What was your biggest fear when quitting?

What was your biggest fear when quitting?

John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

27 Aug 2003, 20:29 #1

What was your biggest
fear when quitting?
Fear breeds anxiety and needless fear can make not putting nicotine back into these bodies seem far more challenging than need be. Many new quitters looking in may have fears or concerns that were very similar to yours. In an attempt to aid them in overcoming their fears:
1. What was your biggest fear when quitting?

2. How did you overcome it?

3. What did you learn in the process?
Here's a link summary to the group's responses thus far
  • Message 1 A fear of a completely different lifestyle change
  • Message 2 A fear of losing my best friend and companion
  • Message 3 A fear I'd succeed
  • Message 4 A fear of failure
  • Message 5 A fear of losing my best friend
  • Message 6 A fear of myself
  • Message 7 A fear cold turkey was going to be miserable
  • Message 8 A fear of losing my desire to continue
  • Message 9 A fear of weight gain
  • Message 10 A fear I couldn't cope with life
  • Message 11 A fear of not being able to function
  • Message 12 A fear of going on with life
  • Message 14 A fear I'd be too late
  • Message 15 A fear I'd succeed then relapse
  • Message 16 A fear of how do I live without you
  • Message 17 A fear I'd have permanent damage
  • Message 18 A fear I won't make it
  • Message 19 A fear I won't be the same person
  • Message 20 A fear I was one of those people who couldn't quit
  • Message 21 A fear I'd fail
  • Message 22 A fear that all of you were different than me
  • Message 23 Of living without cigarettes
  • Message 24 Telling my smoking friends that I'd quit
  • Message 25 A fear of failure
  • Message 26 I was scared of everything
  • Message 27 A fear it wouldn't get easier
  • Message 28 A fear of the type of person I'd be without nicotine
  • Message 29 A fear it was going to hurt
  • Message 31 A fear the first three days would be horrible
  • Message 32 A fear of putting myself through withdrawal again
  • Message 33 A fear it would always feel like the first few hours
  • Message 34 A fear I hadn't quit in time
  • Message 35 A fear withdrawal would last weeks or months
  • Message 37 A fear I was too late and would die early like mother
  • Message 38 A fear of success - Joel
  • Message 39 A fear I'd succeed and never be able to have another
  • Message 40 A fear of becoming irritable and short with those closest
  • Message 41 A fear life would be completely unbearable
  • Message 43 A fear I'd never learn the lesson never take another puff
  • Message 44 Of failing a millionth time, disappointing family & friends
  • Message 45 A fear quitting would change me in a negative way
  • Message 46 A fear I could quit for a little while but not long
  • Message 47 A fear of both failure and success
  • Message 48 A fear of losing something special
  • Message 49 A fear of misery
  • Message 49 A fear I'd get a related disease or have a stroke
  • Message 50 A fear I would never discover the lesson NTAP
  • Message 51 A fear quitting would hurt too much and I'd give up
  • Message 52 A fear I was already seriously ill and wouldn't improve
  • Message 53 A fear I was doomed to the dust heap of failure
  • Message 55 A fear of the unknown, of entering uncharted territory
  • Message 56 A fear of failure and that I still will
  • Message 57 A fear of failure and the humiliation it would bring
  • Message 58 A mistaken belief I'd lose a major pleasure in life
  • Message 60 A fear of losing my reward after completing a task
  • Message 61 A fear craves wouldn't end, a lesson NRT taught me
  • Message 62 A fear I didn't understand craves & couldn't navigate them
  • Message 63 A fear of forgetting I was quitting and messing up
  • Message 64 A fear that I would lose my sense of "self"
  • Message 65 A fear concentration would make it impossible to work
  • Message 66 A fear of a lifetime craves that I'd never be able to fulfill
  • Message 67 A fear I wouldn't be me any longer
  • Message 68 A fear of gaining weight
Last edited by John (Gold) on 09 Mar 2009, 12:22, edited 7 times in total.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:52

27 Aug 2003, 20:55 #2

Ok, I'll try.
1. My biggest fear when quitting was the completely different lifestyle change. All of my friends smoke. Peer pressure, yes even among us late 30 somethings was a hurdle that needed to be overcome. In my previous quits, the times I would go back to smoking was when we were with friends. Never when I was alone.
I also could not imagine life without smoking. Smoking defined where I was in my day. Morning, break times, evenings. I honestly felt like I couldn't have fun without smoking!!!!
Weight gain!! As a vain woman in mid life weight gain was also a very scary issue. I know how I am, and I knew I would reward myself with food. I read and read on this site about the weight gain issue.

2. How I overcame my first fear? Willpower there. I was unwilling to change friends, so had to change my mind set. It was hard the first month, but now is so easy to be with the smoking friends.
The life-style change? Well, I have to admit that this is one I am still working on. I love my smoke free lifestyle, but even now still have times when I think I would like to light one up. As soon as this thought enters my mind though, I know it would be totally gross and I wouldn't like it at all.
Weight gain? Well I did gain about 10 pounds, but I have finally plateued and now I am exercising, so I feel much better about that.

