This is it! This time it will stick. I have given multiple halfhearted attempts at quitting smoking and surprise surprise none of them were successful. I don’t know why I have this incredible urge, this evening, to quit this horrible habit for good but I sure am going to run with it!
I think I am finally fed up with the lack of control that I have shown in this area of my life. I will try not to examine it too thoroughly though, because I don’t want to talk myself out of it.
I know that “cold-turkey quitting” is almost always looked at through the ‘side eye’ but I have found that the “slow down”, “take this pill”, “use this patch”, “count count count” methods do not work for me.
I am just going to stop! Plus distract! And check out some web stuff like the Quitting Smoking Community
Time to Quit
Withdrawal is going to happen. There is no getting around that. Symptoms of withdrawal can be managed, in both the short and the long term. Week one is usually the hardest for many smokers, since this is when the physical dependence on nicotine is at the forefront. Initial withdrawal can begin in less than an hour after having a cigarette. In order to keep nicotine levels in the blood at what has become a ‘normal’ volume, the first withdrawal symptoms will be cravings for a cigarette. These cravings may seem constant, particularly over the first three days, but after that cravings slowly begin to decline.
Tips for working through cravings:
- Drink water when cravings begin.
- Use distraction methods.
- Remember that the craving is short lived.
- Breathe deeply and slowly.
- Use logic to dismiss the demands of the craving.
Other common physical withdrawal symptoms include headache, dizziness, fatigue, cough, excessive mucous production, and stomach upset. Again, the first week should see the end of these symptoms, and many people find them to be a mild discomfort at worse. Most are symptoms of the body returning to normal and working to reverse the damage done by nicotine.
Most smokers who have tried to quit but failed tend to note that the psychological withdrawal symptoms to be far worse than the physical. Extreme mood swings, anxiety, anger, even depression, are all commonly reported. These emotional roller coasters work alongside the cravings and reinforce the idea that nicotine use is necessary to be ‘normal’, ‘calm’, or ‘happy’. Relapse becomes an easy option when rationalizing that just one cigarette is the only thing necessary to feel good again.