Welcome Solace and congrats on your decision to quit. Your story is similar to my own in that I found this site while stumbling around the internet trying to figure out what I was going through. It didn't take long to realize that my experience followed a pretty common set of struggles and milestones. Click in with a current quit group and you'll find a lot of support.
As you recognized, one day at a time is the only way to quit. If it helps however, here's a map of my experiences during the first 100 days. I'd say you're right on track!
1st Hunred Days...
Week 1 was 80% physical and 20% mental. Both mind and body were in a perpetual loop of gotta have nic/need nic/want nic/gotta have nic/need nic/want nic/.....
My only defense was to dig in, lower my head to the task* and repeat to myself don't need it / I can do this / don’t' need it/ I can do this / don't need it / I can do this / don’t' need it/ I can do this...
*lots of advice to be found on this: drink lots of water, take walks, deep breaths, get physical exercise, go to bed early, etc. I recommend two web sites to help guide the withdrawal process
this was much the same as week 1, except the ratio was reversed to 20% physical and 80% mental. You just need to keep fighting with the same tactics that worked in week 1.
This period was mainly a mental battle for me. I was past the physical withdrawal, but was constantly assaulted by triggers. Just keep fighting them off, using the same techniques that carried you through the first 2 weeks.
Near the end of this period I developed a new set of craves which revolved around such theories as:
- you proved you can quit when you need to, let's go back now
- I bet you really can do just one. Come on, don't be a pussy. Try it.
- Maybe we can chew for just another month, then pick this quit up again
- What if we just dip til the end of salmon season?
- Hey, the dentist gave us the thumbs up. We can chew for another 6 months to the next appt
- So what's all this talk of "pre-cancerous" cells? Wow, there must be an early warning system. We can chew until we reach that
- blah, blah, blah... all a bunch of lies.
At the end of 4 weeks I began to feel I was in control. I had learned to prepare for trigger opportunities, and how to efficiently deal with craves. I had also learned to recognize new arguments from the addiction and dismiss them before they turned to real craves.
Woops, maybe I got a little cocky. Day 30 brought an intense crave that came about from some pretty standard stress at work. Nonetheless this crave dropped me to my knees. I mean I was almost crying at work. That is not me. Luckily I had the sense to get on line and search out some help from my quit group. Fortunately for me Norge was on line and he pulled me through. I was able to pass the nic shops on the way home from work and ended the day nic free. Thanks Norge!
I reflected upon my quit at this point and realized that I WAS in control. At the same time I recall feeling a bit depressed by admitting to myself that I had quit. I mean... I did it, and there was no turning back. I had beat the physical addiction and learned to control the mental addiction. Caving wasn't an option because I was in control now, and giving in would be an unacceptable failure.
These observations showed me that I had truly given up my precious and that was depressing. With this started a period of mourning that lasted about a week or so.
Intermingled with the mourning though was a desire to rise above it all and win. I accepted that I was an addict, and most importantly that it was my fault. However, I felt strongly that I needed to discover WHY I am an addict.
Shortly afterward I returned to the depression and just felt tired of it all. I was tired of being a dipper, tired of trying to quit, tired of not having my precious nicotine, tired of posting on QS all the time, tired, tired, tired.... I just wanted to go back to my childhood and reunite with a time before my mind and body knew of nicotine. I wanted to go back to my tree house and daydream without the need for nicotine. Not possible however. I had two choices: 1)cave and forget all this quit agony, or 2) stay quit, wait awhile longer and get to a place where hopefully I'll become truly free. I chose option 2. (Option 1 just offers a temporary fix to a permanent problem)
Somewhere in here I also had a period where I raged against everything. I was a very (VERY) angry individual. I think I discussed that in the link above.
For the most part this was a period of continued growth, increasing strength where I started to develop an identity as a non-dipper. Craves during this period were less frequent, but more intense from a perspective of emotional longing. The craves shifted from "I want it" to "I long for it, I desire it, I loved it, I miss it".
I was dealing with a more raw form of the crave. They weren't the blind raging desire from the previous periods. Instead they had developed into subtle yet cunning emotional desires. Turning down the previous craves meant denying the desire for the moment. Turning down these craves meant accepting the fact that I needed to deny myself of nicotine now and forever. I wasn't just ignoring my precious now. I was killing it, and that hurt.
On the other hand it wasn't really that hard. I was on cruise control and it was pretty easy to take my medicine (accepting the fact that nic would not re-enter my life)
The Funk. The Funked was absolutely unpleasant. It takes different forms for different people, but for me it was a death spiral of brooding self pity, despair, loneliness, depression, fear, anger, etc. Ironically it was touched off by a pretty simple set of circumstances. Kind of like setting a match to dried grass... poof and it was off in full force.
This period lasted for 3 days. I was very depressed. I didn't want anything. Nothing. I didn't want tobacco. I didn't want a lack of tobacco. I didn't want to work. I didn't want to stay home. I didn't want to participate in QS. I didn't want to stop coming on line.
Somehow this period superceded my quit, and the agony of quitting took a back seat to this new situation. I really don't feel I was at risk of caving during the 3 days. DURING being the operative word. Somehow I knew that my exit from this period would either lead me into a tin of tobacco, or put me on a path toward freedom. I desperately wanted NOT to return to tobacco, and the only thing I knew was to hang onto QS.
I sank back into the shadows, blocked PMs, hid my name from being logged on, did not post roll, but I did come on and watch. I was lost in a dark and lonely sea and QS was the only lifeline I knew. I was still in the dark, but at least I had this connection to something. And I knew the other end was attached to the place I wanted to be. So I just hung on as a hermit.
Finally something I saw on QS made me snap, and pull my head out. Thanks everybody...one of the truly amazing things about this site is that you never know who you may be helping with your words.
So to summarize the funk, I came out. And I did so with the answers I was looking for back at day 50. Basically, "why am I an addict and what can I work on to stay on a clean path".
Cruise control, but became more at peace with the notion of being a non-user.
Outstanding. I thought about it that morning and realized that I had learned some huge lessons. My quit only starts here, but forever seems a much less daunting goal than it did 100 days ago.