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Day 9 - Cold Turkey

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  1. aspen_strings
    aspen_strings avatar
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    18 Jan 2019
    18 Jan 2019
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    So I quit nine days ago, I've attempted this 10 or 15 times previous and failed everytime.  I've been smoking for 25 years.  I smoked a pack a day, but in the last two years I started smoking less, about 10 to 14 a day.  I've tried quitting using Nicorette gum, but I'd end up chewing it wrong and didnt like the aftertaste or tingly feeling it left in my mouth afterwards.  I also tried using the patch and had a horrible experience using that.  I would get burn marks on my skin that would be itchy for days after removing the patch.  I would also have crazy vivid nightmares.  I asked my doctor about prescribing me meds, but he refused to prescribe me anything, stating that if I was serious about quitting, the best way would be to just stop.  I have a few friends that were prescribed pills and they complained about psychological issues they experienced and how it was messing with their minds.  Of all the people I know who succeeded in quitting, they all quit the same way - cold turkey.  My doctor once told me, "changing how you get nicotine, ie. patch or gum, is not going to help you overcome your nicotine addiction.  The only way to quit is to stop".

    So here I am, nine days in and this absolutely sucks.  I didn't start eating more right away, as a matter of fact, I hardly ate anything for the first week.  I had no appetite whatsoever.  Food tasted weird and I was not enjoying anything that I normally enjoyed eating.  I'm also kind've depressed.  I know smoking is bad for you, but I always liked smoking.  I'll be honest, I miss it.  I guess I'm starting to get a bit discouraged and this is why I have signed up for this smoking help.  Does it get better? or is it going to always be something that I think about.  I don't know if I'm really feeling any better, my back is feeling sore abound my ribs and the muscles in my forearms feel like they are tightening up.  I'm not sleeping well either, few hours here and there.  I do however notice that my body temperature is higher, I'm guessing my body is having an easier time regulating my internal temperature a little better then it was when I was smoking.  The cravings don't seem to be constant, but when they do hit, they hit hard.  Maybe they only last for a few minutes, but they feel like hours at times.  I've also noticed a change in my mood.  There are times when I can easily get fired up, even having thoughts of hurting someone badly that crosses me and then having the complete opposite effect of becomming very emotional when I read or watch the news.  I feel messed up, like I'm having some kind or hormonal or chemical imbalance.  I keep telling myself it's the poison leaving my body that's making me feel this way.  I sure hope it gets easier or goes away, maybe it never does.
  2. atp
    atp avatar
    491 posts
    Registered:
    31 Dec 2018
    18 Jan 2019 in reply to aspen_strings
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    Aspen_strings:

    I'm on day 17 of my quit. Went cold turkey after trying the NRT's for a couple of days. 

    Physically I feel good now. The first week to 10 days was the hardest. 

    I'm still getting used to not being a smoker. It does feel strange. 

    So yes, it does get easier. 


  3. emily, quit coach
    emily, quit coach avatar
    190 posts
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    28 Nov 2017
    18 Jan 2019
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    Hi aspen strings,

    First, congratulations on quitting! I know it's not always easy but you have made it to day 9 which is a great accomplishment.

    A lot of what you are describing is common when quitting. Many people who quit may experience changes in mood, trouble sleeping, and the feeling of missing smoking. Like you mentioned your body is working on clearing out the chemicals and repairing itself. So with time these symptoms will pass. 

    We are all here for you. Post as often as you need.
    Emily  
  4. shazzan
    shazzan avatar
    140 posts
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    06 Nov 2018
    18 Jan 2019
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    The fastest way to rid of cravings is to accept why you are here. You are here to become a non-smoker. Thnk in positive terms, you are not giving up smoking, because cigarettes gave you nothing to give up. Learn, read, accept. How many cigarettes if any did you actually enjoy? The longer you think you are being deprived, the long and more intense your cravings. Instead of mourning your past status of being a smoker, look to the future.

    Spend your energy finding ways to fill in the voids where you used to have a cancer stick. Surely you can find better , healthier things to do. 

    Personally i think a lot more people would succeed quitting smoking if they took the time to learn about themselves and the addiction. Then took time to change the habits and start to loath the cigarette and the time taken away from other things. This will only happen if we make smoking a chore, a medication , a negative, rather than a reward or something that gives us pleasure. 

