What the Funk?

Man in a funk / depression

One of the most common feelings when first quitting smoking is being in a funk. Your intention to quit was great, but you quickly realize that time passes very slowly without a cigarette and thoughts of smoking are filling your head. You start engaging in an internal dialogue about your choice to quit, whether you can manage, and everywhere around you people are smoking and talking about smoking. Suddenly, instead of going about living life and incidentally being a smoker, everything in life revolves around smoking and quitting smoking. It can be all-encompassing!

To draw a parallel, it reminds me somewhat of getting divorced. Whether you made the choice yourself or if it was forced upon you, your whole world is suddenly turned upside down. Everywhere you look, there are reminders of happy relationships, marriage and divorce, whether you’re watching a TV show, reading a magazine, browsing the internet or talking to friends. It feels like there has never been such an overwhelming amount of information about the topic, and it feels like it’s all targeted towards you. Everybody has ganged together to remind you of what’s happening, making you overly conscious of your crappy situation.

The truth is that nothing has changed, except for the fact that you’ve quit smoking. There is no more or less information or talk about smoking than there was before you decided to quit. What is happening is that you are more aware of smoking. Whereas previously it was something that you just did as part of your daily routine, it has now become something that you need to focus on not doing. That focus amplifies everything you see and hear about smoking.

There is not much you can do to stop noticing this sudden emphasis, but you can at least tell yourself that it is a phase that will eventually pass. Just like a divorce, the passing away of a loved one or a beloved pet, or many other of life’s crises, you will reach a point where you get over the funk and are able to rebuild a new life.

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