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Timeline for Cravings

16 posts, 0 answered
  1. mwoodman
    mwoodman avatar
    3 posts
    Registered:
    05 Jan 2018
    11 Jan 2018
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    What are your thoughts/experiences regarding when the cravings stop? Looking for support and encouragement - I'm on day 11 - cold turkey - and although they are getting less, the cravings are still intense. Yesterday, I had to excuse myself early from work from such high anxiety :(   
    Thankfully, my employer has a big heart and had no qualms about it, but still, not something I enjoyed having to do. 
    I come online and check my dashboard for encouragement - what does everyone else do? Will these cravings ever stop being so intense?? Thanks in advance :) 
  2. treepeo
    treepeo avatar
    786 posts
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    29 Nov 2017
    11 Jan 2018
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    Hi mwoodman,

    First of all, let me congratulate you on your 11 smoke free days.  That is terrific!

    I quit cold turkey, too.  Personally, I got really intense cravings off and on for the whole first month.  In fact, at the end of my first month, I had to take two days off work, because I started to cry and couldn't stop.  But I think part of that was because I was so tired.  I was never able to sleep through the night without waking up 2 or 3 times, and that takes a toll on you.  So I just got weaker and weaker, mentally and physically.

    Having said that, after the first month, things changed dramatically.  It's like my body suddenly realized that I wasn't going to give in, and it decided to give me a break.  And the really intense cravings stopped coming on a regular basis.  Now I did get some the odd time, but they became less and less intense, and more and more infrequent.  That was just my experience.  It is different for everyone. 

    I understand your frustration.  You made the decision to quit, you have been struggling with horrible cravings, and you just want it to end.  But you have to stick it out.  It's all part of the process.

    Mwoodman, I didn't like having to miss work either, but I was determined to do whatever it took to quit successfully.  And my boss didn't care.  He was just thrilled that I decided to do what I needed to do, and that I remained smoke free.

    Hang in there.  It will get better.  It just takes time.  But man, is it ever worth all of the struggles in the end.  Just you wait and see.
  3. brieffree
    brieffree avatar
    1331 posts
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    28 Nov 2017
    12 Jan 2018
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    mwoodman

    Hello, I quit cold turkey too, 950 day's ago and I still craving. But, I have learn how to manage those cravings with out slip more. 

    When it comes, I identify and do something to get rid of it, ej: in the morning forced shower, That relax me a lot and I forgot of the urge to smoke in the morning.
    Or I get busy around the house.

    Use the for D

    Distract my self, Drink a lot water, Delay the crave, Discus with someone about it,

    Everyday pass if you focus in your quit and you really want to the cravings are less and less powerful.

    I am not going to lie to you I quit so many times the I can not remember, but never so long.

    Trust in your self, you can do it. You are stronger than the crave.!

    That is my story, everyone crave different. Be prepare!
    Last modified on 12 Jan 2018 18:38 by brieffree
  4. mwoodman
    mwoodman avatar
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    Registered:
    05 Jan 2018
    16 Jan 2018 in reply to treepeo
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    Thanks treepeo! I appreciate you sharing your experiences with me. I definitely find that reminding myself of how far I've come helps me squish those cravings! Day 16 now! 
    Congrats on your success as well, it's nice to know we aren't alone :) 
  5. mwoodman
    mwoodman avatar
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    05 Jan 2018
    16 Jan 2018 in reply to brieffree
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    Hi brieffree! Thank you for your post, sharing and encouragement :)

    Congrats on your success, I can't wait to get to that number too! 

