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My friend has give up smoking, it's changed her personality.

(23 Posts)
Sherlockscheekbones Sat 01-Mar-14 20:45:00

Long term smoker, and it's about 6 months on since she gave up.
Do you think over time she will settle more in to being nicotine free? It's so hard, she's very very sharp and tense.
My friend for years and years, and it's making me sad because we are just not as open in our conversations, as though there is a strange wall up.
I daren't say anything do I. We don't speak as much as we did (we live miles apart), and it seems strained.

Have had a google and seen that this can happen but has anyone had it happen to them, been the giver upper or the friend/family of the giver upper.
Have you got through it?
I smoke btw.

AbleAble Sat 01-Mar-14 20:59:46

She's actually still smoking? And can't confess?

Cut her some slack.

If she lives miles away pretend you have stopped too and moan on about it...

If I gave up smoking I'd go stark raving bonkers so I feel for her. IF she has really given up that is....

Sherlockscheekbones Sat 01-Mar-14 21:08:01

I only know what she tells me, but i agree I would be an arsehole if i gave up.
I did give up when pg, and kept it up for about 3 yrs after. She is struggling, and i am sure knowing her as well as i do that she can sense when she says these tetchy things. I am having to be different in my repsonses to her, for the first time i ca feel myself giving in/ignoring her rude tone.
It's all just weird, she's turned so bossy and short tempered. We don't talk about her giving up. To start with she'd tell me how it was goig, or I'd ask her how she was.
At this stage, months in, I don't know if it's a good idea to ask her how she feels, for fear of a, reminding her she isn't smoking (not that she needs reminding)
b, her biting my head off.

AbleAble Sat 01-Mar-14 21:10:34

Smoking is a right bastard and that's the truth.

Why did she have to give up?

Maybe she's stopped drinking as much too (drinking can go hand in hand with smoking) and is feeling a bit superior to you now as a sort of survival tactic?

Sherlockscheekbones Sat 01-Mar-14 21:17:53

hmm interesting, thanks for coming back.

She did it firstly because of money, and her dd had started to get worried every time the smoking ads came on and she felt guilty.

She doesn't drink. I can only imagine, what effects it must have on your coping, on your stress. She did say she was sick of smoking too, and wanted to do it. She's done so well. Home life is stressful, and jokingly about two months i said 'oh blimey have a fag' to which she said (jokingly with a sigh) 'shall I' to which i realised, shit that was like an old joke we would have said previously but has not helped.
I just wonder should i bring it up at all, she might want to talk to me. It's a catch 22.

Sherlockscheekbones Sat 01-Mar-14 21:20:01

crazily we speak alot on the phone because we live so far apart, and of course, as smokers would have a social fag whilst doing so.

So being on the phone without a fag must be stressy for her anyway. confused

tribpot Sat 01-Mar-14 21:20:13

If she were an alcoholic I would say she was showing signs of being the 'dry drunk'. This is an AA term for someone who has stopped drinking but is unable to make peace with the addiction, so spends their entire life in a rage about being denied the one thing they want, blaming everyone else for the fact they can't drink, and generally being bloody miserable. Basically they're exhibiting all the same behaviours and thinking as when they were drinking (the drunk part) but aren't actually drinking (the dry part).

I don't know if there's a smoking equivalent of this. Is she surrounded by smokers?

It sounds like you could do with seeing her face-to-face, very hard to judge this over the phone. Could something else be wrong and it's just a coincidence?

Sherlockscheekbones Sat 01-Mar-14 21:23:04

thanks tribpot, this is all stuff i need to find out about. No she isn't surrounded by nor lives with anyone who smokes, is a sahm.
Yes there's other stress, and not helping overall.

Bogeyface Sat 01-Mar-14 21:26:29

I wonder if it is as much to do with the fact that you still smoke as the fact that she doesnt.

Do you speak on the phone? Do you smoke when you are talking to her? She will be able to hear it, I can always tell when my friend is having a fag when we are chatting.

Sherlockscheekbones Sat 01-Mar-14 21:27:54

hmm, smoking is a comforter isn't it. so it would make sense that not having that soother, that aids to mask stress or anxiety, would mean all that stress is going to come out in other ways.

just googlig and thinking aloud here.

Sherlockscheekbones Sat 01-Mar-14 21:29:31

we used to speak 2-3 time a week over our 15 yr friendship. it's lessened. she rarely contacts me i ring her now.
Yes i smoke on the phone, and do feel conscious of it.

MrRected Sat 01-Mar-14 21:32:46

As an ex smoker - I think it does change you. I was 1000000 x more relaxed as a smoker.

When I gave up I had to become anally retentive in adhering to my routines to get through the day without a fag. She will relax a bit but might never be her old self again. Don't say anything - she might be clinging on for dear life

TemperamentalAroundCorvids Sat 01-Mar-14 21:39:00

Don't smoke when you are on the phone to her. That one small change may make a big difference. And yes, it will feel odd to you at first...

