Fixating on a cigarette.

Retraining the conscious mind
John (Gold)
John (Gold)

January 9th, 2004, 8:03 pm #26

Turn Fixation into a Truth Exercise

In your reading here at Freedom you'll see distinctions between subconsciously conditioned nicotine feeding expectations (what we call crave triggers producing less than three minute crave episodes - Pavlov's dogs), consciously fixating on a thought of smoking (something that can last as long as the conscious mind is capable of staying focused upon a single topic), and thinking about the topic of smoking without wanting to smoke (hopefully what you're doing now and will do throughout much of your day as you continue to study your dependency and even watch others to learn more about the grip it no so long ago had upon you).


Although conditioned cues are rarely triggered by fixating (as it was not an ingrained tobacco use pattern that most of us engaged in), in theory, thinking or fixating can exist on both sides of any conditioned habit trigger, and thinking about smoking, even during recovery, always has the potential to lead to fixation. Confused now? Don't be.


The bottom line isn't so much the source of any present wanting, the degree of anxiety associated with it, or even how long it last, but whether or not we'll provide an honest response to it. The most common fixation is every drug addict's dream of controlling the uncontrollable and smoking "just one" but when it comes to true chemical dependency, one is "always too many and a thousand never enough."


Don't try to chase the thoughts away or hide from them. Take them on head-up. If you are absolutely convinced that you like the collective taste of the 4,000+ chemicals present in each puff, that include 43 known carcinogens, then take that next step and acknowledge that your brain is chemically addicted to just one primary chemical - nicotine - and that you would no more smoke nicotineless tobacco than you'd smoke dried leaves from the yard.


The new Nicotine Free Quest cigarettes are proving to be a joke as thousands of smokers purchased one pack while almost none return for another. But even if you are that remote tobacco lover who loved it so much that you wanted to smoke smoke even without the nicotine, is that burning desire worth destroying your body's ability to receive and transport life giving oxygen? Is it worth spending what were to be your golden years fighting with every ounce of your energy to inhale enough oxygen to keep your body alive? Is it worth a roughly 50% risk of a birthday in the vicinity of your 60th being your last ever, or a 25% chance that you will not live beyond middle-age?


Fixating upon a cigarette is an invitation to accelerate psychological adjustment and recovery by fixating upon truth. Like it or not, we are drug addicts. The only question remains will we keep our addiction arrested or will it keep us arrested? The key to determining which side of the bars we'll live on is one powerful puff of nicotine. The choice is ours and there's only one rule to keeping our healing and freedom alive - no nicotine today!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

John
Last edited by John (Gold) on July 8th, 2009, 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

January 13th, 2004, 9:00 pm #27

Fixating on A cigarette?

Create a more honest vision as there is no such thing as just one!
One is too many and a thousand never enough!
Last edited by John (Gold) on July 8th, 2009, 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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wackylaurie
wackylaurie

February 13th, 2004, 11:03 am #28

Well I have been fixating on something today. this has not been one of my better days. I am not sure what is wrong. I just dont feel very good. Have had thoughts of smoking. instead I have eaten more today than normal. I also keep telling myself that I had bad days when I was smoking. Maybe I am just down in the dumps today. I think I will read a bit more then just go to bed. Maybe I will go to sleep and tomorrow will be better. I didnt want to make a post for help. I know what I am suppose to do and I am reading. If tomorrow is not better i will post and ask for some suggestions. I like what Parker wrote :Dont get descouraged"
Laurie
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

February 25th, 2004, 9:49 pm #29

Fixating on "A" Cigarette?
Last edited by John (Gold) on July 8th, 2009, 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

March 6th, 2004, 7:56 pm #30

There are at least 43 carcinogens inhaled with each puff.
Fixate on the fact that 87% of all lung cancer deaths are
the result of inhaling mainstream cigarette smoke.
Fixate on the fact that a male smoker's risk of those 43
carcinogens causing them lung cancer are 2,200% greater
than for someone who doesn't inhale 43 carcinogens.
Last edited by John (Gold) on July 8th, 2009, 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

March 13th, 2004, 3:06 am #31

How many of the 800 million air sacs that we each started life with would be destroyed by that first puff of relapse and the 4,000+ chemicals that are collecticvely referred to as tar? How many healthy air sacs do each of us have remaining, 700 million, 600 million, 500 million? Do we have enough left to comfortably complete this amazing journey called life?
As the ALA is fond of saying, "when you can't breathe nothing else matters." Do you want to see what advanced emphysema is like? Try breathing through a straw for a minute or two. Imagine that being your entire day. Imagine the exertion of walking from the bed to the bathroom being almost too much to handle. Imagine the straw getting thinner and thinner and thinner.
Last edited by John (Gold) on July 8th, 2009, 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ButterfliesareSilver
ButterfliesareSilver

March 30th, 2004, 12:20 am #32

Thank you

Butterflies 2 months and a bit.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

April 19th, 2004, 11:25 pm #33

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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

June 8th, 2004, 9:28 pm #34

Flavor, pleasure, friend, boredom, stress, love,
extra pounds, I can't, what's the use now ...




