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Young Lawyer can't quit
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Young Lawyer can't quit

The stress from my job is killing me, but I can't quit smoking no matter how hard I try....  

I've been smoking since I was twelve, smoking regularly throughout high school, smoking even more college and law school; and kept on smoking during my two years working as a law clerk for the county courthouse, almost two packs a day for the past ten years --- and I just dont know how to quit. My new job as a entry level associate has me so stressed out Im smoking more than ever, but its getting me into trouble at work because Im always needing to take smoke breaks at the office, usually two or three in the morning, another for lunch, and at least another two or three more smoke breaks every the afternoon.

My new boss even recently complained that I always smell overpoweringly like stale cigarettes!!  Even though I wear alot of perfume and chew alot of Nicorette Mint gum, its still not enough!  Im afraid Chantix would make my anxiety attacks even worse and terrified of the thought of not being able to smoke again. I know thats just the addiction talking, but I dont know what else to do.
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Avatar_m_tn
Well, you can quit.  When you take the mentality of not being able to quit, you are reinforcing in your mind that indeed you cannot quit.  Quitting is a commitment.  It takes planning and preparation, and most importantly.  (If you are going to let a habit ruin your job, I'd suggest some therapy/counseling)

You've got to put your head in the right spot.  You need to start thinking about what smoking is actually doing to your body/health.  I mean, we know there are no benefits to smoking.... so start there!  We do know that there are benefits to quitting. (Having quit myself, I often look at how pitiful people look huddling in small places to sneak a smoke.... just like little crack heads hitting their jones.... pitiful!!!)  I can smell stale cigarette smoke a mile away, and honestly.... it is pretty offensive especially if its covered with perfume.  

So, you've got a good job to consider, (you said you were in trouble with the boss because of the habit) you've got whats left of your health and the ability to improve that.
When you quit, you will not smell offensive. (Stale cigarettes)

Here's the deal, you lack the commitment to quit.  You are holding on to the stress as a reason to keep smoking, and then if you continue to smoke plus are chewing nicorette, you are essentially doubling your nicotene intake making the habit worse.  You need to speak to your health care professional, and the sooner the better.  He/she can give you numerous options as to different meds and quitting strategies.  (For me, I quit cold turkey after using for 30 years.... had enough of the ugly habit, realized what it was doing to my health and appearance, realized it made me stink, realized it hindered some levels of my professional performance...... and I just stopped.)  It can be done.

Use the same commitment you used to get through law school.  No vice you had got you through law school, it was determination.  That is all you need.  Start seeing yourself as a winner.... visualize all of the postiives of quitting.  Realize that there are no negatives to quitting.... give me one negative to quitting????  Cant do it, can ya?
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Avatar_m_tn
Please don't take this the wrong way, because this is helpful in you quitting. You are not quitting because you don't want to quit. I know that sounds redundant, but there is truth to it. People do not quit cigarettes because they don't want to........at least bad enough to do it.

I know you didn't come here to have someone tell you what you probably already knew. I said that because you can use it to stop.

That many breaks for smoking IS going to get you in lots of trouble.

What you need to do is try different techniques (but still know that unless you really really want to quit, you won't). Find the one that works the best for you, get to a point of no return and JUMP into quitting.

One thing you can try is tapering down. You can start at your two packs and go down two or three smokes a day. That might not work the best, but it might.

Another thing you can try, and this one could do the trick providing you put all your want to not smoke into it, is only take half of what you smoke every day and just know, if you smoke your smokes to fast, you won't have any. You already feel bad enough smoking, imagine how you would feel if you asked a co-worker to bum a smoke. If you were to get more of a control on your smoking in this way, then you just taper down in that way. Start with taking half of what you take to work, get yourself a fire safe for the rest, take the key, and every time you are at home, look at the key, then look at your work. Think about how devastating it would be if you were to seriously be let go of this promising career all because you wanted the smokes more than you wanted the job. After about a week, take half of that half to work with you. Keep going down as much as you can.

Also, there are lots of supporters here and you can find some to talk to.

This is just my personal advice, please don't take it offensively.
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1565702_tn?1295296430

You are probably right that deep down I probably dont really want to quit yet, I just feel pressured like I need to. Im in such a financial mess right now, stressed out from being in the middle of a divorce, stuck with a difficult job that I want to be grateful for, but just dont get paid enough to hardly pay the tidal wave of mounting bills, student loan debts, etc. Its almost like cigarettes are the only family I have left, and the last bit of solace I can find, 3 minutes at a time.

I may try the tapering down thing you mentioned, the two to three packs a day Ive been smoking lately has really been out of control and its no wonder my Boss told me I smell like an ashtray. But its not like I dont know other lawyers who smoke, lots of them do, it helps deal with the stress, I just dont want to get fussed at for it. I hoping that if I can slowly taper down, one cigarette less each week, until Im down to only one pack a day; then maybe I can manage that. I'll probably still have to keep chewing the Nicorette gum all the time like I do now, maybe more so, but I dont know what else to try.

Id thought about trying those nicotine patches too, along with the nicorette and slowly tapering down how much I smoke; but Im afraid the patches will give me bad rashes. I had previously tried those birth control patches and they always caused my skin to break out, so Ive been reluctant to go back down that road.
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Avatar_m_tn
Don't get me wrong, I smoke and right now I am on a taper down system with another person on this site. I quit smoking for one month short of three years. Because of idiocy I started back up. I am not claiming to have it down while telling you anything, I am just trying to help.

You can do it.
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Avatar_f_tn
Anxiety is a real issue for many people who try to get off cigarettes. Not everyone but some really have problems with it. I might suggest visiting your family doctor for something for the anxiety and then make a plan and go cold turkey. Utilize the anti anxiety meds to help you do it. Dont wait until the choice to quit becomes to either quit smoking or to quit breathing. Or both. It is very very hard to get the mindset, but it is all about the mindset that will get you thru, not alternative therepies or tapering or anything else. Just lay em down and keep going and dont look back.
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948349_tn?1294383837
Hey my personal suggestion to you is to take a week off from work and just dedicate it to quitting!  You won't have to deal with any stress... and you can lay in bed all day while drinking water and fruit juice!  I find it easier to quit if you aren't out and about doing the things you do during the day because that causes so much stress...

The first 3 days are the worst based on what I experienced through quitting and from what I have heard from other people.  It takes 72 hours to completely eliminate all nicotine from the body... and acidic drinks help and may actually speed up that elimination...  Which maybe part of the reason why coffee, and alcoholic drinks cause such strong cravings.  But don't use those 2 kinds of drinks at all while you are quitting because they can trigger a strong steady craving.  Instead drink orange juice and water.

Also one thing you have to consider when you are quitting smoking... I will say don't give up quitting if you do give into a craving, however when you do give into a craving it reinforces the cravings you will get.  Both in frequency and intensity.  For that week you quit... don't give into a craving, it just reinforces the addiction.  You have to go cold turkey when quitting and that includes all nicotine products such as nicorette.  It's tough at first but that's why not having to do anything really helps in quitting.  

Best not to have caffeine or alcohol for a month or so after quitting... I have always found that when I was quitting they induced strong cravings that sometimes I would give into.  

I just wanted to say anxiety was a huge issue for me... Especially anxiety induced from stressful situations have always been a trigger for me.  In fact the last 2 times I started smoking again in the past 3 years have been from heavy stress inducing so much anxiety that I felt I really needed a crutch.  

What I'm trying to learn how to do is deal with anxiety like this without the use of a cigarette... I have been pretty good so far, I'm 2 weeks from my last cigarette and no anxiety.  I think the anxiety is relieved so much from the nicotine but at the same time when the nicotine wears off the anxiety actually might get worse?

Another thing I might suggest is electronic cigarettes which vaporize the nicotine and so you don't inhale all the bi-products of tobacco combustion.  I shouldn't be suggesting that as the only way to resolve a nicotine addiction is not giving into a craving and giving your body time to readjust to no nicotine.  But still it's not nearly as bad on your overall health is as smoking a cigarette.  Maybe try doing that instead until you are officially ready to take time off work and quit smoking?
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Avatar_m_tn
I am here to tell you that many, many people have stressful situations and they don't smoke.  Using the stress level is a crutch and you're justifying your usage, and that's ok if you aren't going to quit.  The fact is, the decision to smoke is yours.... you can choose to smoke or choose to not smoke.  Help is available, but you have to want to quit, and you have to want help....

Stressful job, bills piling up, student loans, debts.... yup, stressful for sure, but welcome to real life!  If you quit smoking 2-3 packs a day you'd be saving $10-$15 per day.  Now I'm no genius but saving $15 per day equates to about $450 a month..... couldn't you apply that to the bills?  I'm no economist either, but that seems like a great way to knock some of the bills down.  Taking care of some of those bills would drop the stress level, and that too would be beneficial to your health.

So you quit smoking and your physical health improves, the money your saving by not smoking goes to bills and that lowers the stress level and stabilizes your mental health.... hmmm, sorry but I am not finding one good reason for you to keep smoking but do keep finding numerous good reasons for you too quit..... I guess its up to you in the end.  Cancer.... imagine the bills that rack up while fighting cancer.... oral cancer, esophogeal cancer, stomach cancer, lung cancer..... none of them are painless either.  In fact, I have seen a few people die of cancer and not one of them enjoyed the slow agonizing death.  I wish they were here to tell you that, but they're dead.....

Quit using stress as a reason to smoke and use stress as a reason to quit.  Stress is far worse if you make yourself ill and have to deal with it.  Smoking has never been linked to health benefits.... quit!  No excuses!
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948349_tn?1294383837
Keep in mind 30% of all cancers world wide are tobacco related...

But what about just being able to breath fresh air... what a gift!!!  It feels so good to be able to breath... and that can be used to help with stress too... just taking fresh breaths.

Don't forget about pre mature wrinkling... nicotine constricts and ages all the capillaries in your body... it makes people look a bit pale too because of carbon dioxide from the cigarettes displaces the oxygen in your hemoglobin.  So your bloods oxygen capacity to carry blood is reduced... and if you keep smoking your lung capacity will also be reduced as well.

your skin will look more youthful... and you will stay younger longer if you quit!  Keep that in mind.

check out this site:

whyquit.com

I read all the stuff on that website because I was just about ready to quit and I kept pushing my habit longer than I wanted to use it as a crutch.  I almost quit on the spot after reading through that website.  Really I read that, had 1 more cigarette and quit... I broke all the rest of my cigarettes and flushed them all down the toilet.  

In the end cigarettes really are an all or none addiction.  You choose to smoke or you don't.  If you choose to smoke you might as well smoke until you die, but if you choose to quit you will be so glad you did going on forward in the future.
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1565702_tn?1295296430
I know that I "need" to quit, and I know the damage I'm doing to my lungs and my purse, its just so hard to get motivated. Actually, the expense of keeping up a 3 pack a day habbit was getting so high a couple of years ago that I had to start ordering my cigarettes online, because I could get much better discounts ordering at least 10 cartons at a time, and that would usually last me a month or so. I feel bad because I just got another delivery yesterday with another ten cartons of Marlboros that were supposed to last me into February. On the website I order from it usually runs around $220 plus shipping, so its still a big expense, but it saves me alot of money.

Funny thing is I felt brilliant when I first thought of ordering my cigarettes in bulk, because it saved me so much cash - now I kind of feel ridiculous about it. Yesterday in the elevator leaving work I accidentally dropped my purse and about five packs of cigarettes fell out onto the floor, along with some of my other stuff - and the gentleman who helped me pick them up commented that I must be some kind of serious chain smoker because he'd never seen such a pretty young lady carrying around so many cigarettes. I told him I was trying to quit and he just chuckled. I was so embarrassed.

But its not like I'm oblivious to what it does to me. My ex-husband used to comment about the way it was causing me to have premature wrinkles, aging my skin, leaving yellowish nicotine stains on my teeth and giving me constant smokers breath. He was a former smoker himself who had quit and he regularly complained about my excessive smoking, whether in the car, or at home watching tv, or in the bed, or even in the bathroom, which I have to admit is a guilty pleasure of mine to smoke while taking a long bath; it was the source of alot of fights - but the more he complained about it, the more it determined it made me not to give in and quit for him.

The problem is I know I have to quit eventually, and I know its taking a toll on my body. Just this morning I was feeling short of breath again, like I often do, and I wasnt doing anything really strenous, just getting dressed for work. It scared me a little, because I remember my Aunt who was also a heavy smoker being the same way when I was growing up and she was in her forties, and she passed away from lung cancer several years ago just before I graduated college. But as awful as that was, it still didnt stop both of her daughters from becoming smokers, and it didnt stop me either.

I wish I could take off a week from work to try to quit, or even a month, but I cant. Even if I had the vacation time to take I couldnt afford to miss the pay. The stress from my job is still driving me crazy, and Im probably going to have to make an appointment with a therapist to see about getting on different anti-anxiety medication and maybe get some treatment for depression as well.

I read somewhere on here that Wellbutrin can be used to help some people quit smoking, and maybe it could help me too. I bought another box of the Mint Nicorette gum yesterday and Im chewing some right now, even though I need a cigarette really bad right now. My short term goal for the next few months is to try and take fewer cigarette breaks while at work, and to start smoking one cigarette less per week until Im only smoking maybe 30 cigarettes a day. If I can learn to control myself and my addiction and maintain that level for a while, then I can look at trying to cut down to only a pack a day, and go from there.

I really admire everyone who is able to quit cold turkey, but I just dont see myself being able to do that and Im just too scared to try that right now - but I still appreciate everyones comments and suggestions.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am familiar with the fear of which you speak, and the habit and the constant thinking about either smoking or how to quit smoking, the worrying about my health and the seemingly lack of power to do anything other than worry. Most if not all smokers have been where you are and know first hand that of which u speak. I am familiar with the embarrassment, the guilt, the whole nine yards. I am familiar with the heavy tightness in the chest that serves as a reminder of just how out of control life is for the one living it. For each of us comes a day of reckoning. That is if we are lucky. When I realized that I do not have to have an active infection in my lungs in order for them to simply stop working did it for me. When I woke from my sleep and could not get a breath, my lungs simply ceased to accept air. That did it for me. That particular fear of dying right on the spot and the realization that I would die and would die sooner with a smoke in my mouth than without it. Yep that did it for me. When I realized that just being around the smoke from someone else smoking is enuff to irritate my bronchials and cause them to swell and close, just that fast and cost me my life, yep that did it for me. That fear outweighed the fear of not having a smoke to get me thru the day or the week. We all walk a journey of our own and no one can walk it for us. Just like death, it is we that make the journey ahead and alone, no one is going to do it with us, yep it is that fear that outweighed the fear of running out of smokes that did it for me. Today it is 19 days, crave free, without a second glance back. No craves, no temptation, no desire to smoke anymore, but a deep deep desire to feel that wind on my cheek and appreciate a deep deep breath of fresh air. Yep, that one instant when that breath was not there to take when I expected it to be and took it for granted, made me realize that I wanted to breathe much much more than I wanted a cigarette. That is my journey, and as I said we all walk it alone ourselves, but what I can do is share my story and offer the support to someone who is where I was and pray that you, like me, gets that day of reckoning in time to change your future. Hugs
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Avatar_m_tn
When I was 22 I went with my dad to a casino. It was the first time I would be able to drink, smoke, and gamble. I had the mudslides coming, I had a couple packs of smokes, and I had a decent amount of money to have fun with. I was on my fifth mudslide so of course I was smoking more than usual. I was having fun, the ashtray filling up. I looked around me, saw a huge cloud of smoke hanging over my head in the top of the casino. I looked over to the other side of the casino isle and saw an old man. I noticed that he was playing, smoking, and I noticed that he had an oxygen mask. I noticed he would take a hit of the cigarette and then a breath off his oxygen mask. What I noticed though, while keeping an eye on him, (and what scared me beyond belief) is that he was smoking twice what I was smoking. I mean common, I am 22, no oxygen mask, and this poor old man is so much of a slave to smoking that even after needing an oxygen mask, he is smoking more than me.

