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Question, fears and ramblings


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First of all is the question. For those of you who have quit smoking. How long did it take before you no longer had to fight yourself everyday to keep from smoking?

I am proud to say that I have not had a cigarette in over 3 and one half months. Still everyday it is a battle. Sometimes I want one so bad that I can taste it. I"m determined but it is really hard. So I ask when does it get easier?

Now to a couple of fears. I guess the first one is more of a concern than a fear. I have gained 15 pounds sense I quit smoking. I had told myself that I wouldn't let that happen. I have more energy so I walk faster and I do a lot more work that is exercise. I stay out in the sun and work and fish and sweat. Still I gained weight. I tried to go back onto my Weight Watchers point system but couldn't stick to it. I found I was hungry all of the time. Then after a day or two I would eat twice as much. I feel like I have a tape worm inside of me. I have decided that as I run out of things I will replace them with low or fat free. I am using Splenda in most things but so far I just seem to stay the same. I guess I should be glad that I haven't gained more.

I actually think part of the problem is that for the first time in a long time I can afford what I want. When I eat out I don't have to go to fast food and eat from the value menu. I can go to the store and buy enough to last for a week or two. And I can have what I want. This morning when I put the weeks recycle out I realized that I had two of the large Wall Mart non dairy coffee creamer jars in it. That means I used one in a week. I knew I had been drinking more coffee but that is rediculas. I'm seriouisly thinking about going back on the lozenges for awhile. Just can't use them forever!

Now comes the fear. Yesterday morning I sat here and made out my rent check. I remember making it out and putting in in the envelope. This morning it hit me. I didn't remember dropping it into the drop off slot. I usually do it while walking Misty and I have to climb the stairs to do it. It sticks in my mind. This morning I just could not remember doing that. I stopped the landlord and had him check. I had done it and just didn't remember. I know I was rushing to go to work and had a lot on my mind . It was easy to forget. It was much like the times I would be on my way to go somewhere and turn around to see if I had locked the door or turned the coffee pot off. Those are normal things we all do. Problem is working with so many people with dementia and Alzhiemer's. I'm terrified of those things. Sometimes I ask myself if I can relate to these people so well because someday I might be in the same condition they are in.

I have told you about cutting my work time down. I have a few clients but those seem to always be pretty intense. Yesterday was a rough day. I wanted to cry because I felt the hurt and frustration of a man. His wife has Alzhiemer's. She wets the bed and wets her clothes. I try to get her into the shower but that happens rarely. Now she has started to try to escape. He has to lock the doors and guard them all of the time. I know sooner or later she will get out or hurt him trying. He knows he had caregiver burnout. He showed me a pamphlet that lists all of the symptoms. He just doesn't know how to handle it. She needs to go to the doctor but refuses so he cancels her appointment. He cancels his appointments because he is afraid to leave her. Problem is he still wants to give her a chance to make decisions. It hasn't occured to him that soon she will be so bad that either force or trickery will have to be used. I feel for him. He is just at his wits end and feels guilty for it. I suggested a support group but he says he won't go without her. He just doesn't reallize that it will get much worse. I did something I have never done sense my mom died. I suggested that she be put in a home. I went all around that with Claire but before I made the suggestion her son acted on it.

Somethings just seem so unfair. My other clients are an opposite situation. She had a stroke 20 years ago and that left her right arm and hand paralized. Then a year later she got shingles. The pain from the shingles never left her. The slightest touch causes her excruciating pain. She has to be bathed and that is so hard on her but her skin with dry and pull and hurt her more if she isn't batherd. It is also humiliating for her. Especially when her daughters do it. I am the only one who she has let do it besides them. She says I understand and don't make her feel so bad about herself. She was sick Thursday . She has been on Cumadin for a long time and appearantly her blood got too thin. She went to the hospital and then home. She seemed good for one day but wouldn't get out of bed or eat Thursday. Just as I was leaving she said she would eat a little bit for me. So I stayed late and she did eat a little. She is so sweet and has so many problems but still has her mind. Her husband on the other hand!!

I know he has some medical problems but he likes to put on. He pretends that he forgets. When she is having a lot of pain he has a lot of pain. I think he just wants attention. He started the other day saying that he is broke. Just a few days before he told me that someone called him and told him that he had $36000 that he had left with them. So when he told me he was broke I asked him about that. Boy did he hem and haw! Then he never would call me by my name. He called me all kinds of names but my own. So I just quit answering him. Finally I went to him and asked if he had said something. He said that he had called me and I told him that I had not heard my name. Believe me after that he knew my name.

Wow am I ever rambling. So much of this doesn't belong here. I just have it going around in my head and need to tell someone. So much has to do wtih my fears. I see these things and the things that Johnny went through and all of you on the board and it seems so unfair. My faith sustains me but I still find myself wondering why people have to go through so much pain while traveling this road of life.

Any ideas on my eating problems will be appreciated. Also please someone tell me that soon I will quit wanting a smoke all of the time.

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Dear Lillian

I can tell you that YES the food issues and the cravings for a smoke WILL GET BETTER! I quit almost 2 years ago and am so glad I did. It was, however, the hardest thing I have ever done. Give yourself time and be patient. I did gain weight, about 10bs from the not smoking and then more after Brad died. I am happier being smokefree and fat though.

I had cravings for about 6 months or so. I would be walking down the sidewalk and someone in front of me would be puffing away and I would catch myself sniffing the air and thinking OH MAN that smells so good.. Now, however, I find it sickening most days. I do still have an occasional day that I think, hmm just one would never hurt. But I know that if I smoke one, it will lead to 2 and 3, and on and on and I worked too damn hard to quit, so no way am I going back.

You will reach the plateau that things level out soon. I was told that it takes about 6 months for your body to adjust to the lack of nicotine. Not sure if that is accurate or not, but after my 6 month mark I do recall not having such severe cravings.

As for the food, I tried to snack on more fresh fruit, organic snacks, veggie chips, etc. All the healthy stuff. I lost that discipline when Brad died. I was so devastated and food became my solace and my best friend. I have moved beyond that, now, and will be very glad to lose all the weight I packed on! I have about 25-30lbs of new me that I will be very glad to see go away again!

One more comment about the forgetfulness. I went through a bout of that when I quit smoking. I do not know if the 2 are related but I have heard the same type of stories from others who quit. I wonder if there is some chemical thing that happens with the lack of nicotine that causes that. It was not something that lasted too long, but it was noticeable to me and annoying, too. I hope this will be the case with you, a temporary issue.

Please feel free to pm me anytime you want or need. I will be more than happy to continue to share experiences with you if it will help.

So sorry this got so long and rambling.

Hugs and prayers to you.


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My father quit smoking a while back. He gained weight - said he noticed he could taste things again and it all tasted soooooo good!

Could be you're eating more because you are tasting it more and enjoying it. You could also be a "stress eater". Try for better snacks, like carrots and celery and have a low cal salad for lunch (or dinner - very low calories to sleep on)...

Good luck, Lilly. Been gaining weight myself but fighting a bum thyroid, too...



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Well I've never smoked but want to congratulate you on quitting. I know you are not enjoying the weight gain but don't beat yourself up over this. Try to stick to the healthier foods for now and once you've mastered the smoking cravings then maybe try the Weight Watchers program again.

I have heard that people who quit smoking and go back to 'have one more' say the cigarette never tastes as good as they used to. So don't bother even trying 'just one more'.

Hang in there, Karen

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