Conscious Fixation - an opportunity to set the record straight
Last edited by John (Gold) on July 8th, 2009, 1:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

August 2nd, 2004, 6:59 pm #35

I was reading through the board this morning to see issues that I would like to address. I think I read one member's post who was saying he or she was wondering what it would be like if he or she would smoke a cigarette now after being off for a period of time. I was going to attach a number of links to that post, this being one of them. If I run across it again I will attach these links and a few others.
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Lynn Andrews BRONZE
Lynn Andrews BRONZE

November 1st, 2004, 10:07 pm #36

Sadly, I've found myself doing this for about 3 days straight and it's been such a struggle - at 10 months quit, how insane is that? It doesn't take much to get those junkie thoughts going sometimes...a stressful test at school, teenagers at home, a Halloween party in unusually mild weather sitting outside surrounded by active addicts...
You get to thinking of the "just one", which of COURSE doesn't exist. I came here this morning knowing I had to find this thread to knock some sense back into my head.
Thanks Joel, again, for having the words we need, right when we need them.
Lynn, STILL free and healing for 9 Months, 3 Weeks, 1 Day, 8 hours and 7 minutes (296 days), by not smoking 7,408 cigarettes. This has saved me $1,481.69 and helped me regain 1 Month, 5 Days and 16 minutes of my life!
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Joel
Joel

November 24th, 2004, 12:40 pm #37

The Fantasy
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ShutterJulieG
ShutterJulieG

December 23rd, 2004, 11:05 pm #38

Thanks Joel....you put into perspective for me (although I have read it a million times already, this time it HIT) that the choice is not "just one cigarette": the choice is "being a smoker again." "Just one cigarette" is a lie and an illusion. Going to add that to my daily "self-talk."
Julie
One week, two days,
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

January 6th, 2005, 7:53 pm #39


Through physical symptoms and detox, to subconscious trigger reconditioning, to conscious fixation, you may not notice but your focus is likely changing as you continue with this most amazing temporary journey of readjustment. Recognize the change in landscape for the true healing it reflects.

Whether you use each conscious fixation encounter as an opportunity to put years of rationalizations under honest light or not, with each passing day the time spent fixating will slowly begin to decline, such encounters when gradually grow further and further apart, and they generally grow less intense.

Whether hard or easy, if you'll only remain patient and allow yourself to go the distance, the day is coming where you'll awake to a re-newed expectation of going your entire day without once wanting to smoke nicotine. Such encounters will happen from time to time but they'll become the exception not the rule. When they do they may even bring a smile to your face as they'll be one of your few reminders of the amazing journey you once made.

John (Gold x5)
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

January 11th, 2006, 5:40 am #40

The fantasy
The reality
Last edited by John (Gold) on July 8th, 2009, 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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kattatonic1 gold4
kattatonic1 gold4

January 14th, 2006, 9:51 am #41

For Sherry. I had a few evenings like that. They pass.

Kay (Gold x 2)
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

January 19th, 2006, 2:19 pm #42

Last edited by John (Gold) on July 8th, 2009, 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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0124tracyquits
0124tracyquits

March 10th, 2006, 2:01 am #43

Wow!!!! It's amazing to me how threads will suddenly pop up to the top just when I need them the most. I swear someone here is reading my mind. Thanks!!

Tracy - Free and Healing for 1 Month, 11 Days, 5 Hours and 51 Minutes after having smoked for 21 years. I have extended my life by 2 Days and 17 Hours by not smoking 785 cigarettes. and have saved $289.30!
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Almost Island Gold
Almost Island Gold

March 20th, 2006, 4:05 am #44

Fanatical against a puff


Hi Joel, hi every friend here at "Freedom"in fact we have to remind ourselves of those awful and stinky cigarettes. Cigarettes being always connected to uglyness.



I hope some of you remember me although I have been forum/writing-absent in spite of being reading you regularly. Actually I spend a great deal of my working time in front of pc and laptop screens, which I shouldn't do (serious sight problems, but I must)so most of my free time is being spent otherwise and NEVER SMOKING : ). But Joel often says it's not a problem if some of us don't post : ) as long as we keep remembering to NTAP!

