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      CommentAuthorHEY APATHY!
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2011 edited
    Anyone ever tried to, succesfully or otherwise, quit anything (nicotine, alcohol, biting your nails, eating endangered aliens, watching bad TV, whatever)? I’ve made it 4 days without a cigarette. One thing that has been helping me is hanging out here digging the drawings, reading the stories and pestering Warren. If anyone has got some experience defeating or losing to dreadful habits I’d love to hear ‘em, it should help keep me away from the smokes and limit the amount of stupid comments I make around here. Thanks! (Any art/ funny links on the subject would probably help too!)
  1.  (9808.2)
    I quit smoking about a year and a half ago. I'm normally a social drinker, and smoked much more when I drank. My girlfriend smokes, and I was living with 2 roommates who smoked. I had just been re-hired by the Feds, and I cut back to like a few smokes a week, just by pure willpower. At some point, they flew me out to Glynco, GA, for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center for several weeks of training.

    During the 1st week, we had to pass this series of physical tests, so I didnt smoke all week. I'm a little out of shape, so when I passed the physical tests, on Friday, I really wanted to celebrate. I'm out with a bunch of cops, and although I'm law enforcement, compared to these guys, I do not have a "cop" mentality. We had some drinks, I bummed some crappy cigarette from someone, and a combination of that crappy smoke, and listening to a bunch of Feds try to impress each other with how bad ass they are, made me feel ill. I walked back to my room, and passed out.

    The next morning, I found my uvula ( that hangy-down thingie in the back if your throat) had swollen to several times its normal size. I could barely breathe. I called the campus security, who informed me there was no medical services during the weekend. I had to call a taxi, and ride to an private emergency clinic, who shot me up with steroids and antibiotics. Luckily, by classes on Monday, I was alright, and by self-defense time, I could actually participate.

    That's the last time I have smoked, and any time I think about wanting one, I remember just how sick it made me. Obviously I don't expect many to relate to the job part, but I think getting really, really sick is the best time to quit. Especially something sinus related, where everything tastes like crap anyway.

    I don't mind being around smokers, but realize if you do associate with smokers, the temptation does get worse, plus you notice the smell much more than you think you would.
  2.  (9808.3)
    I quit smoking after 15 years in 2001. I started when I was 13. I have slipped occasionally since. (For some reason rum makes me want to smoke madly)
    Being anywhere near people smoking is murder for the first 3 years or so, but is made worse if you go in bars or pubs (no problem here, as it's illegal to smoke in pubs), It just goes together horribly, and is really difficult to overcome, if you can do two drinking sessions in a row without a smoke, congratulations, you've probably managed to get over the worst of it.

    I quit biting my nails at the age of 35, having done it since I was 3 years old apparently. I still frequently scratch myself/poke myself in the eye, due to having not had pointy sharp objects on the ends of my fingers most of my life. Staying off biting my nails has made stopping smoking look easy, Any time I get stressed / angry / bored / distracted I'll look down and find that I'm rubbing the edges of my nails against my teeth, looking for nicks, or scaled bits, and then I have to conciously stop doing it. It niggles like hell.

    I quit drinking for an entire year and 9 months, back when I was about 25 because I had a girlfriend who really didn't like my behaviour when I was pissed, and given that at that age, I was pissed pretty much most of the time I was awake, It seemed like a good idea. It was horribly depressing. I had to stop going out, as I couldn't tolerate people around me being drunk, and pretty much was confined to my abode near constantly by massive amounts of doodling, because I couldn't really socialise with my friends without having minor episodes caused by not having any social lubricant. Then on the New Year, approaching the 2nd anniversary of being on the wagon, I was convinced that I could go out to join in the celebrations without too much worry, as I hadn't drunk in ages, and would obviously have a lot more control over my slight addiction to booze.
    Oversight A)Absence makes the heart grow fonder
    Oversight B)Having not drunk for nigh on two years meant I had an awful lot of money in the bank that evening.

    I came round on the 2nd of January.
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2011
    Smoked since I was 15, quit when I was 33, started again on a limited basis last year. I quit using nicotine lozenges (which were awesome) and Chantix (which is poison).
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2011
    I haven't had a cigarette this year and still want to kill puppies with my penis.

