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I Didn’t Do So Well…

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First of all, thank you everyone for your nice words and the well wishes for the future addition to our family. And thank you for the well wishes for quitting smoking. I wish I had better news to report with how I did today. I didn’t do so well…

I had great intentions and was pumped and ready when I went to sleep last night. When I woke up, it was a different story. The need for nicotine was right there and I couldn’t quit thinking about cigarettes. So I had half a cigarette.

As I was trying to work, having a cigarette was constantly on my mind. It was driving me crazy. After a while, even the click of my mouse started sounding like my lighter clicking. I always knew I was addicted; it became even more obvious with what was going on through my mind.

Before long, I was back downstairs and getting ready to go outside. I told my husband, “Well, I already blew it bigtime.” He suggested that I try to cut down and for the rest of the day I’ve only had half-cigarettes. True, cutting down is an option and I did that before when I was pregnant with my son. The thought was that while I was in the hospital I would give up the cigarettes completely. Well, didn’t work. As soon as I could leave my room without having the nurses yell at me I was out and about looking for where I could smoke. In fact, I almost was locked out of the hospital in the process!

This time, I want to quit and I want to quit for good. Maybe I should try weaning myself off of cigarettes instead of quitting cold turkey. Or maybe I should discuss this with my doctor when I visit him/her. Perhaps there is something I can take that is safe during pregnancy that will help. Maybe they might have some suggestions or can point me to a smoking cessation group.

Learning that I was pregnant put an urgency to quitting smoking, so I gave it a shot today. I feel very frustrated that I didn’t last very long. I recognize this feeling, and it’s lead to giving up before. I don’t want to give up. I think I need a plan, just like we have a plan for our debt reduction.

Thanks again to everyone that wished me well with quitting smoking. I feel horrible that I couldn’t do it today, but I’m not going to give up. I will become a non-smoker.


30 Comments

  • Reply Mary |

    It’s hard to quit cold turkey, but try this: switch to a “healthier” brand like American Spirit and try the ultra lights. At least there aren’t any chemical additives. They might be more expensive, but you’ll be smoking less anyway. And they are less stinky too!

  • Reply CPA1298 |

    Please quit; you’re smart enough to know the risks. You are so determined and vigilant in other areas of your life; try to find that power and apply it to this challenge.

    I have a family member who at one time was hooked on things ranging from crack cocaine to beer; she quit everything except the cigarettes. When she coughs it sounds like loud TV static.

  • Reply Nathania Johnson |

    You should reward yourself when you even do a little better. Feeling guilty when you are headed in the right direction will deter you. Celebrate that you did better today!

    Also, I’ve heard about some kind of laser therapy to quit smoking. I don’t know much about it. Definitely talk to your doctor. Find one that helps you not scolds you!

  • Reply Monika |

    My husband’s Chiropracter does a laser-acupuncture for around $100 that claims to destroy your craving. Perhaps you can find a similar treatment near you. I imagine it does not take you too long to reach $100 spent on cigarettes anyway, so if it means never again, without as much of a struggle, it might be worth it.

  • Reply Max |

    Set yourself an iron-clad, realistic goal. I say two weeks to get over the worst of the symptoms and give your cilia a chance to thrive again.

    You can do two weeks, can’t you? Sure you can. It’s just two weeks.

    Patches, gums, hypnosis, whatever — it the end YOU have to quit smoking, and you can.

    If you need another cigarette at two weeks, go ahead. But, before you smoke it, take a long time to think about how much better you feel physically and, most of all, how much better you feel about yourself. Then compare afterwards. The real devil of smoking is, unlike, say, alcohol or cocaine, you can’t clearly perceive the difference it makes.

    (At my peak, I smoked a pack and a half a day; I quit, it was hard, but I haven’t even had a *craving* in years and I feel great and feel great about myself)

  • Reply Patti |

    Quitting cigarettes is a no brainer and I know that you know this already. Every time you reach for a cigarette imagine your developing baby breathing in nicotine, carbon monoxide, arsenic etc. Get patches, get some kind of help. I did it cold turkey the day I found out I was pregnant with my first child. It can be done. I really wish you well with this for your baby, for your finances and most of all for yourself.

