And on the seventh day

Subconscious use cue extinguishment

And on the seventh day

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

13 Jan 2002, 04:43 #1

Bob was tested.

Knowing that I was going out to the pub, playing darts, and hanging with all my buddies formerly known as "smoke buddies" last night, I spent just about the whole day here yesterday reading, learning, posting, PREPARING. I knew the night would hold many challenges, not the least of which was beer.

The night was a smashing SUCCESS! Were there triggers? Yes. Did I have cravings? Yes. Did I ever even consider taking a puff? NO.

I was out for probably 4 hours, and I reckon I had maybe 6 actual cravings, most of which resulted from smell. Somebody posted about the smell of cigarettes yesterday, and that came in useful. Everytime I smelled them, I thought about the perfumes that the manufacturers put in them to make them smell the way they do. I thought to myself, what is it about the smell that is attractive? What is it about it that's disgusting? Each and every time, I examined it, thought about it logically; not emotionally. I was able to determine that, yes, there are some parts of tobacco that smell attractive (good isn't exactly the right word). There are also parts that are totally gross. It's been so long since I could smell tobacco on somebody's breath. Man, last night, everytime somebody came in from outside, I could smell them from across the room practically. After examining the trigger, I moved on to something else -- back to darts, into a conversation.... And the craves DISAPPEARED. Each crave probably lasted 2 minutes... meaning I had about 12 minutes to deal with. The most challenging was at the end of the night when the bartender lifted the ban on indoor smoking. I hadn't been expecting this, and I had to focus. I'll admit to a little bit of avoidance on this one -- I wouldn't look at anybody who was smoking, I went to the bathroom, came back out to another room... Nor did I venture out to smokers' alley out in front of the pub during the course of the night. In due course, I'll confront that too, but I'll save it for later.

I also used the Palmolive bottle thing from one of Joel's threads (classes). One of my friends was planning to go outside for a smoke, and got his cigarette out early. He was holding it, playing with it, fiddling with it, displaying it, (unconsciously to him of course). The cigarette seemed like it was putting on a special performance just for my benefit (detriment is more appropriate actually). I reckon he didn't actually go out to smoke it for 5 minutes. I threw 3 darts, came and sat back down, and imagined the amount of smoke that would be going into his lungs, and the paltry amount that would actually come back out. The thick coating of muck his lungs were in for. My pal used to be smoke free for 2 or 3 years. I thought to myself how much I knew he didn't want to be smoking, and that he wasn't able to not. I remembered when he'd returned to smoking a couple of years ago, starting with what seemed like harmless cigars. I remember how surprised I was when he started back to full-fledged cigarette use way back then. Instead of envying him, (which was the initial temptation), I ended up feeling really bad for him. I imagined attending his premature funeral due to his addiction. I'll tell you, it made it a heck of a lot simpler to not even consider taking that puff.

Got a trigger? Confront it. Look it in the eye. Get to know it. Examine it. Turn it over. Find it's flaws. Know your enemy, and you will defeat it.

Oh yeah, and don't ever forget you've got the A-bomb. The one thing nicotine is absolutely powerless to defeat -- your hands, and your mouth. NEVER take another puff, and you win by knockout.

Okay, enough giddiness for now. I'm having a great smoke-free day, and hope y'all are too.

Out.

I have chosen not to smoke for 1 Week 7 Hours 43 Minutes 6 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 73. Money saved: $18.30.
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:10

13 Jan 2002, 05:04 #2

Hey OBob...Congratulations on walking through that pub door and walking back out without taking a puff! You were definitely TESTED and you DEFNITIELY passed...Your resolve and your education are serving you...I had just posted "& on the fifth day" and then saw your post a few down "And on the seventh Day" & it is soooo fitting that we choose the biblical reference to Genesis, The Creation...Because that's what we're in the process of doing, brother, we're creating new lives, new selves, new worlds...Good for us...And we can have this garden and live in it as long as we never take another puff.

