Focus on Quitting for Just One Hour

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

August 23rd, 2001, 8:03 am #31

Joel's Reinforcement Library


"Take it ONE DAY AT A TIME"



This concept is taught by almost all programs which are devoted to dealing with substance abuse or emotional conflict of any kind. The reason that it is so often quoted is that it is universally applicable to almost any traumatic situation.

Dealing with quitting smoking is no exception. Along with NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!, ONE DAY AT A TIME is the key technique which gives the smoker the strength to successfully quit smoking and stay free from the powerful grip of nicotine dependence.

When first quitting, the concept of ONE DAY AT A TIME is clearly superior to the smoker thinking that he will never smoke again for the rest of his life. For when the smoker is first giving up smoking, he does not know whether or not he wants to go the rest of his life without smoking. Most of the time the smoker envisions life as a non-smoker as more stressful, painful, and less fun.

It is not until he quits smoking that he realizes his prior thoughts of what life is like as a non-smoker were wrong. Once he quits he realizes that there is life after smoking. It is a cleaner, calmer, fuller and, most important, healthier life. Now the thought of returning to smoking becomes a repulsive concept. Even though the fears have reversed, the ONE DAY AT A TIME technique should still be maintained.

Now, as an ex-smoker, he still has bad moments every now and then. Sometimes due to stress at home or work, or pleasant social situations, or to some other undefinable trigger situation, the desire for a cigarette surfaces. All he needs to do is say to himself, I won't smoke for the rest of today; tomorrow I will worry about tomorrow. The urge will be over in seconds, and the next day he probably won't even think of a cigarette.

But ONE DAY AT A TIME should not only be practiced when an urge is present. It should be practiced daily. Sometimes an ex-smoker thinks it is no longer important to think in these terms. He goes on with the idea he will not smoke again for the rest of his life. Assuming he is correct, when does he pat himself on the back for achieving his goal. When he is lying on his death bed he can enthusiastically proclaim, "I never smoked again." What a great time for positive reinforcement.

Every day the ex-smoker should wake up thinking that he is not going to smoke that day. And every night before he goes to sleep he should congratulate himself for sticking to his goal. Because pride is important in staying free from cigarettes. Not only is it important, but it is well deserved. For anyone who has quit smoking has broken free from a very powerful addiction. For the first time in years, he has gained control over his life, rather than being controlled by his cigarette. For this, he should be proud.

So tonight, when you go to sleep, pat yourself on the back and say, "Another day without smoking, I feel great." And tomorrow when you wake up, say, "I am going to try for another day. Tomorrow I will deal with tomorrow." To successfully stay free from smoking, TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME and - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!



© Joel Spitzer 1995, 2000
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

September 12th, 2001, 9:45 am #32

From the true addict's point of view there is never a good time to quit and those first few hours always invite serious reasons to surrender, but why not use this opportunity to show you the real you! Be strong! We talk about bravery and watch lots of t.v. heros but what about you? Are you brave enough to bite your lip and taste blood in order to go the 72 hours that may be necessary to allow your healing to start to take hold? Be brave friend! Love you enough to be patient and brave!
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

September 12th, 2001, 9:54 am #33

Welcome to Freedom! Are you addicted to nicotine? Do you see a true drug addict looking back when looking in a mirror? A drug's "intoxicating" effect has almost nothing to do with its ability to physically addict users. For example, nicotine's addiction rate among regular users exceeds 70% while powdered cocaine's dependency rate is five times less at around 15%. Most addiction scientists now consider nicotine the most addictive drug on earth!

Once dependent, the nicotine addict's brain somehow becomes permanently altered. We know it grows or activates millions of extra receptors (upreguates) to process higher levels of nicotine. We know that once nicotine is out of the brain that it works hard to get rid of the extra receptors and restore natural sensitivities. We also know that the law of nicotine addiction is simple. If a recovering nicotine addict uses any nicotine, even one puff, they are all but assured of full and complete relapse back to their old level of nicotine intake or higher. The brain's healing comes to an end and we're back behind bars.

The maximum time in takes for the body to become 100% nicotine clean, and for the symptoms of physical withdrawal to peak in intensity is 72 hours. Within two to three weeks the brain's physical adjustment to living without nicotine is substantially complete. What remains are probably some remote or seasonal habit triggered craves and all the memories and thoughts associated with years of active dependency.

The secret to successful recovery is to focus on remaining free for just one hour at a time. Yes, just one hour and celebrate! It's when we start thinking about going without nicotine for weeks, months or "forever" that we start making the challenge far harder than necessary. If you cannot remain nicotine free for the few minutes then tomorrow doesn't matter. Soon the hours build and by the 72 hour mark peak withdrawal is achieved and the anxieties slowly begin easing.

