Forums / My journey / I Don't Want to Be a Drug Addict!

I Don't Want to Be a Drug Addict!

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  1. turningpoint
    turningpoint avatar
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    15 Jan 2019
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    I relapsed over the past 3 days and quit again today.  I relapsed because I expected, and did receive some bad medical news.  I just didn't cope well.

    I believe I smoke because I'm a drug addict, and I don't want to be that!  It just happens that my drug of choice is legal, whereas most drugs are not.  But the fact is I'm a drug addict just as much as anybody who uses illegal drugs. I unfortunately have both the physical and psychological dependency.

    I think I'm going to need a lot of strong support to overcome this.  Unfortunately there are no quit smoking support groups in the city where I live.  So this helpline, along with perhaps a few calls to quit coaches,  are all I've got.  As wonderful as this is, I hope it's enough.






  2. sarah, quit coach
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    15 Jan 2019
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    Hello turningpoint - thank you for your honest post, and congratulations on making a new quit attempt - never quit quitting! Sounds like you got back on track with your quit plan quickly, and its really important to you that you go smoke-free.
    We certainly are here to support you - both online and by phone - so do not hesitate to reach out for support when and if you need it.
    Take care,
    Sarah
  3. atp
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    16 Jan 2019 in reply to turningpoint
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    Turningpoint, 

    Truly sorry to hear that you have some medical issues, but it is always better to know and be able to deal with these things, then to pretend it isn't there. 

    Stress is a key trigger and having a slip as a result in not the end of the world. The more important thing is that you were honest with yourself and are still committed to continue your quit. 

    I too have started to realize how addicted I was. Being quit just over 2 weeks I am starting to see that aside from the nicotine addiction there is a real psychological dependency as well. Nicotine is a terrible addiction because we need to feed it constantly all day every day at a terrible cost to us, and I am so looking forward to being free of that. 

    One of my motivations for keeping my quit is that I don't want to go through the nicotine withdrawal again (I stopped using NRT on 3rd day so am totally nicotine free now). Another motivation is that I am starting to feel better physically. Both of these motivations occurred to me after I quit. 

    Sometimes just writing down what you are feeling, what your motivations are, and reflecting on your progress are a good way of keeping yourself motivated. 
    Last modified on 16 Jan 2019 04:28 by atp
  4. atp
    atp avatar
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    16 Jan 2019 in reply to turningpoint
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    A few ideas on some other resources you can try to find a local support group:

    www.quitmap.ca

    Try contacting your local hospital as often they run clinics or sessions., or may have some additional supports for quitting. 

    Try contacting your local Salvation Army - they provide counselling and supports for all sorts of addictions and they may be able to connect you with a quit smoking group or something. 

    It never hurts to reach out and ask. 
    Last modified on 16 Jan 2019 04:39 by atp
  5. turningpoint
    turningpoint avatar
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    Thank you atp for all your very helpful suggestions for where I might find extra support.  I'm going to try them all.

    Another question for you - so far I've been using the patch, and I know there are arguments and data to support using an aid versus going cold turkey.  And yet I'm drawn to trying cold turkey.  Could you give me some idea of what to expect if I do that?  How bad was it?
    Thank you and congratulations on your great success so far.
  6. atp
    atp avatar
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    17 Jan 2019 in reply to turningpoint
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    Turningpoint,

    For me, I was doing a lot of reading about quitting smoking and kept seeing that the nicotine is out of your system within 2-3 days and figured why keep myself addicted by using NRT's when in past attempts to quit I always failed when I was using them. My mom reminded me that my step dad (a 2 pack a day Rothmans man) when he was 65 quit cold turkey and never had another cigarette, and went on to live to 91. My theory was that all I was doing was replacing one form of my addiction (smokes) with another form (NRT's) and making it that much harder for myself as the nicotine was still in my system. It gave it a shot and it worked for me, partly because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.  

    For me, the withdrawal wasn't any worse than with NRT's. I was restless, had trouble sleeping, always felt thirsty/hungry, a bit on edge mood wise, vomited one night ( i'm thinking too much junk food that day). 

    What I did find was that two days after quitting the NRT's (so Day 4 or 5 of my quit) I was starting to feel a lot better. The cravings were basically gone - I still get some minor moments but not bad. 

    Stocked up on mini carrots, gum, licorice (Nibs), smartpop popcorn. Mostly small size snacks that I could munch on when I felt cravings, etc. Kept my hands busy. And lots of water. 

    The other thing I did this time was toss all my smokes, lighters, and butt cans. I also sprayed everything with Lysol to kill the stale cigarette smell. 

    Still dealing with the psychological side of quitting smoking -  checking my jacket pockets for smokes before going out, reaching for the smokes on the side of my van door while driving. 

