Kick the habit with fun, free, friendly support to be a new smoke free you xx

Author Topic: Hi everyone, it's been four years since I started trying to quit...  (Read 2019 times)

Andy1983

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 8
  • Thanked: 2 times
Hi everyone,

I've joined for a bit of support really and hopefully some advice.  Advance apologies for the life story that follows...

I'm 35, started smoking aged 19, and until four years ago I was a confirmed 20-a-day smoker.  In 2014 I decided things needed to change, and for two years I used e-cigs, patches, gum and lozenges to try and stop.  Needless to say, none of these eradicated my addiction.

For the last two years, I've basically been a consistent social smoker.  I smoke every couple of weeks, usually at a weekend, and never more than about 10 cigarettes.  I know sometimes social smokers underestimate how often they smoke but in my case I can assure you that's right - couple of weeks with nothing, followed by smoking, again.  I'm cranky the day after, but once that's passed I'm generally ok.  Cards on the table, I've suffered from some depression and anxiety in the past that I've had support for, and I recognise that smoking has been a crutch of mine... but it's a crutch I want to get rid of.

A lot of my friends and my partner are social smokers, and although it's not always due to alcohol (I drink very little), when they disappear for a cigarette outside or into the other room, I feel I'm missing out so I end up participating. 

The truth is, while I feel far better when I'm not smoking, I get bored.  I feel like I'm missing out; not having fun and basically don't know what to do with myself.

Any advice or thoughts would be really appreciated.

Cheers,

Andy

 

Glasgowgal

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1506
  • Thanked: 360 times
Re: Hi everyone, it's been four years since I started trying to quit...
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2018, 08:42:07 pm »
Hi andy and welcome to the forum. Youve found a great place and most of us feel like we wouldnt still be quit if it wasnt for finding the forum so join us and stick with us and youll do fine  ;)  so have you actually quit then? But youve not had any social nights since you decided to quit? I used patches and lozenges and weekly support from the pharmacy for around the first 3/4 weeks. And all that help plus the forum got me off to a great start. Im now day 85 and doing brilliant. Im not sure if its different trying to quit social smoking as opposed to full time smoking? Hopefully someone that knows will tell us. But anyway, make yourself at home andy  :)
Quit Date 6/11/17
 
The following users thanked this post: Andy1983

Enough42

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 435
  • Thanked: 347 times
Re: Hi everyone, it's been four years since I started trying to quit...
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2018, 08:58:26 pm »
Hi @Andy1983 and thanks for dropping in to say howdy! Wow. Only a social smoker.  I didn’t know those existed.  It’s like you’re some rare type of creature that I thought was more imaginary than real! Clearly I am very naive. It kinda sounds like your social smoking friends and partner are the big obstacle to overcome here. I find it a little tricky to relate to that as none of my friends smoke so I was the outcast who smoked in secret. But I can tell you in summary that I basically seem to have swapped an unhealthy addiction for a healthy one. I am no longer smoking but I am now right into eating healthily and have even started exercising for basically the first time in like 10 years. The new addiction occupies my time and thoughts and I am really enjoying the (cliche) new me.

Have you spoken to your partner about your wanting to kick the social habit and is there any chance that your partner might be interested in joining you? Maybe together you can adopt a new addiction and then you wouldn’t be bored!

In any event, welcome and stick around as I’m sure there will be someone more knowledgable than me stopping by fairly soon!
Kicked It on Wednesday, 1 November 2017 at 9am
 
The following users thanked this post: Andy1983

tea

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6834
  • Thanked: 2973 times
Re: Hi everyone, it's been four years since I started trying to quit...
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2018, 09:27:54 pm »
Someone clever will be along shortly....in the meantime it's little old me..... :nobeer:


So may I ask @Andy1983 :

If you can control your smoking so that it's 10 cigarettes once every few weeks on nights out, why do you want to quit completely?

Are you finding it any more difficult now that they don't sell 10s?