Many of the symptoms experienced during prior recovery attempts, like difficulty concentrating, were due to low blood sugar. Drink plenty of fruit juice the first few days (cranberry is excellent). Also spread out the amount of food your normally eat. Don't eat more, eat more often. Nicotine fed us by releasing stored fats and sugars into the bloodstream. But it's no longer our spoon. Don't skip meals!

A few quick guidelines. Don't give up anything except nicotine but be extremely careful around alcohol and other smokers during the first week or so. Write down all your reasons for quitting and read them daily as your dreams and desires are the wind beneath your wings. No crave anxiety attack lasts for more than three minutes but be sure and look at a clock as time distortion is common. Develop three coping plans and use them all if necessary (shower/bath - deep breaths - clear your mind of thoughts while focusing on your favorite color, object or person - call a friend).

Whereas a crave lasts less than 3 minutes, smoking "thoughts" can infect your mind for hours if you let them. Don't try to run from your thoughts but grab each by the horns and place it under honest light. The further we get from active dependency the less our addiction will be doing the talking. Withdrawal, craves and "thoughts" are the temporary price of freedom! There is no legitimate excuse for relapse, including the death of the person you love most.

If patient with our healing, we'll experience that first day of total and complete comfort, where we never once think about wanting to smoke, chew or **** nicotine. After the first such day they soon become our new norm.

Victory is yours the moment that you know with every fiber of your being that you'll never take another puff of nicotine. There is no such thing as just "one puff." If you decided to bum your relapse cigarette, don't ask for just one. Instead, ask for the entire pack, because you're going to need them, and thousands more! Remember, be patient and no nicotine for just one hour at a time!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

John (Gold)
Last edited by John (Gold) on July 13th, 2009, 2:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

October 1st, 2001, 5:27 pm #34

A Magic Time?
There is no magic in the day or hour that you decide to quit smoking.
There is no magic in deciding to quit at morning, noon or night!
There is no magic in which cigarette you decide to make your last.
Break the mold, be bold!
If there is any magic, it's you!
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GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)

September 30th, 2004, 10:36 am #35

baby steps....just one at a time
Last edited by GrumpyOMrsS (Gold) on July 13th, 2009, 2:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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kattatonic1 gold4
kattatonic1 gold4

January 7th, 2005, 8:05 am #36

For Beverley

During my first days, I did most things One Task At A Time.

Okay, I will just do the dishes and not smoke.
I'm doing the dishes. Breathe.
I'm doing the dishes. It's okay, I'm doing the dishes.
Breathe.

Okay, I will just sort that mail and not smoke.
I'm sorting. I'm sorting. Breathe.
This is a bill. This one is trash. Yay! A letter from so-and-so! I'm sorting. Okay. I'm sorting.

Okay, I will just watch the News and not smoke.
Just the News. Here I am with the news. Breathe.
I can watch the News. I am watching the News.
I'm okay. News. News. News.

I cried some days a lot (some do, some don't) but I got through those bad few days. It was the best thing I ever did in my life. It has been months and months that I have even thought in terms of One Day a At Time. Know that the challenge is very temporary.

~ Kay (Gold) ~
Celebrating 1 Year, 15 Days, 13 Hours and 33 Minutes of Freedom.
Forsaking 7611 doses of poison has liberated $2,474.11 and 26 Days and 10 Hours of my life.
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CMondragon21170
CMondragon21170

June 17th, 2005, 2:33 am #37

Many smokers fail at quitting because they allow their mind to convince them that the mountain is just too high to climb.
How do you eat a 4,000 pound elephant? One bite at a time! How do you make a 72 hour mountain climb? One step at a time.
This is one of my most favorite reads ever. Even now reading it makes me giggle. (eating an elephant....that's silly) To an obsessive compulsive personality, such as myself, our challenges lie in living in our moments and NOT jumping ahead to tomorrow, or next week or next month, etc. It's being in the moment, living in that moment going one step at a time. We also spend a great deal more time living in our heads-which can equal racing thoughts & anxiety. Another challenge, as if we don't have enough to deal w/!
I knew that I had "made it" as a non-smoker when I was just sticking to one hour at a time...and I didn't have racing thoughts or anxiety about what was going to happen next. Eventually all those hours started flying by, then the days, and even the months. All w/out smoking.
Chevet' - Free and Healing for Nine Months, Twenty Six Days, 17 Hours and 47 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 83 Days and 12 Hours, by avoiding the use of 6015 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $1,598.57.
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Starshinegrl Gold
Starshinegrl Gold

