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Not Your Huckleberry

Quitting My Vices; a Reclaim On My Life

18 posts in this topic

This thread will address smoking, specifically, but I'll throw a few more things in there, as well. OK, a lot of things. 

I'll be 33 next month, so I'm not getting any younger. It's about time I start seriously considering my health, especially since both heart disease and cancer run in my family; my father passed at 49 due to congestive heart failure. That's only *sixteen* years from where I am now. 

All things considered, I've done well up to this point in my life. However, especially after having been "released" from my previous job, drinking truly did a number on me. Ok, so it's been like that for years, who am I kidding? It was a little open secret with me. On July 5th, I had my last drop of alcohol. Done. I barely even think about it anymore. 

Smoking, on the other hand, isn't going to be so easy. I need some advice. This has to be done without the use of patches, gum or medication. I've successfully cut down in the past, just like I'm doing now, but quitting completely will be one hell of a chore. I need all the help and advice I can get on this for those of you who have done it before! It HAS to be done!

I've had a lot to think about, lately, and the vices must stop. Not only am I doing this for my health but for financial reasons, as well. I'd really like to buy another piece of property in the near future. Plus, I have an opportunity to go back into business with a friend and former business partner. My background is in engineering, but I'm just not sure I'm the type who is cut out for a regular 9-5. I'm just doing what i need to do right now before I can get back into business. The industry I'll be getting back into projects the image of health and well-being, so it makes no sense to be smoking and drinking if I'm going to be any sort of figurehead in all of this. 

So there it is. I'm just trying to get some semblance of satisfaction in my life, at long last. Health, happiness and finally doing something I truly enjoy. Just need a little support on quitting this final vice of mine! 

Thanks and I really look forward to your responses B)

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Thanks, I'll look into it. I'd still love to hear other UMers success stories. Did you quit with this book?

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Consistency regardless of failure leads to success. Just keep at it bro.

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Take up vaping. It's helped loads of people quit and after a few months quitting nicotine altogether will be much easier. You'll notice the breathing benefits after a few days.

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14 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

Consistency regardless of failure leads to success. Just keep at it bro.

Exactly so.  Thank God, I never developed the smoking habit.  I tend to massively over-indulge in whatever I like and smokes would have ended me by now, I think.  My mom died from lung cancer and my eldest sister was diagnosed with a tumor in one lobe of one lung at the age of 52.  They removed that lobe and she's been cancer free for almost 10 years.  She had attempted to quit on her own, several times.  She finally used the patches and they got her over the hump.  It's been nearly 15 years since she quit.  She struggled with that vice more than any other adversity I've ever seen her deal with.  She isn't a weak-willed person at all.  If her story is typical, I'd skip the "do-it-on-my-own" phase and just see a doc.  Quitting is quitting, no matter how it gets done.  

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I used to over indulge in food. That changed last year. Sugar and caffeine are my metaphorical demons. 

Not trying to derail. 

https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/6438748

You've / we have to create a new and better habit. 

Edited by XenoFish

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2 hours ago, and then said:

Exactly so.  Thank God, I never developed the smoking habit.  I tend to massively over-indulge in whatever I like and smokes would have ended me by now, I think.  My mom died from lung cancer and my eldest sister was diagnosed with a tumor in one lobe of one lung at the age of 52.  They removed that lobe and she's been cancer free for almost 10 years.  She had attempted to quit on her own, several times.  She finally used the patches and they got her over the hump.  It's been nearly 15 years since she quit.  She struggled with that vice more than any other adversity I've ever seen her deal with.  She isn't a weak-willed person at all.  If her story is typical, I'd skip the "do-it-on-my-own" phase and just see a doc.  Quitting is quitting, no matter how it gets done.  

Thanks, but I no longer have insurance, so a doctor is basically out of the question. I've also known several people who have gone through hell with anti smoking meds. Really rough stuff. 

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I'll try and give some practical advice from my own experiences, but to be honest I think different tactics work for different people. I managed to quit cold turkey after being a pretty heavy smoker for eleven years, and I did it in the middle of university exams. I wouldn't exactly say I have the greatest willpower in the world either :lol:

Firstly - and I know it sounds obvious - but you really have to want to quit. The previous attempts I'd tried at quitting, I always had the "one won't hurt if you're desperate" attitude, and every single time one led to "two won't hurt" and so on, until I was back to twenty to thirty a day.

