It is painful, though, but not in the sense of pain as in being stabbed or pinched or hurt. The pain caused by withdrawal is more of a "body shutting down" type of feeling, or a sense of overwhelming dizziness, as if you aren't a normal human being. You're a zombie, and you can't communicate. Your entire being is affected, from head to toe. It's an overall sense that your body is screaming at you for a cigarette.
The first three days are the hardest. Your stomach might become distended, bloated, and you might have trouble breathing. This is just a common symptom. It won't last forever, you just have to get through it. You may also experience blurry vision, and constantly crave something to do with your hands and mouth. Those are common as well, and everybody goes through them.
People speak of cravings lasting only a few minutes, and then they go away. Unfortunately, this is not always true. In all reality, a craving could last all day long, screaming at you and doing everything it takes to get you to relapse. In that sense, it is painful because it cannot be escaped. Why would you want to prolong that by resorting to other methods that drag things out? The sooner you get it over with, the better.
Now don't think you're alone, because this affects everyone. It doesn't matter if you've smoked for one year or 30 years, everyone has to deal with it. Now there is probably a huge difference in psychological dependence between those two gaps, but that's because there are so many more triggers embedded in the smoker's mind after 30 years. That's why it's so important to quit while you're young, because it only gets harder and harder as you age.
It's easy to let negative thoughts take over on those first few days. Thoughts of depression, sadness, anger, and hatred could pop up all day long. Why? Because addiction feeds off negativity. It WANTS you to feel all those bad feelings. It WANTS you to feel as awful as you can. That way, you'll feel sorry for yourself and go relapse. After that, the cycle continues.
You got yourself into this mess, and you have to get yourself out! The only way to do that is to stop your filthy habit and never look back. If you don't, you'll only continue to get more and more unhealthy. Bad things will start happening to your body, and you'll eventually die. It may take years, but it will happen.
Three weeks is all is takes for the physical withdrawal to go away. How long is three weeks in the grand scheme of things? It's a needle in a haystack. It seems like eternity while you're going through it, but as times goes on, the days fade into each other, and the days become weeks, and the weeks become months. It DOES get easier. Ask anyone who has quit successfully, and they will tell you the truth.
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