My Magic Number.

I had enough crave crushing, dopamine inducing sweet stuffs, to supply a child’s birthday party.  Extreme measures for an extreme addiction.

Five was my “magic” number. It was how many days it took to break through the most intense hurdle of my quit, the chemical dependency. Having been a heavy, long term smoker, the physical cost of my quit was always going to be high.

I had learnt an enormous amount from my preceding failures. My last quit, my Chantix quit, taught me that quitting smoking was genuinely possible, all I needed to focus on, was the survival of my quit during those first five, critical days. After that, I would be well and truly on a path toward freedom.

In the time since my last quit, I had also learnt a lot more about my addiction, how it physically altered my brain and what would actually happen to my brain once I had quit smoking. I knew exactly what to expect and how I was going to overcome each and every challenge along the way. I also knew, that I had to do everything physically possible to bring the battle into my favor.

So I did.

Some people can tolerate being around others when they quit. Not me. I was a hater, a shouter and a curser. For this reason, my wife and I agreed that she would again take the boys and stay at her mothers for the week. This part of the journey, had to be done alone and with my head buried deep in a pillow.

I also made sure I didn’t need to go anywhere, wasn’t needed by anyone, and everyone who needed to know that I was quitting, had been told. I was to be left alone. Anger, was not going to be an excuse for relapse.

Doing whatever it would take, also meant being a hundred percent ok with the notion, that as a quitter, I was going to pack on the kilos. I knew that once I had successfully quit smoking, I would be in a better position to lose the extra weight and get fit. This allowed me to use, what is arguably, one of the ultimate tools for quitting smoking; sugar.

As such, my quit smoking supply pack had included the following;

  • 20 Chocolate Paddle Pop Ice Creams.
  • 20 Banana Paddle Pop Ice Creams.
  • 2 Packets of Arnott’s Mint Slice Biscuits.
  • 2 Packets of Arnott’s Gaiety Biscuits.
  • 1 Box of Arnott’s BBQ Shapes.
  • 1 Box of Arnott’s Pizza Shapes.
  • 1 Pack of Doritos.
  • 2 Packets of Mixed Lollies.
  • 2 Blocks of Chocolate.
  • 2 Packets of Twiggy Meat Sticks.
  • 2 Bottles of plain Mineral Water.
  • 2 Bottles of flavored Mineral Water.
  • 4 or 5 Oranges.
  • 1 x Entourage, the complete series.

I had enough crave crushing, dopamine inducing sweet stuffs, to supply a child’s birthday party.  Extreme measures for an extreme addiction.

Note: If you are thinking of doing the same, check with your doctor and make sure you are aware of any risks.

You would think that having consumed all that sugar and over a short period of time, I would have been bouncing off the walls. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Prior to quitting smoking, I would drink around seven cups of coffee per day. Given that every coffee I consumed also included a side of nicotine, I figured it would only make things harder if I had continued to drink it.  So having quit caffeine and nicotine, both at the same time, the biggest physical symptom I had felt beside craving, was fatigue. A god send during a quit smoking campaign, if ever there was one.

If there is one thing I am most thankful for, it is the fact that fatigue had been extreme during my quit. Having had no need to be anywhere, no one to disturb me and a comfortable bed available to me, I was able to sleep away some of the hardest periods of my chemical withdrawal.

When awake, I was able to sedate most of my cravings by consuming ridiculous amounts of sugar, in turn, giving me a quick shot of dopamine. When that failed, I resorted to screaming at the top of my lungs into a pillow, while punching away at the mattress beneath.

Despite my preparations, there were definitely still times when the only thing that stood between myself and the nicotine demon, was the rage of my own will to stop smoking and be free of this ridiculous affliction.  I had taken refuge in the knowledge, that no matter how bad and how real it had become, my brain was healing and that it would get better.

Ultimately, I believe my success in overcoming the chemical dependency to nicotine was not due to the fact that I had quit cold turkey, but rather, me being absolutely prepared and willing to do everything I possibly could to quit smoking and help my brain heal.

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  1. After 37 years and every method known to man, I have stopped smoking. I quit on May 6th. I wanted to give kudos to Alan Carr’s book for doing it, and I will say it was a huge help. It wasnt the only reason though.What my doctors tell me is more likely, the bacterial pneumonia had already gotten a grip and subconsciously my body was looking for a way to make me stop. I spent 18 days in the hospital, 12 of them in intensive care. They say I’m lucky to be here. When I was in ICU, because I was delirious , I was spared the withdrawal symptoms that most everyone else has had, but, here we are , major health crisis, 50 days later, huge medical bills, and I still have cravings. I haven’t smoked, and don’t intend to, just lookin for some positive energy to stay focused.

    • Hi Joey. Grats on 50 days!

      Alan Carr’s book has helped a lot of folk quit. One of the biggest steps in successfully quitting is becoming more aware of the addiction and the book certainly helps people achieve that.

      As far as looking for that positive energy, I would suggest looking at ways you can exploit this life change and take it as far as possible. Think about all the opportunities that exist now you are a non smoker. What things can you introduce into your life that will enhance your quality of life?

      I quit smoking nearly two years ago now. I have since completely changed my career and am now studying toward a science degree. I recently sat a 3 hour math exam and scored close to 100%. That is something the old me would NEVER have achieved. My life has become A LOT more interesting and enjoyable since I quit smoking. 🙂

      Stay Strong!

      • Hello Cameron,

        Is stumbled upon your website as I was searching the web to find out if heavy cravings at the 5th day are normal and what to expect. Your website is a fantastic source and the personal achievement you describe above is very encouraging. Now I have a better idea of what to expect in the days and weeks to come and eventually the kind of result from this …big effort. 🙂

        Many thanks and good luck with your studies!

  2. The last sentence on this page truly hit home for me. It brought tears to my eyes and made me want to be able to say that in a year. 🙂 Thank you for sharing all of this with us.

  3. HAHAHAHA! what a list! Cameron, I notice most of your comments here are quite far in the past… I am not sure you will see my message, but I want you to know how GREATFUL i am that you created this site. WOW – all the information is a SERIOUS lever during quitting. I am 100% sure I am in the throungs of my final quit, and your page is helping me every day!!!!! never take it down! Huge love brother.

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