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The temptation to smoke again?

Circe

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Apr 26, 2007
Messages
8,087
I quit smoking more than two years ago. It was tough, but I figured it was worth it - we decided to start a family, and, hey. No sacrifice too great, right?

I had my first miscarriage at 6 months: a second at 6 weeks about 7 months later; and my third a year to the day on the anniversary of the first. (I felt that was an uncalled-for bitch-slap from the universe.) I had my first cigarette in two years that night. Since then, I've gotten into the habit of allowing myself one if I'm having a bad day. I'm not smoking qua smoking again ... I'd say I've had about a pack in a month.

Nevertheless, it seems like backsliding, and ... like not a good thing. I know plenty of people who smoke at parties, but not otherwise: I know one woman who's had one cigarette a day for the last 20 years, and no more.

That said, my landlady just spotted me having one outside, and I feel ... dirty. So. Moral support for not taking up the Demon Nicotine again?

I initially used the electronic cigarette to quit, and I did order more when I started feeling the urge again. But the composition has changed, or something: the new mixture is harsh, and makes me cough. Ugh. So ... thoughts? Should I invest in a different e-cig? Sack up? Give in, and use the crutch during tough times? HELP.
 

Maria D

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 24, 2003
Messages
1,779
Circe, I'm so sorry to hear about the miscarriages. Life is not fair, that's for sure.

My opinion, as someone who has not had a cigarette in almost 20 years yet STILL has the occasional dream about smoking, is that having any amount of nicotine in the blood stream is going to lead to re-addiction. I am not kidding when I say I still have dreams about it! I'm enjoying that cigarette so much in the dream that when I wake up I'm happy I got to smoke without really smoking. I know there are people who can casually smoke -- just at parties, or a few a week. I'm not one of them. Any time I quit and then thought I could have one here or there I was eventually back to my pack and a half a day habit.

Again in my opinion, two years is not enough time to have really kicked it. I would say that it was about five years of not smoking at all until I wasn't tempted. I started smoking at age 14 and quit (for good) at 31. It was the toughest thing I've ever done. The only thing that stops me from lighting up on a "special occasion" is not wanting to go through quitting again.

I have read that it takes several tries for most people to successfully quit smoking. I hope you can consider your relapse as a bump in the road and get back to trying. It is SO worth it! I don't have any good strategies. I have asthma. What motivated me was a doctor in an emergency clinic who, during my asthma attack, talked to me about how emphysema -- which he said for me was a question of when and not if, should I continue to smoke -- would mean wheezing like that all the time, even while connected to an oxygen machine. After that it still took me about 4 more years of starting and stopping before I was an ex-smoker.

So yeah, it's a very powerful addiction. Good luck quitting!
 

hlmr

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 21, 2004
Messages
2,870
Hey Circe! Just wanted to give you some moral support with the quitting, and with having multiple miscarriages. I can identify with both, and wanted to share that I got pregnant with my son a few months after quitting cold turkey. I think that whatever works to help someone quit smoking is great, but for me, only cold turkey would do. I wish you great success in quitting smoking, and in having the family you want. :))
 

Asscherhalo_lover

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Aug 16, 2007
Messages
4,422
Hi Circe! I've been there...for sure. I have quit and restarted a few times and it has always started with just one here or there and gradually going back up to where I was. I know that after doing this a few times that I absolutely cannot smoke a cigarette at all. Not even once at a party. Some people are different and can handle one every so often but not me.

Good luck!
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,360
Circe, I am not a smoker, but I certainly know what it means to have bad health habits you fall into when times get tough. Addiction is a crutch that we lean on when the going gets rough, that's for sure. I think you should stay off the evil demon sticks for good. It is not a crutch that is helping you, but instead is just distracting you from your pain and at the same time hampering your health (and your self image it seems)! So it is not really doing you any good!

