Dealing With Emotions After Quitting Smoking

I quit smoking cigarettes 3 1/2 months ago and have been having a difficult time dealing with my emotions. Any suggestions from other ex-smokers?

Heidi from Manitowoc, WI

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August 16, 20060 found this helpful

I QUIT IN FEB.2006 I FIGHT IT DAILY.

I CONSIDER MYSELF A RECOVERING ADDICT

IT IS HARD TO BE AROUND THOSE WHO SMOKE SO I TRY NOT TO PUT MYSELF IN THE ENVIRONMENT

I HAVE TO ADMIT I'VE SLIPPED SEVERAL TIMES. BUT I KEEP HANGING IN THERE. I KNOW THERE MAY BE A TIME OR TWO DOWN THE ROAD WHERE IT MAY HAPPEN AGAIN AND IF SO I WILL DEAL WITH IT AND GO ON.

I WISH YOU ALL THE LUCK

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August 16, 20060 found this helpful

I would like to tell you a story that inspired me when I quit smoking cold turkey after 31 years. When President Dwight D. Eisenhoweer quit smoking, he was aaked by reporters if he would ever start back to smoking. His reply was, "well, I can't say that I won't start back, but I can assure you that I'll never quit again!" Since I didn't want to have to quit again, I never started back. BTW, I quit in 1988 and have never wanted another cigarette - they look stupid now! Good luck to you!

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August 16, 20060 found this helpful

When I quit smoking, I found that having a "Starlight" peppermint hard candy helped. Just pop one into your mouth when you have the "urge" and take deep breaths through your mouth with long exhales. The mint freshens your mouth and the deep breathing calms the nerves and does away with the "tense anger" you might feel at depriving yourself of the nicotine. Worked very well for me - - hope it does the same to you. My prayers and very best wishes go out to you - - I know you CAN DO IT ! ! !

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August 16, 20060 found this helpful

Congratulations! I know how hard it is. When I quit, I took B-complex vitamins whenever I felt crazy emotions bubbling up. My kids called them my B-Happy pills. They don't build up in your body but your urine will probably turn a nice yellow color. Make sure you are getting enough calcium, too. From what I understand, the nicotine withdrawal is gone by now but the emotions it was hiding are what you are dealing with now. Believe me, it will pass and things will get better than normal. I still want one at times, even after over 10 years, but all I have to do is smell them and the craving is gone in a hurry. Good luck and congratulations again. You're past the hardest part.

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August 16, 20060 found this helpful

Congratulations! You are leaving fear and embarrassment in the past, and you will have a better life, not just a longer life. But you do have to deal with emotions, because you've used cigarettes as a strategy, probably most of your adult life.

Emotions are juicy, and now you get to feel the full effect of the good ones as well as the bad ones. Remind yourself that you are fully alive now, not hiding in a cloud anymore, and you will be proud of yourself every day of your life for getting through this moment.

Apologize to your friends and family, tell them your brain is healing and just like your finger doesn't work with a paper cut, your brain doesn't work right while healing.

I have a course online that has lots of help for you, and it's free. Just Google "SmokeFree Star" and it will be the first thing to come up.

Good luck to you. All of the problems are temporary, the benefits are permanent.

I'd be happy to answer any questions as you go along. I've been helping people quit since 1983.

email me at Jeneene at fuse dot net or at the email address at SmokeFree Star.

Get all the help you need, you still get ALL the credit.

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August 16, 20060 found this helpful

Heidi,

You have done a great thing!! Don't give up. I agree with the previous posters' good advice, but would add one more thing. Toss the money you would have spent on cigarettes into a jar. Do this religiously. When it adds up, and it WILL, do something nice for yourself, or your family or a loved friend.

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August 16, 20060 found this helpful

EXERCISE!!! They have found that excercise is one of the most effective natural ways in dealing with depression and anxiety related to quitting smoking. There may also be some support at your local hospital, university or menatl health center, the tobacco agencies have had to pay lots of $$$ to help people quit and you can even get FREE patches, gum and/or prescriptions to help take the edge off those emotions while your body recovers from the addiction.

Best of luck to you and it may be hard now but you can do it!! I have also heard that the only thing harder to quit than smoking is heroine....So keep it up!

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August 16, 20060 found this helpful

When you come to that time of day that you are struggling with your emotions, take yourself off to a quiet place and write down your feeling in a journal/diary. Pour out your frustrations into this 'time capsule' and reflect on it often as to the yard stick for how far you have come. One day at a time, even one minute at a time. Congratulations on your life altering choice, well done, you have done your body a favour, your own family and your great grandchildren, whom although they might not be thought of yet, will have had a healthy and excellent role model in the form of a non smoking grandparent/parent. You are an INSPIRATION.

