Have you ever embraced a crave?

Subconscious use cue extinguishment

Have you ever embraced a crave?

John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

12 Mar 2001, 00:26 #1


Embracing Crave Episodes
Learning to remain calm while being briefly uncomfortable 
We are pre-programmed to either stand and fight or turn and run when faced with challenge. If you're a newbie then chances are there is another conditioned nicotine feeding cue waiting around the corner that will soon trigger a short yet powerful anxiety attack that we call a crave. The cue that triggers the crave could be an emotion, time, event or place where, or during which, you used to inhale warm nicotine laden air into punished lungs in order to replenish your blood's constantly falling nicotine level.

The good news is that most cue triggers appear to be reconditioned and discarded (extinguished) by our subconscious mind with just a single encounter. The good news is that the triggered crave anxiety episode will normally peak within a couple of minutes (but keep a clock handy as cessation time distortion is real and can make the minutes feel like hours). The good news is that there is a reward awaiting you at the end of each crave episode, the return of another aspect of life.  The good news is that the anxiety power of our crave generator fizzles a bit with each passing day, and with each encountered crave there is one less triggering cue to extinguish. The good news is that entire days where you never once encounter an unextinguished cue are fast approaching. The bad news is that if you're a newbie then there is probably another crave episode just around the corner. But is it bad?

So what approach do you use? Do you duck or run when you sense one coming or do you turn and fight? Is your game plan working to your satisfaction? Our objective here is simple - NO NICOTINE TODAY - but our natural instincts on how best to achieve our objective may not be the easiest path to travel. Can we hide from our craves or will they find us anyway? Can we run away from them or will they catch us? It's the same with going toe to toe in battle, isn't it? Can we beat-up our craves and make them surrender or cry "uncle"? Can we scare them away? I think not. Encountering and extinguishing all of our mind's subconscious crave triggers is a very necessary part of recovery.  Encountering and extinguishing each is good not bad.  We are rewarded with a prize at the end, the return of another aspect of life.  It's true healing in every sense!

Tobacco's deadly cargo is clearly a killer but what about craves? Can a crave that lasts a couple of minutes kill you? Will it cut you, make you bleed or send you to the emergency room? Can it physically harm you? If not, then why fear it? How much of the anxiety associated with your recovery will be self induced? Why agonize over the anticipated arrival of your next crave? When it finally arrives, will your mind immediately begin breeding additional anxieties, anxieties that fuel an already raging fire?

The anxiety associated with a craving for nicotine is very real.  But how much of that anxiety is self induced?  Why not find out?   Be brave during the next episode.  Instead of feeling a tremendously inflated experience driven by fear, fueled by anticipation, and tense due to a history of prior relapse, just once, stop running, drop your guard, take slow deep deliberate breaths and then reach out inside your mind and "TOUCH" your crave. It won't injure you!

It's ok to be afraid but try to be brave just this once. In your mind, wrap your arms around the crave's anxiety energy . Clear your mind of all chatter for just one moment so that you can feel the true anxiety of your healing. Make sure that you feel your tummy rising as you take slow deep deliberate breaths into the bottom of both lungs. Clear your mind of all chatter, worries, fears and thoughts so that you can sense and appreciate exactly what this crave is like.

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 intensity peak and then slowing begin to decline. Take pride in your healing. It can't hurt you.  Only you can do that.  

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,

Last edited by John (Gold) on 08 Aug 2017, 14:24, edited 8 times in total.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

12 Mar 2001, 00:39 #2

I totally embrace my craves. I see them as a physical manifestation of my healing.
I know without a shadow of a doubt that we the person can always see things as positive , or negative, or even neutral.

I choose every day in every way to enjoy and embrace this wonderful freedom that I have finally found.

Thankyou to my freedom family.
Thanks for the knowledge and support.

Linnee (Gold)
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 18:58

12 Mar 2001, 03:17 #3

It has taken me a while to understand that a crave is just a reminder that I am not smoking. I will always have the choice to give in to a crave or acknowledge it and wait for it to pass.

