Focus on Quitting for Just One Hour

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

12:58 AM - Dec 20, 2000 #1

Just One Hour at a Time!
Many smokers fail at arresting their dependency because they allow their mind to convince them that the mountain is just too high to climb. There in front of them stands what seems from the bottom looking up like the mighty mountain of physical withdrawal. It isn't a hard climb before achieving peak withdrawal, but at a maximum of 72 hours it can feel rather lengthy and clearly requires focus and dedication of purpose. Although the view from the summit is breathtaking, for millions each year the dream of ever sensing freedom from nicotine will be destroyed when dependency fostered diseases permanently turns out the lights. Sadly, roughly 40% of us climb for a few brief hours each year and then simply give up. Why?

Are we too lazy to climb? Are they afraid of heights? Was the climbing too hard? I don't think so. I think that most of us talked ourselves into believing that there were just too many steps to take. Like our reaction to seeing extremely long lines at amusement theme parks, we simply didn't have the patience to wait in line to experience the unknown. Long term smokers have very little memory of what a healthy body and an unaddicted mind were like. You can tell a 30 year smoker that within three months of ending its use that they could experience up to a 30% improvement in overall lung function, and begin experiencing entire days where they never once think about wanting to smoke nicotine. But if you can't imagine or remember what healthy lungs are like, or going an entire day without concerns of replenshing the blood streams constantly falling nicotine reserves then you've wasted your breath.

If elephant was the best tasting meat in the world, and we told you that you had to eat an entire two ton elephant, you'd say "impossible!" Eating four thousand pounds of elephant is a far greater challenge than the 72 hours it takes for your body to become nicotine free and your withdrawal symptoms to peak, but it is not impossible. 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.

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.

Successful quitters are those who have learned to control their impatience by ignoring the size of the elephant or the height of the mountain, as they continue taking just one bite and one step at a time. There are many tasks in life that require baby steps in order to finish what we've started. You can't build a beautiful wall with just one brick, receive a new baby after one month of pregnancy, obtain a college degree with just one class, or cook a delicious holiday dinner in a few short minutes. Imagine getting half of a meal cooked and then leaving the kitchen or building half a wall built and then walking away. Going the distance in life is normal. Swimming half way across the pool and then stopping is not.
Stop for one hour. Keep your eye on the path and try not to look ahead. Enjoy the hour, don't dread it. The next hour doesn't have to be difficult. It could be flat and level or it might be a bit bumpy but either way it's just one hour and it is certain to end. The 72 hours need to reach the top of withdrawal's mountain are each wonderful hours of glorious healing. With the passing of each, your body grows cleaner as more and more nicotine is eliminated from your body. You know that no crave lasts more than three minutes but that recovery time distortion can make the minutes feel like hours so be sure and look a clock. Soon another hour of freedom and healing will have passed and you can begin celebrating! Celebrate 72 times! Enjoy each step to freedom for if we do this right we'll only take them once. Remember, there is absolutely nothing to fear in coming home to a place where everything we did with nicotine can be done as well or better without it. I know that may seem impossible right now but just one hour and challenge at a time and you'll learn like we did that nicotine addiction is about living a lie. It wasn't who we were, it didn't define us and it certainly didn't help us cope.

You deserve to taste freedom! It's our birthright. There are hundreds of millions of recovered and comfortable ex-users and none were stonger than we are. They simply learned a a bit of patience. Why not give yourself a chance to meet the real you! Stop using for just one hour and then celebrate! Remember, that next craving will end whether it's fed or not. Why not bring them to a permanent end!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,
John (Zep) - The Gold Club
Last edited by John (Gold) on 1:22 AM - Jul 13, 2009, edited 3 times in total.
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GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)

1:04 AM - Dec 20, 2000 #2


glad you started this thread, Zep....just found this in my files about an hour ago and thought it would be nice to add. have no idea who the author is but would like to say thank you to him or her.



