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want to quit...again....!

  • 13-12-2006 4:10pm
    Closed Accounts Posts: 703 ✭✭✭

    This time 3 years ago I just ended a 10 month stint without smoking. A few times stuck unlit cigarettes into my mouth and smoked my pen but eventually I lapsed. Last year I went 4 months without smoking. I suppose ultimately despite the smoking ban I never quite broke the umbolilical cord between smoking and drinking and yes I was foolishly influenced by beautiful women who frequently was fine when I was in non-smoking company...but when drinking....not after my first drink,maybe not even after my second..probably during my third ...and in smoking company willpower fails me...I smoke only 20 or 30 cigarettes a week but inhale incredibly deeply... a remnant of my Yoga days of deep breathing....want desperately to break the connection between smoking and drinking...considering trying to develope non-alcohol social activities such as theatre or concerts...cinema....maybe? Have any boarders here experienced similar feeling? Any suggestions woukld be gratefully received. My family going through a traumatic time and for me to take ill would finish my mother. I don't wan't to die of lung cancer as it's self inflicted....and the most stigamtised of all cancers.

    Could do with support, Alan 28


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,634 ✭✭✭Kolodny

    The association thing is a bastard all right. I know it works for some people to avoid alcohol completely for a while but personally I don't think that does much to break the connection between the two. I knew before I quit that having a drink would be pure torture for the first while but in the end I sort of pushed myself through a 'pain barrier' (probably an over-dramatic term but I can't think of anything else!) where within a couple of days of quitting I literally forced myself to go out and have a few drinks without smoking.

    It was awful, but I really wanted to get myself used to it as early on as possible because I knew I'd trip up if I avoided drinking for too long because of the strength of the association. I had done it before – a month off the smokes and the first time I went out for a few drinks I was literally gagging, as if it was the third day all over again. So this time I carried on as normal, going to the pub at the weekend and not joining my mates outside when they went, having a few glasses of wine at home and grinning and bearing it. It was excruciatingly hard in the beginning, but over time I've got to the stage where I can have a few drinks and only realise at the end of the night that I've hardly thought about having a smoke. I do have my moments of temptation but they're few and far between these days. As you described, it's the third drink where it gets really tough but the cravings don't actually last that long, it's just that there's more of them in the beginning. It’s a psychological battle with yourself, but you can win it (please excuse the melodrama again but I really couldn't find a less cringey way to phrase that!) Oh, and I used Nicorette gum for about a month too but stopped because I hated the taste :)

    I’m probably not the most qualified person to give you advice as I only quit 10 months ago, but I honestly find it so much easier now and I really don’t want to start again. I feel too good now. All I can advise is just push through, tell your mates, or even people you've just met, that you're not smoking and you'd appreciate them not offering you cigarettes or encouraging you to smoke (I actually think there a couple of my friends who would literally sit on my head to stop me having a cigarette if they thought I was going to!). Just do your best to weaken that association. Best of luck!

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,115 ✭✭✭Pal

    it's one that I struggle with too but have devised ways to cope.

    Fortunately it's only a mental association so you can overcome it relatively easily. Assuming you're clean (72 hours free), then it should be straightforward enough.

    Try drinking something different and unusual. It will help to get your mind off the cigs just long enough to let the craving pass.

    I normally drink Heineken but a pub substitute occasionally is vodka and bitter lemon. Or a non alcoholic one at home that works is grapefruit and raspberry.

    To each their own I suppose.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 703 ✭✭✭Filan

    Thanks Kolodny and Pal. I see wisdom in both your replies, think that I will expose myself to the pub relatively soon after quitting as I won't be able to avoid it forever, this is Ireland! and probably drink something different...such as an alcopop....or whiskey.....I haven't smoked now since friday last week even though I haven't actually officially quit, haven't decided that I won't smoke, justt had the flu for a few days and couldn't smoke! Do think regardless of what however that if I don't smoke that a retreat from the pub is ineviatable...a cigarette is what I get most enjoyment from in the pub...(my local had a stable for horses dating to when they were the cars of their day...and smokind is legal there....) and while I will go out with friends to be occasionally I don't think pubs will hold their appeal..alternatives need to be developed...Many thanks to Kolodny's zeal...and passion...made me laugh...and I hadn't thought of deliberately exposing myself to the pub...and to Pals suggestion for a change of liquid....both options I will follow. Thanks, Alan

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,136 ✭✭✭✭is_that_so

    I found when I decided to do it I had to break the habit of different times of day - i.e. coffee time, lunch-time etc.
    I found the hardest was that drink cig connection.
    I used microtabs to help through those hard times. Not 100% non-smoker now and have a very rare smoke one now and again but have never been tempted to start up again.
    A final point on it is to do it when you feel good about life. Nothing worse than taking away a crutch away when you are under stress. January 1st is a good time to go at it as you can more easily keep track of how long you've been off. Good luck.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,145 ✭✭✭DonkeyStyle \o/

    is_that_so wrote:
    A final point on it is to do it when you feel good about life.
    Thanks, I was going to quit today until I read that.
    My thinking on it was that; since I'm already completely despondent and miserable, I might as well quit smoking while I'm at it.

    Anyone else have a theory about this?

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,115 ✭✭✭Pal

    You've chosen a lose-lose situation for yourself there.

    Try seeing quitting as something to be happy. A monkey off your back.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1 mhen

    Tip for quitting;

    Remind yourself that a craving will only last for about 5 minutes, It will seem a hell of a lot longer, but when you get to that point where you feel you are going to have to have a cig, put it off for 5 minutes. Time it . Tell yourself that you will have one in 5 mins, and as the minutes tick away, you will remember all the reasons why you decided to quit., and the craving will have passed.

    I quit 2 years ago and it was hard at the begining, but i really wanted to do it. I tried to remind myself as much as i could of all of the reasons i wanted to quit. What i hated most of all ... well apart for the cancer risk.... was the fact that i was not in control,.... they controlled me.... that was so annoying.

    Also what was so annoying was people who had quit 2 years before dishing out advice!!

    Good luck.

  • Registered Users Posts: 360 ✭✭dvega

    Thanks, I was going to quit today until I read that.
    My thinking on it was that; since I'm already completely despondent and miserable, I might as well quit smoking while I'm at it.

    Anyone else have a theory about this?

    I dont think so! you'll only end up making yourself more miserable!
    I have set a date for me to give em up,the start of febuary,im heading for oz and hope to keep myself busy with all the traveling and touring i'll be doing,
    not a bad idea if i say so.

    Although it could be worse since your allowed smoke indoors over there.But yes i do agree the best time to give em up is when you feel good about yourself and your life in general!

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 160 ✭✭ciaran2008

    you may want to know that the oldest person in the world (dead now) who lived to 127 smoked 25 a day! I don't smoke but hey hats a good fact!

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 703 ✭✭✭Filan

    Now 8 months since last smoked....don't remember exact date...but it was August!.

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 111 ✭✭Noteb

    Did you use any patches etc?
    I really want to give up, i look older than my friends- cough all the time and feel drained. But I just can't cope with the thougt of the dreaded time I am about to go through as soon as I do go through with it.