Aha! I wondered what ever happened to my little list of relaxation / crave coping techniques. Knew it must have gotten moved, but never knew where to until now. ANYhoo, I'll add the following:
Sometimes a crave can become worse when I let it frighten me. If I turn away from it, and fear it's power. Because, at the end of the day, I think when you do this, you give power to the crave. A crave often ISN'T really that powerful, if you have the courage to stare it down.
Acknowledge it. Set it down in front of you. Ask yourself, what is this really? Do I really CRAVE a cigarette? Or is this just anxiety, and I remember how anxiety used to cause my nicotine level to drop, and how feeding my body more nicotine used to offset the withdrawals? How long is this lasting? Heck, count the seconds. 1...2....3....4...28...29.....am I still feeling like I was 30 seconds ago? Is it better? Worse? If I simply denied it, would it still be here in 5 minutes? How strong is it? If I rate this feeling, at this second, how does it compare with the one I had yesterday at 2pm on a 1-10 scale? How many 10s have I had over the past 24 hours. What other answers can I come up with to deal with this anxiety attack, if that's what it is?
What I tend to discover is that it's not as bad as my junky wants to pretend it is. It doesn't last as long as my junky wants to pretend it's going to. And, when I really think about it, I DON'T WANT TO SMOKE; but my junky remembers that that alleviated a different kind of anxiety before, and hasn't learned that anxiety comes from all different types of places (not just nicotine withdrawal), and that there are other ways to deal with this anxiety.
Nicotine's effect on withdrawal is like the effect you have when you put a large log on a campfire. When you first put the log on, the fire dims, and smolders. But a few minutes later, it's raging again. Logs don't put out fires -- they feed them -- ditto nicotine and withdrawal.
Okay, enough of this. I can see I'm starting to go off on tangents again....