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August 16, 20060 found this helpful

also try cinnamon altoids.these helped me not want nicotine.i was incredibily grumpy when quitting.but i figure it better to be grumpy than dead from lung cancer and i warned all my friends and co workers i was quitting and all have been supportive. i ever got a lecture from a co workers when i fell off the wagon and smoked 1.his lecture(although friendly) was sincere and worse than having to tell my dear hubby.but i'm hanging in there. and with the support of all your friends,family co workers and us thrifty's we will help you get through this.it's tough but worth it.

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August 16, 20060 found this helpful

Find something you really like to do, read, walk, bike

etc or punch a punching bag to get through frustrations. You can do it. My dad quit in 1984 and he smoked since WWII. He never smoked again.

He made it seem so easy and I know how hard it

is seeing my friends quit. Tell yourself you can and

post positive notes around. I am cheering for YOU!

So good luck.

Annie

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August 17, 20060 found this helpful

Check out www.quitnet.com. It has been a big help tp me. Good luck.

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August 17, 20060 found this helpful

Congrats..on a very emotional and big step in a new healthy lifestyle. I quit 3 years ago and I am so happy I did. I went cold turkey. I smoked since I was 10 years old(yeah I know...I am horrified by it too) I am now 52. My one and only granddaughter who is now 3 was the reason behind my quitting. When she was born she had a breathing problem and was on some kind of a breathing machine. She was coming to live here with her parents and I made a concience choice to quit so I would not make it harder on her to struggle to breathe. It was very hard but I got through it and so did my granddaughter...she is no longer on the machine and she is a vibrant healthy 3 year old with a lot of spunk. I still want a ciggarette every now and then until I get up next to some one who is smoking and go YUCK! I can't believe how much they stink and how much your clothes smell too,. My doctor told me that it takes 7 years for your lungs to completely heal and clear up from the effects of smoking. Within that 7 yrs you can still develop cancer and other health related problems. But your chances of that goes down considerably with each day you don't smoke.

Well I hope this info helps you and I know you can do it...just hang in there ok. All the people here who posted are all with you .

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August 17, 20060 found this helpful

My husband and I both quit smoking in January of this year. It has not been easy, but certainly is worth it, both for health and money. We went cold turkey. I think any crutches make it harder to adjust to being without it. Exercise is a good helper. You just have to get through it.

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August 18, 20060 found this helpful

I DIDN'T GO COLD TURKEY . I USED THE PATCHES BUT I DON'T BELIEVE THEY WERE A "CRUTCH" AFTER 22 YEARS OF SMOKING I KNEW I WANTED TO QUIT. THE PATCHES JUST MADE IT EASIER.I HOWEVER DID CUT THE AMOUNT OF NICOTINE IN THE PATCHES DOWN SOONER THAN WAS REQUIRED. I WAS TO USE THE 22MG FOR A MONTH THEN THE 14MG THEN THE 7 MG FOR A MONTH. I DID EACH PATCH FOR 10 DAYS THEN WAS FINE AFTER THAT.KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. IT TAKES TIME BUT YOU CAN DO IT. I TAKE 1 DAY AT A TIME AS WOULD ANY RECOVERING ADDICT WOULD DO. AS NICOTINE IS ADDICTIVE. I CONSIDER MYSELF A FORMER ADDICT.SO NO MATTER HOW YOU QUIT,PATCHES,COLD TURKEY ETC JUST BE PROUD THAT YOU DID IT

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August 19, 20060 found this helpful

Ask you doctor about using a catapres patch. It is actually medicine for blood pressure - but it does wonders on calming your nerves.

My doctor told me what side effects might be, but he would give me a prescription, anything to get me to quit. (ha ha)

Anyway it got me over the hard times.

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August 21, 20060 found this helpful

I quit in '84 and literally have never craved one after the first 2 weeks. I will not say it was easy-- no way. I made myself make several promises. One was to put that money in an IRA. I was able to retire two years early-- not just the cig money-- but as I saw how much was adding up-- put more in.

Medically, the nicotine is out of your body in maybe 11 days-- the psychological hangup is, I think, the worst part. I quit coffee-- cigs and coffee went together-- I could drink tea with no problems. I changed friends from smokers to non-smokers--I resolved that I WOULD NOT let a weed rule my life. I also knew that tobacco is sprayed with all sorts of chemicals that when burned, made the tobacco even more likely to cause cancer-- and I didn't think there were elves out every night cleaning chemicals off the leaves-- do you?