    I need to remind myself of the 4 D's alot .... but getting there! Day 16 today! 
  6. ocean
    ocean avatar
    264 posts
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    29 Nov 2017
    16 Jan 2018
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    Hi Woodman,  This is a great topic!  I've only gone one day and use  NRT. I was really impressed with the Mist though.  It tastes and feels like intense mouthwash.  If you get really stuck, like about to smoke, go to a store and try it.  it's the fastest way to get a hit of nicotine without smoking.  In the meantime though, you're doing great!  I'll add more as I live it.
    Ocean
  7. treepeo
    treepeo avatar
    786 posts
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    29 Nov 2017
    16 Jan 2018
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    Hi mwoodman,

    Day 16 - way to go!  That's terrific!  I found keeping myself distracted was the key.  No matter how bad the cravings, I would try to shove them to the back of my mind and carry on with my computer games, my reading, my walks, or whatever.  But like Ocean said, you may want to try the mist.  As you can see, Ocean loves it and has found it really helpful.
  8. ocean
    ocean avatar
    264 posts
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    29 Nov 2017
    07 Feb 2018
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    Hi again mwoodman,
    I'm in my 4th week now and I have times when I really crave and times when I don't.  I was getting disappointed that I'm still craving nearly a month in.  So I increased my fast acting NRT again ( I had decreased it as some days I feel lucky that I don't need it).  But I find my craves have been pretty steady the last few days and I don't want to relapse or slip.  I went on the main site here today and saw that I'd not smoked 575 cigarettes, and WOW, no wonder I've been craving, that's a lot of cigarettes not smoked, no wonder I'm craving!  I hope you're doing ok too.  When I first posted to this thread I was on Day 1, lol!  Let's keep going!!
  9. jenna c, quit coach
    jenna c, quit coach avatar
    58 posts
    Registered:
    29 Nov 2018
    05 Feb
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    Hi everyone!

    Just wanted to add some more information about cravings.

    Most cravings are brief, but they seem like they will go on forever.
    As a smoker you may sometimes confuse other uncomfortable feelings with an urge to smoke. If so, you could benefit by practicing other ways of coping with those feelings.

    Let's start with the simple things to do. See if any fit for you?

    Most people can handle urges to smoke using one of the 4 D's and the urges can be there long after you quit, but think to yourself, is this a craving or is something triggering me to want to smoke?

    1. Delay.
    Most urges will go away in a few minutes.
    2. Distract.
    Take your mind off smoking.
    Think of something else to do.
    Any shift in attention will take away most or all of most people's urges. (e.g. by taking a walk, listening to some music, getting up and doing something else).
    3. Deep Breathing:
    Take two deep breaths. Breathe in slowly & deeply. Then breathe out. Many smokers only breathe deeply when they are smoking. Do you?
    4. Drink water.
    Drink it slowly and keep it in your mouth awhile.

    Hope you find this useful,

    jenna c, quit coach
  10. atp
    atp avatar
    341 posts
    Registered:
    31 Dec 2018
    08 Feb in reply to jenna c, quit coach
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    Out of curiosity, are cravings much different for those who went cold turkey vs those on NRT's? or is it just differences in how everybody recovers from quitting?

    I read a number of posts where people are a month or two into their quit and are still getting lots of cravings. 

    I went cold turkey and found that my cravings subsided in the 3rd week. I had a big craving at the one month period, but since then they have been fairly minor and fleeting. 
  11. jenna lee, quit coach
    jenna lee, quit coach avatar
    151 posts
    Registered:
    28 Jun 2018
    08 Feb in reply to atp
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    atp,

    Great question. The purpose of NRT is to lower the intensity of cravings and withdrawal. Over time, cravings and withdrawal ease naturally (or should). However, those triggers, which are different for everyone, can definitely change the game. 

    I am sure everyone can relate to a relapse where they are quit for a long period of time, and all of the sudden, another smoker is around, or a huge stressor comes out of nowhere, and bam. Cravings again. Smoking again. 

    There are so many layers and each person is such an individual that I am afraid there is no 100% answer.

