Knocking the Fags on the Head – Pt 2

Previously, on Place of Stuff.. ..

You may recall (and if you don’t, scroll down a bit or click the above link) that I had decided to cease smoking. My original plan was to use methods found in the book Allen Carr’s Easy Way To Stop Smoking – since the book had the magic words “easy way”, it seemed the ideal way to stop. Well, I am sorry to say that it didn’t work for me. I’d like to emphasise that last bit, it didn’t work for me. This does not (and should not) mean that it won’t work for anyone else. In fact, as I said previously, it worked well for a colleague and she has been off them for a few weeks.

I lasted the grand total of 12 hours. Noon on Saturday 20th January until midnight the same day. Throughout the day I was snappy, bad tempered, grumpy and just generally awful to be around. A real caricature of someone coming off the smokes. To be honest, it was the absolutely worst experience I have ever had giving up anything.

Time to talk about the system (though not in too much detail – I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who is wishing to try it) I think and why I think I failed at it. Firstly, I followed my usual trend and didn’t quite believe the hype. This is a bad thing in this case because, as it’s a self help book, failing to believe it fully meant that the messages didn’t sink in. I also failed because I kept very very quiet about what it was I was trying to do – this meant that I just seemed to be very bad tempered without reason. If I had shared my intentions, I would have had some emotional support as well as some space. I believe that I should have read through it in one sitting and maybe gone back over it – I went the other way, read it once over a few days. Unfortunately, I felt it working less as I progressed through the book, and that is my failing.

Having returned to smoking throughout Sunday, I was determined to give it another go. Cold turkey was obviously not the answer and so I have turned to nicotine patches. This works in an entirely different way. Obviously. It takes a 3 stage approach over 3 months. Smokers who are on 20 or more a day get to start with Stage 1 – this is the strongest patch and needs to be worn for 3-4 weeks. Not the one patch, of course, one box has a week’s worth of patches and they are to be changed daily. After 3-4 weeks, you go to Stage 2, a slightly weaker patch. And after a further 3-4 weeks, you go to Stage 3, the weakest patch of all. 3-4 weeks later, you are off both the patches and the smokes.

I have been wearing one since 7am, it is now 8pm (GMT) and so I have had it on for 13 hours. I don’t have a craving, as such, but I feel the absence. Especially now when I have eaten and would normally settle down with a book, with the computer or with a programme I wanted to watch. These are the times to watch myself. Since I have spent £30 on the patches, I will feel especially bad if I stop them and return to smoking. So I am likely to have them on for 2 weeks. Or a fortnight, whichever comes first.

I am also trying to change other habits: I now drink far less coffee (if you feel comfortable taking 12 hours worth of data!) and am planning to take up exercise in a gym!!  I have even drunk green tea.  This is how seriously I am taking it.  Next stage of that is to drink more water to help flush my system through.
So there we have it, the ambitious all or nothing approach failed miserably and I have high hopes of this method.

Next: events and other happenings!!

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Posted on 22 January, 2007, in Quit Smoking. Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. No matter how bad it gets, do NOT try setting fire to the patches and inhaling the smoke. They AREN’T cigarette substitutes in that way 🙂

    Too bad about the first attempt. At least it didn’t put you off giving up.

    There was some news a while ago about an advance in medication: They had a drug they thought could stop nicotine actually having its effect on the brain. That would mean if they gave it to kids too young to smoke, it would ‘vaccinate’ them against nicotine and they’d never get addicted to cigarettes.

    So you might be the last generation to go through all this!

  2. Hmm, thought control – that’d work and this government loves the idea of controlling a nation of zombies so I can definitely see it being tried out.

    Personally, I would love a drug or a wand or something which would kill the addiction and the cravings instantly. But hard work will make it seem more worthwhile I guess.. :happy:

  3. 12 hours? Ughhh.. If you really want to quit, come visit me in Austin and I’ll get you to quit. I’ll lock you in a room, padded if requested with a bed and books. You won’t be allowed out. You’ll have to stay there for 72 hours (typical time frame to detox your body and lungs of nicotine) and there after we’ll start the new course of your life smoke free.. 😉

    Once you get past the 72 hours of your body addiction, it’s all in your mind there after and that’s when it’s actually the hardest. It’s all a matter of will power to battle an addiction.

  4. note to self- don’t ever visit drew… :ninja:

  5. You’ll be ok if you don’t smoke or say you’re gonna quit and give up after 12 hours.. 😉

    Honestly, I’m a nice guy. :w00t:

  6. I have no need to go to Texas (not that I don’t want to go, of course, just don’t need to go 😉 ) – yesterday I had mildly bad cravings, today I am much better.
    I did have a vivid dream last night in which I had accepted and smoked a cigarette and then felt very disappointed with myself on waking. Then I realised it was only a dream and felt much better :tongue:
    Today I miss it less and I suspect that if this goes on, I will only require 9 weeks rather than 12. But lets see how it goes….

  7. I officially sanction your “Quit Smoking” programme, and authorize you to take all steps necessary to eliminate the drug from your biological system and the craving from your pscyhological system. :cheerful:

    Oh, no, I’m not on drugs. :devil:

  8. Thanks Hari – 48 hours without a smoke and counting!!

  9. Just a little over 12 more hours and your body should be free of the toxins.. then it’s all mental from there 😉

  10. About 16 more hours, with a chunk of that happening while I sleep! I haven’t had any serious cravings since sometime on Monday – the patches must be working.

  11. I’m pullin’ for ya.

  12. Keep it up, Ray! I really respect anyone who tries to quit – it’s tough, and it takes a lot of guts and willpower to do it. Something else that might help is making a promise to someone you love that you won’t smoke another fag ever again 😉

    Good luck!

  13. Cheers, Ive almost gotten through 5 days (that’ll happen tomorrow morning). It’s been easier than I thought and also harder. Only a lifetime more to go……. :sideways:

  14. yay! quitting on your own has got to be better than brain damage :unsure:

  15. So if Ray fails, all we need to do is punch him in his head and make sure we hit his insula.. I’m up for that.. :ninja:

  16. And if that doesn’t work, we can always grab a crobar… :ninja:

  17. Personally, I think that the science fiction dystopias of yesteryear are getting closer and closer :unsure:

  18. Smoking can be as tough an addiction to kick as anything, people who go to drug rehab aren’t allowed to smoke because it triggers behavior that lead to drug abuse

  19. You can do it if you try and persevere hard enough ! Just believe in yourself. Try searching my side for additional motivation : http://cigarette-free.com

  20. You have to stick it out for the first 3-4 days, after that it’s all mental.

    Chris@Things To Do Instead Of Smoking´s last blog post..How To Make Your Wife Quit Smoking

  21. Hi, I think first you should understand, that u dont want to smoke, and then you manage to give it up, because health is the most important thing in our live. I also smoked, but one day I sad “stop” and give it up, so I think everyone manage to do it.

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