New reactions to anger as an ex-smoker

The emotions that flow from nicotine cessation
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

10 Feb 2003, 02:05 #41

I can SO relate to this. But at least NOW I can understand why after reading this awesome article, whereas I thought I was going nuts before.

I feel like one of those motorcycles. You know, the ones that go from 0-60 in 15 seconds (or whatever it is)....only substitute going from complete calm to pure rage in 15 seconds LOL. And over the simplest things sometimes too. I have a question though...I know this is normal for the reasons explained in the post, but how long does it last ? Will it always be this way, in other words ? I HOPE not !


Quit Proud For 3 Weeks 10 Hours 19 Minutes 2 Seconds!

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

11 Mar 2003, 14:39 #42

this is the second time i have read this article and like lazuli i can totally identify. it is appropriate that is has come up again, stange how that happens.
i smoked my feelings - and poof they were gone, or, buried deep in my lungs somewhere. now that they are here and hanging aroung to be felt i am not quite sure what to do with them, but i hope i will learn. its a bit overwhelming sometimes.
8 days

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

13 Jan 2004, 20:55 #43

Smoking nicotine never relieved any underlying stressful event
only replaced its own absence
Within 10 days to 2 weeks of ending all nicotine use
the mind has adjusted to functioning without nicotine.
Smoking nicotine after 10 days to 2 weeks
  1. Still won't resolve any underlying stressful event
  2. Will no longer replace a needed missing chemical
  3. Will not match your mind's memory expectations
  4. But will commence the onset of full and complete relapse

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:33

26 Feb 2004, 18:44 #44

Hi Joel,

Thanks again for your great library. No matter what is going on with me i can always find the answer in your library or old threads.

One month, three weeks, four days, 5 hours, 9 minutes and 18 seconds. 1686 cigarettes not smoked, saving $231.89. Life saved: 5 days, 20 hours, 30 minutes.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

12 Apr 2004, 21:18 #45

Healthy Neurochemical Reactions to Life
Nicotine's two-hour half-life inside the human body was the basic clock that not only set the deadline for that next mandatory feeding but also which feedings we'd consider our "best."
Imagine sleeping through four nicotine half-lives (8 hours) and awaking the next morning with our nicotine level somewhere down around our socks. No wonder that morning fix was one of the "best." Although the clock could not be slowed, acid generating events such as stress, anxiety, alcohol and mega doses of vitamin C could accelerate the clock by more rapidly depleting the body's reserves of the alkaloid nicotine. Such events would more rapidly transport us to the brink of onset of early withdrawal. No wonder we made such deep rooted yet false conclusions about nicotine's relationship to stress and alcohol. No wonder these groups of feeding memories are some of our "best!"
Living life on nicotine's clock totally ignored our body's own natural and healthy neurochemical timetables. As you've probably read here at Freedom, nicotine caused the brain to release stores of adrenaline and noradrenaline that prepared our body for the fight or flight survival mode. An amazing cascade of fight or flight neurochemicals would temporarily shut down all non-essential systems and functions, constrict extremity blood vessels to help control any bleeding during battle or escape, accelerate the heartbeat to pump greater volumes of blood, stimulate the lungs to process more oxygen, would heighten the senses, and dump stored fats and sugars into the bloodstream to provide an instant source of energy. Question: Is that what our body really needed when life's moment begged for deep deep relaxation like just before climbing into bed to sleep?
Recovery can be a wonderful adventure in self-discovery as we begin to appreciate that our body's neurochemicals each had purpose and their flow had natural controls, controls that, by coincidence, the chemical nicotine was able to completely bypass. Was it time for a nicotine induced dopamine ahhhhh reward sensation upon learning the tragic news of the death of a close friend or loved one? Was it then time to smoke a chemical that would diminish the flow of serotonin, a mood and critical anxiety busting neurochemical?
All that matter are the next few moments and each is entirely doable. The accomplishment induced dopamine ahhhhh sensation resting just beyond that next challenge is not only yours to enjoy, it's "you," it's beautiful, and it's an honest message that this recovery is a keeper. You're going home! There was always only one rule, no nicotine today - Never Take Another Puff! John
Last edited by John (Gold) on 03 Mar 2009, 17:15, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

