Quitting Smoking One Day at a Time...

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Friday, August 1, 2008

Just When I Thought My Smoking Problems Went Away....

Its funny, no matter how long I am off cigarettes, I can get a problem with them REALLY QUICKLY if I am not willing to deal with the issues that make me want to smoke. For those wondering, Fortunately the answer is "NO," I did not pick up a cigarette today but I did take half a Chantix. Could it be psychological? Probably. For those of you who have been following my journey, I have been off cigarettes for almost 8.5 months. On August 11th, it will be nine months with no nicotine replacement whatsoever. I did pick up those free SNUS packages for my sister who is trying to quit and thought about trying one but I did not. I gave them to her as I had planned. Do I think that made me want to smoke, probably not.

One of the big issues I deal with is anxiety. I don't know if I have ever mentioned it before but when I get really stressed out I get serious anxiety/asthma attacks. Most people don't know about it and I rarely discuss it. I had asthma since I was a little kid-- all that second-hand smoke from my mom's cigarettes didn't help me any. Anyway, when I started getting high and drinking, my asthma and anxiety disappeared for like ten years! When I got sober, I ended up in the ER room at about a year and a half clean. I really believe that asthma is partly triggered by people's emotional status and/or stress levels--(especially mine) and as crazy as it sounds, smoking cigarettes helped me deal with stress so I got way less asthma attacks even as a smoker.

The big question of the day is, how do you guys deal with stress and emotional upheavals now that you have quit? I am forcing myself to get dressed and go do a productive activity. Pay some bills, take a walk and then I will see how I am feeling later tonite. Thanks for listening as always.


maggie's mind said...

I have no idea how I deal with it other than one day at a time and just not smoking. Seriously. Today was a little tough after work walking into a smoky place (but then heading to sit outside), and it's been on my mind, but today, I just won't smoke, and tomorrow will probably go back to easier again. Hang in there.

Chris said...

What are SNUS - maybe I need them? need something .... Chris x

Jude said...

Diva...I think it is something in the stars or something b/c you had a hard time yesterday, Maggie had a hard time yesterday and so did I. All on 8/1--same as we all did on the july 4th weekend.

I relieve stress by whispering 'f*ck a duck!' at work...it cracks me up. Somehow...coffee helps me with stress. I drink 2 big cups/day.

Working out does help a lot too.
Eating, though better than nothing, doesn't 'do it' for me. Don't get me wrong, I still overeat at times...but thank goodness I don't think I will have food issues forever.

Nothing but nothing seems to take the place of smoking. I have searched and tried and that hole will never be filled. HOWEVER it is SLOWLY healing over...and i know one day it won't need to be filled b/c it will just be gone.

Am here for ya :)

Stan said...

yeah, unfortunately, i have to agree with Jude...that whole will NEVER be filled, but it will heal over significantly over time.

it really helps me to just reiterate to myself what Maggie tells herself - that I will never stop wanting to smoke, and yes, it would be so awesome to puff, and I so would, if only smoking wouldn't cause cancer and clog my arteries, and not make my breath stinky, and wouldn't cost so much... but then again, I have never been off cigarettes for so long as you did, so I can't vouch for this technique working so far ahead...

I guess all I want to say to you right now is just please don't go back to smoking. It only creates more - maybe less palpable or immediate but nevertheless huge - problems.

Mz Diva said...

I read your guys comments and you guys mentioned what I have failed to address and I had not even thought about it. The filling up the hole feeling....For the most part, I really don't want to smoke, especially after being off this crap as long as I have. I realized that what I have been craving more than anything else this filling up that "empty hole feeling!" I used to do it with drugs, alcohol and I never thought about it till now, cigarettes have been a big "hole filler till recently. TThis is really something to think about while I don't smoke!
PS: The last time I felt like this, I went and smoke at the quit smoking group to get out of my own head. Yesterday, organized clutter to stop the mehyem and foolishness! Today I am going to take a break and continue on with the clutter job!

lynda w said...

One day at a time - that's how I deal with it. Sometimes even an hour at a time. Yesterday I had a hard time for some reason, too. I ended up having a tantrum just like one that my teenager throws over clutter that was overwhelming me. After I finished yelling like a maniac, I took a second prozac and put myself in timeout.

It's amazing how certain situations can trigger a craving this far into a quit. I dream of a day where the cravings are no more.

Chantix said...

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Brandie said...

First off, thanks for the pictures. That building and the grounds were gorgeous!

I don't know how I learned to deal, I really don't. I know I ran into multiple situations where I was truly at a loss how to handle it without cigarettes. I went through extreme stress periods, and then my body sort of regulated itself back out. I'm sorry, really wish I could be more help, but I think everyone handles their emotions differently. Hang in there, one day at a time!

VJ Sleight, Queen of Quitting said...

Hi Mz Diva, You are doing fabulous with resisting the urge to smoke. It is not uncommon to have an urge to smoke to deal with stress and strong emotions, both positive and negative. This has to do with how nicotine has changed the structure of your brain. Also, at some level, smokers stop developing new coping strategies to deal with these issues because smoking is the first coping mechnism they have learned and it works so well by medicating the brain with dopamine. Stress has two components: phsyical and emotional, first decide what it is that you really need--phsyical--release such as exercise or relaxation such as a bubble bath or a massage. Emotional-vent--talk to a supportive friend or chill--listen to relxing music. For more tips visit: www.StopSmokingStayQuit.blogspot.com
VJ Sleight, Queen of Quitting, a fromer smoker, cancer thrivor, and Tobacco Treatment Specialist

Christie O. said...

i wish i had some insight for you -- but i will say that wow, i never thought of the asthma that way and it really does make sense in a weird way! also, man, i was looking at that progress bar up there on you blog and that is truly amazing -- right down to the money saved and number of ciggies not smoked. amazing job!!!

ps. i'm still gonna be weighing in on fridays if you want to stop by! i must hold myself accountable bigtime. things could go south real quick if i don't!

Mz Diva said...

I am making a committment to join the weigh in Friday party...a stark look at the numbers is often the first step in doing something to change a situation. Going back and looking at your site really motivated me and the contest is OVER!I told a couple of other people about it because I was so impressed and wished I would have started then! What an amazing gift to give others!