Thinking of quitting?... BUT ....

Thinking of quitting?... BUT ....

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

07 Mar 2002, 06:30 #1

I don't know a single smoker who would rather smoke than not smoke. But "wanting to not smoke" is a mile away from "wanting to quit". Why ? Well I think there are two reasons.

First, smokers think quitting is tougher than it really is. They see TV advertising that tells them they need special chemical aids, medical advice and so on. They see movies about people climbing the wall as they give up other drugs like heroin. They talk to people who have tried to quit (usually with no outside help) and failed within days. And of course those people, in order to justify their own failure, tell them how tough it was, how they suffered excruciating withdrawal symptoms, how they put on 10lbs in a week, how they couldn't sleep, and so on and so on.

Despite all this, smokers do get to a stage of understanding what they are doing to their own health, and large numbers of them would be, and are, willing to try to quit. But many don't try, and a huge proportion (90%) of those who do try fail because they don't give themselves a proper chance, they lose self-belief too soon.

Which leads me to my second reason, a reason why some smokers never try, and why many quits fail in the first few weeks.

This is the belief that it is impossible to maintain the self-discipline needed to stay quit for the rest of your life.

Indeed, if the level of mental energy and drive that is needed in the first few weeks of a quit were necessary for as much as 3 months, then people might indeed be better off smoking ! But that is simply not the case.

I quit 15 months ago, and the attention I have to give to my quit right now is less than I give to being careful when I cross the road. It's a no-brainer almost, the fact of not smoking is just a natural and comfortable part of my life. And it's been pretty much at that level for 9 months.

Between 3 and 6 months, I was more aware of the fact that I was still 'quitting', a little fearful of what event might cause me to relapse, and spent a fair bit of my time continuing to learn about smoking and quitting, and staying close to the Freedom Board. But even that period was fairly comfortable.

The first 3 months needed quite an investment of my time in self-education and 'attending' this support group, and quite a lot of mental energy in daily re-committing myself to the fight. For that indeed is what it was --- a fight for my life.

For those of you out there who really want to quit, but believe you can't stay the distance, stop worrying about it. Quitting is not easy; it's not something you just do and get it over quickly, like going to the dentist; it's not something that you just try on a whim. But it's also not as difficult as you think it is, and it is absolutely not a prescription for a future life of self-denial and mental agony.

If only you could see life through my eyes now .....

Glenys Goldx3
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

07 Mar 2002, 06:53 #2

Image Marty - such wisdom! I can see life through your eyes - I am experiencing the same comfort and relative "ease" of maintaining my quit. It feels amazing and I am still in awe of the fact that I am a non-smoker (I was one of the best you know......)
I marvel at the fact that whereas once I could not imagine a day without a cigarette, I now marvel that days go by without the thought even entering my head.
Yes, "wanting to not smoke" and "wanting to quit" are poles apart. A friend of mine recently said to me (after telling her that I had quit) "oh, you are so lucky, I wish that would happen to me" . Quitting is not something that "happens" to you. It is a decision that each smoker will make and yes, it takes work - a lot of work, focus and sometimes sheer guts to hold fast to that decision, but Marty - you are a shining example of the rewards that come from the effort. Total Freedom!
I have never heard anybody who ever quit say "Quitting smoking was the worst decision I ever made" (I suspect my husband might be thinking this right now as he is just three weeks into his quit.........not a happy camper, lol)
Thanks again Marty - Cheers from Glenys @ 10 months +

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

07 Mar 2002, 07:38 #3

Yes. True. Perfect.
I agree.
That's me.
4 months and about 2 weeks
One day at a time.

BillW Gold.ffn
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

07 Mar 2002, 09:18 #4

Marty.....this is why I am here, and not already failed (again!)

You are where I _will_ 14 months.

BillW Three weeks, five days, 11 hours, 13 minutes and 45 seconds. 794 cigarettes not smoked, saving $138.95. Life saved: 2 days, 18 hours, 10 minutes.

Msariel2u2 (Gold)
Joined: 10 Jan 2009, 00:48

07 Mar 2002, 09:24 #5

My quit was not easy, and it was not painless, but I agree that I now longer worry about "not having a cigarette". I hope that makes sense to everyone. I was amazed to see my quit meter at 10 months, 3 weeks, etc..... as I once lived by the "one minute at a time" principal. I can now drive my car, talk on the phone, or walk around the block without triggering a crave.... Now I feel stronger, more confident, and am able to deal with life without worring if I have cigarettes, can I smoke them where I am, do I need to buy more, etc.