So-- Welcome!! look at the good-- remember the very bad! We are all glad there is one more non-smoker.

prayers for you.

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September 12, 20060 found this helpful

You all have given helpful feedback. Thanks I'd like to think things are getting

easier now that I'm off all medications. Wellbutrin really helped me with

cravings but did a number on my emotions. Went on another anti-depressant

and had no luck that way either. I'm now trying to get back into my exercise

routine, cardio,yoga,meditation. I quit everything for the past 2 months because

I was so depressed. Still having a difficult time sorting thru my emotions,, it's

real eyeopening to see how nicotine was a hinder on reality for me. I just

hope I get back what I had without the nicotine real soon. I've also

been trying vitamin B to help my emotions. It's only been a few days so I

don't know if it'll help. But there has to be something to help besides

cigs don't you think? I've heard of people flipping out after surgery but

not from quitting smoking. I'm just trying to remember it's all happening

for a reason and that I will be so much stronger when it passes. Right?

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November 26, 20070 found this helpful

I have smoked since I was 12 ~ I'm now 44 & quit on May 11th of this year. I had planned to quit, then lost my Dad unexpectedly & so I prolonged it one month. I was able to quit, with the patch for three months. After two more deaths in my family I started again.

Well here I am again! It's been two weeks, I'm on the patch again but my emotions are crazy. HELP!

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December 7, 20070 found this helpful

Three and a half months is not enough time to break the bond. Smokers use smoking to control emotions, and now that control is gone!. Obviously the smoking never really controlled your emotions, but instead attached a deeply ingrained signature, that can only be broken with time and quitting smoking. Now when you get mad you get madder etc because you have no cigarette.

Taking the times i have quit for just one day out etc. I would say i seriously tried to quit about 5 or 6 times. The sooner you do the better it is. I finally quit feb 1 of 2007 after just over 30 years. I had an added push of having about a 30 second extreme angina attack(heart) while in bed. I woke up to having the tightness and pain. As funny as it is smoking is such a hard thing to break, many of your friends will probably still be smoking even while attending your funeral for a smoking related illness. I waited 2 more days still having a few butts to make it feb 1 even.

Won't be long now for one year. You just gotta keep going. Read whatever you can find online, no matter how repetitive. check out the whyquit.com site. There are many more support groups on this subject out there. 1 billion addicted smokers in the world, and it really is a disgusting and costly habit.

Good luck all.

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March 4, 20080 found this helpful

I am my full first day of not smoking. I haven't had a smoke since yesterday afternoon. I find myself very angry. I find that the coffee drive-thru is taking to long, and that my spouse doesn't think before he speaks. I know everyday is going to get better, but, I need to get through today and this feels harder than the actual decision of quitting smoking.

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June 4, 20130 found this helpful

It has been said that giving up smoking is akin to giving up heroine. Smokers "suck" their emotions down and emotions are then amplified because not expressed. I gave up smoking one day at a time...sometimes one hour at a time or a couple of minutes.

I would give myself permission to smoke tomorrow or this afternoon or in a couple of hours and when that time came, I'd extend the time. My ego was running me and was very rebellious and "giving up" something "forever" seemed too daunting...thus the permission to smoke allowed me to cope with the cravings.

I also carried a pack of cigarettes and a lighter with me at all times. This helped me to know that "I could" smoke if I choose to do it...again, that permission gave me the ability to ride the waves of cravings. I made it without a cigarette through the holidays and my birthday and it got easier.

I also started to express myself through conscious dialogue rather than eruping like a volcano with all of my suppressed emotions. If you look up conscious dialogue in your browser, you'll find suggestions. When I did feel like I was going to erupt, I left the situation and went somewhere to calm myself down with deep breathing or screaming at the top of my lungs when in my car. Participating in a screaming match with anyone would have sent me back to smoking so I made sure that I isolated myself until in better control of my actions.

It sucks (pun intended) to have to give up the comfort and ritual of smoking...so another suggestion is to do for someone else...your children, your spouse, your friends, your dog/cat...whatever works. If you do have a cigarette, simply note that, love yourself, and renew your intention to stop.

Avoid criticizing yourself and do not let anyone else criticize you either. This is your journey and it can be done making mistakes...just keep renewing your intention and allowing each moment to be a new opportunity. You can do it!

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