Two months after, I stopped cold turkey, it went good until I started having panic attacks and was not able to enjoy coffee, chocolate, basically anything with caffeine. I made a stupid choice, and now I am stuck again on the smoking, but I am planning on quitting again, I like everyone else have to really want to quit in order to quit.
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1565702_tn?1295296430

I appreciate everyone's stories, and they do help me get a reference on it. But today was a really long, stressful day at work, and I was so stressed out I didnt even realize I had actually finished three packs of cigarettes until an hour ago. I promised myself I wouldnt stoop so low as to open a FOURTH PACK OF CIGARETTES TODAY, so Ive been trying so hard the past hour to hold off until at least a minute after midnight, so that I wouldnt be "smoking 4 packs a day"...

Its just that my cigarette cravings are so bad, I can't hardly stand it, even though I know I only have 15 minutes to go. Whats worse is that my chest has felt really tight tonight, and I felt short of breath just walking to my apartment from the parking lot, although Im sure it didnt help I had a cigarette clinched in my mouth and was carrying large case files and trying to walk up a flight of stairs in new high heels that arent broken in and gave me awful blisters today, but it was still scary to find myself literally gasping for breath again. Im fairly slender and although I dont workout, I dont consider myself to be in terrible shape, but these breathing problems have me paranoid with the thought of being strapped to an oxygen tank and dying in my late forties or early fifties.

Its just that sometimes I feel so overwhelmed by everything, both at work and in my two failed marriages, that I just dont think I can muster the will to go cold turkey yet. Sometimes I overthink it and I feel that I just need my cigarettes too much to let go. But for today and the few minutes that remain, I'll consider it an accomplishment if I can just keep myself from opening that 4th pack of cigarettes today... maybe tomorrow I can try it again, with one cigarette less... but for now Im counting on small victories one cigarette at a time.
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Avatar_m_tn
Smoking less can work, if you want it to. I will be honest with you, and this IS a non judgmental comment. You will not quit unless you want to.Whenever you give a reason why you are still smoking, it's an excuse, period. This applies to me as well. You are not alone in the "I picked a bad day to quit" line. There will ALWAYS be a reason why you are stressed and why it's a bad time to quit.

I wanted to have a partner in quitting smoking, they posted on here and agreed. Starting the first day they just stopped messaging or talking to me.

Having someone help you is a great motivator. Again though, you won't stop unless you want to. There is incredibly small physical addiction to your smokes, it's almost all mental. Small cutbacks are better than none. What I see though is you saying "I don't think I could quit cold turkey" and "I would love to take a week or month off to quit". These are things to keep us smoking. It is amazing what the mind will come up with to keep us doing something we are addicted to. Oh, and if you are at four packs a day, or even if you get down to three, please stop with the gum too, for health reasons, this again is not to judge you, I have done both also.

This is the final thing, please think about it, because it's the one nagging thing keeping quitting on my mind.

"Having a job, car, house, family means nothing, if you are in a hospital room hooked up to a breathing machine or in the ground because you were not able to stop".

Harsh, but true. When I say this, it's not like some people on the site, some who made the same promise to me. If you need to talk or want support, I am here for you.
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948349_tn?1294383837
Hey just wanted to say really the only way to quit is cold turkey.  You may get really intense urges to smoke... but the only way to get those urges to reduce in frequency and intensity in the quickest way possible is to go cold turkey.

Did you consider the option of electronic cigarettes?  At least you won't have to suck back all those bi-products of tobacco combustion that are highly carcinogenic.  

I looked at your picture, you do look pretty and young... why you want to make yourself older faster?  Wouldn't you rather stay young looking longer?  I bet you would look even better if you quit smoking, and after quitting for about a month you'd probably look a year or two younger even.

Honestly smoking 3 packs a day is unbelievable to me... I don't think I've ever known anyone who could smoke that much... 2 packs a day is already extreme to me, and 1 pack a day is about what I would consider almost a chain smoker.

Where I live it's rare that a person even smokes a half pack a day because you can't even really smoke anywhere these days.  

Smoking 3 packs a day is scary don't you think?  And your lungs can only heal and regenerate to a certain extent... What about being able to enjoy the fresh air outside?
Just think about it... 1 month after you quit smoking you will be so glad that you had quit smoking and you won't even care about that cigarette you're thinking of right now.  Instead if you make the choice not to have that cigarette you'll be glad you did in 1 months time I can tell you it's true.  

As for myself... I regret smoking every cigarette I have ever smoked.

Please do yourself a favor and go on this website

whyquit.com

This website had the power to make me quit immediately... mind you I had 1 more cigarette but still.  Just go through that whole website I bet it has enough information to make you seriously consider quitting.  When I went through that website it gave me nightmares the same night and made me officially scared ******** of tobacco!
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Avatar_m_tn
Stephanie, you've got no interest in quitting.  In fact, you are using every excuse that every addict in the world uses.  Stressful day at work.... (Is your job harder than everyone elses at the office???  I'd guess not, so how many people in your office smoke as much as you do?)  Carrying 5 packs in your purse is simply ridiculous.... and buying them online, getting a "deal" on them is just another excuse to keep smoking.....

You dont want to quit.  Worse than that, you are sucking nails at the rate of 3 packs a day and are chewing Nicorette to subsidize your nicotene intake.... that is addiction.  And by the way, the money you saved on buying nails online is now being screwed off on Nicorette....

As long as you are going to keep making excuses, you are going to keep smoking.  If the way you feel doesn't work as motivation, nothing will.  If your bosses complaining about how you smell is not enough, I don't know what is.  If your ex-husband who was a smoker is telling you you are out of hand, you are simply out of hand.  OUT OF CONTROL!!!!

Now, I'd guess that the excuse of "your addiction is worse than mine" is going to come down the line at me.... and to that I'd have to say yeah.... cuz I quit!  I told myself, 'no more"!!!!!  Day 22 is today.... none, cold turkey.

Your cut down method has sent you into a spin out.  Instead of carrying less cigarettes, you are carrying and using more!!!!  You need a damned intervention.  Im sorry, and I don't want to disrespect you, but you have the worst cigarette addiction I have ever heard of.... and chewing Nicorette to boot while smoking 3 packs a day????  
That is essentially dang near 3 cigarettes an hour, all day every day, even while you sleep..... YOU'RE OUT OF CONTROL.

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948349_tn?1294383837
Hey just wanted to say that I used a smoking death calculator and if you continue to smoke 3 packs a day for the rest of your life you have a 50/50 mortality by age 47.5.  That means there's just a 50% chance you would live even that long!!

Each pack of cigarettes you smoke varnishes the lungs with a drop of tar about the size of a water droplet.  The longer you smoke the more you kill your lungs and harm your lungs own ability to heal and clear out the lungs.  If you wait too long you may get to the point where your lungs or bronchioles will actually hurt if you don't smoke.  

You say that you are a young lawyer... If you continue to use nicotine in that amount you may actually destroy the grey mater in your brain, and it also constricts blood flow to the brain, as well as at 3 packs a day most of your hemoglobin in your red blood cells are probably about half saturated with carbon monoxide so you are even depriving yourself of oxygen.  

Your smoking is extremely self destructing and you said your previous husbands left you because of your smoking?  It's most likely because they don't want to end up being widowed with children.  

You need to quit smoking now.  You should consider taking time off work ASAP.  Your health is a million times more important than your job.  How are you supposed to work when you're always pre-occupied with wanting to smoke?  What about all that time you are wasting going out for a smoke?  You are wasting your time smoking and it's killing you at the same time.  

Well anyways, I think I'm done preaching now and most of this stuff you probably already know.

I'm here to help you quit and hope that you can!

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Avatar_m_tn
You'd think someone with the determination and drive to make it through law school would also have the ability to give up smoking.  Stephanie, in some of the same breaths you've said you want to quit, but you want to continue.... that is conflict and its common in addiction and addicts.  

I'm going to go off on another tangent here about the length of your day compared to others.  Stephanie, that is an excuse.  You day, just like any other peoples days consist of 24 hours.... where you day can be classified as longer is that by the numbers you gave above, you smoke constantly.....3 smokes an hour 24 hours a day damn near.  So yeah, your day is longer and I get that.  Even 2 minutes smoking is a long time to inhale smoke, but you do it all day.... every day..... and every night.  

Since I quit I've become a bit self righteous and I'll tell you why.  I look at people, people still addicted, that will go to any lengths to smoke.  -25 below zero, and these addicts will go out in cold that can freeze your lungs, then inhale smoke....  It is pitiful!  I used to be an addict like that.  (I chewed, not smoked and damn near for as long as you've been on the planet)  I've watched people freak out because their smoke routine had to be altered because of work.... I've watched people not do things they would love, because of smoking.

You know, you're only here once.  I've chosen to not be a ***** to nicotine anymore.  I've chosen to actually live my life, and do things I enjoy, and tobacco is not a thing I enjoy.

You have been given numerous ideas on how to quit, but you continue to put them off.  Excuse after excuse.... and its pitiful.  Do you think anyone here feels sorry for you?  Do you think for one second that your day is longer than mine?  Do you think your day is tougher/harder than mine or anyone elses?  If that were the case, we'd all be addicted to nicotine, and were all not addicted to nicotine.
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1565702_tn?1295296430
I know my smoking addiction is pathetic and out of control, and I know I really need to get a handle on it. Maybe I am just feeling sorry for myself, although Im really not trying to. I know Im also depressed over my second divorce and job stress, and thats been making me smoke more than ususal, but I also know that every other smoker out there has always got a million excuses just like I do.

I feel terrible about smoking 3 packs a day for so long, my lungs really do feel tired and worn out sometimes, and I know that it could be considered almost insane for a person under age 30 to be smoking so heavily in this day in age. Although I do know at least a few other women my age who smoke one and a half or two packs a day, and are considered chain smokers by their friends and family. The fact that one of my best friends smokes not quite two packs a day and made fun of me this weekend for being a hopeless addict smoking 3 packs a day should be a huge warning sign as well.  

Im really not trying to sound to pathetic, but maybe some of you just have nerves of steel and can face down the cold turkey quit better than me. Although I fell short again this weekend, and didnt manage to keep it under 3 packs either Friday, Saturday or Sunday, Im so determined that this week I will be able to have at least one day when I control my OCD anxiety ridden personality, and smoke less, even just a little less than three packs, for just a single day this week. If I can do that, then I can keep going towards the goal of cutting back and getting in charge of my smoking addiction.
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There really is no cutting back some smokers say it's more difficult to cut back once your addiction has developed to that extent.

OCD?  You might want to add COPD to that too pretty soon.  Guess you're from a smoking town.

Excuses? Yes many excuses including a habit and behavior that's engrained into your personality.  What I don't think you understand is that the cravings do go away with time.  And it's not very long either just a week or so.  Each cigarette you smoke just reinforces the addiction and then your body responds to adapt to that level of nicotine consumption.

My throat is killing me past few days it feels like someone is seriously choking me.  I am going to the Doctor today and hopefully it's not throat cancer where i lose my voicebox.  I am only 26 years old and too young for something like that... There is a certain line that is crossed with addiction and no one can be certain where that line is... With smoking addiction too.  What happens when you cross that line can be pretty scary and life changing and you will wish you could have gone back to change it.  Don't cross that line and you are practically running right towards it.

Did you goto whyquit.com yet?
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Stephanie, Stephanie, Stephanie..... you said it above.  You've discovered why you smoke.  2 failed marriages is stressful, no doubt.  And work is stressful!  You have a problem managing stress and try to cope by smoking.  You also have a bit of anxiety.  

There's the problem!  You're self medicating with nicotine.  Go see a therapist to get over the divorces and to talk about managing stress and anxiety.  There are plenty of meds out there that do a terrific job and make coping eaiser..... they wont solve the problem, but they make it easier to cope with quitting.

I know youre going to say you dont have the money.  (That's another bull-butter excuse)  The fact is, if you lose your job you will have no money.  The fact that your stress and anxiety is out of control will certainly cost you clients or at the least make you undesirable to work along side in any case....

You CAN do this, if you want to.  Nerves of steel had nothing to do with it.  My health had everything to do with it..... if you haven't your health, you really haven't a thing.  There are numerous avenues in which one could utilize in order to becoming tobacco-free.  Besides a chat with my doc and a trip to the free clinic to gather some information, that's all I needed.  There is no shame in quitting..... there is no shame in getting help..... in fact, its kind of shamefull to continue to smoke.  You know how bad it is and you even feel bad about it!!!  YOu almost have all of the tools to quit!!!!

GO SEE YOUR DOCTOR!  YOU CAN'T AFFORD NOT TOO!!!!!!!
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Remember, stress is going to be there, with or without a smoke so it's up to you how you are going to deal with it.
We ALL think/thought that smoking aleviated stress but it doesn't...it's just what we convinced ourselves it did/does. I have the same amount of stress as I did as a smoker, even more but the way I handle it is without smoking and, I don't want to sound condescending, but it's easy! I just don't smoke!
Did it take a while to get to this point? Yes, but it wasn't too long, about a year but considering I smoked for 40, that's a drop in the bucket : )

Hold yourself accountable, stop making excuses and quit feeling sorry for yourself. If you can't do that, well just remember that with or without smoking, you are going to feel the same....took me 40 years to come to that realization, don't wait that long.
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You know, I've met a lot of people who've told me that since they quit they feel less stressed.  It was put to me this way.  Yeah, work and life are stressful and that *****, but at least I am not killing myself with cigarettes!!!

