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I think it's important, and quite therapeutic, to track and write down your thoughts about quitting smoking as the days progress. This is why I'm going to share with all of you EXACTLY what is happening during MY experience. It feels good to vent it all out, and at the same time, helping others, like YOU, out there who are struggling with addiction and are looking for someone they can relate to.

No one can relate to a doctor on a website saying smoking is bad for you. Everybody already knows that.

Today was actually quite horrible, from beginning to end. I still feel awful. Yesterday, I smoked 2 packs of cigarettes, so I knew today would be hard. I knew as soon as I woke up, I'd be craving one. It was the first thing I thought about. I even forgot that I had quit. How ridiculous is that? I thought about smoking first, and then I realized I had quit (which nicotine wants to make you forget), and that left a depressing thought in my mind.

photo of a lighter and cigarette

Why was it depressing? Because nicotine brings all the negative thoughts forward, ESPECIALLY upon waking up on Day 1. Its main goal is to make me feel as horrible as possible as if to say "How dare you quit!"

When you read about cravings lasting a few minutes or less, don't believe them. In reality, cravings can last all day long. Today was one big, painful craving. It's not painful in the same way that pinching yourself is painful, or cutting yourself. It's not like that. It's more of like a "bruised" feeling, an inner soreness. It's your body shutting down.

My breathing was pretty horrible all day. My stomach became distended, and that put pressure on my lungs. My lower back hurt because I couldn't breathe properly.

During the first part of the day, I was really dizzy, almost to a point of feeling faint. The early cravings were so intense, and I was so dizzy, that I just couldn't believe it. I do feel that the longer you remain a smoker, the worse off nicotine withdrawal will be for you. I don't believe for one second that the pains of withdrawal from a smoker of 1 year is the same pain from a smoker of 15 years. The duration is the same, withdrawal lasts 3 weeks, but the intensity can vary from one to another.

I just finished up 17 years, so my cravings and pains are pretty intense.

Work was horrible. Withdrawal makes you a crazy person. I couldn't really smile all day long, I was too busy concentrating on being in pain. I couldn't really hold a conversation, or even contribute to one, because my breathing was so bad and I just didn't feel like talking. My entire being was 100% affected.

My co-worker asked me today if I was feeling OK, because I was sick last week, but I lied to her and told her no. You see, I've quit smoking so many times in my life, only to end up relapsing, that people don't take me serious anymore. No one believes me, they snicker and laugh, and they say the old cliche "I've heard it all before."

There is truth to both sides. I know that. I know it's stupid to keep starting and stopping so many times. But I can honestly say that it's because nicotine controls my every thought. My entire day revolves those thoughts.

When I get home from work, all I do is smoke, one right after the other. When I wake up, the first thing I do is light up. I don't go to the gym anymore, because once I start smoking during the day, I feel ashamed about it, and very unmotivated to go workout, so I stay home (and smoke). I literally have no energy to be active, because cigarettes have taken it all away from me. Yet I still find time to puff away.

I'm still coughing up a lung, it's disgusting. I'm always spitting when I walk down the street. I'm always trying to clear my lungs out. That's not very attractive if you ask me.

I don't feel I'm dateable, because I feel terrible about being a smoker and living my life controlled by it. My apartment smells like an ashtray, all my clothes smell like stench. Even the inside of my backpack smells like it. It's embarrassing and I HATE it!

When I smoke, I drink way too much, and I gamble. If I'm smoking, I'm going out, and that's just the way it is in my life. I never smoke and accept it as something I will do for the rest of my life. Recently, whenever I light up, I am relapsing and potentially (and hopefully) smoking for "just one night." I always promise myself that I'd quit tomorrow. But tomorrow never comes.

I'm in a constant cycle of "going out with a bang" and "ending it all" by smoking as much as I can, to become as disgusted by it as possible. However, the more cigarettes the night before means horrible pains the next day when I start Day 1. I had 2 packs last night, and today has been awful. Very painful! I'm still in pain, although I know I will feel somewhat better tomorrow. It'll still be bad, but not like today. Day 1 is always the worst.

At least I know I can do it, though. I made it through a double-shift at work, and if I can do that and not smoke once, I can do anything.

It really is sad that I continue to keep relapsing, because Day 1 is just an awful day. Why do I continue to keep putting myself through this torture? People probably think I'm just a space-cadet, but what they don't know is that I'm almost always going through withdrawal. People really don't know the REAL me. In fact, neither do I.

I know my life is going to be absolutely incredible, because I've lived it a few times. I know that as soon as I get over the physical, my life turns around 180 degrees and great things start happening. I want my life back!!! I'm so mad that I don't have it. I'm taking it back.


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