Fixating on a cigarette.

Retraining the conscious mind

Fixating on a cigarette.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

16 Jun 2002, 19:55 #1

What happens to some people is when off a certain time period they start fixating on a cigarette. By that I mean they forget all the bad cigarettes they ever smoked, they forget the ones they smoked without ever really thinking about them even at the time they were being smoked, and they start to remember and focus on one good cigarette. It may be one the smoked 20 years earlier but it was a good one and they are now wanting one again. A common tactic is the ex-smoker will try to tell himself or herself that he or she does not really want that good cigarette. Well, the problem is at that moment he or she does want it. An internal debate erupts, "I want one, no I don't, one sounds great, not it doesn't, oh just one, not just one!" The problem is that if the ex-smoker focus on one there is no clear winning side. The ex-smoker needs to change the internal discussion.

Don't say that you don't want one when you do, rather acknowledge the desire but ask yourself, do I want the others that go with it. Then do I want the package deal that goes with the others? The expense, social stigma, smell, health effects, possible loss of life. Do you want to go back to smoking, full fledged, until it cripples and kills you? Stated like this it normally is not a back and forth debate. The answer will normally be, "No I don't want to smoke under these terms, and these are the only terms a cigarette comes with.

Normally if viewed like this the debate is over with almost immediately after pulled into focus. Again, if the focus is only on one, you can drive yourself nuts throughout the whole day. If they focus on the whole package deal, you will walk away from the moment relieved to still be smoke free and sufficiently reinforced to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

18 Jun 2002, 18:40 #2

I like this one - this is how I have gotten myself through some bad moments

Thanks

Sue


I am hijacking this post a little to add in links to videos that relate to this article:


Fixating on a cigarette
The fallacy of "good cigarettes"
"I want one!"
Last edited by Suekickbutt (GOLD) on 11 Mar 2017, 15:52, edited 2 times in total.
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 20:19

18 Jun 2002, 19:25 #3

Joel,
This is exactly what has been happening to me the last week. And, I was having the exact conversation with myself about THE ONE.

Thanks so much for this timely post . I will use this strategy on myself and see if I can stop this cycle of madness.

Ruth
1M4D
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

18 Jun 2002, 21:58 #4

Having read this and other articles here.....I've been pretty busy this week reminding myself that one puff, one cigarette will ruin my quit. I keep telling myself that when it came to nicotine....one was never an option. A 28 year habit is what I'm here to kick, but boy oh boy, your mind sure will mess with you! Still clicking along nicotine free....aiming for the green...1 day at a time.

Dos (Dubious) :^)
HoooooHawwwwww!
2 Weeks, 6 Days, 22 Hours, 58 Minutes
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:07

18 Jun 2002, 22:12 #5

Joel I really needed this post today so thank you very much.After smoking for 41 years I have to say that my quit was much easier than I thought it would be with regards to cravings but sometimes I think I will suffer from junkie thoughts for the rest of my life.

One month, two weeks, three days, 5 hours, 35 minutes and 26 seconds. 1446 cigarettes not smoked, saving $217.05. Life saved: 5 days, 30 minutes.
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 01:30

19 Jul 2002, 20:04 #6

oh boy did i ever need to read this right now!
My quit has been going along swimmingly, i have found it not easy but i can deal with the cravings,
however i am now dealing with a massive craving that is still going on now. I have been fine all morning, until i came to put the grocery shopping away, I hate this job and always used to smoke through it, but i have put the shopping away before during this quit and not felt like this? Why now? I am feeling stressed as well cos the kids are off school now for the summer. anyway i am reading and eating toffees and i wont take another puff
Angie
One month, one week, 14 hours, 4 minutes and 21 seconds. 1127 cigarettes not smoked, saving £140.95. Life saved: 3 days, 21 hours, 55 minutes.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

24 Jul 2002, 23:28 #7

A new day, a new lesson. I have benn thinking so much about that sigle cigarrette. That one that ones fixates. I am an addict, and today I learn that one cigarrettes brings a trail of many others, hateful ones.

