I had major back surgery 52 days ago and had to quit smoking. Man, do I really want a cigarette! I am lucky that I cannot drive, or I would sneak out and buy a pack and I am afraid of falling if I sneak one of my husband's when he is at home. I am satisfying my cravings with food (of course) and have gained 16 lbs since April 30. I really WANT to be a non-smoker, but the smoker in me is rebelling.
A little additional history: I started snitching my father's cigarette butts at age 12. I smoked regularily from age 16 (currently 45 years old). I have had several failed attempts at quitting. The longest I was able to quit was for 9 months in 1983. Stress seams to be my worst enemy. I have a no smoking rule within my house and car, but 40 below weather has not stopped me from going out on the deck to smoke.
I cannot make my husband quit smoking, as this is my issue not his. I have told him that I have a problem with seeing him smoke, so he is very mindful of not lighting up where I can see him. I told him that seeing his smokes on the refridgerator was too tempting, so he is no longer leaving them where I can see them. He really is doing what he can (short of quitting).
Hi, I started the same day you did. We have passed the worst period so please don't start up again. I won't if you don't and we will check in together on this. I don't think you realize how great your doing. Keep me posted on your progress.
Just think of yourself as a non-smoker.
I do believe that getting into the right frame of mind is important to succeed in the nonsmoking game. It sounds like this choice was made for you and is not one you are ready for. Try changing your way of thinking. Tell yourself that you choose to not smoke. Get a hypnosis tape on not smoking. Tell yourself you are not a smoker. I hope that you find something that works for you. Godbless
Jean: You're on! We will challenge each other since we have the same start date, we can be winners together. Congratulations on 52 days.
Marian: Thanks for the suggestions. I am trying to get into the right mindset. Like I said, I want to be a non-smoker. I should change that to "I am" a non-smoker. The biggest problem I am having is with the restrictions from surgery. I am cooped up at home, unable to drive, unable to go for a walk (have to have someone with me) and feeling isolated. I am getting very stressed and that is my main trigger. I live in a very small town 230 miles from anywhere that would have hypno tapes.
I am so happy to be past the physical withdrawl and I am hoping everyone here can help me with the mental aspects even if that means listening to me prattle on.
Last edited by bwitht; 06-21-2007 at 09:28 PM.
I do believe that getting into the right frame of mind is important to succeed in the nonsmoking game. :
What you just said right there IS KEY!!
It took me at least 10 attempts at quitting...honestly. I even went to 14 months one of those times, and about 10 months another time. I just wasn't in the right mindset at all during all of those quits, and that's why I couldn't stay quit. This time my mindset was like this,... "I will do whatever I have to do to succeed in quitting this time,...and I'll even suffer for a while, if I have to, but I'll never ever smoke again, PERIOD!!" And I really meant it!!
I think I kept telling myself that over and over again...you really have to "talk" to yourself,...a lot...when you hear those little voices, such as "only one won't hurt ya", or "I don't really want to do this, yet"....then you just need to have a mantra, and chant it in your head, all day if you must. Write lists, get a journal and write in it daily, why you are so determined to do this. I think with this quit, I really worked harder at it than I had my previous quits...and coming on this board everyday really helped. Just telling other people here [over & over again], why and how I wanted to quit, and how each day went, etc.
To the original poster... [I'm sorry, I forgot your name]...work, work, work at it!! fight, fight, fight! It really *IS* all a mental trip...you are way past the addiction part of it...now be of strong mind, and work on the mental part of it. It is tough, but SO ARE YOU!! I also kept reminding myself, and telling myself this over and over again too... "I lived fine without nicotine for the 1st 17 years of my life, and I can live without it fine again!"
Don't give up...or give in, I mean. Yes, you can "prattle on" to us all you want... and we will help you. Come here daily....10 x a day if need be for a while...do whatever it takes. It works... I'm going on 4 years without a smoke come Sept. 24th. And I LOVE being a non smoker now!! I really do...although the first few months, oh really the first year, I was so close to giving in, ....but I kept "talking" myself out of it! There's so many people here who have quit, and we were all just as addicted to it the same...and people are succeeding everyday....I kept thinking of reports I had read, that millions of people have quit smoking...and I'd tell myself, well, if ALL of them can do it,...then I can too. Ya just have to mentally want it...bad enough! You can "kick butt" if you so desire to....
Bwitht, major hat's off to you. I can only imagine how hard the last couple months have been for you! But stay strong. You have come so far. It's really something to be so proud of.
Have you begun physical therapy yet? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel as to when you'll be able to take walks on your own or become a bit more independent?
I'm seeing something missing from your quit -- your rewards. These are so important to the mental aspect of quitting. We all associated smoking as a reward of sorts (even if we didn't "see" smoking as a reward, our brains sure did). When you take the puffs away, you need to make sure you put some rewards in there. It could be realizing how lovely exercise is when you're not a smoker, or enjoying a nice meal out with all the money saved, or a day at the spa to beautify those nails that are no longer yellow, or a massage to rid our bodies of the last of those toxins.