    Whenever I go to the pub for a drink I end up buying Twiglets and holding them like cigarettes and chewing the ends off them. I play with my phone the whole time. It's not so much the nicotine, it's the whole ritual and process of it all that I'm finding it hard to do without.

    Please tell me this passes too.
  3.  (9808.6)
    I quit smoking cold turkey at the start of 2009 after a 15 year habit (I only started smoking when I was 20), 10 of those were a pack a day. Never had cravings, actually dislike the smell of smoke now, didn't have any withdrawal symptoms or anything, and don't miss it when drinking.
    • CommentAuthorFan
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2011

    I quit several times. "I'm not addicted anymore: now I can have just one." But one becomes two, and then three, etc.
    I found it easier to quit when I was with people whose lives didn't include smoking, and harder when I was with someone who did smoke.
    Cigarettes regulate/suppress/moderate anger: so I needed to find another way to manage or avoid whatever made me angry.
    I found that Zyban made quitting easier. I got me a prescription and thought, "This is ridiculous, you can quit without." Then when I still hadn't quit a week later, I filled the prescription and started taking it.
    For maybe the first year the thought of smoking would occur to me at least every day; now I've taken up bicycling and never think of it (except occasionally to wonder how damaged my lungs are).
    Part of what helped was the realization that, although I wanted a cigarette, having one wouldn't make me stop wanting one, that I'd only end up wanting more.


    I don't want/watch television at all. I have one but it's not plugged in and I don't subscribe to cable.


    Web sites that I spend too much time on, compulsively, but that aren't rewarding enough (i.e. they're just an addiction for me) eventually get added to my c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts file:

    I don't regret blocking those sites, and not spending time on them any more.


    I wondered if I was drinking too much. It had become a habit, to have 2 or more drinks every night, for the past year (previous years I've been more or less teetotal, drinking only socially and less than once/month). I complained, that my drinking had become a habit: and someone suggested that I give it up for Lent and then re-evaluate how I felt about it. The finite time period helped ("Give up for only 3 weeks? I can do that."), as did the tradition ("You can do it, most everybody else can do it: I can do it.").


    I stopped buying meat and got hungry anyway. I learned to eat other things instead and, having learned, don't need meat any more.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2011 edited
    Soda, candy bars, mindless eating.

    I gave up soda when I was younger, then picked it up again by letting myself drink it "only when I eat out." Thing is, I started eating out so often it became a habit again. Coke is my biggest weakness, ever. I also get a lot of sweet cravings, so if I just couldn't get rid of it, I'd let myself have a candy bar, like a snickers or milky way. And I used to eat when I was bored.

    Needless to say, time came when I said "enough is enough with the excess weight" and cracked down on myself. I've lost weight by exercising (hoop dance, specifically), and added it all back by mindless eating, and soda and candy bars.

    Things that helped me were eating more slowly, chewing each bite slowly, so that I don't feel like I want more once I'm done. In other words, I turned to mindful eating. I pack my lunches at home, and hardly ever eat out anymore (soooo much money saved this way!). I eat for my body, not for my cravings, which is really hard for me because I'm such an emotional eater (not in the "I'm depressed I need a pint of ice cream," way, but in the "what am I craving" way). So I learned more about nutrition and learned to cook more and now I go "okay, what tasty item can I add to my meal that satisfies my protein/carb/veggies needs?" I also watch my portions, now.

    For sweet cravings, I just have one small square of super dark chocolate instead of a whole bar of mostly sugar. For soda cravings, I'll have tea (hot or iced) or lately, if I want something carbonated, kombucha (which isn't quite the magical elixir it's made to be, but it does have friendly fauna for your digestive track. Also the taste had to grow on me).

    Yoga also helped a lot. It teaches you to be mindful of everything you do, and you also become more aware of your body, what makes it feel good, optimal, and what makes you feel achy and sluggish. The breathing slows you down and teaches you to be present. So now, when I have a meal, I am present as I eat, and I feel more satisfied, rather than spacing out or watching a show and next thing you know the food is gone and you want more, and next thing you know you went through an entire pack of cookies :/ I've also realized that regardless of how much I eat in a meal, I will get hungry again 3 hours later, so I eat smaller main meals, so that I can snack in between without passing my calorie limit for the day. Keeping a food journal helped, too, as you can visually see what you've eaten when you look at that day's entry.

