What's the discussion like?
Are you all biting each other's heads off in a nicotine-withdrawal frenzy?
Not usually. :) Not only are we civil in general, but time and time again, people call us the friendliest group on Usenet. We do a lot of cheering each other on, but we also provide information and the benefit of our experiences. Here's a sample of a typical thread:
[Many snips throughout ....]
"I have the impression that [people quitting] imagine that when it's all gone, they will be over 'physical' withdrawal, whatever that means -- as though the nicotine is causing withdrawal symptoms. Actually, I believe the absence of nicotine is what causes the withdrawal symptoms, so that they never really end; it's more like you find a way to deal with them, until eventually you don't regard them as nicotine withdrawal symptoms anymore."
"Bob, very perceptive. I think, though that we read just and find normal/healthy coping strategies. Nicotine allows us to artificially cope with stuff. I think many of us are developmentally impaired because of this."
"While I don't disagree with Nat, I want to express my opinion, FWIW.
"Of course, it's the nicotine ingested over time that makes us addicted, which means our bodies are chemically dependent upon receiving more/continued nicotine. When we quit smoking, we deprive our bodies of the nic they've gotten addicted to. So, in the beginning of the quit, as you say, it's the absence of nicotine that creates the withdrawal symptoms -- because we are addicted.
"However, for me and for many others, even the initial quitting days are not primarily about physical withdrawal. And, even for those who experience a hard physical withdrawal from the absence of nicotine, after the first week or two (or whenever, it varies by the person) it's a mental fight.
"I think that staying smober involves looking at why I smoked, what it 'did' for me, or, rather, what I imagined it did for me. I think this is what the 'old timers' mean by 'mentally prepare for your quit'.
"So, until and unless we re-orient our view of the cigs, we will always feel deprived,though it will have little or nothing to do with nicotine. It'll have to do with having viewed the cig, for all those years we smoked, as a reward, as a time-out, as a 'safe distance' mechanism, as a cool-down-from-stress vehicle, etc., etc. My experience during the nine years I was smober was that I almost never thought about cigs in any way remotely like I wanted one. In fact, that quit, after even the first couple months, I was so damned proud of myself that even if the junkie old part of myself momentarily thought it wanted a cig, I was clear that I was very happy to be a non-smoker, and that 'urge' just went away, nearly instantly.
"Of course, the fact I'm here, quitting again, the 13th time in my life, is proof that on some days, nearly anyone can be unconscious or stupid or downhearted enough that the cig devil sees his opportunity -- the old junkie (me) who used the cig as emotional comfort encourages one to have one, don't worry, you've quit all these years, you don't have to smoke tomorrow, just let yourself have one now, when you 'need it'. HAH!
"I hope I'll never be that unsuspecting again! I hate quitting, and love being smober, after I get through the re-orient my mind part, again."