Freedom is AMAZING! And I am very proud to have attained it after 14 years of smoking.


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

07 Mar 2002, 10:58 #6

Hi Marty Image
You have always been my nonsmoking bro in England.
I've been showing you the way in longevity,
But you have always been there in wisdom.
This freedom in not thinking about smoking in less than 15 minutes
each hour of the day is so satisfying.
Just knowing that if the thought comes up
I can easily dismiss it as something I CHOOSE not to do.
Not something that I cannot deny.
I do not want the 4,000 chemicals in my body.
I do not want to puff that puff that starts the cells to develop in
an unhealthy way.
The 40 carcinogens in cigarettes to start an irreversable trend.
The single cell cancer that will eventually kill me in a short period of time.
One puff is too many, a million cartons not being enough.
How tough is that to choose the alternatives.
after smoking for 54 years, and at 70 Years of Slow suicide
is @
One year, three months, six days, 7 hours, 1 minute and 14 seconds. 18531 cigarettes not smoked, saving $2,316.46. Life saved: 9 weeks, 1 day, 8 hours, 15 minutes.

grafix(Gold ))
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

07 Mar 2002, 11:28 #7

Thought I'd put my Seven months, one week, two days of experience into the equation here. Marty as always "spot on" , I found the first month a personal challenge "I can do this"...., The second month... look out ... doubt comes into play ... this is why I read and reread everything here at freedom and went back to basics of one hour one day at a time and meeting, greeting and defeating the triggers. My Bronze achievement was personally my greatest because it was the point where I had mentally beaten the addiction. I think the colour analogies are perfect. Here on the silver liner I am cruisin', hardly have craves anymore in fact they are more "I used to smoke once". When these thoughts occur, I greet them with a smile... its a smile of pride .... 25 years as a smoker ... now an ex smoker and loving it. For anyone thinking of quitting or having a hard time doing so.... "this side of the fence is has started again"... with a bit of patience, knowledge and determination, you can join me.

janetd (GOLD)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

07 Mar 2002, 12:44 #8

Marty, Great Job of Explaining How it is so hard to put down and yet So Easy! It's a paradox that I don't have the words for (yet)!
yqs, Janet the Junkie Image

Bet (Gold)
Joined: 10 Jan 2009, 00:48

07 Mar 2002, 21:32 #9

Hello List

This is my first post though I've been quit for just over 6 weeks now. I found this site 2 weeks into my quit, just when things were starting to get tough and the stuff I've read from Joel and other contributors has saved my bacon a few times so far.

I tend to experience the weird phenomenon of actually finding it easier not to smoke at the start of a quit. Marty's message has been a lifesaver for me. I've smoked 30 a day for 30 years and have quit a few times in the past. Every time I have gone back to smoking, it has been the result of a cold decision. Ever since my second quit I have known that this meant a return to full-blown smoking, that there is no such thing as "just one". The saddest one was about 15 years ago when I quit for a whole 4 months and found it incredibly easy - I had just read Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking. I decided to start smoking again because I gained weight and I also figured cigarettes did contain some mysterious ingredient that I missed.

This time I haven't gained any weight because I'm not smoking food and drink as I usually do on a quit. This has been quite hard. I think the famous metabolism-boosting properties of nicotine are boloney. People gain weight because they eat more. So, I've solved the weight-gain problem. This time I've got depression and inability to concentrate- I've had this before while quitting. Interestingly, my concentration problems were less of a problem in the first 2 weeks and I felt rather pleased with myself, not depressed!

I was beginning to think that I am so hopelessly addicted I will never be free from my slavery to tobacco. Maybe I would have to be a non-smoking slave or go back to smoking and be an active slave. Your messages have given me hope that even I will get free one day. But I have met people who have been quit for a very long time and still moan about how they miss smoking. What's that about then?

Thanks again. BTW I live in UK.


improud (golder)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

07 Mar 2002, 22:07 #10

Image Marty you are always there to share your wisdom Image I'm sure all of the lurkers out there wanting to quit, thinking about quiting and not smoking and being very scared that they can't do it Image I always felt that I get sick if I didn't smoke Image What junky warped thinking Image But I was uneducated and did not know that I was an addict to the most deadly of addictions. Keep up the good work Marty Image and lurkers It does get better Image I am proof at 1 YEAR 2 MONTHS. Cathy~GOLD CLUB Image