October 19th, 2005, 11:50 pm #38

Did somebody mention an elephant?
Last edited by Starshinegrl Gold on July 13th, 2009, 1:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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enjoyinglifeJamie
enjoyinglifeJamie

October 20th, 2005, 1:18 am #39

Isn't it just the best? Way better than all those lies we always heard & told ourselves must be true. Thanks for popping this one up, I love that analogy. Maybe it's because I used to collect elephants, or maybe it's just because it's true! In any case, that phrase stuck in my head and there's just too many articles around here, I wouldn't have known where to begin.
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

September 26th, 2006, 10:16 am #40

Message #55

During my first days, I did most things One Task At A Time.

Okay, I will just do the dishes and not smoke.
I'm doing the dishes. Breathe.
I'm doing the dishes. It's okay, I'm doing the dishes.
Breathe.

Okay, I will just sort that mail and not smoke.
I'm sorting. I'm sorting. Breathe.
This is a bill. This one is trash. Yay! A letter from so-and-so! I'm sorting. Okay. I'm sorting.

Okay, I will just watch the News and not smoke.
Just the News. Here I am with the news. Breathe.
I can watch the News. I am watching the News.
I'm okay. News. News. News.

I cried some days a lot (some do, some don't) but I got through those bad few days. It was the best thing I ever did in my life. It has been months and months that I have even thought in terms of One Day a At Time. Know that the challenge is very temporary.

~ Kay (Gold) ~
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

January 4th, 2007, 10:56 am #41

one breath, one thought, one situation, one task, one trigger, one urge, one minute, one just say "Nope I don't do that anymore" at a time.

Victory is yours the moment that you know with every fiber of your being that you'll never take another puff of nicotine. There is no such thing as just "one puff." If you decided to bum your relapse cigarette, don't ask for just one. Instead, ask for the entire pack, because you're going to need them, and thousands more! Remember, be Patient and no nicotine for just one hour at a time!


John
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

December 31st, 2007, 11:35 am #42

Don't worry about quitting for tomorrow or next week or forever.
Don't agonize over past unsuccessful quits when the Law of Addiction had not been made clear and applied to nicotine addiction.
Focus on the 'Present' Journey of re-adjustment to "you", for it is only in this current moment that we are actually free. We'll always stay that way if we maintain our promise to ourselves to NotTakeAnotherPuff!
JoeJFree - Gold
Last edited by JoeJFree Gold on July 24th, 2009, 1:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

January 10th, 2008, 10:27 am #43

From above:
We smokers are impatient people. We want results now! But it isn't our fault. Our minds have been conditioned by our addiction to expect immediate relief from the anxiety of early withdrawal, which always arrives within 8 seconds of sucking new nicotine into our lungs. Within 20 to 30 minutes our blood nicotine level will again fall to the point that minor discomfort arrives, and again we obtain almost immediate relief as new nicotine laden smoke is sucked into crying lungs. A pack a day smoker repeats this cycle of obtaining immediate relief about 7,300 times a year. Yes, smokers are impatient when it comes to bringing an abrupt halt to the symptoms of withdrawal but we've got reason to be impatient. Our addiction has bred a powerful habit and recovery doesn't happen overnight.
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starbirder.ffn
starbirder.ffn

April 5th, 2008, 12:11 am #44

Be patient with your healing!
Your priceless gift to you is still doing its work.
Ahead are comfort, peace and calmness.
Be strong and remember why Freedom exists!
We're here for you! John'01
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The Law of Addiction
The law of addiction simply states: "Administration of a drug to an addict will cause reestablishment of the dependence on the addictive substance."
The day that you tossed your "last" cigarette away, you were placed "on probation" for the rest of your life. While it may seem harsh and unfair, to many, smoking is a crime punishable by death. There are no loopholes in the law of addiction. Don't try to cheat the system just - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF! Joel
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

September 7th, 2008, 11:39 am #45

one breath, one thought, one situation, one task, one trigger, one urge, one minute, one just say "Nope I don't do that anymore" at a time.

Victory is yours the moment that you know with every fiber of your being that you'll never take another puff of nicotine. There is no such thing as just "one puff." If you decided to bum your relapse cigarette, don't ask for just one. Instead, ask for the entire pack, because you're going to need them, and thousands more! Remember, be Patient and no nicotine for just one hour at a time!


John
Last edited by JoeJFree Gold on March 12th, 2014, 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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