Have you ever embraced a crave?

Subconscious use cue extinguishment
second chance (green)
second chance (green)

October 27th, 2002, 8:24 am #26

Thank you, John for this post. I honestly believe this is the way I have been able to stay quit this time. I have "accepted" these cravings and understood that they will happen and that they need to happen so that I can heal myself. I believed that the cravings would get better after the nicotine was out of my system and it is true, they aren't nearly as bad and don't last very long. It is easy for me to think of something else when the craving occurs.
I have been anxious to meet the "other person" inside of me that I have forgotten about nearly all of my life. I want to love that person and take better care of her. Thanks for your wonderful perspective!!
second chance
Last edited by second chance (green) on July 23rd, 2009, 2:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

October 28th, 2002, 5:12 am #27

I was pretty beat-up after 30 years of defeats, Second Chance, and it was nice looking in the mirror and having a bit more respect for the fella looking back. As for the sense of comfort, roughly 90% of Freedom's members spent their ENTIRE adult life trying to keep up with the simple fact that one-half of their body's nicotine reserves were constantly being depleted every two hours. The endless cycling between need and feed was draining. The dopamine tub doesn't overflow anymore but it doesn't get empty either. It's almost like the tub is always a little more than half-full and the water never gets cold. It's nice! The next few minutes will be doable Second Chance! John : )
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Roger (Gold)
Roger (Gold)

November 27th, 2002, 9:30 am #28

Still great reading John. I believe this principle is an integral key to an earlier comfort level. Fully understanding it requires just a slight adjustment of the big picture. Perhaps a slight change in ones attitude.
Last edited by Roger (Gold) on July 23rd, 2009, 2:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

April 1st, 2003, 10:58 am #29

Riding Robust Dreams to Freedom

What is the inner source that will allow you to stop smoking nicotine, skip those once mandatory feedings, and resume full control of your life? Strength, willpower, desire?

It would be natural to think that it's a combination of the three but none of us are stronger than our addiction, as is clearly evidenced by our inability to live the drug addict's first wish of being able to control the uncontrollable. You cannot beat your dependency into submission, stand toe to toe with it, or handle one puff of nicotine and prevail. Nicotine's chemical bond with the brain's reward pathways is beyond the reach of strength.

Willpower? Yes, we can each temporarily muster mountains of willpower but can willpower make any of us of us endure a challenge that we lack the motivation to complete? Can you inhale, chew or **** nicotine into your body and then "will it" to not travel to the brain's addiction circuitry or create the chemical need for more? Have you ever been able to order or command the challenges of chemical withdrawal or psychological recovery to cease? If we are incapable of using strength to control our addiction and we cannot "will" our chemical dependency into hibernation or submission, then what remains?

As simple as it may sound, dreams and desires born of honest recognition of tobacco's impact upon our life have the amazing ability to fuel change, but it takes keeping those original honest motivations in the forefront and driver's seat of our mind so that they can both consciously and subconsciously guide us home.

The successful quitter finds ways to protect and safeguard their primary motivations so that they remain robust, alive and available at a moment's notice to fuel the patience needed to transition this temporary period of adjustment called "quitting." The intelligent quitter's strategy combines an understanding of the law of addiction - one puff of nicotine equals relapse - with well-protected core motivations.

The successful quitter does not try to forget what their health was like while smoking, what it felt like to be controlled, the growing sense of becoming a social outcast, or that feeling as we stood at the tobacco counter and paid our hard earned money to purchase the more than 4,000 chemicals contained in each cigarette that would slowly destroy our body and mind. The successful quitter keeps such memories - and others - in the forefront of their mind as honest reminders and motivations to fuel their dreams and desires.