3. What did I learn in the process? Mind over matter is the most important thing in my opinion when dealing with breaking this addiction. Education is also empowering. I learned that I am a much stronger person than I felt I could ever be. I am now not embarrased when meeting new people, taking care of my patients, or hanging out with my children. I have gained some assertiveness that I never thought I had, I do not tolerate injustices toward me that I did when I was smoking.
I breath 100% better. I have more money.

I am so proud of myself for quitting and my co-workers, family members and friends are proud of me also. This has been wonderful, but I never want to go through it again. It has been a great learning process, and you get to really know yourself without the smoke -screen.

One month, two weeks, six days, 11 hours, 17 minutes and 7 seconds. 1235 cigarettes not smoked, saving $216.17. Life saved: 4 days, 6 hours, 55 minutes.

Shinelady Gold3282003
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

27 Aug 2003, 21:42 #3

John, I would have to say that my biggest fear was losing my best friend and companion. I didn't know how I would be able to get through my day from beginning to end without my cigarette. After all, hadn't my cigarettes always been there for me through thick and thin? That was my junkie thinking. I came here and read and read...... I began reading articles like :
"My cigarette, my friend"
Emotional loss experienced when quitting
After reading those articles, I began to see the clear picture of my addiction and I began to realize that I wasn't losing anything at all. I realized that I had so much to gain. Afterall, my so called friend and companion was beginning to become my worst enemy. My wake up call was finding out I have stage 1 emphysema. Now, I only wish I had done this long ago. I hope anyone looking in will make the decision to quit today. You won't be losing your best friend. You will be living with the rewards that come with a successful quit... I will never take another puff.....

Four months, four weeks, one day, 15 hours, 47 minutes and 40 seconds. 6066 cigarettes not smoked, saving $876.34. Life saved: 3 weeks, 1 hour, 30 minutes.

MareBear GOLD
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

27 Aug 2003, 21:56 #4

Good morning John!
My biggest fear was not failure, it was that I would succeed, but that I would forever be craving a cigarette. Unfortunately I'd conditioned myself to fear quitting because I never really quit before. I always caved before the 2nd day was over.

I overcame that fear by sticking to these message boards and reading until I thought my eyes would explode. And the more I read, the more people I met that had been through what I was going through, and I saw the light at the end of the tunnel.

What I learned in the process is that my anxiety compounded my fear, which kept me actively addicted long after that first moment I realized I needed to stop smoking (around age 22!!). I learned that comfort really would (and did) come, and that education is the key to staying quit. I am so very glad I found this group.

MareBear Image
Free (and still learning) for: 1 Year 2 Months 4 Weeks 1 Day 12 Hours. Not smoked: 9110. Money saved: $1,594.29. Life Saved: 1 Month 15 Hours 10 Minutes.
Last edited by MareBear GOLD on 07 Mar 2009, 14:50, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

27 Aug 2003, 23:18 #5

John, my biggest fear was failure. but here i am 81 days later still smoke free and so very proud of myself. and the weight gain but i am excersing 4 days a week to take off the 10 pounds i gained.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:14

27 Aug 2003, 23:22 #6

Hi John. I had two big fears. First was losing my best friend - who was always there for me and fear of failure. I felt that this was my last chance to quit and if I didn't succeed this time, I would never quit. I carry the article "My Cigarette - My Friend" with me and read it often. It took a while, but cigarettes were never my friend, they were my emotional crutch. As for failure, I just took it one day at a time, sometimes even shorter periods than that, and eventually the days became weeks, then months and now I'm reaching toward the gold ring. I learned that I have more strength than I thought I had and life, even with its ups and downs, is much better without smoking. Sheila
Nine months, five days, 3 hours, 20 minutes and 46 seconds. 3893 cigarettes not smoked, saving $681.34. Life saved: 1 week, 6 days, 12 hours, 25 minutes.

SandyBob GOLD
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:08

27 Aug 2003, 23:25 #7

Hi John -

My biggest fears:

Fear of failure
Fear of success
Fear of myself

In my smoking history I had 2 previous quit attempts.

The first time I had tried to quit on my own was about 12 years ago, cold turkey. Day 3 I caved. I had gotten darn near impossible to live or work with. I was explosive, crying, screaming, an emotional wreck. I didn't like myself at all. I started smoking again.

The second attempt was about 8 years ago with the aid of the "patch". I had actually stopped smoking for almost 6 months. I didn't know the law of addiction. I took a puff!

The education and support here is what finally worked.

Seeing all the other quitters on the board experiencing the same things I was. I didn't feel isolated. I had a place to go to do my venting and ranting, without attacking my co-workers or family. I gave myself time to recover from the short 3 day withdrawal process, and slowly began to discover that I was less tense, less explosive, and actually achieved a level of calmness I could never have imagined!