    That being said, I was never strict on any of this. My food journal goes on and off, sometimes I only enter what I eat for half the day, or half the week. My yoga practice is very on and off. But even just doing these things a little bit, so long as it's mostly consistent, has helped me out a lot. I feel so much better these days now that I don't have all those excess empty calories in my diet, slowing me down.
      CommentAuthorHEY APATHY!
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2011 edited
    thanks all, I'm reading these one craving at a time, it helps, I mean I could be ah smoking right now

    @ government spy - the fact that you are law enforcment is enough to make anyone question anything, even addiction ( see embarrassing stories thread)

    plus you notice the smell much more than you think you would.
    yes I just realized how bad my clothes stink, it's almost unbelievable and f--king gross

    @ vertigojones Having not drunk for nigh on two years meant I had an awful lot of money in the bank that evening.
    you know I haven't been to the bank machine for days now, amazing and g'luck with that

    Zappa gives his advice at 40 seconds

    will read more later for sure
  4.  (9808.10)

    That's advice i could really use, as far as eating, cravings, etc. goes. Thanks. I could do well following your lead there.
  5.  (9808.11)
    This doesn't really count because I never set out to quit for all time, but because I was smoking too much weed to the point where I was fucking up grades, and because it was New Year's, I decided to take a year break. I had a pot brownie on my birthday but otherwise it was easy. (Which may seem obvious, it's weed, but considering that I was constantly surrounded by weed and potheads that entire year, it was a little trickier than usual.)

    And lately, my meds have decided to start interacting very poorly with alcohol, so I'm taking a year break from drinking. It's actually not really a problem for the most part, but when I drink I tend to do so with my girlfriend, and we're drawn to each other because of very deep-rooted emotional issues, and the meds mixed with the alcohol lately seems to make all my buttons gigantic and irresistible for her to push. So to avoid that mess, I'm avoiding the drink.

    I've regularly had streaks of quitting soda and chewing my nails. Quitting soda is the hardest thing in the world for me. Weed was easy, alcohol's been easy if a little more difficult, I've done coke and meth and never had an urge to do them again, I've popped every pill imaginable and also never had a problem avoiding abuse of them, but fucking caffeinated sugar water has gripped me by the balls and won't ever let go.

    It's ridiculous. The nail biting is equally hard too because it's such an over-developed reflex, I do it without any conscious thought whatsoever, so I have to keep catching myself. Also need to get in the habit of cutting my nails frequently.
  6.  (9808.12)
    Quitting smoking cigarettes (to me) was relatively easy, but I second quitting soda as being fucking hard! I'm in the process of quitting caffeine in general, although I cheat if I'm drinking cheap whisky & cokes. Moving to Texas made me a Dr. Pepper addict. Fuck. I'm craving it right now.
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2011

    Whatever you think of the actual science of it, I was an officially diagnosed ADHD guy, late in life. Walked in and got a Ritalin prescription in less than an hour.

    The first month or two were awesome. I was more focused, more productive, felt great. So I started thinking...if one of these lil' 10 mg guys makes me feel this good...then two must be awesome!

    Fast forward six months. I had just tried to scan in prescription slip and alter the date on it and pass it by my local pharmacy, since I had gotten, erm...a little ahead on my prescription. As Oscar Wilde once said (in the pages of Cerebus), "I was prescribed to have a green salad and a small glass of spirits daily...I regret to say I am several days behind on my green salads...but several weeks ahead on the glass of spirits!"

    The binge and bust cycle turned out to be just too painful, and I stopped going back to get refills, and moved on to finding other ways to control the ADHD.
    I still miss it every day.
  7.  (9808.14)
    I've had several friends swear by The Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr. These were all friends who had previously never been able to quit for more than a couple months--now everyone who has tried it is still cig-free after a few years. That said, I think it also has quite a bit to do with where you are in life and how committed you are, no matter what tool you use.

