Have you ever embraced a crave?

Subconscious use cue extinguishment
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 18:57

14 Oct 2004, 09:41 #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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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

01 Nov 2004, 00:09 #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 25 Jul 2017, 21:09, edited 2 times in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

02 Jan 2005, 22:36 #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 25 Jul 2017, 21:16, edited 2 times in total.
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Joined: 04 Apr 2005, 07:00

16 Jul 2005, 21:06 #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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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:02

19 Aug 2005, 02:33 #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 08 Mar 2009, 00:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:06

17 Feb 2006, 07:20 #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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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

23 Feb 2007, 22:07 #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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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:56

01 Mar 2007, 22:07 #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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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:01

23 May 2007, 03:56 #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 23 Jul 2009, 02:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

20 Jul 2007, 10:22 #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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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

20 Jul 2007, 10:47 #51

Congratulations, Gump, and thank you for always bumping this up, Sal. I'm Gold x3 plus and this is the only thread to which I still subscribe. It was a key to my successful quit, and to my life.

I learned within months of my quit that I had anxiety disorders and had been suppressing them (but not the problems they caused) for 30 years with nicotine. I also learned that there are healthy ways to actually treat anxiety, not simply suppress it like every cigarette (or gum or patch.)

From what I've gathered here, most people don't wind up needing meds or formal therapy, but for those who do, know that unlike with the vicious cycle of nicotine, you'll be getting your life back, in more ways than one. And it's nothing to be ashamed of; it's courageous and beautiful.

Embrace your crave, return to yourself, and Never Take Another Puff.

Love to all.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

07 Nov 2007, 10:58 #52

This really hits home for me. Rather than mask it by eating, drinking or doing something to get my mind of it I actually have let it hit me full on! Feel it, acknowledge it, cry if I must. Experience the crave and it does move on and then you actually feel stronger. It's the whole " what doesn't kill you makes you stronger".....

As long as you never take another puff!!!

Kristi
One month, one week, four days, 23 hours, 26 minutes and 49 seconds. 839 cigarettes not smoked, saving $209.88. Life saved: 2 days, 21 hours, 55 minutes.
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Joined: 16 Jan 2003, 08:00

10 Jan 2008, 10:23 #53

A crave will go away whether you feed it or not.
Not is a good choice!
Last edited by Sal GOLD.ffn on 23 Jul 2009, 02:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

26 Jul 2008, 07:21 #54

If I had to choose just one post for every newbie to carry at all times, this would be it !!!!!

If you haven't tried it, you should. It's so simple, it works, and it's a life saver.
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:05

28 Aug 2008, 12:09 #55

Thank you for this post, as a newbie I found this message so true and very inspiring. I am going to print this so I can read it often. I plan on embracing my craves, each and every one!

Tracey - 8 days Free
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Joined: 03 Mar 2009, 00:32

23 Dec 2009, 21:21 #56

After almost 7 yrs of being nicotine free last night for some reason I walked into a store and a guy was smoking. Usually the smell stinks and I can't stand it. But last night it smelt good!
I couldn't figure out why then I remembered a post from John the the cigerette companies do this on ppurpose! They will add chocolete or some other smell to lure us addicts to thier products!
I couldn't believe it! But then I remembered I'm an addict and I will always look for a reason to smoke. I'm just greatful I remembered that. Thanks John and Joel

Rickgoldx6
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Joined: 03 Mar 2009, 00:32

04 Jan 2010, 23:57 #57

jackrabit50 wrote:
After almost 7 yrs of being nicotine free last night for some reason I walked into a store and a guy was smoking. Usually the smell stinks and I can't stand it. But last night it smelt good!
I couldn't figure out why then I remembered a post from John the the cigerette companies do this on ppurpose! They will add chocolete or some other smell to lure us addicts to thier products!
I couldn't believe it! But then I remembered I'm an addict and I will always look for a reason to smoke. I'm just greatful I remembered that. Thanks John and Joel

Rickgoldx6
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Joined: 01 Oct 2010, 12:52

04 Oct 2010, 23:13 #58

Its only been a week for me but I have to say that this has been the most effortless quit I've ever done. I'm absolutely certain that I will never smoke another cigarette and this is primarily attributed to the first page I came across on this site on day 1 which was the Law of Addiction article. It made me realise for the first time since I started smoking 15 years ago how little influence I had in the "decision" to smoke. I always believed I liked it and often cited that as a reason why I still smoked. I don't like being conned and this is a huge motivator in the way I deal with cravings now.

When I get a craving I observe it almost as though it were a third party. I think of it as a salesman trying to sell me something I don't need for 365 easy payments a year for the rest of my life. Its obviously even worse than that. Sometimes I admire it a little bit thinking to myself: "Wow! Thats a really powerful crave. This drug truly is amazing!". I mean, you have to give it points for cleverness. But just like I might appreciate the skill involved in a good sales pitch, I don't buy it. I now know its a really bad deal no matter how its wrapped and I will never allow myself to be conned by nicotine ever again. I'm annoyed I was for so long. I find my cravings last about 10-20 seconds using this persepective.

