I have found in the past that when I think that way, its easy for me to jump ship.  I must continue to maintain my thoughts that just for today, I will not smoke.  I have been finding this past week that there are some days that I rarely think about smoking.  I cannot wait to get further into my quit so smoking is not such a constant thought in my head.  I remember longer previous quits where I could go full days without smoking.  I so want to be free.  

    When my paper is done (due Tuesday), I will check back in.  I want to reply to Ocean's thread.  Again, thank you all for your support.  I want to pay forward the kindness and support you have all shown me and take the time to support others.  Also- I need to ensure I get to this forum a bit more often.  Coming here was a new approach I was trying in this quit attempt to ensure I got more support and positive feedback- something I lacked in previous quits.  Also, to ensure I am accountable to someone other than myself.  I think it will make a difference.

    Have a great SMOKE FREE day everyone!

    Missy


  12. wandam
    wandam avatar
    206 posts
    Registered:
    05 Feb 2019
    25 Jan
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    Hi missy05,

    Congratulations on being over 1 month smoke free, that’s awesome👏 Way to go on exercising & loosing 6 pounds! Sounds like you are pretty happy with yourself & feeling great about all that you are accomplishing since you quit. Keep up the great job! 👍
    Last modified on 25 Jan 2021 18:57 by wandam
  13. treepeo1
    treepeo1 avatar
    155 posts
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    06 Feb 2020
    26 Jan in reply to missy05
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    Hi missy05,

    Congrats on making it through your first month.  Yippee!  Way to go!  It sounds like this quit is going to be a different one for you.  

    Wimporswim and I both felt that it was our time to quit.  We just felt it in our gut, and we were successful.  It sounds like you are at that point in your life, too.  But you are right.  You have to remain vigilant.  Remember to live by NOPE (Not One Puff Ever).  If you never take one puff, you will remain a non-smoker for life.  Also, coming onto this site was extremely helpful to me.  It definitely kept me more accountable.  When I was tempted, I sometimes thought of the people on this site, and especially wimporswim, who was my special quit buddy.  There was no way I was going to let him down, because I wanted us both to succeed in our quits.  And these forums are wonderful places to both get information, and to just let your feelings out, whether they be good or bad.  The more support you have on this journey, the better.

    Keep up the good work, missy05.  I am rooting for you!
13 posts, 0 answered