The intelligent quitter realizes that if they allow their motivations to die that it is very possible their freedom and healing will die along with them. The intelligent quitter finds ways to fuel their motivations, just one day at a time, through study, understanding, education, skills development, critical observation and honesty. They know that they are 100% guaranteed to continue free today if they'll only maintain and protect their original day #1 genuine desires to ... Never Take Another Puff!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! John
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

May 19th, 2003, 8:12 am #30

From: Storm_ Sent: 5/18/2003 6:03 PM
Maybe my head is still in a fog, because I have read this over and over and I don't get it. How do you embrace a crave? Does it mean to accept it for what it is (a crave) and deal with it the best you can? Today has been a bit challenging, but so far, I have rode it out. I felt like I was sure to lose it earlier, but I think I'm ok now, thanks to my husband. He talked me through it. I've had trouble getting anything done today. I didn't even want to get myself cleaned up, but I made myself do it anyway. I really feel abnormal in my way of thinking today. Anybody else felt this way too??

Storm, this has been reposted so that the .exe file link you attached could be removed. Please review our Our Courtesies as all external links need to be cleared in advance through one of the managers.

As for this post, sitting around fearing the arrival of the next crave can be draining. An objective of this post was to try get members to see that much of the anxiety we feel during early recovery is self-inflicted. It was my hope that members might lose some of that anticipation type anxiety if they would only allow themselves an opportunity to experience a crave for what it really is - a brief anxiety event that can not hurt you. John
Last edited by John (Gold) on July 23rd, 2009, 2:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Ouija7
Ouija7

November 24th, 2003, 9:22 pm #31

Looking Forward to my next Difficult Day!

No, you didn't read the headline wrong, nor is it a typo. Earlier this week I had a few difficult days, but I embraced them. Why? Because I knew today, (a day of comfort and celebration), was just around the corner! Difficulty makes Celebration so much sweeter! Here's to "difficult days", and especially to those days that follow them!!!-------Ouija7
Last edited by Ouija7 on March 8th, 2009, 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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VoluntaryDebraSilver
VoluntaryDebraSilver

December 3rd, 2003, 11:50 am #32

I think I'm lucky working where I do (post office) while going through the first days of ending nicotine use. I find great release in throwing my head back and sort of yelling HAHAHAHA while throwing my arms in an arc behind me. And then I yell I Had An Urge!!! It's amazing the feedback you can get from people you thought you knew. Share yourself and be amazed at what you recieve.
Debra
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

December 3rd, 2003, 12:05 pm #33



This smile on my face belongs to you Debra, thanks! This is a very special time for all of us and to see members delighting it taking back control of the more than 200 neurochemicals that nicotine held hostage is special. Be proud of you! All that matters are the next few minutes and each is entirely within our ability to move beyond. We're beside each other in spirit. John
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

March 24th, 2004, 11:19 pm #34



Meeting, greeting and reconditioning all of our subconscious nicotine feeding cues is a very necessary part of recovery. Calm those deep inner fears as there is absolutely no reason to fear this temporary journey of adjustment back to fully and comfortably engaging life as "us!" You're going home and there's only one rule, no nicotine today ... Never Take Another Puff!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! John
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smurfetteirl
smurfetteirl

March 25th, 2004, 3:39 am #35

great post for me today!
Last edited by smurfetteirl on March 8th, 2009, 12:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)

April 21st, 2004, 9:45 pm #36

Keep on meeting, greeting and defeating those triggers and you will soon find that anything you could do as a smoker, you will do better and enjoy lots more as your quit matures and you become a comfortable ex smoker.

Linda

smoked 41 years, free for 51 months
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Roger (Gold)
Roger (Gold)

May 24th, 2004, 11:55 am #37

Don't just let them pass. They really are harmless once you understand. They are nothing but part of your healing process. Nothing More, Nothing Less. Reach out and capture one and see for yourself.
Last edited by Roger (Gold) on March 8th, 2009, 12:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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divegal808
divegal808

May 26th, 2004, 4:39 am #38

of everything i've read here, this has turned out to be the most profound for me.

my craving looked like death but when i stopped running i realized it was really rebirth.

thank you, john!

amber -- Free and Healing for Seventeen Days, 14 Hours and 48 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 14 Hours, by avoiding the use of 176 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $48.48.
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RIPxLearux
RIPxLearux

June 27th, 2004, 12:24 pm #39

I really like thsi one to one of the better ones!

