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I have recently had several members ask me to write down sort of a "what to expect" post. Something that would kind of let everyone know what to expect. I have to admit, I used to do this in individual groups, however, it is really difficult to look back to those early days and remember exactly what I went though and what days I was on when I encountered those things. I will do my best to give you a bit of a "when to look out for this" play by play. And remember, everyone's quit is different. If you don't hit a crave or a FUNK during a time period that is listed, my belief is that it is better to be prepared for nothing than to not be prepared for something. I was at the very end of my group, reaching the HOF a day or 2 before the last day of my month. I had the opportunity to read and see that most members of my group struggled with this, struggled with that around certain days in their quit. I also got to see when things seemed to clear up for them, and see when the journey seemed to level out a bit. I would definitely urge everyone to share their difficult days and their successful days with their individual groups, as that gives others the chance to see that goo things might be around the corner, or that they need to buckle down and prepare for another fight. And also remember, life throws us curve balls from time to time. Stress, for most of us, is a huge trigger, and when something traumatic in our lives happens, often times a major crave accompanies that stress or trigger. The final thing to remember...we have triggers that we associate with dipping. Driving, working out, hunting, yard work, watching sports, etc. We have a year's worth of triggers to fight through. Fall triggers for new quitters will be something you will have to face for the first time, well after you reach 100 days and the Hall Of Fame. The Hall of Fame is not a cure, just a nice milestone to achieve. 1 year is not a cure, again, it is just a nice milestone to achieve. I always focused on any day I could possibly celebrate. Days of 5 or 10, each week, any holiday that may fall, the more days I could celebrate as a milestone, the better. Obviously, each day is a day to celebrate, but day 5, 7, 10, 14, 15, 20, 21, etc...It gave me a short term goal to look forward to, something other than just the next day. And day 100 is just too far away to focus on early on in the quit. Day 1-3 to 5...This is the physical withdrawl period. All sorts of different symptoms. It's the chemical dependency leaving your body. We put years and decades of poison into our bodies. Our body is going to need a few day to get used to this healthy body again, and it needs time to adjust. I looked at it from a standpoint that I poisoned myself for 7 years. I can go 5 or 6 days through "payback". I hurt my body for all that time, I deserved to let my body punish me for my bad decisions for a few days. Physical could be headaches, very bad craves (mental), shakes, sleeplessness, emotional moments, etc. Day10-15...is when you will possibly start to see the "FOG" lift. One of the things I heard many quitters say when the caved was that they needed the dip to concentrate. The chemical didn't help us concentrate any more than a "sober" person would concentrate...going through the chemical withdrawl, our brain is rewiring itself and it needs time to reconnect some things. So some very easy tasks might seem to be Calculus IV level problems to solve. 2 to 3 weeks and that FOG is finally lifted. Day 20-30...You will actually finally hit a stretch where you now understand why the fight was worth it. You will feel great! The craves have subsided, you feel like a million bucks, your confidence is there...it's a very rewarding day to say the least. Shortly after, the craves will come back. This has now become a mental battle with the addiction. 7 years of training my body to ingest the chemical, it's going to take my brain more than just a month to "forget" about it. Dipping, for most of us, was a part of us. We have eliminated that part of us, and it will take a very long time to get over losing that part of us. I look at it like a person who loses a limb. The phantom pain is something they deal with for a VERY long time from what I understand. Our mind doesn't forget too quickly, and the addiction uses that as a weapon in this battle. Days 30-70. A continuation of the great days and the craves. The good news is that the days that you feel great begin to grow in consecutive numbers...at first it might must be a day..then a day and a half, then 2 days, then 4 days...etc. And the crave period in between the good days begins to shrink. A good day, then maybe 5-7 days of craves then a good day and 4-5 days of crave, and so on. Days 75-90...The FUNK arrives, as I referred to it. The FUNK is almost like going back to week 1. The craves seem to get a lot more intense. Sort of like the last ditch effort the addiction tries to use to get us to go back. The FUNK, over time, will dilute in intensity, but it seems to stick around a lot longer than the recent crave sessions (at least it did for me). Some in my group had the FUNK for just a few days. I believe mine hit around day 85 and lasted through 120 or 130. After a few days of the FUNK, it really turned into a minor crave that just would not go away. It was like that gnat or fly that keeps pestering you. You swat at it, you wave your arms, you spin around, you do everything you can to get it to go away, and it just laughs at you and buzzes by your face yet again. IT DOES GO AWAY, but I have seen members just give in to the annoyance and head back to the tin. The next 100 days after the HOF are hit and miss with more sporadic craves or funks, but you have confidence behind you, and experience. You will start to recognize the pattern. The next 100 days, same deal...so on and so on. I really can't tell you when you will hit that day that you don't think about it any more, or when you go weeks or months without a crave...but it eventually comes. I do warn you about a difficult time that I went through between days 500-600. This was stress related to me, as I was purchasing my first house. It was a big and stressful event. Obviously, the addition wanted me to solve the stress with nicotine. I also noticed that several others went through similar stresses during that time frame. We always shared when things were difficult for us, so that we could help each other out. PRIDE tends to get in the way. Some people are embarrassed that if they mention they are struggling or having a difficult time, that they may be perceived as weak. I would rather be called weak and still have my quit than to not ask for help and fail. Over time, I started to notice that others were struggling between500-600 and they were not going through any stressful moments in their life...so that time period may just be another FUNK that most people go through. Since the house, I have dealt with a car accident that nearly took my life, a separation and divorce (that was approximately a 500 day FUNK in itself...and I was quick to have friends here keep tabs on me and checkin on me). And a misdiagnosis for a pretty nasty disease. So, even though I have hit a number of "floors" or 100 day groupings, I have still had my challenges. And I know that there will be more to come. This is an addiction that has no cure, just our ability to maintain it. The moment we get too "cocky" and think we can never fail...that is usually the moment that we take unnecessary and dangerous risks. A final piece of advice. Avoid triggers early on in the quit and throughout the first year. I always dipped when I golfed. I quit during February. I hit HOF in May. I had all summer to golf. I did not golf once that summer...I didn't feel that it was something I wanted to challenge myself with. I wanted to make sure my quit was extremely strong...I could pass up one year of golf. It was better than getting out there, having someone offer me a dip, and losing all those days I had quit. Alcohol was something that I avoided for well over 100 days. I was not about to let alcohol cloud my judgment, even if it was drinking at home...alcohol causes us to make poor choices. No need for me to take that risk. Do what YOU need to do to keep your quit going forward. Some days it feels like we move an inch, other days a mile...but we keep moving forward. That is the key. Progress in a positive direction. Progress to a better life. Progress towards a better YOU!!!! Remember, this is the best recollection that I have of the early days of my quit. And I do know that everyone's quit is different, yet you will see a lot of similarities in quits with others and similar days that you encompass the same symptoms. In the process, focus on the positives...focus on the things you missed out on because you had to have your dip. Amazing sunrises and sunsets. Amazing days I spent with my (now ex) wife...so much of life that I was missing because I was so focused on a tin. Live life now that you have regained it back from the addiction! -Penguin