Whatever it takes to get quit, ya know.
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sometimes things happen in life that you just can't forsee.....when I quit my kids were living at home. Since I quit, both have moved out, one out of the country! Is my stress level through the roof, you betcha! I dare say that how I handle it is by simply handling it. I don't allow myself ANY excuse to light up...it's all learned behavior so it can be unlearned. There will ALWAYS be stress so deal with it!

Be strong and take back control!
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The fact of the matter is that I was more stressed when I was using.  The thoughts of the affects tobacco/nicotine was having on my body and the cost of the habit were continually on my mind.  That was stressful, and it was additional stress compared to the every day stress that we all endure.

Im free of it and glad to be.
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sorry, really meant my comment for Stephanie.
Congratulations on your quit and also for recognizing that quitting doesn't influence stress : )
Yes, I agree with you in that I was always stressed and guilt ridden when deciding to buy a pack over milk and other groceries. Also, I live in a place where you can't smoke anywhere indoors and now they want to ban it from parks, beaches, fronts of building, it's stressful trying to find a place to smoke! Those two scenarios make for a very stressful smoker and I'm so glad I'm not any longer.
I will be going to Europe in May with the money I have saved! What could be less stressful than that ; )
---
3y 3m 2w 3d 17:43 smoke-free, 26,523 cigs not smoked, $6,365.52 saved, 3m 1d 2:15 life saved
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I kinda think everyone else is sorta right, three packs a day is an awful lot to smoke everyday and it may be hard to ease down from that, but you really have to want it to make it work. The you "wanting it" part is perhaps the most important, because believe me, if you are still needing/wanting your cigarettes deep down, and havent genuinely accepted that you want to quit, then you will always come up with excuses that short circuit your efforts to quit. It happens to me all the time, so I know the feeling and the guilt that comes with it when you find yourself lighting up again and again.
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When you want to quit more than you want to smoke, then you will be successful, until then, you are killing yourself, one smoke at a time. Nicotine makes you stink, makes your home, your car, your clothes and your breath stink. It make you old before your time and is disasterous to the skin. You are a turn off to more people than you are a turn on and in this day and age, it is simply frowned upon everywhere you turn except to othrs who have the habit. Next time your in the grocery and standing in line, notice people and thir reactions who are standing next to you. Not flattering at all. At three paks a day your lungs are probably black. You are in th danger zone, turn back while you can.
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Stephanie, I am not qualified to make any kind of diagnosis.  I think you have some self esteem issues as well.  If not self esteem, it is self confidence.  You keep refering to your job being stressful, and there's no doubt that it is... but when I mentioned that and said nobody else is smoking as bad as you are, you pushed it under the rug and talked more of stress.

See a therapist about selfesteem/self confidence, anxiety, and stress.... all of these look to be intertwined.  Again, I am no doctor.  Go see yours!!!!
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I know I probably do have selfesteem issues too, and thats no excuse for my slavish addiction to cigarettes. And Teko is probably right that my lungs are probably black after three packs a day for all these years, but although I am mostly hopeless about giving in to my addiction, I still dont want to give in quite yet. The fact that I have been unable to shake a nasty winter cold the past week and that lately my lungs have been aching, wheezing and ratteling everytime I walk up a flight of stairs of step outside to have a cigarette only drives the point home to me further that I really have to get my smoking under control before I do too much more permanent damage to my poor lungs.

After failing to keep myself from desperately needing to open and finish smoking three packs a day almost every day last week, when I was snowed under with work, and stress from work; I think I finally made a breakthrough just yesterday (Sunday).

I managed to pull off what I would call a "serious act of will-power" and hold myself to smoking only 49 cigarettes all day yesterday. Thats just under two and-a-half packs a day!

I don't know if I was in some kind of zen moment of temporary perfection or what, but after failing all week to cut to less than 3 packs a day, I thought it was a major achievement. I dont know if that ratio will hold, as Ive already finished my first pack today before taking a late lunch, which is usually how things proceed along the way to finishing a 3rd pack before going to bed each night - but Im trying harder to make a conscious decision to smoke one less cigarette each time I feel the urge to chain smoke. Instead of going outside and smoking 4 in a row, I try to just make do with smoking only 3, and it works ok. Instead of smoking 3 in a row on any of my several smoke breaks, a common routine of mine, Im trying to get by with only smoking 2 - although I will admit its quite hard. I havent yet been able to limit myself to smoking only 1 cigarette on any given smoke break - and after 15 years of chain smoking, I doubt I will break that barrier anytime soon - but its a noble goal nonetheless.

So for now, Im chewing an awful lot of Mint Nicorette gum, trying to get by only 2 or 3 cigarettes at a time, instead of the previous 4 or 5 in a row, and crossing my nicotine stained fingers that I can keep my discipline and limit myself to smoking only 2 and 1/2 packs today - which would honestly be a huge achievement for me.

As for the rest of my personality flaws, weaknesses, depressiveness, and general sense of powerlessness - I will just have to deal with those one issue at a time - but for today - Im trying to keep making forward progress towards cutting back on my incessant chain smoking.
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Steph, I am going to comment from the bottom of your post up...  Your personality flaws and smoking are probably all related somehow.  You'd be amazed at what you can discover about yourself and destructive behavior in some therapy sessions.

As far as your discipline.... it's only discipline if it is consistent, other wise you can call it a "breather".  You smoking and chewing Nicorette is a pretty big concern and I am not for sure how you haven't had some kind of fit from nicotine overdose.  (I tried to quit a few years back and was using the patch, nicorette, and still using all at the same time.... I got sicker than hell)  Cutting back is simply that, but if you are adding more nicorette to the system, you are choosing a different delivery system for nicotine.  (Kind of like a heroine junky saying with a happy tone in his voice, "hey, I'm not shooting up any more" while he is smoking the crap".

Your "zen moment" needs to be more consistent, or should I say grow it.  Moment needs to turn into hour, which needs to turn into half days, then days, then week.  Quitting needs to occupy your thoughts.  If it doesn't, you won't quit.  (Not trying to burst your bubble, but cutting back is still smoking.....you get a pat on the back from the worlds smallest hand) 49 smokes a day, and drilling them 2-3 at a time is more than most people can fathom.  You need to make an escape/quit plan, and ponder it.  Think about what its going to take, what its going to be like to be smoke free... visualize all of the positive.... visualize your lungs rebuilding, your throat rebuilding, your mouth and teeth healing.  Imagine your internal organs, (think liver, which is responsible for processing the hundreds of chemicals that smoking produces) getting a break.  Bottom line, your overall health is going to improve, and imagine that.....

Stephanie, you can do this, but you have to want to.  You're possibly not there yet.  How often or frequently do you think of quitting?  Thinking about it is the first step.  Start to think of it more... make your quit plan... start thinking of how to incorporate it, plan your quit date.... plan alternatives to times when you want a smoke and try cutting back using the alternatives, start throwing out things that remind you of smoking like spare lighters and ashtrays, think more and more about quitting and your quit date, then when the quit date comes...... its over. You may fail.... hell, you may relapse.  If you do, you take what went well and apply it to your next quit and adjust what went wrong.

Something else you need is a support system.  This is good.  The journal section on your profile is a good place to vent.  Join something like quitnet.org or quitnet.com.  

Quitting takes everything you have at first.... it does get easier.  
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You know Honestly I can't believe someone can get into Law School, finish Law school... but can't quit smoking.  It's beyond me but I suppose everyone's different.

You not getting back to me!?

Did you consider electronic cigarettes???

Did you goto whyquit.com???

Don't ignore me!
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Sorry it took me a while to get back, I've kinda been buried at work and have had some ups and downs in my efforts to cut back on smoking these past few days.

The good news is that I was more or less successful for two days in my goal of keeping my total number of cigarettes down, only smoking 49 cigarettes on Monday, and 51 on Tuesday, still close to an average of only two and a half packs a day!  (which for me, for three consecutive days, is seriously like the least I have smoked in literally at least seven years)

Then Wednesday came. It came early, as did my cravings, and the stress, and I was probably feeling too confident in my early successes...I woke up at 3am badly needing to smoke and couldnt get back to sleep...after thinking I might hold it off with just a few cigarettes it wasnt too long until one thing led to another and I couldnt get back to sleep, then before I knew it I had finished a whole pack of cigarettes before I even started getting ready for work. (usually I'm only about half way through my first pack of the day by the time I get to work). So I was off to a pretty bad start to begin with...

Then I had go to a meeting for work, which required me to drive several hours alone in my car, (naturally with nothing to do but chainsmoke the whole way) only to get there having already nearly finished my second pack of the day and find that the meeting had been cancelled due to inclement weather, then spend several more hours driving back, again with nothing but cigarettes to keep me company...even with me trying to exersize self control, it wasnt long before I ended up getting well into my third pack of the day before I got back to my office late in the afternoon. When I looked down to see that I only had ten cigarettes left in my third pack of the day, and it wasnt even 5 o'clock - I almost broke down and cried.  

Although I desperately wished that I might be able to hold fast, I didnt even last two hours before I started getting shakey (shaky) and getting headaches, craving cigarettes. As I left work, obsessing about cigarettes and on the verge of another panic attack realizing I was out of my anti-depressant meds, when against my better judgment I gave in again to the cigarettes.

Once again it wasnt long last night before I had finished that third pack, still fighting off anxiety attacks, and fell into having to open my 4th pack of the day. With no excuse other than just feeling sorry for myself, and after having completely skipped dinner, while drinking alone at my apartment, again depressed about my 2nd divorce I spent the night crying almost uncontrolably and I wasnt even paying attention until I saw it was after midnight and I only had two cigarettes left in that 4th pack. I felt embarassed, and ashamed.

I thought about getting online late last night and confessing to everything, then I thought that I couldnt bear to admit it all.... but after thinking about it today, I decided that I would feel better if I just admited my weakness and tried again to get back on the horse and put a firm limit on how much I will let myself smoke.

For what its worth, I did go to whyquitcom earlier today to browse around, although I probably should have earlier and I did think about electronic cigarettes, I probably need look into that more. I guess the question people keep asking of "if you can make it thru law school why cant you quit" just seems like a non-sequiter to me. The type of person who gets through law school isnt just one personality type of a driven, studious self-disciplinarian... it also include the nervous, anxiety ridden, OCD girl who is high strung, keyed up and stressed out about everything all of the time. I can tell you with confidence that I wasnt the only young woman in law school with a wired, obsessive, almost neurotic workaholic personality who survived almost entirely on cigarettes, coffee and redbull. I dont mean to paint an unflattering picture of myself, but I suppose that alot of trying to quit is at least trying to be honest about what youre dealing with and what drives you.

And if it is any consolation, however small, Im doing alot better so far today. No panic attacks (so far), and my first pack lasted me until just after lunch. I still have half a pack left on my second pack of cigarettes for today, and although I fully expect that I may have to open a third pack of cigarettes to have at least a few before the day is done, I'm cautiously optimistic that the rest of this second pack is all I need for today,
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Hi thanks for getting back to me, I was beginning to think everything I typed here was being ignored.

Well... as far as I can tell and what you're putting out there... you aren't ready to quit and your mind is completely adapted to your addiction.  I think the cigarettes are causing you the stress and the stress is causing you to smoke the cigarettes.  It's a vicious cycle.

Okay seriously if you can't get off the nicotine switch over to eCigarettes... No tar, no bi-products of tobacco combustion.  It still gives you the nicotine rush that cigarettes do without all the carcinogens.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U81x8t2iMhw&feature=related

It's even getting surprising results from Doctors.  The huge difference between actual cigarettes and the eCigarette... Is with the cigarette you are inhaling smoke everything from tar, to carbon monoxide,  to combustion products from the tobacco at very very high temperatures that are causing cancer, and permanent damage to your lungs.

The eCigarette on the other hand... you are inhaling vapor, not smoke.  The vapor is at much much lower temperatures, has no carbon monoxide, no tar, and mostly just water vapor.  It's simply vaporized water, nicotine, and maybe some flavoring if you buy that type.  It still gives you the exact same feeling that a normal smoked cigarette would in that the nicotine goes to the lungs and then straight to the brain.  

You can also get different strengths of nicotine.  If I were you... well I would quit but that's me and not you.  So then if I were you and I really wanted to hold on to my nicotine buzz I would seriously switch over to eCigarettes immediately.  Why not we live in the year 2011 now.  

The effect would be you wouldn't get all those pains in your lungs, you'll be able to breath better, and you'll still be able to 'de-stress' yourself with a nicotine buzz.  

It's important to remember though that all the damage you have done to your lungs from smoking your cigarettes is done with, but you don't have to damage and destroy your lungs anymore because if you do you will die a slow and breathless death.
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I ONLY SMOKED 42 CIGARETTES YESTERDAY!!!!!      

I know thats still a limited victory, and that I will have more ups and downs, but this is really big news for me. I've been constantly chewing the Mint Nicorette, almost twice as much as I used to chew, so that it seems like Im practically always chewing gum if Im not smoking..and yea I know thats not exactly how its supposed to work...but it seems to be working this way for me and Im thrilled!

I think Im actually close to where I may be able to get by on just two packs a day, which would be a major accomplishment for me. Last night I came to the end of the 2nd pack, and instead of punishing myself I let myself go ahead and open the 3rd pack of the day, just t get that feeling of need off my chest. For some reason, just having that opened 3rd pack with me seemed to make a big difference and I felt like a burden was lifted. I took one cigarette out of it, but didnt light it, and just carried it with me, behind my ear like I used to do when I was a teenager, and I just tried to do various cleanup up chores around the apartment to keep myself busy and pre-occupied (something I read about on either that whyquitcom website or one of the posts here about what worked for other people)

When my cleaning was done and I was tired and ready for bed, I drew myself a nice warm bath, and did indulge myself in one cigarette during the bath, but not the usual five or six that I used to smoke. Although I did light my last cigarette of the night shortlyafter I got out of the bath and put my bathrobe on, I was actually able to enjoy that last cigarette more knowing that I felt more in control of the situation than I have in a long time!

I honestly cannot believe the progress that Im making! To cut from 3 packs a day or more down to almost 2 packs a day in under one month is a big deal for me, and I imagine that anyone should be pleased if they could cut their cigarette consumption down by almost 1/3rd. For me its huge, because it's because its literally been over seven years since I got up to three to four packs a day, and I really almost never smoked less than that. Before that I had been around two packs a day for three to four years going back to when my smoking really started to ramp up in my late teens, because before that when I was in high school I had only smoked between a half a pack or a pack a day most of the time, partly because of money and partly because I was just so young. But as soon as I had moved out is when it really started to get out of hand, when I jumped from one pack a day to almost two packs a day over the course of my first year of college, and it just kept on going up from there until by the end of my junior year I was smoking nearly three packs a day and deliriously in love with my first husband, only to have that crash down on me later, sending my chain smoking into an overdrive that it never recovered from to this day.