I think you need to find a different healthier crutch that will actually support you through you pain and distract you as well, but not do additional damage. A substitue behaviour, with ritual involved, and some good feelings, and also something that you can do easily in times of need. Yoga, meditation, running, solitaire, knitting, prayer, dancing like a maniac... these all come to mind. Perhaps there is something else you can think of? Then when you feel the urge to smoke, or feel overwhelmed by emotions, you have a go-to activity you can do to keep your mind and your spirit busy while you wait out the natural ebb and flow of the negative feelings ("This too shall pass" is my mantra). This is what I try to do, maybe it will help?
 

Iowa Lizzy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 2, 2008
Messages
1,667
Hi Circe! I'm getting to this thread late but I know what you're going through. I quit over two and a half years ago. I still get very tempted to smoke (if fact, I just can't watch Mad Men because it has me craving so badly) but I've been able to fight the urge.

The one thing that has helped me EVERY.SINGLE.TIME I want a cigarette is a deep breathing technique that I read about on my box of Nicoderm Patches when I was quitting.

Close your eyes. Place your hands on your stomach. Inhale deeply through your nose and feel your stomach expand under your hands. Pause for a moment when your lungs are full and slowly exhale through your mouth. Pause again when your lungs are empty and repeat. Do this as many times as it takes until you are relaxed and the craving has subsided. It can help to repeat the mantra (in your head or aloud) "the urge will pass".

I'm telling you, this breathing exercise hasn't failed me yet. I don't care if I'm at a bar and I've had a few drinks or I just had a huge meal and nothing sounds better than a big fat cigarette, I do this technique and the craving dissipates. I hope it helps you.

And I'm sending some good vibes your way. You can do it.
 

bagelboy

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 1, 2008
Messages
186
Hi Circe, Nicotine is an addictive in two ways, physically and emotionally. The physical part ends in about a month, the emotional part is why you are smoking after you had a crappy day and think that you will feel better somehow. Don't fool youself, anybody who is smoking even one cig is really still an addict to nicotine. You need to learn behavior modification. Whenever you feel an urge to light up do some thing else instead. If you are really stressed out, go for a walk, exercise is a great way to relieve stress. My favorite way was when I found a tennis practice wall nearby, and would hammer the crap out a poor little yellow ball. I stiil don't play tennis, but after chasing after that stupid ball long enough, I actually could keep the ball in play for about 10-15 minutes. I would suggest to stop using an e cig as that just reminds and reinforces that smoking habit that you are trying to kick. The deep breathing exercise works very well no matter where you are at(work, driving, shopping). Just inhale deeply, the extra oxygen that your brain gets helps you think better. Then repeat out loud "I am a NON SMOKER" The key to quitting smoking is remove ALL behaviors that you associate with smoking and relace them with another behavior. You just have to find what works for you. You can't get around feeling stressed,you CAN respond to that stess in a different way. My sister had her problems getting pregnant at first, when she was sure she was going to have to adopt and stopped trying to get pregnant and stopped being worried about evey becoming a mother... guess what? She has three kids now! She says too much stress was her problem. Just keep at it, and never light up again. If I was stupid enough to smoke one puff from a cig today, I would smoke an entire pack before midnight, it just is that addictive to me. I just learned ways to keep my demon at bay, it will always be there waiting.....Just don't keep opening that door!!!! :devil:
 

Circe

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Apr 26, 2007
Messages
8,087
Hey, guys - just thought I'd update you. I want you to know, I read and re-read all of your posts at various points, but ... I really did start smoking again, and I couldn't think of a way to justify or explain it, so I kept quiet. Sigh.

That said, I'd resolved to quit smoking again by my b-day (late February) and bought two new kinds of electronic cigarettes (sort of inadvertently - will explain below) when I had a terrible, flu-induced asthma attack this morning. My husband asked me the other day why it was so much harder for me to quit smoking this time around when the last time, I got my e-cig and never looked back, whereas this time I'd been trying to quit since the New Year and failing ... and what it boiled down to was that the last time, I'd quit because I'd been planning to get pregnant and have a baby, and, well, look how that turned out. All the good behavior in the world, and I couldn't control the outcome.

But this morning reminded me that I, you know, also value my own health, and don't particularly want to wind up with emphysema, or worse, so ... no more cigarettes, as of yesterday.

