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    Old 10-26-2007, 07:58 PM   #16
    joekerr32
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    day 10

    well day 10 is almost over. 73 hours now without a smoke.

    today was TOUGH. the past two days haven't been easy, but today was really tough. ate like a pig as well (going to start a diet tomorrow, this eating has gotten out of control since i tried to quit). also felt achy and lethargic.

    but i try to remind myself that after 14 years of smoking every single day, you can't expect the body to start repairing all that damage without a little discomfort.

    on day 8 and 9 i took two 1mg pills, as directed, but today i've cut down to just taking one in the morning. i found the second one was increasing the side effects and i didn't really feel it helped any in terms of not wanting a smoke.

    while i made it through the day without buying any smokes, it was not easy today in the least. im a little worried, too many more days with this level of urges and i know i'll crack. but i'm sticking to it as best i can.

    considering i've never gone more than 22 hours without a smoke since i started smoking, the fact that i've gone 73 hours now without a smoke is pretty good. i just keep waiting for things to get a 'bit easier', so far the past three days have been tough.

     
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    Old 10-26-2007, 10:39 PM   #17
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    end of day 10-

    wow, barely made it through the day. but still didn't smoke.

    the cravings were REALLY bad towards the end of today. my mind has been in a constant tug of war between buying a pack just to have 'one' cigarette and sticking with the quit.

    people talk about cravings lasting 3-5 minutes, but i gotta tell ya, my cravings last 2-3 hours! i'll get in a slump where all i can think about for 2-3 hours is whether or not to have a smoke.

    thankfully, withe chantix i'm finding that its mostly a mental struggle more so than a physical one.

    anyway, strangely enough after getting stuck in that tug of war for a few hours tonight it seems to have passed.

    maybe what they say about the first 72 hours is true.

    either way, I'm fairly confident that if i wasn't taking chantix I would have caved by now.

    good news is that i only took the 1mg pill once this morning and skipped the evening dose and am feeling good. i think just one pill in the morning should be enough to keep going smoke free.

     
    Old 10-27-2007, 11:19 PM   #18
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    day 11

    ok, total emotional breakdown today. bad bad bad.

    now being smoke free for 4 days im beginning to realize that i've always 'assessed' my life through the eyes of a smoker. i've always thought things through with a cigarette in my hand - always had that calming presence to help me control my emotions.

    today was a horrible day. for some reason i was rehasing a lot of stuff from the past and was reacting VERY emotionally to it. stuff that i thought i had put to bed, suddenly i was rethinking and getting really upset over it. not fun.

    i haven't cried in heck, 20 years, and i cried tonight just a bit. like i say, for me a total emotional breakdown.

    and yet, despite this, i still didn't smoke. i've really resigned myself to the fact that cigarettes are only masking my problems, they aren't solving them, and that having a smoke won't make it feel better, it will only make me feel more 'numb'.

    so hopefully tomorrow is a better day. all i can say is that chantix obviously must be working, because there is no way i would have gone through what i did today and not have broken down and bought a pack of smokes.

    so quiting smokes has been anything but fun so far. and yet, somehow my quit continues.

    the best way to articulate the experience so far is that while quitting may feel horrible (even on chantix), im also aware that smoking would feel even worse.

    crossing my fingers that i can keep not smoking.

     
    Old 10-28-2007, 10:59 AM   #19
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    Re: started chantix today - impressed

    Hi Joe,

    Being emotional when first quitting isn't all that unusual and as you said. Smoking was masking these problems. In reality smoking created this problem. Nicotine hijacked the brains natural neurotransmitters only to cause us to rely on putting a poison into our bodies just to "feel good".

    While craves usually only last a few mintues. What you're describing is what is known as Fixating on a cigarette. This can be dangerous because we tend to focus only on smoking a cigarette. We forget about all the thousands of other cigarettes that will need to smoked after that one.

    Instead of focusing on just that one. Since there really is no such thing. Remember smoking at your old consumption. If you smoked 20 a day. Tell yourself that you will HAVE to smoke 20 cigarettes a day , everyday until it cripples then kills you. Seeing smoking for what it really is, makes it a lot less appetizing.