"when the task at hand is a mountain in front of you
it may seem too hard to climb.
but you don't have to climb it all at once -
just one step at a time.
take one small step...
and one small step
then another...
and you'll find...
the task at hand that was a mountain in front of you...
is now a mountain you have climbed."



author unknown



Linda
Last edited by GrumpyOMrsS (Gold) on 1:24 AM - Jul 13, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

1:16 AM - Dec 20, 2000 #3

That was fast Linda but very timely!
Just one foot in front of the other!
Baby steps to glory!
Last edited by John (Gold) on 1:25 AM - Jul 13, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

6:00 PM - Dec 20, 2000 #4

Good one Zep. There is nothing I need to add.
Joel
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

2:58 AM - Dec 22, 2000 #5

Thanks Joel, Nomo & Jitter. I hope it helps
Once the hours begin building into full days start taking things ...



Try not to be afraid! There is nothing to fear about coming
home to a place where you begin going entire days without
once thinking about wanting to smoke, chew or dip nicotine!

Yes you can, yes you have, yes you are!
Last edited by John (Gold) on 1:31 AM - Jul 13, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

11:05 PM - Jan 03, 2001 #6

To supplement this post:

"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 TIM 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!
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leslie
leslie

3:53 AM - Jan 05, 2001 #7

WOW!! That hit home..just found this thread..on my fourth day and just wanted to say how amazing you all are for taking the time to seriously help and educate all us newbies and everyone else!! It is making this experience so much more enlightening and I have quit for good!!Thanks..Leslie[the grump feeling happier]
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

5:09 AM - Jan 06, 2001 #8

Last edited by John (Gold) on 1:34 AM - Jul 13, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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NYPam
NYPam

1:43 PM - Jan 07, 2001 #9

I have to say that making it to the top of the mountain ((yes, I am afraid of heights, John!)) is what I strive to achieve. i have made it for 4 days ( (I am not concerned of the minutes and hours )) I want to be smoke free..I want to be healthy, and happy. I am tired of going out on the porch to smoke...or worse yet to be on a date and not feel comfortable because "he" is not a smoker. Being a non-smoker is a plus, I want that for me. One hour??? one minute??? I am serious but am afraid that some emotion will yield its ungly head and I will weaken and make excuses. Tell us we are doing ok.'I need to hear that.' Tonight was a challenge. I made it smoke free... I am on my way... but I am weak, believe it or not.
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spnas
spnas

10:12 PM - Jan 17, 2001 #10

It is my experience this works one day, one hour, one minute, one second at a time. :-) I now believe I never have to take another puff!!!!!!!

ODAT
Scott P.

One week, one day, 10 hours, 8 minutes and 1 second. 168 coffin nails not smoked, saving $20.14. Time stole from the Grim Reaper: 14 hours, 0 minutes.
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mela
mela

1:39 AM - Jan 31, 2001 #11

this is good reading! i'm printing it so that i may read it again and to share with my son and daughter! hugs and thanks! mela (2nd day of 3rd wk of glorious freedom and feeling great!!!!)
Last edited by mela on 1:10 AM - Jul 24, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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Mari (GOLD)
Mari (GOLD)

4:22 AM - Feb 17, 2001 #12

Zep, thank you for starting this thread. I'd just posted to Suzanne that I was going into the library looking for this, but I didn't have a clue where it was. I knew I'd read it before, though. I'm printing the whole thing out and putting it into my notebook.

Linda, thanks for the poem. Maybe we should look at the mountain top as a destination, not an obstacle.

Ah-h-h-h now with the time saved not having to search for this article, I'm going to relax, breathe deep, read and highlight (I'm an excellent highlighter-er).

Thanks to the entire staff for your dedication to all of us.

A 2 Day Quitter, Mari
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Fat Tony GOLD
Fat Tony GOLD

4:30 AM - Feb 17, 2001 #13

I have to disagree with the 72 hour rule. My last quit ended because of it. 72 hours was definently not the top of the mountain for me. I think telling people that it will get easier after just 3 days might do more harm than good. It took me about a week to get to the top..."**** week" is a more appropriate rule of thumb. NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!!

1 month 1week 16hours
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

5:41 AM - Feb 17, 2001 #14

Hi Tony! Your last quit didn't end because of some 72 hour rule Your last quit ended because Tony wanted his drug back! No doubt, physical withdrawal symptoms are a bit different for each of us but the "72 hours" isn't a rule of tumb it's a rule of halves. The half-life of nicotine in the human body is about two hours and the blood of EVERY quitter will test negative for nicotine by the 72 mark. You're right though, when we reach the mountain top we still have to come down!