  • Reply Lori |

    I know first-hand how hard it is to quit smoking, but I did it three years ago. I encourage you not to beat yourself up over it; stressing about it is unhealthy, too. Just do your best, one craving at a time. One cigarette skipped is an improvement. Two skipped tomorrow is an improvement. Any change you can make is better than no change at all.

  • Reply Avi |

    First of all….. Congratulations to you & family!!!

    Now on the smoking…. this is my experience…….. I have been smoker for almost 15 years and been thru multiple attempts of stopping…reducing…quitting… etc… with the help of patches… gums also cold turkey…. usually did not work for more than few days or in best case almost a month or two.
    There was a period when I was smoking almost 2 packs a day. Most recently it was around 12-15 cigs a day.
    My wife used to be a light smoker…but none the less a regular smoker… may be 2-4 cugs a day.
    Last year this time around…she just stopped smoking…no more urges…. and few weeks later we found out about pregnency… our first child…
    For me I knew my smoking is not just about physical addiction…but also about mental dependency ….habbits related to stress, excitement, happiness, chatting with friends…so many occasions…. I was sort of observing my behavior but still convincing myself that I can get it in control.. no big deal…
    I believed that its going to change with the news of our first child… It did not… I kept smoking… changed few habbits… such as not smoking when at home or in car, etc…. but i would compensate and smoke more at while at work… effectively I would still complete my daily quota of nicotine…

    Finally the date got near… Nov 3rd…it was planned c-section… till Nov 2nd morning I was smoking… I felt as if I had to make a choice… I am not trying to convince anybody or prove anything…. and if I can not fool myself.. I have to be honest and make a decision and stick by it…. In the past such attempts did not work because lack of mental discipline which was in turn needed strong motivation….

    this time I was convinced that there can not be any bigger motivation than expecting my first child ..with an intent to set best example..be the best father that I can be… and smoking can not be part of it…

    Same afternoon I had stopped smoking… and its been almost 5 months …I have not felt like smoking … I will admit that first few weeks I did not trust myself to be around my friends while smoking…. I avoided those times & places…. and after giving myself 3-4 weeks… I was 100% confident that I dont have any physical or mental cravings ….

    bottom line…
    no one can convince or help you to quit… and you dont have to explain….justify anything… this is a another conscience decision… for good or bad…its our choice… just be honest to yourself… its all about YOU and what you truely WANT

    All the best!!!

  • Reply Mandi |

    Each body and each person is different. Any REAL doctor will tell you that. One person can quit cold turkey with very little side effects, while the next can not due to the stress on their body.

    Its almost all been said here, any progress is some progress. Some progress is a step forward. Have long, detailed talks with your doctor.

    Don’t beat yourself up for not quiting today, remind yourself that you are still quiting. Praise yourself for haw well you have done.

    You can do it and you will do it. In what ever way you can.

    GO TRICIA!!!!!!!

    Mandi

  • Reply Johnnie Ruth Hamill |

    First of all congratulations on the baby!

    Regarding the smoking, it is a struggle. I do not smoke but my husband does. I watch him struggle with his smoking, but don’t give up. I’m not giving up on him or you! You can do it — I know you can!

    You go gir’l.

  • Reply 3 Things About Money |

    Congratulations! This is fabulous news! And yes, you should quit smoking. I was a 2 pack a day smoker and it was really a challenge to quit. The patch gave me nightmares, an antidepressant didn’t work, when I switched to ultralights I smoked more. What worked for me was Commit lozenges, which basically functioned as an “out” e.g. when I panicked, felt cranky and my head was going to explode, I did a Commit and it helped, a bit. I used them for a couple of weeks. I think, though, that the thing that really helped was I took on a new identity with a mantra “I am a non-smoker” which I muttered 300 times a day, even when relapsing…before the mantra was “I am a failure” which didn’t help.