Chris
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johnny
johnny

June 28th, 2004, 8:30 am #40

hello freedomites! this thread has really helped me the last couple days. just a day shy of being double green.i am so glad i happened upon it. johnny-59 days in 1 hour
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Treenie
Treenie

October 14th, 2004, 9:41 am #41

John,
Boy did I need to read this...I read it twice so far and probably will again in the future. I will be 14 days nicotine free tomorrow and I had three really bad cravings today. How do I know it was 3? They knocked my socks off...the 1st one surprised me and it lasted pretty long, but I got through it. The second was about the same, but the 3rd one was the bad one. I was in a situation where having a cigarette was just so normal for me, that I started to pace alittle. It is the 1st time in 13 days that I really sensed panic. I got through it, but I know it would have been easier if I had read this post yesterday or the day before.
Thanks for the advice and I am reading the Newbie postings over again. Thank you for giving me positive words and understanding to keep in my head for the cravings to come.
Sue
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

November 1st, 2004, 12:09 am #42

   

Every symptom and crave episode is a sign of healing
Every thought an opportunity for honest reflection


Via insula anxiety beatings and dopamine "aaah" rewards our chemical addiction conditioned us to see recovery as hurt and horror instead of healing, beauty, freedom and hope.  Within reason, everything we feel and sense during this amazing temporary journey of re-sensitization, re-conditioning and re-adjustment reflects physical, emotional subconscious or conscious healing of a free mind, body and soul.


There is absolutely nothing to fear in coming home to a mind that goes days, weeks and eventually months without wanting for nicotine. Although it may at times feel like it, we promise that you are leaving no part of your personality behind, that meeting, greeting and extinguishing your crave trigger cues will allow you to again comfortably walk through life as "you!"  Millions of words here at Freedom but only one rule guaranteeing success to all ... no nicotine today! John
Last edited by John (Gold) on July 25th, 2017, 9:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

January 2nd, 2005, 10:36 pm #43

See each crave episode as
the true healing it reflects
Encountering and working through cue triggered crave episodes should be a welcomed event as its the best proof possible that you're taking back your mind and life.   There's no need to fear getting better. Anxieties can flow from subconscious expectations conditioning or simple conscious fixation. One we you get good at riding out and the other an opportunity to explore dependency rationalizations.

The beauty of encountering a subconscious feeding cue is that it's less than three minutes in duration unless of course we decide to tag conscious fixation to the end. But for some unknown reason the subconscious mind does not persist beyond three minutes if it fails to  obtain the expected result.  But keep a clock handy as time distortion is an almost universial recovery symptom, one capable of making minutes feel like hours.

In regard to conscious fixation, undoing conscious expectations is very much within our ability to control. Not only can we gradually learn to control the amount of time we allow our mind to remain fixated on any thought, we can explore the root beliefs and fuel underling our thinking. For example, the tobacco industry spends billions annually to brainwash each of us into believing that we keep buying pack after pack after pack for flavor, aroma, adventure, to relieve stress, to keep our friends or for pleasure.

The billions and billions of dollars (or pounds) of point of sale (POS) tobacco advertising signs that time after time bombard your brain each time you buy gas, candy, groceries or go to the pharmacy are there because they work. The hundreds of tobacco ads your brain catches glimpses of in magazines each year are there because they work. From Salem's current "excite the senses" campaign to Marlboro's "celebrating fifty years of flavor," they provide a rich source of fuel for the addict's mind, a smokescreen that hides the truth.

The truth is that once addicted to stealing our neurochemicals it really didn't matter if our particular brand had the most tolerable taste/flavor/aroma manipulation that we'd yet identified. Truth is, once hooked on the alkaloid nicotine that acid generating stressful events quickly neutralized our body's nicotine reserves, compelling us to service our addiction before addressing the stressful event.

The truth is that roughly 90% of adult smokers are chemically addicted to smoking nicotine under DSM III mental health standards and smoke because they must - because a rising tide of anxieties hurt when they don't. The truth is that any moment in time 70 -71% of surveyed smokers will tell you that they want to quit but just can't seem to pull it off.