Bogeyface Sat 01-Mar-14 21:40:12

When I quit I realised that what I missed as much as the smoking was the time out. The fact that I had to stand in the garden for 5 minutes meant that I got time out every so often, got to clear my head and then go back and face the chaos. Perhaps she is missing that too.

I would be inclined to email her and say that you are worried that you have upset her as you have noticed that over the last 6 months she hasnt been in touch much. Dont mention them smoking but do mention the time scale so hopefully she should put two and two together herself.

Tallypet Sat 01-Mar-14 21:43:48

As a smoker(and someone who gave up and started agsin) all I can say is stop asking how being off the smokes us feeling. Nothing more irritating than being asked that question. I'd rather talk about anything else than cigarettes. She's bound to be narky so don't bring it up. Quitting smoking is so hard (habit, ritual and associations). I gave up while pregnant but it was always in the back of my mind. Cut her some slack (but don't accept bitchy comments) and stop mentioning cigs.

AbleAble Sat 01-Mar-14 21:44:06

If she's that close a friend, you should be able to talk about it? hmm

Things like:

'how's it going? You're doing feckin brilliantly. Keep going. Think how much dosh your saving and how many years you are putting on your life. I wish I was as brave and strong as you. I hate smoking but haven't got the balls to stop. How have you done it? How are you getting through each day? i have cut down a bit as followed your example but struggling to stop altogether....'

Big her up!

Sherlockscheekbones Sat 01-Mar-14 21:44:45

I think an email will be the way to go.
I don't want to feel i can't speak to her/approach her when all i want is to reach out to the lovely bit of my mate.

I am scared of her reaction tbh, but this doesn't feel great either. I am very sure she is feeling it to, and you're right i think she is hanging on for dear life there.
So i need her to know i am concerned but i won't let go.

AbleAble Sat 01-Mar-14 21:45:02

blimey, Tallypet would hate me being her friend! grin

Sherlockscheekbones Sat 01-Mar-14 21:47:03

i havent' asked her what it's like being off the fags at all.

About ten days in she said god all i want is a fag, but i said something like, it must be so hard. Her mum made sad noises to her in a call, (she told me this) at this time, like you poor thing. My friend said to me 'like that's really going to fucking help'
so i made rather sure i didn't say anything since then!

FightingOverImaginaryIcecream Sat 01-Mar-14 21:50:35

It's horrible, but when I gave up smoking, my tolerance for smokers totally disappeared. Generally it makes me a calmer person after the first few weeks, I find it easier being a non-smoker than when I'm a smoker and start getting a bit twitchy after a while without a fag.

However, talking to people who are smoking while I'm talking to them, gives me the rage. It's not a fair response, from the above I'm almost certainly a dry drunk/ nicotine free smoker, but that's how I feel.

GarlicMarchHare Sat 01-Mar-14 21:59:38

One time I stopped for nine months (not pregnant.) I actually felt good about it - I liked breathing easier, finding there was still money in my purse, and all the extra time I seemed to gain. I put on a lot of weight, but felt much fitter. Cool ...

... But everyone kept asking me to take it up again! These were all the same people who'd been saying I ought to stop: family, co-workers, partner, etc. Apparently I had become a short-tempered, grumpy bastard with no sense of humour. I knew I was feeling a bit tense without the cigs, and my cravings never really went away, but I didn't know I was that bad!

I've stopped a couple of times since then, with similar results. I think I'm going to die sick, broke and smelly, but at least I'll be a nice person. I don't know what's up with your pal, Sherlock, but it's a shame to let a long & valued friendship go for fear of saying anything. I hope some of the ideas posted here work well for you.

tribpot Sat 01-Mar-14 22:00:35

Does she know you're smoking when you're talking to her? Isn't that .. well .. monumentally unsupportive? You're sat there puffing away giving her all sorts of audio triggers and you're wondering why she sounds uptight on the phone!

I know from experience that alcohol does not help with stress, and I'm prepared to believe that nicotine doesn't either. You do have to become very mindful of your triggers, make plans to avoid reacting to them, and keep your hands busy. It's a long road but six months in I wouldn't necessarily have expected her to be saying 'god all I want is a fag'. Is she going it alone?

Sherlockscheekbones Sat 01-Mar-14 22:26:41

she said god i need a fag for the first time after 1, 2, 3 days and ten days after.
i was saying the last time she said it to me was after about ten days. And that this is the last time it was ever mentioned properly between us.

Of course you think it helps stress even if it's medically proven not to long term. I don't puff like a chimney on the phone, and i know I'm supporting her. She'll be walking around facing fags all the time.

It's helpful to know garlic how you felt giving up. I am sure i would feel the very same, i just thought she would feel better this far on.

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