Was your last quit here with us at Freedom Tony? Did you happen to keep a crave log? It's fascinating exploring old quits as they are wonderful teachers! Regarding the crave that you decided to feed nicotine during your last quit, do you recall the details surrounding your defeat? We've got some recent **** week crave studies cited around here somewhere and the numbers are very interesting. I'll try to find it and pull up the thread for you! Congratulations on this newest quit! Stay the boss! YQB, Zep
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Fat Tony GOLD
Fat Tony GOLD

6:18 AM - Feb 17, 2001 #15

Zep...I came to whyquit.com three days before I quit and received the education from your articles that helped be successfull..at least so far. But all my other quits ended because I was under the impression that it took just two weeks or one month or in the last of my quits 72 hour for the nicotine to no longer be a factor. In other word I thought since a certain amount of time had passed that I was no longer addicted and began smoking again because I chose to. Now, thanks to you, I realize that I will always have cravings. I will never be a non smoker, but I will always be a ex-smoker.
NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF
1MONTH, 1WEEK, 18HOURS
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

7:22 AM - Feb 17, 2001 #16

Tony, Tony, Tony, I'll buy you a soda if you can find where Zep or WhyQuit says...
"Now, thanks to you, I realize that I will always have cravings. "
Nothing could be further from the truth Tony!
Tony, if you keep going strong you you will soon live in complete comfort. I can see that you haven't been there yet Gee, are you in for a treat. These are my stats Tony: I have now been free and healing for 1 Year 9 Months 21 Hours 58 Minutes 24 Seconds, there should be an extra 38,574 cigarettes somewhere, and I have not had a real crave in 1 Year and 7 Months. It was about day 60 for me Tony but I really pushed it hard in both my mind (positive thinking) and in attacking the reconditioning of my triggers. I've challenged hundreds of cold turkey quitters both here and at other support sites Tony and I have yet to meet a single quitter who has not experienced their first day of total and complete comfort (zero craves and no "thoughts" about having a cigarette) by day 90. If you go back through Freedom's old posts, I've made this challenge at least 20 times here. I'm sure I'll meet one someday but I' haven't had a taker yet.
What you might be thinking about is "thoughts" and not craves. Craves are loaded with anxiety and reach a peak whereas "thoughts" don't hurt a bit , just sort of stay there, and we're in total control of when they enter our mind and when they leave. Think about your favorite food and then immediately start thinking about something else. Smoking thoughts are no different!
Each long term smoker has millions of memories of their relationship with tobacco and nicotine, just like with any other old relationship. My dad says things like, "Oh I still have a crave for a cigarette every couple of years." But then I quiz him. "Did it hurt Dad or did it drive ya crazy?" "No," he says, "I just thought about having a cigarette." LOL It probably was some remote unusual trigger that brought back the memory of smoking that said to him, "a cigarette sure would taste good right now," but if we must call it a crave, in no way did it compare to those that you've been experiencing. Your crave generator is dying!
Around here we get hurricane scares each year (Charleston, SC). A real hurricane (>74 mph sustained winds) is akin to a **** week type crave. Mine each reminded me of Hugo in 89! But the "thoughts" that ex-smokers have a year down the road couldn't even be considered a stiff breeze! Sure, there are bumps in the road for many but comfort does arrive and it does become the norm in your life! Chin up Tony!
Last edited by John (Gold) on 11:51 PM - Mar 12, 2014, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

10:19 PM - Feb 24, 2001 #17



The next few minutes are all that matter and each is doable!
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happycamper 67
happycamper 67

6:29 AM - Mar 11, 2001 #18

being an avid backpacker, this analogy rings clear.
thanks for the perspective, zep!
maggie
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Triin (GOLD)
Triin (GOLD)

4:12 AM - Mar 15, 2001 #19

Wow, it's so cool...
I'm eating my elephant
one bite at a time :-)
Triin
I have been Quit for: 3W 2D 21h 28m 52s. I have NOT smoked 477, for a savings of $32.85. Life Saved: 1D 15h 45m.
Last edited by Triin (GOLD) on 1:40 AM - Jul 13, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