This piece on embracing crave episodes was intended to encourage you to be brave just once so that you could see how much of the anxiety filling the moment was self-inflected. It's intended to help you experience the glory of your own raw healing as you feel a subconsciously triggered episode arrive, grow and then go.

Practice using your conscious mind as a tool to help reassure and quiet your deep, inner primitive mind. The next crave episode is not an event to be feared but a wonderful moment of healing and one more step to again fully reclaiming every aspect of life.

You're coming home to a lasting calm and deep inner quiet that was lost when nicotine's two-hour half-life became the basic clock governing your body's flow of more than 200 neurochemicals. The endless roller-coaster ride is ending. The real quitting took place the moment you lost sight of beauty that was you.   It's my hope that you'll get excited about completing recovery and seeing what it's like to relax for hours at a time, when life's pace permits.

Millions of words here at Freedom but only one rule determining the outcome for all ... no nicotine just one day at a time!

John (Gold x5)
Last edited by John (Gold) on July 25th, 2017, 9:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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forza d animo
forza d animo

July 16th, 2005, 9:06 pm #44

Amongst the most well written and powerful messagages on this board, this one is timeless in its ability to help not only the newbie get through the initial stages of freedom but also in its ability to remind all of us that nicotine can do us no harm so long as we never take another puff.
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IrishLotus GOLD
IrishLotus GOLD

August 19th, 2005, 2:33 am #45

Posting this in Janet's parade today reminded me how much I love this thread. It meant a lot to me early on in my quit, so I thought I'd kick it up for anyone who might need a little encouragement today. Thanks John!
YQS~
Lotus
Free and healing for 1,059 days and feelin' fine!
Last edited by IrishLotus GOLD on March 8th, 2009, 12:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Em B 12106
Em B 12106

February 17th, 2006, 7:20 am #46

There is a very special person waiting at the other end!

Thank you.
Em
Three weeks, four days, 20 hours, 13 minutes and 38 seconds. 387 cigarettes not smoked, saving $82.18. Life saved: 1 day, 8 hours, 15 minutes.
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

February 23rd, 2007, 10:07 pm #47

The end of John's original message above applies whether we are in the first week or our third year of this lifetime journey of recovery of the true you:

Take pride in your healing. It can't hurt you, only you can do that! Enjoy your recovery don't fear it! Embrace your craves! Enjoy your journey home! There is a very special person waiting at the other end!
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dandimae
dandimae

March 1st, 2007, 10:07 pm #48

Wow, that's powerful stuff! Thank you so much...I haven't ever even thought about it like that. Before, the crave meant more cigarettes, now it means strength. I look at it as a signal that I'm still alive, because I've decided to NTAP!
-dandi mae
1 week strong
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SandraJ0 Gold1
SandraJ0 Gold1

May 23rd, 2007, 3:56 am #49


My favoite post. I used his tactic more then any in my fight for freedom.
Sandy 1 Year, 3 Months, 3 Weeks, 3 Days, 5 hours and 56 minutes a.k.a. 479 days. Life is amazing now that there is not smoke in my way.
Last edited by SandraJ0 Gold1 on July 23rd, 2009, 2:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Gump19690
Gump19690

July 20th, 2007, 10:22 am #50

Why yes I have.....thank you for asking.



The following passage helped me through the early stages of my quit.....

Touch it, hug it, feel it, sense it! You won't make the anxiety one bit more intense than it otherwise would have been. You're witnessing part of the most beautiful healing that your body and life may ever experience. Yes, there is anxiety there but for the very first time it's not being fed and fueled by you. Feel it's strength slowing begin decaying. Take pride in your healing.


Seriously, I havent had the opportunity to embrace a crave for some time now as I've been quit for a while....until tonight where I was at the ballgame and apparently downwind from the front gate where "they" were huddled around smoking and some wafted my way. The sensation of wanting one lasted all of about 5 seconds and was gone...attention back on the game and my family. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening without having to escape for my fix outside the front gate....what a hassle


6m 2w 3d 22:12 smoke-free, 4,378 cigs not smoked, $875.60 saved, 2w 1d 4:50 life saved
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