Love and Light
Sowelu
5 days, 4 hours, 34 minutes nicotine free
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

13 Jan 2002, 05:15 #3

Do you mean the double creation reference was a total coincidence? Very cool.

And isn't this garden so much nicer without the smell of cigarette butts in it! Is that a rose I smell? Actually, there's something else to look forward to. Spring. Gardens! There were so many flowers I couldn't smell before. Can't wait to see what all the fuss was about!
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:10

13 Jan 2002, 05:46 #4

Yeah, a total coincidence...Great De-Nicotined Minds think alike!

Sowelu
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 18:59

13 Jan 2002, 06:19 #5

Way to beat those triggers Obob!

You made me realize that I subconsciously pity smokers when I see them now. Since the early days in my quit when I "envied" the smokers at work...I thought that what I was feeling now was indifference towards seeing someone light up.

Since being here at Freedom, like you, I now look at smokers in a new light. I often wonder which ones will be able to quit? Which ones will never quit? Which one is smoking THE cigarette that causes irreversible damage?

You're making the most of your second chance Obob...

Never take another Puff!

Matt
2 Months 3 Weeks 6 Days 2 Hours 18 Minutes 39 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 1761. Money saved: $352.39.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

13 Jan 2002, 09:51 #6

Thanks for the support Matt. Just got back from another beautiful walk on the beach. Feelin' good.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

13 Jan 2002, 10:01 #7




Congratulations Bob !


Never Take Another Puff !



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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

13 Jan 2002, 10:05 #8

Thanks John! And thanks for all your support and knowledge on my journey to date. Words can't convey the extent of my appreciation.
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:56

13 Jan 2002, 10:20 #9

Bob, thank you for your post. It made me smile, and think.

~Karen
2 months, a few days... :-)
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

13 Jan 2002, 10:35 #10

Cheers Karen. And WELL done on 2 months!
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

13 Jan 2002, 11:57 #11

Obob, I am an addict, and I think that tobacco smells great. Fresh, unsmoked tobacco that is. John sent me a list of many of the ingredients in U.S. cigs, and it's really no surprise that cigs smell so good; a sampling of ingredients included chocolate, rum and cherrybark. Other ingredients were arsenic, and various ammonias. Hmmmm...

For me, quitting smoking is not an easy thing to do. I have been feeling a bit weak lately, and I stay close to this board to make sure that I stay on the straight and narrow. You have been giving great advice to all of us Newbies, and I look forward to seeing you around in the future. Don't go out of your way to prove any points with your SmokingBuds. If you're not up to going out on any particular night and feel that your quit might be in danger, don't go. I am rooting for you!

yqs, janet

I have chosen not to smoke for 1 Month 3 Weeks 5 Days 9 Hours 55 Minutes 53 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 1128. Money saved: $282.07.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

13 Jan 2002, 12:17 #12

Thanks for the kind words and good advice Janet. I'm actually faced in just the past hour with a new challenge. An old "smoking buddy" just arrived, and I walked out of my office after a bit to a cloud of cigarette smoke. She didn't know I'd quit, but I still don't know why my wife didn't say anything. Anyhow, I got a bit panicked, and made an excuse to go to the grocery store, so I could collect myself. I'm back now (she asked me to buy her a pack of smokes, and I did, although I'm not sure how I felt about it -- but it's her choice to smoke whether or not I run the errand for her).

Anyhow, once back, I politely asked her if she could smoke outside for the rest of the evening. She agreed without hesitation.

I guess the timing of your statement is perfect. I AM ready to be with people I formerly smoked with. But I do NOT feel ready to spend a whole evening in a confined space, breathing second hand smoke. By heading out for a few minutes to the store, I gave myself time to prepare myself to deal with the evening of potential triggers. I think I needed that prep, which is why I was a bit panicked when she first arrived. Maybe that's a key ingredient to dealing with unexpected triggers -- take a sec to THINK. I think Sisyphus said it earlier, about how, completely without thinking, an ex-smoker could find himself relapsed. THINKING is key. Thinking allows us to remember all of the lessons we've learned here at Freedom. It allows us to remember that we're addicts. To remember how important our quits are. To remember how proud we are of how far we've come, and how horrible the alternative is.

