Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Battle Continues...

Eleven weeks and still not a single cigarette. I feel pretty darn good about that. But this last few weeks have been the hardest, and I think it's because I know I'm supposed to be done with the nicotine lozenges in one more week, and I know I'm not ready to give them up just yet.

The other day I was at the store and in the parking lot beside my jeep was this half smoked cigarette. I looked at it for a few seconds thinking, "That looks mighty good." Then I cringed thinking, "Gah, how disgusting is that? Drooling over someone elses old nasty half smoked cigarette?"

That night I had a dream that I did smoke that cigarette. Of course it wasn't that same one, but it was a half smoked one and I was at home, but I dreamed I smoked. I can't say that in the eleven previous weeks I've dreamed about it. I think now that I'm getting close the the finish line of truly being smoke and nicotine free, my brain is playing tricks. The little bastard!

Small things have turned into HUGE things, all in the name of Nicotine and the lack of it. I'm at the minimum time for how many lozenges to suck daily (3-4) and I'm supposed to cut back to zilch in one more week. And it scares the piss out of me that I won't be able to do it. It seems this week I have wanted to smoke more than ever. I don't know, but I feel like I've lost a friend or something. I miss stepping outside and puffing that tobacco stick. I miss when I get upset, mad or sad, and lighting up, that feeling it gives you as the nicotine works it's way through the body, easing and well...comforting. It sounds crazy, but it seems to take forever to get a grip when my emotions get riled.

Yesterday, my husband was out in the garage (where we smoke in the winter) and my first thought was to accuse him of smoking! I felt horrible that I would think he was sneaking one without me. I even did this secret sniff to see if I could catch a whiff. I got nothin. Needless to say, I was relieved. But felt guilty for being suspicious.

I've managed this long, I can manage a little longer. One day at a time.


Randi said...

Stay strong!! You can do it!!

Lea said...


Mammoth (((hugs)))! You are so right on! It is one day at a time.

I know of another friend who echoed exactly what you posted. She said to me, "I feel like I've lost my best friend", and she was relating to giving up smoking. So you are not alone with respect to your feelings.

You should be so proud!

Good to chat. :)

Judy H said...

I am very proud of you. It is hard work to stop smoking. You have to change your whole lifestyle to do it.
I started smoking at 19, I have been smoke free for a little over a year now and I quit at 55.
So, I smoked for about 36 years. (You aren't even that old yet!)
I still want one. Not often but occasionally.....It's just the old habit.
But, what I wanted to say is...

If you have to drag out the lozenge for another week or two, even just down to one a day or one every other day, then do it. It won't hurt you and it will make you feel good about still not smoking.
I have a crutch still. They are called Smarties! My teeth are already old and falling apart, so I will keep sucking on these until the urge for them goes away.
What are ya gonna do! :)

Amy said...

Thank you so much, Randi.

Amy said...

Lea, thank you for that. I wonder if I'm just losing my mind! But it's nice to know there is someone else who felt the same way I do :).

Amy said...

Judy, I'm so so happy that you have quit. I never thought I'd see the day that you and mom would be smoke free. Mom is doing soo good too. I know she is feeling alot the same as me with respect to quitting the lozenges after 12 weeks. She has less days to go than me, so she'll be taking them longer, but that's alright. It's much much better than smoking.

Anonymous said...

Stay strong Amy. I gave up smoking over a decade ago, but didn't suffer with bad withdrawal. I don't know why some of us have withdrawal and others don't. I had smoked for years and was up to 2 packs a day when I just quit cold turkey and never went back. I missed the habit of it(especially while driving), but didn't have physical withdrawal cravings. Take it one day at a time, you can do it. Be strong and don't let yourself think about it, think about something else.

Anna said...

11 Weeks, thats great keep it up! ((HUGS)) I know everyone is different. But it might help to keep your mouth busy with gum or hard candy. I've heard that it helps a little. :)

Carolyn Jean said...

Hey congratulations! As somebody who also quit smoking (a few years ago now), and had the exact same feelings, I can report that it gets easier. It will be hard for a while, but then it gets easy. And then the craving goes away! Missing it goes away. Just don't think too hard about it. Put your head down, get through the day, and another, and just know at the end, you'll like life without cigarettes better than life with them. Most everybody does.

Now and then I still sort of think, this would be a great time to have a smoke, because, you know, smoking is fun. But at this point, even if I could have one without consequences of any kind, I really deep down don't want one anymore. It's more about reminiscing. Because something better is on the other side. You can get here, too!

Oh, also, this might be a little wacky, but if you do 10 pushups when you want a cigarette (or more or less, as many as you can, three sets of 10 if you can) that makes cravings go away. And you'll have sexy arms at the end of all this.

Christine said...

(((Amy))) You can do this, girlfriend! I just know you can. I'm sure it is absolutely normal to be feeling weak even after 11 amazing weeks. And who says you can't take a few more weeks weaning yourself from 3-4 lozenges a day to none? Everyone is different... don't be too hard on yourself, but also stay determined.

I love Carolyn's suggestion of doing push ups to quell your cravings! T-shirt season is right around the corner... you're arms will look great! ;)

MB (Leah) said...

