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Wanting to stop

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  • 01-05-2007 5:22pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 1,679 ✭✭✭


    OK. I've always had it in the back of my head that I will give up smoking entirely before it has done any serious damage. I'm 23 now, and have been smoking for about 9 years. Over the last 4 years I've been off them 4 times, twice for 9 months, once for 6 months, and once for 6 weeks, without ever during these periods finding it was difficult and I was completely off them without one relapse all of those times. But for some reason, on each time, I got pissed, had a drag, and woke up the next morning with the strongest cravings I'd ever had, and headed off to the shop and bought a pack.

    I usually end up going back on them twice as strong, and at the moment I'm smoking about 25 benson and hedges a day which is fairly disgusting. Anyway, it's been 5 months since I last went back on them, and I haven't had my usual really strong urge to give up again yet. I kind of rely on this. I've never managed to get off them for any period of time before without really really wanting to. So I'm just getting a bit worried that this won't come around again because it normally does quite often, but for some reason this time I'm not getting repulsed by them like I usually do after a while of chainsmoking.

    Anybody else have this problem?


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 66 ✭✭massplanck


    Hey Daithi.

    I quit 7 weeks ago. Im 28. Smoked 25 B&H a day for ten years. I know what you are saying.
    I got a really bad chest infection 2 months ago and that what spurred me into action.
    I always knew i wanted to quit but that was the catalyst.
    When you quit I think you need to keep reminding yourself that you are always going
    to be a nictotene addict. Just choose to be one that doesnt smoke.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,288 ✭✭✭✭ntlbell


    Daithio wrote:
    OK. I've always had it in the back of my head that I will give up smoking entirely before it has done any serious damage. I'm 23 now, and have been smoking for about 9 years. Over the last 4 years I've been off them 4 times, twice for 9 months, once for 6 months, and once for 6 weeks, without ever during these periods finding it was difficult and I was completely off them without one relapse all of those times. But for some reason, on each time, I got pissed, had a drag, and woke up the next morning with the strongest cravings I'd ever had, and headed off to the shop and bought a pack.

    I usually end up going back on them twice as strong, and at the moment I'm smoking about 25 benson and hedges a day which is fairly disgusting. Anyway, it's been 5 months since I last went back on them, and I haven't had my usual really strong urge to give up again yet. I kind of rely on this. I've never managed to get off them for any period of time before without really really wanting to. So I'm just getting a bit worried that this won't come around again because it normally does quite often, but for some reason this time I'm not getting repulsed by them like I usually do after a while of chainsmoking.

    Anybody else have this problem?

    I used to use these times to give up aswell like you i've done the 6 months, 9 months 3 weeks 3 day sometimes i only last a few hours :mad:

    I'm giving them the boot on Monday I've waited for that time to come for a long time now and it doesn't seem to be comming round so have to force the issue!


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,242 ✭✭✭Archeron


    massplanck wrote:
    Hey Daithi.

    I quit 7 weeks ago. Im 28. Smoked 25 B&H a day for ten years. I know what you are saying.
    I got a really bad chest infection 2 months ago and that what spurred me into action.
    I always knew i wanted to quit but that was the catalyst.
    When you quit I think you need to keep reminding yourself that you are always going
    to be a nictotene addict. Just choose to be one that doesnt smoke.

    Thats a very good point. I smoked for 14 years (30-40 a day) and I am off them over 18 months now with little to no cravings.
    I used to think for years that I enjoyed smoking (screw that I KNEW I enjoyed smoking :rolleyes: ), and with that thought, kfelt I would never stop.
    Towards the end of my smoking time though, I began to really notice the health issues (they were no worse than before, I just began to notice more) and it led me to where I was getting concerned about the fact that the ciggies were controlling me to the point that I felt I may never be able to give up. This spurred me into a really determined state where I felt I had to take control of the issue, and that settled my will to the fact that I was going to give up once and for all. It was my intense hatred for my own inability to control smoking that finally did it for me, and gave me the intent to try any and every therapy available until I found the one that worked.
    And I did :)
    I do believe though that if you dont in your heart want to stop because you enjoy smoking, or whatever the reason is, then you will never stop.
    Best of luck with it, I still consider giving up one of the best things I've ever done.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,327 ✭✭✭hotspur


    Well since there are 2 poker players already in this thread...

    The key issue with giving up smoking is motivation, actually that is the key issue with quitting any addiction. Now motivation is not an easy thing to understand, and the oridnary language we use in relation to it is inadequate.

    Smoking (apart from being big and clever) is pleasurable for a smoker, so there's a very clear motivation to continue smoking both physiologically (cause you are addicted) and psychologically. There is also a more general motivation to be healthy and not kill yourself. However this motivation is less strong than the one to smoke for most people because it is not in your face obvious that you are not adhering to it.

    Ill health "in the future" sucks as a form of motivation in every facet of life, and killing yourself way in the future is utterly useless as a motivation because unconsiously we are all immortal (logically it isn't even possible to conceive of non-existence, but anyway). That's why older people who get very ill and *have* to give up do so permanently whereas younger, healthier people often give up temporarily.

    So that leaves many smokers with a situation where they have a primary level motivation to smoke, and a secondary level motivation to give up, often resulting in a meta-level motivation to "want to want to give up". The fact that motivations can have meta levels is very rarely expressed, even in addiction studies itself.

    Occassional pondering over the issue will rarely result in a decision to quit that is permanent. On average smokers quit something like 7 times before they quit for good. This is because they never properly sorted out and made clear their motivations to quit in the 1st place. But that can be done.

    I highly recommend spending a small amount of money and getting what is called Motivational Interviewing. Despite how it sounds it isn't some wishy washy positive thinking crap, it is a technique for helping people give up addictions devolped by Miller & Rollnick, and it is carried out very briefly (might be 1 session of less than 1 hour).

    It will clarify for you, and make explicitly salient, your motivational issues relating to smoking and giving up. Its goal is to get you properly focused and motivated to give up properly and for good clear reasons which you yourself hold. It has been demonstared to be very effective for addictions in studies, which is why I'm recommending it.

    I'm not sure how many trained MI'ers we have in private practice in Ireland at the moment, it is growing rapidly, I suppose a goof place to inquire about practioners would be their new organisation they have set up here - the Irish Association Of Motivational Interviewing Practitioners (IAMIP):
    http://addictioninfo.ie/

    Good luck to you and others trying to quit smoking (it's so unbelievably stupid).


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,288 ✭✭✭✭ntlbell


    cheers spur will look into it makes a lot of sense.


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