From there, I have never been able to get a handle on it, and honestly, had never really tried to that hard, until now. So for today, Im carrying only three packs of cigarettes with me in my purse, and yes, I have to admit Ive already smoked three cigarettes this morning while getting ready for work; but I feel like I can do this, one step at a time - and at least for me, the psychological barrier of being able to say "I am only a 2 pack a day smoker" is huge and makes me feel like I'm moving in the right direction!
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keep working at it, good for you remember every journey begins with that first step!!!
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Every journey does begin with the first step, but your steps are either parallel or behind the last step.  If you are chewing twice as much nicorette gum, you will develop a habit with the gum as well.... in fact, you probably have one now.  So now you are dependant on 2 forms of nicotine delivery.  Congratulations, you've just intensified your addiction.

You are not getting the quitting thing.  Ok, granted you are not getting as much smoke damage, but you've completely over intensified the nicotine delivery.  Really, I am suprised it hasnt made you sick.  Since it hasn't though, you've granted yourself the right to chew as much as you can in a day.... and if it makes you sick, you'll stop chewing and start smoking more.  

I've seen too many people out there that have gone from being addicted to smoking to being addicted to nicorette gum or the losenge.... you need to address the NICOTINE, not the delivery.  You are not addressing the problem!!!!!

I used a reference to a junkie that has apparently slipped through your addicted mind and made no sense.... the junky says, "hey, I am no longer shooting up" and then smokes a giant pipe load of herione.  Its the DRUG.... NOT THE DELIVERY THAT IS THE PROBLEM.

You need professional help if you are going to even come close to knocking this.  You're far more addicted that I thought, even fromm listening to your ridiculous intake stories....  the stories have gotten as ridiculous on a parallel.  "I only smoked 42 cigarettes but am chewing almost twice as much as I used too".....

Not that you care Stephanie, but I am done offering you help.  You've gone from bad to just as bad and have convinced yourself that you've made ground.  You've simply dug your hole wider..... Your addiction is over the top.  I suggest you get that e-cigarette mentioned above, keep smoking 3 packs a day of regular cigarettes, chew 50 pieces of nicorette gum and hour, put 200 nicotine patches on your skin, take a bath in a tub filled with dirty ashtray water and cigarette butts..... heres what you'll get.  Youre stress will still be there because you aren't addressing it, you'll be getting all of the lovely nicotine that you adore that in and of itself can cause your heart to stop, you'll still be smoking making breathing so difficult..... and some sorry ***** you don't know will still be trying to help you out.

Happy smoking, and please follow the information above.  Your demise will be somewhat faster, and you'll have 100 times the nicotine and health problems as you creep towards your death.... plus you'll stink to high heavens, you'll have no money for important things but plenty to support your habit, your friends and family will get a good laugh and cry out of your pitiful self, breathing will become increasingly more difficult (seems as if you enjoy that), you'll start coughing up larger chunks of that garbage you've been hacking up, you'll inevitably lose your job (ooops, there's more stress... how did that happen? Oh, you didnt quit the problem.) you'll smell like a cadavre (you do now) but will moreso towards the end) skin will look more aged like an alligators, skin and teeth will be stained, wrinkles galore (and those last 3 are really hot on a 30 year old woman, and even more so when shes 40 and looks 75) your voice is already shot but will become worse, trade in value on your car will be shot because of the smoke smell (can and will cost you up to $1000, but since you take no care of your health, I doubt you do your car or house)  You'll probably get more men to leave your butt alone (women too for that matter), you'll eventually end up on oxygen, which is inevitable but can prove handy!  Oxygen is combustible, and as much as you smoke you'll have a great opportunity to blow your *** off the face of the earth and be sure to take your ragged *** lungs with ya.  Good luck ever finding insurance even with Obama care... but wait, dont worry, I and every other tax payer will pay for you when you cant even get out of bed in a few years....

Pitiful.... hurry up and clock out.  I'm not spending a second more on your useless butt.  Smoke up and hurry!!!!
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And listen Stephaine..... I have a great friend that made it through law school without being a nicotine addict like you.  He was as smoker when he went in, came out a non-smoker.  This guy finished his first 4 years of college in 2.5 years, on his belly with a broken back.  Went to law school and knocked it out in 3.... what normally takes 7 years to accomplish, he knocked out in 5.5.... and quit smoking.  Why???? Because he was driven, motivated and keyed in to what he wanted to do.... something you are obviously incapable of.... and here I am wasting more time messing around with your useless ***????  

It is you.... you keep making excuses.  You act like you are the only person to have gone through law school.... straighten up and quit making excuses... and quit trying to quit... Follow all of my instructions above.... and hurry, someone wants to rent your house or appt and the sooner it's vacant the better.... chop chop smokey!!!
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I don't think 'personal' attacks are warranted Brice.....if you no longer wish to advise her just quit, but don't beat her up please....:(
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Im sorry that my efforts to quit smoking arent good enough, but it doesnt mean Im not trying. I respect the fact that quitting is hard for everyone, not just me, and I admire anyone who has the strength to quit, no matter what their prefered method is. Im not trying to look for excuses to smoke, I understand that everyone always has an excuse to smoke, Im just telling my story about my struggle to quit, because I thought it might help me find the strength that others seemed to have.  

I wasnt trying to hurt anyone's feelings, and I absolutely never meant to imply that Im somehow a better person than anyone else. Quite the opposite in fact. I wish I could say that being told how inadequate and pathetic I am didnt make me feel sorry for myself and want to seek consolation in my cigarettes, but I dont want to lie. I could really use another cigarette right now, and I may need to have one in a bit, but for now; I will keep trying to cut back on my chain smoking, one cigarette at a time, even though apparently my efforts are in vain.
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Shake it off, Stephanie and keep moving forward...
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Last post, I promise... Opus, it isnt an attack, its motivational.... pointing out all she is doing wrong and telling her what is necessary to do right.  Chiding her when she thinks she's accopmlished something is a bit harsh.  I get that and I am sorry.  The fact is, the core issues isn't being addressed, and until it is this chick is on a fruitless endeavor.  She is setting herself up for perpetual failure..... I am pointing that out.  It's ugly, but it's also true and those are the things that sting the most.  

And really, if she doesn't care, why should anyone else?
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I'm all about the tough love and I do think that there are instances where it's warranted and when I feel someone isn't taking their quit as serious as they should, I tend not to answer any longer.
If someone is determined to quit and they need our support, awesome If I see that their attempts are sabatoged by themselves, I point it out and then stop posting.

Everytime I post a response it takes something out of me. I take from my own experiences and sometimes it can be painful, but I'm willing to put myself out there if it benefits someone else, in the hopes that, if they are serious, it will help them.

Okay, let's have a group hug and play nice. Enjoy being able to breathe and not hacking up a lung and smelling nice : )
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Lol wow I just read your post and it's pretty harsh but is pretty true.

The nicotine is still definitely a highly addictive drug and it causes arterial constriction, grey matter loss in the brain at high doses over time, and it toxic to the body at high doses.  But it's still not as bad as breathing in 1000's of chemicals from cigarette smoke combustion...  Including cadmium, arsenic, lead, mercury, radioactive radon, benzopyrene, hydrogen cyanide, benzopyrene, methane, phenol, nitrosamines, carbon monoxide, and 100's of other byproducts of tobacco combustion that make up 'tar'.  This is what is accountable to all the health complications of tobacco use, not the nicotine

Id she's so hooked on nicotine that she really doesn't want to quit I would still rather her chew nicotine gum, or try an eCigarette.  

3 packs a day is freaky scary to think of... Omg that is so extreme though I can't imagine her health lasting much longer and then being lost forever. At least 1 of those packs is being replaced by nicotine gum which doesn't help the addiction to nicotine but sure helps reduce that extra damage done by tha extra pack.

Still if I were her I would take about 2 weeks off work even if I lose a little money for it and go cold turkey right on the first day.  Then i'd eat healthy, drink lots of fruit juice and water, and lay in bed all day long.  I'd also completely eliminate all alcohol and caffeine during that time off and in my spare time read on whyquit.com to permanently scaring myself shieetless from ever taking another puff!!!  And honestly that would work and I'm trying to tell her that she doesn't need to do anymore damage to her health for the rest of her life.  

But I'm not her and if I was her I probably wouldn't think like me, I would think like her.
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Just wanted to thank everyone again for their supportive comments, and even some of those "tough love" comments which can be hard to read. Last week I managed to keep my smoking between two and a-half and two packs a day!

On two different days I managed to get by with just 42 cigarettes all day! Although there were plenty of days where I ended up smoking 48, 49 or 50, I never went over 50 a day in any single day last week, which has to be some kind of record. Honestly I was thrilled. I havent gotten to where I can keep myself from needing to open that third pack, just as a "security blanket", even if I just smoke two or three cigarettes from the pack before I get ready for bed - but I still think its been far more successful than I'd ever expected.

Even this morning, when I found myself depressed and loveless on Valentines day again, I managed to limit myself to only smoking 3 cigarettes before I left for work, instead of the usual 6 of 7 that I had been before. I cant say that Im quiet set on the trajectory to go from three and a half packs a day to only one pack a day just yet - but if I can keep pushing the envelope the way I have been, within a few months I hope to be able to hold at just two packs a day!

My hope is that if I can get myself down to only two packs a day, and keep it that way for several months, then I can try to start drawing down from there slowly over the course of the rest of the year to where Im close to getting by on only one packs a day. I know its a long shot, maybe even a pipe dream since I have been a 3 pack a day smoker for so long, and I have alot of doubts that I can make it for long on anything less than 2 packs a day, but I really believe in my heart that I can make it.

Thanks again for everyones love and support!
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Avatar_m_tn
I said I was not going to comment any further, but have decided to retract that statement.  What I will do is not offer any more help suggestions.

PinPin.... yeah, what I said was harsh but 100% truthful.  And as I stated above, those are the things that sting the most.

What we know about smoking is simple.  Nicotine is what is addictive.  The habit itself becomes part of the daily routine.  There are absolutely no benefits to smoking and at least the hundreds of chemicals you introduce into your system as reasons to quit.

With that said, Steph has decided to cut down and is chewing nigorette gum.  As she mentioned, she has cut down (some days) but is chewing more nicorette than ever before.  So, that being the case.... she is infact receiving the same amount of nicotine and on days where she is smoking 3 packs a day and chewing nicorette, she is boosting her nicotine addiction.

Instead of less nicotine in the system, there is more on some days and that itself is making it more difficult for her to quit.  Obviously by delivering the nicotine through 2 systems now, that too complicates the addiction.  The chewing of gum will eventually become a habit, and the only benefit to that delivery system is that all of the chemicals from inhaling the noxious smoke is that all of them chemicals present in said smoke aren't being introduced into the system.  

I just looked at the price of the nicorette and its generic alternatives.... holy moses is that stuff expensive!!!!  The gum, losenges, and patch are a giant expenditure!!!!  With that being said, I know people who are addicted to them.... now what?

What needs to be done is attack the root of the problem.... nicotine.  And since our subject has no interest in that, her addiction will grow.  And truly, that is sad. She mentioned above about being alone on Valentines day.  You'd think that anyone who wanted to not be alone on Valentines day would do everything or at least something to increase their personal value.... make themselves more marketable on the market.

I am fortunate that even though I used tobacco for almost 30 years, I had other traits that were marketable and I found my lovely wife of almost 20 years.  My wife was never a tobacco user, and although she is full of marketable traits... one thing I found attractive is that she didn't smoke.  She didn't smell like the saloon I used to run, and when I kissed her it was wonderful.  It was not like kissing a dirty ashtray.....  I don't know, maybe it's just me.

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Well why not just quit smoking altogether and just chew nicotine gum if you get a craving.  Just chew the strongest kind of gum at first.  

Whatever you do... I know you want to gradually cut back with the number of smoked cigarettes, but don't go out and buy any more tobacco because you're just gonna smoke them.  Ration the cigarettes you have left.  You can always break the ones you have left... I broke my last 10 cigarettes and flushed them down the toilet when I quit.

I wish you'd just quit though!  You know what the past week I have had a burning feeling in my chest... Kinda like an inflammation feeling and it isn't localized in any particular area, but it goes all the way upto my throat.  I have even had these minor throat infections.   I don't like it and it's scaring me actually.  Like one point I can't help emphasize any more is that each and every cigarette is just causing more and more damage... and we have a tendency to think that oh I smoked this many cigarettes and for this many years what kinda difference is another month or two of smoking...Or maybe, I'm still young I can still smoke more and my lungs will heal. No it's a huge difference!  And the damage done is basically permanent and gonna last you the rest of your life.  I have a hard time accepting that.  I just wish my lungs could breath like they would have been able to breath had I never ever smoked!  But one thing I know for sure I sure don't want to do anymore damage to them.


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Avatar_m_tn
That's what she is going to have to do... just quit.  She'll rationalize that cigarettes are cheaper, more readily available and that it is just probably easier to keep smoking.

I used for essentially 30 years.  Quitting was hard.  But I was determined to quit and I have it done.  I'd imagine a relapse is a possibility, but it's a faint-distant possibility.  I know what that garbage is doing to me and I got it handled now.... so adios nicotine.
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I really do appreciate the thoughts, particularly about how nicotine is the real target not just the cigarette itself - but I think Im so helplessly addicted to nicotine that it would just be too harsh for me to quit all at once, which is why my "goal" for the next 3 months is to gradually, slowly ween myself down from 3 packs a day to only 2 packs a day. Then I figure it will take another 3 to 6 months to try and cut down from 2 packs a day to maybe only 30 cigarettes, or a pack and a half a day - which I used to never think possible with as much as I was smoking.  Yes, that Nicorette gum is expensive, I chew almost 20 pieces of the 4mg Mint Nicorette a day to help me try to limit myself to only 2 packs of Marlboros a day.

Its like probably $60 a week for two boxes of the extra strength mint nicorette, and I still buy two cartons of Marlboros a week at a Discount cigarette store that is like right around the corner from my house, but those two cartons run about $80 a week too. I used to order my cigarettes online, which was way cheaper by the pack, but it usually meant I had to order 10 cartons at a time, which made it even harder to quit with so many cigarettes readily available. As it is now, I try to only keep 2 or 3 cartons at my apartment, so as to limit myself. Thats the same reason I try to not keep more than two bottles of crown in my apartment at any time, because it helps reduce the temptation to just lose myself in depressed, chain smoking night drenched in booze. I dont know how much I used to spend a week on liquor, but it was way too much. After some AA I started doing better, and although I quit going to that too, Im still doing alot better. Im hopeful I can do the same with cutting back to get control of my smoking as well.
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RELAPSED AGAIN - I have to confess I broke down and smoked 3 and a half packs of cigarettes yesterday, throwing myself off track.