What does it feel like you would be missing out on?
12.9.2014  (I forget sometimes)
 
The following users thanked this post: Andy1983

Nick_82

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 173
  • Thanked: 157 times
Re: Hi everyone, it's been four years since I started trying to quit...
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2018, 10:21:27 pm »
hi @Andy1983 welcome to the forum. Great to hear you have decided to quit.

I can relate to the feeling that smoking is a crutch when anxious as that’s the case for me.

In the past have you tried going to see a stop smoking nurse/advisor? That’s what I did for my current quit and it’s been really useful to find out what options there are when quitting and also to have someone professional ‘checking up’ on me to keep me focused

 
The following users thanked this post: Andy1983

Sally

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2640
  • Thanked: 1562 times
Re: Hi everyone, it's been four years since I started trying to quit...
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2018, 10:36:43 pm »
Hi Andy, welcome to Just Quit.  Firstly well done on cutting down your smoking so much.  That's quite an achievement, it was always my plan to cut down and be "in control" of my smoking, never had the willpower, I was back on 20 a day before I knew it.

When I first gave up smoking I felt similar like I was missing out and what I really dreaded was the walk home from the station in the evening, after a long day at work, long commute from central London back to my hone in North Hertfordshire and then that 25 minute walk from station to home.  I thought cigarettes were my friend on that lonely and boring walk for 20 years or more.  It doesn't matter, the walk is lonely and boring whether I smoke or not, but now I can do the walk a little quicker, I'm saving money, I'm healthier, cigarettes aren't dictating how I live my life.

That probably isn't much help, but for me it wasn't until I finally accepted I wasn't missing out and there were a hundred or more reasons why quitting is just the best thing to do that I was able to successfully quit. 

I don't know much about e cigs or the vapey things, would a nicotine free one of them help so you can still go with your friends when they smoke.

Anyway good luck and look forward to hearing how you are getting on.
Quit date - 1st October 2014, Quit method - lozenges

 
The following users thanked this post: Andy1983

Indigo Warrior

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2288
  • Thanked: 1266 times
  • Just keep quitting, just keep quitting.
Re: Hi everyone, it's been four years since I started trying to quit...
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2018, 10:49:58 pm »
@Andy1983 welcome to the group. There is a ton of advice and information and loads and loads of support.

One of these days you will go two or three weeks without smoking, go to a social event and change your pattern because you have decided it is not for you any longer.  Think about what are the nicotine gremlin's sneaky hooks so you know in advance.

I had to do cold turkey and was always envious of my social smoker friends but over the years even they have stopped.

When you are ready, your personal support team will be here.
Nicotine free since 22nd August, 2015
 
The following users thanked this post: Andy1983

Andy1983

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 8
  • Thanked: 2 times
Re: Hi everyone, it's been four years since I started trying to quit...
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2018, 11:31:42 pm »
Thanks so much for all the replies.  Seems like as others have said this will be a good forum to get support and advice so am really glad I signed up.

@Glasgowgal I haven't quit yet but I know I want to.  I basically smoked this weekend and just feel rotten as I always do after smoking, and I'm finding less and less that I'm seeing the point in it.

@Enough42 yes, definitely a social smoker as is my partner and a couple of friends.  We're all a bad influence on each other so I like the idea of doing it together.  If I can get to a month smoke-free, I'd love to be the one who says 'no'...

@tea to be honest I smoke hand-rolled cigarettes, I can't remember the last time I had a real one.  It's good I can control it and can do so much more than I used to be able to - I just want to get to that next level and now so that I never have another.

@Nick_82 they're definitely a crutch and although I feel physically better when I stop, my mental worries/anxieties do return which can be tough.  Sometimes also get a sense of, I've done this much damage so why bother stopping?  Maybe if I give it long enough though they'll get easier.  I haven't seen a nurse or anyone but will try that if I don't manage a full quit this time.

