The Post About How Much Quitting Smoking Sucks

I’m on day 5 of being an ex-smoker. Er, maybe it’s a non-smoker. Whatever. I’m not smoking anymore.

Let me tell you – the first three days were three intensely painful days. Mentally, physically, and emotionally, I’ve been raw.

I was angrier than I think any human should be.
I have felt completely inept when it comes to figuring out what to do with the moments when I’d typically smoke.
I’ve felt extremely sad and empty.

It’s a roller coaster. Anyone who says otherwise is either full of crap, or is an asshole.

I’ve smoked for the majority of the last 18 years. That’s like, half my life. I’ve had weeks and days where I’ve quit in those 18 years, but those weeks and days have been few and far between.

And, now I have to be patient. I feel as though while I’ve been smoking, I’ve had blinders on to other areas that need improving. I’ve known about them, but I’ve not done much about them. Now that I’ve taken action in one area (and it’s a huge deal, quitting smoking), I want to take massive action in EVERY area.

I’m overweight. I am lucky in that my frame allows me to carry some extra weight without looking like a seal, however, I know what the scale says. I also know how I feel when I walk, run, or climb a hill. Partly affected by smoking, partly affected by carrying over 30 pounds of extra weight, those feelings suck. They fucking suck. (Watch out world, she’s cussing openly – she must mean business.)

So, I’m faced with a bit of a dilemma. I can either focus on my new non-smoking ways for a few more weeks, or I can do what I’m doing now – obsessing about all the changes I need to make in my life. Change of diet, change of exercise habits, change of sleeping patterns, change, change, change, change OMG, CHANGE.

I believe in iterations. At least my blog says I do. You know that whole “mindful iterations” thing? I like to think of an iteration as an incremental change; a gradual next step in getting closer to a target.

The truth is, I’m terrified.

I’m terrified of slipping back into complacency. I’m terrified of staying sedentary. I’m terrified of the pain I feel in my legs and my feet, which are most likely because of the extra weight I’m carrying around. I’m terrified of my family history of heart disease and Type II Diabetes. I’m terrified of time and its consequences. I’m terrified of every word I’m typing, and I’m terrified of hitting Publish.

If you somehow stumbled across this post because you’re quitting smoking or because you’re thinking of quitting smoking, or if you’re a bit freaked out or scared because you’ve woken up and found that you need to make some concrete changes in your life in order to live the life you want to liveā€¦ you’re not alone.

It is scary and painful to realize that things “got out of hand”. If you’re anything like me, you want immediate and overnight success. You want to snap your fingers and watch excess pounds disappear immediately. You want your lung capacity to return to what it used to be. You’re afraid of moving too fast and setting yourself up for failure, but you’re also afraid of not moving fast enough.

Again, you’re not alone. I don’t have the answers. I don’t have any secret way out. But I am doing my damnedest to avoid the fate that most people in my maternal grandmother’s family have had.

You can do it. You’re not alone.

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6 Responses to The Post About How Much Quitting Smoking Sucks

  1. Jackie (WritRams) February 19, 2012 at 11:59 AM #

    I love this post SO MUCH–the truthfulness, the raw edge to it, your complete UNEDITED feelings. I think you will touch a nerve with many who are struggling with (or have struggled) with this and other addictions. Thanks for being brave enough to write it.

    I would love to see more posts like this from you.

  2. Margaret February 19, 2012 at 6:10 PM #

    Jackie suggested I read this–girl, you nailed it! Quitting totally, straight-out sucks. I’ve done it (my best was a two-year stint!) and let me tell you, you’re inspiring me to get back on the quit-wagon!

  3. julie April 2, 2013 at 9:12 PM #

    Suck it does. I’m on day 4, but I’ve done this before. I’ve done it a few times recently, but then I get scared, usually worrying about regaining 60 lbs, but I’ll just have to get a better grasp on my eating.

    I could not quit without exercising my ass off, however, I’ve found that it’s hard for me to live my life with any sanity at all if I don’t exercise – a lot. I recommend it for everything!

  4. Ryley June 7, 2013 at 2:26 AM #

    I take it that you’re a woman. Now I’m not a doctor nor any expert at all. (I’m a man by the way) but I’ve been out of shape for most of my adult life. I tried the treadmill and vegetables thing many times and recently I got into weight lifting and I lost so much weight and wasteline, it’s unbelievabele. And I drink as much as I ever did (I am trying to quit smoking, mind you). Anyways, I’m not a doctor, so I have no way of knowing if weight lifting affects women the same way it affects men. Anyway, I hope this helps. Quiting sucks though, I know.

  5. Nona Barton August 2, 2013 at 1:07 PM #

    If I were a blogger, I would swear I wrote this!!! I’m on day 2 of about my 11th time quitting and yesterday was by far the worst withdrawal I have ever had!!!! It was everything you just wrote. Quitting SUCKS, but in the grand scheme of things, NOT quitting sucks worse. I don’t know what tomorrow holds and I can only focus on today, but something took a turn in me the other night that said ‘you have to be done with these once and for all’. I had to apologize to my husband and children today to ease my own soul for how I acted last night and they seem to understand very well and are very encouraging in my fight to quit. I know this is an old post but I hope you are still quit! Good luck to all who are trying and struggling.

  6. Loulie February 8, 2014 at 7:49 PM #

    I’m glad I read this today. I am 3 months a non-smoker and man do I miss it today. Some days are better than other but today truly fucking sucks. If I had cigarettes here I’d smoke em! But instead I have resided myself to my bed for the day. Tomorrow is a new day….and all that shit. Haha

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