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Advice and help needed from FReepers who've managed to quit smoking
me ^ | 4OVT11 | self

Posted on 10/04/2011 7:53:55 AM PDT by Marie

In January, I'm planning on having a major surgery and I cannot have this operation until I quit smoking.

I've been trying to quit for the last 17 years and I haven't been able to make it for more than a month.

I can get past the immediate horror of it all. I'm using Chantix to help me with that. (Chantix was the easiest way to quit that I've found so far.)

But what always gets me are the 'crazies that don't go away. Even after the habit is broken - after the cravings are gone - I find myself in a constant low-level anxiety. Grumpy. Pissy. Snapping.

The closest thing that I can relate it to is a state of constant PMS. Only it doesn't go away after 2 or 3 days. Noises are grating and too loud. everyone is getting on my nerves. I'm nervous and anxious all the time.

The thing that gets me, where I fall, is that I don't know how long this will last. How long I have to endure. I end up picking up a cigarette just to put an end this crap - and it's usually an act of mercy for my family. It really is a form of insanity.

I know that I'm not the only smoker that's gone through this. How long does this last? (I know that it's more than a month because I've made it for a month before.) What medications have worked for you? Are there any herbs or vitamins that I should try?

When will I be calm and happy again?

I've already had my dr put in a referral for a mental health professional, but it's going to take two months to get an appointment.

Please. ANY advice or insight would be helpful.

TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Health/Medicine; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: addiction; advice; pufflist; quitting; smoking; vanity
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To: Marie

You NEED to exercise and you will not gain weight. And I mean real exercise, not slow walks around the neighborhood. If I could only get my own wife to come to this conclusion.

21 posted on 10/04/2011 8:12:01 AM PDT by wolfman23601
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To: Marie

I quit 20 some years ago cold turkey with God’s prodding in my heart that I could be dying already from it. He carried me through the first really hard week because I promised Him I would not smoke, and a vow to God is not broken without serious consequence.

After that, I would say it took about a month, and I counted the days as if they were points. At some point, perhaps a year or so, I forgot about it.

For the instant interval, remember you only have to quit one day at at time. Ask God for perseverance. Take vitamin C and drink lots of water for cleansing. Count each day as a victory.

Know that you will suffer, but this suffering is temporary, and of your choosing, rather than an illness not of your choosing.

22 posted on 10/04/2011 8:12:10 AM PDT by esquirette ("Our hearts are restless until they find rest in Thee." ~ Augustine)
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To: Marie
We have family and friends who've quit, some cold turkey, some with meds. Some still have cravings, some don't. Surround yourself with folks who don't smoke, especially at first. Cigarette ordors on clothes, in homes, in cars can make cravings worse. Have you got someone to buddy up with, someone you call call, hang with if cravings get bad? If not, see if you can find one. As for food, sugar free hard candy has worked for ours, also crunchy raw fruit and veggies to nosh on. Not sure why the crunchy part worked for them, it just did. Also, if you have a hobby that occupies your hands, indulge in it. If you don't, try to find one. As for professional advice, you might ask your doc is there are any smokers anonymous groups local to you. And a link that might help....

Guide to Quitting Smoking

Good luck, Marie! We'll keep you in our prayers :)

23 posted on 10/04/2011 8:12:34 AM PDT by mewzilla (Forget a third party. We need a second one.)
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To: Marie

Take warm baths or showers to relax, exercise more frequently and change your habits when you most desire a cigarette; talking on the phone, coffee in the morning, after dinner ... Go for a walk instead. The increase in activity will counter the usual weight gain.

24 posted on 10/04/2011 8:13:31 AM PDT by maggief
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To: Marie

Try kava kava

It’s an herbal de-stressor. I used it for PMS when I had it and for when my sister-in-law came to visit (more stress than you can possible imagine). You may have to order it online as most herbal shops don’t carry it anymore.

Help me, but as always YMMV

25 posted on 10/04/2011 8:15:22 AM PDT by KosmicKitty (WARNING: Hormonally crazed woman ahead!!)
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To: Marie

Hello, Marie! I have not experienced quitting smoking but I want to let you know that I am praying for you.

I pray that the Holy Spirit comes to you when you struggle in this process and soothe your fears and nerves and take away all of your discomfort.

I pray that you trust God to help you help yourself.

I pray that you will be gentle with yourself in your experience and when you feel overwhelmed, that you will quiet your spirit for a minute and turn to God when you feel upset, knowing He loves you and wants you for Himself.

I want you to have faith that He forgives all your repented sin through Jesus and that you are renewed, clean and beautiful to Him. Jesus did not lie when He told you about that forgiveness and God does not make junk. He made you precious and you are precious. All things are possible through His love.