I know you said this isn't your husband's issue, but is it possible he could give you a hand in this respect? If he can't/won't, have you talked to your physician about your struggles? You've just done such an incredible job, like another poster mentioned, having to quit when maybe you weren't ready yet. A medical condition is sort of precluding you from being able to really enjoy so many of the benefits of being quit for two months.
If it were me, I wouldn't hesitate a second to reach out to those who love and care for me for a bit of pampering (spouse); or a stronger focus on the physical aspects of your recovery so that you can see firsthand how much your quit has helped your body (physician/PT).
Also, you said stress is a trigger for you. Even at home, isolated and sort of cooped up recovering from back surgery, try and find some stress-relievers. A good book, maybe? Meditation (the deep breathing might actually kill two birds with one stone there, giving you physical rewards from your quit, as well as being a stress-reliever)? What about cross-stitch or needlepoint? I could pull stuff out of the air all day, but something you could identify with and enjoy that would take some stress off.
Keep up the good fight. You've really come so far. And you did with pure willpower and cold turkey! I'm sure it's been extremely difficult. I'm quitting with medication, my husband, my mother, herbs, vitamins & supplements to help with moods and other physical issues, and even with all of that, it's difficult. You're an inspiration to have come so far without meds and with a smoker in your home. Don't give up!
bwitht....please, please keep going with your quit! it will be the best thing you ever did in life for your life!
i've had 5 major surgeries that i withdrew from nicotine in the hosp., wanting to stay quit each time. i never lasted as long as you, and hated myself each time i gave in.
i am trying again on monday(always on monday's, right?). you have 52 days under your belt, i will be glad when i have that, and i will have that!
keep up the good work....bevann
Deda: 4 years WOW. I will be saying that in just 3 yrs. 10 months!!
StenoLady: I have been in PT since week 3. Right now we are working on weekness in my left leg but I still have problems with control. The therapist thinks that the control problem is a nerve issue not strenght. I have my next post-op visit on 7/12. I hope I hear something other than "It took 11 months to get this way, it will take awhile to get better!" I am hoping to be rid of the turtle shell brace by the end of July.
I hadn't thought about rewards. I am going to spend some time thinking about setting up some rewards for my milestones.
I do have several hobbies, but my brace is making everything a chore. It is always in the way but it is keeping me straight, so I have to use it. I do enjoy the computer, that is why I am so glad I found these boards. I will be posting alot, I hope everyone wont get too tired of me.
I wanted to get some meds to help but... when it rains it pours; I called to get in to establish with a new general physician because mine recently left. I was told the earliest I could get in is August, and that was for post-op depression.
bevann: I look forwad to your posts detailing your smoke-free life!
Thanks all, having your encouragement really makes a big difference.
Deda: 4 years WOW. I will be saying that in just 3 yrs. 10 months!!
.....there you GO girlfriend!! Changing your thinking....thinking positive thoughts!! I was glad to see all of the advice that you received here....some good stuff too! This board is so great, and there's lots of very caring people here who truly want to help. We've all been there, done that...so we can tell you of our own our experiance, and you can pick up some hints here and there from all of us, and see what helps you.
I will try to get back later with some ideas of mine to keep you occupied. I was ill too when I first quit smoking, and although not confined to bed, I rarely left the house, only for Dr. appt's, and real important things. You're right, the computer was a life saver for me...social life here [because of it], and all. Met lots of great people on various boards, ordered lot of books [online], as reading is my passion....and of course some great movies on TV. I'll get back with you later....and you'll be in my prayers as well. (I also like puzzles, and they really took my mind off of smoking....and sometimes, my hubby would be sweet enough to come play a game of scrabble with me, or cards, or help me with my 1000 piece puzzle. Also, talking on the phone to my closest friends...always a mood lifter too!
See. things are looking up for you, already. What a great response you got here tday! You are not alone, ...okay?
Hang in there and don't go back to smoking, no matter what! I'm 48, just diagnosed with mild COPD and wish I'd quit sooner. Just feel thankful that you're still able to take a healthy deep breath and not feel like you aren't breathing right. Also, praise yourself everyday that you wake up and know that you didn't smoke the day before. That is the best feeling for me and the worst is waking up realizing that I slipped up and had a cigarette the day before. I quit 9 months ago when my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer at only age 66 and am scared of what my future holds at this point. Focus on yourself and recovering and never let your guard down. It's a life-long process, but you can do it. Hang in there and feel proud of yourself because you're only adding to your quality of life by staying smoke-free.
Thanks for the incouragement. I am currently 74 days quit and so far so good. I had some bad post-op depression and my Dr. put me on Cymbalta and Wellbutrin, so the Wellbutrin helps with the smoking also. The times when I think I would really like to light up, are getting fewer and farther between.