I thought I had been doing so well for these past 2 weeks. I was chewing the nicorette gum constantly, and had managed to (just barely) limit myself to only two packs a day for nearly ten consecutive days - which was a HUGE achievement! I think it might have been at least eight or nine years since I had cut back that much on my smoking. Just the day before I caved in, I managed to actually hold myself back to only smoking 39 cigarettes in one day, leaving one in the pack. I was so proud.

Then I had to go out of town again for work, spending the night alone in a hotel, stressed out by the mountian of work facing me, and I gave in like I always do to my inherant need for cigarettes. I should have known it was not going well when I had finished my first pack of the day before lunch, then between chain smoking straight through lunch, and constantly having to take smoke breaks while working all afternoon, I had nearly finished the second pack by the time I met our expert at a bar for a late afternoon happy hour. The fact that you could smoke outside on the bar patio didnt help matters, nor did the fact that the expert was a handsome man, who was himself a smoker. Needless to say it was a long happy hour that streached on into two, then three, then four, ordering bar food for dinner, and one drink after another, right on through when I started and finished a third pack of cigarettes for the day and was well on my way to nearly finishing my fourth pack of the day when they finally shut the bar down.

Im embarassed to say, but I was probably way too drunk to be driving back to my hotel, as I was practically falling out of my high heels everytime I tried to go anywhere, so I ended up letting a guy I met at the bar drive me back to my hotel. Im not sure if he was expecting to get lucky or what, but he was nice enough to take me up to my room, where I promptly passed out and don't remember a thing after that. I woke up all alone this morning with a monsterous hangover that I havent been able to shake all day and whats worse, is that my cigarette cravings have come back harder than ever, and since I've been by myself in a warehouse nearly all day reviewing documents until I couldnt see straight, Ive been able to smoke almost almost as much as I wanted, and am nearly done with my third pack of the day and havent even eaten dinner yet.

Ive been chewing the gum constantly, more so than usual, but my cravings just went through the roof yesterday and today, and Im scared I'll probably end up smoking 4 packs today.

I know this is just my own weakness, but Ive never felt these cravings come on so strong, and so suddenly and unexpectedly. To go from getting down to only 2 packs a day to back up to chainsmoking nearly 4 packs a day is awful, I feel so ashamed of myself.
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Stephanie, it's not a Relapse if you never stopped in the first place.  I am truly worried for you on so many levels.  Chewing the gum "constantly" AND smoking 2packs a day - it's only a matter of time before you experience an acute overdose.  

You were too drunk to drive so let a "guy you met at the bar" drive you to your hotel?...then walk you to your room??  You are lucky he wasn't a rapist or worse.

This is all too much, I mean, you can't be serious.  If I were you, I would consider rehab for both the alcohol and cigs so you can continue your life and live your dream as a lawyer because you are walking a thin line, here.
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Avatar_f_tn
Uh, in order to smoke three and a half packs a day, you would have to literally sit and chain smoke one after another. I did two packs a day and felt like that was all I did, so something aint adding up here. If your smoking alot like you say you are then you are doing absolutely nothing in a day except smoking. It is the habit not the nicotine that has a hold on you. It is the mental addiction. No one can change your mind. Unfortunately it is going to take something like cancer to get to you and even then I doubt you would listen. I would really hate to hang with the smell that must encumpos you, your car, your home and your hair and clothes. But if that is what you want in life, that is your choice and I am glad you can afford your habit at the price these days of a carton of smokes. Two cartons these days would cost over a hundred bucks and if you smoke as much as you describe, then you are literally working to puff. I am thinking this post is not a serious one at all and is more a game. I apologize if I am wrong, but you obviously are not seeking help and it seems more of an attention getter. So puff on and good luck. Over and out.
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can't help but agree with the girls,  younglawyer IF you are legit than you have serious problems, but I really do believe you are playing with everyone here and not at all genuine with even remotely wanting to quit smoking.....that being said, this is a forum for 'addiction' and not necessarily just for us that are quitting, but I ask that you please keep your posts on topic...we aren't interested in any of your other escapades.....
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I apologize if my last post was viewed as sensationalist, it was not meant to be. I know I have a problem and I really wish my efforts to deal with it were more successful.

I know that 3 packs a day is excessive, and I am trying to get help for that. I guess now that Im integrating back into the "real world" over the past year Ive come to realize just how bad my addictions, all of them, have gotten. When I was in college, I could usually smoke almost as much as I wanted, because there were only about 3 or 4 hours a day while I was in class and couldnt smoke, but the rest of the time I was able to smoke all the time.  When I first started college,  I was only smoking an average of a pack to a pack and a half a day, maybe around 30 cigarettes or so; and I used to think that was alot. But once I was out on my own, first in a "smoking dorm" when my smoking just took off and started to get out of control.

And there is no doubt that my terrible cigarette addiction has been prohibitively expensive, and there is no telling how many thousands of dollars I have litterally burned on the cigarettes that I needed. Im not sure if it was for better or worse that I "Discovered" Discount Tobacco stores and vendors when I was in college, and buying discount cigarettes by the carton made it all too easy to keep it up to two packs a day, and eventually transition into three packs a day. When you buy your cigarettes two or three cartons at a time, it makes it easier for backslide into the life of a chain smoker, especially when I was a college student with way too much time on my hands. Being able to watch tv or read or do whatever in my room while chain smoking all morning, then go to class for an hour, finishing another cigarette before going in and light up another one just as soon as I got out of class, then take a long lunch break, where I usually sat in the covered courtyard or patio smoking area, usually smoking one after the other, often while fighting off hunger while I tried to keep my weight down by usually skipping lunch. It was like I never walked or drove anywhere on campus without a lit cigarette, and just as soon as Id finish one, Id light another, then another. After just a year, Id finish my first pack of the day before the first afternoon class. When that class would let out Id have a one hour break, during which I typically chain smoked while studying. Then that last class would let out, and Id almost always have the cigarette already in my mouth before I even got out the door to light it. I should have know that what I had was way worse than usual.

And I completely understand what you mean by how smoking can control your life. I never went anyplace I couldnt smoke. Even though its hard these days, I still avoid places I cant smoke.  I wouldnt study at the library, because I couldnt smoke there. Instead I smoked at a nearby coffee shop that had a smoking section for years, until the smoking bans a few years ago. When the weather was cold that was hard to do, and after trying to learn to study indoors with smoke breaks every half hour - I finally decided I just needed to get an apartment of my own, where I could smoke all I wanted, and study in peace. Around the same time I met the guy who would become my first husband, which was a mistake on so many levels, but he was a fairly heavy smoker too, and although may have thought my smoking was excessive, he was an alcoholic and usually too drunk or disinterested to care.

I recognize now that I had all the signs of addictive behavior when I was young, and to more than just smoking. I know someone wanted me to "keep on topic" - but its hard because sometimes the other things in life are the excuses that we use for ourselves smoke. For me the context can be very important in understand why it is that someone is so addicted to cigarettes, or other things.  I often told myself that there were far worse things to be addicted to than cigarettes. It was a poor excuse, but when I was first married, I was geting into drugs, and was kinda starting sliding into addiction rapidly when the marriage ended and I was left out on my own. Although I never had an arrest, or anything like that, I had a few near overdose situations, often involving a combination of drugs and alcohol, and I had more than a few trips to the hospital.

The first time I went to rehab right after my divorce and after I dropped out of college for a semester, I felt like cigarettes were my only friend. Back then the rehab facility I went to allowed people to smoke in most places. For me at the time, it was almost like smoking is how I got through rehab. Everyone else in rehab smoked, and many of our Counselors smoked themselves. I found that to be both very comforting and very telling of how much people can find themselves needing cigqarettes.

I was smoking more than ever when I left rehab and started to get my act back together, and re-enroll in school. To help pay the tuition I got a part time job as a file clerk, at a storage facility where most I would spend most evenings by myself in a rundown office that was inside a musty old warehouse, and nobody really cared if I smoked there while reading or studying for class. It was clear that people had been smoking in that dank, ratty, little warehouse filing office for decades, and no one was going to care if I chain smoked a whole pack of cigarettes on my shift.

Smoking was, and still is, a huge part of my life. I smoke a cigarette when I first get up, then another, then another, then I start getting ready. Part way through my morning routine I often have another cigarette, then another while I make a pot of coffee, then another while I drink the first cup of coffee, then another while I drink the next cup, then another when Im done. This routine is insane and I know it, but I feel like Ive done it for years. All of that just before I leave my apartment, always with a lit cigarette in my mouth, then Id smoke in my car the whole way while commuting to school or work, often four or five cigarettes, sometimes six. The day pretty much just keeps going from there, one cigarette after the other.

Lately my job has involved me spending ALOT of time driving for hours and hours to various storage buildings, digging through files, doing days upon days of mindless document review as part of discovery that lasts for weeks at a time. Then I just get shipped off to another document center or warehouse to spend another several weeks. Driving hours a day to get there and hours to get back provides a lot of time for a chain smoker like me to fuel my addiction. And even still more than half of the more seedy document storage centers turn a blind eye to people smoking while in there, since the few employees usually there tend to be smokers themselves.

After a long day of chainsmoking and reviewing documents, I end up taking any copies of documents I was allowed to make, along with any notes I have back to my motel, where I summarize the findings for several more hours. Essentially its glorified paralegal work, until the late late hours of the night, with nothing but cigarettes, and coffee, and cigarettes, and redbull, and cigarettes to keep me going. Then I try to sleep for maybe 4 or 5 hours, at most, and get right back to it again.

With days and nights like this it should be easy to see how someone like me can finish three packs a day, sometimes four. Its awful, downright terrible even, and my lungs punish me for it, even though Im not even 30 yet. None of that makes it ok, and none of that makes it right or justifable or acceptable. It just is what it is.

But for now, I will just try to keep it under three packs today, while being ashamed and embarassed at my failure to gain control of myself and my addictions.
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honey, we're not here to judge, we are all addicts or former addicts of one substance or another....it is possible to quit tho not easy, I fight this everyday of my life....I've quit many 100's of times in 45 years, this time I hope to God its for good, not being able to catch a full breath of air is very scary to say the least...yet I crave a cigarette, I associate every single thing I do with smoking.
I hope one day soon you will WANT to stop, stop before your lungs have irreparable damage....the first step hon is to want to stop, than the work really starts....
make that choice before its too late...... ♥
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This quitting roller coaster is driving me crazy. After my last post I managed to shame and punish myself into keeping an "absolute limit" of not smoking more than two and a half packs of cigarettes a day. After nearly two weeks of successfully keeping myself to 50 or less a day, I set what I thought was a reasonable goal of slowly cutting back on how much I smoked, since my other efforts to cut back were too sudden to be successful.

So instead I decided that I would make a self imposed limit of 2 and a half packs a day for the month of March, then decrease by one cigarette each month for the rest of the year, with the hopeful goal to be able to reliably get by on 2 packs a day (or less) by December. Even with all my manic gum chewing and pill popping and sleepless nights yearning for more cigarettes, I finally caved in and said that I need to slow down the rate of my decrease, to give me more time to ease into it.

I will admit this past friday night I went on something of a binge, having already smoked 2 packs by the time I left work at 6pm and headed straight to the bar to meet a friend from out of town. I had already worn my favorite mini-pencil skirt and questionably professional stilleto heels to work without pantyhose and felt frisky and self confident enough to go out as is. I think Im going to have to add more conservative dress to my list of things I need personal improvement on, but either way, my friend and I managed to meet so cute guys that night, and I fell back to my nervous crutch of cigarettes to help me ease myself through awkward conversations. I know thats wrong. I guess it was just my luck that this bar had an actual cigarette vending machine in the back, I hadnt seen those in years, since when I was in middle school and used to get my cigarettes from them. Anyways, one drink led to two then three then four and so on for the rest of the evening until, and similarly, one pack let to two, then, embarassingly having to buy a third pack three, before my memory sorta blanks out around 2am when I think the bar closed. Either way, Im just glad that I managed to get home safe, because I dont remember driving and it could of been bad.

I felt awful all day saturday, particularly saturday morning, and my throat felt terribly raw and throbbing like Ive never felt before and my chest felt painfully tight again like it felt a few months ago when I first started getting worried that I might have been smoking too much and really damaging my lungs. I knew I needed to get back on the quitting-waggon. I thought about writing some pity filled post, declaring how Id just throw in the towel and give in to my cigarette addiction; but instead I decided that I needed to just keep on with the plan. I didnt want to be a slave to 3 packs a day for the rest of my life - so I had to own up to it, and continue with my 50 a day or less plan and keep gradually cutting back until I reach the goal.

So after a pity party Saturday, in which I only smoked 48 cigarettes because my throat was still so sore, and a suprisingly alright sunday where I managed to keep it to an even 50 for the day; I had what I would call great success on monday - when I managed to smoke only 46 all day, and was about to light up the 47th as I went to bed, when I said to myself that I was done and would save it for the next morning. Although I thought about that cigarette as I went to sleep, and eventually woke up at 4am on a tuesday and ended up having it then. So far Im only half way through my second pack today, and I have every reason to believe that I can keep it to less that 50 before bedtime. I know this doesnt sound like the greatest achievement - but I feel like Im making progress, psychologically if not otherwise.
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Hi Stephanie,

You remind me a lot of me when I was in my 20s. I am now in my 40s and have only recently managed to quit smoking. I smoked 50+ per day for 31 years but those 50+ a day cost me about $30 a day as I am in Australia and they are very expensive here.

You worry me as you already have the cancer gene in your family and even with this knowledge, it has not been enough to assist you to quit. I know you know it deep down but it really is important with that knowledge that you address your smoking and I realise that you are.

Every time you cut down you are succeeding. You are not necessarily succeeding in quitting but you are succeeding by discovering that you CAN cut down. I don't think you want to take the long journey I have but I will tell you how I managed to get to the point where I knew I could quit.

The first thing you need to do is address your self esteem I think. Not being able to quit or even cut down is not because you are lacking in will power. Some of it is but nicotine is a highly addictive drug comparable to cocaine, heroin etc. The psychological addiction I have read often is even worse.

The first thing to remember every time you smoke is not that you are smoking to relax, relieve boredom, relieve tension, celebrate an event etc etc. The ONLY reason you are smoking (for the most part) is to stave off nicotine withdrawal. You are NOT smoking to relieve stress...in fact nicotine is a stimulant that will only heighten your stress/anxiety, increase insomnia and so on. You believe it decreases stress because you feel more relaxed after you have smoked however many you choose to squeeze into the limited time you have on your breaks in you endeavour to make it longer until the next withdrawals begin. You feel less tension because you have staved off the nicotine withdrawals.

Nicotine withdrawals can be so uncomfortable you are constantly smoking so as to never allow your body to enter that state. We go into withdrawal within 20 minutes of smoking the last cigarette so I guess constantly smoking means you are never experiencing withdrawal.