    I guess the one bonus motivator for me was that I beat my nicotine addiction within just a few days and that was something I never could do before. Now I'm getting to the point that I don't want to smoke because I don't want to go through the withdrawal again. 

    The other thing is that I am feeling better and breathing better. I was smoking for so long I didn't realize how much it actually affected me. 

    And I spend a lot of time talking to myself to keep myself committed to not smoking. Yes - talking to myself out loud. Sounds weird but it helps me. Mostly I do it in the van while driving, or when no one else is around. 

    I started my quit ready to go the full distance with NRT's and spent a lot of time reading up on quitting. I really was going at this quit a lot more motivated. That was probably the biggest thing was that I was ready to quit, so by dropping the NRT's maybe it helped me become more determined because then it was all me, rather than using a crutch. 

    The most important thing is that you are wanting to quit. You can do this! 
  7. efreeman75
    efreeman75 avatar
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    17 Jan 2019
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    Hi turningpoint

    My story is very similar to atp's, only I did not plan my quit.  Our family was watching a movie one night when I looked at them all and decided that enough was enough.  It wasn't easy, but that mindset worked for myself.

    I had flirted with NRT's in the past, but went Cold Turkey this time.  I think this has worked for myself as it simplifies things - the answer is simply "No".  I also think many of the longer-term quitters around this forum found ultimate success with Cold Turkey.  Interesting if true.  I lived by many of the other lessons taught and preached around here (rest, 4-D's, healthy snacks, deep breaths, etc.) but decided against any nicotine.

    To quit smoking was a decision I made.  How to quit was also my decision.  Everyone can make their own decisions - I am merely sharing what has worked for myself.

    Best decision you can make is to quit smoking.  How you quit is secondary.
  8. turningpoint
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    Hi atp and efreeman75,

    Thanks very much for taking the time to share your experiences of quitting cold turkey.  From what you've said, and from reading the experiences of others, it's sounds like everyone is different.  No surprise there I guess.  The important thing I'm taking away from all this is that it can be done.

    I've made multiple attempts to quit using the patch, and it just hasn't worked.  I tried champix for a couple of days but didn't like it.  I really feel I need to do this cold turkey, as challenging as that is.  I need to do it myself, get the nicotine gone from my system, and then spend however long it takes dealing with the psychological.

    So, I've thrown out everything smoking related, and this is Day 1 for me.  I'm hoping it won't be too bad, but I'm also hoping you'll be there for me if I absolutely start climbing the walls over the next few days.  I really appreciate your support.

    Congratulations on your great successes so far!

  9. atp
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    19 Jan 2019 in reply to turningpoint
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    Turningpoint,

    Congrats on keeping committed to quitting. That is the most important part - wanting to quit. 

    Keep some snacks handy and lots of water and juice.

    I took the view that it is only 3 days. And I further broke it down to: I got through this morning, now lets make it to dinner time, and then bed time, etc. 
  10. linda, quit coach
    linda, quit coach avatar
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    19 Jan 2019
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    Hi turningpoint,

    Thank you for sharing your challenges and accomplishments with us and congratulations for all the hard work you’ve done to reach this day! I’m sorry to hear that you have some medical issues…Know that we are here and you’re not alone in your quit journey. Do not hesitate to reach out for support if you need it.

    As we know, smoking cessation can be difficult and it can take a lot of trial and error. It’s a big lifestyle change but if we persevere and keep trying, we will eventually reach our goal. It’s not easy but it’s worth it. Like you said, everyone is different and no one way works for everyone. Most people will try many times and they will try different methods. Each method has its own qualities that appeal to each person. Some prefers to quit cold turkey and others like to use nicotine replacement therapies such as the patch, the spray, the gum etc.

    People who use the patch might look for a quit aid that gives a low and constant level of nicotine throughout the day. They can just put it on and forget about it. Others like to hold something in their hands that helps with the hand to mouth habit, and they might choose the nicotine inhaler. Some will prefer something faster that gives a quick relief such as the spray or mist and others like the flexibility of NRT’s like the gum or lozenge because it gives them some control over when they use it and target the tough times of the day. And, others will go cold turkey and don't want to use any quit aid. Everyone is different and you can try one approach and then switch to another one if needed. You know yourself best and we encouraged you to go with the method that works for you.

    Turningpoint, atp and efreeman75, you all have such a tremendous strength, the perseverance and the commitment to quit, congratulations! You have worked very hard to get to this point and everyone has found a helpful path to quit smoking – Way to go! Keep moving in this way, you are doing fantastic!