Amy--- I totally get what's happening to you. I smoked on and off for 20 years and am 10 years smoke free now. I haven't craved a ciggy for years now, except for a fleeting nostalgic feeling when I see smoking in a movie.

It is hard. Very hard. But just one thing. If you feel you cannot go off the nicotine then don't. Keep taking it but lessen the amount slowly. My friend who just quit in her late 50's has been chewing the gum for more than a year. It's still better than putting smoke into your lungs. So don't think of it as something that you have to stop.

Another way to look at things is to fool yourself by saying to yourself when you get a craving---"yes, I want a ciggy now but I'm choosing not to have one at the moment, maybe later." This makes it more about choice and less about need or craving.

Also as you probably know by now, distract yourself when a craving comes up. Do something that you enjoy or what occupies your mind for a bit until the craving passes.

I found that when I would be in situations where I would normally smoke, I would change up the routine and do something different. Get a new routine.

You can do it and it's good that you have support of your family, your husband. Good luck!

Blanche said...

(((AMY)))You are doing so well, I'm so very proud of you! The struggles and difficulties you face in all of this are the things that are going to make you so much stronger when you are done with this "journey" and as hard as it is for you now, it will get better........just hang on and focus on each day and know we are all here to support you!!

moonduster said...

Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for yourself! You've gone so far with it already! You CAN do this!

When my husband quit, he'd been smoking for 20 years. He quit with no aids at all. He says that it's really hard for the first two or three months, but once you get that far, it gets easier by the day.

You can do it!

Amy said...

You guys are all so wonderful. Thank you so much. I do try to find other things to keep myslef occupied. It's worked so far!

Yes, the push-up thing I might have to try! Get me some muscle mass in the arms for the summer would be nice.

Leah, I think you are absolutely right. I do plan to always have lozenges in the house for those future moments when I think I might find myself wanting one. Every one I know who has quit always say they still get the urge even years later. And some even give in. But if I have some nicotine on hand all the time, I won't have to give in to the cigarette.

It's funny, a few of you mentioned the nostalgic part of smoking. You think back on it like it was your friend and how you miss it. Smoking is such a huge part of a smokers life and you don't realize it until you've quit.

I think I need to do some push-ups! :)

Thank you all again :).

VampFanGirl said...

Hey Amy,

I'm glad your back. Wow, eleven weeks without a single cigarette is a huge accomplishment. I'm cheering for you!

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Go you, I know you can do it! Just the fact you're writing all this, you're aware of your fears is great! It's therapeutic to write it all out and get our feedback! As someone who used to smoke years ago and gave it up - I applaud your effort! *hugs*

Amy C said...

Thank you VFG and Julie :).

You're right, Julie, it is therapeutic and it's nice to see that you and a few others have quit and are still succeeding! It's motivating.

And Anna, yes, I found these IceBreakers and they're tea flavored. They're so good but don't last but a minute or so. I keep them in the car and on the counter :).

Renee said...

Right on, Amy! Hang in there. Read these comments when you need a little extra encouragement. It always helps me to remember I'm not alone when I'm doing something difficult, and you obviously have lots of us in your cheering section!


Charlotte Featherstone said...

Amy! Eleven weeks is a huge accomplishment! You can, and WILL do it! I think you're a very strong person, and you'll see it through. And Renee is so right, read these little pick me ups when you're doubting it all!

Amy C said...

Thank you, Barbara :). It hasn't been easy. Well, it sorta has, if no one minds my mood swings! I hope to some day encourage you. But it can only happen when YOU are ready. Not when some one else tells you it's time. I've tried too many times in the past and failed to know the truth of that. This time I was. And I am going to do!

Renee and Charlotte, thank you and I will look back at these wonderful words ya'll have left for me to remind myself that I can and will do it.

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Amy!

Glad to see you back! Eleven weeks, great work!!! I know it's incredibly hard. We are all sending positive thoughts your way!! Anytime you need to vent, we're here to listen. It can only get easier as time goes by.

Dottie :)

WK said...

Ohh Amy I'm soo proud of you!!! You can do it!!!!

Kristie (J) said...

You CAN do it!! I'm also (bad me) a smoker. I quit once for about 3 year but got back into it again. I need you as an inspiration!

Kristie (J) said...

And may I just say - what a fine looking ship in the background of the book you are reading now!

Amy C said...

Thank you, Dottie and Wendy :).

Kristie, I didn't know. I hope I can inspire you to try again. Smoking is hard to give up and if it didn't smell and was okay for my health, I'd still be smoking. I hope someday you give it another go!

Amy C said...

Oh and yes, that is a pretty nice cover, eh, Kristie? and the story is pretty darn good too :).

Amanda McIntyre said...

Amy! You go girl! If my dh who was up to a pack a day can do this, I know you can! I am so proud of you!!

Amanda McIntyre

azteclady said...

*sending good energy your way*

Tracy said...

{{Big Hug}} Amy! You can do it!!! You've done this the right way and although the cravings seem stronger I know you can beat them! I'm with Judy - string out the lozenges a little longer if needed.

When I quit smoking I don't think they had all these very cool ways to bypass the cravings so I quit cold turkey and that was VERY difficult! You can do it!

Lea said...

Hey Amy!

Thinking of you girl... :)

Hope all is well..


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