The fear of not smoking is part of the addiction and part of the thinking.

If I were you I would try cutting down on the amount of nicotine that is in your cigs first. If you smoke 12 mg cigarettes, cut back to 8 mg and so on.

I know some people can quit cold turkey and I even understand it is better to quit cold turkey because that way once you go through the physical withdrawal stage you then only need to conquer the psychological addiction. I don't think this is for everyone though. Some people do not seem to be as physically addicted as others. Women tend to have a harder time with the physical addiction than men it seems to me. From what I have read, from feedback and just from observations I have found that to be true. I don't know if this is scientifically proven but it is what I believe. Also it must feel great to quit cold turkey and I imagine if I had done it that way I would be gloating about it too!

So with you Stephanie to me it seems

1/ You certainly need to address your anxiety and lack of confidence professionally.

I think once you set yourself some goals and see that you CAN do it (as you are currently by attempting to cut down) then your confidence will grow and your fear of quitting will start to dissipate. I don't think the fear ever goes away though. There is quite a grieving process involved for some people that give up cigarettes or even consider giving up cigarettes. For instance with me I work in a doctors surgery but previously worked in the music industry. One career path practically encouraged smoking (in the day!) but the other career path..well you can't go into a doctor's surgery and have the receptionist stinking of smoke, can you? What doctor would employ a girl that reeks of smoke to work for him? When I changed careers I made damn sure I chose one that was not amenable to smoking. Drastic step changing your career esp if you have chosen law so prob not something you want to pursue.....! Anyway, set a goal at work such as I will only have one morning break per day to start with...your morning break is 15 mins....and that is it..no more cigs then until your lunch break. You can do that. You can def do that. Once you see you can achieve that continue on that path for a while and when you feel you can do it...add the same philosophy to your afternoon break...and so on.

Baby steps...you will slowly but surely increase your confidence.

2/ Don't feel that what works for one person works for everyone. It doesn't. Try anything and everything. Learn from your mistakes and continue to set small goals for yourself. Don't beat yourself up for failing but look at mistakes as learning experiences. Right now you are constantly beating yourself up because I think what u r constantly striving for is pretty impossible to achieve...you don't have the mindset to stick to 49 per day. (I think anyone would think..what diff would one more make?....) Does anyone? Make smaller goals such as the morning break one, like I said...or as you have done..allow yourself only 5 cigs before work and stick to it. Don't make day long goals...just baby steps. Make a goal you know you can achieve but in some way it is still an achievement.

Start with that and then I will give you some more advice.

So Monday at work (I don't know your weekend routine or I would start with tomorrow)...for your morning break you are only going to have one, okay?

See how you go with that.

Viola
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1638677_tn?1309837048
one morning break I mean...how long do you "officially" get? Usually it is 10-15 minutes so for your morning break, don't have five breaks...have one break until lunch.

also I might add I get the impression sometimes you are smoking instead of eating. Am I correct?

Another thing..alcohol is a major trigger. It is like bread and butter to us. Don't try to not smoke when u r drinking. Not yet anyway. It would be better not to drink at all but that is a bit further away yet!
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By the way, my father smoked about 75 per day from 11 years of age (well when I knew him it was that many - prob not when he was 11!) and his quit day was the day Princess Di was killed. He has not smoked since so since he did it I believe ANYONE can do it. I even think with me doing it, anyone can do it. I had pretty much given up all hope with me.

You CAN do it..it is possible no matter how hooked we are!
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Confession:

I gave up on trying to quit smoking almost fifteen months ago, it was just too hard trying to artificially limit myself to less than three packs a day. Also, Not long after my last post over a year ago I was in a car wreck while driving back from a bar and I got a dwi. I've gotten dwis before, two while in college, and I thought I had learned my lesson.

The stress over my third dwi caused my chain smoking to really get out of hand and I got to  where smoking four or sometimes four and a half packs a day was all I could do to keep from driving myself crazy. I can say for sure that as bad as three and a half packs a day used to make me feel, it's nowhere near as rough as four and a half packs a day. When I smoked that much it was like my cigarettes literally ruled my life.

Fortunately my first dwi was just over ten years ago, so this most recent dwi only counts as my second dwi, not my third, so the punishment isn't quite as severe. I still lost my license for a year, had to pay thousands of dollars in jail times and had to do several weekends of community service, mostly picking up cigarette butts in the park. I'm also supposed to go to AA meetings, but I feel so guilty at those meetings that the first thing I do when I get home is have a few drinks to help myself unwind. I know that's so wrong, but it's true.

On top of that I nearly lost my job after the dwi, in fact I'm lucky I didn't get fired, only put on probation.

Needless to say all of that was far too stressful to try to quit smoking, so I just let myself slip back into my three to three and a half pack a day cigarette addiction, because it was the one thing giving me any comfort.

Maybe when I'm forty I'll think about trying to quit  smoking again, but I just don't think I have the strength to try to give up my cigarettes again, I just need them too much.


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Honey, all I can say is I hope you are still alive when you're forty.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Besides cutting down, switch to a less addictive cigarette. Get someone you trust to Hide your ID from yourself. Honestly though a fresher environment might be key i suggest possibly moving. If not possible wait about one month before you pursue cardiovascular exercises. Cig on the occasion gorgeous not after every case or Case study accomplished. After sex or that occasional party.
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I hope Im alive when Im 40 too Jade59, but I have no hope of making it.

I figure my days are numbered by genetics anyways. My biological father died from pancreatic cancer when he was just 44. He smoked like I do, but it still wasnt lung cancer that got him. That used to seem so old to me, but now being in my thirties, that so young its frightening.

I may try switching to less addictive cigarettes, but honestly nothing gets me what I need like Marlboros. I tried getting by on just two packs of Marlboros for the weekend, and I thought I was practically on a diet. I was having cravings and headaches from the nicotine withdrawal. It was pretty sad really. I eventually caved in and ended up opening that third pack of cigs like the pathetic addict I am.
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I wish you the best, Stephanie.  Maybe someday you will return telling us you quit.  Just imagine :)

I am saying a prayer for your health as I type...
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I know how you feel, its so hard to keep falling off the wagon and end up smoking again. Ive been smoking for 25 years since I was a teenager, and about a year ago I tried to quit seriously for the first time when I turned 40.

I had an 9 year old daughter who I caught sneaking cigarettes out of my purse more than once and besides just grounding her for doing something I did myself, I knew I had to do something to show her she didn't have to be addicted to cigarettes like I was.

So far thats been a real hit or miss proposition for me, mostly miss. Trying the patch, then smoking anyways. Trying the gum, then smoking anyways after a few days. Trying the ecigarettes, but then falling back on buying another pack again within a few days. It never works and I always come back to my cigarettes.

But whether Im ever successfully quit or not is not the point, the point is that I have tried to quit. And that I am willing to keep trying to quit, even after I keep buying myself pack after pack of cigarettes saying that this will be the last one. If you ever quit trying to quit smoking, thats when hope has been lost.

So don't lose hope! I may have thrown in the towel on my quit efforts for this year, but Im ready to try to quit again with next New Years. You can too!  Whether you ever actually successfully quit is totally irrelevant, don't worry about that! Just keep believing and keep trying!
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Almost a year since I posted last, and Im ashamed to say Im smoking more now than before. Like I can't seem to get by on less than three to three and a half packs a day. Its like just can't stop smoking, or wanting to smoke, or needing another cigarette every half hour and I think I've given up on giving up.

Who am I even kidding. When I say "3 packs a day" I really mean, more like AT LEAST "three and a half packs a day". And when I say three and a half packs a day, I should just call it what it is. I opening and smoking nearly all the cigarettes in at least four packs each and every day.

Thats a disturbing way to think about it, but probably fair. The whole 3 pack a day versus 4 pack a day issue became clearer to me when I was talking to a cute guy at the outdoor patio area of a bar, where I was doing what I always do when I go out, and just smoking one cigarette right after the other, until I finished off a pack and opened another. He was a really cute guy but a non-smoker, and just looked in astonishment when I opened the pack and he asked me how much I smoked and gave my usual "oh, like two or three packs a day" kinda lie. He laughed and said, "so you mean three packs a day" and I sheepishly grinned and said "yeah, I guess I should just admit that its more like three and a half packs a day"... when he just said "..and a half?... you can't open just a half a pack now can you, so don't you actually mean you are basically opening and smoking four packs a day of cigarettes?"

I thought about it for a minute, and he was more right than he knew.

"Four packs a day... you smoke Four packs a day...thats what you might as well call it" he said with a sneer. "Its kinda pathetic, but I really just feel sorry for you. But just think about it, unless you smoke exactly half that pack, and not a single cigarette more, then you are really having to open at least four packs almost every single day." I didn't want to admit how right he was, but it was true. I hadn't just been stoping at exactly half of that last pack, right at seventy cigarettes and not a single one more. Id usually smoke one then two then three then four more after that, sometimes five. Seventy five. Seventy five cigarettes a day.

I've been smoking about seventy five cigarettes a day these past several months. Sometimes I go ahead and finish that fourth pack. But I may save that last cigarette of the pack so I can tell myself that I didn't really smoking four packs a day. But its all a lie. Its all just a psychological mind game I play with myself to make myself feel better about all my smoking.

Might as well call a spade a spade. This girl here is apparently the worst kinda of spade, the four pack a day kind who's in denial about her nicotine addiction. And I can already feel it begining to take its toll on my health in a way I hadn't noticed just a few years ago. I find myself wheezing often, coughing at regular intervals, and generally far far shorter of breath than Id like to be. Even walking a flight of stairs can get me winded. I'd like to say that its just because Im out of shape or blame it on the height of my heels, but thats clearly not it. Its clear that its the cigarettes that are doing this to my lungs. But at the same time that I find my breathing shorter and tighter, I also find it easier and easier to keep smoking three and apparently four packs a day. Maybe its just my body needing the nicotine so badly that it will do whatever it takes.

But its so bad, some times I just can't imagine life without my cigarettes. I went on a date with a guy to a movie a few months ago, and I had to leave to take a smoke break four different times during the movie. One of them was during the previews, but the others were during the movie itself. I found myself thinking about wanting a cigarette even more often than that, and trying to contain myself to just stepping out for a quick cigarette or two every half hour or so during the movie. My date was a light smoker, one of those five cigs a day kinda guys, and he just laughed at me. Said it was the funniest thing he'd ever seen, watching me scramble around for cigarettes to suck down. I tried to play it off cool, but I know that I didn't. Guy hasn't called me back since. Maybe he figures Im just a ticking timebomb of lung cancer and better off without me.

So then I find myself alone, and depressed, again. Cigarettes my only friends. Friends that hurt me, rob me, take my breath away one after the other after the other, sixty, seventy, eighty cigarettes a day. It gets me by, while I remain in shame for my addiction and hopeless that it ever gets any better.
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Hi Steph, good to see you posting.  You don't sound like you're in near the denial you used to be...which is progress.  And you're right, this is Really bad what you're doing to yourself.  80 cigs a day is...is...oh dear, makes me sick just reading it. You are not hopeless either.  You are just not ready.  We will be here when you are.  

I don't remember if anyone shared this article with you from whyquit, so here it is.  Hugs...

  
My Cigarette, My Friend?"


    How do you feel about a friend who has to go everywhere with you? Not only does he tag along all the time, but since he is so offensive and vulgar, you become unwelcome when with him. He has a peculiar odor that sticks to you wherever you go. Others think both of you stink.

    He controls you totally. When he says jump, you jump. Sometimes in the middle of a blizzard or storm, he wants you to come to the store and pick him up. You would give your spouse hell if he or she did that to you all the time, but you can't argue with your friend. Sometimes, when you are out at a movie or play he says he wants you to go stand in the lobby with him and miss important scenes. Since he calls all the shots in your life, you go. Your friend doesn't like your choice of clothing either. Instead of politely telling you that you have lousy taste, he burns little holes in these items so you will want to throw them out. Sometimes, he tires of the furniture and gets rid of it too. Occasionally, he gets really nasty and decides the whole house must go.

    He gets pretty expensive to support. Not only is his knack of property destruction costly, but you must pay to keep him with you. In fact, he will cost you thousands of dollars over your lifetime. And you can count on one thing, he will never pay you a penny in return.

    Often at picnics you watch others playing vigorous activities and having lots of fun doing them. But your friend won't let you. He doesn't believe in physical activity. In his opinion, you are too old to have that kind of fun. So he kind of sits on your chest and makes it difficult for you to breathe. Now you don't want to go off and play with other people when you can't breathe, do you?

    Your friend does not believe in being healthy. He is really repulsed by the thought of you living a long and productive life. So every chance he gets he makes you sick. He helps you catch colds and flu. Not just by running out in the middle of the lousy weather to pick him up at the store. He is more creative than that. He carries thousands of poisons with him which he constantly blows in your face. When you inhale some of them, they wipe out cilia in your lungs which would have helped you prevent these diseases.

    But colds and flu are just his form of child's play. He especially likes diseases that slowly cripple you—like emphysema. He considers this disease great. Once he gets you to have this, you will give up all your other friends, family, career goals, activities—everything. You will just sit home and caress him, telling him what a great friend he is while you desperately gasp for air.

    But eventually your friend tires of you. He decides he no longer wishes to have your company. Instead of letting you go your separate ways, he decides to kill you. He has a wonderful arsenal of weapons behind him. In fact, he has been plotting your death since the day you met him. He picked all the top killers in society and did everything in his power to ensure you would get one of them. He overworked your heart and lungs. He clogged up the arteries to your heart, brain, and every other part of your body. In case you were too strong to succumb to this, he constantly exposed you to cancer causing agents. He knew he would get you sooner or later.

    Well, this is the story of your "friend," your cigarette. No real friend would do all this to you. Cigarettes are the worst possible enemies you ever had. They are expensive, addictive, socially unacceptable, and deadly. Consider all this and NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

Joel
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There is an easy way to quit, just break a store window, hit the cop that comes.  That's not really an answer...

I quit a pack a day habit when I was ushered into a Cath lab of a hospital with my first heart attack.  I was twenty years older than you, but based on your hx you will be there soon.  When that happens, you may find it easier to quit.  Based on your four pack habit, I rather think you might not worry about relationships, as you will soon start looking like a yellow onion, I'm sorry to say. That's not very attractive, and I bet it won't attract law partners.
That said, it is reversible.  You can quit, millions and millions of us have and extended our life years.    
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Do you ever smoke more than 4 packs in a day?
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You shouldn't be ashamed because of your addiction, Stephanie.  No one is perfect.  Stop beating yourself up about it and being depressed.  You seem like a very good person with a kind heart and a great personality.  Contrary to public opinion, there is nothing wrong with having a nicotine addiction.  It is what it is and you are who you are.  Just take it one day at a time.
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desolation24, Im glad to hear that its possible for someone to believe theres nothing wrong with having a nicotine addiction. You are so right that it really is just who I am. I have been a smoker most of my life, and will probably be condemned to be a smoker for the rest of my life, no matter how hard I may try to convince myself otherwise.

