What was withdrawal really like?

What was withdrawal really like?

Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

September 15th, 2005, 8:35 pm #1

From the thread Reading at other quit smoking sites

I had an email today from a young woman who had only smoked for a few years, was planning on quitting cold turkey, but who was terrified of quitting because of all of the horror stories she has read about withdrawal symptoms. She sounded pretty convinced that the withdrawals that people experience are so terrible that she would lose her mind I am assuming that she has been getting these stories on Internet based quit sites, considering she wrote about all of the horror stories that she "read" about as opposed to all of the horror stories that she "heard" about.

Along with a few personal remarks, I sent her back a copy of the original post in this string along with the links.

I don't know whether she reads specifically at Freedom or not, but I suspect a lot of people are just like her, almost crippled with fear from even attempting to quit because of the way quitting is portrayed at most sites. It is tragic that people have such a misperception for it keeps many from even trying to quit, who go on smoking and then developing diseases and conditions that are truly terrifying, experiences pain and agony that are truly horrific, suffering with these maladies for days, weeks, months and sometimes even years and eventually end up losing their lives to the smoking induced conditions.

Withdrawals from quitting, even when they are really worse than normal, are not as bad as the symptoms people experience from getting smoking induced diseases and only last a matter of a few days at most.

To minimize the chance of experiencing real pain and agony over a lifetime is as simple as making and sticking to a personal commitment to never take another puff.

Joel



I thought it would be good to create a string that people who have quit smoking and who have been off for varying lengths of time could respond to.

I want to caution all who read whatever follows here that just because one or two people write about a possible withdrawal symptom, this does not mean that you will have these same symptoms. See the string Every quit is different  for more on that topic.

Almost more than specific symptoms, I hope this thread develops more into comments about general intensity of effects, contrasting what quitting was like in comparison to what the person thought it was going to be like.

Again, even in the most extreme withdrawals, the suffering that a person may feel from quitting is going to pale in comparison to the suffering the person will likely feel if he or she does not quit and goes on to develop a smoking induced illness. The real way to minimize pain and suffering throughout your lifetime is to make and stick to a personal commitment to never take another puff.

Joel

Related video added August 29, 2012:


 
Last edited by Joel on August 29th, 2012, 2:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Joined: December 19th, 2008, 12:10 am

September 16th, 2005, 12:08 am #2

What I thought it would be:

Constant, obsessive thoughts about inhaling cigarette smoke and recreating the buzz of my first cigarette of the day which would last the rest of my life.

What it actually was:

Constant, obsessive thoughts about inhaling cigarette smoke and recreating the buzz of my first cigarette of the day which lasted for about 72 hours, during which I lived in a virtual fog. An occasional refresher after that until now it is so rare I can count on one hand the number of times I 'want' a cigarette in the course of a week.

If you can gut out the first three days you're not necessarily home free, but you've made one giant leap.

I don't know why the fear of quitting was greater for me than the fear of contracting a debilitating disease. Probably because the effects of withdrawal were right in front of me and the effects of disease were distant and remote. Facing and overcoming the fear of quitting was the key for my quit.

In short, it felt as bad as I thought it would, but it lasted for mere moments compared to how long I thought it would.

Terry
301 days quit
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Ann
Joined: December 19th, 2008, 12:02 am

September 16th, 2005, 12:45 am #3

I thought it would be easy. It wasn't. It was difficult. I experienced the symptoms you can read about in "what to expect the first week." Headache, irritability, mood swings, anxiety, and cravings. Those lasted three days. After a week, the physical symptoms were mostly gone. After a month, they were gone. I have watched my mother undergo many, many surgeries, two of them horrific, from a smoking-caused disease.

Withdrawal is uncomfortable and unpleasant. But it is also short. And there is a lot of life ahead. What is three days to thirty years??