It's hard to remember exactly - I've been a non-smoker for seventeen years now - but I'd say there were roughly three phases that were critical; the first day, the first week and the first month. Beyond that I still had the odd craving, even years later, but they get progressively easier to ignore.

The things to expect...

That first day and week, expect to go from "chilled out dude" to "spawn of satan" - it's like having a personality transplant. Again, it gets progressively easier, but it does permanently change the way you act and react to things. Try and keep yourself as free from stressful situations as possible in the short-term, and be sure to give yourself a pat on the back when you survive a stressful event without smoking. Maybe even put the money you've saved from not buying cigarettes in a jar, and treat yourself to something shiny as a reward.

If you're a drinker, expect to drink more to compensate for that missing cigarette in your hand. Also be prepared to watch the weight, as you'll eat more too. As you escape the cigarettes, you'll eventually be able to counter it with exercise as your lungs heal.

Try as much as you can to avoid situations where you normally smoke. It's easier than it sounds when you're used to a smoke with your morning coffee, etc., but I found, even years later, I'd be at a place I last visited as a smoker, and I'd get a little craving. Change your routine as much as possible, even if it's only temporary, until you're over the worst cravings.

Remind yourself of why you are quitting, and appreciate the benefits. I can't remember how long it took, but suddenly realizing you can actually taste your food properly is quite the eye-opener. If you smoke indoors, take a picture off the wall and realize how discoloured the wallpaper actually is from all those years of smoking - and imagine what that did to your insides. Stick your head into a pile of washing and enjoy the scent of fabric softener rather than stale smoke - it's hard to believe how much smoking makes you stink, even as a passive smoker after a night out.

Good luck with your quitting. I'll add anything else if I think of it :tu:

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Damnit, the anxiety surrounding the mood swings I may have is the worst part. Is it really that bad? I like to think I'm good at not letting things get to me anymore, now I'm concerned that I'm going to be a complete **** to loved ones. I'm completely prepared to do this, though. At my worst, I smoked around two packs a day. Now, I'm at five to ten (singles, not packs!) and try to stay close to the lower end. Hopefully I won't crash TOO badly.

And thanks LV, I'm already over the drinking. I was going to try stopping both smoking and drinking at the same time, but decided against it. Quitting drinking was surprisingly easy despite how much I drank, maybe this will be the same?

Edited by Not Your Huckleberry
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17 minutes ago, Not Your Huckleberry said:

Damnit, the anxiety surrounding the mood swings I may have is the worst part. Is it really that bad? I like to think I'm good at not letting things get to me anymore, now I'm concerned that I'm going to be a complete **** to loved ones. I'm completely prepared to do this, though. At my worst, I smoked around two packs a day. Now, I'm at five to ten (singles, not packs!) and try to stay close to the lower end. Hopefully I won't crash TOO badly.

And thanks LV, I'm already over the drinking. I was going to try stopping both smoking and drinking at the same time, but decided against it. Quitting drinking was surprisingly easy despite how much I drank, maybe this will be the same?

I'd say it should be easier going to zero from five to ten a day. It's hard to remember now, but I'd guess I was around ten to twenty a day when I quit.

You'll be fine. Just make sure those around you know you might be Mr. Crankypants for a few days. Try and find other ways to destress yourself too. Music was always good for me :)

Edited by LV-426
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Not too bad, so far. I'm dreaming about smoking, though :wacko:

I dreamed I went to a gas station or some other small store and bought two packs along with the rest of my purchase. I got down the road only to find out that they forgot to include the cigs, so I went back. They gave them to me, I get home, only to find them missing again. Didn't bother going back again. 

Mood has been very stable, let's hope it stays that way. Cravings aren't too bad.

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On 10/28/2017 at 8:53 PM, and then said:

Quitting is quitting, no matter how it gets done.  

Agreed.

