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Getting the Dragon off Your Back
So you’re confused about what this title really is about; then picture this with us. Picture a huge green/blackish dragon sitting on your back, and it is smoking constantly; all that smoke in your face and all that weight on your back. So what would be the best way to get that ‘smoking’ dragon off your back? Kick the butt, my child! Kick the butt!
Well, well, well; we didn’t say that it is easy to quit smoking. The nicotine that is in cigarettes is what makes it so addictive. Nicotine is almost known to disguise itself like a 16 year old pretty young thing, and that is what makes her/it so desired. Your body will begin to crave for nicotine and it nicotine will be the only thing that can make you feel good.
It is for this exact reason that you’re going to have to deal with nicotine withdrawal when you attempt to quit smoking. You will start feeling morose, dull and awful. You will begin worrying about gaining weight suddenly; and you even may gain some weight. You will get cranky like a 20 year old, having a bad bout of PMS (i.e. Pre Menstrual Syndrome, for the ignorant ones out there). Nicotine withdrawal may even be capable of ruining your ability to sleep.
If this is the mental state that you’re in right now, chill! You’re not alone. Each one who has tried to quit would have gone through a similar problem. The hardest bit would be not to reach out for a smoke when you’re feeling this low (since that is what you’d have done before you quit smoking, right).
Points to Note:
- Nicotine withdrawal symptoms might be the worst right after the first week when you quit. This might last for about a week or so; then it might begin to get better. Some people might also be known to crave for cigarettes for up to a month.
- Medicines might help in easing the craving and the symptoms that accompany the withdrawal. These medicines might actually make you feel better and might also keep you from getting into the habit again.
- Healthy eating, combined with exercise might help.
Symptoms of Nicotine Withdrawal:
When you start experiencing nicotine withdrawal symptoms, chances are that you will feel extremely angry, grouchy, stressed or anxious all the time. Your appetite may also seem to get heightened by your not smoking; and you might notice that you now eat more than what you used to when you did smoke. Nicotine withdrawal is also known to mess around with your concentration levels, and it could also lead to you having problems with sleeping.
When people take to quitting cigarettes, it might cause for withdrawal symptoms as soon as a couple of hours after having their last cigarette. Do not underestimate the power of nicotine addiction. It could have the same power as addiction to cocaine, heroin or even alcohol.
Why do I feel so blue without my cigarettes?
You poor baby, it’s not your fault (well, technically smoking in the first place was your fault; but withdrawal symptoms aren’t your fault)!
When you smoke for a while, your brain learns to fall on nicotine to help you do certain things. For instance, it can help you in controlling your anger, your hunger and it might even help you concentrate. The truth of the matter is that the nerve cells that make up for your brain have undergone some significant alteration. They now look different than the brain cells of a non-smoker.
Now that you’ve quit smoking, your brain will have to relearn how to live life without the nicotine; and this would involve learning how to redo these things without support from your loyal nicotine crutches. Until your body doesn’t begin coping with these issues, you are likely to be extremely stressed.