What was withdrawal really like?

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

19 Sep 2005, 09:37 #11

Ah yes, withdrawal. I only knew what to expect for a few weeks. I never could make it more than a month without a cigarette. That was the longest quit before this one.
The physical withdrawal wasn't too bad really. I knew what the first 72 hours would be like (done it several times). I was so spacey and foggy that it was sort of comical. I couldn't make much sense out of anything and I was difficult to talk to.....but those 3 days flew by.
My trouble had always begun a few weeks into a quit. When I hit a rough day, I had a meltdown and I always relapsed. Blamed everything on quitting smoking.
This time was the same, had a (several) meltdown(s), except I didn't relapse. I had to have faith that it would get better and it did. Once I learned that I could cope and do all the same things without a cigarette, I suppose I was a little better.

What I didn't know was....once I made it through a rough second month or so, how much better life is without nicotine. I can certainly do all the same things without a cigarette, but now I do so much more.
I am always amazed at all of the positive changes that come about from quitting smoking. I'm learning to embrace these changes.
Life is so much better without the fog of feeding a smoking addiction.
It's been said many times ......This truly is an amazing journey.

7 months and a bit

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

20 Sep 2005, 19:43 #12

I never tried to quit in 12 years,

a) because I was scared I might not make it,
b) because I was scared I might actually make it, and then
c) what would I do for the rest of my life without cigarettes??

After all, I knew what quitting would feel like: Like a transatlantic flight or the like. Constant craving. Being in pain. Becoming so irritable that even the best friends would back off.

How wrong was I? Very.

My first three days without nicotine, I spent in bed with the flu. So, yes, I was in pain, and no, I did not feel good at all. But I would have been feeling that way anyway, with my temperature at 40 degrees! I was irritable, but mostly because these three days in bed happened during my skiing vacation. Everything, even my lift pass, was already payed for. And I could not ski while ill, could I? Mainly, I was bored and annoyed.

I then found Freedom online, and since then, I have been marvelling at how different every quit is: I am truly sorry for everyone who had (or is currently having) a really hard time during week one.

In my experience, Glory Week was entirely doable, without any major pains or unabilities to do things. Oh, of course: I did want to smoke back then, had to fight my urges. But it was much easier than I had imagined, and I could kick myself for believing all these stories how hard it is to quit.

When Bronze came along (and that came so quickly!), I have found that life is really much better without smoking. That is what I could not believe before: How could life be enjoyable on withdrawal? Well, it is not life on withdrawal. It is life without a drug that I do not want to use any longer.

Life is so much better since 2 March 2005

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:21

11 Oct 2005, 10:15 #13

"It was the best of times.....it was the worst of times"

You may laugh, but for me this quote really encapsulated what my experience was like. I contemplated quitting for several weeks before finding this site. Being able to understand what nicotine addiction was and how it affected me, enabled me to quit. It truly wasn't as bad as I had feared. Understanding that at it's peak [withdrawl] I would probably experience a total of 6 major craves for a total of 18 minutes of discomfort made the quit tolerable. The other times I had tried to quit found me caving in because I couldn't tolerate the discomfort. I didn't know the craving was time limited. I spent a large part of day 3 crying, not so much from withdrawl as much as from a release of lots of feelings related to how I saw myself. So...on a scale of 1-10....I thought it would be a 10/10.... but in reality it was more like 6/10.

Quit since September 13, 2004.

Joined: 09 Jan 2009, 20:56

17 Jan 2006, 04:45 #14

hi there i dont know if im posting this in the right place but im a new this is my first post its been 11 days smoke free .. i smoked for 28 yrs started when i was 15 and i smoked at times 2 packs a day .. this is not easy i have to tell my freinds all the time boy i would really like a cup of coffee and a cig .. i know its just im missing the comfort that i got from sitting down haveing a cup of coffee and a cig . i dont want one and will not ever smoke again .. i was woundering when will i start to fell different i have not yet coughed and things dont smell different or taste any different .. and im not breathing any different either i was never out of breath except now when the urge gets strong my chest gets tight and i feel like i cant get enough air in my lungs but if i breath deep and relax it goes away . thanks for any help you can give me

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Jan 2006, 07:15 #15

Hi Steve
I moved your post to Stevenomaha - first post on the 1st Post - Diary
People will see it better there and be able to answer your concerns.
Congratulations on your 11 days clean!

Linda - 320 days

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Jan 2006, 07:30 #16

What did I think about quiting smoking?