    Thanks everyone for sharing your quit journey with us. Wishing you all continued success!
  11. turningpoint
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    Hi All,

    I'm now approx. 18 hours in, cold turkey.  As some others have done, I'm telling myself it's only 3 days, and breaking the time into smaller chunks.  I'm glad I'm using this method to quit - however, I certainly understand why people say they never want to go through this again!  I keep remembering Churchill's advice - something like if you're going through hell, keep on going!!!

     
  12. atp
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    20 Jan 2019 in reply to turningpoint
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    Turningpoint,

    Congrats, 1 day is done.

    As your second day dawns just keep focused on why you quit, and that if you can make it through one day, you can make it through the second day. Focus on making it through to the next meal, the next hour, the next commercial break.

    Keep yourself occupied. Do something. Anything. 
    Clean your place, take a shower, do your taxes, whatever.....

    You can do this. 
  13. turningpoint
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    Atp, thanks for helping me stay focused.  I'm keeping my focus on that "72", and then just keep on going!  Also can't forget my reasons for quitting.  Thanks so much for your encouragement.

    Have a great, smoke-free day!
  14. aurora
    aurora avatar
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    20 Jan 2019
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    Hi Turning Point, 

    You can do it.  Relapses test our resolve, we really need to remember why this is so important.  
    Keep those reasons in mind, and write out your strategies to overcome the cravings, and the physical and psychological pull toward that habit to cope through smoking.  

    I have quit for 321 days and I was at the point that I had given up on being able to stop.  But I did and I came on this site quite frequently for many months.  One of the things that really helped me was NOPE - NOT ONE PUFF EVER.  
    That is one thing that kept me relapsing in the past - I swear I quit 20 plus times and always thought - just one puff and then I was back to smoking.
    This is one part of my journey, maybe it will help you.  
    Keep going, put one foot in front of the other, and take it one day, one hour, and one minute at a time.  You can do it!

  15. turningpoint
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    Aurora,

    Congratulations on 321 days smoke free!  That is awesome!  You deserve a medal.

    Thanks for your encouragement and advice.  I too have stumbled over the "NOPE" in previous quit attempts.  I think that's a major key to success for me.  The other is reminding myself why I'm putting myself through this.

    Wishing you continued success as a non-smoker - look forward to your 1 year anniversary celebration!
  16. turningpoint
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    I'm still hanging in with a couple of minor slips, but quitting cold turkey was just too hard for me.  So I'm on step 2 of the patch.  I go for long stretches now each day.without thinking of smoking which is great.  Sometimes though, it's still tough.  But I just don't want the life of a smoker anymore.  That's what's keeping me going.

    Sounds like many of you are doing well.  Good to hear.

  17. treepeo
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    27 Jan 2019 in reply to turningpoint
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    Hi turningpoint,

    There is nothing wrong with using the patch.  That is what it is there for.  Ultimately, you still need to do the work.  The patch just makes things a little bit easier.

    It's great that you are no longer thinking about smoking 24/7.  That's a really encouraging sign.  Also, your attitude is going to take you a long way.  I think in order to quit for good, we really have to want to quit.  You just get to the point where you realize, enough is enough.

    Hang in there, turningpoint.  Just take it one step at a time.
  18. atp
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    28 Jan 2019 in reply to turningpoint
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    Turningpoint,

    It's great to hear that you are still hanging in there with your quit. At the end of the day it doesn't matter what methods we use to quit, or whether we have a slip, it's the end result of becoming a non-smoker that we are all here striving toward. 

    I agree with Treepeo, we really have to want to quit. And you sound like you are ready. 
  19. efreeman75
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    Hi turningpoint,

    It sounds like you're doing quite well.  Your attitude is the biggest factor in the success of your quit.  Don't let the use of the patch or a couple of slips change your attitude.  You want to quit and you deserve to be a non-smoker.  You mention you have 'long stretches' where you don't think of smoking - that must be so encouraging and a great sign of the success you are achieving.

    It's hard not to be disheartened at times due to the struggle, but keep that positive attitude and determination and you will reach your goal.
  20. turningpoint
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    Many thanks to treepeo, atp, and efreeman 75 for your wise counsel and encouragement.  On we go!

    atp - if you're starting to feel optimism, maybe that means there's light at the end of the tunnel!
  21. atp
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    28 Jan 2019 in reply to turningpoint
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    Turningpoint,

    Yes there is optimism. Starting to feel much better both physically and mentally. There is still the odd craving and moments where I just plain feel like having a smoke. Same as you, I don't want to be a smoker anymore.  

    It is a marathon, not a sprint - so you have to measure your successes in increments. Like going to the mall and not once thinking about going for a smoke - I mean I couldn't even imagine that a month ago. As you mentioned, getting longer periods of not even thinking about smoking. 
21 posts, 0 answered