I can't guarantee anything but I was at a pack a day when I quit and that was 10 years ago. That being said I do feel that for whatever reason tobacco just wasn't my drug so to speak, which is a roundabout way of saying it was one of the easier vices for me to quit whereas most folks can't hack it. I have an addictive personality but for whatever reason it was relatively easy for me to quit whereas other vices are not. I agree with what was said earlier, you have to really want it. I think what kicked it off for me was the fact that I've always been more or less in shape and it got to the point where I'd have to inhale deep breaths in order to finish sentences in conversations. That was a first and really bothered me. 

Anyway I didn't go cold turkey but tapered down. I played little mental tricks on myself to do this. I smoked the most in social situations. So what I'd do is I'd smoke the first cig like normal. Then when the craving came to smoke another, I'd see who in my circle of friends has a full drink and think to myself, 'as soon as that person finishes that drink, I'll have my next cig.' I wouldn't influence that person in any way to drink their drink faster or whatever. Or if there's music playing I'd say something to myself like, 'after the next 3 songs I'll have my cig.' When the particular condition was met I'd have my cig but the 'pull' for it was like 1/4 of what it normally would be. Some of the times I'd just say screw it and skip the cig altogether, and that's how I eventually quit. 

I know my dad used to smoke and he said his little strategy was to wash his mouth out. He'd just go to the sink and rinse his mouth. For whatever reason that worked for him. I tried that at first and it didn't work for me but maybe it will you. Good luck!

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NYH I worked for the State of New York for many years in the office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. The average person tried to quit smoking 13 times before they were successful so keep trying. Most state's due to their settlements with the tobacco company's have free programs were you can get nicotine patches/gum and counseling for free. Congrats on giving up booze alcohol kills more people than all the other drugs combined. Now I don't think there is anything wrong with having a drink or two or a few bong hits once in a while for those folks who don't have a history of addiction. Try vaping as someone else suggested. I got hypnotized once to try and quit smoking and smoked on the way home from the seminar. I just smoke cigars now once in a while I finally got off the cigs but it took years to get off those coffin nails.

 

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On 10/31/2017 at 4:00 AM, Not Your Huckleberry said:

Not too bad, so far. I'm dreaming about smoking, though :wacko:

I dreamed I went to a gas station or some other small store and bought two packs along with the rest of my purchase. I got down the road only to find out that they forgot to include the cigs, so I went back. They gave them to me, I get home, only to find them missing again. Didn't bother going back again. 

Mood has been very stable, let's hope it stays that way. Cravings aren't too bad.

Good luck to you. Im hooked on nicotine like its crack, but after 20+ years of chewing tobacco I just recently switched over to vaping and its been a relatively smooth transition n and I cant recommend it enough .  

 

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Constant headache; stupid dreams if I can sleep at all; impatience and time has come to a standstill. I'm not outwardly an ******* yet, but everything seems to take FOREVER. not the worst thing in the world, though. 

As for vaping, I appreciate the recommendation, but I'm trying to do this with as little assistance as possible. Besides, vaping gets pretty damn expensive and I know many people who are now hooked on that instead of smoking. Going cold turkey is also considered the most efficient way to quit completely. 

Thanks for the support, guys, I find it helps to talk to ex smokers when the withdrawal really starts to bother me. 

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1 hour ago, Not Your Huckleberry said:

Thanks for the support, guys, I find it helps to talk to ex smokers when the withdrawal really starts to bother me. 

Keep it up, we're rooting for ya. Definitely use this thread of yours to rant if it helps, like was said earlier everyone has their own coping mechanism.

1 hour ago, Not Your Huckleberry said:

I'm not outwardly an ******* yet

Good! Friend of my is a cig fiend and freaks out when he's out. I remember years ago a bunch of us were watching a football game when he ran out. He hates driving whereas I don't mind so much so I didn't care driving for a beer/cig run. He ran out of cigs during the 2nd quarter of the game and demanded to be taken to the store immediately as if it's my responsibility, even though he was/is fully capable of driving and the store. I told him to wait till half time and he freaked out saying, "this is f-ing bs!" as he stormed outside and slammed the door behind him. 

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Well, going on a month now and all is well, so far. It's just a willpower thing, I guess. This has been a really, really, REALLY tough year for me, so I suppose the stress of everything else going on made quitting a walk in the park, in comparison. Ironically, it seems to have even reduced my stress levels. I've even gotten back into an old hobby - restoring and tinkering with vintage fountain pens - which also keeps my mind off smoking.

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