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Smoking & Quitting - What It's Like

Updated on September 21, 2011

It is day 3.

My mind is racing through a pool of mud with the consistency of pudding. There are times when it skids up above and it is immensely fast. Most of the past three days have been sluggish. I can barely move. I can barely think for myself. I find myself angry with my wife, kids, co-workers, and complete strangers. I find myself extremely hungry, and at times so ready to just give up.

So why did I quit?

I quit because I have been smoking off and on since I was 18 years of age. More on than off, of course. I have quit countless times, and each time I quit it is the most difficult time yet. It does not get easier. It is not something that once you have the experience, then it becomes a breeze. No, it is nothing like that.

What it is it like?

I feel empty. I feel numb, and as I mentioned above, I feel as if I am swimming in a pool of pudding or mud. Nothing much matters to me right now. My only goal is to get a fix. One quick fix would do the trick. It would fill my lungs with that hot sweet smoke, and I would feel the rush going to my head. I would feel dizzy, but I would feel calm.

As the buzz would begin to dissipate, and my calmness would begin to fade, then I would feel guilt. It would not be very long lived though. I would rationalize it somehow, and possibly go purchase a pack of cigarettes and give myself another week to let it go. I do know though, that once I have stepped into that realm, there is no going back. At least for a few more years, there will be no going back.

The addiction is so strong. It is so strong that when I am outside, smoking a cigarette, and my 5 year old son wishes to speak with me, I drive him away. I tell him to go back inside. I don't want him to see me smoking. I don't want him to see me this weak. He knows though, and he has pointed it out to me.

What is it like you ask? It's embarrassing, shameful, pitiful, satisfying, calming, destructive, oppressive, deadly, and depressing all rolled into one sweet calming cigarette that is perfectly wrapped and controlled by a filter. In my case, a filter that gives off a Mentholatum flavor.

This is what it is like, and I am not happy about it. I am 37 years old, and I want out.

You've quit before, what happened?

I have quit in the past. I quit 5 years ago when my wife was pregnant with our son. I quit for an entire year. After he was born, a few months later, we went to a party, and someone offered me a cigarette. I accepted, and that is where it all began again.

I quit 2 or 3 more times after this, but it was only for a week or a month at a time. This is how addictive smoking can be. I have had people tell me, that they have not smoked for a decade, but when they smell the smoke, they want one immediately. This now becomes all about self control. With that self control, it helps if there is someone there by your side to support you as well.

No one is really up for that job. No one wants the responsibility of keeping an addict from his/her addiction. It's difficult, and almost impossible. You become the bad person. You're the one that tries to keep me from feeling good. How could you do that? I thought you were my friend. I thought you were my good wfe, husband, brother, sister, daughter, son...

I don't want that job, and neither does anyone else. We all have our problems. No one needs mine too.

But if you can find someone who is willing to go through hell for you, then hang on to that person tight.

So makes this time so different?

It's not any different than any other time. It has only been three days. I could break down in the middle of writing this and go buy a pack of cigarettes. I could stay off for 8 years, or it could be a couple of weeks. No one ever knows with a smoker. They all go back eventually, or at least most of the ones I have seen.

It starts out in secret. We will start buying gum, or Listerine mouth fresheners. We will constantly wash our hands. We will hide a pack of smokes somewhere on our bodies, and then eventually, you will bust us doing it.

When you bust us, we won't care. It will be too late then, and once again you become the evil person keeping us from feeling good.

Will it ever stop?

I don't know if this will ever stop. I will say though, that living in a city where it is illegal to smoke in restaurants, bars and even public parks, makes it easier to live without cigarettes. I'm tired of being a slave to the tobacco companies. I am tired of giving away my hard earned money, but what I am tired of the most, is giving away the precious time I should be giving to my wife and kids, to Philip Morris, or RJ Reynolds.

For now, consider me a quitter. Consider me in therapy. Consider me a non-smoker.

To my family, consider me a father, and a husband. I am coming back to you.


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    • TrueWickless profile image

      TrueWickless 6 years ago from Houston, TX

      Published, Part II this morning. Come take a look if you're interested...

    • TrueWickless profile image

      TrueWickless 6 years ago from Houston, TX

      It's been 4 days, Sholland10

      I still have the overwhelming feeling to run to the basement of this building and buy a pack, and just smoke it all.

      I even stopped taking my breaks so that I won't be tempted. I'm doing a little better today, but the feeling is still there. Thanks and Good luck to you too!

    • sholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 6 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Truewickless, I feel for you. I have quit and started, quit and started. It makes you a slave. Sometimes it is all you think about. I quit for 3 years, then I smoked 2 a day, then 4, then 5, now I feel good to keep it under a half pack because I smoked so much more in the past. When I was younger, I could pick them up and put them down. Maybe if I set my mind to it, I could do it again. When I quit for 3 years, the first year was hard because I would have sporadic anxiety attacks/nicotine fits. Then it got better. I hope you keep on track with your quitting. Take care and God Bless!!

    • TrueWickless profile image

      TrueWickless 6 years ago from Houston, TX

      @MsDonna48 - I've been smoking for roughly 20 years. As I mentioned in my post, I have quit a few times. I have high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. My health is also deteriorating and it is not fair to me, or my family.

      My grandfather died of emphysema. He carried an iron lung with him for the last years of his life. He choked on his own fluids one day in front of his wife and some of his sons that were over to visit.

      Even so, that did not make me quit. At one point, we have to realize that our addiction is of a selfish nature. An addiction serves to make only the one who is addicted feel "well" or "good".

      MsDonna48, I don't know if you have a smart phone or not, but if you do, take a look at this app. It's an Android app.

      It has helped me at my worst moments, when I feel like going for a smoke. It shows me my accomplishments. It lays it all out for you. If you have an Android app, it's free. Just download it.

      It may not help you at all. Who knows, or it may serve you well. What I do know is this. It is up to you to actually want to quit. It is ultimately your choice and no one else's. I will be happy to message you and give you support, as I need it myself as well.

      You mentioned that you smoke 5 cigs before you go to work. I was right behind you just last week. I smoked 4-5 depending on how much time I had.

      In 3.34 days that I have not smoked, I have saved 6 hours and 36 minutes. I have spent that time with my family. I have saved $23.42, and I've saved 60 minutes of my life. These are real time stats from the Quit Now! app I just mentioned.

      Don't rely solely on an app to quit though. You need determination and you need human support. If you quit, also do not replace your addiction with another addiction, which is usually food.

      If you need one on one support, I'll be happy to email you back and forth. My email is

      I do however, believe it would be more beneficial to everyone, including yourself, if we helped each other through these comments. That way everyone can see and relate. Good luck:)!

    • trishh profile image

      trishh 6 years ago from London, UK

      I greatly sympathise, I am a long term smoker - need to quit but struggling. Starting by reducing from 20 a day to 10 but think I may be kidding myself. Guess you have to take the bull by the horns and do it. Be interested to hear of your progress and any tips you can offer. I agree the decision must come from the smoker but it is HARD! Well done to you.

    • MsDonna48 profile image

      MsDonna48 6 years ago


      I am a smoker and I have tried to quit but it is hard. Everything I do seems to revolve around smoking. I have 5 cigarettes before I leave the house to work in the morning and my health is poor because of smoking. I have many sinus infections and bronchitis because of it. What keeps me smoking is I am afraid of changing my routine and I like the feel of a cigarette in my hand when I am nervous. Smoking is very addictive and I have heard it is more addictive than heroin. PLEASE HELP!!!!

    • TrueWickless profile image

      TrueWickless 6 years ago from Houston, TX

      Thanks, Wendy. The best advice I can give to a non-smoker, is NEVER pick up a cigarette. EVER.

      I've never seen a person leave it alone after that in my 37 years. I believe it to be the most addictive drug we have in America, aside from caffeine.

      My wife has tried to be supportive, but I know I can be hard to deal with during that transition of being a smoker, to a non-smoker.

    • WendySingh profile image

      WendySingh 6 years ago from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

      Its funny...I was with my father last night and he had been an on and off smoker since he was in his mid-teens and he had a dream that he started up again. I don't know if the urge ever goes away, but your will power can keep you going. Never being a smoker myself, but being married to one, I know it's a bad habit. I'll never force my hubby to quit as it's a decision he has to make for himself, just like you made for yourself. Keep it up! You can do it and your symptoms are only temporary. Find something to get your mind off of smoking and what you're going through. It may help.

    • TrueWickless profile image

      TrueWickless 6 years ago from Houston, TX

      I would love to smoke only when I drink. I only drink on Fridays, but my addictive personality says it's all or nothing. I can go a good month or two smoking only on Fridays, but eventually it bleeds into Sunday, then Monday, and then the rest of the week.

    • Donnacha C profile image

      Donnacha C 6 years ago from Ennis, Co Clare, Republic of Ireland

      very good, I`m sure most ex-smokers feel the same way as you... I quit daytime smoking 2 years ago, and now only smoke if I have a drink...for this reason I`m also cutting back on drinking...All and all over the years, I think less and less about smoking, and I`m hopeful it will eventually just go away....

    • TrueWickless profile image

      TrueWickless 6 years ago from Houston, TX

      If you have questions, please feel free to ask. Let's keep this going and maybe we can help some people quit, of course, only if they wish to quit.