Cold Turkey: I'm craving a smoke and I can't have one

Carla Crotty stopped smoking a few weeks ago, but she says her battle to stay away from cigarettes is still all-consuming.

Carla Crotty has been smoke free for a few weeks, but the crave is still there

Carla Crotty has visions of cigarettes dancing in her head. (Canadian Press)

I want a cigarette. 

I badly want a cigarette.

I'm ready to tear my hair out. I'm on the verge of crying.

Lighting up a cigarette and calmly filling my lungs with a huge inhale of smoke would make me feel so much better.

Why do I feel this way? Is it because I've been smoke free for a couple of weeks or because I'm just feeling overly emotional? 

If anything, I'm overly emotional because I can't have a cigarette.

Work is a great distraction 

Work helps. My new job is a great distraction. I've never been a big workday smoker - who wants to be THAT person in the office? so I've been  #winning all day long there.

As easy as it's been to distract myself during the daytime hours, evenings and nights are the exact opposite. That's when my urge to smoke becomes greater

So, I fill my evenings with productive, work related activities. Instead of focusing on my desire to have a cigarette, I focus on work.

While I'm filling my spare time with work, my personal life has been a little challenging.  I'm feeling isolated and alone. Hence, my burning desire to eat a cigarette. Right now. 

Going public has its pros and cons

I've been waiting out this particular craving for at least 20 minutes, with no reprieve.

The blogging and tweeting while quitting has been a bit of a double-edged sword.  I have received way more attention than I thought I would. With that has come contact with people offering words of encouragement, and motivational stories of their own experiences.

With that also comes that small number of people who have been not so kind, who have gone out of their way to try to make me feel bad.  I won't let the trolls get the better of me, but they're certainly aggravating.

Which increases my craving for a cigarette!

Today's highs and lows have been draining, and they make me wish I could reunite with my long lost pal, Du Maurier.

As much as I want to focus on today's productivity and awesomeness, my brain just won't let me. My eyes are blurry as I sit and type, and I keep crying despite how hard I put my mind to stopping.

Smoking made it better

Of course, for the past 22 years, my brain has me tricked into thinking that having a cigarette will make me feel better because I've always smoked whenever I needed to calm down.

So you can imagine what kind of state I'm in.  Sad and wanting something I absolutely cannot have.

Quitting smoking may not be news, but it's an all-consuming reality for many.- Carla Crotty

I don't think we give people enough credit for quitting smoking, to be honest. I've been suffering through the nicotine withdrawal for the last couple of weeks. When you combine that with life's other challenges, it can make for excruciating times.

Sure, quitting smoking may not be news, but it's an all-consuming reality for many people.

Sharing helps

Those of you who share your struggles and experiences, and your stories of motivation and inspiration, give strength to all of us who are struggling.

I'm empowered because I`m sharing my my story and I'm hearing  from so many others who can relate. And I hope those who hear my story appreciate knowing that there's at least one person on this planet who knows how hard the battle is to quit. 

For me, this is a major life change. It's not just the act of quitting smoking; it's life that ensues as a result. I'm sharing my struggle because we're all facing battles; battles that will help shape us into the people we will be tomorrow.

I also think life's toughest challenges are easiest to face when you don't feel like you're doing it alone.

See? I don't want that cigarette quite as much now.


Carla Crotty is a freelance writer in Conception Bay South.