Amen and Love,

It’s great that you lost 60 pounds!

26 posted on 10/04/2011 8:15:36 AM PDT by SaraJohnson
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To: humblegunner

St. Johns Wart for calming and a good vitamin B complex.

27 posted on 10/04/2011 8:16:06 AM PDT by hope
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To: Marie

Chandix is good.
Go get some nicotine lozenges. I know people say that you don’t get off the nicotine, but are you trying to quit smoking or nic? Quit smoking then wean yourself off the lozenges.

There are many triggers to smoking. Getting on the phone, driving in the car, finishing a meal. You need to break those habits before you can wean off the nicotine. Once you find yourself not totally jonesing for the smoke, then start counting out the lozenges and use one less a day. The nic addiction will take longer than losing cigarettes. Don’t sweat that.

Take VERY deep breaths. Whenever you want a smoke, take a very deep breath. Your lungs are used to doing that. They will feel better with a stretch.

All the best, Dear Heart.

28 posted on 10/04/2011 8:16:11 AM PDT by netmilsmom (Happiness is a choice)
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To: DallasDeb
The part about “praying”, thats true, you need all the help you can get, remember this, however you feel, it will pass. Keep notes in a little notebook, about all the “cons” of smoking, and from time to time go back and re-read them. It will be a long time befor you completly shake the “curse” but each minute, hour, day, week, month and year you make it is a blessing. Trying numerous times is not uncommon, it is not easy but in the long run, it's worth the effort. When all is said and done the best way to “quit”, is just “quit”.
29 posted on 10/04/2011 8:17:14 AM PDT by Gertie
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Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

To: Marie
Maybe you should try something other than Chantix (Varenicline) to help you quit. See

Some people have had changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, and suicidal thoughts (thinking about harming or killing oneself or planning or trying to do so) while taking varenicline. The role of varenicline in causing these mood changes is unclear since people who quit smoking with or without medication may experience changes in their mental health due to nicotine withdrawal. However, some of these symptoms occurred in people who were taking varenicline and continued to smoke. Some people had these symptoms when they began taking varenicline, and others developed them after several weeks of treatment or after stopping varenicline. These symptoms have occurred in people without a history of mental illness and have worsened in people who already had a mental illness. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had depression, bipolar disorder (mood that changes from depressed to abnormally excited), schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions), or other mental illnesses. If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop taking varenicline and call your doctor immediately: suicidal thoughts or actions; new or worsening depression, anxiety, or panic attacks; agitation; restlessness; angry or violent behavior; acting dangerously; mania (frenzied, abnormally excited mood or talking); abnormal thoughts or sensations; hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist); feeling that people are against you; feeling confused; or any other sudden or unusual changes in behavior, thinking, or mood. Be sure that your family or caregiver knows which symptoms may be serious so they can call the doctor if you are unable to seek treatment on your own. Your doctor will monitor you closely until your symptoms get better.

31 posted on 10/04/2011 8:18:36 AM PDT by RightGeek (FUBO and the donkey you rode in on)
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To: Doogle

I would have died had I not stopped.
I started aerobic (treadmill)and weights. I have a bit of a weight problem but this has made all of my tests better than normal. I can’t stand the smell now, really.
I work out at a private (no cost to me) workout room, and it is now a habit. I do it at 5:30 AM so I can be at work at 8 AM. Work at your own pace and make this a fundamental part of your life. You will be able to substitute a better well being for your habit. Best of luck and prayers to you.

32 posted on 10/04/2011 8:19:46 AM PDT by Shady (The undeniable truth of the Obama Administration...The numbers do not lie.)
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To: Marie

I have quit smoking before. Lasted over 5 years.
I can tell you from experience that the only way to do it is cold turkey... NO DRUGS!

The “crazies” only last a few days to a week or more depending on how much nicotine is in your system.
Once it is out, that is no longer a problem.

However, the urge to smoke a cigarette never really goes away, and comes back at very infrequent times. The longer you go, the less frequent they become, and the less intense... but no more crazies.

I would submit that when you lost it at 4 weeks, you almost had it whipped. For me, one of the things that got me through the crazies was swearing to myself that I would not ever go through them again... but after 5 years when I thought i had it totally whipped, I had a short bout of depression + an unexpected urge that put me over the edge again. I could have resisted, but mistakenly thought that just one cigarette would not throw me back into addiction... and it did. MOST of the addiction is psychological. The crazies go away and stay away fairly quickly... the desire to smoke never does.