17 Apr 2004, 05:51 #46

Hi, Joel and Freedom Family. Joel, I'm not sure if you posted this thread on the board for me or not, but I wanted you to know that I re-read again.(I've read it many times before......I think....I've read so much of your library, sometimes it's hard to remember) anyway, until it really hits home like today, well, sometimes it's hard to really see clearly. I wanted to thank you if you did pull it up for me to read again. Things are much calmer here this afternoon and the Board was just wonderful in coming through for me today. For any newbies that might be lurking who read my post today for some re-enforcement, well, the Board and this site was my re-enforcement. I have been quit 45 days today. This journey has been inspirational and enlightening. My quit and I are doing just fine though. Everyone has a day every now and then and my one day happened to have manifested into five. My quit is still intact and I'm proud of that. Even us green club members have to take it back to one second, one minute, one hour every now and then. The tools of this site are priceless. Thanks again!

Never taking another puff........
LISA - Free and Healing for One Month, Fifteen Days, 5 Hours and 19 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 3 Days and 3 Hours, by avoiding the use of 904 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $134.11.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Apr 2004, 07:17 #47

Hello Lisa:

I saw a few people who would benefit from this one today. I've only had time to poke my head in and out for the past few days. Actually, the next few days are going to be worse. As I see posts that strike certain themes I have been popping up applicable posts. Actually it has been great for I've noticed a lot of people popping up posts or directing members to specific strings that I would have had I gotten there first. Our general membership is getting quite good and familiar with all of the articles we have to offer. I am glad when I see people finding specific threads as opposed to just waiting to be pointed toward them. It shows that they are putting in the effort to protect their own quit. The more you work at supporting your own quit the easier it will always stay to happily stick to your commitment to never take another puff!


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

21 Apr 2004, 22:01 #48

Nicotine renal excretion rate influences
nicotine intake during cigarette smoking.
J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1985 July;234(1):153-5.

Benowitz NL, Jacob P 3rd.

We examined the hypothesis that rate of elimination of nicotine affects nicotine intake during cigarette smoking. Elimination rate was altered by administering ammonium chloride or sodium bicarbonate throughout the day. Nicotine intake during unrestricted cigarette smoking was measured using metabolic clearance data obtained after i.v. nicotine infusion together with blood and urinary nicotine concentrations measured during 24-hr periods of cigarette smoking. Compared with placebo treatment (urine pH 5.6), urinary acidification (pH 4.5) increased (208%) renal clearance and, to a lesser extent (41%), total clearance and increased (by 7.2 mg) daily urinary excretion of nicotine. Urinary alkalinization (pH 6.7) resulted in a decrease (78%) in renal clearance with a small decrease (3.7 mg) in daily nicotine excretion. Average blood nicotine concentrations were similar in placebo and bicarbonate treatment conditions, but were 15% lower during acid loading. Daily intake of nicotine was 18% greater during acid loading. The compensatory increase in nicotine consumption was only partial, replacing about half the excess urinary nicotine loss. This is the first direct demonstration that rate of elimination can influence self-determined drug consumption in humans.

PMID: 4009497 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Effects of urinary pH on the behavioral
responses of squirrel monkeys to nicotine.
Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1983 Sep;19(3):553-7.

Grunberg NE, Morse DE, Barrett JE.

The present study evaluated the behavioral effects of nicotine under conditions that manipulated urinary pH. The effects of nicotine were examined on the responding of squirrel monkeys under a multiple fixed-interval, fixed-ratio schedule of stimulus-shock termination when nicotine was administered alone or together with the gastric administration of an acidifier (ammonium chloride) or an alkalinizer (sodium bicarbonate). Responding under the FI schedule was increased markedly across a range of doses of nicotine (0.02-0.20 mg/kg). Responding under the FR was increased to a lesser extent by the lower doses of nicotine (0.02-0.05 mg/kg) and was decreased by doses of nicotine that increased responding under the FI (0.10-0.20 mg/kg). Generally, administration of the acidifier attenuated the effects of nicotine while administration of the alkalinizer potentiated those effects. These findings support the argument that changes in cigarette smoking under conditions that alter urinary pH involve nicotine per se. In addition, a new interpretation of the relationship between urinary pH and cigarette smoking is offered.

PMID: 6314394 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Protons enhance the gating kinetics of the alpha3/beta4 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor by increasing its apparent affinity to agonists.
Mol Pharmacol. 2002 February;61(2):369-78.

Abdrakhmanova G, Dorfman J, Xiao Y, Morad M.

Department of Pharmacology, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington DC 20007, USA.

Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are widely distributed in the nervous system. Although there is a vast literature on the molecular, structural and pharmacological properties of neuronal nAChR, little is known of their pH regulation. Here we report that rapid acidification (pH 6.0) enhances the current through the alpha3/beta4 recombinant nAChRs expressed stably in human embryonic kidney 293 cells and accelerates its activation kinetics without altering selectivity. Acidification also strongly accelerates the decay kinetics ("desensitization") of cytisine- and nicotine-evoked currents (pK(a) approximately 6.1), but the effect is somewhat smaller with acetylcholine and carbachol (undetermined pK(a) values), suggesting that protonation of the agonist contributes to the relaxation of the current. Transient increases of [H(+)](o) from pH 7.4 to 6.0, during the time course of decay of the current, enhances the current and accelerates its decay kinetics in a manner similar to reactivation of current by higher concentrations of agonists. We suggest that protons interact with multiple extracellular sites on alpha3/beta4 nAChRs, decreasing the effective EC(50) values of the agonist and accelerating gating kinetics, in part by promoting agonist-induced block. We speculate that corelease of protons with ACh from the secretory vesicles may induce rapid and reversible conformational changes in the slowly "desensitizing" alpha3/beta4 nAChRs, leading to accelerated signaling.

PMID: 11809862 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:02

26 May 2004, 18:54 #49

Thanks Joel, that was what I needed to read.
2 wks 24 min 1 Sec of no smoking bliss

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

27 May 2004, 00:20 #50

Thanks, Joel, i needed to re-read this one, too.

my dreams last night were full of situations that made me angry! and indeed, when i "embrace my crave" and allow myself to feel what's at the bottom of that anxious feeling, it is generally anger. day by day i'm learning how to work with it. and what i know above all is that nicotine never did and never will help -- it only creates or continues problems and ill health! it's helpful to better understand why. thanks again!

amber - Free and Healing for Eighteen Days, 10 Hours and 31 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 15 Hours, by avoiding the use of 184 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $50.74.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

14 Jul 2004, 03:06 #51

Here you go...... welcome to Freedom... and congratulations on your first baby steps
Be prepared - anger and rage are coming!
Emotional loss experienced when quitting
Screams, laughter, fears and tears
Caring for your quit

richard (2 years 4 months, no kids, no rage )
Last edited by richard This is It GOLD on 03 Mar 2009, 17:32, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 20:31

14 Jul 2004, 03:10 #52

I'm guessing you are stressing because of your quit and your kids are doing the tango on your last nerve??

Here is what I do:

1. If I can leave them with someone like a babysitter or wife, I get out and walk. That simple, just walk...smell the air, look at the sites.

2. If I have to bring them along, I go down to the park and watch them play while I flake out on a bench.

Try works.

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 20:31

14 Jul 2004, 03:20 #53

Hi Fay! Welcome to Freedom!

Richard already hit the homework part.... Study what you are going through and why! Some more energetic things to do that I know help:

(1) lock yourself in the bedroom for a few minutes and punch the living daylights out of a pillow. Scream and yell a little.....

(2) force yourself to cry. Crying releases dopamine in the brain, which incidentally is the way nicotine addicts us.....

(3) take the little darlings to see Shreck II... or some appropriate movie. And have a laugh yourself. You can actually get through a movie now?

(4) keep telling yourself that it gets better and you will get through this. You may have to take it on faith for a while... that's what the oldbies told me... and that was almost 2 1/2 years ago. Believe for a little while... and then you will know!

YQB BillW Two years, five months, five days. 26595 cigarettes not smoked, saving $5,252.35. Life saved: 13 weeks, 1 day, 8 hours, 15 minutes.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:35

13 Oct 2004, 01:33 #54

Oh yea hiding behind my smoke cloud, instead of dealing with things, has lead to having to learn some different life skills.
Thanks for the help!
I have been quit for a little over 28 days. I have saved $72.06 by not smoking 576 cigarettes (that's allot a smoke!). I have saved 2 Days of my life. I WILL N.T.A.P. THERE CAN NEVER BE ONLY ONE!