    While Chantix may be helping you. Never underestimate the power of YOU. It is you that is quitting smoking. It is you making the decision not to smoke.

    I have seen a lot of people use chantix. Some people have an easy time. Some people have a hard time.

    I have seen a lot of people quit cold turkey. Some people have an easy time. Some people have a hard time.

    The one thing is that no matter how a person quits. They are going to have craves. This addiction is very psycholigical.

    I have tried to quit smoking so amny times that I have lost count and I can tell you that all of those past quits were horrible.

    Even this quit for the first two days was no different. I was using the patch and I was having a horrible time. I thought, "Wow, this feels horrible. I can't imagine how bad it would be if I didn't have the patch." I was having panic attacks and the anxiety felt overwhelming.

    I then started learning about nicotine addiction and decided to take off the patch. To my amazement, I didn't feel any worse and actually I felt better, because I learned that a lot of the anxieties that we feel when we first quit are "US" fueling the fire of anxieties.

    Trying to fight off a crave is only going to create more anxieties. A good exercise when experiencing a crave is to acknowledge it and tell youself as a matter of factly that you're having a crave. Say it the same way as if you're making an observation about the weather. Saying" It's sunny outside."

    Calm yourself and practice slow, deep breathing. Anxiety will cause the muscles to get more tense causing more stress. Deep breathing can not only calm you, but it will help release the tension in your muscles.

    By doin this, you'll not make the crave anymore intense than it would otherwise be. It will help the feeling of anxiety die away faster.

    Just remember, this is smoking's fault. Not quitting's. Quitting is going to relieve you of these craves. While it is a temporary adjustment, it is an adjustment that is going to free you from HAVING to smoke.

    Craves do not last forever. The only people that have craves forever are people that don't quit smoking.



    Eric

     
    Old 10-28-2007, 11:27 AM   #20
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    Re: started chantix today - impressed

    well ive stop taking chantix. i couldn't get to sleep until 7am last night. i broke down in tears during the night (that is NOT me). i felt like my heart was goign to come out of my chest.

    anyway, i went and bought a pack of smokes today. i just had one - it tasted aweful, it smelled aweful and i dont think it calmed me down.

    im going to try and return to my quit, but im really hesitant about taking chantix again.

    i dont know what happened. the first week and a half i had lethargy and fogginess, but i wasnt a basketcase. now that the lethargy and foginess is gone, my emotions were out of control yesturday.

    i dont know what to do. im realizing that i've got a lot of anger issues relating to my past, and im thinking it might be best to simply smoke while i work those out.

    not sure what to do. this sucks.

    Last edited by joekerr32; 10-28-2007 at 11:28 AM.

     
    Old 10-28-2007, 12:00 PM   #21
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    Re: started chantix today - impressed

    ucanquit....

    i just read your post about emotions and the flood gates. and while i've had two smokes this morning, i just took my chantix pill. im going to try and keep going.

    i come from a family with a lot of repressed issues. and i always saw smoking as helping me 'cope' with those issues. although people in my family deal with it through other things - like weight gain, or depression, etc.

    but the reality is, smoking was merely a damn, keeping those issues at bay. it wasn't helping me get past those issues, it merely kept those issues in my life, just at a 'comfortable' distance.

    what i went through last night was basically the damn breaking. it took until day 4 of my quit for it to happen.

    currently my life is in a bit of turmoil as it is. then to have all these past issues come bursting through the damn - well, i felt like i was drowning i guess.

    but the reality is that a cigarette isn't going to change the past and its not going to change the future. thats on me. and my chances of changing the future for the better are higher if I deal with these issues and get to a point where im tackling life without an addiction.

    its hard to describe. as a smoke i did deal with these issues, but in many regards i delt with them from an unemotional stand point. now, im dealing with them all over again, but this time with emotion in the mix.

    i think i might have 'quit' a bit to early. i quit on day 8, and perhaps should have eased in to it. i went form half a pack during the first week to smoking nothing on day 8.

    my strategy now is going to be pretty simple. i was thinking of throwing out the smokes i bought, but i dont think that's the way to go. i think the way to go is to stay on the chantix, and if i have a breakdown like i did last night go ahead and have one smoke.