And I learned real patience for the first time.

And I was meeting folks here that had been quit for over 6 months! A year? 2 years and more? And talking about Comfort? They all kept saying the same thing? I had to give it a try again.

The educational materials available regarding the withdrawal process and maintaining my quit is invaluable.

So, as time progressed, I got over my fears of failure and success. I had some great role models to follow! And as I am getting to know the old me, buried under 30+ years of addiction, I am finding that I really like myself.

Fear is so paralyzing. But confronting those fears was the most empowering experience! And it applies to everything in my life now.

Any lurkers out there - come on, join this great group of quitters - it really does feel absolutely wonderful to be FREE from the chains of addiction!

Newbies - hang in there. One Day at a Time it continues to get better! It is a journey that you will never regret!

1 year, 2 months+

SmokeFree2003 GREEN
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:01

27 Aug 2003, 23:39 #8

1. I think my biggest fear when quitting was that cold turkey was going to be miserable, that I couldn't make it without nicotine replacement.
2. LOL-I guess I overcame it by taking the plunge and quitting cold turkey. I had never quit this way before, so it was a fear of the unknown. As cliche as it may sound, it's true: the only way to overcome fear of the unknown is to confront it. I confronted that fear by quitting~taking action.
3. What did I learn in the process? I learned what all of us here at Freedom have learned. Cold turkey is much less uncomfortable than drawing out withdrawal by stringing along our inner junkie on miniature doses of nicotine. I read it somewhere in the Freedom message boards-cigarettes are just one way to deliver nicotine. We are not addicted to cigarettes-we are addicted to nicotine (also delivered to us thru nicotine replacement.) Why would we continue to feed the junkie part of us that we are trying to starve into remission? Anyone who is considering quitting, know this: Cold turkey is not as painful as you may think! I've quit both ways~and this final quit has been by far, the least uncomfortable. The rewards GREATLY outnumber the temporary discomfort of the first 72 hours.
Please join us here at Freedom if you're thinking about quitting or new in your quit. It's like that American Lung Society saying, "You might just save a life-YOUR OWN." It's never too late to quit.
Chris - Loving Not Smoking For Thirty Days, 13 Hours and 37 Minutes
Life Saved: 2 Days and 2 Hours, by avoiding the use of 611 sickarettes that would have cost me $122.43.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:47

28 Aug 2003, 01:43 #9

John, I have to say that, as a newbie, I am still dealing with my biggest fear: loss of desire Image.
I am afraid that I will wake up tomorrow (or some day in the future) - and not care about my quit anymore - that the junkie side of me will hijack my mind, and convince me that "I am not really that interested in quitting... so, might as well smoke!"
ImageI am confident that this will never happen as long as I reaffirm my commitment EVERY DAY to never introduce nicotine into my body. I read every day and go over my list of quit reasons to support my desire to quit. I work at it every day... and so far have celebrated 18 days of freedom - my longest stretch w/out nicotine - EVER! Image
Laura :)
Two weeks, three days, 20 hours, 43 minutes and 22 seconds. 357 cigarettes not smoked, saving $116.11. Life saved: 1 day, 5 hours, 45 minutes.
Last edited by LFischerGOLD on 07 Mar 2009, 14:58, edited 1 time in total.

ComicForces GOLD
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:02

28 Aug 2003, 02:40 #10

John, what a great idea. Here I go:

1. My greatest fear was the fear of gaining weight.

2. I overcame the fear of gaining weight by exercising on a regular basis. I decided to start the fitness and healthy eating lifestyle right at the same time as I started the smoke-free lifestyle. In the beginning of my quit, I didn't sit still much after meals, either!

3. In the process, I learned that smoking didn't have a whole lot to do with my gaining or losing weight…or my staying thin….or whatever I thought smoking did. (I really, before I quit, thought that chain smoking after every meal was the only way to eat what I wanted and be trim…this is an easy rationalization to adopt when you're too lazy to get out there and do anything…or when you can't breath clearly enough to do anything.) I learned that there are so many healthful ways to keep yourself looking good. I learned that no matter what, there's no question that as a non-smoker, I look way more healthy than I EVER did as a smoker. I can even tell the difference between now and then in PICTURES. I now have a glow to my face…in my skin tone and even in my expressions…since I quit. I put on a baithing suit for the first time this summer, when I had been about 4 months into my quit, and I saw some love handles. But, I truly, genuinely felt good. I learned that once you don't have to deal with the guilt and irrational thoughts associated with smoking, and once you dive into a new, healthier lifestyle, that it really is hard NOT to feel good about yourself. I realized that what makes me happy is to look and feel HEALTHY, not look and feel SKINNY, if that makes any sense. I don't even THINK about grabbing for cigs after a big meal anymore.

I hope this helps some people… I NEVER thought I'd conquer this fear. Never.

6 months 6 days