Linnee I have chosen not to smoke for eight months, one week, six days, 11 hours, 24 minutes and 37 seconds. 10339 cigarettes not smoked, saving $1,602.80. Life saved: 5 weeks, 21 hours, 35 minutes.

amcanuck ( GOLD )
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

12 Mar 2001, 03:39 #4

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

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 18:58

28 Mar 2001, 09:13 #5

Embraced a crave? I think so. I want my whole being to be aware of my choice of never puffing again. I need to be acutely aware that I am stronger than the urge.

Triggers? Haven't run from one yet. I still go outside at morning break to enjoy the warm sun and conversation with my smoking friends.

marty (gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

28 Mar 2001, 18:39 #6

Absolutely YES Zep
I love my craves because they remind me of what I have gained by quitting. In Linda's words -
NOT A PUFF FOR 3 months 3 weeks 4 days : 1883 cigs not smoked : 6 days 12 hours added to my life.

John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Jul 2001, 00:41 #7

Possible Crave Cue Triggers

Waking/Going to Bed
Using the Bathroom
Reading the Paper
Drinking Coffee/Tea
Before or after Eating
Seeing Certain People
Going Outside
Driving a Vehicle
Talking on the Phone
Depression or Sadness
Leaving Stores
Long Movies
Being with Smokers
Before, During or After Work
Anger or Rage
Joy & Celebrations
The End of Glory Week
Illness or Death
Alcohol or Drinking
or any other time, place or emotion during which
you conditioned your subconscious to expect
Stay calm yet ready!

Many are extinguished so quickly during the first few days
that you probably won't even realize it is happening.

Encountering an un-extinguished cue is good not bad.
It is subconscious healing which promises
the return of yet another aspect of life.

Last edited by John (Gold) on 07 Mar 2009, 19:40, edited 1 time in total.

Txgranny (Gold)
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 18:58

30 Aug 2001, 05:22 #8


I had never seen this thread before although you had brought this subject up several times in your posts. I absolutely love it. There are so many things that I
did to deal with my craves and or urges, but after **** week this is what really brought me through. I finally got it! This is great and I hope all our
newbies read this and do it!

Thanks so much

nicotine free since 05/11/01

Chet Kast (Gold)
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 18:58

30 Aug 2001, 05:44 #9

Hey Zep,
I also welcome, feel and meet my craves head on. In a way, it is kind of a challenge to figure out what it was that brought it on - a mood, a smell, an event, a remembrance, a season, a reward, etc. As you know, we could go on and on with those. The feeling of the crave itself is quite unique as all of you can attest to. As mentioned by Amcanuk, my craves come on, at my quit stage, for approximately 2 minutes in a 24 hour period. But, mostly, the crave brings on an inner smile together with an inner peace that reminds me that my addiction is still there and will be there for as long as I live.
Last edited by Chet Kast (Gold) on 22 Mar 2009, 21:34, edited 1 time in total.

Mari (GOLD)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

30 Aug 2001, 06:25 #10

Embrace them??? Not only did I enbrace them, I named them!!! I made notes in my Journal of all of my craves and noted when, where, what I was doing, (or not doing), how I felt (happy, bored, angry, etc.). For example, I got over the craves for a cigarette first thing in the morning, and after meals, fairly quickly, but, I had a hard time with the "reading" craves. I always smoked when I read, and I read a lot!!! So, when I felt a crave and I was reading, I wrote "Reading Crave", noted the date and time, and just breathed deeply until it passed. I remember one day having a "reading crave" and I didn't have a pen handy so I just thought I'd write it down later. I never did. Then I noticed that those craves weren't happening very often, and I'd gotten to the point where I didn't need to keep track of them anymore. It is interesting, though, to read over the entries and see how quickly the craves spread out over time. Now I can read anything, for as long as I want to and I don't even think about smoking while I'm reading. In fact I haven't thought about it for a couple of months, at least! The same thing for most of the other craves. They just aren't the "monsters" they used to be, because I face them with confidence and don't run out of fear. I knew, because of all that is written here, that craves would come, so I knew what to expect. And, I knew they were temporary, just a minute or two. (That's true, too. I've timed lots of them!!!) I just didn't expect to be so brave, and "in your face" about them. But, it just goes to show you, if you're working with the truth, know the facts, and you're movitated, you can overcome anything this addiction throws at you. One Crave At A Time, One Day At A Time!!!
And thanks to Freedom for helping me get this far!!!