Holidays

Subconscious use cue extinguishment

Holidays

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

02 Sep 2000, 21:56 #1

Even though this article was written for the winter holiday season, all seasons have their own rituals and nuances that smoking was likely a part of. Going into the Labor Day weekend may have gatherings with specific people or specific activities which will be smoking triggers. Just keep your ammunition high of why you quit and you will be able to overcome these feelings. Let your guard down and they will make the thought much more risky and irritating than they need to be.

Have a happy and healthy weekend everyone.

Joel

"Holidays" Once again, the holiday season is upon us. The snow on the ground, the chill in the air, crowded stores, people hurrying to and from, family get togethers, television specials, and the sound of Christmas carols everywhere you go. All this hustle and bustle affects everyone, although not always in the same way. Some people find this a happy, exciting time of the year, while others feel the sense of loneliness and depression more now than at any other time. While the holidays may make some people happy and others sad, there is one special group of people who are universally affected the same way. The group, recent ex-smokers, the effect--desiring a cigarette.

It is not that holidays reinforce the need for nicotine. When a person quits smoking, the addiction is broken. Within two weeks of his last puff, he ceases having any physiological withdrawals or cravings. He does not, though, automatically break the established associations between his activities and cigarettes. Whenever he gets into a new situation, sees a person, feels an emotion, hears a song, or smells an aroma which he has not encountered since he has quit smoking, it will trigger the thought for a cigarette. But if he does not take the cigarette, he will break the triggered response. Next time encountering the same situation, he will not even think of a cigarette.

The holiday season is filled with new sensations and emotions. These feelings vary from individual to individual. No matter what the exact emotion is, the automatic impulse is to take a cigarette. If the holidays make you happy, a cigarette just seems like the icing on the cake. "If I just had a cigarette, everything would be perfect!" If the holidays results in a sense of loneliness, the thought will be, "I really miss my cigarette. It was a good friend."

But if he doesn't take the cigarette, he will soon realize an interesting fact. The holidays go on without smoking. If the holidays made him happy before, he can be happy again. If instead holidays made him sad, he will be sad again. Smoking does not change it one way or the other. One thing is for sure, though, in a few days the holiday will be over. If he makes it through without taking a cigarette, he will forget about smoking completely until the next time a new situation is encountered. Even then, the desire for a cigarette will be a fleeting thought. The realization that he overcame the urges and didn't take a cigarette will be a good feeling.

If, on the other hand, he took the first drag, he is once again hooked into a deadly addiction. He will not only crave cigarettes during holidays, but every day, every hour, every waking minute. He will once again be under total control of his cigarette. He will be totally addicted and truly miserable.

Don't ruin all you achieved when you quit smoking. While the thoughts for a cigarette may be more frequent during the holidays, they are not strong and they will not last long. If you overcome them this year, next year they will be even weaker, and more infrequent, and eventually you will think of them no further. To stay permanently free from this miserable addiction requires only one step, NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
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R b rt
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

29 Sep 2000, 02:39 #2

Note from Joel, December 19, 2013


I'm hijacking this post a little attaching links to videos related to holidays and holiday trigger:


Be prepared for holiday triggers
Holidays that result in three day weekends
"How long before I don't want a cigarette?"
Smoking triggers


Rbrt's original post:
Hi everyone ... ZEP, you said it might be early ... ... but I'll tell ya ... ... it's NEVER TOO EARLY TOO PREPARE ... ... ...

We always need to be ready for those triggers and tempations that we take for granted or those that we feel won't bother us !!!

