PMS and quitting

PMS and quitting

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

14 Sep 2004, 18:16 #1

I periodically see the subject of PMS and quitting raised at the board. I wrote a response in a post about this last year, but realize it would be good to have a string to bring up whenever the issue is brought up again. Women should not feel handicapped in their ability to quit because they may experience symptoms of PMS or for any other reason. Both women and men have the ability to succeed under all potentially adverse situations as long as they work at maintaining their motivation and keeping their resolve reinforced to never take another puff!

Joel
The post from last year written to a specific member who inquired as to how other women dealt with PMS as ex-smokers:

You are very likely experiencing more smoking thoughts at the moment because of your PMS symptoms. This is not saying that sustaining your quit will be difficult every time you experience a menstrual cycle, or that your symptoms are going to be better or worse than they were when you were smoking. It is just likely that the first time you experience your normal monthly cycle smoking thoughts are going to be triggered.

The same thing happens to men and women when there is any change in a physical situation, especially one that they have encountered numerous times in the past. It is like when people catch colds or a flues for the first time after quitting. Every other time they had colds or a flu during their adult years they were smokers. Their rate of smoking was likely affected by these infections. When symptoms were peaking, meaning when their throats were real raw and breathing difficult they likely cut back to a bare minimum amount of smoking. They were likely experiencing increases in withdrawal symptoms whenever they had such infections. When the cold or fly symptoms finally started to dissipate, they likely increased their consumption quickly in an effort to get their nicotine levels where they need to be to stave off withdrawal.

This phenomena could easily result in a person getting increased thoughts for cigarettes the first time they get an infection after quitting. It may not be so much so when they first get sick, but more likely when they first start to get well after being sick. The change in status from feeling ill to feeling normal is a new trigger circumstance for the person.

Keep in mind, it is only new the first time a person goes though this kind of change of physical status. The next time they get a similar infection the thoughts are likely to be less pronounced and after numerous repeats the thoughts toward smoking will likely become non-existent. Not smoking will become a habit for a sick or recovering person. The same principle applies to the normal changes in your body that you are experiencing during your monthly cycles. The first time is quite awkward with smoking thoughts being triggered more than normal. Over time though these thoughts will not likely occur for you will have broken the associations from surviving through the first encounters with your quit intact.

You can go through our board's go back one month option and see how many of the woman at our site seem to have panicking posts complaining of intense smoking thoughts month after month after month on any kind of regular pattern. The fact is there are no such posts on the board because after the first few months not smoking becomes a habit even during times of menstruation.

To keep this quit on the course of getting easier and easier over time is still just as simple as staying totally committed even during tough times to the commitment you made when you first joined up to never take another puff!

Joel
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sophiaduvall
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 18:56

14 Sep 2004, 22:02 #2

Thanks Joel for your timely message. I am now convinced the managers here have ESP, it seems often that a message will be posted that directly relates to how a member is feeling or a situation that a member is going through. Now if you could just tell me the numbers to pick for tomorrow's Lotto...

Big hugs from NZ

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Sophia
Three weeks, two days, 4 hours, 5 minutes and 59 seconds. 231 cigarettes not smoked, saving $115.85. Life saved: 19 hours, 15 minutes.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Feb 2005, 20:47 #3

I had a woman in a seminar a couple of night ago who took up smoking sometime in the 1940's. She wouldn't tell me her exact age but she did tell me that she took up smoking when she was 15 years old. She had raised the specter of doubt in her ability to quit because she had heard that women have a much lower chance of succeeding than men do.

What was funny is that before she brought up the issue of a woman's diminished chance of success she clearly said that she is the only smoker in any of her social circle and even among her family. I pointed out to her then that there was a good chance that a whole lot of people she knows now used to smoke but have since quit. She concurred that this was the case. Now she was expressing doubt because of what she had heard about a woman's chance of success.

I proceeded to ask her if all of her family members and all of her friends were men. She looked a little confused by my question and said no, of course not. Then I pointed out to her that every woman that she new knows now who used to smoke have apparently successfully quit considering that she is the only smoker she now knows. She has witnessed a 100% cessation success rate in women she personally knew who were alive today who had ever smoked in the past.

The incident made me think of this string. At Freedom we have been pretty effective at squashing excuses made by women or by men as to why they can't quit smoking because of some sort of special circumstances that an individual may face. One of the things that show this is how I have not had to bring this post up once since the day I wrote it five months ago. I had created the string to bring up every time the issue got raised in a post and unless I missed a post one day raising the issue--it has not been mentioned once in that whole time period.

To me that illustrates and important fact about our members--that they are not looking for any excuse to fail and have recognized that There is no legitimate reason to relapse. I hope all people who read here realize that success is a guaranteed outcome for all who continue to stick to their commitment to never take another puff!

Joel
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GoldenDivamom1972
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

18 Feb 2005, 11:09 #4

Speaking as one who bucked conventional wisdom and quit during PMS week, let me say that I firmly believe that this actually had a lot to do with making my quit stick this time. "If I can quit during *that* time...". Well, suffice to say I feel like I can do just about anything now!

True, I still scream bloody murder during this time frame, but I no longer feel the need to smoke! :)

Amy (in Michigan)
Free and Healing for One Month, Fifteen Days, 16 Hours and 9 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 4 Days and 18 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1370 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $343.19.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

12 May 2005, 19:45 #5

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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

19 Mar 2006, 01:34 #8

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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

28 Jun 2006, 18:11 #10

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