Well from my first attempts, and there were MANY first attempts I learnt that withdrawal was a HUGE plea bargaining effort with my inner junkie. Quiting was talking to that nasty thing in your mind that tells you that you can smoke and argues with you ALL the time about smoking. "go on just one" and "you can have a puff who will know" to "go and buy a pack smoke one and throw the pack away" and many many more junkie thoughts. HOWEVER.............

My real experience

Once I had read and read on Freedom and educated myself to the point that I felt comfortable with the NTAP rule, I quit. My inner junkie did speak up a little and say all the things I thought it would say, BUT.... I was educated and had a running dialogue back to the voice in my head. The WORST part only lasted 72 hours and not even every hour of the 72 - it got easier during the first week and there is no discussion going except on in my mind now. Just thoughts of how good it feels to NTAP and how much better my health is since I quit. I was more scared of quiting than I needed to be, it was not scary at all.

Linda 320 days and free, healing and happy

Joined: 09 Jan 2009, 20:31

19 Jun 2006, 11:10 #17

Just in case anyone is reading this and is thinking - "yeah, but you've all been quit for months or years - how can you honestly remember exactly what it was like back then?" - I'm relatively new at this and can remember all too well what it was like:

I thought it would be impossible and the thought of quitting didn't terrify me (I was never going to do it, so why fret about it?) so much as depress the **** out of me - all that suffering and then an empty, empty life deprived of all those sweet moments of sheer joy and relief.

Then I got educated and realised for the first time that those sweet moments of relief were only alleviating the constant crave, and it gave me the strength to try.

The first three days were suspiciously easy - because it was new and exciting. Oh, I did have a few tantrums and tears were shed, but I was expecting it to be soooo much worse. Days 4-7 were even easier. Day 8 was a nightmare but exacerbated by a **** day at work and a disastrous evening. No worse than a standard bout of PMS but I was still naive and thought it was all to do with not smoking.

Days 8-9 were average - I felt lost and unsettled at times - not all the time, just off and on. No physical symptoms at all - didn't really get those at such even in the first 72 hours, just mental longings - adjusting to life without cigarettes.

Since then, I don't think I've been any different from a non-smoker. Of course, I've had the usual trials and tribulations - traffic jams, morons at work, stubbed toes, but I know now that I reacted just the same to these annoyances when I was smoking as I do today. I haven't had a bad crave for over 2 weeks, just a fleeting nostalgia that is quickly nipped in the bud and gone.

I am utterly convinced that having a cigarette will do nothing for me; it will not help any situation and can only make everything infinitely worse. Besides, I really don't feel like smoking.

Like the others have said - if I can do it (after 25 years, over a pack a day, never tried to quit before) then you can - you may surprise yourself!

When you smoke, you crave all the time - during a film at the cinema, in a non-smoking restaurant, on public transport, at non-smoking friends' houses, at work, in the pool - whereever, whenever. All you do by satisfying those craves is ensuring that you will get it again, and again and again - just try a few days of NOT giving into the craves and you can be free from them forever.

Good luck,


Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:32

12 Sep 2006, 03:13 #18

Well ... I'm just over the 3 day mark (it's day 4 hooray!) and I can say this ... I'm in the middle of a mean headache right now. Just a dull throbbing in one spot. And I never get headaches.

I'm drinking water. Taking breaks from my computer ... understanding that this too shall pass. But yeah ... I've got a mean headache.

And should this headache last for longer than a "typical" amount of time, I will certainly see my doctor.

This headache has not, however, made me want to smoke a darn thing! And for that, I am so grateful.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

12 Sep 2006, 03:41 #19

I was a smoker of 2 years (2 years too long if you ask me).

Symptoms I had from withdrawal:

cravings/urges for nicotine
trouble staying asleep
emotional roller coaster (from highs to lows and everything in between)

The worst of it was the first 1-4 days for me. After that, any symptom I've had has been purely psychological. Mainly dealing with cravings. The best way to prevent those cravings is to educate yourself. I don't even crave it now and I'm only on day 13. After reading all of the facts, the thought of smoking actually repulses me.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

12 Sep 2006, 03:53 #20

Oddly enough, I never craved a cigarette when I quit.Physically that is. When I smoked, I physically craved constantly. The morning I quit, I woke up, began my day, and waited for the heebee jeebees. They never came. I was terrified of quitting because I thought physical withdrawal would kill me. It didn't. I never had it.

