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Another day of allergy attacks, and that meant another day of clouded physical withdrawal. It wasn't as bad as it should've been because my allergies were so bad. Remember, it's rather impossible to feel both an attack and an intense cigarette craving at one time. It's always one or the other. That's just the way it is in my world.

It was almost predictable. For the first 2 hours of my day, I was completely miserable, sneezing and blowing my nose every 5 minutes. I couldn't even really open my eyes on my bus ride to work, so I just kept them closed the entire way. They would just water otherwise.

Of course, that has nothing to do with Day 3. But I will honestly tell you I never felt any cravings while I was having an allergy attack. I woke up immediately having them, that I will admit. In fact, I had forgotten that I quit. It was my first instinct when I woke up, so I actually had to take a step back and remember what I was doing. Soon after, the allergies took control.

banner saying if you smoke, then you are a drug addict.  Admit it and go from there.

There were many times during the day when I began to have physical ailments, like stomach aches, dizziness, anxiety, and fatigue. Ironically, I only felt those symptoms when I didn't feel like sneezing and blowing my nose. It was literally one or the other. As soon as I started sneezing again, the withdrawal went away.

Unfortunately, this is VERY misleading. Just because it "seems easy" now doesn't mean for one second that it will never come. This "letting your guard down" moment is when nicotine strikes the absolute hardest.

It's easy to think, "Well I really didn't feel any cravings today. I'll be fine." No you won't! You'll be caught off guard and be convinced to smoke in a heartbeat. I should never feel at this moment in time that the worst is behind me.

Tomorrow is only Day 4. It's still only the beginning. If I don't have any sort of allergic reactions, which is totally possible, it's likely to be a very tough day. I'm sure the physical will come back with a vengeance. It always does.

I know I said that Day 3 is ultimately the hardest, but that is not 100% always the case. I've witnessed the hardest day being Day 5, Day 13, or even Day 21. As long as nicotine is in your body, there is a risk for relapse. Just because it's at its lowest level in your body on Day 21, that doesn't mean in real life that you won't be in the worst scenario possible, like a wedding or possibly even the death of a loved one. What would you do then?

I had a goal of making it home tonight from work, and I did it despite all the stressful moments at work. When I wasn't sneezing, and having moments of intense withdrawal, I thought about cigarettes. Of course I did. When I'm in a really stressful situation, I think about smoking all the time. After 17 years, it comes natural to me. It's the first thing I think about.

I also know that this is not nearly the end yet, and I still have a ways to go before my body is free from nicotine. So I know it's probably going to get worse before it gets better. It's still a little early, and I'd be foolish not to think the cravings will return.

It's really awful though, when I look around at other people, and I don't see them struggling with anything I'm going through. I feel really alone at times. Why do I have to be going through all of this? Half of it is my fault. I got myself into this mess, and I have to get myself out. The only way to do that is to feel horrible for 3 weeks before everything goes away. However, that is nothing, but it's the main reason why millions of people can't quit. Those first few weeks are killer! But it's absolutely imperative.


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