Emotional Loss Experienced from Quitting Smoking

The emotions that flow from nicotine cessation
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

27 Jan 2002, 12:08 #11

From: Joel. Sent: 8/6/2000 8:56 AM
For all in the early days of their quits this one will explain a lot of the feelings. They are normal and they will pass. Just hang in long enough to get to the other side. Quitting often does involve some emotional turmoil but nothing compared to the emotional toll smoking can extract on you, your family, friends and other loved ones if cigarettes reach their ultimate goal...they will kill you!

Ride out these feeling and you will eventually look back at this time as one of the happiest or at least most important times of your life, the week you finally took control of your smoking.

Good luck everyone.

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

18 Apr 2002, 19:22 #12

I totally ran out of time and never got to address this issue last night. I like people to be as prepared as possible and this information is very important to minimize some of the fears that are normally experienced when these symptoms occur. It is crucial that people realize these early reactions are temporary, not what life is like as an ex-smoker--just what life is like for a smoker in the early stages of a quit. Once they get over the first few days, physical and psychological settle back to a more normalized state and will stay on that tract as long as the person always stays nicotine free by knowing to never take another puff!
Joel
Last edited by Joel on 10 Apr 2009, 05:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

26 Jul 2002, 09:24 #13

For Ruth Ann. Those cycling emotions, the ups and downs and all arounds. What made me feel good about your posts was your laughing spells. It sounds like a good sign. A long and intense relationship has ended and this article by Joel does a fantastic job of helping us better understand where we might find ourselves and why. You're doing great! Baby steps, just one day at a time! We're here if you need us. John : )
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

31 Jul 2002, 05:45 #14

Welcome to Freedom Beth W! We've been waiting on you! This journey of adjustment can bring tears, hope, anger, courage, frustration, a sense of awakening, fear of the unknown, a feeling of having more time, impatience, impatience and more impatience, healing beyond your imagination, reflection, brief periods of challenge, moments of wonderful realization, and in the end, a new deep and rich sense of calmness. It can have it all! If you don't like the quit weather just wait three minutes and you just might see it change! This is a fantastic journey of escape, renewal, and learning! The tears are just fine, and for the guys too! It's ok to cry and even better when they're happy tears! You're doing fantastic! Baby steps - just a few minutes at a time! John : )
Last edited by John (Gold) on 16 Mar 2009, 23:16, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Aug 2002, 19:53 #15

The process described in this article applies to any emotional loss. I think it's important to realize that it doesn't apply only to the loss of a highly addictive chemical because adding nicotine relapse to any other emotional loss has the potential to deprive each of us of self-esteem. Why would we want to make our depression phase possibly worse than it already is? My healing and freedom are two of the best things about my life. I refuse to let go of either! Protecting my quit is protects both my body and mind. John
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

27 Oct 2002, 22:01 #16

The Emotional Journey

Denial - "Who am I kidding, I can't quit!" "My cigarettes are my friend!"

Anger - "It isn't easy and it isn't fun but I'm doing it!!!" "Get out of my way!" "No one seems to appreciate the tremendous sacrifice I'm making." "I've giving up my entire life here, and for what!!!"

Bargaining - "A little reward, just one little puff!" "I've earned it!" "I'm stronger than all those other quitters at Freedom!" "They won't know!" "Even if I do relapse, I think I can do it again!" "But I won't need to, I can handle one puff!" "I'm different!" "Anyway, I'm sure it can't be as addictive as they're all saying!" "They're just trying to scare me!"

Depression - "Looks like I'm going to make it but how can I possibly function without smoking nicotine?" "I don't feel like smoker and I'm no comfortable ex-smoker either." "I feel lost." "I feel so alone."

Acceptance - "Hey, this isn't so bad and great tasting coffee too!" "I sort of like all this extra time and the fresh air!" "Not a single crave yesterday!" "Amazing!"
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 20:30

24 Jan 2003, 05:43 #17

Felt much better after reading this as I have felt depressed and irritable all day. I have had a constant argument inside my head with my junkie thinking all day , luckily I won !
I am NOT going to lose my quit. I have worked so hard for this and Im not going to throw it away. On reflection, I have had a couple of bad days this week, but tomorrow is another day , Im just taking it one day at a time, and no matter how bad it got today, I DIDNT SMOKE !!
Stll strutting my stats _

One week, four days, 6 hours, 0 minutes and 40 seconds. 337 cigarettes not smoked, saving £67.50. Life saved: 1 day, 4 hours, 5 minutes.
Poppy
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

25 Feb 2003, 23:47 #18

What a just AWESOME article. I just finished reading it again for the 2nd time for a little bit of "I will not smoke today" reinforcement (not that I needed much lol, but I still like to read a little bit each morning..it makes me feel secure for the entire day), and you know what ? I think what this article is all about is one of the reasons for so many non-educated quitters lost quits. They don't understand these emotional changes, perhaps get stuck in anger, in which case they've got everyone begging them to smoke again...or the depression does them in and they just don't KNOW that these are normal phases that can be worked through. Everyday I think that it's too bad that Freedom can't become the Official Way to Quit Smoking for everyone. That this information isn't more out there and putting those NRT businesses (everytime I see a commercial for NRTs, it infuriates me with the utter LIES !) OUT of business. Yikes! I'm getting OT here, sorry.

