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General : 38 DAYS and it is getting harder  
 Message 1 of 8 in Discussion 
From: Joel  (Original Message)Sent: 12/9/2005 2:55 AM
Dear Joel
I have made at least 10 SERIOUS attempts to quit smoking.  I have never made it past 3-4 months.  I actually seem to find it to become harder as time goes on.  I have read almost every article in your library.  I am very aware that it is all 100% psychological at this point. 
 I am part of a family of 7--all smokers.  I have a close knit group of friends (5 of us who travel together and have lots of get togethers)who are all smokers.  Smoking has been a huge part of my socializing.  It has always been "come over for a cigarette and .......(fill in the blanks) conversation...crisis.= .I . could go on and on.
I am not even so sure what my question is.  I keep wanting to wake up and have it be my one year quit anniversary.  I find myself feeling somewhat depressed and lethargic. I guess it feels like I have had to give up something that has always been a part of ''THE GOOD TIMES, actually, it has been pretty much a part of everything. LOTS OF GOOD TIMES, LOTS OF CRISIS TIMES, LOTS OF QUALITY TIMES WITH FRIENDS AND MY FAMILY. (mainly my sisters...I am one of 5 girls.)
I have always loved smoking...but I hated the consequences.  The thing that always pushes me to quit is when I start laughing, I start this awful cough.  It is so disgusting and embarrassing.     I don't want to look and smell like a smoker.  Smoking seems so low class...but none of my friends are low class and they all look great and feel great, even though they smoke.  Although, they are mainly social smokers....and I cannot be one of them.  God knows I have tried. AND FAILED...OVER 10 TIMES.
This sight has taught me one big mistake...10 times over...I cannot be a social smoker...or a weekend only smoker....or a just when I am traveling with my friends smoker...or just when I ....

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 Message 2 of 8 in Discussion 
From: JoelSent: 12/9/2005 2:59 AM
Hello Kate:
Here are a few links that may address some of what you are feeling:

 Message 3 of 8 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameElevenPinkFlowersSent: 12/9/2005 12:35 PM
Hi Kate,
In your post, you address so many points to which I could relate myself so well. I completely understand what you mean. I can see that you are depressed and worried, you want to stop smoking but you don't know what will come next. But smoking is low class and you know it. You know you have to change something.
I think the key problem is the following: You come from a family of smokers, and your closest friends are smokers. Therefore, in the back of your mind there is that gloomy thought that all the good times, the bad times, everything you did with these people you love will not count any more. Even worse: There will be no more good times. It will be so different...
From my experience, the answer is both yes and no:
Yes, it will be different. When they go out for a cigarette, you might join them but you won't smoke. Maybe you won't join them out there though, because it is freezing cold and raining, and you don't want your coat to stink of cigarettes. (Isn't it great that you smell so nice now?)
No, it will be just the same. You won't change by stopping smoking. You will be still yourself. It is hard to imagine, I know. Smoking used to be a part of you and everything you did. But you can do everything you used to do as a smoker, just as well or even better without cigarettes. You have to believe me there. I swear it is true. *solemn oath*
Someone has to be the first one: My friends (used to) smoke, too. There is a group of ten people I meet regularly, and some of them are my closest friends. Many of them smoke. I was one of them. When the heaviest smoker of us all quit 15 months ago, I could not believe it. It almost felt like she had betrayed us smokers. I watched her being quit for three months, apparently having a good time, maybe even better than before. Then I quit, too. You might inspire your friends and family to quit, and help them save their lives.
If you woke up tomorrow and it would be the first anniversary of your being quit, what difference would it make? OK, you would be more comfortable in your quit. But apart from that, you would still wake up and make a vow that you will not smoke today.
Congratulate yourself every night for another smoke-free day accomplished. You can make quitting a lot easier if you think positive about it: You are not depriving yourself of something you need. You are getting rid of something that will kill you in the end. "My cigarette, my friend" is a good one to read.
Take it in small steps. "Never take another puff" does not mean: Think about the next fifty years without smoking. It means, even when you are tempted, do not take that fateful first puff.
38 days is a long time. You have come a long way already. A good investment!
Investing since 2 March 2005