Now psychologically it's a different story.......

Five months, two weeks, 5 hours, 54 minutes and 28 seconds. 6689 cigarettes not smoked, saving $1,839.25. Life saved: 3 weeks, 2 days, 5 hours, 25 minutes.

Joined: 04 Apr 2005, 07:00

30 Dec 2006, 23:39 #21


Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:04

31 Dec 2006, 01:12 #22

I quit smoking during a bout of pneumonia. I don't know if the withdrawal from nicotine was bad during the first few days, because it was masked by the pneumonia symptoms. What I do know is that during the 47 years of my active addiction I suffered withdrawal from nicotine 2 or 3 times an hour during every waking hour, and sometimes even during the night. Now, after 20 + months of being free, I sometimes think for 5 seconds while waiting for the light to change, the water to boil, the dog to finish her business, or any of the bazillion other triggers, that a cigarette would be nice. But that thought is immediately followed by such a giant feeling of relief that its just a thought, not an active crave like the ones I suffered 40 or 50 times each and every day for all those years. There just isn't any comparison between a passive thought of smoking and an active crave for nicotine.

Let me try to put it in perspective. Craves for nicotine while I was an active addict were so strong that I, like most of you reading this, did things that others would never even consider, just to get a fix. I hid behind a dumpster next to the parking lot while my son won a trophy for swimming. I was behind the building getting a fix when my daughter won a tennis match. I was behind the barn feeding my addiction when a half-ton horse decided he no longer wanted my son on his back and did everything to get him off. I was smoking elsewhere while my precious Mother lay dying. Nothing, not even that half-ton horse, could keep me from experiencing those things now. Too bad for me that its too late for those things, but I don't plan on ever again missing anything!

On the other hand, the occasional thought I have that a cigarette would be nice, is just that.... a thought. Just a stupid, weak thought. Can't compare it to the withdrawal symptoms/craves that happened every 20 or 30 minutes while being an active addict.

Those of you who have a new quit going: Stay true to your commitment because you can't even imagine how good it gets. Those of you who are lurking, just thinking about quitting: Quit now! Making the decision to do so is more difficult than doing it.

Carol, nicotine-free for 1year, 8months, 2weeks and 5days... after 47years of active addiction.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

31 Dec 2006, 01:43 #23

I'll echo this >"Making the decision to do so is more difficult than doing it".<</font>
We all have done shameful things while active in our addictions.
Thank God I am free: I have forgiven myself and
One Day at a Time I am committed to
Never Take Another Puff
Wendy ----Free and Healing for 176 days
Randy ----Free and Healing for 44 days

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Mar 2007, 21:17 #24

What was withdrawal really like?

It was terrible. I HATE WITHDRAWAL.

Every quit the same: Buy nicotine patches and nicotine gum and start your quit.
Days and days and days of withdrawal because these nicotine replacement devices cannot give me the nicotine and chemicals which a cigarette has.


The real withdrawal after really quitting? It lasted a little longer then 3 days. I was prepared for that because I knew for me everything would last longer because of the huge amount I smoked per day (4 packs). But really it was nothing compared with the days/weeks in chronical withdrawal due to the patch/gum.

I forgot . Yes I forgot. The only thing I remember is that I couldn't concentrate the first 2 weeks. I Also knew there would come an end to the withdrawal symptoms as promised here. And it's true withdrawal has an end.
I didn't know that during my other quits with the patch and gum. I thought quitting smoking was living in chronical withdrawal for the rest of my life.

I HATE WITHDRAWAL and am intense happy that I never have to go through withdrawal again in my life as long as......NTAP.

Frits (Bronze+)

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Mar 2007, 22:03 #25

You know, oddly, physical withdrawal was relatively painless to me. You see, once you stop placing the drug in your system every 20 minutes, you stop wanting it. I never felt like OMG I'm freaking out gimmee a smoke. Never. Not once.

I was tired as heck, completely unable to concentrate on anything but reading here, and just generally dopey. But never, never did I feel the angst of needing a smoke like I did when I continued to feed the monster.

The dopiness went away in a few short weeks. I still need more sleep though. I need a minimum of 8 hours as a non-smoker. And I sleep like the dead.