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

02 Jan 2005, 23:30 #55

New reactions, old expectations
and a junkie mind at work
Not only did stressful acid producing events quickly neutralize and deplete the body's reserves of the alkaloid nicotine, forcing us to service our addiction before addressing the underlying stressful event (if it were addressed at all), we also have to take care not to intentionally use anxiety driven recovery anger as a tool to try and replace the central nervous system stimulation (CNS) that came with each new puff.
Via acetylcholine receptor sites, nicotine released adrenaline and a host of other fight or flight neurochemicals designed to prepare the body to attack or run from the sabertooth tiger. Although not addictive (as is with stealing from the dopamine reward pathways) we were each conditioned to expect instant CNS stimulation as part of each new nicotine feeding. So how can a recovering nicotine addict stop using nicotine and yet still experience regular adrenaline releases? Can it be done by picking fights with those around us? Can it be done by inventing our very own sabertooth tiger?
On yet another level the conscious mind can intentionallye employ and use anxiety driven recovery anger to the point that it knows it can cause family or friends to want us to relapse.
Sadly, my junkie mind used this tactic on more than one occasion to not only force my loved ones to again want me to smoke nicotine but to actually get them to purchase my relapse smokes for me. It was almost too perfect. It allowed my junkie mind to employ the most destructive form of blame transference imaginable. "Maybe someday my loved ones would be strong enough to allow me to go the distance and succeed at quitting," I told myself.
Such destructive garbage could only flow from the mind a true drug addict. But this time I have a much fuller understanding of my now arrested dependency. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me! Millions of words here at Freedom but only one rule ... no nicotine just one day at a time, Never Take Another Puff!
John (Gold x5)
Last edited by John (Gold) on 03 Mar 2009, 17:45, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

06 Jan 2005, 22:29 #56

It's Clean-up Time!

We can continue to sell our mind on the rationalization that smoking the alkaloid nicotine helped relieve stress or dig a bit deeper and conclude that we were instead doing was adding the onset of early withdrawal to each and every stressful acid producing event that life threw our way.

Imagine facing daily challenges without being forced to flee into your addiction. It is far far easier being "you" than the neurochemical mess that nicotine has for far too long been allowed to make of your mind.

John (Gold x5)


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

02 Jun 2006, 22:08 #57

While most smokers actually believe that smoking was an effective stress treatment strategy (a drug that calmed them down), when it really comes down to it, smoking never truly calmed them down. All it did was administered nicotine alleviated nicotine withdrawal that was induced by stress. The illustration and text below covers this point. The one true step that people are doing here to control their stress is getting rid of a product that should cause any thinking person a lot of worry and to stop the vicious cycle of drug feeding and drug withdrawal by always knowing now to never take another puff!

In the illustration above you can see on the left how a non-smokers reacts to stress. Without it they are happy and comfortable, when encountering stress they lose this comfort and depending on its severity they can get either mildly annoyed or really upset. The resolution of the stress will normally bring the non-smoker back to the original state of comfort, after a little time of cooling down of course.
Smokers are much more complex. Stress has an affect on all people--it makes the urine acidic. Both smokers and non-smokers experience this phenomena. In non-smoker smokers, the urine acidity has no real visible or perceivable effects--smokers are much more complicated. After the initial stress a smoker will feel like a non-smoker encountering stress, for a few seconds. But then the delineation occurs, the smoker's nicotine level depletes because of the urine acidity induced by the stress, and the smoker is kicked into a drug withdrawal state. The smoker has four ways to deal with the situation now.
First, the smoker can just smoke a cigarette. Well low and behold if the smoker does this he or she will feel "better." He or she will not feel good; he or she just won't be feeling withdrawal for the moment but still be feeling the initial stress. In essence, he or she will feel like a non-smoker under stress, not great, but not in withdrawal either.
The second way a smoker can handle the stress is to solve it and also smoke a cigarette. This results in one happy smoker. No stress now and no withdrawal, life is good at the moment. The feeling of bliss is basically the same feeling a non-smoker has who resolves his or her stress.
But then there are the other two scenarios. The smoker can solve the problem but not smoke. Here is the kicker here, the problem is resolved but the smoker is still in withdrawal, the nicotine level has dropped and problem resolution has no way to stop the nicotine depletion, only a cigarette can do that.
The worst of all situations is the smoker who cannot solve the problem and also cannot smoke a cigarette. This is a miserable situation to ever be in. You normally don't want to be around a smoker in this situation let alone being one yourself. Many smokers find themselves facing this dilemma daily since many jobs and social settings do not allow smoking yet constantly force the smoker to face stresses.
When you quit smoking these last four reactions to stress become a thing of the past. You still face stress, but you no longer have to face drug withdrawals induced by it. In essence you deal with stress in a totally different way when you don't have chronic drug withdrawals exaggerating it.
To stay in the position of being able to handle stresses with greater clarity and minimal discomfort always know that no matter what the stress, to avoid it having any long lasting and life threatening complications always remember to never take another puff!

