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Three Weeks without Nicotine.

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#1 Calypso



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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:15 PM

Life has been rough since quitting.


There are moments in the day when I can't seem to find the right distractions. It is in those moments when anxiety and depression seem to dig their demon claws into my brain, and no matter how hard I try to ignore them, I just can't seem to find that light at the end of the tunnel. And no, I don't mean the light of a lighter or a match. Because for me, starting smoking again is not an option. However, I've begun to realize that quitting smoking hasn't been the fairy tale I've often read about online or heard from friends and strangers. So many times I've heard of how people have ''instantly felt better after quitting smoking'', or their biggest struggle being ''the fight against cravings''. That has not been my experience. Cravings are manageable for me. I don't experience them often (not as often as I did in the first few days, anyway), and when I do, a breathing exercise (or simple deep breath) or drink of water seems to be all that is required in order to beat away those gnarly little temptations. 


The biggest struggle for me are the physical and mental symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, of which I admittedly and stupidly didn't realize I would be encountering. Several years ago I quit cigarettes but found myself in the grips of an equally damaging and troublesome foe. Electronic cigarettes. Vaping was just as much a crutch as tobacco had been, but I convinced myself with little white lies that it was ''better for me than smoking''. I essentially enabled myself to continue my nicotine addiction by convincing myself that I didn't have an addiction at all. Because clearly, quitting cigarettes without a problem and moving to electronic cigarettes meant I didn't have a problem (**sarcasm**). Hindsight has quite bluntly informed me that my logic was flawed. And while I'm now aware of the damage vaping has inflicted, it has done nothing to comfort me through this difficult process.


Since quitting approximately three weeks ago, I have encountered a multitude of unforeseen problems. It all began a few days after quitting smoking when I burst into tears in the shower for no apparent reason. Naturally, before starting smoking at the shameful age of twelve years old, I was not tormented by depression or anxiety. As embarrassing as it is to admit, I began smoking for the cliche reason of "I thought it was cool". Small town problems I suppose, but that is hardly relevant. Being twenty-seven now, and having been a habitual smoker/vaper for about ten years (wow... That puts things into perspective.) means that I have likely spent the last ten years unknowingly suffering from anxiety and depression, a little problem that nicotine has likely concealed from me. Regardless of whether that is true or not, (because I genuinely have no way of knowing) it doesn't change the fact that this feels like new territory for me. And in a lot of ways, I can confidently say it is new territory for me. (This newfound and sometimes crippling depression and anxiety.)


I've always dealt with minor anxiety (social anxiety mostly, as well as my own minor brand of ironic hypochondria), and occasional sadness, but nothing abnormal, and nothing I would consider labeling as ''depression''. In fact, I've always had a small temper, but other than that, I've been quite happy and content. It is because of this that I'm almost certain that my recent outbursts of uncontrollable crying, panic attacks, hyper-hypochondria, and general unhappiness (all of which conveniently started reaching extreme levels after I quit smoking) are due to quitting smoking. To make matters worse, I've felt a constant "lightheadedness'' since quitting. A few google searches have done an amazing job at convincing me that I could be anything from anemic, to suffering from depersonalization... But I have a feeling this is a symptom of nicotine withdrawal due to it's timing. However... It has been three weeks, and this feeling has not gone away. In fact, it was the source for a lot for a lot of my anxiety during my second week as it does impact my memory negatively and it seems to suck a lot of the joy out of fun activities simply because my head doesn't feel clear. Sometimes it even leads to dizziness. I think at this point I'm just getting used to it, which while concerning, is significantly better than having a panic attack over it like I was during week two. 


The hardest part of all, however, is finding ways to convince myself that these feelings of anxiety, depression, and lightheadedness will eventually go away. Especially when I read many posts from people around the internet claiming their withdrawal symptoms disappeared after a couple of weeks, yet here I am on week three, and these problems don't seem to be getting better. In fact, some days they feel as if they're getting worse. For now I'm getting by, by reminding myself that i wasn't a normal smoker. In fact, vaping allowed me to smoke more than I'd ever smoked before, sometimes so often that my electronic cigarette didn't sit on my desk for more than two seconds before I picked it up again for another vape. My nicotine addiction actually worsened with electronic cigarettes as they enabled me to smoke anywhere at any time.


The one glimmering beacon of hope, however, and the only positive thing that has pierced through the sea of negative mental and physical side effects is the fact that I am on week three. And despite these new issues that have risen and attempted to suffocate me, nicotine addiction will never suffocate me again.


And that pretty much sums up my progress so far. I am happy to share my story with the rest of you wonderful people and hope life without nicotine has been kinder to you than it has been to me. <3

#2 Jillar


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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:28 PM

Welcome Calypso and congrats on three weeks quit already, that's AWESOME! Everything you're dealing with is normal upon quitting I promise. Most of us have had the foggy brain, some longer than others. I found that having a piece of candy helped with mine so maybe try that. As far as the emotions, normal too. However, if your anxiety is really bad it never hurts to see your Dr. Some members have been helped with a temporary med to help with the anxiety. But if you can soldier through than maybe just expressing yourself here will help. We have a really good vent thread in the social section that you can post to or start your own thread :)
I'm really glad you joined because all of your symptoms you mention can probably be found here in many different posts with our search function in the upper right hand side of the page.
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Things began to get better when I realized I would remain quit even if things never got any better.