    Finally, there are 50,000 reasons to quit but forgive yourself for relapse. It is hard work to quit, be kind to yourself. My bet is that morning sickness may help take care of your desire to smoke, pregnant women have a natural aversion to toxins. Good luck, and congratulations!

  • Reply Mark B |

    1) Talk to your doctor – there are withdrawal symptoms to quitting cold turkey, and you want to be sure that these will not harm your baby.

    2) This is the most critical part of your pregnancy when so many things are developing. This is the time when you should not be smoking. My wife’s doctor always told her, “if you are concerned about anything harming the baby, then avoid it in the first trimester.”

    3) You can do it, you have done so much financially with so much willpower, you have the personality to conquer this.

    4) Don’t wait, it won’t be easier to quit next week than it is now. Today is the first day of spring, use that as your starting point. Can you go the whole spring without a cig?

  • Reply Amy |

    I’m just curious…why are you concerned about what’s safe during pregnancy? Anything you take can’t be as bad as smoking. It doesn’t make sense.

  • Reply JDR |

    Both my husband and I quit using the anti-depressant Wellbutrin. I’m not sure if you can take it during pregnancy – you should ask your doctor. If you are not depressed, the Wellbutrin eleminates cravings. It works so, so well! Good luck!

  • Reply Jen |

    Look on the bright side – you smoked half cigarettes and not a full ones! That’s progress.

    I agree with those who tell you to be forgiving of yourself, and to focus on what you are doing right instead of what you did wrong. This is not an easy thing to do. My mom has tried over the years, to varying degrees of success. For her, the patch and the gum has helped her at least cut down, if not completely stop.

    Since you roll your own, maybe you could also put less tobaco in?

    Another thought – just as alcohlics take things one day at a time, maybe as a smoker you can try taking things a few hours at a time? For example, instead of going to bed thinking, “Tomorrow I am not going smoke,” think, “Tomorrow morning I will not smoke when I get up.” Give yourself small goals – “I’m not going to smoke before 10 AM,” “I’m not going to smoke before noon,” etc.

  • Reply J |

    Tricia,

    It is sad to say that I have never heard of anyone quiting by cutting back. It never works because the nicotine hold is too strong. Going cold turkey is better because after a few days the physical withdraws are gone.

    When you cut back from say 10 cigs a day to 5. You body will be in a constant state of withdraw and you will eventually increase the smoking to give your body what it “needs”. Cutting back is harder than acutally quiting.

    Email me and I will quit with you!!

  • Reply susan |

    Tricia,

    Quitting is incredibly hard to do, but you definitely have the strength to do it. I used to smoke and quit several times before it finally took. What worked was cold turkey and it helped that I was sick and couldn’t smoke anyway. After a break of two weeks I was able to stick with it and that was 25 years ago.
    Once you get though the worst withdrawal it becomes manageable and eventually easy to live without cigarettes. Do it for your baby!!! and good luck

  • Reply Mark B |

    I agree with the above post, cold turkey is the only way that I have seen that really works. I have had several family members quit this way. They say if you can make it through two weeks then you are free.

    So maybe try to set a goal for yourself to make it just 2 weeks without a cigarette, by then the physical withdrawal symptoms will have passed.

    Good luck!!!

  • Reply Jonathan |

    I know nothing about how hard it is to quit smoking, but I DO believe that you can do it!

    Have you tried the gum? (my lame attempt at helping)

  • Reply Tricia |

    Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences and giving suggestions. I have been busy reading information that I can find on the web. I find that I feel better once I have more information under my belt. It was the same way with our debt reduction. Once I started reading and learning, I felt better about being able to get rid of our debt.

    In the past, I’ve tried the patch, gum and Wellbutrin. The Wellbutrin I took one pill and quit it because it gave me a headache and it scared me that it was affecting something in my brain. That was many years ago. Funny thing is…and I realize this now…nicotine does something to my brain.