    I need to take things slow and easy over the next week or two. if i push myself too hard i know i'm goign to end up breaking and becomign a smoker again.

    despite day 4 (maybe it was day 5 cant remember) being utter hell, my desire to quit smoking is still there. so im not going to smoke, and hopefully only have a smoke if i absolutely need to. who knows, maybe last nights breakdown was a one time issue - the damn breaking if you will. perhaps im through the worst of it now.

    giving up something that has been your primary coping mechanism for over 14 years is way harder than i ever imagined. especially when you've had a tough life and saw smoking as one of the only 'positives' in your life.

    but im realizing even if there are no major positives in my life right now, that doesn't make smoking a positive.

    we talk about smoking like its a relationship, but the truth is its an abusive relationship. the only reason we can't see that is because, like a battered woman for instance, we'd rather be abused than have no one.

    what we fail to see, what i've failed to see, is that you will never be in a healthy relationship as long as you are in an abusive one. no one is going to swoop in an rescue you from yourself.

    and for me anyway, i've come to realize that letting go of cigarettes means STARTING LIFE OVER. i know that sounds melodramatic, but that IS what it will be for me. it means letting go of who i was - ie. the addict (and all the things i experienced as an addict) - and becomign a new me.

    this is the hardest thing i've ever done, but im not going to quit trying this time. one of my problems is that i can be a perfectionist - which is NOT a good thing when trying to quit. because when i fall of the wagon i get so down and hard on myself that i just give up. but this time, im going to forgive myself the 2 smokes this morning and get back up on the horse.

     
    Old 10-28-2007, 12:06 PM   #22
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    Re: started chantix today - impressed

    oh, and i also think that, like you say, it takes the brain time to recalibrate itself.

    i've had a couple of moments over the past few days (lasting maybe 10 minutes each) where i actually felt good.

    so part of the issue maybe simply my brain going through a period of low dopamine production and hence an ensuing sense of depression.

    but feeling better today, and like i say, back on the horse!

     
    Old 10-28-2007, 05:00 PM   #23
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    Re: started chantix today - impressed

    Hi there...I started Chantix on October 8 and completely quit on October 16th. The only real side effect I feel is a loss of energy. I am doing okay though. Feeling a little depressed but not sure if that is due to meds or not
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    Old 10-28-2007, 05:35 PM   #24
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    Re: started chantix today - impressed

    im feeling horrible again on chantix. my system can't take it anymore.
    feeling even worse if i smoke while on chantix.

    so the good news is, i feel so utterly horrible that tomorrow im going to try and go cold turkey.

    if i have to ill take .5 of chantix.

    chantix started off so well, but at this point i feel so horrible on it that i just cant keep taking it.

    but like i say, my determination to quit is stronger than ever and a lot of that has to do with going 4 days without a smoke (which was due to chantix). i now believe that i can live a smoke free life - i just have to turn belief into action.

     
    Old 10-29-2007, 06:14 AM   #25
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    Re: started chantix today - impressed

    Hi Joe,

    I see that you're going to quit smoking cold turkey. I highly reccomend reading "Minimizing Withdrawal Symptoms" that I put up in the post. It will really help with quitting.

    I think you may be giving Chantix too much credit. YOU quit for 4 days. It was YOU that didn't smoke.

    It reminds me of when I first used the patch for the first 2 days when I quit smoking. I was feeling horrible and having panic attacks and I kept thinking " If I feel this bad using the patch. I couldn't imagine how I would feel without it." To my surprise when I did take off the patch. I felt no worse and actually felt better after someone pointed out to me that a lot of the anxiety I was feeling was coming from within me and not the withdrawal.

    I don't know what you're anticipating today by quitting cold turkey, but I think that people trying to quit have been brainwashed into thinking that you almost have to be super human to do it.