One year, one day, 23 hours, 3 minutes and 34 seconds. 14678 cigarettes not smoked, saving $4,036.56. Life saved: 7 weeks, 1 day, 23 hours, 10 minutes.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:41

31 Mar 2007, 01:43 #26

I am on day 12 now of no nicotine. I generally expected withdrawl to be very bad. It was not. It was not easy, but very doable. Education is the key. Fortunately, I came upon WhyQuit on my first day and read constantly. The knowledge of what was happening is I think what made withdrawl easier.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Nov 2007, 05:29 #27

A tactic I have been seeing used quite a bit lately by a pharmaceutical manufacturer and it seems, the FDA itself, is that it is hard to determine what symptoms a person might be having are from side effects of a quit smoking medication as opposed to what symptoms might be happening just because a person has simply stopped smoking.

It seems as if there is a perception being sold out there that people who quit smoking often experience agitation to the level of becoming dangers to society, depressed to the level of feeling suicidal, and a host of medical complaints that causes them to experience severe aches and pains that seem to go on for weeks or months after cessation.

This thread was basically started to dispel the myth that quitting leads to horrid withdrawals that are so debilitating that it is makes it almost impossible for people to quit without the aid of a pharmaceutical to ease up withdrawal that happen when most people quit. I think it is an important thread to get back up at this point in time, not just for people using or considering using medications to quit, but to help people realize that the experiences most people have when quitting are not as traumatic as it is being made out to be.

We are not saying that there is not some anger involved when people quit or that some people don't get depressed. It is the level of that anger or the extent of that depression that we take issue with, as well as the extent of the physical discomfort that people may experience that we are taking issue with.

I am going to attach some related strings and videos addressing these issues below. We just want to make it clear that the frequency and the extent of problems that we see from quitting appear to be quite different than the frequency and levels that we seem to be seeing from certain medications out there.

The tactics that are being used to sell and defend pharmaceutical products can easily have the secondary effect of scaring people from implementing the program that has resulted in the vast majority of successful ex-smokers we have in the world today--people who simply quit smoking cold turkey and who will be able to stay successfully free for as long as they stick to a personal commitment to never take another puff.


Related articles and commentaries:

Anger - new reactions as an ex-smoker
Emotional loss experienced when quitting
Depression - normal or real organic?
Life goes on without smoking
Blame for early symptoms - a rule of thumb
So how did most successful ex-smokers actually quit?
"Isn't quitting cold turkey too dangerous?"

Related videos:
Video Title Dial Up HS/BB Audio Length Added
"Is this a symptom of quitting smoking?" 1.91mb 18.9mb 0.77mb 05:13 09/27/06
Does smoking cause my headaches? 2.69mb 07.4mb 08:32 03/21/07

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Nov 2007, 05:58 #28

As you've said quite often..... in your 30 or so years working in tobacco cessation you have knowledge of 2 maybe 3 cases where someone died while going cold turkey. Was cessation the cause? Was there an underlying problem? Out of how many? THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS. Nearly 50 MILLION folks have stopped using tobacco - most by simply choosing no more.

Quitting tobacco is not going to kill you. Gotta remember it is the way we are designed to be, naturally, normally, nicotine free.
Keep using tobacco and it probably will kill you, one way or another.

What was withdrawal like? It was constant for 40 years - it occurred every 30 to 40 minutes every hour of every day for nearly all of my life. Quite awful really, no matter the method of delivery. Usually worse when 'quitting smoking' & using transdermal or mucusoal absorption methods as they were not nearly effective or quick as actually ingesting tobacco smoke or the juice of finely chopped leaves.

What was FINAL ONE-TIME & DONE withdrawal like?
Not that bad actually. Challenging, somewhat uncomfortable is my best description.
Not nearly what I thought it would be. I was taught by buying in to 'Conventional Wisdom' it would be terrible.
Neither my health nor well-being or sanity was ever put at risk.
Seems not all 'quitters' utilizing other 'endorsed methods' can make that statement.

My Dad (2 1/2 years) would for sure say the same as would my boss (26 years) and my partner (6+ years). Not as bad as we'd been led to believe. All of us ceased ingestion abruptly. All of us have stayed free the same way for years now - we each know that to keep our freedom we simply choose to never take another puff.

