Every Quit is Different.

Every Quit is Different.

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

02 Jan 2001, 20:03 #1

Every quit is different. Not only that, when a person quits multiple times, each one of those quits are different also. Some people quit and have a terrible time, relapse down the road and are terrified to quit again because they "know" what will happen the next time. Well, actually they don't know, the next time may be a breeze in comparison. On the alternate side, some people have an easy quit, go back with the attitude, "Oh well, if I have to, I'll just quit again." They may find the next quit horrendous, and possibly not be able to pull it off.

The reason I mention this is it is possible that you won't have any major symptoms this time. I have had a lot of four pack a day smokers who smoked 40 plus years who toss them with minimal withdrawal. The reason they never tried to quit before is they witnessed people who smoked one fourth of what they did go thorough terrible side effects and figured, "If it did that to them, it will kill me." But when the time came, their quit was easy in comparison.

You may find that this quit will be relatively easy. Stranger things have happened. But if it does, don't think this didn't mean you weren't addicted. The factor that really shows the addiction is not how hard or how easy it is to quit. What really shows the addiction is how universally easy it is to go back. One puff and the quit can go out the window.

Summing up, the first few days may be relatively easy, or for some, it may be very difficult. Who knows? The only thing we know is once you get past the third day nicotine free it will ease up physically. Psychological triggers will exist but more controllable measures can be taken with them, basically keeping your ammunition up for why you don't want to be a smoker.

Easy or hard, quitting is worth it. Once you have quit for even a few hours, you have invested some effort, time, and maybe even a little pain. Make this effort count for something. As long as you hang in there now, all of this will have accomplished a goal. It got you off of cigarettes. After that, to stay off, the make or break point simply translates to...Never Take Another Puff!

Joel

Edited November 4, 2014 to add links to these three related videos:

Every quit is different

Comparing quits with others

Predestined bad days after quitting smoking
Last edited by Joel on 13 Mar 2015, 13:24, edited 6 times in total.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

03 Feb 2001, 20:47 #2

Hello All:

I read earlier today where a member was wanting to compare notes with others to see if a symptom she was experiencing was normal. The way she was trying to determine the state of normal was by a comparative basis with others. This article addresses why that method has its severe limitations. People can't even look at their own past attempts as an absolute barometer of the next quit, let alone look at others who are basically different in many physiological and psychological make-ups.

I normally tell people who experience wild or bizarre reactions the first few days not to be surprised or unduly alarmed, it is likely from not smoking. But at the same time they should not totally ignore certain symptoms, in case in the long shot that something else is happening just coincidently at the same time as they are quitting smoking. The symptom of muscle tightness is often felt through out the body. Back aches, neck pains such as those experienced from times of extreme stress, even leg cramps can be felt by some. Chest tightness too can be experienced. While quitting smoking is the usual reason behind the reaction, for obvious safety reasons it is prudent to get the symptoms checked with ones doctor. You just don't want to take the chance that you were the exception to the rule, that the chest pain was actually a signal of real heart trouble.

I have literally had over 4,500 people in smoking clinics over a 26 year time period and had only had two people actually have heart attacks within a week of quitting. And they were both people who were quitting because of doctors advice that a heart attack was an imminent danger because of pre-existing conditions. So while I am not trying to say that the risk of a heart attack is high from quitting, in fact your risk of heart attack decreases upon cessation and relatively quickly, there still is a risk as there is with all smokers, ex-smokers and even all never smokers. Ignoring a cardiac symptom is just an unnecessary risk that no one should take. It is better to check in with your doctor and to be safe than sorry. Doctors are often very receptive to work with a person when they are quitting for they often recognize the serious nature of the effort.

So as for symptoms, don't be surprised or alarmed by anything, but be cautious and stay aware. If you experience any symptom that would normally be a reason to get checked out immediately, follow through with the same expedience now. Life goes on without smoking and things can always happen.

Also, once over the first few days, be really cautious of blaming symptoms on smoking cessation. While some reactions can linger, especially coughing and excessive phlegm reactions, other factors can happen too, especially during cold and flu seasons. Pretty much stay aware and follow the normal precautions you followed before while smoking. Unless as a smoker you never did anything, for some smokers are intimidated to go to the doctor when having symptoms for shear embarrassment that the doctor would just chastise them for smoking and tell them to stop. Rather than putting up with the admonishments, they would ignore problems in the past.

As an ex-smoker you won't face the same complications. Again, doctors are often more prone to work with you when they see you working for yourself, and not to ignore symptoms writing them off to a normal smoker's ailments. They are often more supportive when you quit.