Nevertheless I came here today to type one of my handwritten translations for my mother tongue - Portuguese - of Joel's e-book "Never Take Another Puff" which I've done not even for ex-smoking friends, but also for my ex-smoking students at school, so they all could always care about their resolves: Page 103's "Just One Little Puff": also at http://whyquit.com/joel/Joel_04_16_just_one_puff.html. I've been also preventing teens smoke and encouraging others to quit.

"Just One Little Puff": is one of my favourite texts as an addict preventing relapse. I think it will be very useful for some Portuguese native speakers that come by to "Freedom". What everyone should do it's exactly what I, myself, do once in a while - feeding the resolve specially when someone offers us a cigarette!

I'm sorry for being translating your words Joel, but I've done it most seriously and respectfully although "traduttore - traditore" (Italian expression meaning translator's always a traitor as he changes words) is a fact. Words are such a serious deal!

I guess it would be nice every now and then if I could post some other texts (pt) of Joel's or even some threads of other friends' here at the forum, like these ones for example John's(Freedom From Tobacco - Quit Smoking Now or John's "See each crave episode as the true healing it reflects": http://www.msnusers.com/FreedomFromToba ... sage=62429 . Please tell me if I'm being inconvenient. Well, my friends - thank U all for helping feeding my will and my resolve and congratulations also for U all : )



"Só mais uma passa" por Joel Spitzer

É duro para muitas pessoas agarrar o conceito de que só uma pequena passa possa resultar na maior recaída. Pura e simplesmente não parece lógico para alguns. Mas mesmo que se encontrem lutando contra o pensamento de se esquivarem com fumar "só uma", pensem qual o conselho que dariam a pessoas das vossas famílias que vos fossem imensamente queridas e que soubessem ser ex-dependentes do vício da cocaína ou heroína e que, pela primeira vez, em meses ou anos, considerassem o uso recreativo dessas drogas. Imaginem o vosso choque e horror perante, sequer, o pensamento em tal atitude, especialmente se já estivessem estado com eles no auge do seu vício, quando arruinavam a quase totalidade de suas vidas e as estivessem mesmo levando ao limite.

Será que diriam a um desses vossos parentes "bem, talvez estejas melhor agora, talvez possa valer a pena descobrir se podes fumar só uma"? Sentiriam a necessidade de fazer algumas leituras para se certificarem se porventura "uma" fosse agora uma opção? Será que iriam vasculhar nalguns escritos neurológicos para ver se os cientistas da actualidade têm uma melhor teoria sobre veios neurotransmissores que pudessem explicar porque é que o vício acontece? Talvez então pudessem dizer "bem, eles estão a começar a compreender um pouco como o vício actua e talvez em breve, possam alterar a psicologia cerebral. Portanto agora se tiveres uma recaída poderá não ser nada de especial para uma cura, é somente uma pequena questão - talvez esteja somente a alguns anos de distância" È mais verosímil que possam seguir um caminho no campo racional e dizer, "se o fizeres, irás recuar até ao ponto onde estavas quando tiveste que deixar. Irás dar cabo da tua vida e da de todos à tua volta".

O provável é que fossem pelo segundo caminho. Ficariam horrorizados e iriam ficar com uma convicção firme de que ele ou ela não deveriam fazê-lo -seria estúpido e ainda pior, suicida. Bem, não existe diferença entre este cenário e o cenário: "talvez possa dar só uma agora".

Há de facto uma diferença. Não é nem médica nem fisicamente baseada, mas socialmente. As nossas sociedades não foram ensinadas sobre o vício na nicotina. As pessoas tiveram ensinamentos sobre o vício e outras drogas. Apesar da nicotina ser uma substância mais aditiva do que qualquer outra, e ser talvez a mais aditiva de todas, as pessoas ainda não se dão conta como qualquer toma da substância possa causar uma recaída, mesmo tendo sido ensinadas acerca deste facto, relativamente à maior parte das drogas que viciam.

Quantas vezes alguém lhe perguntou, após saber que já deixou de fumar "mas tu nem sequer fumaste um?" Este é um comentário tão surreal, mas ainda assim tão comum. Ou quantas vezes viu já literatura publicada por organizações médicas avisando um toxicodependente em recuperação para não deixar um descuido levá-lo de volta ao seu uso? A mensagem tem sido clara e consistente com outras drogas, sendo 'não se descuide' a mensagem.

Todos aqui têm estado expostos a esta discrepância, não só desde que deixaram de fumar, mas também ao longo dos anos e décadas enquanto fumavam. Vocês têm agora que alterar a forma, que faz parte da vossa cultura seja ela qual for. A atitude predominante da sociedade que vos rodeia está errada.

