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Day 454 - my thoughts for new quitters! (Long ramble, sorry)

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  • Day 454 - my thoughts for new quitters! (Long ramble, sorry)

    Day 454. OK, so it's not a milestone

    But as there are so many new quitters on here, I just wanted to share a few thoughts, and things that have helped me get here.

    When I joined this site I had no confidence that I would stick with a quit.I felt like smoking was an ingrained part of my identity, something I *enjoyed*, ffs, and the only thing that motivated me was fear for my health. I didn't want to quit, I felt I had to try. And for a LONG time I thought that it was a temporary thing. That it wasn't a question of if I would cave, but when.

    However, I kept making the choice not to smoke, day by day. The days and weeks and months ticked by, and something inside me gradually changed. And here I am today, almost 15 months of freedom behind me, and I can look at the old me, and at my old habit, in a completely different light. I could never go back.

    And there's nothing special about me. Every one of us has the power inside us to do this thing.

    So here are my thoughts for today. They all helped me at one time or another and I hope they might help you.

    1) THE FREEDOM IS PRICELESS. I remember the pain of quitting. It's horrendous at times, all consuming. But when you come out of that dark place and into the light, which you will, it is such a wonderful feeling! You will find yourself wanting to skip around like some kind of demented Disney princess.

    2) IT DOES GET BETTER! People ahead of me in my quit constantly said this, and I tried to listen but a part of me didn't believe it (particularly several weeks into my quit when I was still having bad days). I thought they were just better, stronger people than me. But try to believe it, because it is true for everyone: the craves get easier to beat, the bad moments get fewer and further between, you can achieve freedom. It takes longer for some people than for others, but it does happen.

    3) DON'T BE FRIGHTENED. Don't fear craves, none of them are unbeatable. Even the worst of them passes, as long as you don't light up. Your brain has a number of triggers to work through. Even the most powerful of them can be beaten. Always take it one day at a time. No matter how crappy a day it is, when you wake the next morning you will be proud of yourself, and that bit stronger in your quit.

    4) RECOGNISE THE FALSE MEMORIES. When you're down the road in your quit you can have moments where the memory of smoking is really powerful and appealing - when the sun is shining and you're outside having a beer and a barbecue, when you've had a really long and stressful day and you finally sit down with a cup of tea or whatever. You can think to yourself 'smoking would have completed this, my life isn't the same without it, I miss it'. It's a subconscious trigger, folks, just like all the other more obvious ones. Have a stern word with yourself, take a deep breath, move on. Once you've been in that same situation a couple of times without smoking you'll find it doesn't have the same power over you any more.

    5) HALT - HUNGRY? ANGRY? LONELY? TIRED? This is a great tip: when you're climbing the walls for a smoke the chances are it's a trigger prompted by another physical need. You might find that a nap, or a glass of water, or whatever will fix that need.

    6) CHOOSE YOUR PAIN - when you're really going through it the demon on your shoulder will keep whispering 'is this worth it'? Well there's a great article on the woofmang website with the title 'Choose Your Pain'. Do you want the pain of change, which is what you're facing now, or the pain of regret that you may well face a little way down the line when you have to face a terminal illness? It's a really harsh thought, but sometimes we have to be tough with ourselves during a quit. It IS worth it, and you know it. So keep powering through.

    7) CELEBRATE THE MILESTONES - this is a Cavalier tip, and it's a good one. Celebrate getting through the first day, the first two, three, the first week, month, three months, 100 days, six months, year. It's a huge thing you're doing and it's never a bad time to look back at how far you've come and pause to blow your own trumpet. You deserve it!

    8) READ, READ, READ - you'll find a lot of people on here telling you this. There is a wealth of information out there, and if you make it your business to educate yourself about what you're going through, to read other people's experiences, support articles, alan carr or whatever - you will find things that resonate with your own experience. It helps you to feel you're not alone and it could be the thing which brings about that elusive subconscious change in your attitude to smoking. At the very least, it'll keep you occupied!

    9) BREATHE DEEP - it helps with the cravings to take deep breaths. And if, like me, you had knackered lungs it also helps to realise how much better you can breathe. How much better things smell. How horrific the smell of a smoker is! Take in a good breath of clean air, think about your lungs coming back to life. You can't sacrifice that by lighting a cigarette, it's just not worth it!

    Right. This may actually be the longest post I've ever written. If you have reached the end of it you're probably six months into your quit already

    But I hope some of it helped someone.

    Helen x
    Smoked for 24 years
    Quitting method: cold turkey
    Last smoked 22/12/10

    "When it comes to silencing the inner voice, the secret is repeated conscious choice."
    - Woofmang Tales from the Quit. To read the whole article, click here. What the man says is TRUE:

  • #2
    Love your long ramble Helen and I especially love that you are sticking around to offer such support to others on their own quit journey


    • #3
      Great post Helen! It's such a relief that the whole 'I smoked because I really enjoy smoking' feeling passes. Even if it takes a long while. Last time I gave up I thought I would always feel like I was missing out on something, and being that miserable was not worth not smoking for. It's seems most people go through that faze at some point in their quit and I'm so happy to find from your post and others that it will pass eventually!