@Sally thanks for sharing as it's good to know you've felt similar - for me the 'missing out' part is big, so I think accepting that I'm not missing out as you did will be really beneficial.  I guess there's a whole lot more I'm missing out on by keeping going back to cigarettes at the first hurdle!

@Indigo Warrior I hope so and in truth, certainly one of my social smoker friends is trying to stop completely, it's always one of us who kicks off the idea of having a cigarette so from now on I'm going to try to make sure that isn't me (and to say no when my mate suggests it!).

Over the next few weeks I haven't got any social events planned where smoking will play a part and I'll be away for work at the end of Feb, so it's a good chance for me to give this a good shot. 

I really appreciate all the tips and the time everyone has taken to reply.  I'm going to keep referring back to these and I'll keep you posted, may be in touch again towards the weekend! :)
 

Max414

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1132
  • Thanked: 537 times
Re: Hi everyone, it's been four years since I started trying to quit...
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2018, 11:39:53 pm »
Welcome Andy
It's quite a journey, casting off the smokes for good.
But what a journey  004
Like you I smoked roll ups .Mine were with a menthol filter and I kidded myself for years that my habit wasn't really smoking...but it was.
Look forward to helping you along fella  008
30 years of rollups,20 a day

9.53 pm Dec 28th 2012 >>>>>>>........last cancer stick..

With help from Champix and the late Mr Allen Carr,
The Nicdemon met his Waterloo at Xmas 2012 :-)
 
The following users thanked this post: Andy1983

Gerti1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 609
  • Thanked: 310 times
Re: Hi everyone, it's been four years since I started trying to quit...
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2018, 07:09:48 am »
I have read somewhere that 2% of smokers are exactly you, social smokers and so you have done the 1st step in joining this forum as its a great place to learn how to quit. You need to learn about addiction and to have a plan which you need to stick to. Can I ask when you used ecigs gum ect did you find yourself using it every day or did you just use it for social occasions? Welcome @Andy1983 :)
I am going to do this
Quit 6th January 2018
 
The following users thanked this post: Andy1983

Nicky40

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 853
  • Thanked: 186 times
Re: Hi everyone, it's been four years since I started trying to quit...
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2018, 08:57:00 am »
Hi @Andy1983 , welcome to this fab forum and good luck on your quit.  A close friend of mine was a social smoker like you for a few years but eventually admitted she wasn't even really enjoying the cigs she smoked anymore so stopped.  I tried to be a social smoker on a quit attempt - didn't happen and I ended up smoker daily again.  I think anxiety is made worse when you stop smoking but only because your subconscious is trying to get you to smoke again and it does improve.  006
Smoked for most of my adult life (and a fair bit of my childhood!).  Managed a two year quit 2014-2016 but started again!  Quit again on 6th January 2018 and lasted 7 months!  Back on the wagon again now...........
 
The following users thanked this post: Andy1983

Titch

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1376
  • Thanked: 799 times
Re: Hi everyone, it's been four years since I started trying to quit...
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2018, 09:20:20 am »
Good morning @Andy1983 and welcome to the forum.  First of all you have to recognise that a social smoker is just as much a smoker as a 20 a day smoker.  Its just that they leave longer gaps inbetween each smoke.   

Its good you have nothing planned for the next few weeks and also you are going away with your work so this is the ideal opportunity to quit for good.   

Begin by reminding yourself how much better you feel when you havent smoked and how rough you feel when you wake up after you have smoked. 

It sounds like its your willpower that lets you down so you may find reading the following article helpful
https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-matters-magazine/wellbeing/willpower
After far too many years I stubbed out my final cigarette on February 6 2011 at 10 pm and havent looked back since.
 
The following users thanked this post: Andy1983

Skiddaw

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6092
  • Thanked: 2502 times
  • Quit bagger
Re: Hi everyone, it's been four years since I started trying to quit...
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2018, 09:55:03 am »
A big welcome to the forum from me too @Andy1983  :hug: :hug:

You remind me of my mum. She was one of those rare people who could socially smoke, though with her it was more like just one after a special meal or at Christmas/birthdays. It sounds as if in your case, it's a constant battle with your head to not succumb to being more than a social smoker (if that makes sense) whereas my mum could genuinely have one, enjoy it and then not smoke again for months without missing it.

