Don't Get Discouraged!

Subconscious use cue extinguishment
SurrenderGold
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:14

16 Sep 2003, 06:14 #11

Thank you Parker for an excellent post. I used to think I was "different" because I still did and still do think about smoking, although the thoughts are very rarely a problem anymore. After smoking for many years I don't believe the thoughts just disappear. There are some days when I still want a cigarette but the thoughts are usually fleeting and easily ignored, then there are days when I don't think about smoking at all. I still come here often for re-inforcement and when I have thoughts of smoking all I have to do is remember one = all and that is something I definitely don't want. It's been a hard journey but very worth it. Sheila
Nine months, three weeks, three days, 10 hours, 13 minutes and 14 seconds. 4163 cigarettes not smoked, saving $728.59. Life saved: 2 weeks, 10 hours, 55 minutes.
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David Gold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

16 Sep 2003, 06:48 #12

ImageHello Parker,
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for that post. I have come in here from time to time and looked at everyone's happy posts and thinking that everyone else was moving ahead and I was stuck in the mud. I've had a pretty normal quit with a few anxious moments early on. After a while I charged out ahead with all the glee that comes from thinking you have started a new life.

I really crashed hard when I realized that this wasn't a "new" life but the same "old" life without cigarettes. I started exercising and eating right and I am feeling great for the most part. I just had to realize that nothing magical happens when you quit smoking. You don't become a brand new person. You're the same old you without the cigarettes.

I still think about smoking every now and then but it doesn't consume me. I am a happy ex-smoker who will have to be happy with how far I've come. I love not smoking and wouldn't trade my life now for the way it used to
be.

Thanks Parker,
David
1 year +
Last edited by David Gold on 03 Jun 2011, 10:19, edited 1 time in total.
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janetd (GOLD)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

16 Sep 2003, 07:40 #13

Thanks for the excellent post, Parker! I still think about smoking but I can deal with a thought. Take it, look at it, turn it over, and be done. This is a life-long commitment being taken one day at a time. I like it a lot.

yqs, Janet :)
One Year Eight Months
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ComicForces GOLD
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:02

16 Sep 2003, 21:27 #14

You know, I thought a lot about this thread last night.

I am not as far along as the gold members, but I am almost 7 months into my quit. In my "silver" post, I talked about how I think I appreciate life more now as an ex-smoker than a never-smoker may appreciate life. I said this because I've now been on both sides of the coin. I've lived in the state of constant nicotine withdrawal. I've lived the guilty I-should-really-stop-this life. I've lived the I'll-quit-tomorrow, this-is-my-last-pack life. I've lived in the I'll-just-smoke-while-I'm-drinking world. I was a closet smoker. I was constantly guilt-ridden whenever I thought about what some people would think of me if they knew I smoked.

Now I'm on the "other" side. The side where I don't CONSTANTLY have a burden on my shoulders about what I am doing to my own body. I don't have the nagging "I really HAVE TO quit" thoughts in my head anymore. I can enjoy spending time with friends and family and be PRESENT, instead of mentally plotting when I can have the next smoke. I can run like the wind. I don't dread physical activities -- from walking up a flight of steps at work to helping a friend move -- because I know I have the strength and the energy to do just about anything any person with a normal lung capacity can do.

So… I've been on both sides, as all of us here at Freedom have. Who wouldn't think that, hands down, the smoke free life is the "better" life? I know some people posted in this thread that when you quit smoking, you are the same person as when you smoked, except that you no longer smoke. The further I get into my quit, I do see truth to this, but I also think that smoking DOES change your life… I think it can make you a different person if you let it. Even a pack-a-day smoker… Say you spend 5 minutes (minimum) smoking each cig in the pack. That's almost an hour and a half of each and every day of your life spent puffing away. Changing something that you did for over an hour each day EVERY DAY, without fail, for YEARS, is HUGE. Even just emotionally, there's a pretty big adjustment. Physically, it's another, different kind of adjustment. It's a different life. (At least, in my opinion!!!)

Like I said in the beginning of this post, I thought a lot about this thread last night. I really REALLY love what Parker said when she started the thread (in so many words): that craves are what you make them and you can make them bigger than they need to be. When I stopped to think about what I am doing, living this enjoyable smoke-free life, did I feel VERY nostalgic about the days I used to smoke out my apartment window the split second a visitor left? YES. Do I feel nostalgic about getting back together with old college friends and smoking two packs of Camel Red Lights? YES. Do I feel nostalgic about having a pack of cigs on snow days….and just standing outside in the peace and quiet, the white snow all around me, smoking away, enjoying the cool winter air? YES! Oh my gosh, YES.

But… I can't hold onto those memories as they relate to smoking. What good will it do me? I think you can mourn the loss of a person, say, by looking back fondly at the good times. But I really cannot allow myself to look back fondly at smoking. I can for a few moments, as I did last night, getting all nostalgic…but I can't spend much time dwelling on that. If I do, as Parker suggested, the crave/nostaglia/etc will get even bigger and more powerful.

