Crave episodes: the bigger the better

Subconscious use cue extinguishment
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Jun 2006, 05:13 #11

JoeJ - it's funny you should ask. This is One Month plus one for me today and perhaps it's the way it is - always after a week, two weeks, a month etc. that the crave comes but I've had a couple today and it's remained all day actually. I've been trying to figure it out. Perhaps you can help. It's like this. Today is a birthday for one of our co-workers. There is a festive feel in the air. I want a cigarette. I know this. It's not a glucose thing. It's a want of a cigarette - the 'perfect' one you know? When you've waited and you are primed for it and you have it and it is that 'ahhh' smoke? I go for a walk. I take deep breaths. I wait for it to pass. I go on this site. Read. Fortify. I'm not craving like in the first 72 hours sort of thing. Don't get me wrong. But it's a definite something as I said. I figure it will pass. It seems to hang around all day. It is now 2:00 and I want one now. I won't have one though but it's bothersome. I feel restless. Want that cigarette.

Perhaps it's this place. My smoke buddy, the way I was before I quit, the way things were before I quit wants to come back. I'm actually fighting the old me. No. I'm fighting the me that hates confrontation. I want to give in. Go back to that person so everything will be safe and hunky dory as it was before I quit.

Now, I am just brimming over with health and self-esteem. I am thinking of quitting this place. Perhaps that is what is pestering me today. I want to get going. Once I'm out of here, this crave will go away. I don't get them at home. Just here. Perhaps this job is so intertwined with smoking that it will be impossible to live with now that I don't smoke. It can be that way with relationships.

Talk to me.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

05 Aug 2006, 04:18 #12

   

See moving beyond recovery's most challenging moments as handing you your greatest victories of all, for at the end of each you reclaim one more aspect of a life once owned by nicotine. Yes you can, yes you are, yes you have! We're each with you in spirit. Be proud of you! John
Last edited by John (Gold) on 13 Oct 2012, 11:16, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

03 Oct 2006, 00:46 #13

Quote: "And then it happens. On day 17 you encounter a subcounscious crave trigger......

"You feel as if you've been sucker-punched hard by the most intense crave ever. It feels endless"


Ha. Funny this should be bumped up today. I just complained about that very thing happening to me last night...on day 17!!!

I need the reminder that it is getting better...that it won't always be hard. ~~It's nice to be somewhere where other get it, and I don't feel like a psycho drama queen for having a hard time beyond the physical withdrawl period!!
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:19

23 Oct 2006, 01:16 #14

I am struggling today....it seems more than usual. I find myself battling the argument of "just one, and I will hate it and stop" syndrome. I 've even come as close as putting on my shoes to run to the store. My subconsious is doing flips and I hope I have the strength to win this intense fight today.

I find the cravings come and go, and at times very intense. Or maybe I just don't notice them much anymore, and when I do, they seem so powerful. I have been smoke free 7 months now. I feel such pride at this accomplishment. But today I struggle. So I come back to the site that I started with. Looking for the encouragement, and support only you give me.

This will pass, as all do. I just wanted to remind myself WHY I quit, and hopefully take back my resolve to NTAP!....Thank you for listening.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

23 Oct 2006, 02:19 #15

  
Hi Renee,

I went for a look-see and brought up your first post..... 1st post - My liberation!!! This may be a great time to reacquaint yourself with the reasons and motivations that started your journey to a smoke free life. I see that there are a number of posts that have been brought to the top of the boards that are related to your situation...Read 'em all and re establish your committment to Never Take Another Puff that you had at the beginning...A little fortification will help you get beyond this day and continue the nicotine free future you desired and accomplished for 7 months of successes and celebrations....Go for the gold,; you not only are capable of doing this, you know how, and you have proved that beautifully already!!! You did the smart, educated thought-busting thing and came here because you already know what you really want to do, and that is to never take another puff....Stay sweet!

Wendy ----Free and Healing for 107 Days
Last edited by Chipits GOLD.ffn on 13 Oct 2012, 11:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

10 Nov 2006, 20:32 #16

    
See moving beyond recovery's most challenging moments as handing you your greatest victories of all, for at the end of each you reclaim one more aspect of a life once owned by nicotine.
Yes you can, yes you are, yes you have!
We're each with you in spirit.
Be proud of you!
John
Last edited by JoeJFree Gold on 13 Oct 2012, 11:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 17 Jun 2006, 07:00

10 Nov 2006, 20:55 #17

 
Every second of every minute...
Every minute of every hour.....
Every hour of every day, week, month and year....