I was in a store the other day, and I saw CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS out already ... so IT'S NEVER TOO EARLY !
-robert-
Last edited by R b rt on 19 Dec 2013, 20:18, edited 3 times in total.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

23 Nov 2000, 15:07 #3

I know I posted this on labor and it was written for Christmas and today is Thanksgiving. But the same concept applies to them all. One way to insure that it is a happy holiday is to live through it smoke free. The first smoke free experience of any holiday makes it a day to remember and to be truly thankful for. Have a happy holiday everyone. No matter what the holiday or regular day, always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Sheila
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:13

10 Dec 2000, 22:11 #4

I thought this thread might be a good place to celebrate my victory at last night's Christmas dance. I was a bit concerned but when I walked in and saw an entire room with at least one smoker at every table, I didn't think Oh no! It was more like Oh YUCK! Now my clothes and my hair are going to stink AGAIN!! I actually felt quite relaxed, after eating way too much I just sipped my coffee. I had one drink all night and after that, of all things I drank WATER. Each time I came back to the table after dancing 5 in a row, water was great!! Now that is something I never would have done as a smoker!!! And best of all, now, this morning, I feel great!! No migraine!!! I thoroughly recommend this new smokefree life!!!!
Sheila
I have been Quit for: 2 Weeks 2 Days 3 Hours 5 Minutes. I have NOT smoked 241, for a savings of $41.73. Life Saved: 20 Hours 5 Minutes.
Last edited by Sheila on 21 Apr 2009, 01:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Jitterbug
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:00

11 Dec 2000, 23:38 #5

Great job, Sheila - I knew you could do it! Yeah, this is a really good article to throw up here - this will be my FIRST SMOKEFREE XMAS, and I'm really looking forward to it. However, as you said, everything thus far is related to my smoking, and I feel that with my length of quit behind me, the worst is behind me; however, I do realize that it only takes ONE PUFF! and that the nicodemon is hiding in my tree! I'll be extra careful, and remember how I feel smokefree when I go into the Xmas season this y ear!

Jitterbug (Staff2)
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

14 Dec 2000, 20:49 #6

Image For Wendy:

I just saw your post about this being the first holiday without Richard. As with quitting smoking, the first holiday season will trigger many thought and memories. There is a big difference though. The thoughts of a loved one can really be cherished as real memories that can bring great warmth at the same time as great loneliness. Over the years though, the sadness can dissipate as new activities, rituals and even people fill some of the voids, but the loved one is still remembered and always appreciated and celebrated throughout your lifetime.

Cigarettes on the other hand over time will be seen for what they were. All those things you thought they were doing for you, they were in actuality doing to you. They were never your friend, they were your constant enemy posing as a friend the whole time.

Accept the fact that this year will be a year of change. Some sad changes have happened due to circumstances beyond your control. But one great change has happened too, you quit smoking and that was by your choice and was accomplished by you excerting control. To keep that control, always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Sheila
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:13

22 Dec 2000, 09:34 #7

Since we are getting down to the wire I thought I would bring this up again. I needed some reenforcement. Tomorrow will be 4 weeks for me, and my one month aniversary will be Christmas Eve. Today has been exceptionally difficult for some reason. I even had thoughts like "Oh maybe I can just requit on New Years." I wanted of all things to spend Christmas not thinking about quitting smoking. Of course the alternative would be to spend Christmas, and Boxing Day, and New Years Day and every other day for perhaps the rest of my life, thinking about smoking, paying for smoking, getting sick from smoking... and on and on!! No I think maybe I do want to spend Christmas thinking about not smoking because I really don't like the alternative!!!
Sheila
I have been Quit for: 3 Weeks 6 Days 14 Hours 11 Minutes. I have NOT smoked 413, for a savings of $71.39. Life Saved: 1 Day 10 Hours 25 Minutes.
Last edited by Sheila on 21 Apr 2009, 01:43, edited 1 time in total.
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freebirdy
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:43

25 Dec 2000, 08:12 #8

thank you Joel, am getting better from the flu now and have 8 more vaca days. It would be easier for me to slip now...will be sticking close to this sight and reading the available material. but my quit date is 120700 and that is the most time i've had w/o nicotine. I will be careful of the triggers. it's comforting to know that by not giving in that it makes the next trigger less and less effective.
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GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

14 Apr 2001, 21:16 #9

Image have a wonderful holiday everyone....for some of us, tomorrow marks the last day of Passover and for others, it signals Easter, but for all of us, we must be reminded to never take another puff.
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John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

13 May 2001, 18:54 #10

Happy Mother's Day!
For most of you, your first nicotine free Mother's Day !
Last edited by John (Gold) on 08 Apr 2013, 16:34, edited 1 time in total.
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