Ann
a year and a few days.
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Joined: December 19th, 2008, 12:00 am

September 16th, 2005, 4:27 am #4

I really thought that quitting smoking was an impossible task. I thought I was one of those people that "couldn't " quit. I thought it was easier for others, that I was different. I thought withdrawl would be unbearable....
What really happened was... I was becoming increasingly short of breath and was diagnosed with mild emphysema. The doctor told me that only one thing would help me and that was to quit smoking . He emphatically told me that if I didn't quit , I would most definitely get worse. I went home feeling scared, horrified, short of breath, and had no idea how I was going to pull this off. I went on line and fortunately found this site. I started reading here and that night, I smoked my last cigarette. I read enough to realize I was an addict and the only way to rid my body of the addictive substance was to never put it in me again ... in any kind of form.
Was it easy? No. Was it horrible ? No. Did I want to have a cigarette? Yes, of course I did. Did I want to be able to breathe... Yes, of course I did. I had a choice. It became a lot easier after I set my priorities. I have to honestly say that I didn't suffer many real physical withdrawl symptoms. I felt a kind of mental fogginess as I adjusted to my new way of life, but I may have experienced that same feeling in making any kind of new major adjustment. I craved the taste of my cigarettes and I missed what I thought was my best friend...
I had allowed my cigarettes to be a part of nearly everything I did for 38 years. It took a while to learn to do all the same things without a cigarette that I had always done with a cigarette, but I did it...one day at a time until I have now accomplished the following.
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Joined: December 19th, 2008, 12:03 am

September 16th, 2005, 5:21 am #5

I'm nearly 20 months removed from my last smoke of nicotine, and although memories tend to fade with the passing of time, I can still vividly recall those first few days of my quit.

Physically, my withdrawal encompassed restlessness, irritability, a feeling of being on edge, and difficulty concentrating. Day one was a piece of cake because of the excitement of having quit, so these symptoms were easy to ignore. (besides, can't we all go for at least one day without smoking, anyway?). However, these symptoms became pretty intense during day two. From the viewpoint of an outside observer, I probably didn't appear too much different in my actions or behavior than on any other day. But on the inside... let's just say that I was not feeling too comfortable. By the third day the physical intensity had significantly lessened and very soon afterward was gone.

These early symptoms were, of course, brought on by the falling levels of nicotine in my bloodstream and the non-replenishment of it into my brain-which created the craving to have nicotine! By holding firmly onto my resolve to want to be quit more than I wanted to keep smoking, I was able to overcome those cravings for nicotine.

It's all about attitude. And that, I believe, is what makes all the difference between caving in or moving beyond withdrawal into non-smoking comfort. (it doesn't hurt to have a few of Freedom's Best Crave Coping Tips ! ). If you really want to be quit, you can be quit!

The psychological fear and dread of the withdrawal is, in the end, much worse than the actual physical withdrawal itself.

Richard 1 year, 7 ½ months.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:58 pm

September 16th, 2005, 7:49 am #6

I had a headache, I was moody (more than usual) restless, and while I had cravings they were no where near what I thought I would experience. It lasted to varying degrees for about a week. After the first 3-4 days it was more emotional than physical in nature.

The fear of withdrawal for me was so great I don't know that it's even possible for it to be as bad as I thought it would be.

I hadn't gone without smoking for years. I had a great deal of difficulty going more than 2 hours and made sure that rarely happened. I believed I could not go a day without smoking. I truly believed I "loved" it and it was a part of what made me myself in addition to being physically dependant.

This site helped me to hope withdrawal ends. It had for others; maybe it could for me too.....

But then,

I feared that even after I managed to quit I would always want one or feel deprived. So, even if I happened, by some miracle, to make it through the horrors, trials and tribulations of withdrawal, I would be miserable forever and make everyone around me miserable.

It's hard to envision quitting as gaining rather than losing. I could not think of it along those lines when I was smoking. This is an addiction. It's not a lifestyle choice. I passed "choose" years ago. The thoughts I had then I know to be completely untrue now. Then, the thoughts it would be horrible to quit were all too real. I was not thinking clearly. I could not see this then. This is an addiction. I am an addict. There were things I said to myself and believed so I could cling to smoking.

I didn't know how it would feel to be "released" There's no other word for how I felt the first time I got up in the morning and did not have that instant craving. I could not imagine I would feel such complete and utter joy. Peace. I felt a peace within myself I had not felt in 20 years. It took a while for me to even know what that feeling was.

Smoking does not compare.


Quit. You won't lose anything you need and you will gain more than you can begin to imagine now.