That's just me. Enthusiastic, excited, hopeful and ultra passionate about just about everything. And that includes smoking out (no pun intended) liars and especially loving my quit.

Love & Light,
Lazuli
~ Quit Proud For 1 Month 6 Days 8 Hours 1 Minute 31 Seconds!
1120 Forlorn Gag-a-rettes
still sitting on the store shelves, unloved, unwanted & Definitely NOT smoked ! ~
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:02

20 Mar 2003, 03:26 #19

Is it just me, or is this part of this misleading?

"Once you reach the stage of acceptance, you get a true perspective of what smoking was doing to you and what not smoking can do for you. Within two weeks the addiction is broken and, hopefully, the stages are successfully overcome and, finally, life goes on."

It sort of, to me, makes it sound like you will have gone thorugh all the emotions, from denial to acceptance, in 2 short weeks.

This is not necessarily the case….

For you Gold Members (or even Silver… Bronze….whatever…): How long did do you think it took you to work through each stage? I know each person's quit is different… But I was just curious….

I completely agree with the stages by the way - and I LOVE this piece of reading… It's very true.

CF

3 weeks, 5 days without a single puff
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:02

20 Mar 2003, 03:33 #20

Just wanted to add one more thing (I seem to post and then remember something else I wanted to say)…. I did see in one of the "one day at a time" threads that that's where one day at a time comes in…in the stage before acceptance… you have to take things one day at a time…and maybe the next acceptance will come.

I LOVE THAT concept.



CF

3 weeks, 5 days without a single puff
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:02

20 Mar 2003, 03:38 #21

NOT to be a pain with 3 posts in a row but I found some really good threads pertaining specifically to this bridge between depression and acceptance in the Depression Board as Bill suggested...

Thanks.


CF
3 weeks, 5 days without a single puff
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

20 Mar 2003, 03:40 #22

Hi ComicForces:
From the year I've spent here, I've watched people completely walk away from smoking once physical withdrawal was done. One week. Ten days. I personally was well through the progression by six weeks to two months. I'm one of those who finds it useful to take an antidepressant.... did you know an absurdly high percentage of mental patients smoke? And which came first? The mental illness or the smoking. The new thinking is that the smoking may be the cause of some of this.
But at the high end, watch bronze and silver celebrations. Occasionally you will find a Silver who is still struggling.... very, very occasionally. Go back into the Milestones board and read what people say in their celebration posts. Double green. Bronze. Silver. You'll get a good idea of the spread involved.
But more to the point..... how long will it take for you? That seems to largely depend on attitude, on a shift in your belief system from being a "quitter" to being an "ex-smoker". Acceptance, the last stage, depends on how long it will take you to stop grieving the death of our "good friend"......
You can do this! You are doing it! And it will get better..... I'd have relapsed months ago if not.
BillW One year, one month, one week, four days, 5 hours . 12127 cigarettes not smoked, saving $2,395.10. Life saved: 6 weeks, 2 hours, 35 minutes.
Last edited by BillW Gold.ffn on 10 Apr 2009, 05:49, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

20 Mar 2003, 03:51 #23

It was not meant to be misleading. The part you quote was:

"Within two weeks the addiction is broken and, hopefully, the stages are successfully overcome and, finally, life goes on."

The fact is that within two weeks the addiction is broken. By that I mean the body no longer has any need for nicotine to alleviate physical withdrawal symptoms. The second part said, "hopefully," the stages are successfully overcome."

I wrote this piece for my clinic graduates who generally do overcome most of these emotional adjustments quite quickly. I spend a lot of clinic time making sure that people work in developing a proper attitude. I spend quite a bit of time destroying all kind of denial strategies, rationalizations and mind games that people often play with themselves when they quit on their own.

If not for this focus, some people could have dragged out the emotional stages, in fact some people can go through them the rest of their lives if they are not careful. People who hang on to the idea that they are depriving themselves of smoking or just working on the basis of quitting out of fear from smoking can prolong the emotional ties and thus extend the emotional withdrawal for an indefinate time period.

I think the vast majority of our Freedom members follow the course of most of my clinic graduates too--working on sustaining the kind of focus and attitude to accept the fact that they are glad to be free from smoking. Attitude can make a huge difference in the length of the time period of emotional recovery.

