What was withdrawal really like?

amicalm Gold
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 timesImage). 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), Imageexcept 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.Image 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.

Jacqui672 Gold
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.......Image

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.