 Message 4 of 8 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameBillW-GoldSent: 12/9/2005 1:39 PM
Hi Kate:
      I know that low spot.  I hit it at about a month.  Your resolve only carries you so far, and then you have to make a decision.
     Its like there is a screaming, tantrum throwing "inner addict" that just wants her fix.  Doesn't care about consequences.  And then there is a logical you, a you that does care about the future, does plan ahead, and wants a better outcome.  Like there is a battle between the rational you, and the addict you.   Both are you.
     I'm gonna quote a paragraph above, not to make fun of you, but to show you which of you is speaking at a given moment:
I have always loved smoking.. (inner addict).but I hated the consequences (rational you).  The thing that always pushes me to quit is when I start laughing, I start this awful cough (rational you).  It is so disgusting and embarrassing.    (rational you).  I don't want to look and smell like a smoker.   (rational you).   Smoking seems so low class..  (rational you).  .but none of my friends are low class and they all look great and feel great, even though they smoke  (inner addict)..  Although, they are mainly social smokers....and I cannot be one of them (rational you).  . 
      God knows I have tried . AND FAILED...OVER 10 TIMES.    This last sentence is special.   It could be your rational side asking for assurance.   And yes, if you stay quit and confront your inner addict, IT WILL GET BETTER!   Absolutely.  No Doubt.  Inevitable. 
       But if it is your inner addict pleading for an excuse to relapse, then I won't say "Now, now, you've suffered enough...."   Because the suffering comes from your inner addict holding on to false beliefs about your addicition, and it is the inner addict who has to be convinced.
      Challenge that pleading, tantrum throwing voice.   You can have a "normal" life without nicotine.  I'd have relapsed long ago if it hadn't gotten better.   So hang in there a while longer.  Look at your own throughts (the rational you), and tell the inner addict when she is wrong.  Show her the successes... and that is what will grow!
     You can do this!
YQB BillW  Three years, ten months,  41999 cigarettes not smoked, saving $8,294.91. Life saved: 20 weeks, 5 days, 19 hours, 55 minutes.

 Message 5 of 8 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameJoeJFree-Gold-Sent: 12/9/2005 2:46 PM
 Hey Kate,
I started to reply to your note last night but it was positively unsupportive.  I, like Bill and Katharina, totally uunderstand where you're coming from and pretty well where you are now. 
Quick background on me - I was born addicted to nicotine, grew up in a large family & neighborhood of smokers and smoked from age 9 until a month shy of age 49.  Some of my friends still smoke, most do not.  I was one of the last holdouts.  Never thought I could quit.  Wanted to but 'couldn't'.  You know the drill. 
Here's what changed everything for me.  I realized that I am a nicotine addict.  The only reason I (or anybody) inhales the smoke of burning tobacco (and many fillers and additives) is to ingest nicotine.  
There are no smokers - there are only nicotine users.  And if you look really closely - there are no social smokers, only very different degrees of nicotine need/ to support addiction.
I am still an addict.  Always have been always will be.  I now choose not to be a user and a loser - of life, of breath, of self-esteem, of hard earned money spent on a product that increases my chances 50% of early death, on AVERAGE 13 to 15 years.  Yeah AVERAGE - some people only a Year or two early and others 20 plus years early.
When I decided to disconnect the Cycle of Addiction
   and believe that my life could be, would be better without being 100% controlled by the need to feed myself nicotine everything changed.  I decided to break free.  Once and for all.
I then next looked in the mirror  (literally) somewhere in the first 30 days and asked myself - 'Self, who wuold you rather be for the rest of your life?  An addict controlled by the need for a chemical that's killing us with every puff or a person free of the demands of an inadvertently acquired addiction who CHOOSES to no longer allow nicotine in my blood and brain by any means.'
Kate, Despite all the 'Junky Thinking' coming out in your post I believe you (the rational REAL you) wants to choose life too!
Be Patient with yourself.  Focus on Quitting for Just One Hour.  Give yourself time to heal and find that wonderful nicotine-free person who is inside you yearning to be free.  I know you can do this and deep down so do you.  For when it just seems really hard you just need to Do what it takes to quit smoking.
By the way, I too have wished that I could wake up comfortable someday and have it be my 1 year Nicotine Free Gold Anniversary after an entire lifetime of smoking.  I will soon do so because I learned that to master my addiction I just need to say  “I'm Not Going to Smoke Today!?nbsp; and “Take it ONE DAY AT A TIME?.
JoeJFree and living as 'Just ME' on Day 333 by choosing day by day to NTAP!