Anyway! E-cig reviews. I used N-Joy for two years quite happily, but while their customer service is still great, the quality has gone down exponentially. Sadly, I would no longer recommend them.

I tried ordering the Blu e-cig at first: I would categorically state that this one is a waste of money. The cigarette itself is flimsy, most of the cartridges were damaged, and the quality of the intact ones was sub-par.

I then ordered the Volcano Magma (I know, the name is absurd), but it didn't arrive in time for my trip to Paris, where I'd been planning to taper, so I found a place that sold e-cigs in NYC and just bought a starter pack in person. I went with the GreenSmoke cigarette on the principle that I'd heard of it before. THIS one, I would recommend enthusiastically: the battery life is awesome, the cartridges last for days on end, and the flavors are actually satisfying.

The Volcano arrived the day after I left, so I tried it on my return: it's not quite as good as the GreenSmoke, but it's considerably cheaper; I'd rank it on a par with how N-Joy used to be in its heyday.

And so! Now, on to the quitting. :geek:
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
42,064
You can do it Circe! I tried to quit so many times over the years and failed, I could never manage it until one day almost 5 years ago and I haven't smoked since!

I will be here to help you through it if you wish. It WILL be worth it, I can promise you that. Make sure you have supplies ready, gum, e-cigs, drink lots of water and have some distractions ready, music, books, TV etc and keep busy.

Remember they say the physical addiction is over quickly, the rest of it takes a bit longer but you can and will do it!!!
 

Stephan

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 13, 2003
Messages
2,917
Don't smoke any cigarette.
Just try to visualize the harm it will do to your body.
 

random_thought

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 5, 2010
Messages
1,065
Hey Circe,
I feel for ya! Maybe what helped me to quit will help you. I cut down each week by 1 cigarette. On those days I bought myself a little drink, a latte or something that made me feel like I wasn't missing out on anything. I still have cravings, I had the worst day about a week ago and dreamdt about having one as well! Also, don't feel bad if the electronic cigarettes don't work for you. Not everything is for everyone...my dad once was on the patch and I walked in on him smoking a cigarette while wearing the darn patch!! :rolleyes: I'm not sure how that didn't make him sick but obviously the patch didn't work for him lol
 

hawaiianorangetree

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
2,692
I have never smoked but my husband has. He finally quit smoking about 6 months ago and hasn't had a cigarette since. He used Champix with virtually no side effects. He was still smoking when he started the tablets and the doctor told him to keep smoking until he didnt want to. I think it took two weeks for him to decide he didn't like the smokes anymore.
To help with the cravings he started eating beef jerky. The salty taste gives his taste buds a fix of something and it also keeps his hands busy. I am so proud of him for giving it up.

He did try to give up a few years ago and started taking zyban and the side effects were horrible. He looped out a lot and got really nasty, I told him to start smoking again for all of our own sanity. :) He didn't have any of the side effects with the Champix that he had with the zyban.

I wish you all the luck in the world to find what it is that you need to quit!
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
Much sympathy here... I've given up 3 times now... once for 4 years, then for 2 and now I'm 41 days in.

It's the 'just having one at a party' that gets me every time. I started having the odd cigarette when Daisy was about 13 months and it slid to a pack every 3 days. I hated myself for smoking when I had a kid - I was always outside and not with her but even so...

I'd decided to quit cold-turkey at New Year, then I got swine flu and didn't feel well enough to drag myself outside for a fag, so I quit then and there which was so much easier than going through the whole panic of 'this is the last cigarette I will ever smoke' thing.

My main worry time was after my evening classes as some of them smoke and I was used to smoking with them. Turns out that 3 of us have all quit at the same time and that has really helped each of us stay strong in a situation that has strong smoking associations of all of us.

I've just found taking it one day at a time and sometimes just getting through the 10 minutes when a craving hits is the best way to go. I didn't get far with patches and e-cigs. Especially because they just reminded me of smoking!

Friends have recommended the Allan Carr books as being very helpful.
 

PhillYOung

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
16
If you are about to the temptation to smoke again, then control yourself not to get into that temptation.
 
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