This 4th of July weekend was basically case in point. I was really hopeful that I might be able to not have to smoke more than three packs a day when going over to a family BBQ, but the stress of being around my family got to me and I was chain smoking like a chimney with a pathetic deathwish. By the time the kids were shooting off fireworks, I had already finished my 4th pack of the day and actually had to drive to the convenience store down the street to buy some more.

I feel like I must be the worst rolemodel in the world sometimes. When I left for more cigarettes on July 4th, I took my nine year old niece with me, and felt guilty when I took her to the counter and asked for two packs, then corrected myself and said I might as well take three packs with a sigh. I realised she was behind me, smiling, getting a kick out of my overly dramatic flair. But it was only when we getting back in the car, and I was lighting up just as soon as she and I had closed the doors, that I saw the way she looked at me as I was lighting the cigarette, almost like she was taking notes. But she wasn't taking notes about somebody that she didn't want to be. She was watching me smoke, one cigarette after the other, and seeing in me someone that she admired. She even told me so, although not about the cigarettes, just about me being cool and funny and smart. Which are nice compliments, but I am not dumb enough to think that when she sees me smoking cigarette after cigarette, one pack after another, that she isn't getting the message that smokers are cool. Smokers are awesome. She's picking up that vibe, even if I told her not to, and there's nothing I can do about it. If I tell her not to smoke, and keep smoking in front of her, she wouldn't believe me. To her, she sees me as a cool person, and a smoker, and Im sure puts the two together just like I did when I was her age.

But smokers aren't cool. Were addicts. Were dependant upon this plant to make it through the day. Its ridiculous, but I can't escape it. And it makes me sad everytime I try to lie to myself and say that its "not a big deal" that I smoke FOUR packs a day. I can tell myself its less, but its not. Its four. Its insane really. I mean literally.

Travis, you want to know how much I smoked on July 4th? I don't really know for sure. I am honestly embarassed to admit it, because I was drinking heavily again, but I think it was right at 105 cigarettes before midnight. I kept on smoking after that, till 2am or so until I only had five cigarettes left in the second pack that my nine year old neice and I had bought at the convenience store earlier that night. But I was so drunk, I may have lost count. My throat was so inflamed, its probably a good think I was drinking, because Im sure I couldnt have done it otherwise.

But yes, Jade, you are right. I am not ready for this. I am not ready to quit yet, and so I remain condemned to keep smoking and ruining my health for yet another year, because I am too weak willed to ever let go of my friends.

Flycaster, you are right, I know where this is headed, and it doesn't end with me meeting mr right. He doesnt want a chainsmoking, wheezing, pasty colored, drunken ball of raw nerve and stressed out lawyer barely making it by. Thats not an appealing sight for anyone, no matter how hard I try to pretend otherwise. I wish I was turning into a yellow onion or whatever your anology was, because Im pretty sure thatd' be more attractive to a man than the road I'm headed down. Its pretty pathetic really. Thats about the best word for it. Now if you'll excuse me, Im pretty sure I need to pick up another carton of cigarettes on my way home from the office, because thats all the company I'm going to have tonight.  
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You sound so sad and alone, Stephanie.  Reading your last post with all the alcohol (on top of the smoking), I also see stomach ulcers in your future.  Shortly after becoming a member in this community, I was in a life or death situation due to undiagnosed (and ignored) ulcers.  Made it IMPOSSIBLE to smoke or eat and I lost 20lbs.  Putting anything down my throat was complete and utter torture for months.  I have to be careful still, 6 yrs later.    

I will not give up on you, Stephanie.  I will continue to hope and pray I will see a post one day, you are "ready".      
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You are not a pathetic person in any way, Stephanie.  You are just doing the best you can.  Nicotine addiction affects people in different ways.  Just because four packs or more is the amount of nicotine that your body needs doesn't mean you're not a good person.  Just be yourself, smoke what you need, and don't put yourself down.  The more you stress yourself over quitting, the worse it will be.  You'll quit when you're ready, and you'll know when that is.  I'm sure you'll be quite a catch for a lucky man someday.
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Thank you so much for your reply Stephanie.  I would really like to get to know you better.  I really hope that this post doesn't come off as weird or creepy.  I would love to find a woman who smokes like you.  I think smoking is the sexiest thing a woman can do.  If you could message me on here, if you want, that would be so amazing.
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Thanks again for everybody's support. I feel like such a failure publicly admitting that I'm just about ready to throw in the towel on even trying to cut back on my constant chain smoking, at least for a few more years, but I appreciate everyone's kind words. I'm sure whenever I get diagnosed with lung cancer in my early forties, barely a decade away, I'll look back and remember how unwilling I was to committ to really trying to quit smoking and only beat myself up even more.  

Desolation, its funny that you mention it, but sometimes it really does feel like I have to have at least four packs a day or I can't keep my head straight. The idea that I could be a catch for any man someday almost made me laugh out loud. Travis, its very sweet of you to say that you think my smoking is sexy, I've actually had an ex-boyfriend tell me that before too, so its not the first time I've heard it; but I've never really thought of this as a dating site. Maybe I've just had too many bad experiences with guys on the internet; or maybe I'm just too down on dating, and down on myself to really be into anybody else right now. I'm also the worst at replying to private messages on these boards, since I only check it sporatically, but I do try to (eventually) get back to folks, whenever convenient. But for whatever its worth, I don't think its weird or creepy that you like smoking, I mean, most smokers prefer to date and hang out with other smokers, and as a life long smoker, I pretty much fall into that catagory too. I'm pretty sure I could never seriously date a non smoker.  

In any event, I guess I don't have to worry about that, since about the only date I'm gonna have anytime soon is with another bottle of vodka and a carton of cigarettes alone in front of my tv chainsmoking and getting drunk until I pass out, like I do just about every other night. A fake-friend from work told me I should start going to AA meetings with her, but I told her I probably wouldn't like it, because they'd probably frown upon my binge drinking and won't let me smoke at meetings. I couldn't stop laughing after I told her that, but for some reason she didn't think it was very funny.
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Thank you for your reply Stephanie, and for your kind words as well, I rarely get them.  Acceptance is a good thing, it is the first step on the road to happiness.  
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Hi, Stephanie. I have read almost all of messages from this thread. And i think have what to write. Actually, i registered on this site for ask another question, but saw your story in recommendations and decided write first here.  

(Attention: English is not my native language, therefore in advance, sorry for some of mistakes or any confusing. Hope, you will understand me in anyways)

First of all, I’m also smoker, but not so much like you. Just average 1 pack a day. And i think now i have control for my addiction and i even can’t smoke 1 or 2 days long. And i know about how hard to quit. Its look strange, when smoker write to other smoker about quit. But i’m sure, its a good way, which can help to quit (or reduce amount of cigs). And your addiction looks really terribly.

Of course, all of smokers(or almost all) hopes on miracle - they will not be “punished” for diseases associated with smoking. To us, is always reminding about these diseases on packs, but it has no effect. For example, i never look on pack and i even don’t know about “wish” for me on pack on this time. And its a stupid. But who has a “longevity gene”, so, such people more lucky than others. And they can have all of possible bad habits without consequences. For example, Keith Richards from The Rolling Stones, smoke more than 50 years, and many many cigarretes on day, maybe 3 packs a day(he with cigarettes on most pics) And looks healthy in his 70 years old and can play 2 hours gigs. Here two things. First, He have unbelievable health(after many years of smoking, drinking and drug use), and the next, he have a lot of money, for treatment. So, if you have one of that (or both) you try to check your longevity gene.  However, you wrote, that two your relatives died due cancer. And probably you not have so much health for this. You need go to doctor and check your heart and lungs, just to know that all OK (or not..)

And you smoke 4 packs a day, as you wrote and this quite much. You must answer for the question, you really need smoke so much or not? Many of people have stress much more than you, but they are smoke less or even not smoke. Even with such huge amount of cigs per day, i think you can quit very quick. One more example from music. Lemmy from Motorhead, smoked many years and a lot, but in one day, he’s understood what tired of that. And quit. Just for one day! can repeat this trick? And i hope the last motivity example from music. Ringo Starr smoked 3 packs a day maybe until 40 years, but quit and now he’s 73 y.o and he looks happy and healthy. Therefore, Stephanie, if you quit now, you can get a good chance to live pretty long without serious health problem. Also i know, that for womens more hardly to quit then for mens, but it doesn’t mean that you no need need to try it.
And need to understand that smoking is bad for you. How understand it? So it looks for me in several ways. (of course, some of members on this thread already told about something, and maybe it just a summery)

First, As i said before, i not think that health is a main reason to quit. Because while we are healthy, we don’t think about future. (its mistake meaning, but all of smokers thinks so). Therefore one of the main reasons its a money. Just imagine how many interesting things you can buy, if you quit smoking. I don’t know about price on cigarettes in US, but in Russia (actually when i life) pack of Marlboro you can buy for 2$. 2$ x 4 packs a day x 365 days =2920$. Wow! It’s a really huge. (Its a price on Macbook pro in Russia).
Second, In your live must be some event in the future, which you want to see. It must be after 10 or after 20 years. Something big. You wrote, that not sure about your life after 40 years and its a sad. You must think about that.
Third. You can take a hobby. It can be anything: photography, music, writing and so on. Check the story about girl, who mad 180 websites for 180 days. (now 120). http://blog.jenniferdewalt.com/ Or if your lungs allow to you - go to gym. All of this can reduce amount of cigarettes.

At the same time, I’m not to blame you, Stephanie that you smoke, because smokers must support to each other. And i so tired from non-smokers who consider smokers like people from “low level”. Some of people allows to yourself nazi remarks to smokers. And its a terrible. Nobody wants to respect our choice.

So, in anyway, you can decide yourself what to do. Most of i wrote, of course, you know about it well, but you also know what you need to quit, and don’t solve this problem. Also(and primarily), you must stop drinking. But I have nothing to say about that,because, i’m not drink.

I believe that you can reduce amount of cigs(you did it two years ago) or even quit. And also i believe and hope that your life will long and happy. Good luck!

Sergey.
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How are things going Stephanie, we haven't hear from you in a while?
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Sorry its been a while. I guess its just more of the same with me. I can't quit smoking and keep trying to make myself accept the fact that I never will.

Sergey, you are right, four packs a day is way too much. My doesn't just Addiction look really terrible, it is really terrible. I hear you on the doctor thing. Ive been really worried about that myself lately, because Ive been feeling really short of breath sometimes just walking a short distance. I can tell my breathing problems are getting alot worse.  The fact that this is already happening to me so early in my 30s is absolutely horrifying.

But I know I can't ever stop smoking. I've pretty much given up on trying to force myself to smoke less than three or four packs a day for the rest of this year. Its not like 32 will be anything special, but maybe next year or the following will be a better time to think about maybe just trying to limit myself to three packs a day. I say that now, but when I am honest with myself, I literally cannot imagine how hard it would be to not smoke at least three packs a day. I can barely go half an hour without needing another cigarette.

Even my friends make fun of me. Yesterday I was at a friends house watching the Dallas Cowboys football game on tv, because she and her boyfriend were hosting a little party. (and she wanted to introduce me to a cute guy). So Im all dressed up, in my little tight fitting Tony Romo jersey, and the shortest, tightest jean skirt I could find in my closet, and then put on the tallest pair of high heels I own, which was almost four inches of heel.  Just as I slipped my bare feet into the sky high heels, which I hadn't worn in a year, I just knew my poor feet were going to be covered in blisters by the end of the day. Looking at myself before I left, I thought I looked almost alright, except the pale white skin of my bare legs shining light a beacon of unhealthiness. But whatever, I was out to get me a mans.

I probably should have just left when I found out that the guy my friend was trying to set me up with is a non smoker. My friends' boyfriends house is nonsmoking, but they have a large covered patio outside where people were going to smoke while watching the football game on the big screen tv. So I was trying to make small talk with this cute guy, while seeing people out on the patio enjoying their cigarettes, and it was almost too much for me to bear. Eventually he commented on it and jokingly said "hey, Ive seen you eyeing the smokers out there for the past fifteen minutes, looks like you really need a cigarette". I excused myself and went outside to smoke quickly, then hurried back inside.

I tried my "hardest" to not smoke too much around this really cute guy, but it hardly worked at all. I felt like I was dying for a cigarette almost the whole time, even with several smoke breaks. By the end of the game, I had smoked 11 cigarettes in about 3 hours. That was me trying to restrain myself. How pathetic.

The cute guy joked with me that he'd never seen anybody smoke so much, at least not since college. I just smiled, and joked that I had started smoking 'regularly' in college, since that wasn't that long ago. I was trying to be cute. But instead, he just said "No kidding? I thought you looked good for your early forties." I just about cried, and wasn't sure if he was joking. I hoped he was. I joked with him that I wasn't that desperate yet, because I'd just turned 30 a year ago. Turns out he wasn't joking.  He was trying to be diplomatic, but just said it was probably just the smokers lines on my face that threw him off. He tried to smile it off, but I felt insulted. Even if it was true.

How demoralizing is it that a guy trying to flirt with me told me that I looked ten years older than I really am, because of what smoking has done to my face and skin.

But that isnt even the worst of it. Just this morning I had a doctors appointment. I had been meaning to schedule a checkup and pap smear after my 30th birthday over a year ago, but I just kept putting it off. When I went in there, after I lied to the doctor and told him I only smoked "2 packs a day" or so, he said he wanted to check my blood pressure.

My blood pressure was 160/90. Thats stage 2 hypertension. My doctor was shocked that my blood pressure was so high for my early 30s. He wanted to put me on blood pressure medication immediately. He then asked about other symptoms I might have had. Yes, Id had tingling and numbness in my left hand fingers from time to time. Yes, Id had trouble breathing. Yes, Id have tightness in my chest. Yes, I did drink alcohol daily. Yes, I got winded walking up a flight of stairs. He also said he wanted to recommend me for a lung function test, because he thought there was a very real possibility that I might already have early stage emphesyma or COPD based on the symptoms Id reported.

Really? I cant have emphesyma yet, Im only 31! This is crazy. Its totally frightening, but its absolutely crazy.

But its not like there is anything I can do about it. The doctor told me that while lungs will heal if I quit, that unless I stop smoking completely, my lungs will never really begin to heal themselves. He also said that with emphesyema that often times damage done is permenant. That right there made up my mind for me. If the damage is inevitable, then why bother. If I have to go from smoking 70 to 80 cigarettes a day to absolute zero to get any real benefit, then why even bother trying to do the impossible. Sure, I might could manage to maybe, maybe get by on say 35-ish cigarettes a day, if I was wearing half a dozen nicotine patches and on some crazy good drugs to sedate myself. But there is literally zero possibility of me ever getting by on less than 30 cigarettes a day. Literally zero. I think I smoked more than that in high school. Even in an imaginary world where I might be able to somehow only need to smoke 20 cigarettes a day, the doctor said my lung condition would continue to deteriorate. So if my emphesyma is inevitable, why even bother trying to quit. Im not trying to be fatalistic about it, but seriously, there is nothing I can do to stop whats coming.