    I also agree with how hard sodas are to kick. Two things that really helped me were 1) after my first two weeks of being soda-free, I dropped 12 pounds, and 2) seeing the episode of Freaky Eaters featuring a girl that drinks 30 cokes a day and even dunks her twinkies in them. Nothing better than a radical example to promote the cure.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2011
    @government spy: If getting a handle on food cravings is a problem you have, then I definitely recommend yoga. It won't blast calories and melt pounds, but it's one of the best things you can do to be more mindful of what you're fueling your body with :)

    @lampcommander: DDDD: Dear god, that sounds horrific. I don't even want to imagine the enamel loss that girl has experienced, much less what a twinkie dunked in coke tastes like.
    • CommentAuthorSBarrett
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2011
    Just biting my nails. I have mostly gotten rid of the compulsion. Though sometimes it will feel like I black out for a minute and when I come to I have chewed off a couple fingernails.
  8.  (9808.17)
    Damn giggling at all these crazy experiences is really helping, I can relate to something in everypost.

    I think the most important and successful part of my attempt so far is that the voice which kept coming to me late at night saying things like:

    now I can have just one.

    is dead. I haven't heard him/it since I started reading these posts and if that f--er comes back I'll get it with this fancy little dentist tool I stole during my last cleaning.

    @ Argos I definitely recommend yoga I agree this the best way to improve an unhealthy life.
    I just wanted to add that while I don't have time to study or practice Yoga properly I do set aside about 5 minutes a couple times a day to stand up straight stretch and BREATH SLOW and DEEP. This has prevented me from many a murder and much stress all through out my life (regardless of smoking) I thought it might help others to know that even just a little yoga/meditation can make a big difference because sometimes the thought of lifting one's legs over one's shoulders while wearing purple leotards can be somewhat intimidating.
  9.  (9808.18)

    I recommend giving Strattera a shot, especially if you've got good insurance. It's a non-stimulant so it doesn't present the chance for addiction. I pay for my own dirt-cheap insurance so it's not covered for me, and the makers of Strattera still hold their patent for a while yet so there's no cheap generic available, but I live in an awesome county that does great things for people like me and I now basically get the pills for free.

    I was never diagnosed but had all the symptoms of ADHD my entire life, so I finally tested the waters with my psychiatrist and she was game and put me on the Strattera, and it was a fucking revelation once I built up to the 60mg dosage. I was focused, getting shit done, keeping on schedule, writing stories, and it was all fucking easy too. It blew me away that maybe this was what it was actually like for normal people, like life was THIS much of a fucking breeze for all you assholes who have the capacity for focus? Fuuuuuck...

    But that lasted only maybe two weeks. So now we're going to up me soon, after my next session. I recommend it despite losing that level of efficacy because I'm still MUCH more functional in general than I was before Strattera.

    I should also mention that my above-mentioned issues mixing meds with alcohol only got truly problematic after the Strattera entered the mix. Still worth it though, unspeakably valuable to me.
  10.  (9808.19)
    I've bee smoking for half of my life, but for some bizarre reason, quiting is not difficult. I can do this again thousands of times. =P

    (I don'tknow ifthe irony is clear in english. damn, one day I will write decently in this language)

    The longest time I spent without smoking was two years. If I have a reason to don't smoke, I just stop. But I really like this thing, so what I do is only smoke in weekends.

    I think the prizes help a lot. "If I spent a week without smoking,I will *insert here something you really like*".

    Give yourself something to want. Last time I stopped smoking I used the money I saved buying some good wines. Another time, I used the cigar savings to buy a miniature of the USS Defiant.

    Some people that are religious use it too - they dedicate that to a saint or god or spirit guide, and turned their quitting in a faith thing.

    I've quitted things trully, but alcohol and nicotine looks like part of my self. The worst thing is rebuild old habits in something new.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2011
    I just wanted to add that while I don't have time to study or practice Yoga properly I do set aside about 5 minutes a couple times a day to stand up straight stretch and BREATH SLOW and DEEP.

    That's pretty much what I usually do. I take classes when I can through my university, so luckily right now I have a weekly hour-long yoga practice under the guidance of a teacher, but man, just those five minutes here and there of standing with proper posture, some light stretching, and breathing deep and slowly can change so much.

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