First, congrats on taking a very difficult but VERY good for you step!
Very long story, but I quit 4 1/2 years ago with the help of the patch.
I had WONDERFUL dreams while on it, very vivid and colorful, not scary at all - if it weren't for the nicotine, I'd love to use the patch again just for the dreaming entertainment!
You have to make sure to never
repeat a patch spot on your skin for at least 7 days - you WILL wind up with patch "spots" on you from the adhesive, but that will go away. I had spots all over from rotating every day a different spot, a week later I'd start at the first spot again.
I COMPLETELY ignored the directions on the patches, bought the WalMart brand (same manufacturer for almost 40% lower cost) and started out using a patch and a half per day, as I smoked close to two packs a day when I quit.
One single patch did not give me enough nicotine to match my previous intake and therefore led to horrid cravings. Increasing the amount of patch took away the cravings, so all I had to fight was the physical habit part: having something in my fingers.
It took me 3 1/2 months until I was patch-free, and did that by cutting down the patch by 1/8 every two weeks. I saved the pieces I cut off the first patches so toward the end I was using the pieces I'd cut off - again, saved me money and did the trick.
First two weeks: 1 & 1/2 patch per day
2nd two weeks: 1 & 1/3 patch per day
3rd two weeks 1 & 1/4 patch per day
4th two weeks 1 & 1/8 patch per day
6th two weeks: 1 patch per day
7th two weeks: 7/8 patch per day
Etc., etc., etc.
Start date was September 25th, and I finished with the last bit of patch about a week or so after New Year's. I went from 1/4 patch down to 1/8 patch, then realized that was a bit stupid, and so I just stopped completely - no ill effects, no desire to smoke.
I only went through THREE boxes of patches in total, spending approximately the same amount for about 5 cartons of cigarettes over 3 1/2 months, whereas when I was smoking, I was going through just over a carton a week.
4 1/2 years later, still not smoking, not EVER going to do it again.
Yes, I still get an occasional craving. It will never go away completely
, but my brain is able to tell my body no, we don't NEED to smoke anymore.
Best of luck to you - hope my story helps!