I CAN, I AM AND I WILL

Robin - 151 days ago, I said -  "Finito. I'm done. For the last time. Forever"
Last edited by RobinS614 on 13 Oct 2012, 11:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 16 Jan 2003, 08:00

07 Jan 2007, 06:21 #18

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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

13 Jan 2007, 21:40 #19

Two Weeks
Many of our New Year's group, now around the two week mark, find themselves increasingly focusing upon the final, by far easiest and yet longest stage of recovery, gradually moving beyond the influence of years of nicotine feeding memories and all the rationalizations that went with them. Don't be too frightened or panicked upon encountering any remaining crave triggers associated with non-daily events that until this point may not have been encountered and confronted. If any feel a bit bigger it's a good sign not bad. It's sort of like catching a fish and that final big kick as it breaks the surface or senses sunlight. But even after landed, it still needs cleaning.
As for this final phase, it's normal to grow impatient and want it over and done. It's here that our "one day at a time" victory philosophy really serves us well. Although not nearly as challenging as nicotine withdrawal or panic type attacks associated with trigger reconditioning, it takes time for new natural and earned dopamine "aaah" memories to bury the pile we stole. Although we cannot destroy those stolen, moving out from under the influence of your dependency, you've now put yourself in position to see them under honest light.

The memories reflect the "aaah" wanting satisfaction following an addict's replenishment. There's nothing missing now and nothing in need of replenishment. Relapse now would not match expectations created by these addict's memories. Instead it would likely be closer to the rebellion your body exhibited with that first cigarette ever.

But instead of just focusing on the recorded "aaah" associated with nicotine replenishment think about the corresponding low that didn't get recorded, and all the negatives that filled that day. It may have been a case of early replenishment so as to avoid a crave command to do so, but picture your response to anger, frustration or worry as your body's fluids turned more acidic and depleted reserves of the alkaloid nicotine. Think about having waited too long between feedings, having misplaced your nicotine or running out. Remember the panic of "WHERE ARE MY CIGARETTES!! I NEED A SMOKE NOW!!!!"

Do you know the exact number of the roughly 800 million air sacs you started life with that were collectively destroyed by the last cigarette you smoked? It's nearly impossible to know. How about the nicotine/carbon monoxide double whammy to every artery in your body? Did you record the degree of blood flow destruction beside the "aaah"? How about the new studies evidencing nicotine destruction of brain gray matter? Did the "aaahs" record that the mind's ability to remember likely sustained some degree of damage at the hand of the super toxin which triggered the "aaah"?

This final phase of recovery, the one that transports us to complacency, can be the most fascinating of all. It's here we come face to face with a drug addict's rationalizations, minimizations and blame transference. It's here we discover that escaping into servicing our addiction may have left some things undone. Although some will feel a need to create new avenues of escape, hopefully they'll discover that it isn't necessary, that escapes can be self-destructive.

No, we cannot change or destroy your pile of nicotine induced "aaah" wanting satisfaction memories.  But we can certainly help you see them in honest light. As with ending any relationship, chemical or otherwise, clinging to romantic fixations can lengthen the period of emotional loss.  Think about it, each memory tells a lie, the lie that the way to end wanting is to use.  Truth is, the only way to bring wanting to an end is the path you now walk. 

I also hope you'll reflect upon how stealing "pay attention" salient memories may have overshadowed the need to earn them via goal setting, accomplishment, nurturing and companionship. Also, how nicotine became our spoon pumping stored fats and sugars into our bloodstream. Some of us never knew true hunger or that the anticipation of satisfying it brought its own aaah.

Yes, snow and flour have smell. No, it wasn't the real us to smoke a central nervous system stimulant when it was time to relax or steal a dopamine "aaah" when told that someone we love was ill, dead or dying.

At two weeks you're now at a point where you've already proven to yourself that one of your biggest fears was a lie. Nicotine did not define who you are and you don't leave your life or your edge behind. With each subconscious smoking trigger you've extinguished you've reclaimed yet another aspect of life. You're beginning to realize that recovery is a period where each challenge overcome awards you another piece of a puzzle, a puzzle that once complete will reflect a life reclaimed.