    Hope this helps,

    Jenna Lee
  12. ang1234
    ang1234 avatar
    1 posts
    Registered:
    11 Feb 2019
    11 Feb
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    Reading all these posts have made me feel better.  This is day 14 for me smoke free but I feel like the cravings are killing me from the inside out.
    Both my husband and I are supposed to be doing this together but it seems like he's not having the intense cravings like I am.  Maybe it's because he's vaping and is still getting the nicotine in his body.  I on the other hand am doing it cold turkey.  The cravings got so bad the other day he actually told me to get out and to go buy a pack of cigarettes! Great support system.  So I took the leap and joined the smokers helpline.  I have to say you guys have really made me feel good.  I thought I was the only one crying over a cigarette.
  13. atp
    atp avatar
    341 posts
    Registered:
    31 Dec 2018
    11 Feb in reply to ang1234
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    Ang,

    Congrats on quitting and making it 14 days so far!

    I too quit cold turkey and by the second week my nicotine withdrawal symptoms were passing, but I was dealing with mental cravings, and just plain feeling out of sorts not smoking at all the 'usual' times. Really just learning how to be a non-smoker.....I decided on cold turkey a few days into my quit as I wanted the nicotine out of my system - get the withdrawal done and over with so to speak. 

    You're probably already noticing some benefits of quitting like that cough going away, breathing better, taste and smell improving. It gets even better over the next few weeks. 

    Each person has their own quit method. In the end though we all need to adhere to one principal - 
    Not One Puff Ever. Keep it up!
  14. marianne, quit coach
    marianne, quit coach avatar
    278 posts
    Registered:
    30 Nov 2017
    12 Feb
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    Hello ang123,

    Congratulations on your 2 week quit!  We welcome you to our community and so happy to have you here with us!  And to hear that you have felt better hearing from others is so great.  Everyone needs support especially when the moments of challenge arise.  Be so proud that you worked it through with thinking of solutions to cope with those cravings.  

    Keep visiting us to redirect your focus and hopefully you can adapt some skills that you feel would suit you.  Hope you take a moment to reward yourself in some way as you so deserve it!  

    Have a great day!

    Marianne

  15. success
    success avatar
    13 posts
    Registered:
    30 Jan 2019
    13 Feb in reply to ang1234
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    Wow ang you are doing great, I am on day 20 today, I am currently on step 2 (14mg)of the patch - step one (21mg)was too hard for me - lots of bad side effects like stomach aches and felt like I needed to gorge myself with food.  
    My hubby has never smoked, so I do not have that much of a support network.  I recently ( Dec ) left a very stressful job, and will be starting a new job in the next Month. So excited, yet want to have the routine of what to do when  deep craving hits - so I can manage it without freaking out my new co-workers... lol
    I do find the cravings very hard at times - think I am feeling it more today because he live in a remote area - 800kms from a large city - we are planning to drive to the city this weekend.  Now, I had given up smoking in the vehicle over 15 years ago, so that is not the issue - I usually had a quick smoke break when we stopped to fill the gas.  Maybe I am just, nervous about doing the trip in the winter,..I am so looking forward to this trip because it is all about me to purchase some much needed wardrobe items to start my new job, maybe get a hair cut, maybe do something as a couple that we can not do where we live.  
    You can do this...I can too, as I reach for another almond to eat..
  16. efram, quit coach
    efram, quit coach avatar
    131 posts
    Registered:
    29 Nov 2017
    13 Feb in reply to success
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    I noticed that this thread has had over 1000 views in the past month! So there must be lots of people wondering how long the cravings will last. It would be helpful to hear from others -- how long have your cravings lasted, and, if they're gone now, what helped them to go away?

    Success -- welcome! Nice name you picked for yourself here! And here you are on day 20, so you're having great success, success! Congratulations!

    You mentioned "the routine of what to do when deep cravings hit." Hopefully by the time you start the new job you'll have more practice in knowing what works well for those cravings (almonds, etc.) -- and by next month maybe the cravings aren't so deep anymore. And hopefully the new job isn't as stressful.

    Thanks for joining us here,
    Efram
16 posts, 0 answered