That few moments of thinking (and indeed these few minutes of typing) have removed the trepidation I had when I first walked out into that cloud of smoke. They also allowed me to realize that I needed to ask my friend to smoke outside -- I wasn't ready for a room full of smoke for an evening (indeed, outside of out-of-state bars, and other friends' houses, I probably don't ever have to accept breathing second hand smoke REGARDLESS of my quit, but that's another subject).

Okay... feeling better. Gonna go finish making my famous bean dip, and enjoy an evening with my friend. If my addiction starts making things more difficult, you can bet I'll be back in here typing.

QB, Bob (steadily rolling toward 8 days)
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

13 Jan 2002, 15:02 #13

Bob,

You deserve congrats on handling that night so well. You recognize your triggers and craves, and instead of running away from them, you're dealing with them, and in a great way. I think your post will be good for others to read and know what to do when they're in a similar situation.

When I first went out drinking with friends again, it was hard, and I did avoid the smoker's patio outside. Now, with over 4 months nicotine free, I feel comfortable enough to join those smokers on the patio, even after a few beers. I'm always aware of my addiction and I'm not complacent, but I am more comfortable, and you'll soon get there yourself.

As for the second hand smoke in a confined space -- I think that even far along in your quit, you'll still want to ask that person to smoke outside. Now that my sense of smell is better, and other senses as well, I'm repulsed by indoor smoking more than ever. yuck!


Anyway, congratulations on your 1 week. As is commonly stated on this board (because its so true), it only gets better!!

~ reiterin
4M 2W 3D 2h 23m 46s, 1947 not smoked, saving $438.29, LS: 6D 18h 15m
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

13 Jan 2002, 16:40 #14

Ahhh, a successful, and blissfully smoke-free evening. Heading to bed nicotine free. At some stage tonight, it'll be 8 days! 'night...

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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

13 Jan 2002, 18:18 #15

Ohhhhh.... Sweet Dreams Bob - you are doing so good.

A great chronicle of your journey. It will be so great to wake up to another day of Freedom! I'm travelling along beside you - on this journey of Freedom from nicotine.

your quit sis
mirigirl
another nicotine addict
1 week 5 days (and 21 hours!) Free
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:10

13 Jan 2002, 19:13 #16

Bob, This post is really inspiring! Not only are you so obviously helping yourself to overcome your own addiction but I can assure you that your post is helping a lot of others to deal with theirs too.

Many thanks,

Sisyphus
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

14 Jan 2002, 02:06 #17

Cheers Mirigirl, Sisysphus, Reiterin! Feeling great on the beginning of day 9.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

14 Jan 2002, 02:17 #18

Doggonit! I keep forgetting paste my stats....

I have chosen not to smoke for 1 Week 1 Day 5 Hours 16 Minutes 18 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 82. Money saved: $20.55. Satisfaction received: Priceless!
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:29

14 Jan 2002, 03:52 #19

Hey Bob, great chronicle!!! Thanks for taking the time to update. You know what's helped keep me on track.....the list of reasons from your 12-28 post. I printed them out and read them from time to time. You never know what impact your posts have on other people, sometimes even more than they have on yourself . Like you, the "palmolive bottle" image was helpful. You can smoke in any bar here in Portland and I go out a lot to hear music. That image of 90% of the smoke staying in the lungs, rotting and wreaking havoc, was so powerful to me. Your "newbie" posts are helping many people, thanks from one of them.....
*Candy*
2 Months 4 Days 15 Hours 54 Minutes 55 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 787. Money saved: $177.29.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

14 Jan 2002, 16:46 #20

Candy,

Thanks for the kind words. Your stats ALONE are an inspiration to me. 2 months!! Some day, thanks to everything I'm learning here, I'll be there too.