We encourage you to continue to reflect honestly upon where you've been and the amazing sense of mental quiet, calm and complacency that awaits you. This is a period where honest reflection can make thinking about relapse almost laughable. Flavor, taste? How many taste buds are inside human lungs? Still just one rule, no nicotine today!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

John (Gold x7)
Last edited by John (Gold) on 13 Oct 2012, 11:35, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

15 Jan 2008, 12:33 #20

......."At two weeks you're now at a point where you've already proven to yourself that one of your biggest fears was a lie. Nicotine did not define who you are and you don't leave your life or your edge behind. With each subconscious smoking trigger you've extinguished you've reclaimed yet another aspect of life. You're beginning to realize that recovery is a period where each challenge overcome awards you another piece of a puzzle, a puzzle that once complete will reflect a life reclaimed. We encourage you to continue to reflect honestly upon where you've been and the amazing sense of mental quiet, calm and complacency that awaits you. This is a period where honest reflection can make thinking about relapse almost laughable. Flavor, taste? How many taste buds are inside human lungs? Still just one rule, no nicotine today!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

John (Gold x7)"
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Joined: 16 Jan 2003, 08:00

11 Jul 2008, 08:05 #21

Excerpt from above:
For purposes of discussion only, let's pretend that during days 14, 15 and 16 that although you remained occupied in dealing with an almost steady stream of conscious thoughts about wanting to smoke that you did not encounter any un-extinguished nicotine feeding cue. Although unlikely that you'd notice, wouldn't it be normal to begin to relax and slowly lower your guard?

And then it happens. On day 17 you encounter a subconscious crave trigger that wasn't part of normal daily life. It catches you totally unprepared, off-guard and surprised. You scramble to muster your defenses but it's as if they too are being swallowed by a fast moving tsunami of rising anxieties. You feel as if you've been sucker-punched hard by the most intense crave ever. It feels endless. Your conscious thinking mind tells you that things are getting worse, not better. The thought of throwing in the towel and giving-up suddenly begins sloshing through a horrified mind.

It is then, when things seem worst, that we need to briefly pause and reflect upon what we're really seeing. Things are not getting worse but better. Think about how long it's been since your last significant challenge and how relaxed you've allowed yourself to become. It's likely that this episode is no more intense than prior craves. But you'd taken off your life jacket and you couldn't quickly locate it and put it on. You panicked.

If an event similar should happen to you I'd encourage you to stop, reflect and then celebrate!!! You've reclaimed so many once conditioned aspects of a nicotine dependent life that serious challenges are growing rare. Oh you'll still encounter remote or even seasonal triggers but with the passing of time they'll grow further apart, shorter in duration and generally less intense.
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

11 Jul 2008, 10:11 #22

Little did I know that worrying about quitting was much worse than the actual temporary period of adjustment we commonly call quitting. ... comfort comes to all who are stubbornly determined enough to get through a couple of tough patches and break on through to a calm state of mind that will bring a lifetime of comfort being who we were meant to be by staying nicotine free.
It really is as elemental as NTAP.

From above - JoeJFree - Message 13
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Joined: 16 Jan 2003, 08:00

01 Oct 2008, 06:13 #23

From post #25 within Embracing craves :
That next crave can't hurt you and it won't make you bleed!
It won't last longer than it took to smoke a cigarette!
Relax, embrace it, and say goodbye to your needless fears!
Patience!
This isn't what it feels like to be a comfortable ex-smoker.
This is what it feels like to say goodbye to your former master!
Smile! The calmness ahead is permanent and deep!
John
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Joined: 17 Aug 2010, 16:35

26 Aug 2010, 15:38 #24

A fabulous thread with which to end my time on line today. Thank you all!
Gratefully Gold

I escaped from the prison of smoking on August 14, 2010.  
[font]The best revenge is quitting well![/font] 
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Joined: 11 Nov 2008, 19:22

13 Oct 2012, 11:40 #25




Think about it, crave episodes are good not bad.
At the end of each is a reward, the return of a
time, place, emotion, person or location that  
once served as your mind's cue to use nicotine.
Extinguish all use cues and take back your life!

Baby steps, yes you can!

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