JoeJ Free - NicotineFree and Living as I was meant to be for Two Years, Ten Months, Nineteen Days, 6 Hours and 41 Minutes, while reclaiming 91 Days and 10 Hours, by choosing not to use 26332 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $5,776.13.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Nov 2007, 06:45 #29

Actually, I never had one person die while going cold turkey. I had one person die a few weeks after quitting, but when he came in I think he was needing a quintuple bypass and was in really bad shape already. If I recall right, his doctor did not believe he could make it through the surgery and wanted him off smoking for a while before attempting to do it. The doctor made it clear though that he was in really bad shape and had prepped the patient and his family to the fact that the man was not likely to make it much longer. He did quit, for the duration of the clinic, actually was feeling much better on a number of fronts, but did pass away sometime around the third week in. As I said though, and as he and his family knew though, he knew he was on borrowed time. I actually went to his funeral, and his wife really thanked me for the help I had given him. She told me how proud he was that he had quit and how proud she was of him for doing it. I believe that she deeply appreciated the fact that he did fight to live at the end, but that he was just too far gone by the time he quit. She did go out of her way though at the funeral to introduce me to lots of family members and friends and hit home the point that her husband did successfully quit--hoping to help her loved ones avoid a similar fate.

The only other time I had a person die who was in the clinic was when I had a husband and wife team come to quit smoking. The man was in his mid to late 30's, had severe out of control diabetes, a host of other problems, and was a heavy smoker. His doctors laid out to him that he was a walking time bomb if he didn't quit smoking. He was making it as clear to the man that he had better quit smoking or he was going to die, and he was not talking in the distant future.

During the clinic the wife did successfully quit, but the husband cheated from day one and finally dropped out before the first weekend. He was back smoking after that and died the next week. Again, it was no surprise to anyone. Blaming his death on quitting smoking was pretty much out of the question though considering, he actually never quit and for all practical purposes, had not even cut down at the time he had died.

Besides my clinic contacts, over the years I have spoken to around one hundred thousand people in live programs. I don't remember one case of a person coming up to me and saying that they had a personal family member or friend die when they tried to quit smoking cold turkey. Not a one. Considering the state of health of many people who do quit smoking because of a diagnosis of life a threatening condition, it is quite remarkable when you think about it. That is why pushing the idea of the danger of cold turkey quitting is so abhorrent to me.

The story about NRT use in the ICU in the string "Isn't quitting cold turkey too dangerous?" really hits home this issue too.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Nov 2007, 08:18 #30


Thanks for replying and expanding the point I was attempting to make. My original premise was that getting clean of nicotine never in and of itself killed anyone. As far as I've been able to research and in my personal experience noone has died as a result of abrupt cessation of tobacco / nicotine use. Millions have died because they've wrongly believed they were unable to quit. Abhorrent indeed.

Also, wanted to mention that my Mom also was a successful ex-smoker for 7+ years. She quit cold turkey and stayed free until her passing by choosing a life lived free & not ever taking another puff.


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Nov 2007, 23:06 #31

Withdrawl was not nearly as bad on this quit due to the education from Joel and the rest at this site, I was able to keep my blood sugar level by eating more than once a day and drinking juice etc.

Day 1, after butting out the last one at 630 am, first crave 15 min later , second 10 min after that head ach started, took advil, eat, crave, ignore, head ach back. Ears starting to buzz as brain yelled for nicotine, ignored craves and buzzing, drank water, drank strong coffee to ease the screach in my brain for a fix.
Read, read, read this site, determined was not giving up even it killed me. It didn't.

Day 2, got up 6 am crave, ignored, eat, drink coffee, ignore crave, wife got on nerves, crave, ignore, on way to work thought to self, the only way you have been putting up with wife for 24 years was because you had nicotine to calm you down, you are either gonna have to smoke, or divorce (junkie thinking for sure) I love wife. Ignore craves junkie thinking all day, read read read this site, head ach not as bad, buzzing letting up, not as much screaching in the brain for a fix, much easier to ignore.

Day three slightly dull headach, hard to concentrate on details for work, just keep on ignoring the crave,

days 5-7 getting easier to think, no head ach, sleeping like a log, waking up feeling good, not fogged needing the fix, eating like I was 21 again, feeling lots better.

Second week, occasional 20 second crave, not strong, getting on with work, life, reading and supporting others on site as time allows.

Third and consecutive weeks, easier and easier, getting on with life, stopping by site occasionally to catch an article or send some encouragement.

RJW After 32+ years of feeding the addiction, FREE at Last 74 days, saving 10+days of life and $668.00, not injesting poison via inhaled death 2964 times and not absorbing poison daily through just a little pinch of death between the cheek and gum. ANY amount of withdrawl is worth it

Never Take Another Puff, Not One Puff Ever

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

01 Dec 2007, 18:19 #32

Making the decision to quit is for sure harder than getting on with the actual quit itself. The hardest thing is finding the impetus and motivation to actually begin the quit in the first place.