So that kinda puts me in a foul mood.

And to put icing on the cake, just starting today, we just got a new parking garage at my office. We have to park on the 4th floor, and there are no elevators. So I had to huff it down 4 flights of stairs in high heels, gasping and wheezing for air the whole time. I was dizzy by the end of it, and positively sucking air. I had to bend over when breathing to try to catch my breath. Then I started coughing. The kind of cough you usually get with a nasty winter cold that turns into bronchitis that I get every year. Honestly I felt a little absurd still trying to catch my breath while lighting a cigarette, but I just couldn't help myself. After a few minutes of taking shallow drags off my cigarette and standing still, I was able to feel well enough to walk across the street like a normal person.

Things like this scare me. I mean, it scares me alot. It scares me to the point that I seriously don't think there is a good chance of me making it to 40. But even with all of that, I still feel like I could ever just up and quit. And if I cant quit all the way, then why bother at all. Its just too much trouble to try and go through all that.

So thats where I am today. Feeling an impending sense of doom, and accepting that I am unable to do anything about it.

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If your doctor was shocked about your 160/90, he just don't know about me. In 19 years old i had 190/90 and nobody was shocked. Fortunately now i have almost normal BP, but who knows what will be next.

So, your blood pressure is high, your lungs are damaged and to go from bad to worse, you drink alcohol every day- All this together is sad because, probably you NOT have time to wait the next year. You have high probability what your life could be end at any time. And i don’t want to scare you or something like, but its a true, it's a sad true. in my last message i  was pretty “liberal” and told that you can still smoking if you want and if your health allow to you, but after your last message, similar words is impossible.
You have not much time to quit and i think you understand it. All of your words about “i know i can’t ever stop smoking” is rubbish, because many people in history of the world successfully quit smoking. You should go to another doctor who can help to you quit. And you should do it now.

Or you don’t want? Listen, You are 31 y.o, you can life at least 50 years and you really don’t want to see in our world in 2063 year? Maybe after 15 or 20 years with giant step in medicine, you will be able to recovery your lungs. Therefore, it makes sense to see to this. Hope you have people who care about you, because they can guide to you on right way.
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Avatar_m_tn
You aren't pathetic at all, Stephanie.  You shouldn't have to restrain yourself from smoking around anyone at all.  It's their loss if they can't accept you for who you are.  If someone can't accept your nicotine addiction, then you don't need them anyway.  You just haven't found the right person yet.  If you still enjoy smoking, just smoke what you need and focus on the enjoyment you get from smoking instead of the negative aspects.  It seems like trying to limit yourself to a certain amount of cigarettes has backfired in the past, so just listen to your body.  No one person can tell you or force you to quit, only you can do that, and if that time ever comes you'll know when it is.
Do be careful with the alcohol.  Heavy use every day will only lead to more problems, make your nicotine cravings worse, and make any existing health problems worse as well.  It definitely does not help in any way, shape, or form.  It may take your problems away for one evening, but they're right back the next day with a hangover to go with them.
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desolation24, I want to believe you so badly. Really I do. I want to have people who accept me for who I am, nicotine addiction or not, who doesn't mind that I enjoy smoking, and want to keep smoking, and really need to keep smoking one cigarette after the other just to make it through the day.

And you are so right that my past attempts to focus on cutting back number of cigarettes have always totaly backfired. I just get so OCD about it, I start counting everything and it gets awful. I tried limiting to 60, but then when that failed and I gave up, I was back up to 75 cigs a day, and lying to myself saying it wasnt "really" 80. Except when it really was, which was like almost every day after a while. Four packs a day is just plain stupid, but its how much I honest-to-god smoke every single day. Just admitting that online just about makes me want to cry. But to admit it while looking at my next pack of cigarettes in my purse that I want to go smoke them right this very instant. The only people I know my age who smoke anywhere near as much as me are people who either smoked meth, do coke, or otherwise take too many stimulants and amphetamines, like me, so that they are constantly wanting and needing to smoke more. But stimulants or not, I just don't see myself ever being able to get back to below four packs a day. I think I actually need to smoke that much just to keep myself from going off the deep end.

So, Im so torn when I obsess about cutting my numbers because when I don't, I get stupid and end up smoking even more. Oh god, its so wicked and awful, but Ive actually smoked five packs a day before. Not just once either. Not just that one time during the summer. Like more than that. Like, two or sometimes three days a week. I think my body thinks it always needs more and more nicotine. Like endlessly. Who the hell else smokes five packs a day except a girl hopelessly hopped up on amphatamines again to help with add, just like back in middle school and high school and college and law school. No wonder I started chain smoking as a middle schooler and it only got worse in high school and college and later. But I cant stop myself. Either I obsess about the numbers, then it backfires, and I end up smoking more and more; or I try to ignore the number of cigarettes Im smoking, and I just consume even more. Either way, Im trapped in a cycle of needing more cigarettes, wanting more cigarettes, obsessing about more cigarettes, and thinking about more cigarettes almost all day long.

Anytime I dont have a cigarette in my mouth, I want to have one there. Anytime I dont have a cigarette in my hand, I want to have one there.
Anytime I dont have cigarette smoke around me, I want to have it.
Anytime I cant taste my last cigarette still on my lips, I want another.

Its like somehow my hopeless obsession with needing to smoke more cigarettes has only gotten worse and worse these past few years, and I can barely take it.

So Im afraid that you are right. I really just have to find someone, one of these days, who is alright with the fact that I am destroying my health with smoking and cannot stop no matter what. Same with my drinking. But thats a rare bird indeed.

Sergey92, I know youa re right. I really do. I know that my blood pressure is terrible, and Im sorry to hear yours is too. It scares me to know that I might drop dead at any moment, but I guess I have no choice but to accept it. My lungs are ruined, and I cannot stop ruining them no matter how hard I try. I always need more cigarettes. I always think about wanting more cigarettes. Even when it hurts my chest to breathe, I cannot stop myself from wanting and needing more cigarettes. Even when my cough goes from bad to worse, I cannot stop myself from needing more cigarettes.

This is what I get for changing jobs to an office where Im technically an independent contractor, being leased my own office space in a small residential sized building with no other tenants and a landlord straight outta the seventies who doesn't care if I smoke non-stop in my tiny office. Better still, I don't have a creepy boss who is always asking me why I never wear pantyhose with my high heels while he stares at my legs and licks his lips. It didnt happen every day, even though I have literally never wear hose, but it happened enough to bother me. But, flip side was that he never busted me for constant smoke breaks. In fact, he let alot slide for me so that my needing to step out ever fifteen to twenty minutes for another cigarette never effected my performance review, and I suppose that came at a price of feeling his eyeballs looking me up and down everytime I walked by, but now thats gone. Now, nobody cares is I wear socks or hose or pants or skirts. Nobody cares whether Im showing pantylines or whether Im even wearing any at all, because I work alone now, and I love the solitude. Literally No one else is around, and hardly anyone comes by, so now I have finally been let loose to smoke as much as I want in my own office.

Smoking all day long at work has been both wonderful and terrible. My cigarette consumption has continued to sky rocket, and that makes me scared. Im about in tears as I say this, but I just lit another cigarette at my desk, so I'll tell the truth: I smoked 95 cigarettes yesterday, over half of them at the office.  I smoked 92 the day before, and 93 the day before. Its not "technically" a "full" five packs a day, but its damn close. Real damn close.

But thats what happens when you let a lonely, depressed, alcoholic, pill popping chainsmoker have an office by herself in a small building by herself where no body ever comes by. Shes smokes herself to death.

My cough has a rattle now that frightens me. I dont know if its me getting sick or what. When my new office landlord heard it a few weeks ago he told me I might want to get that checked out, because it sounded just like what his second wife's cough sounded like before she got lung cancer.

He said that she was only 46 years old when she died from lung cancer, many years ago and that she only smoked about two and a half packs a day back then. Sad really. He isn't a smoker, but he said both of his adult daughters are smokers, just like their mother was, so he can't complain about me smoking in his building, but that he wanted to warn me personally about lung cancer.

So yeah, I know whats coming for me. For all I know, it may already have me, I don't know. I know my smoking is going to kill me, painfully, but I really cannot stop. I mean, I suppose I could say that I know smoking is going to kill me, but I really just dont want to stop, but that doesnt seem right. Its not that I dont want to stop, its that I know that I cannot stop. I know that I can never beat this addiction, no matter how much I might want to, so I have to learn to accept my inevitable fate. Surely others here have had to come to grips with that themselves.

But thats where I find myself. Behind another cloud of smoke, coughing, wheezing, feeling like an ashtray, and being resigned to my inevitable fate. This must be what bleak hopelessness looks like.
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Stephanie, if you are happy, smoke as much as you want.  I am sure you will one day find someone that can accept your heavy smoking, I know I would.  
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You shouldn't be depressed or upset at all about being a heavy smoker, Stephanie.  If four or five packs is what you need every day, then smoke what you need and don't feel guilty or ashamed.  Since you can't quit, just focus on the pleasurable aspects of smoking and try to block out the negative ones.  I know it can't be easy with wheezing and a bad cough, but when they happen, just focus on your enjoyment of the cigarettes.  Just light up and inhale as often and as deeply as your body needs you to.  I think it's a good thing that you can smoke all day at work too without anyone bothering you and you don't have to walk outside all day.
Do be careful with the alcohol and amphetamines, however.  Just take one day at a time and do the best you can each day, and don't be ashamed of who you are.  It's all anyone can do.  If cigarettes make you happy, then that's all that matters.  You're going to be a real catch for a very lucky man.
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Your messages is really sad, Stephanie. You understand that smoking is going kill you, but not doing anything with this. And this is the main problem - you have never tried to quit. Your “attempts” in past about which you wrote two years ago its just a funny. And now, when your health growing worse you begin to smoke even more. You almost killed yourself and you want to finish it faster? It's a really unbelievable. I thought that every person have a self-preservation, and in the critical situation starts to doing all only for survive, but probably in your case it's not so. At the same time, you have dating with guys, drive to work every day and it seems that you want to continue life in anyway. It is not hopelessness for you, while your health allow to live full life(almost). But as you know, it may come to an end. I agree with @desolation24, what you need to found right person which will show you the “right way” and by that to safe you.
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Avatar_m_tn
Apparently you like cigarettes (and liquor) the most. What are second and third things you like in your life? Trying to do these things more often is a more positive way approach than trying to cut down on cigarettes. A 30 min swimming or jogging per day can do changes in your life that you right now think is impossible.
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Totally agree with Sergey92 when he says "Maybe after 15 or 20 years with giant step in medicine, you will be able to recovery your lungs. Therefore, it makes sense to see to this." For all you know, your lungs might not be all that bad. If you can preserve what ever lung function you have, you can lead a long and enjoyable life.

Dont say you dont have it in you. If I were you I would go on a 20 day leave and then decide whether its possible or not.

People, when in depression think their problem is some how unique that no body in the world has faced and so nobody understands. So I dont think you will take anybody's suggestion seriously unless you start doing thinks you like. Im not saying yours is an easy position ; but many people had been there who were later successful in finding joy in their lives.
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there will never be giant leaps in the field of lung disease.  $23,000 is the average amount of money spent on breast cancer per patient for research.  $1300 is spent on lung cancer per patient.  it is considered a 'smoker's disease'.  in other words,,,,, preventable.  so, i do not see anything changing in the future to help with this.  
i highly suggest just looking on whyquit *******.  there are pictures of people at the top of the site.  click on deborah age 38 and READ HER STORY.  her own words as she is dying from SMOKING.  
i too am fighting hard to stop.  your  pessimistic attitude will get you nowhere.  'I can't' needs to be taken out of your vocabulary and replaced with 'i don't want to' or 'i can'.  it is HARD.
i have been smoking since i was 5 yrs old.  i have at least 2 (they are finding 2 more, but not officially diagnosed and do not know if i even want to know) incurable diseases from smoking.  NEVER in my life have i defended smoking like you do.  you are in love with it.  
read deborah's story and then see if you want to keep smoking.  i wish you the best and maybe you should try hypnosis or something else.
http://whyquit.com/whyquit/A_Deborah.html
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Jinx, did you say you, yourself, started smoking at 5 years old?
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yes, i did.  actually around 4 yrs old i would light my parents cigs and fooled around with them, but by the age of 5, i had my own pack.  cannot remember how long they lasted, but do know i never went without them.  
i was way too young to  even know they were dangerous, let alone even know what addiction was.  
kids always look forward to birthday milestones.  for me it was 'i will quit when i am 13' 'i will quit when i am 16' and kept going for 18 and 21.  never did quit.  :(
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i could smoke in front of my parents.  never had to hide.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Jinx, how heavily do you smoke now?
did your paretns ask.encourage you ot light their cigaret,es or did you just doit on your own?
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Hi Stephanie,

I know how u feel. I tried amphetamine and for some reason it makes u smoke non stop. I got addicted to smoking badly and was nearly going mad not being able to smoke at work and places people frowned upon u. I couldn't stop smoking no matter what.

I tried Nicorette ice mint gum and it helped me manage my smoking, but I continued to smoke and still smoke when using my nicorettes. I prefer ice mint lozenges now and I never thought I'd get addicted but I am addicted to Nicorette and whilst I still smoke, I did cut back thanks to Nicorette. It's a double whammy addiction, but its better than that uncontrollable urge to chain smoke cigarettes. Good luck!
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Good luck jinx, it's an addictive habit, we know. It's either give up, or give in. And it's so easy to give in to nicotine, I certainly know I like the addiction to it. Silly ain't it.
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my parents encouraged us to smoke.  they thought it was cute.  then they figured out that it was a way to get us to do things for them.  they were full aware of the addiction, but i was not.  the old 'i will give you a cigarette if you vacuum the house'.  we also had to go to the store and buy them for them.  with a note the first few times, then no longer needed a note. then we  were free to buy them ourselves.  would forego lunch at school to buy them.  my brother changed to chewing at about 16 and still does to this day.  my sister smoked, but quit in their 20's.  
i smoke a pack or a little less than that a day.  desperately want to quit. i have tried the patch, chantix, etc with no success and i think with me, cold turkey is the only way
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i think i have a little blood in my nicotine stream.  :)
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Avatar_n_tn
Jinx, did you smoke more heavily when you were younger?
You said you have two confirmed and 2 suspected smoking related diseases, what are they?
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