      • #4
        Well done Helen

        i love reading your posts and im nodding my head like a dog as i was reading and agreeing with everything you said

        its weird how your perception changes the longer you stay quit you go for long periods where you only think of yourself actually smoking now and again and wonder wtf why did i poision myself for so long

        As long as you remember that there are still triggers that will rear there ugly heads to tempt you back no matter how long you have been quit its remembering to just ignore them

        onwards and upwards is the only way to go


        ps your def getting 5 stars for this post
        life time member of the NOPE group

        Quit date 28/10/2010

        Gone but never forgotton RIP DAVO (David) xx


        • #5
          I like it Helen, very helpful.
          Smoked 20 cigarettes per Day since 1996 - Quit 9th September 2011

          Proud member of Successful September Stoppers GROUP:

          Calamityjen13 (3rd), CathyC (8th), Barney_dk (9th), Samartel (9th), Francob (9th), Bafan99 (9th), Grumpie (11th), Gary_Baker (18th), Pip (19th), Claire44 (20th), Jana (26th), viv0147 (28th)


          • #6
            a brill post helen and soooo true

            you mentioned about people being ahead of you and they always said it got better, you have always been one of my 'ahead of me people' if i were in a quiz and the question was wats helsbelles quit day i could confidently say 22/12/2010 and know i was right lol i always knew if you were feeling better then a couple of weeks down the line i to would feel better, got me through some tough times in the early days.
            and i always was amazed you quit 3 days before christmas day i know you were ill at the time but still a brave move i have always thought

            so many true statements in your post and reading it was like a short version of our quits
            the freedom i have gained through quitting was worth every bit of struggle in the early days and to see smoking for what it is instead of making pathetic excuses for doing it is a real eye opener
            i just wanna shout from the rooftops and help all the poor smoker slaves but they wont listen to me untill they are ready the would just put there fingers in there ears and go lalalala

            Last edited by boo; 19-03-2012, 04:06 PM. Reason: i cant say lmao
            01.01.11 patches for about 6 ish weeks then CT and no puffs on my inhalator anymore and determination and this forum also read allan carr 2 ish weeks into my quit

            i am in the penthouse and it sure is good in here


            • #7
              day 6 and struggling

              Thank you very much for this posting. I am using chewing gum but still suffering from the loss of my best friend (or so I thought !!) Struggling through one day at a time so it is great to read these posts to give me strength. I will not smoke again...made up my mind after lots of previous attempts...but still need a bit of help and your comments did just that. Thank you x


              • #8
                Wandering around the Internet I came across this site and the first post I read was Hellesbelles Coronation post. It's still the best post i have read on this forum. Got me thinking about ships and Spartans and so i joined.

                I agree with all your points

                I think you may be a Shepherdess of Quits.


                • #9

                  Very helpful read on a very tough quit day.

                  Just a warning... If viking dances around like a demented disney princess... Don't ever watch that video.

                  As of June 10, 2012 at 1530h. Nobodys BIg TorCH!
                  I will not smoke today.
                  Freedom through Education and Cold Turkey..


                  • #10
                    If a viking is dancing like a demented disney princess then he ain't no viking in my book

                    Lets all shout phwoar for Thor! (the Marvel version)
                    15 a day for 17 yrs
                    Cold Turkey,Allen Carr

                    Proud Member of October 2011 Crew


                    • #11
                      Great post, one I know I will read again & again - well done on beating the demon, my lungs are knackered too but hopefully i'll feel much better soon

                      Denise - day 5 of quitting
                      Quit 2nd January 2013
                      Smoked 20-25 for 34 years
                      5th & final quit
                      Cold turkey (nicorette inhalator when I needed it!)
                      I even smoked in the shower
                      Good luck to all


                      • #12
                        helen you are so right!!!!!! i feel exactly the same way ...almost 15 months quit! wow...all newbies listen to this post of helens!! she is so on target!

                        its great to be free...none of us are better that another...we all have the power inside can win..its up to you!! all bad feelings pass but the good ones never go away..they only stenghthen!!
                        one day at a time for the rest of my life

                        said no to smoking since january 1, 2011 :cool

                        one year quit and loving it!!


                        • #13
                          Great post Helen. Should be made a sticky.
                          Quit date: 20th March 2012 1.50am
                          Method: Cold Turkey



                          • #14
                            HEY Bless you Helen thats a lovely post.
                            .http://whyquit .com

                            Free your mind and your ass will follow!
                            or even the other way round!

                            Practise makes permanent.
                            Quit on 01/11/2013


                            • #15
                              Fantastic post, inspiring. Thanks x
                              Last cig 13th March 2012 at 10:30 pm. Champix, Allen Carr, Paul Mckenna and God. I think I mean it this time!