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Is it normal to feel empty when quitting smoking?


Yorkshireman
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7 months ago 0 Yorkshireman 2 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
A bout of sadness is normal when quitting smoking, or it certainly is for me. 
 
I've quit with the assistance of nicotine patches and an inhaler. I came off the inhaler 3 days ago, as per my quit plan with the smoking cessation advisor, but am on the lowest dose of nicotine patch (10 mg).
 
I'm 11 weeks into quitting smoking, and I just feel 'meh'. I think when you first give up all of your attention is on the physical symptoms (fatigue, sweating, constipation, tenseness in muscles). Now that these have subsided my attention is on how I'm feeling emotionally. I wouldn't label it as 'depression', it's certainly not as serious as that. But I do feel miserable. 
Smoking broke up the day, and really helped me focus my thoughts. It helped alleviate the boredom too. For me boredom and feeling miserable go hand in hand. I'm trying to keep busy by doing puzzles, reading a book & watching telly - but it's not happening.
 
Am thinking about going back on my inhaler. I'm still using it, but it has no nicotine cartridges in. It's not only the hand to mouth action, but the sensation of no nicotine that's making me feel a bit bereft. I'm not going back to smoking - no way. I joined a gym but am lacking the motivation to go, yet I know that when I've done my exercises I'll feel great. I'm gonna have to really push myself to go there....
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Sparrow1975
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8 months ago 0 Sparrow1975 175 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Hi john
As someone who is still trying to quit l can tell you that yes it is completely normal to feel "empty" when you quit smoking. It feels like something very vital to your day is taken away from you. I feel very empty and depressed when l quit and this is the major reason l havent been successful in quitting. Hats off to you for doing 63 days. Dont give up now...youve come so far.  Youve overcome all the major hurdles....now its just a matter of time for the mind to heal of the emotional/mental dependency. As you are experiencing these cravings and resisting you are also healing on a deeper level. I hope you endure and give time for these feelings to subside. Good luck!
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Timbo637
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8 months ago 0 Timbo637 705 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Hi Johnq,
 Congratulations on being a quitter.  "I've started to feel completely empty, like there is just nothing to look forward to any more." For some people that have quit smoking , this is normal at the beginning of your quit journey. I found the following on another website and it sounds exactly what you are experiencing: "
 
Nicotine withdrawal is the primary reason for the temporary depression you may experience after quitting smoking. When you use nicotine on a regular basis, your body and brain become dependent on it as the nicotine bonds with your brain receptors to trigger the release of dopamine, the "feel-good" hormone. Once you stop smoking and are producing less dopamine than your body and mind have become accustomed to, it is normal to react with low moods and depressed feelings.
Lack of nicotine also means losing the "companion" that you thought helped you manage everything from anger to fatigue, which leaves most new ex-smokers feeling empty and adrift for a time. Luckily, for most, the condition is a byproduct of smoking cessation and is temporary." 
 
 If this depression continues too much longer you might want to talk to your doctor about it. Life IS better without cigarettes, but after smoking them for a long time, it takes some time for your body and mind to adjust to the new life nicotine free. When negative/sad thoughts come up about smoking, remind yourself that you miss smoking mostly because it was an addiction, and once you're healed, you won't feel this way. While quitting smoking, the body and mind are in a state of transition, and it's not uncommon for new ex-smokers to struggle with their emotions. Don't worry if you are close to tears one moment and angry or sad the next. The balance will return in time. "Some things, such as food, I enjoy more than before." And don't forget about all the wonderful aromas that smell better too!  What ever you do, don't cave in to that nasty NicoDemon. Things WILL get better for you soon. You should feel proud of yourself for being a quitter for over 2 months now. That's a great accomplishment. Be sure and give yourself a reward too, you deserve it.  Keep us posted on your progress would you?
Stay strong
 
Not One Puff Ever
 
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johnq
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8 months ago 0 johnq 1 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Hi everyone.
 
I quit smoking cold-turkey 63 days ago.
 
Since then, and more so as the novelty of quitting has worn off, I've started to feel completely empty, like there is just nothing to look forward to any more. I suppose that makes sense because I used to look forward to my next cigarette all the time, but I didn't realise how crucial this was to my mood. For example, when I woke up in the morning, I would jump straight in the shower and I would be looking forward to the first cigarette of the day. But now it's like there is no real reason to get out of the shower other than getting out of the shower. Then at work, I would always have a cigarette break to look forward to, so work was manageable no matter how stressful or boring it might be at any particular moment. But now there is nothing to give any relief, so I'm starting to suffer as the time at my desk seems so endless. It's the same with everything. Don't get me wrong: I'm still capable of enjoying things. Some things, such as food, I enjoy more than before. But even a good meal can't fill the void because there is no cigarette to look forward to afterwards.
 
I feel like I'm going to cave if this feeling keeps up because - and I hate to sound dramatic - but I'm starting to wonder why life is worth living at all if I'm just going to feel empty all the time. I might as well smoke and enjoy some quality of life, even with all the negatives that go with it.
Does anyone relate to this? Is this common or something unusual? If I push on, how long will it take to start feeling better?
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