I think it's important not to tell yourself you're never going to smoke again because it'll just be setting you up to fail the next time you're out with smoking mates. Perhaps decide you won't smoke today/this week/during that event/for the next month and see how that goes. It's surprising how quickly the days/weeks/months stack up.

Whatever is the solution, you've found the right group of incredibly supportive and wonderful people to help you on your way... :)
Finally saw sense on 8/12/13

So many mountains, so little time...
 
The following users thanked this post: Andy1983

LAST CHANCE SALOON

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 930
  • Thanked: 322 times
Re: Hi everyone, it's been four years since I started trying to quit...
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2018, 05:01:08 pm »
Welcome @Andy1983 , your in the right place if you want to stop smoking for good, there's some great old hands on here who will stop at nothing to get you there. The only way I stopped was to clear out all cigs and lighters in the house and car and not hide 20 in the garage for emergency's. I did leave my last 3 with the wife and told her she could only give me one if i was strangling her. she must still have them somewhere, just in case. It meant I would have to go and buy some more, and as I posted my last ever smoke for all to see, that was never going to happen. Good luck.:)
Quit 16th November 2017.
Last smoke 21st November 2017.
Trigger word...LEG.
 
The following users thanked this post: Andy1983

Andy1983

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 8
  • Thanked: 2 times
Re: Hi everyone, it's been four years since I started trying to quit...
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2018, 08:53:47 pm »
@Max414 cheers for the message and actually now you've said it I'm wondering if smoking roll ups could be part of the problem.  When I smoked full time, it was manufactured cigarettes, and only when I cut down to every couple of weeks did I switch to rolled ones (also with menthol filters).  I think there's some psychological trickery going on... I have a few handmade cigarettes on a weekend that taste fresh so I'm not really smoking!  Can I ask - did you always smoke roll ups or did you move to them from others or always smoke them?

@Gerti1 thanks for the welcome, I used gum and e-cigs MORE than cigarettes, to be honest.  I got loads of chest pains and worrying feelings when using the e-cig - I would literally go at it constantly.  I found all replacements to be annoyingly unsatisfying - worse than just doing without.  Maybe I could try having some lozenges or gum though just for those weekend cravings...

@Nicky40 your message is really helping me tonight, to be honest - I've got quite a bit of anxious thinking going on and I'm starting to accept that maybe it is my mind trying to get me to smoke, rather than a 'real' worry.  Usually, I get through these by thinking, well it's ok, I'll smoke at the weekend!  This next few weekends though I'm determined not to let it break me.

@Titch you're absolutely right, I fooled myself for ages saying social smoking was fine.  I know now that it's not and I'm still addicted.  Will check out the article as willpower is definitely my downfall, thanks.

@Skiddaw yes that makes total sense!  I am in permanent battle (in my head)... it's exhausting to be honest I can only laugh about it!  Basically, I know my body can't take being a full time smoker (feel rotten), but my mind struggles without cigarettes, so when my body feels good again after a couple of weeks, I genuinely say to myself, "great, you feel fine now, let yourself have a smoke!".  Liking the idea of taking it one day/week at a time...

@LAST CHANCE SALOON I wish I could do that but since my other half doesn't want to give up we'll always have tobacco around the house... we've tried hiding it before but I end up getting angry!  Will see what alternatives there might be - that or I'll move out :D

One general question, @Skiddaw your comment was so on point and I really do have this constant battle in my head.

Has anyone else, either after cutting down or when trying to quit, felt great after a couple of weeks and therefore thought, "I'm healed!  I'm going to celebrate with a cigarette!" ?  I recognise that about myself but I don't know how to change the pattern...