Sometimes I find it helps, when I start thinking fondly back to my smoking days, to run up a flight of stairs. Nothing big, even 12 steps in an office building stairwell. Just quickly shoot up the flight of steps. Then think about what I felt like doing the same thing 7 months ago. Or, when I get to the top, I ask myself if I want a cigarette? The answer is always NO. You all should try it.

I guess, as was also stated in this thread, that's the problem with addiction. That's why addiction is BAD (I'm speaking in 5-year-old language here!). It is a shame that we'll have to deal with this addiction our whole lives. Others who never smoked (or were never addicted) don't have to deal with it. I do see my current non-smoking life as a gift. I do feel like I appreciate things a lot more. But, sometimes when I'm at the gym, all tired and sweaty, I start thinking: it would be a LOT easier if I just forgot about this stupid exercise routine, went home, and smoked a pack of cigarettes. But then I have to think…Would it?

Thanks for listening!!!!!!! Image

ComicForces
6 months 3 weeks 5 days
Last edited by ComicForces GOLD on 03 Jun 2011, 10:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Toast (GOLD )
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Sep 2003, 00:50 #15

A pleasure to listen, CF, when what you say is so true! Image

 ImageMelissa
27 months
Last edited by Toast (GOLD ) on 03 Jun 2011, 10:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Jeanne Gold
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:02

17 Sep 2003, 01:20 #16

Beatiful post, Parker, and thank you for saying so well what I feel in my heart every single day. I used to live with a mind that obsessively put my drug above every other person or thing in my life for many, many years and promised to continue to get worse until it crippled or killed me or at least made me broke and miserable on a daily basis. I worked so very hard to break free from the monster of nicotine addiction and I WON! I can make decisions about my life and my family without one concern over how or when I will be able to feed the addiction. I flow smoothly through my days without so much as a thought to smoking unless it's to notice how badly someone else smells or how unhealthy they look because they smoke. I am 100% free from the way I suffered as an actively-feeding addict.

Do I ever have an undefeated trigger slap me in the face?
Rarely, it happens, but it doesn't last very long.
Do I ever find myself wanting to smoke?
Rarely, it happens, but it doesn't last very long.
Do I allow these rare and fleeting thoughts to consume me and make me romanticize the drug that was ruining my life and trying to kill me?
HECK NO, I DON'T! I just acknowledge the trigger, remind myself that I no longer smoke, and it doesn't take much convincing since I am now sickened by the stench. I also acknowledge that it would only take one puff to make me not care about the stench anymore, not care about my kids anymore, not care that my life is calm now, even when things get crazy, I am still calm because today I have the ability to choose whether or not I'm going to smoke. When I was smoking, I never had that choice. All my choices were made for me.

If I had it to do all over again, would I do anything different? Yep, I would. I would not be so scared of quitting and I would have quit years sooner. It's the best thing I ever did, and I love myself for doing it. It's just my opinion, but I think anyone who is at a year's quit and is still missing smoking has forgotten why they started down this road to begin with. What's there to miss about slow-motion suicide? A little perspective always does the trick for me.

Boy, I don't post for months, then I can't stop the fingers....geez! I must feel passionately about this or something. Image

~Jeanne
Eleven months and totally in love with my quit!
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valeriescleanGOLD
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

17 Sep 2003, 02:26 #17

Thank you Parker! I enjoyed this post so much. I will NEVER forget how I felt actively using my drug nicotine. I made a promise to myself that I never would. And every day I am grateful for the Freedom I have earned, One Day at a Time, by Never Taking Another Puff!

Valerie
8 Months 2 Weeks and 1 awesome day of Freedom!
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John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

05 Dec 2003, 17:31 #18

"The thoughts would only have power if I latched onto them. If I grabbed that thought as it was flying by and captured it and began to stroke it and worry about it and magnify it and reproduce it and clutch it to me….then it would cease to be powerless. It would grow in size and strength and take up more and more space in my brain. I might begin to feel less grateful for my freedom and more like I was deprived of something. Then perhaps some feelings of resentment might arise. Maybe I might even begin to entertain the thought that this one puff leads to relapse business is a bunch of malarkey. I imagine that more than one of you is nodding your head in recognition as you read this. We've all been there---this is junkie thinking. This is one of the long-term results of drug addiction."
ImageParker

Last edited by John (Gold) on 05 Nov 2009, 00:58, edited 1 time in total.
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jennyissilver
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:31

04 May 2004, 10:01 #19

Thank you, Parker, for both writing this and for sending it up for me. It deserves to be read again and again by all of us. When I turn silver, this is the post that I want to list as my favorite.

There are some extraordinary thinkers and writers here at Freedom and you are certainly one of the best.

Jenny
Free, free, free since March 23, 2004
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smurfetteirl
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:33

04 May 2004, 21:44 #20

fantastic post Parker( sounded like it was wrote just for me )!!!
wonderful stuff from
Alison in post 8
David in post 12
ComicForces in post 14 and
Jeanne in post 16
im so glad they all wrote to you parker, its a diamond thread alright!


i agree with you Jenny, it deserves to be read and read and read
because it is so true and needs to be remembered.Image
lynda
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