This is the main culprit which prohibits smokers from becoming non-smokers.
It’s a monster, and it will haunt you every step of the way until it leaves your body for good.
It will literally drive you crazy, but if you can beat it, you’ll live the best possible life you can imagine. For you heavy smokers out there, it means everything.
The physical effects last 3 weeks. Beyond that, it is all in your head.
However, those first few weeks can be very difficult and quite painful. To some, it’s the most intense battle ever.
After years and years of smoking, it makes sense that it would be hard. But don’t let that stop you. Be strong and wake up everyday with a goal of not giving in to cigarettes.
It’s important to know everything you can about withdrawal.
It’s your main obstacle, so you should take it serious. If you don’t, you’re going to relapse.
You have to be SERIOUS about quitting.
You have to know what’s coming, and that means knowing what withdrawal will feel like, or potentially feel like. If you feel anything strange going on, that’s most likely it.
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Why is it so important to know what’s coming?
If this is your first time, then you won’t have any idea. But if this isn’t, then knowing what you’re feeling, whether it’s negative or not, can help you.
You won’t be freaking out because you’ll know, that at the end of the day, it’s just a withdrawal symptom, and nothing else. If you can acknowledge what is going on, it will make things much easier to get through.
Obsessive thoughts about smoking – At the very beginning, you may think about smoking literally every minute of your life. That’s the reality of Day 1.
The reason you are thinking so much about them is because virtually every aspect of your life has a trigger attached to it that hasn’t been reversed yet.
Plus you are depriving your body of nicotine, so it’s freaking out.
You might even start looking at people’s hands as you are walking by them, and seeing if they are holding a cigarette.
“If they’re smoking, then I can too, right?” WRONG!
You’re getting stressed out – The little things are starting to annoy you more than ever.
You can’t find your keys. You ran out of coffee creamer. Traffic is bad. Nothing on the radio. Stuff like that.
But it’s those little things that make you reach for a cigarette, only now you can’t have one, which adds even more to the stress. It all builds and builds and builds.
Having a cigarette isn’t going to make the traffic get better, and it certainly won’t make your keys magically appear.
You’re mind starts playing tricks on you – This is the deceiving side of nicotine addiction. Once you deprive yourself, your mind will tell you anything it wants to hear.
“I’ll quit after lunch.”
“I promise I’ll quit in the morning.”
“No one will know if I have one.”
“I’m not ready.”
Excuses, excuses, excuses. That’s all they are. Nicotine just wants you to consume it. It doesn’t care what your day is like, or what you have accomplished.
All it cares about is entering your blood stream. Nothing more.
You’re breathing becomes heavier – After about half the day is finished and you still haven’t smoked, you’ll notice more wheezing and potentially a distended stomach.
This is your body freaking out that it doesn’t have nicotine in its system. It’s basically shutting down.
This might actually take a few days to recover from, so it is one of the dangerous side effects of quitting smoking.
I don’t remember my body shutting down when I switched to vaping. It was a smooth transition. You still have to come off the 1000’s of chemicals, though, that are present in cigarettes.
You’re excited about the next potential cigarette – Even though you may have quit, you will still think about smoking almost all day long that first day.
Any little exciting thing that happens in your day will trigger you to smoke.
Get off work early? Make a lot of money at work? See a really attractive person smoking? Did your favorite song come on the radio? These are all triggers.
A more in-depth look at some of the symptoms.
-Keep your hands busy
-Sleep more, especially naps
-Spend more time inside non-smoking environments
-Drink juices, especially cranberry juice
-Eat whenever you want to, and don’t shy away from it
-Nibble on something
-Relax and watch TV
-Just go home and make it through the day!
Withdrawal will sneak up on you when you least expect it. It will make you do some crazy things!
You’ll feel like you’re not even yourself. People will either think you’re sick or you’re just angry all of a sudden.
Your anxiety might become so bad that all you feel is panic. You won’t even be able to communicate with others because of the pressure. Forget about smiling and communicating with others as well.
Your vision may get blurry. You might get dizzy. Your eyes might become dry and dilated. Your mouth will water.
But underneath it all, I bet you’ll feel really good.
Take a step back and ignore the physical for just a second and focus on what’s really going on.
Are you breathing better already? Are you sleeping better? Are your taste buds returning?