    Getting your head out of the sand, goes a long way towards seeing a bright future!
  5. treepeo
    treepeo avatar
    832 posts
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    29 Nov 2017
    18 Jan 2019
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    Hi aspen_strings,

    Firstly, I want to congratulate you on your 9 smoke free days.  That is fantastic!

    I get what you're saying.  Quitting is hard, and withdrawal is no fun at all.  And initially, you do miss it.  But that's because smoking was such a big part of your life. 

    I smoked for over 43 years, and two years ago I quit cold turkey.  Yikes, how I suffered that first month.  Holy cow, I never want to go through that again.  But was it worth it?  You betcha.  I am so glad that I finally stuck to my guns and quit for good.  Quitting smoking changed my life for the better.  My breathing is no longer laboured, and I don't get winded just climbing a flight of stairs.  I no longer stink of smoke.  Trust me, if you haven't noticed it yet, you will soon.  Non-smokers can smell the stench of smoke coming off smokers and it isn't pleasant.  Makes me ashamed that I smelled like that my whole life.  I no longer have to leave friends and family to go outside to have a smoke.  No more skulking around trying to find a place to smoke.  All the guilt and shame I felt about being a smoker has been lifted from my shoulders.  I didn't quite understand how much that was weighing me down.  And now, I have so much more free time, time that I used to waste smoking.  Plus, travel is a lot easier, as I don't have to worry about dealing with cravings any more.  These are just some of the reasons why I am so glad I quit.

    Right now, you are in the thick of withdrawal, but it will get easier.  Your mind and your body need time to adjust to this new lifestyle.

    Make sure you drink lots of water to help get rid of the toxins faster.  Do things to distract yourself, and try to get enough rest.  Little by little, the problems you are experiencing will start to disappear.  It also helps to focus on all the reasons why you want to quit.  Tell yourself that you  are stronger than your addiction, and believe it.  A few people I knew quit, and I realized that there is no magic involved, just hard work and determination.  Live by N.O.P.E., Not One Puff Ever.

    You can do this, aspen_strings.  Believe in yourself!
  6. eagerquit
    eagerquit avatar
    410 posts
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    07 Mar 2018
    19 Jan 2019
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    Hi aspen_strings,

    Congratulations on nine days smoke free. I felt and experienced much the same things as you when I quit last March.

    I too tried many times previously to quit. This time I did a number of things differently to get past the psychological and physical issues. First, joining this help line and continuing to read and participate here has been a life saver for me. I always look at my dashboard to see my days of life saved (now 80 days) and the financial gain. Last March I wrote down my reasons for quitting and still have them in front of me as a reminder of why staying quit is important.

    I faithfully follow the 4 D's.

    Delay. The urge will pass whether you smoke or not.
    Deep breathe.
    Drink water.
    Do something to take your mind off smoking.

    Today, I enjoy my smoke free life and no longer think about picking up a cigarette. It is something I "used to do" and not a part of my present or future life.

    I hope this helps. Wishing you another smoke free day!

    Eagerquit
  7. aurora
    aurora avatar
    73 posts
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    08 Mar 2018
    20 Jan 2019 in reply to aspen_strings
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    Hi Aspen Strings!

    Hang in there!  You are doing so good!  I so relate to your story, there are many similarities.  I too smoked for a very long time - 30 plus years.  I took quit so many times that I felt like an expert at failure.  The patch was horrible for me too - allergic reaction.  I tried prescriptions, hypnosis, cold turkey, and Nicotine Replacement Therapy.
    And now I am here - at 321 days!  I have amazed myself and I feel awesome.