I found that once I decided to get on with a concerted effort to quit cold turkey, I was actually excited by the thought of finding out how my body and mind was going to react to it.

I remember the night when I had my last cigarette, lying in bed, looking forward to the morning to finding out how I would be without cigarettes! I almost couldn't sleep with excitement, can you believe it!

When I woke up I still had the excitement but was now intermingled with nerves and apprehension, maybe a bit of fear of the unknown. Now was the moment of truth...stay in the mindset and succeed and look forward to the comfort and freedom from nicotine and tobacco (that others on Freedom talked about, and what I craved so much) or give in (again) go to the shop and buy smokes and fail (again) and experience again 20 times a day when I ask myself the questions...when will I quit? What will it take? Do I want to live a long and tobacco related disease free life or not? Do I want to keep wasting money and actively investing in my own death? Do I want to keep asking, is this the cigarette that kills me? Is this the one that sparks the lung cancer? Is this the one that puts me in the hospital bed, holding my wife's hand, staring at the ceiling thinking..if only I had quit when I had the chance?

Well the time to quit was now, the opportunity had presented itself. I had thought of, and had wanted to quit for ages (like most smokers) and wished I never had started, and tried hard to imagine a life without the complications of smoking...it seemed like a paradise and for the first time it seemed like I had the potential to reach this paradise and say goodbye to smoking forever. I just had to get through a few days of...what....the unknown....the big W...withdrawal.

Well let me tell you, with day 1, withdrawal was a bit of a rollercoaster, incorporating a bit of anxiety, swings up and down between elation that I was doing this and a sense of loss that I was saying goodbye to an old friend or maybe even an old "me" but the thing was that I didn't want to get off this rollercoaster, I wanted to see it through to the end! It was at times a crazy ride but I loved it! Not meaning that I want to do it again, I loved it because it was sending me to my freedom!

I had all the usual things that others describe. A bit of fogginess, sleeping a lot, a bit of anxiety, a few grumps and growls at my wife, but hey this isn't so bad when compared to a life of crippling disease.

Basically if I wasn't reading here on this site keeping myself armed with info, I was at the gym keeping my mind and body occupied, watching TV, drinking loads of water and juice or sleeping.

At the end of the 3 days and my 72 hours of physical withdrawal was over, I felt such a great sense of achievement and success! I really felt like I had it beat, and I remember thinking to myself, that wasn't so bad AND I'm so glad I did it!

Looking back, nothing I experienced during those 3 days was that bad. I had craves, sure, but that can be controlled with the information provided right here at whyquit. For the next month, it was all about reprogramming the mind to dismantle and forget about triggers, physical withdrawal was well and truly over and I could feel the comfort coming, even within a such a short time. I took long distance flights, went on holiday, worked with a lot of smokers, all the while relishing in the fact that I didn't have an addiction to feed anymore. I watched people known and unknown to me feeding their addiction with a smug feeling of well being while feeling totally secure in my quit.

And now? Well I can't say I hit many (if any) triggers these days. I do have the experience (and it intrigues me) of what others here talk about which is the thought of or about smoking without actually having the desire to smoke. I often think of smoking in terms of "gee I'm glad I don't smoke" or " in the old days I would have smoked now, but I'm so happy now that I don't have to!"

Quitting cold turkey is possible, it doesn't hurt or make you go crazy! I always thought I couldn't quit, I thought I was one of those dedicated smokers who "will smoke forever", that I truly "loved smoking", its all rubbish. I thought I would only quit through some kind of "painless method" like hypnotherapy or taking some kind of magic pill or drug. But there is only one way to quit and that is to simply stop administering nicotine into your body and then you will find out for yourself how easy it really is and how good it is to be free.

Living free without tobacco and nicotine is one of the best things in the world, and I'm proud of myself everyday that I chose to quit and make it stick.

Mick Dundee Free 7 months and going strong!

Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 14:59

27 Jan 2009, 17:00 #33

Wasn't anything like I thought it would be. After 32 years, I would have thought I would have the shakes, headaches, or something. All I really had is a "pang" of sorts, feeling alittle lost, and actually, maybe from the extra oxygen, slightly buzzed!! I never had crying spells, instead, had insane fits of laugher, my kids must have thought I lost my mind, laughed so hard at something really dumb, I actually had to pull off the road as I couldn't drive.
Anyways, just rambling here, on Day 23 and feeling very well.

