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General : Quitting anxiety  
 Message 1 of 3 in Discussion 
From: Joel  (Original Message)Sent: 12/12/2005 1:43 PM
I quit 12 days ago* and the only real difficulty is that I feel as if I
have pms - delicate, fragile, tearful, anxious, irritable, raw - not my
normal way of being - I assume that I self medicated with cigs and it
will take a while but what can i do to cope with life when I feel like
The best thing that any person can do to overcome the emotional and physical reactions that some people encounter during the initial quitting period is to reinforce his or her reasons for having quit and to strengthen his or her ammunition as to why he or she should stay off of smoking. Reading at and at the Freedom board can help this a lot. I am going to point you to some very specific articles to get you started--but we have a whole lot more information and material available that can help you to cope when experiencing tougher times.
Related reading:
*Because of an incident a couple of days ago, when a person wrote saying that he had been quit for three months and still having major problems, I feel the need to make it clear that physical craves ease up and the other major body adjustments occur once people are totally nicotine free--not just smoke free.
Since the person writing this didn't totally clarify this point, I feel the need to put in this disclaimer for all who read here. See the string  "Will I always get the craving?" and be sure to read the 5-7 posts there.

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 Message 2 of 3 in Discussion 
From: JohnSent: 12/12/2005 4:32 PM
Baby steps, just one day at a time.  You're doing fantastic.  I like the car keys analogy.   If  a loss as insignificant as car keys transports us through an entire range of emotions then shouldn't we fully expect a substantially more significant encounter when ending the most intense chemical relationship your mind has ever known?
Lost car key emotions:
Denial:  "I'm sure I just misplaced them."  "Just keep looking."
Bargaining:  "Ok, I promise to never misplace them again!"  "Where are you keys, come out come!
Anger:  "Where are those dang keys!  They've just got to be here somewhere!!"
Depression:  "I've actually lost my keys."  "What am I going to do!"
Acceptance:  "Ok, I'll start by calling a locksmith so I can get back in the house."
Two years later:
Complacency:   "Don't tell me!"  I've lost my keys again?"
It isn't just a female thing.  At two weeks I was everything all  you described too. As for delicate and fragile, part of our alert nicotine high was the adrenaline that accompanied the arrival of dopamine.  It's almost as if we know that picking fights with others will get the adrenaline flowing again. 
Patience, you're going home and, unless some underlying chronic medical condition, everything you're feeling is a natural part of recovery.  You're actually watching youself slowly heal.  Don't blame the symptoms on where you're going but, if you must cast blame, blame them on where you've been.
But instead of blame, I'd encourage you to accept them as part of this temporary journey of re-adjustment and true signs of possibly the most intense period healing and re-adjustment that your mind and body have likely ever known.   It's a time when bad means good, and each and every step and challenge overcome means casting off additional dependency baggage as you learn to live yet another aspect of life without nicotine. 
Try not to be afraid of the unknown.  The calm after the storm is beauty to behold.   Still just one rule ... no nicotine just one day at a time, Never Take Another Puff, Dip, Chew or Patch!  With you in spirit.
John  - I commended my recovery  May 15, 1999

 Message 3 of 3 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameStarshinegrl-GoldSent: 12/13/2005 12:37 PM

Dear irritable quitter,

You might not think so at the moment but you are actually doing fantastic!!!

This is me assuming again here, of course, that you not only quit smoking but also quit using nicotine in any shape or form.

I absolutely think the world of the "Emotional Loss" thread - I don't remember how often I have said this but it really was an eye-opener for me. It explains so well what happens to so many of us.

As you are still adjusting to your life without nicotine, you will find  I also think that we also have an enormous "emotional gain" by living our lives nicotine free. All the emotions that were somehow drowned before are now here for us to experience. Some might not be wanted ... others are. We have to deal with them all and we can do it. How great is that?

Your post reminded me so much of myself in the beginning of my journey -I also had a much tougher time with the psychological side of things. It will get better and it will get so much better so much faster than you think. You might also want to have a look at these:

You are already proof of the fact that you can and that you are coping with life without cigarettes (and hopefully without nicotine). Continue to Acknowledge the negative but dwell on the positive and you will soon come to a stage where you will appreciate this experience for what it is: the most wonderful, amazing and rewarding journey to discover who you really are.

Hoping you are having a great nicotine free day.

382 days and a bit