A sociedade pode aceitar o perigo do fumar, mas ainda não atinge o conceito da toxicodependência. Têm de ser mais perspicazes e estar mais informados do que a sociedade que vos rodeia, ser os zeladores dos vossos próprios cuidados de saúde. É pedir muito a um indivíduo, que pense diferentemente da sociedade no seu todo, mas no que diz respeito ao fumo, tal tem de ser feito.

A consequência de não se ficar fanático acerca de uma passa é demasiado séria para simplesmente se prescindir dela. Será a perca da vossa decisão em deixar de fumar e isso pode traduzir-se na perca da vossa saúde e eventualmente da vossa vida. Têm de estar vigilantes a toda a hora para se manterem alerta de que são viciados em recuperação.

À medida que o tempo passa podem não haver sinais do vício, pensamentos em cigarros podem tornar-se agora acontecimentos raros e até mesmo inexistentes. Mas mesmo nesta etapa do jogo, há ainda um vício silencioso que vos pode deitar abaixo, com toda a força, por terem errado os cálculos - pensando que talvez fossem diferentes.

Vocês não são diferentes de quaisquer outros toxicodependentes, quer a droga seja álcool, cocaína, heroína, etc. Serão toxicodependentes a vida toda, mas à medida que levem a droga para fora do vosso sistema e não a tomem novamente, nunca serão conduzidos à espiral inferior, dinamismo este conduzido pela droga, nos seus utilizadores. No que diz respeito ao fumar, essa espiral é a perca do vossa liberdade, da vossa saúde e da vossa vida, o que significa a perca de tudo.

Para manter o que já obtiveram, lembrem-se sempre de que, para ficarem livres do fumo, têm que NÃO DAR NEM MAIS UMA PASSA!

Joel Spitzer

traduzido por Fernanda Lopes



not having a single puff since 2004, February 10th 0:00h
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

May 17th, 2006, 10:02 am #45

The Fantasy
The Reality
What was your most memorable nicotine fix each day? The first one or two in the morning after sleeping through four nicotine half-lives (about 2 hours each), the one after not being able to smoke or chew during a 20 to 40 minute meal, or upon exiting that place where you were not permitted to smoke? The longer we went between nicotine fixes the more we needed it and the more memorable it seemed to become.


It's pretty sad when you think about it. The "best" often followed our longest periods of deprivation. Boredom, like, flavor, taste, love? Shouldn't honesty compel us to admit that regardless of our excuse for the fix that what was really at work was a drug addict rationalizing a mandatory chemical need?


Just one overriding principle to staying on this side of the bars and keeping our now arrested dependency on the other ... no nicotine today, Never Take Another Puff, Dip or Chew!


Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,


John (Gold x7)
Last edited by John (Gold) on July 8th, 2009, 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Julia Rose1
Julia Rose1

October 4th, 2006, 12:12 am #46

Hi Folks, I'm so glad you are here! Yesterday it was my ex's 50th birthday and he came round to see the kids. He offered me a cigarette and although I had a fleeting 'if only I could' nano second I didn't take him up on his offer. But today I think I have been fixating on the one cigarette as opposed to the package. When colleages at work went out of a cigarette break today I felt empty and fed up. I just kept wishing the feeling would go away.
Somehow it helps to still think of myself as an addict, is it right to think that?
I don't know if maybe I'm expecting too much of myself to soon.
Julia

1 month, 3 days.
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Julia Rose1
Julia Rose1

October 4th, 2006, 2:57 am #47

Thanks Joe, I'll look forward to reading those in a bit when I've eaten my dinner.
Julia x
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

January 24th, 2007, 10:11 pm #48

Last edited by John (Gold) on July 8th, 2009, 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

April 10th, 2007, 12:13 am #49

Thinking of ourselves as nicotine addicts - not 'smokers' - is the best way in my opinion to keep this process of recovery in a real perspective. Here are a couple of articles that explore this concept a little more. The Fallacy of "Good Cigarettes" Another slant on how to watch people smoke Finding Cigarettes Walking Among the Addicted False Associations I'm an ADDICT! HooRAY! YQB - JoeJFree - Gold
Last edited by JoeJFree Gold on July 8th, 2009, 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

August 30th, 2007, 11:12 pm #50


Related video

Video Title
"I want one!"
Dial Up
1.01mb
High Speed
5.36mb
Audio
0.78mb
Length
05:33
Added
10/18/06
Last edited by Joel on September 5th, 2009, 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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