So to stay healthy, learn to listen to your body. Smokers are notoriously bad at this, for their body was likely telling them to quit for a long time and they ignored it. But the day the quit smoking was a good indication that they were now working with their body to maintain health. To keep a good partnership going with your doctor, other health professionals, your family, friends and your own body always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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selpel
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:13

04 Feb 2001, 07:08 #3

Joel, I am so glad you are around to give us all these tidbits or insights into quitting---I read the message board a lot and you and Zep always slip in something helpful for me. I like to read from ones a little ahead of me so that I can think about the problems they may be encountering and make a "plan" in case that happens to me when I get further along in my quit--I am DETERMINED, so I don't want anything to sabotage my quit...this time is my last time--I WILL NOT SMOKE TODAY---I say that/yell that inside my head often---I quit at least 5 or 6 times before and couldn't figure out how come it didn't work---now I know---I didn't know about Junkie Thinking or the idea of NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!!! Thanks for all the articles to keep me on my mental and physical toes--I will not let NICODEMON sneak up on me!!! My stats are slowly growing--Three weeks, 16 hours, 11 minutes and 32 seconds. 520 cigarettes not smoked, saving $78.03. Life saved: 1 day, 19 hours, 20 minutes.
Thanks again---selpel
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

06 Mar 2001, 08:38 #4

Hello everyone:

I was out doing a talk today that has the potential of bringing a number of people to look at the board. They are not necessary going to join in, in fact I suspect one of them smoked, but as medical professionals they are likely going to be able to influence many of their patients. I am bringing up some special articles in accordance to this. Often I aim articles at things happening at the board at the time. But some articles are more generic and can be helpful at any time. So bear with me on some of the selections I bring up, although I think they always make interesting reading.

All the letters look at smoking and quitting from many different angles, but they all point to the same solution. That is to stay free always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

05 May 2001, 19:22 #5

Because we have had a number of new members join and often like to compare notes and experiences, I thought it would be a good idea to reemphasize this concept today. The question to what this quit will be like for you will not be accurately answered by other people or even by your own recollections of past attempts. The question to what this quit holds will be answered by time and experience. The one answer we can give you though about this quit is that it can be your last quit as long as you always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

05 May 2001, 19:58 #6



Joel produced this video clip on January 3, 2011 in which he explains
why comparing your recovery with others probably isn't a good idea,
especially if the other person is quitting by adifferent method.
Last edited by John (Gold) on 06 Jan 2011, 04:06, edited 2 times in total.
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Dida (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

05 May 2001, 20:30 #7

Hello Joel,
The article you posted is completely relevant to me as my partner just quit 3 days ago - he had been smoking for 30 years, a pack a day .... it has been baffling because he hasn't really had any trouble with his 72 hours - no big complaints only the occasional trigger. He was nervous about doing it as I had gone through quite a bit of grief and irritability. One of the reasons he thinks that he's handling his triggers so well is that he has had to deal with other addictions through 12 step programs and the moment that the trigger enters his head he deals with it using his program. While he was smoking he had a constant cough and constant phlegm - the day that he stopped, the coughing stopped almost automatically. His skin complexion has improved and he is sleeping better - this is just within 3 days.....there have not been many adverse side effects but more importantly, his health has showed an automatic improvement. At first I was very nervous about him quitting because of his emotional nature and quick temper but the reverse has happened, he is utterly calm. Thank G-d that he has quit - kind of wish it had happened earlier but so be it..... I am grateful that his process has been easier than mine but then again, he had prepared for it using a 12 step program. For myself I still read from the message board and post - this is my 12 step program and my support group. Thanks again for your original post Joel - seems that whenever I have a question the answer is always there.
Diana
1 month, 5 days, 13 hours. (Green!!)
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

03 Jun 2001, 18:55 #8

I somehow missed Zep's response to this one before about this quit being different than any other, because it is the one that has lasted and is going to last permanently. That is true for Zep and everyone else here as long as every single person stays committed to the concept that they will never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Oct 2001, 20:22 #9

Image While every quit is different, there is one way to make this quit stand out as being really different and really the best. That is to make it the last quit--the one that lasts for the rest of your life. All that is needed to do this is to make this quit the one where you know, believe and always keep in practice your resolve to never take another puff!

Joel
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marty (gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

30 Oct 2001, 22:45 #10

I didn't think this was possible --- a Joel-thread I hadn't read before Image .

The point that really stands out for me is "The factor that really shows the addiction is not how hard or how easy it is to quit. What really shows the addiction is how universally easy it is to go back."

I am saddened every time we have a relapse here at Freedom. In my early months here I just assumed that those who relapsed were weak, not properly motivated, just couldn't make the grade. Then I started to understand the facts about nicotine addiction, and the Laws of Addiction, and then I looked at relapsers with new eyes. I came to realise that they simply did not believe that one puff would instantly reactivate their total addiction. They still did not want to smoke, but they were tempted by the idea that they had demonstrated their control and mastery over cigarettes by quitting, so they decided to take that one puff just to prove the point. It's like a game of dare, but in this game the stakes are immensely high, and the human player always loses.

I think that could have happened to me if I hadn't found this site. I'm the type of personality that always wants to assert itself, that always rises to any perceived challenge. If someone says to me "Let's go this way, that way looks too difficult" then I immediately translate that into a challenge, a test of my will, and of course I go "that way". So I would normally be a sucker for the "just one puff" challenge. In other words, I have a feeling I would be a relapser.

What this site has done for me is to prevent that from ever happening, by giving me the knowledge of my addiction, and by proving thru this Board the truth of my addiction, and the consequences of ignoring that knowledge and that truth. It's sad but true that every relapse I see here has a positive side --- it enables us, the onlookers, to learn from others' mistakes.

Marty
NOT A PUFF FOR 10 months 4 weeks 1 day : 6010 cigs not smoked : 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours added to my life
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