I will bring up a few other articles addressing these concerns. Hopefully people will read them and understand them. Take noticed I said "hopefully." For how hard people work at seeking out and utilizing different tools provided to them is hard to predict. The only thing we can predict with any certainty is that anyone can stay successful ex-smokers forever if they always keep in practice their own commitment to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

23 May 2003, 08:06 #24

Last edited by OBob Gold on 16 Mar 2009, 23:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Jun 2003, 22:17 #25

An Intense, Dependable and
Destructive
Relationship Has Ended

A long and intense relationship has ended. Although extremely abusive, destructive, costly, and deadly, you depended upon nicotine laden cigarettes (5% of the dry weight of each cigarette) to replenish your falling blood serum nicotine level (cut by roughly half every two hours) to keep you from experiencing chemical withdrawal and it never ever once let you down (unless the cigarette was wet, the matches wet, the lighter empty or the pack was empty). The basic chemical bond and the endless need to feed caused you to accumulate a mountain of psychological baggage as you selected and developed patterns and cues for feeding your ever declining nicotine reserves.

Once beyond early chemical withdrawal, look upon the remainder of this temporary journey of adjustment as you would moving beyond the end of any other long and intense relationship. If you were a pack-a-day smoker averaging 8 puffs per cigarette then you sucked up to a nasty smelling but dependable butt 160 times a day, 58,400 times each year. How many times did you say your name last year? How many times did you hug the human you love most? Is it any wonder that it takes a bit of patience and time to adjust to engaging life as "you" again?

Baby steps! The next few minutes are entirely doable and there is only one rule - no nicotine, not a puff! Everything you did while dependent upon nicotine you can do as well as or better as "you!" I know it's hard to believe right now but before long you'll see that it's much much easier being a comfortable and relaxed ex-smoker than it ever was feeding that endless need for more!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! John
Last edited by John (Gold) on 16 Mar 2009, 23:24, edited 2 times in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Jul 2003, 20:16 #26

The Emotional Journey of Adjustment
Denial - "Who am I kidding, I can't quit!" "My cigarettes are my friend!" "It's too hard!" "Who am I kidding, I can't quit forever!" "It's getting worse not better!" "I won't be me anymore!" "I'm no fun without smoking nicotine!"
Anger - "This isn't easy and it isn't fun but I'm gritting my teeth and doing it!!!" "Get out of my way, Dog!" "Leave me alone, People! "No one seems to appreciate the tremendous sacrifice I'm making, here!!" "I've giving up my entire life here, my happiness, my best friend, and for what!!!" "What do I get, craves and hastles!!!
Bargaining - "Hey, I've quit for a whole day!" "A little reward, just one little puff!" "I've earned it!" "I'm stronger than all those other quitters at Freedom!" "They won't know!" "Even if I do relapse, I think I can do it again!" "But I won't need to, I sure I can handle one big puff of nicotine!" "I'm different!" "Anyway, I'm sure it can't be as nearly addictive as they're all saying!" "They're just trying to scare me!"
Depression - "Well, I've held-out and it looks like I'm going to make it but how can I possibly function without smoking nicotine?" "I don't feel like a smoker anymore and I'm not any comfortable ex-smoker either." "I feel lost and oh so alone." "Is this what it's like being an ex-smoker?" "Is this what it's like being me?"
Acceptance - "Hey, this isn't so bad after all and great tasting coffee too!" "I sort of like all this extra time and the fresh air!" "A passing thought or two when I saw smokers smoking but not a single crave yesterday!" "Amazing, and the quitting chatter that fogged my mind seems to be lifting too!" "Is this me?" "This is good!" "This is far far easier than living life out of a pack!" "I know I can handle any challenge that comes my way!" " This is entirely doable!" "I know with every fiber of my being that I'll never put nicotine back into this body, I'll Never Take Another Puff!"
The next few minutes are doable and only one rule - no nicotine today!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! John (Gold)
Last edited by John (Gold) on 16 Mar 2009, 23:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

03 Jan 2004, 07:12 #27

We all experience emotional changes to some degree or another when we quit. It is a matter of patience and understanding what you are going through. One minute, one hour or one day at a time.

Despite how you may feel during this temporary period of adjustment we call quitting, This journey of healing you have chosen to take is well worth putting up with withdrawal symptoms both physical and psychological.

I, and many others at Freedom will promise you this. The journey gets so much better. What you are possibly feeling at this time is not what it feels like to be a comfortable x-smoker. There is no amount of discomfort you will experience that will overshadow the comfort that will embrace you not so far down the road.

I read a quote that kind of went like this....