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 01:40

02 Jul 2006, 08:22 #58

I just revisited this from my journal links. I didn't completely understand back when I first read it but knew it would be important later on. I realize now it is important and even 'get it' but only to a point. Thank you for bringing this back to the top, Sal. I'm sure I'll be back to it a few more times before I reach 'comfort'.

Kimm - Free and Healing for Eighteen Days, 2 Hours and 21 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 22 Hours, by avoiding the use of 271 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $74.71.

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:58

06 Mar 2007, 21:44 #59

HA! HA! Boy, I am hearing that today...I know everyone wished I didn't quit yesterday when I was raging. Funny how I seem to click the right links :)

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

19 Mar 2007, 05:49 #60

The video below explains why smokers smoke more when angered or stressed or for numerous other external circumstances:
Video Title
Dial Up High Speed Length Date added
Why do smokers smoke? 2.65mb 5.70mb 18:08 11/07/06

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:33

03 May 2007, 10:30 #61

Wow...I needed to read this today...I so did that...smoke instead of dealing with things that upset me...
What a realization...
thank you Joel

smoke free 11 days *big smile*

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

05 Sep 2008, 22:45 #62

For Sid, Candle, and anyone else feeling a little angry or grumpy....

BillW 6 1/2 plus....

Joined: 16 Jan 2003, 08:00

23 Oct 2008, 10:17 #63

Your brain is healing. Never take another puff!

Joined: 04 Jan 2010, 00:03

01 Feb 2010, 01:58 #64

Omg. I read this post in the PDF on my quit night, and its one of the tools i put away.

Me and the woman just had a massive row over the volume of the telly. I was completely rational about the entire argument, knowing why I was blowing up so much after a month of quit. She thought i was just a completely insane person for wanting the telly on volume 18 instead of 16. (i've wanted the telly on 18 for the last 12 years!)

As a never-smoker, she didnt really get much of my explosive argument tonight.

So, instead of me just having another smoke (which became a non-option about a month ago, well a month and 2 hours!), and turning the telly down but not being happy about it, I showed her this post, and it helped US (not just me!) so much.

We sorted it out, and now we are going to the cinema tomorrow with a decibel meter to record the volume there, and to work out what the telly actually should be on at home to match the same volume level that the cinema experience would offer.

We will never ever again argue about the volume level the telly should be at. The problem is SOLVED.

It would never have been without my quit or FFN. THANKS THANKS THANKS!
Last edited by dudos on 01 Feb 2010, 02:01, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 17 Aug 2010, 16:35

25 Aug 2010, 16:37 #65

This is one of those threads I'll be sure to keep turning to. I got a little lucky with the timing of my quit: the first days took place in a week off work and now, after 5 nights on duty, I have a good long stretch off work, combining vacation days and regular time. Good thing, because in those mere 5 nights on duty I had a couple of tense situations. Quit Angers seem to me like the absence of, call it The Sweet Spot: I mean, previously, when trouble came at me, there'd always be time for a cig later on, so I could hang out in The Sweet Spot, letting someone vent at me, etc. The key was, I felt calm and collected enough, that I never felt pushed to explode. Most people were astonished, in fact, to learn that I did have a bit of a temper. Now, when trouble comes, it seems there's a quickness about it and it has a way of closing in, so that it's hard to step back and stay calm.

That's the best I can describe it. Now I've got ten days to mellow out, breathe deeply and devise some strategies. For starters, I remembered some physical things from my years studying Aikido: wrist and finger stretches, etc. I've combined these into a sort of Quick Hand Kata, a series of movements I can do in under a minute and which I'll do periodically to help keep me focused. And closer, at least, to the Sweet Spot I've lost.

Also:  I seem to remember one mental exercise suggested by Anthony Robbins.  He suggested the reader come up with a small set of physical getures which can be used in a crisis.  His strategy was to do the gesture while meditating, imbedding it in the brain with a feeling of calmness or resolve or anything we choose.  Anyway, it's worth a try for use in those quick Quit Anger moments when there's no time to debate.
Last edited by Johnnie on 25 Aug 2010, 16:41, edited 1 time in total.
Gratefully Gold

I escaped from the prison of smoking on August 14, 2010.  
[font]The best revenge is quitting well![/font]