Ana - free from nicotine slavery for 182 days, while adding 12 Days and 16 Hours to my life , by avoiding the use of 3650 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $551.70
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Joined: April 4th, 2005, 7:00 am

September 16th, 2005, 11:03 am #7


[...] more than specific symptoms, I hope this thread develops more into comments about general intensity of effects, contrasting what quitting was like in comparison to what the person thought it was going to be like.


What did I think quitting was going to be like? Difficult. That is very general but that is what comes to mind first. I knew that when I cut back that I was uncomfortable and smoking relieved the discomfort (withdrawl). I thought that I would always want to smoke and that the discomfort of withdrawl would always be with me. I thought that I would be very irritable.

When I quit smoking, there were times when it was difficult. Times when I had to consciously and sometimes out loud say "No!" to the desire to take nicotine again by inhaling tobacco smoke. But it was not as difficult as I thought it would be. I was motivated by my desire to stay free once I quit.

Was I uncomfortable? From time to time when learning to deal with situations where I was accustomed to lighting up I had to remind myself, again sometimes out loud "No! This is a situation when you used to smoke. This will pass. There was one episode where I had to just sit down with my hands folded in front of me while every nerve in my body seemed to tingle but that only lasted about 30 seconds. The last 355 days were worth every second of that discomfort.

Aside from small outbursts, temper tantrums that I tried to keep private, the irritability associated with withdrawl was not so bad.

After 335 days of nicotine free living, do I always want to smoke? The answer to that is an emphatic "No!" I may think about a cigarette from time to time when something triggers the idea, but I do not spend my entire day wishing I was still smoking. Au contraire mon frere. I spend my entire day just living, unencumbered by the nicotine low level alarm that chimed for me previously approximately every 42 minutes.

The reality of quitting is not nearly as bad as the movie, especially if you know what is coming by learning about you addiction. Education makes all the difference.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:58 pm

September 16th, 2005, 9:10 pm #8

I *thought* I "knew" what withdrawal was like, having "tried" to quit about a million times before. Naturally, I thought that this time would be no different. I thought I would be angry, mean, miserable, and constantly craving for a really, really long time. Not forever (maybe?), but for longer than I wanted to, therefore, why bother to quit?

Reality: Yep, I was angry, mean, miserable, and constantly craving...for no more than a week. After that, it was all in my mind. After no more than two weeks, I can safely say that I quit "wanting" to smoke. Were those first few days rough? Oh yes, no doubt. Were they worth it? TOTALLY. Whenever I think I want to smoke, I remember what withdrawal was like. It wasn't as horrible as I led myself to believe, but it was an experience I never want to repeat.

I have not had a genuine crave in months. It has become more natural for me to *not* smoke. When I do think about cigarettes, I only think about how grateful I am that I chose to stop doing that kind of damage to myself.

This educated CT quit thing is totally doable. I wish I had realized it years ago. Fortunately, after 15 years of slow suicide, I got a clue, did the deed, and now have been a free woman for eight months, one week, six days, 3 hours, 7 minutes and 20 seconds. Now I understand the Law of Addiction. Now I know why I can't ever take "just one puff". One=All, and that's all there is to it. As long as I never take one, the rest will collect dust on some gas station shelf.

Blessings,
Amy--Silver+Double Green
256 days of livin' free
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:58 pm

September 16th, 2005, 10:21 pm #9

I quit July 5th on the patch. It was 2 of the most unbearable days that I can remember. It got so bad, that I went on the internet to try and find some new miracle product to help me quit smoking. That's when I found WhyQuit.com. I sat there and read and read for hours. After I got done reading, I ripped the patch off went to bed and woke up July 7th to start my cold turkey/educated quit.
I can say that with the education I got in just that one day and reading the posts at Freedom and seeing all this hope, it gave me hope. For the first time I had a very positive feeling about my quit.
To tell you the truth, I didn't feel a difference between wearing the patch and going cold turkey and with the education I got I knew now that there was going to be a light at the end of the tunnel, so it actually made my quit alot easier.
I had only one bad time to where it felt I might give up. That was about a month into my quit. I had a really bad day at work and I looked over at my co-worker and he was smoking. I got so angry that I started throwing things and I kept saying" I might as well just smoke". Luckily I slowed myself down, grabbed some of that education I learned here and realized what a stupid, self destructing thing I was saying to myself. So I ran around the shop about 10 times and that calmed me down.
Ever since then, I've had no real issues. I've had a few strong craves since then, but those craves just weren't scary anymore. It was more like "huh, I'm having a crave, I wonder why."
Now days, I don't really even think about smoking, unless I see someone smoking in the morning. For some reason when I see this it makes my lungs feel like they're burning and it makes me think of how disgusting smoking really is.
So yes, it has been work, but not even half as hard as I or the doctors and pharmecutical companies told me it was going to be. Now days it's not work at all, I just enjoy not smoking. By the way, I work in a warehouse where people can smoke and 90 percent do. There is absolutely no trigger there for me.
In my early quit, I allways tried to remember that a few craves here and there with the freedom from nicotine is 1 billion times better than the constant craves being a slave to it.
Have a great nicotine free day.
YQB,
ERIC