You’ll notice these things right away, it’s just that the physical pain overshadows the good things.
People tend to dwell on the negative parts in their life. It’s human nature.
If you can understand that, and see past that, and know whatever negative feelings you have will eventually fade away, then you are on your way to becoming a winner.
Being able to handle the negative side effects is big chunk of the battle.
Most people can’t handle the withdrawal, and they think they feel worse, so they go back to smoking.
If you understand that you WILL feel worse before you feel better, you’ll triple your chances at success.
The first week is awful, but then you’ll start to feel really awesome. 3 weeks and nicotine is gone from your body forever. Then it’s just the mental challenge.
Perhaps some of you are able to get over the physical, but not the mental.
It’s easy to get over the physical because it’s there, and you can feel it. You can almost see it when you look in the mirror.
It’s not hiding underneath something. It’s right out in the open. The anxiety is something you can see and feel.
The mental cravings, however, you can’t see or feel. Those are the triggers that must be reversed.
Just say to yourself, “It’s only the addiction talking.”
I come to this website every morning and night for courage and support. I started smoking when I was 15 years old and now I am 24. I quit cold turkey one week ago. The withdrawal has been so brutal. This website has helped me to not feel alone with all of these symptoms so this is what I have experienced so far – eye pain, blurry vision, headache, sinus congestion, canker sores, jaw pain (probably from stress grinding my teeth), sore throat, chest tightness, tingly arms and legs, agitation, anxiety, and some paranoia. I can also feel that all of my senses are improving. Colors are more vibrant, food has more flavor, I notice more smells especially when I’m outside. It’s a wonderful world and a great day to be a non-smoker!
Hi Y’All!! Thank you Mateo for this wonderful site! Dude, you’re AWESOME! I actually came across it before when I tried to quit and failed but this time feels different(I’m crossing my fingers). It’s finally dawned on me that I have to stop poisoning myself ASAP. Today is day 11 and I’m having so much trouble concentrating on getting my work done. It’s like I have ADHD, I’m all over the place. It’s not easy for sure, every day is different. I actually have a pack of cigarettes in the kitchen drawer I wanted to really commit this time and try something different not feel like the craving is because I don’t have any to smoke, you know what I mean? I really like the suggestion of playing the tape out and posting up signs of encouragement throughout my place. Thanks for your stories and tips everyone and Mateo!
Fifty-four years. That’s how long I’ve been smoking. Fourteen days without a smoke. The cravings are relentless. Do you think that, for such a long term smoker, the cravings and grief will ever subside?
Yes, but you gotta be strong. It’s not like you smoked for 6 months and quit. You have a lot of healing to do, but obviously it can be done. And it will be done, by YOU.
Day 17 I was wondering if the actual chemical addiction is gone? I want a cigarette many times a day but it’s not more than those triggers of when I use to smoke
I wouldn’t bet on it. All I know is that around the 21-day mark is when things really start to change for the better. You’re in the clear when you begin to stop thinking about it. You can easily have a relapse a month later because of some stupid reason.
I’m at day 4 and the cravings are less but super intense I just say to myself hell no I’m not smoking and it goes away
I’m on day 6 and I’m telling you I just had the strongest craving in the world I want form in mg of nicotine gum and it’s working I’m getting through this one but it was a hard one man I will not go out and buy a pack of cigarettes I will not smoke I kept saying that to myself over and over and it started to go away and now it’s going away and I’m going to go to the store and get me some cranberry juice
I’m on Day 11 of my Quit. The cravings haven’t been too bad and being around people smoking hasn’t been too tempting. I’ve definitely been on edge but it’s all been for one simple reason …. I haven’t had a good nights sleep since I quit! I sleep up to 3 or 4 hours a night, waking up constantly. I’m not getting any deep sleep. Has anyone else experienced this and if so how long did it last?