Juan
1m1w6d without nicotine.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

22 Aug 2002, 22:22 #8


If you're here with us and reading this thread then for you, like us, there is no such thing as just one!
Look at your quit stats meter if you have one. How many nicotine feedings does it say you've skipped? Don't try and picture just one but instead picture trying to fit the smoke from that many cigarettes back into your lungs because that's what is coming and more! We're not fighting a whole cigarette but only one puff - that's all it will take for us to trade places with our dependency that is currently under arrest. John
Last edited by John (Gold) on 08 Jul 2009, 12:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

29 Sep 2002, 20:19 #9


There is no such thing as just one.
Instead, fixate upon all of them!
You deserve self honesty!


How many butts did you kiss each day?
Picture trying to fit just one week's worth of
mandatory feedings into your mouth all at once
because should we take even a single hit of nicotine
that up to 50% of your brain's a4b2-type of acetylcholine
receptors will become occupied by nicotine, stealing a
dopamine sensation that will soon have your brain begging
for more. Picture the thousands upon thousands that
will follow.
The next few minutes are all that matter and each is doable!
Last edited by John (Gold) on 08 Jul 2009, 12:37, edited 3 times in total.
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:40

02 Oct 2002, 09:45 #10

oh my goodness joel, this is just what i needed. i've been clean 6 wks and 2 days and not knowing it, have been fixating...im printing up your message and taping to my bathroom mirror. what we cant do alone, we can do together. thanks, all of you. gods blessings.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:44

10 Nov 2002, 07:34 #11

Thanks Joel- Ariella
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

03 Dec 2002, 23:45 #12

Be Honest When Fixating!
Nicotine addiction is a permanent condition.
There is no such thing as just one !
Last edited by John (Gold) on 08 Jul 2009, 12:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

24 Jan 2003, 05:21 #13

I saw a member put up a post with this title and then deleted the post. Not sure what it was all about but I thought this string might be of some benefit to whoever the person was.
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:53

24 Jan 2003, 06:02 #14

Hi Joel

That was me trying to pull it up, but I think I messed up and that's the reason I deleted it.I will read up on the thread info again and maybe try another one later

Thanks
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

07 Feb 2003, 22:13 #15

The fantasy
The reality
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

27 Feb 2003, 00:31 #16

This article is another one I've read several times, becuase it especially keeps my mental focus on track.

It really is TOO easy to start romancing that perfect one, and dismissing all the rest that made it to where I could barely breathe at night when I'd lay down in bed, breathing a sigh of relief that I had nothing ELSE to do, no other requirements for energy exertion that I had to huff and puff through and couldn't wait to sit down. This really was HOW bad it WAS for me. And KNOWING as surely as if it's carved in stone that having that perfect one doesn't come without strings..it comes with all the rest of those choking, system clogging gag-a-rettes really keeps me where I want to be. Smoke Free and able to do whatever needs doing in my daily life and then some. When I go to bed now I breathe easily and still have energy left over at the end of the day. Gone are the "I can't wait to get this done and sit down" moments. And I LOVE that.

And I love this article too. Thanks Joel !!!

Blessings,
Lazuli
~ Quit Proud For 1 Month 1 Week 8 Hours 45 Minutes 29 Seconds!
1150 Forlorn Gag-a-rettes
still sitting on the store shelves, unloved, unwanted & Definitely NOT smoked ! ~
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

02 Mar 2003, 05:49 #17

For any new member or any longer term member who thinks that they are "obsessing about smoking." It is much more likely that you are fixating on a cigarette.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

05 Jun 2003, 07:19 #18

Last edited by OBob Gold on 08 Jul 2009, 12:49, edited 2 times in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Jun 2003, 23:41 #19

Should you ever find yourself fixating on the thought of smoking, use the experience as a golden opportunity to teach both your conscious and subconscious minds the truth. Don't run from your thoughts, confront them!