    I have seen it too many times on quitting smoking forums. People trying to quit with NRT's thinking that they are not strong enough to quit cold turkey and people quitting cold turkey and trying to wear it like some badge of honor to show how strong they are.

    I quit cold turkey. Actually I quit with education and a side of cold turkey and I can tell you with full faith that I am not a strong person. I have tried to quit countless times and all of those quits were like being in hell. I thought that I was a hopeless addict that was going to die a smoker. It's not about being stronger than your addiction. It's about being smarter than your addiction. i think all of us have proved by being here that we are not stronger.

    Just to give you a heads up on quitting cold turkey. Within 72 hours, nicotine is pretty much out of the bloodstream. This is when withdrawal usually peaks and starts to decline. Within 10 to 14 days, physical withdrawal stops. It is usually within the first few days that you notice it though.

    Most of us try to fight off craves when quitting. This really will only increase anxieties that you're feeling. It is like trying to stop a wave from reaching the beach. There will only be a lot of energy wasted and really not much to show for it.

    When you get a crave. Instead of putting yourself into the fight or flight mode of fighting it off ( which is already happening with the crave itself). Stop and start doing slow deep breathing. Look at the crave head on. Tell yourself that you having a crave in a matter of fact type of way. As if you were mentioning that "Today is a sunny day" in casual conversation.

    Feel and see the crave for what it is. A feeling. A feeling that you may not particularly like. A feeling that may annoy the hell out of you, but it is still only a feeling. It cannot cut you or make you bleed. It cannot do anything to you. By remaining calm and doing slow deep breathing. The anxieties will begin to ease and then stop. Remember, the crave is going to pass whether you smoke or not.

    Embrace your craves. Don't fight them. What really makes craves feel unbearable is not really the crave itself. It is the fear of not being able to put a stop to the crave the only way we know how......by smoking a cigarette that creates such anxiety.

    DO NOT FIXATE ON A CIGARETTE.

    These craves do not last forever. It is only a temporary adjustment to your freedom!

    I saw that you mentioned in an earlier reply about smoking a cigarette only when you really really ahd to. This was when you still were doing the Chantix, but I just want to let you know to be clear. DO NOT TAKE EVEN ONE PUFF. It is only by doing this, does someone put themselves through a more grueling process than really need be. All this does by smoking one cigarette is re introduce nicotine into the system. The person will have to eventually go through some kind of withdrawal and if they keep up this cycle they will be in what is known as chronic withdrawal.

    Smoking a cigarette will never save you from withdrawal or take away those craves. It will only reinforce your addiction and create a physical need for another cigarette. This addiction is a beast that can never be satisfied. No matter how many cigarettes you smoke.

    Remember, you're not depriving yourself of anything. You are freeing yourself from a useless deadly addiction.


    Eric

     
    Old 10-29-2007, 07:19 AM   #26
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    Re: started chantix today - impressed

    Joe,

    How are you doing on the Chantix? Tell me, is it terribly expensive there where you are? My doctors prescribed it on Friday...said I gotta do this or it's like live or die! Like, I believe them. I want to to quit. Well, lI'm hunting on the internet all over trying to find a coupon. I can't afford the 65 bucks that is what I owe after my plan pays. Just can't do it on Social InSecurity. Do you know or have extra coupons?
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    Old 10-29-2007, 07:40 AM   #27
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    Re: started chantix today - impressed

    Hi guys,

    I'm new here, but have read a lot of your posts about Chantix. Sadly, they are making me sick..which is how I ended up here. This morning was my first "whole" pill..and it stayed down about an hour. I suddenly became violently ill. Now I am not sure what to do. After talking to my doctor..she recommend I stay with half a pill 2xdaily for a while as well as the patch. I will try this I guess..but man..this morning was rough.

    I like the pill..it really makes cigarettes taste horrid and hope I can continue. Has anyone else had this problem?