YR(ookie)QB,

Bob
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

14 Jan 2002, 16:55 #21

Today's installment of "Lessons from Joel in Practice":

Tell Your Friends!! Somewhere in Joel's vast library is the message to tell your friends you've quit smoking. For me, this was one of the toughest things to do. I'd kept all of my previous quits to myself. I used to get upset when my wife would tell people that I'd quit. Now that the nicotine is clear from my system, I can see clearly through the bargaining I was doing with myself. I didn't tell my friends, because I knew deep down that I was probably going to fail. I didn't want to suffer the shame of returning to nicotine in front of a bunch of people I'd told about my quit. I didn't want to lose face. I didn't believe in my quit.

Telling my friends that I've quit has had 2 positive effects. 1) It's forced me to take my quit seriously. 2) and this was less expected, my friends (smoking and non-smoking alike) have been a great source of support. Smoking friends don't offer me cigarettes. They tell me they'd like to be quit too. Non-smoking friends congratulate me, and make me feel strong. When I tell them how long it's been, they reinforce how positive that is.

Like I say, it was one thing I was very reluctant to do, but, as I continue to learn, Joel knows. Cheers to another great tip!

--Bob
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

14 Jan 2002, 18:54 #22

Hello Bob

You are doing wonderfully well. Your quit maturing, day by day and I can see real, deep understanding building up in you. Some people spend hours reading the articles in the Libraries here, then as soon as they become members they spend all their time posting on the board and stop reading. That's a bad idea.

What you are demonstrating is how you can go and read an article again, and with some quit experience under your belt, you see new things in the article you never saw before. A light suddenly goes on in your mind, because you can relate what Joel says to something that just happened to you.

That's how you bridge the gap between knowledge and understanding, and you are doing a superb job of that. You are building armour plate around your quit which will protect it from relapse for the rest of your life.

Keep on doing what you're doing, Bob, and you will NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF.

Marty
NOT A PUFF FOR 1 year 1 month 2 weeks
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:56

15 Jan 2002, 09:15 #23

Wow Bob
How great you did. I admire you for taking things into your own hands. I have not been around any smoking friends since my quit date. My hubby and I usually go to a friends house and play darts on Sat nite. Hubby has been going alone because I am afraid to go. We always had a few beers and smoked like fiends.........so I have been staying home. Maybe this weekend I will go.....You have inspired me.
NTAP
Fonda
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

15 Jan 2002, 12:40 #24

Fonda,

My advice to you would be to prepare yourself as best you can before going. Have your trigger defenses ready. There are a whole slew of them to choose from here. Read as much as you can.

Commit to returning home without taking a puff, no matter what the triggers. Know that when the night is over, you will hit the hay quit intact. Then, meet'm greet'm and beat'm.

Also, be careful with the booze. Don't allow a buzz to lull you into making a mistake. Oh, and remember the ultimate weapon. You will absolutely positively make it through the night if you refuse to take even one puff. It sounds so ridiculously simple, but it's an effective weapon when you call on it.

I think tonight was my 4th time to the pub since my quit began, and despite being the most stressful (kiddie politics on my dart team) was by far the simplest in terms of my quit. The same triggers that caused me the greatest challenges on Friday were all there tonight, but I didn't feel the same pull. My defenses were still ready, but I didn't feel under attack.

I actually felt for maybe the first time like somebody who used to smoke, and less like somebody who is quitting smoking. I've got a heck of a long way to go, but I have to say, that was sure a neat feeling. I'm starting to understand what all the old-timers around here say about it getting easier. My defenses will be a permanent part of my gear, because I know very well I'm going to get busted with unexpected triggers out of the blue, but I'm starting to see that I won't have to wield them all the time.
Last edited by OBob Gold on 07 Apr 2013, 04:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

15 Jan 2002, 15:32 #25

I wanted to record something I said to a friend earlier tonight, when discussing tonight's trip to the pub.

"I even forgot to think about smoking. When I remembered for a second that I used to smoke, I thought to myself, how could I have forgotten. It was totally cool!"

File it under the "it gets better" heading.
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