Maybe there are others but I can only see two ways for us to put distance between us and a long, intense yet bad relationship - time and truth.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

15 Jul 2003, 11:11 #20

Fixating on A cigarette?

Last edited by John (Gold) on 08 Jul 2009, 12:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

27 Jul 2003, 07:07 #21

Fixate on what life was like as an endlessly feeding nicotine addict
Fixate on the dreams those thoughts have fueled!
Baby steps, forget about quitting forever!
The next few minutes are all that matter,
and they are 100% doable!
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

02 Aug 2003, 22:18 #22

The fantasy
The reality
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

26 Oct 2003, 12:39 #23

Fixate on this instead.
How many of the 800 million air sacs you started life with
would be destroyed by that next puff of 4,000+ chemicals?
Last edited by John (Gold) on 08 Jul 2009, 12:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

01 Nov 2003, 18:53 #24

For Andrew

Andrew, unlike a subconscious trigger generating a less than three minute crave episode, we're capable of consciously fixating on a thought for as long as we desire. If you find yourself fixating use it as an opportunity to question and explore your core beliefs about your addiction, and the destruction it inflicts. Baby steps, Andrew, and before you know it you'll be running like the wind!
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

04 Jan 2004, 20:38 #25

From: Parker - GOLD! Sent: 9/15/2003 11:14 AM
In the past couple days, there was more than one post by members who admitted to doing some serious thinking about smoking. Folks on their way to or just past gold. I, for one, am glad that they shared. This forum is enriched by our honest sharing of our experiences of quitting.

When I was newly quit, I read posts by old time members who talked about never wanting to smoke. They spoke of total comfort. I assumed this meant they never had even a nanosecond of thought about cigarettes. That, of course, led me to believe that I was retarded in my progress. Because even as my quit time continued to pile up, there were these….thoughts. In the early months of quitting, they plagued me and I was pretty sure they would never go away.

The truth is they have not gone away completely. However, they have diminished to the point that they concern me not at all anymore. I've written before about the fact that as my quit matured the thoughts became harmless little things. A little whoosh through the brain. Completely painless.

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.

Personally, I counteract any tendency to sink into that cycle by taking care of my quit. I do that by reading here at the forum. Reading someone's first post full of fear and confusion and new hope reminds me of where I started. Posting congratulations for an accomplishment reminds me of my own successes. Participating in a parade fills me with a sense of wonder at how well we are all doing with out quits.

There is no denying that those recent posts are scary. They remind us of the deadly power of this addiction. We don't just quit and then lah-di-dah our way through the rest of our lives. Initially, we need to work hard at our quits. Then comes a time when we realize the work is not as hard. We are able to ease up, we think less about it. But, we never get to forget that we are addicts in recovery. Nobody graduates from addiction.

Perhaps some people think that you quit smoking and now it's over. End of story. Close the book. File this away as an unfortunate incident of the past. You don't need to think about it anymore. Well, we do need to think about it - not obsessively, not continually - but it needs our attention. We need to remember how desperate we felt to quit. We need to remember how awful withdrawal might have been. We need to remember how we began to gradually feel better and could concentrate on something besides not smoking. We need to remember how we began to understand that years of smoking had stunted our emotional responses. We need to remember cutting ourselves off from other people in order to smoke. We need to remember that we quit smoking because we valued our lives and ourselves enough to take a frightening step into the unknown territory of recovery.

It's fine by me to get a little scared once in a while. Keeps me grateful for my quit. Reminds me of what a precious gift I am giving myself every day.

So, don't lose heart!

Don't get discouraged!

This is hard work, but it does get easier. All you have to do is keep reading here and you see that. Post after post after post reinforces the message that this is doable and desirable. There is real comfort on this journey and it is yours for the taking as long as you never take another puff.

(There I go stealing Joel's lines again!)

Parker - 15 months of freedom & healing and obviously very long-winded today

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