I have been quit for 1 Year, 2 Months, 1 Week, 1 Day, 19 hours, 21 minutes and 1 second (435 days). I have saved $2,614.83 by not smoking 13,074 cigarettes. I have saved 1 Month, 2 Weeks, 9 hours and 30 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 7/7/2004 12:00 PM
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Joined: December 19th, 2008, 1:30 am

September 16th, 2005, 10:30 pm #10

I , like others thought I was one of those people that would die a smoker. I had "tried" so many times before and failed, I stopped trying because I couldn't face failing again.. Then, though a series of events, I decided close to the end of last year to "try" again. I picked a weekend and slept...or stayed in bed for the 1st 2 days ....Since I didn't smoke inside that helped alittle. I was restless ,irritable . I craved sweets , had a headache and my concentration was nonexistant....but as bad as all that sounds...It was much easier than I had imagined. The psychological part was by far the most difficult for me.

After 5 days of no nicotine....through another site, I found why quit and freedom.The education was the difference for me.

For any lurkers out there...The part of the physical withdrawal....the 1st three days... is much easier than you think it is...sometimes your thoughts want you to think it is so tough that you can't do it...No ...it is not easy and yes you really want a cigarette...but if you have ever met anyone who has gone through lung surgery, or is fighting lung cancer....it is so much easier than that!! We all think "it will never happen to me" but it can. I lost a cousine at age 47 with 2 young children to lung cancer...who lived on cigarettes and coke. She suffer alot....So it put those 1st 3 days into perspective....it was nothing compared to chemo and radiation.

Thank You freedom...whyquit...Joel, managers and freedomites. I will be forever grateful...I have now been free from tobacco since December 30th 2004 and have never felt better, I very rarely think of smoking now unless it is to help someone struggling or to be thankful that I am no longer an active addict....but I also know that I am an addict and have made a commitment to NTAP.

Anyone out there thinking about quitting....don't wait...you can do it....If I can any one can...

Pam :) an active addict 35 years...free from nicotine 260 days and lovin' it
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

September 19th, 2005, 9:37 am #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.
I LOVE MY FREEDOM!!!! I WOULDN'T TRADE IT FOR ANYTHING IN THE WORLD!!!

tanya
7 months and a bit
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:58 pm

September 20th, 2005, 7:43 pm #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.

PinkFlowers
Life is so much better since 2 March 2005
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Joined: January 7th, 2009, 7:21 pm

October 11th, 2005, 10:15 am #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.


Lizzie
Quit since September 13, 2004.
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Joined: January 9th, 2009, 8:56 pm

January 17th, 2006, 4:45 am #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
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

January 17th, 2006, 7:15 am #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
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

January 17th, 2006, 7:30 am #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
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Joined: January 9th, 2009, 8:31 pm

June 19th, 2006, 11:10 am #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,

Nic
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Joined: January 7th, 2009, 7:32 pm

September 12th, 2006, 3:13 am #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.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

September 12th, 2006, 3:41 am #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.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

September 12th, 2006, 3:53 am #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.
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Joined: April 4th, 2005, 7:00 am

December 30th, 2006, 11:39 pm #21

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Joined: December 19th, 2008, 12:04 am

December 31st, 2006, 1:12 am #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.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

December 31st, 2006, 1:43 am #23

POIGNANT
FORTHRIGHT
WELL SPOKEN CAROL
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
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

March 30th, 2007, 9:17 pm #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.

I HATE WITHDRAWAL.

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+)
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

March 30th, 2007, 10:03 pm #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.
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