" Each and everyone of us will experience some sort of emotiuonal suffering in our lifetime." "How long we allow this suffering to continue is a choice we make."
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

12 Jan 2004, 14:42 #28



Just for today, not one puff, no matter what!
Last edited by Joanne Gold on 16 Mar 2009, 23:28, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

28 Jan 2004, 12:43 #29

for nofuma
"Bargaining is probably the most dangerous stage in the effort to stop smoking. "Oh boy, I could sneak this one and nobody will ever know it." "Things are really tough today, I will just have one to help me over this problem, no more after that." "Maybe I'll just smoke today, and quit again tomorrow." It may be months before these people even attempt to quit again."
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:01

21 Feb 2004, 07:02 #30

Thank you again for all this reading. Emotional loss??? yes, that's it. It's being very tough some moments and now I know it's all in my head.
But I'm beginning to think I'm strong and I'll never take another puff! (everyday I repeat this over and over) and I read, read, read
Fernanda -
Free and Healing for Ten Days and 22 Hours, while extending my life expectancy 16 Hours, by avoiding the use of 197 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me0,85 .
Last edited by Almost Island Gold on 16 Mar 2009, 23:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

12 Apr 2004, 21:23 #31

Acceptance
Last edited by John (Gold) on 16 Mar 2009, 23:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

04 May 2004, 23:16 #32

I saw where a member who has been off a significant time period is seeming to be in a "bargaining" phase again. Actually, there is a phase that many people go through once they are off significant time periods that mimic bargaining. It is a stage of complacency.
The self talk a person may do when in complacency is the exact same self talk he or she may do when first quitting and bargaining. It will only be one, it'll get me through the crisis, it will be a terrible cigarette and help me secure my resolve, no one will ever know, and so on.
The only difference between the bargaining phase and the complacency phase is that when you are bargaining, you know all of the comments are lies and that you are just trying to convince yourself that you can have one. When in the state of complacency though you can believe everything you are saying. Whether you know the feelings are lies or not doesn't change the fact that they are lies.
You don't have the option of one and if you try to test the theory you are going to find yourself a smoker again. A smoker who is never going to have the support that you had last time (see Good news, our members don't relapse anymore... ) and more importantly, a smoker who may never have the strength, desire or worst yet, the opportunity to quit again.
To keep this quit going is contingent on keeping your initial reasons for wanting to quit and your current reasons for want to stay quit reinforced. The more you work at securing your resolve the easier it will be and the happier you will stay in your commitment to never take another puff!
Joel
Last edited by Joel on 10 Apr 2009, 05:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 20:30

08 Jun 2004, 23:06 #33

Joel, your message 100 on this thread is so on target. I've been a non-smoker since Jan. 21 of 2003. I won't let myself touch even one cigarette. I can't. I know I can't stop at one. The most difficult thing for me to admit was that I could not be a "social" smoker as so many people are, or claim to be. I can't have "just one" and then walk away. At a much younger stage of my life I took a break from smoking and told myself I was too smart to do that to my body. (I should have been, right?) Well, somewhere in the 4 years without a cigarette, I convinced myself that I had it all under control and I could have one from time to time and everything would be fine. That wasn't the case, and once I began smoking (bearing in mind the first few tasted horrible and I had to work on up to where they tasted good again -- how sick is that??) I could not stop. Thank God I know now that I do have this addiction and I can't cater to it in any way, shape or form. The only thing I can do is to never smoke again. We don't tell heroin addicts that it's okay to take one more hit, and we shouldn't tell ourselves it's okay to have one cigarette.

I believe I understand as well as anyone how difficult it is to find new coping mechanisms. For years, many of us escaped from reality by hiding behind nicotine and not addressing the situations that caused us stress. When the nicotine is gone, we have no choice but to deal with the myriad of emotions that flood us. It's not fun, and it's not easy. But try and remember that if you talk yourself into allowing one more cigarette, not only will you find yourself dealing with life's everyday problems, but also you will have to deal with quitting again. It's so much more difficult to stop when you've already done it and failed previously. It's worth it, but it's not easy.

People, please remember that you are worth the extra effort to get through life without cigarettes. Even if YOU don't think you are, someone out there does and don't you owe it to them to be the healthiest person that you can be?
Last edited by justjudi gold on 16 Mar 2009, 23:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

11 Jun 2004, 23:47 #34

Joel
(just thinking out loud): Your post in message 100 is very powerful in its own right. Is it possible to make that its own separate discussion thread?
(I see quit a few responses to members posts that have links to the Emotional Loss discussion concerning "bargaining", and then they go on to write about not getting complacent. Yet, its hard to find out just what complacency really means, unless a person searches through the Emotional Loss threads and happens across #100).

Richard
18 weeks, 1 day
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

12 Jun 2004, 00:05 #35

Done Richard: Complacency
Last edited by Joel on 16 Mar 2009, 23:40, edited 1 time in total.
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