Joined: 31 Jan 2009, 02:15

21 Mar 2009, 00:25 #34

I think someone wrote here once that the movie you play in your head about what withdrawal will be like is way worse than the real life experience. I think that bears repeating!

What was it really like?

Shorter than I thought it would be. 72 hours, and I really was over the worst of it. I took some advice I found here and drank a lot of fruit juice during those hours, and that was an *amazing* help to me. (I drank it for only those three days, though, because of the calories and the fact that I didn't want a crutch.)

Less intense than I'd imagined. During the first three days and even the first week, the cravings were strong sometimes, but the bottom line is, they were completely manageable. They really don't kill you. I did not break out into a cold sweat; I never once got the shakes; I didn't scream at anyone; I didn't rip out my hair or claw my face off; I never felt as if I were going crazy. I only felt a strong desire to smoke from time to time (not as often as I'd imagined), and so I recognized the crave and felt my way through it to the other side where it was gone (and it really, honestly, never lasted even three minutes for me--much shorter than that--I timed it a few times.)

Once in a while, I had that "I want something" feeling--I satisfied that by chewing on something healthful (seemed to help me take out some agression to chew on carrots--chewing was a big deal those first days and sometimes still is!) I also came here and read a lot, and learned a lot. One of my big trigger times was after work when I used to come home, sit down with the news and smoke away for about 3o minutes. Every day for the first two weeks, I came home, and sat down with Joel's videos for about 30 minutes instead.

Tough, but simple. Quitting cold turkey makes it simple. You don't have to remember to do anything except not smoke. It's tough, no doubt, but it's simple. When the craves hit, I'd just say, "I'm not going to smoke right now; I'm going to just do the next thing," and then I'd follow through on that by not smoking and instead doing the next thing I had to do in my life. The crave then goes away after a short period of time.

An opporutunity to learn about myself & celebrate. I know that sounds corny, but billions of people can't be wrong--a positive attitude makes a HUGE difference in just about anything you take on, including quitting nicotine. I worked to achieve this by focusing on my desire to learn every single little thing my body was doing to heal as I quit so that I could celebrate those things and, as corny as it sounds, be really, truly proud of myself. I cannot tell you how much that positive self-talk has helped, and how much it has carried into other things in my life. I'm telling myself every day what a good job I'm doing by not smoking, and after nearly two months of that, I'm starting to realize that I'm just more confident over all. Other people are noticing it, too, and reacting accordingly. It's really amazing.

I read here about the "ahhhhh" your brain got from nicotine, gets from food, etc. Well, I give myself the "ahhhh" with praise now. I know what a crave feels like, and I know how it feels to manage it--it feels GREAT because I congratulate myself (ahhhh! yay! I did it!) And I come here to this board, and sometimes I write about other success moments I've had, and guess what--I get more praise! Ahhhhhhh! It's wonderful. It's one of the reasons I try to encourage and praise others here--I know how much it helps me.

I found that getting the unparalled education given to us here about what to expect made all the difference in my ability to manage withdrawal, and ultimately, that is part of what made it far better than I thought it would be.


I have been free for 1 Month, 3 Weeks, 2 Days, 22 hours and 38 minutes (51 days). I have saved $138.28 by not smoking 779 cigarettes. I have saved 5 Days, 22 hours and 49 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 1/27/2009 9:30 PM


Joined: 14 Nov 2010, 12:07

15 Nov 2010, 04:38 #35

Hello Freedom,

Before I quit smoking I literally had no idea exactly what quitting would feel like. I did know it would be unpleasant and awful and even though I knew it wouldn't be impossible It felt like it.


I started on a monday, a work day for me. The thought of smoking was literally always on my mind but the craves were manageable. Night time, however, was very difficult for me. I couldn't fall asleep, I couldn't sit straight, I simply couldn't relax. I was hot and cold, and all I wanted was a cigarette. This all passed within two days, the thought of smoking still lingers.

What helped me tremendously during withdrawal was saying to myself "It's almost over" and "I can have ANYTHING but a cigarette." The truth is, withdrawal is similar to an awakening, a state of heightened senses, an understanding that the cigarette is not just a pleasurable device. It is a DRUG, and it takes withdrawal to realize this. 

Thank you WhyQuit. Thank you Freedom. NO MORE NICOTINE!!!!