Everywhere you look, you will find information supporting the fact that nicotine is out of your system about 3 days after your last cigarette. For some reason they associate that timeline with how long people will experience withdrawal symptoms after years of heavy smoking.
You will hear it over and over again, that if you can just make it through the first week or two, you have it made! I am convinced that this particular misinformation plays a major role in why so many people fail in their attempts to quit smoking.
The truth is that if you have been a heavy smoker over a long period of time, you might feel like crap when you first quit.
The problem is that very few people will warn you about this part. They are so busy talking about all of the wonderful things, that they don’t mention that you may experience sadness or depression, and have absolutely no energy. Activities as basic as getting off the couch may require an act of congress!
Your gums, tongue and throat may be extremely sore, and some folks will begin coughing more than ever. You may feel achy all over, as if you are coming down with something.
Although you will hear about people gaining a few pounds, how come no one talks about the never ending ravenous feeling of hunger that nothing seems to fill?
When the doctors mention that you may feel a bit airheaded for a few days, why don’t they come right out and tell you that you might feel so distracted for a few weeks that you may do stupid stuff, like sit at a stop sign waiting for it to turn green? Or, lose the truck at Wal-Mart because you can’t remember where you parked?
Did anyone bother telling you that you may react VERY differently to caffeine after you quit smoking? You may very well have been able to swim in pots of coffee any time of day or night before, and now all of the sudden, just thinking about coffee keeps you from sleeping at night, even though you spent the entire day barely able to keep your eyes open!
Guess what? Some of these things can last well beyond a few days.
If you are not prepared for this, it can be overwhelming. You may start to ask yourself if it is all worth it.
Here is the deal though, it doesn’t last forever.
You will start feeling better.
The alternative is that if you continue smoking, you won’t get better.
Do I want you to know all of this so you will get scared out of quitting? Heck no! I just firmly believe that if you know exactly what to expect, and for how long, you can prepare yourself to face and deal with everything, one step at a time.
I have now been 100% nicotine free for three weeks!