The biggest factor that allowed me to stop for 5 years initially was my plea and prayer to God to free me from it.
What a DOPE I was to start again after He answered my prayer!

33 posted on 10/04/2011 8:19:54 AM PDT by Safrguns
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To: Marie
As I understand the cigarette habit is twofold, one the physical addiction to nicotine and the habit of smoking. I finally quit in 1989, after 19 years a pack a day smoker. The nicotine was the easy part.

At times I will find myself wanting to do something, and realizing it is the habit which never really goes away completely, but it does get easier as time goes by.

NEVER give in, you have come this far.

To help with the crazies try vitamin B complex, calming teas like chamomile, and keep yourself busy. Exercise by walking if you can. Stay off the caffeine, try not to drink alcohol which for smokers you usually want light up when you drink. It's an association thing.

I gained 20 pounds the first month, gained about another 20 in the first year. For me those 40 pounds is still an issue I struggle with, not really sure it's related to smoking any more.

Good luck!

34 posted on 10/04/2011 8:20:05 AM PDT by lula ("The TRUTH has no agenda" Glenn Beck)
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To: Marie

I used Zyban with no nicotine replacement and wouldn’t recommend that if you are seriously addicted to nicotine. If you are, also use a nicotine replacement.

I quit 10 years ago after being a 2-2 1/2 a day smoker, all the way to the filter.

It took approximately 2 weeks for the actual physical symptoms to go away and the moodiness lasted about a month.

The weight gain was about 15lbs. I’m short so it looked like more. Allow yourself to eat if it means not smoking. I did drink a lot of tea and water and remember that to be an excellent distraction.

Make new habits. If you would sit at your table and smoke in the morning, don’t sit at the table, sit outside, sit in the family room, go to a diner for coffee. If you smoked while you drove put something with a very strong flavor in your mouth, mint, gum, candy, whatever.

Quitting was very hard for me. I tried quite a few times before it stuck.

My best piece of advice that got me through the difficult periods AND the easy periods was advice I received from a long-time smoker that quit.

Instead of looking forward to your long-term goal, talk to yourself and convince yourself you can get through the next MINUTE when you’re ready to cave and have a cigarette or your mood is tanking. After that minute is up, talk yourself through the next minute.

When you get yourself through the really difficult times with the thought in mind that you CAN make it through the next MINUTE you’ll find the minutes become easier.

Best of luck and God bless!

35 posted on 10/04/2011 8:20:58 AM PDT by GracieB
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To: Gertie

I said just “quit”.. I would also add, chew lots of flavored sugar free gum, lots of it, that will solve the weight and oral desire.

36 posted on 10/04/2011 8:21:35 AM PDT by Gertie
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To: Marie
Here is how I did it. First off, understand it isn't just the nicotine. There is also a habit that has to be figured into quitting, so it is also a process of breaking that habit.

I cut down to 1 an hour with that you are also breaking a habit. I did that for several months. Then I cut down to 1 every hour and a half. I did that for about a month. Then I went cold turkey. There is about 3 days of withdrawal from the nicotine. Also, expect weight gain. Once, you've truly passed the stress of the habit and the nicotine. It will be easy to lose the weight you've gained.

37 posted on 10/04/2011 8:22:03 AM PDT by shield ((Rev 2:9 Woe unto those who say they are Judahites and are not, but are of the syna GOG ue of Satan.)
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To: Marie

Tried everything to quit for many years with no results. Don’t know about your religious beliefs but I’ll pass on to you what happened to me.

In November of 99 I was at a one-week counseling session in Cape Cod, Mass. On the last night the pastor in charge asked me for one thing that the Lord could do for me. I told him I wanted to quit smoking. He prayed and I haven’t smoked since.

Btw, smoking is an oral fixation so replace the cigarette with a toothpick or a carrot stick until you get over the urge to smoke. All the best to you on your quest.


38 posted on 10/04/2011 8:23:27 AM PDT by Bed_Zeppelin
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To: Marie

Oh, and get a Niacin supplement. (but watch the flush that comes from it. It’s wacky but harmless)
Many times your body can be tricked into believing it is getting nicotine when you take Niacin. They are chemically very close.

39 posted on 10/04/2011 8:24:15 AM PDT by netmilsmom (Happiness is a choice)
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To: Marie
I quit cold turkey 25 years ago. Exercise, exercise, and more exercise helped me. I also chewed on Cinnamon toothpicks a lot! I did gain about 15 pounds but dieted and lost it the next year. good luck!
40 posted on 10/04/2011 8:24:26 AM PDT by ladyvet ( I would rather have Incitatus then the asses that are in congress today.)
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