Christian99 15 Years Quit

We say here that it is better to be a nonsmoker with the occasional desire to smoke than a smoker with the constant desire to quit. Marciem
Being successful doesn't mean that you'll never GET to smoke again. It means that you'll never HAVE to smoke again.

#3 cvold


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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:02 PM

Welcome Calypso and congrats on your 3 week quit. You have come to the right place. To post here is to embrace this community that truly understands what you are going through. While no two stories are the same, there are common threads that weave through each of our quits. For a majority of us, we did not feel great when we first quit. We experienced small silver linings-sense of smell, ability to taste food, easier breathing and such. We have had to learn how to be a non-smoker. And that occurs one day at a time, where you pledge to not take in nicotine no matter how we feel, whether the day holds anxiety or difficulty thinking or fatigue. We have to be easy on ourselves. All you have described has happened to other people here. Does that help you-I hope so, we hope you can obtain a measure of peace knowing it's part of the process of walking away from addiction. Only you know will know whether your symptoms are reaching an unsafe level but for many of us it did get much better. We can tell you that whether good or bad days, we would not choose to go back. Our quits are just too precious, freedom from addiction is how we choose to live now. All the best to you, I wish I had been as strong as you to stop this at your age, I truly do. Be very proud of your decision. Come here as often as you can and share updates with us. Peace...
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Always remember: you are not going
through this because you quit. You are going through this because you smoked...

Quit smoking; August 16, 2017

#4 breath


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Posted 12 October 2017 - 10:40 PM

Do not pass NOPE!


Go to newbie package and dear.....fixed posts

Relapse is like peeling an onion. TEARS!
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it"
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950}
NOPE stands for Not One Puff EVER....
It does not stand for......
Not One Puff EXCEPT...
The minimum requirement is maximum commitment....to NOPE
It takes many good decisions to make a good quit, and  only one bad one to lose it.


Quit 2nd October 2001.

#5 Lin-quitting


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Posted 12 October 2017 - 11:22 PM

Welcome Calypso. Congratulations on your decision to quit smoking and on your first 3 weeks - that is a fantastic start!


I think that at 3 weeks you are still very early in your quit and I'm not surprised you are having feelings and symptoms. You will just have to accept them as they come, for as long as they last, until you feel more normal. The main things to remember at this point are (1) you may not smoke no matter what. It is no longer an option for you. You have quit. and (2) you will feel better and normal before you know it. I promise you. Your symptoms right now are temporary, they will go away. No one can say exactly when, as every quit is different. But your body and brain will normalize.


Go to our Newbie Package at the top of this section and start reading. You will find oodles of information and motivation to help you get through these first months. Education about the addiction is essential to success.


You can do this. Many of us were miserable early on, but we toughed it out and wow! life is so much better on the quitting side of being a smoker! I promise you it will be worth it.

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                  "I didn't come this far to only come this far."




I want my life back. I WANT MY LIFE BACK!

There is no try, there is only do. Failure is not an option.

Another proud member of the 2017 Smokebusters team.

#6 snowywinter


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Posted 13 October 2017 - 12:00 AM

Hi and welcome. I am at the 3 week mark and have pretty much experiencing most of what you are feeling. I look at this early part of quitting as up and down emotions.

I still experience low energy, headaches, anger, depression, and sleeplessness. This is why educating and reading about this addiction helps to understand what is happening and that these things are all a normal part of quitting.

However, if your depression concerns you, please see and discuss this with your doctor.

Patience is one of the keys to being successful on this journey.

We are doing this. Lets keep moving forward. Everyone here says this too shall pass and I hold on to that.
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#7 Mollie1


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Posted 13 October 2017 - 04:41 AM

It does pass. You are doing great! It took me a while to face the fact that patience was definitely a key to being successful. I still get impatient when I feel a craving & think that I should be so over that. However, the cravings are now pretty infrequent & the brain fog/depression are almost completely gone. It is sooo worth it. But the reality is that it took months not weeks. That's OK - it does work to just keep saying NOPE.
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#8 Joe7


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Posted 13 October 2017 - 01:56 PM

Welcome Calyspo. There are so many different symptoms of quitting smoking, but the ones you mention are some of the most common ones that I see written about here. I experienced very much the same unexpected anxiety, sadness, depression, unhappiness, clouded thinking, etc. that you mentioned after quitting. If you were to go back 5-10 pages on this main board and chronologically read through the posts you would probably see just how common those symptoms are. Unfortunately, you would also see that they can persist for quite a while. I mention reading through most of them because, just like your post, there is often no way to know from the title that your symptoms are going to be a focal point of the post. Many of the posts will be so similar to yours that it might seem as if you could have written them.

#9 Frank


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Posted 13 October 2017 - 03:43 PM

Welcome to QSMB Calypso.


Nov 6, 2011 I decided " I had enough with this sh*t "

I quit because I just got tired of the life under a rock, dark and with not enough air to breathe waiting for the day to get crushed!

Alcohol to a quit is like Kryptonite to Superman

Stop, Think and then React. Not React,Stop and then Think

Practice does not make it perfect, makes it permanent. Practice the right things!

Quitting is by far the best decision for the rest of your life.

If a Doctor gives you 6 months to live, would you start living after the first three? Quit now!

" I am a puff away form a pack a day"

Once you stop puffing or having Nicotine in any form, then and only then your symptoms will stop.

I quit with a frozen turkey. Once I felt comfortable with my quit,  I ate it.

Life is such a good teacher, that if you don't learn the lesson it will repeat it to you.




#10 Faith


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Posted 13 October 2017 - 10:41 PM

Welcome 😀



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