 Message 6 of 8 in Discussion 
From: MSN Nickname_forza-d-animo_Sent: 12/9/2005 5:06 PM
Hello Kate,
   You didn't say whether you were nicotine free now or just contemplating nicotine free life.  Regardless, there are many points I would like to make about what you wrote, number one being this: "I know it is probably as simple as never take another puff but that advice overwhelms me and depresses me."  What about living a life free of an addictive substance through a delivery method that has a 50/50 chance of killing you or at a minimum significantly reducing the quality of your life is depressing?  You are under the impression that when you are out with friends and family that you are enjoying yourself because you are smoking?  You enjoy your family and friends only because they are smoking with you or is it that you can smoke amongst them with no sense of having to hide the habit that you find so repulsive.  (In your own words "disgusting and embarassing")
  You don't love smoking Kate - You smoke to avoid withdrawl from nicotine.  When you drink alcohol, it lowers you blood serum nicotine level more rapidly, that is why you smoke more when you are drinking with your family and friends.  You don't start smoking again either because you don't understand the law of addiction because it is obvious that you do understand it.  Your choice to smoke after 3 or 4 months is simply irrational knowing what you know about addiction and what smoking tobacco can do to you.
  There are some here who have had a more difficult time than others in the first few months but having struggled through it have no desire to go through it 9 times more.  They know that once the struggle is done, they will never again have to face down those types of cravings and triggers as long as they never take another puff.  You need to have faith in what we say.  It does get better.  It is not a goal that is beyond your reach or your ability to attain.  It is real and it is attainable for anyone who is willing to stay committed to their comittment to remain nicotine free.
  You may be of the impression that it will be forever difficult and so you give up trying to fight off what seems like non stop urges to light up.  That is not what being nicotine free is like unless you make it that way.  If you are constantly pining after the so called joy of smoking thinking how good it would be to have just one then you have not read enough to understand your addiction.  Nor have you made up your mind to quit.  You can't wish the time away and wake up one morning with one year gone by.  You must live each of those 365 days one day at a time to learn how wonderful it is to be nicotine free.  We measure our success one day at a time, not in years, because just like you, we can decide one day to pick up a cigarette and light it and it won't matter how many years we had behind us.  What have we learned if after 1 year, 5 years, or 10, we put a toxic waste dump in a paper tube to our lips light the end and take a deep breath only to find that the Ahhhh we were looking for and that the tobacco companies promise us is not there?
  The only way to quit smoking is to quit smoking.  If you want to quit, then you already understand that nothing, no circumstance, nobody can ever make you take another puff.  The decision is always yours.  You can do it.  Yes you can.

 Message 7 of 8 in Discussion 
From: JoelSent: 12/9/2005 7:11 PM
thanks so much for your quick and very helpful response.
I did try to be a member and was I don't know how to thank the other people who posted responses to me also.  So could you thank them for me.
Please let them all know how wonderful they are to take time to help a struggling new quitter.  I really think you people are amazing.  And all of your posts were tremendously helpful.  I really so sincerely appreciate the help.

Make sure to read the string How to Apply for Membership at Freedom

 Message 8 of 8 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameStarshinegrl-GoldSent: 12/9/2005 7:17 PM
Hi Kate,
wow, you have already been given so many great replies, reading recommendations and food for thought.
I know you are not a Freedom member but I think you might like to read Past failures and I had quit thousands of times, then ....
Did you really like smoking? I don't think you did because otherwise you wouldn't have stopped and tried more than once to break free from nicotine's hold over you.
I also think that you are now over a month nicotine free (congratulations!!), but still think you might also want to have a look at this: Feeling a bit blue at one month. (... Just one more thought: if you are depressed about things in your life, you might want to ask yourself if it might perhaps have nothing to do with having quit smoking and in that case: please, go and seek some help!)
My piece of advice: how about forgetting about the "NEVER" - bit? I remember that I had real problems with  that word in the beginning of my quit as well - the others have said it already but it is so true: take it one day, one hour ... at a time - they'll still all add up and one day you WILL come to the point where the thought of FOREVER will no longer depress you but you will be really, and I mean REALLY!!!, happy about it. Celebrate each and every single nicotine free you achieve and don't forget to be proud of yourself!
Kate, you really have set out on the most amazing, wonderful and rewarding Journey home - may you enjoy it and let it lead you to being able to fully embrace life nicotine free!
378 days and a bit

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