    I was talking to someone about my blog today and how it keeps me focused. I said that I like to see the debt and savings totals at the top right. I love to see those numbers go down. I need something like that for quitting smoking. I need to see something that shows my progress and I need to set a goal. I am a very goal-oriented person and I think with each goal I reach I fuel my motivation even more. That’s why I’m only concentrating on our credit card debt on here right now. To have all of our debt up there would seem like the goal isn’t reachable.

    I’m still thinking through it (and reading more), and I think having a little tally just noting if I make it through one day will be good to start. Then two days…then two weeks…one month…two months…etc. The little goals, the little milestones fit with how I am when I look at a challenge. Perhaps that is how I should look at quitting smoking. Looking at quitting forever is too much for me to consider at this point.

    So, if you do not see me much around here and you’ve sent me an email and I haven’t replied yet, this is why. I’ve been reading so much lately that my eyes hurt.

  • Reply Maureen |

    first of all Congratulations! I was a smoker for 12 years and quit just before I became pregnant with my first child. Cold turkey is the only way to go. Cutting down is slow torture. Drink lots of water and stay away from caffeine (it triggers cravings) I did it and so did my husband. Haven’t had a cigarette in 23 years (my kids are 22 and 20).
    One finnl thought… if you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your unborn child. Every time YOU inhale, so does he or she. You CAN do this! You have to for your childrens’ sake. Good luck,
    Maureen

  • Reply LizJ |

    Congratulations on your pending addition to your family.

    I quit smoking through three pg’s (went back each time after the baby was born)…and the last time I quit was 9 years ago—so I’ve been smoke free for 9 years now.

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. Smoking is an awful addiction.

    Don’t be yourself up.

    If weaning works better for you–then do that.

    Good luck, and know you are in good company,

    Liz

  • Reply zen |

    First and foremost – TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR. There’s a reason he/she has the title. A Doctor only studied medicine and the human body, after all.

    I’m not going to preach about smoking, but I’m glad you’re making the efforts to quit, and being honest about it. That’s the first big step.

  • Reply alex |

    quitnet.org

    this will track cigs not smoked, money saved, etc.

    I don’t want to come across as coming to your blog and hassling you, but seriously, your baby comes first. smoking can cause serious issues and in the end i would hope that fighting some cravings would be worth it. I smoked for 10 years and it took me a few times, but 3 years ago was able to quit for good cold turkey. quitnet helped a lot and keeping a journal still helps. I can go back and read about the hell I went through and that’s enough to keep me quit. take it one hour at a time, you can do it.

  • Reply stubsy |

    Good luck on quiting smoking, its difficult to quit I’ve tried a few times but I enjoy it.

    Congratulations on your new baby.

  • Reply Gretchen |

    I was a 2-3 pack a day smoker who tried and tried to quit. Cold turkey didn’t do it, the gum didn’t work. Then I read an article that indicated women need higher dose patches than men do to quit. I bought a bunch of patches and started with the high dose. Whenever I felt the urge to smoke, I would cut a quarter piece off another patch and stick it on. I did a lot of research and felt confident that even a whole bunch of patches was not going to give me a heart attack or anything else. I even tried to smoke, but with the patches I got no kick and it just seemed kind of stupid. I was prepared to wear patches for the rest of my life, if necessary. I began eventually cutting down, one quarter patch at a time and after about 3 months I was patch free and cigarette free. However, there is no one cure that works for everyone, so if I were you, I would just try everything. Good luck. Even better than not smoking is the freedom from having to ask myself a million times a day when and how am I going to stop smoking. Not thinking about it at all is the best.

  • Reply Prince of Thrift |

    A friend of mine is using the new prescription drug. In the last few months he has gone from a pack and a half to 6-7 cigs per day.

    Seeing your dr is an option for you.

    Good luck, whatever you do.

  • Reply exsmoker |

    Hello All,

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