So I wouldn't say I embrace cravings exactly, but I don't run away from them either. I'm more like an observer this time whereas previously I was an active participant completely absorbed in the story the salesman was telling me.
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Joined: 11 Nov 2008, 19:22

04 Oct 2010, 23:46 #59

Excellent Dave!  Nope, standing back and embracing are clearly two different things   What you're doing is being smarter than your dependency is strong.  Outstanding, literally!  Although your limbic mind screams that smoking is critical to your well being, your rational thinking mind now knows the truth.  It knows that your chemically captive limbic mind has no choice but to lie to you, that it's simply operating as designed, but by a non-intended master.  Be proud of yourself, Dave.  Still just one rule ... no nicotine today!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

John (Gold x11) 
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Joined: 18 Jan 2009, 06:57

13 Oct 2010, 13:30 #60

The last paragraph of this Freedom Classic by John meant so much to me during early recovery.  I hope it can do the same for others now learning to live free of dependency.

Enjoy your recovery don't fear it.  Embrace and welcome each and every crave episode, as the arrival of each signals another time, place, location, event or emotion that you are about to reclaim.  Enjoy coming home.  There is a calm, quiet and free mind at the end, one that will go days, weeks and then months without wanting for nicotine.   But don't take my word for it.  Read the accounts of those you came before you!  Yes you can!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

John
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Joined: 18 Jan 2009, 06:57

22 Mar 2012, 16:48 #61

[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]Enjoy your recovery don't fear it.  Embrace and welcome each and every crave episode, as the arrival of each signals another time, place, location, event or emotion that you are about to reclaim.  Enjoy coming home.  There is a calm, quiet and free mind at the end, one that will go days, weeks and then months without wanting for nicotine.   But don't take my word for it.  Read the [/font]accounts of those you came before you[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]!  Yes you can![/font]

[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,[/font]

[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]John[/font]
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Joined: 25 Feb 2012, 01:44

22 Mar 2012, 19:27 #62

amcanuck ( GOLD ) wrote: I decided a while ago that when I feel an urge to smoke ,I would give that my undivided attention. At first ,I would distract myself with other things.Now ,I face the thoughts dead on. I picture myself smoking and I remember what a let down the last one was. Then I forsee my dissapointment in myself. Then,by the time Im done doing all this in my mind,the desire has passed and I feel good.I know Im stronger than I ever thought I could be. So yes I embrace those craves because I think if you dont you will never be prepared for the bigger ones,the ones that are so tricky that you almost fortget how far you`ve come and that maybe if you could quit once you could do it again.I am getting fewer craves now ,sometimes most of a day will go by without a thought to smoking,and that is why when I do think about it I try to go through the whole process of relaspe in my mind,including the aftermath.amcanuck
this is so helpful, right now, at this moment. when I've come this far and try not to think about how far I have to go...a "seemingly" long time. I just don't want to be disappointed in myself again--at least, not for going back to smoking. so, no hiding from craves, no hiding from all of me...and each day becomes a day of pride while I watch the "relapse disappointment" slowly fade into the mists of the past.
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Joined: 18 May 2012, 15:22

21 May 2012, 18:31 #63

I have found this post very interesting.  I think in my first few days I embraced the craves, but for some reason I have started running from them and fearing them.   dont know why I have started doing this, but I am now going to face the next one head on and actually feel it!  Hopefully then I wont be as scared of them in the future!
Thank you for this

Suquimby
Six days, 20 hours, 31 minutes and 25 seconds. 68 cigarettes not smoked, saving £22.24. Life saved: 5 hours, 40 minutes.
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Joined: 22 Feb 2009, 23:36

26 Jul 2017, 16:22 #64

  It's been a long time since I've been here, but I was just wanted to share my account of this post because it has great significance to me. 

  I decided that I had enough of smoking, so I decided that I was going to quit (yet again). So with that, I went to the store, bought a box of patches and decided that the next day I was going to finally stop smoking. 


  The first day was pretty rough, but I managed to get through it. The second day though was torture. I was suffering! I had continuous anxiety and a constant rush of panic attacks. In fact, as it was nearing noon time, I decided that I couldn't quit and I had enough of these feelings of anxiety and panic. I was just too weak to quit smoking. I made the decision that when lunch time came around, I was going to go across the street and buy a pack of cigarettes. 


  So as lunch came, I started to leave to the store, but a voice told me to go to the computer to maybe look for some miracle pill that may help me quit later. I listened to this voice and got on the computer and searched quitting smoking. I found WhyQuit.com and this was the very first post I read. 


  As I began to read, I also began to step away from myself and really start observing myself. How much of this panic and anxiety was self induced? I realized that quite a bit of it was. It was this post where the penny dropped and I went from hopeless to a feeling that I really could quit smoking. In fact, I was so confident about this that I ripped off the patch right then and there and went home that night and threw all of my patches away. A few days later I joined WhyQuit.com


  Obviously, I never made it to the store that day and I have never smoked a cigarette since. That was over 13 years ago. 


  So to be a bit cliche, I am here to tell you new quitters, that you can quit, because if I can, I know you can. 


All you have to remember is to NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!


Eric


  
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