    It was very hard at first - emotional, irritable, hard to sleep, headaches like my head was in a vise, mood swings, you name it.  I did do Nicorette gum and lozenges this last time.  It helped a lot.  I used those for about two months, when I would be in situations where I would normally smoke.  
    Changing a habit is not easy, and quitting smoking is tough.  If you need help, do what it takes.  Your doctor is not you, so if you need more, then go to a walk in clinic if you want to try a prescription.  It sounds like a lot of people around you have not had good experiences with many methods of assistance to quit, but there are so many variables.  Keep going, keep putting one foot in front of the other.  One of the long term non smokers on this forum shared that they did NOPE - Not One Puff Ever.  I adopted that and never looked back.  and I have never felt better.  Let me know how you are doing - I am rooting for you!
  8. efreeman75
    efreeman75 avatar
    269 posts
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    02 Apr 2018
    21 Jan 2019
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    Hi Aspen_Strings,

    Welcome to the Forum.  It's a great place of support as is evident in the above replies.  What you're experiencing is unfortunately all too common.  There are many symptoms to quitting smoking, and it sounds like you're experiencing many of them.  I also experienced everything you mention at one point or another.  You've been smoking for more than 25 years - it will take more than a couple of weeks to change your physical and psychological lifestyle. 

    The good news is that it does get better - Sooooo... much better!  I just looked at the date and realized I'm under a month until my 1-year quit anniversary.  And things are better now then they ever were when I was smoking.  The freedom is incredible.

    There's much advice offered above and throughout the balance of the site.  Take what you need.  Take what works for yourself.  There is much experience lurking around here.  We will do it together.
  9. rml2019
    rml2019 avatar
    8 posts
    Registered:
    24 Jan 2019
    25 Jan 2019 in reply to aspen_strings
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    Hi Aspen_strings and congrats on quitting. I am on day six of my quit and also went cold turkey.  Quitting is extremely hard and withdrawal is just pure hell but I have been drinking lots of water which seems to help a bit and trying my best to distract myself (not very easy in the winter)... All I can say, is be proud of what you have accomplished so far....We can do this!!
  10. nkotbcanada
    nkotbcanada avatar
    1 posts
    Registered:
    27 Jan 2019
    05 Feb 2019 in reply to aspen_strings
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    I am 1 month smoke free today... cold turkey. I tried the patch, and champix, and I’ve tried cold turkey before. I don’t know what it is but this time I just did it. I hadn’t planned on quitting when I did. I got sick with a double ear infection and bronchitis and had no desire to go outside in the cold. 1 day turned into 3, and I just kept going. I even have 1 and a half packs of smokes in my purse still. In the past I have planned my quit and have gotten overly anxious as my pack started to have less and less cigarettes in it.  

    With cigarettes, I have also given up coffee. That was also not planned. The taste of coffee is making me gag. I have more energy when I’m supposed to have it, and have a much easier time falling asleep at night. 

    I miss smoking, the quiet time it gave me to reflect on my day, my alone time. But I’m smoke free, and actually enjoying it!!
  11. marianne, quit coach
    marianne, quit coach avatar
    278 posts
    Registered:
    30 Nov 2017
    06 Feb 2019
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    Hello nkotbcanada,

    Congratulations to you on being smoke-free for one month!   So many positive domino effects after you quit.  Sounds like you are missing reflection time in your day. The cigarette just carved that time out for you.  Perhaps you can think of ways whereby you can ensure you have that appointed time to self daily.  Feel free to share with us.  

    Have a great day!

    Marianne
    Last modified on 06 Feb 2019 10:08 by marianne, quit coach
  12. faith
    faith avatar
    1 posts
    Registered:
    06 Feb 2019
    06 Feb 2019 in reply to aspen_strings
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    I totally understand how you are feeling.Day 5 smoke free. On campaix. Please look up joel Spitzer videos on you tube, they have helped me understand this addiction to cigarettes alot more. Hope it helps. And congrats! Dont give up! 
    Faith
  13. efreeman75
    efreeman75 avatar
    269 posts
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    02 Apr 2018
    07 Feb 2019
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    nkotbcanada mentions something above that I have often thought about during my quit.

    In my previous attempts, I would plan to quit.  I would buy and ration my cigarettes accordingly.  This caused so much anxiety that I would often not even make it to the start of my plan.  I failed before I even started.  And if I did start as per plan, I was so anxious that I had little chance to succeed.

    This time I quit unexpectedly and without prior planning.  No NRT's or excuses to fall back on.  I made a decision that it was time, and I've stuck by that decision.  I can be incredibly stubborn, and maybe that's what it takes for myself.  I honestly had one cigarette left in a pack which I looked at for a few days with hatred and despise.  I eventually tossed that single cigarette away, never to be seen again.

    Different things work for different people.  Regardless, a stubborn mindset isn't going to hurt!!!
13 posts, 0 answered