9:11 PM - Mar 21, 2001 #20


Do it for you! No one else!
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kals2
kals2

7:55 PM - Apr 14, 2001 #21

This post is GREAT! I knew it.....this message confirms it....I'm in the STINKIN THINKIN mode right now - but the reading has turned my journey and I am again - headed in the right direction. Thankyou. I am still an ex-smoker; and I STILL choose NOT TO TAKE ANOTHER PUFF - It's back to read, read, READ. I especially like the reinforcements you guys all give here. It is so darned easy to get on the pity pot and say "poor me" waaaaa, waaaaaa. Or - we can take the road less traveled - and make the journey - one minute, one hour, 1/2 day, 1 day, etc. ,etc. I choose to NOT SMOKE. Thanks again for the support. I will post more now...It's VERY VERY reinforceful to continued success (at least for me). Thanks again...an ex-smoker of 2 weeks, 2 days, 10 hours + ..Becky
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

7:44 PM - Apr 18, 2001 #22


Does it make any sense to be worried about tomorrow's breakfast when it's thirty minutes before time for dinner? Put your energy and concern into those things that you can control here and now! This next hour could be your easiest yet and totally comfortable or it might be the most challenging you've seen. Regardless, a crave only lasts a couple of minutes (look at a clock), the hour will end, and your awesome journey of healing down Freedom's Road will continue!
Last edited by John (Gold) on 1:44 AM - Jul 13, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

6:41 PM - Apr 26, 2001 #23

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!
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SunshineRay
SunshineRay

8:26 AM - Apr 30, 2001 #24

Glad this post was here. In 3rd day, some hours rougher than others. Was already worrying about someone coming over tomorrow that smokes ... Joels post helped me on that one. This post however, has helped me with teaching me (starting to) take small steps. I hour at a time. I've been sitting here projecting all the way to next week when my girlfriend (a big smoker) is coming down to stay with me for 3 or 4 days. So ... as this is my 3rd day, Cheryl, aka sunshineray, shall concern herself with this hour, of this day.

Tomorrow, however I shall log back in to get support for smoking friend (my minds turned that into smoking gun now!) coming over. Ask him not to smoke, or watch him smoke as Joel suggests. Will leave till tomorrow.

Thanks Zep re: lots of excuses built in already re: illnesses. I thought about that after logging off that nite as I had read the Relapse Policy ... and I thought, gee's I've always found excuses to start smoking again .... or anything I was addicted to and wanted for that matter ... but I also thought/became aware that I had written those in my post, and subconciously was already setting myself up with a load of excuses, and reasons for lack of willpower. Even as I write this, part of me is saying.... but you do have all those reasons, but they're aren't reasons they're still excuses. This is going to be a hard road to travel. I'm glad I'm not doing it alone.

sunshine
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

7:12 PM - May 07, 2001 #25

Maybe Twenty Times Longer[/size]
than You're Used to Waiting![/size]

It can be argued that nicotine conditions smoking addicts to be more impatient when it comes to satisfying the onset of a crave than heroin makes its addicts who mainstream their drug via needles into their arms and legs. The nicotine addict only has to wait the 8 seconds that it takes for an inhaled puff of nicotine to be absorbed by the lungs, returned to the heart and then get pumped straight up into our brain where dopamine is released and that "aaah" replenishment feeling was sensed. The heroin addict who injects heroin into an arm or leg has grown accustomed to waiting at least 14 to 16 seconds while the the particular vein slowly returns the heroin to the addict's heart where it is then pumped over and though the lungs then back to the heart before being pumped up to the brain where dopamine is released and the aaah feeling is sensed.
[/size]

This simple blood flow fact doesn't make life any easier for either addict but I hope it does help make the point that we've all been conditioned to be extremely impatient when it comes to satisfying our addiction to nicotine. If we are going to be successful in achieving complete calmness and lasting comfort then we must learn a bit of crave patience. It's only 2 to 3 minutes but in relation to the 8 seconds that we've each been conditioned to wait before our crave was fully satisfied, those 2 to 3 crave minutes can feel like a lifetime. Look at a clock! Remember, every crave ends whether you feed it or not. Why not bring them to a permanent end!
[/size]
[/size]
Last edited by John (Gold) on 1:49 AM - Jul 13, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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