    For me..this second time around is stupid. I quit in Sept. 2005 with the patches alone..well..that and a LOT of determination. It worked..for over a year I was smoke free and not even thinking about them. Then..I found out my husband <whom I thought quit with me> was sneaking them and never really quit. I was so upset about this that I bought a pack of them. The really stupid thing is..I had to FORCE myself to smoke!! I had no desire..they tasted terrible and my lungs were on fire with each inhale. Did I stop? Nope..I told myself that maybe if he saw me smoking again..he would really stop. Well...that was foolish on my behalf..he didn't. So..here I am a year later and STILL smoking.

    I will say that in the last 4 days that I have been using this pill..I have smoked very little. The half pill morning and night are helping stop my "enjoyment" of it. I just pray I can continue with just the half and eventually stop totally. I am right now doing about 4 a day. I'm close..and I KNOW I can do this..I have done it before with just the patch...grrrr..that is what is so depressing for me. I had it licked and now have to do it again.

    I would like to say one thing to those quitting for the first time. They say..you never loose the desire..never loose the craving..BULL..by the 6 month mark..I never thought of them at all..maybe even sooner than that. I would see people going outside for a smoke and just thank my lucky stars I no longer even wanted them. So for those first time quitters..stick to it..once you lick this..you really will be smoke free unless you do something stupid like I did.

    BTW...my husband still smokes..is taking the pill again too..but to be honest..I doubt he will quit this time either. Why? No idea..I believe he just has his brain conditioned that he can't do without them. Sad huh?

    Wish me luck..and to you I say...STICK WITH IT..it's so great to NOT smoke!

    huggggs,
    Styler

     
    Old 10-29-2007, 09:54 AM   #28
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    Re: started chantix today - impressed

    [SIZE="4"]Good morning. I too have just started Chantix. I was too ill with my IBS-D, so I missed 1 day. So this is day 4. This is when I start 2 a day.
    I guess I will start with a little bio(VERY little I am 60 yrs. old and have been smoking for 49 yrs. I have never tried quitting before, and of course I am paying for it medically. That is 1 reason I need to quit. The other is I now have 2 great grandchildren, and I really would like to spend a lot of time with them.
    I have been telling myself for yrs. that I need to quit, then I light up . My doctor says he has gotton very good feedback about Chantix. My quit day is 4 days away, and I hope I can do it! Part of the problem is this computer. I spend a lot of time here on several message boards, and I smoke a lot while doing it. Just have to make up my mind to leave it alone. I havent noticed any change in my smoking habits yet, but maybe today with taking 2 pills.
    Well, I thank e1 who took the time to read this, and will appreciate any suggastions, or comments. Hope you are all having a great day, and hopfully smoke free!!!
    Thanks, catlover

     
    Old 10-29-2007, 10:18 AM   #29
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    first day without chantix

    well, i've gone off the chantix and i gotta say, i feel fine.

    in fact, this is a welcome relief to how i felt on chantix. at no point did i feel 'myself' when on it. but despite that it did stop my desire to smoke.

    if i hadn't gotten those 4 days of non smoking in with chantix, i dont know if id still be smoke free. but so far today i am. i have no desire to smoke.

    i've never been a coffee drinker and i just started. i love this stuff. its gives me the same 'pick me up' as smoking does, but without the hacking and coughing.

    for those who took chantix and had no side effects, wow you are so lucky. it would be a great way to quit for sure. but because of how i was feeling, i couldn't stand to take it beyond the 1.5 weeks i did.

    but on the bright side, not smoking for 4 days on chantix really broke the myth i had that i NEEDED to smoke. i didn't! and i don't! i know that now.

    in a wierd way, the chantix experience for me was NOT fun, but it did remove most of the desire to smoke, so it make quiting easier. but perhaps precisely because it was hard that i am able to be smoke free now without it - i never want to go back to smokes and have to go through quitting again (whether cold turkey or with chantix).

    Last edited by joekerr32; 10-29-2007 at 10:21 AM.

     
    Old 10-29-2007, 01:21 PM   #30
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    Re: first day without chantix

    Hey Joe, you can do this...you ARE doing this. Chantix is working for me. It is so damn expensive though, that is the only down-side for me. I do have slight depression but don't think it is directly related to Chantix.
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