Yes I have I can’t get a good night’s sleep since I quit I’m on day 6 and I got up at 4:45 this morning and it’s now 2:34 p.m. and I haven’t been asleep I just can’t stay asleep and I’m eating everything but I’m not smoking that’s the good part
TRINA B says
I quit smoking 21 days ago. I just found this site today. whats odd is i found the first week easier then now. I’m 21 days in and i feel so on edge and anxious and mouth just salivating like crazy all day. and irritable, and the constant thoughts of giving in. I even had a dream that i cheated and loved it in my dream. I’m struggling. I am proud of myself as I have made it this far. i started smoking when i was 10 i have only quit once for a year and a half my entire life I’m 46 now. and then i did it because I was pregnant. PLEASE guidance or something. When does the overwhelming desire to smoke stop? Trust me i notice the difference in my breathing. I’m not as congested, I notice the things that are better. I need ideas suggestions help to get through the mental part. Thanks!
I quit smoking 14 months ago TODAY, and I still crave every day – all day. That is something you will not find on any website, or at least I haven’t. All you can do is fight through every day, one day at a time. A friend of mine gave up chewing and said it took 4 years before he didn’t crave it all the time. He “used” for less years then me, and is younger. But nobody talks about that on the internet. You will only hear things like that from people who’ve been through it, or know someone who has. A nurse even told me that her mother quit and it was about a year and a half before “things started getting better.” It seems to me that a lot of people think that in 3 weeks, or 2 months, something magical happens and we quit craving, or it’s all in our heads, or just “MENTAL”. But let’s be honest. Not everybody is the same. Different drugs affect different people differently, just like the withdrawal from those drugs. I’m convinced that my battle is not mental. I wish it were, but the physical effects of withdrawal are basically the same thing I felt on day 1, or day 3 or day 30 or day 167. They aren’t quite as intense. I’m sure in a few years they will go away. Holy crap…if I can fight through to this point, anybody can.
I’ve actually been trying to figure out why my eyesight got blurry about 45 days after I quit smoking and gets progressively worse every month. People tell me it’s my age, but the correlation of quitting and bad eyes culminating within 45 days after 25 years of smoking is a little too hard to ignore. I think there is a lot we don’t understand about a lot of addiction.
Anyway, all you can do is POWER THROUGH. Don’t pick up that cigarette. It only takes one drag and you’re back where you left off so fast your head will spin (poor analogy). I quit because I could feel impending emphysema. No cigarette relieves a craving as well as it feels to NOT BE SICK. You know exactly what will happen if you take one drag. Play the tape through. No matter how much you know you’re right, the temporary relief is not worth it. Hope this helps someone.
It helped me. Thank you, Allen
For me I found that putting up signs encouraging signs around the house helped me a lot and I’m on day 6 and I’ll look at those signs and the craving to go away and I can at least get through one craving at a time can you imagine if it was 9 cravings at a time so you’re doing good just stick with it and I’m saying that because smoking is poison and you can’t do it anymore you just can’t do it anymore
Today is my day 6. I’m a garbage man whose smoked for 14-15 years. Today was utter hell for me with the cravings. Somehow made it through. Had a health scare last week that prompted my day one and I’ve been riding the fear ever since until today. Was just about to the breaking point when I stumbled on your site. You’ve given me the strength to at least make it til tomorrow, and I’m gonna keep coming back until I beat this thing. Thanks for being there.
Day 4 . Why does my skin look so bad?
One of the many Reasons i decided To quit is because Everytime i had a CIGARETTE i would instantly hate myself Inside. I would replay my brother saying “Yo that’s going to Destroy Your face!”
I Wasn’t expecting to stop smoking for three days and wake up Looking like a supermodel, but what i wasn’t expecting was for my skin to actually look bad from quitting smoking!! Wtf?
It’s from all the toxins leaving your body through your pores. Happens to everybody who quits. It definitely will get better.
tim jennings says
Day 9. Thanks dude! I’m so glad I found your site! Do you take Paypal donations cause this is a great place and hope it stays around for others like it did me and I want to contribute.
Should I add a donate button?
tim jennings says
yes…set up Paypal.
Ok, I made one. It’s on the sidebar. Thanks for the recommendation.
I was so hideous my dog was scared of me but then I started to look good and then I started to look great and then people didn’t even recognize me just give it time and use vitamin e on your skin
Kim Bohner says
I stopped 8 days ago I am using niccorrette lozegers that helps alot I feel great no side affects no withdrawal I did it by slowly cutting back when I got down to 8 a day I stopped for good by using the lozenges I eat the same amount and eat the same foods I am slowly cutting back on the lozenges now