Last Line of Defense (or Trump Card)

OBob Gold
OBob Gold

January 19th, 2002, 3:43 am #1

Been out of town for a couple of days. The last half of yesterday contained a steady stream of craves. I think it started when I was in the lab all day, and hadn't had any water the entire day. I'd started with a cup of coffee in the morning, and that and a donut was all I'd had to eat or drink until like 3:30 pm. I was dehydrated and hungry, and I got this familiar taste in my mouth as I got in my car for the drive home. Not a good taste, and one that was DEFINITELY associated with smoking. My guess is that because I would often get into that work groove in the past where food and drink took a back seat, that when my body ran low on supplies, I turned to cigarettes (associating all biological craves with the cigarette crave).

Anyhow, from that point until bedtime, I didn't feel like an ex-smoker creeping up on 2 weeks, but like a smoker who was denying his craves. I tried most of my crave/urges defenses I've learned here, but it was like there was 2 of me. The talkative, educated side of me speaking a long monologue of defenses, and the junky, who just really wasn't in the mood to hear. In fact, I felt like I was the junky, and the voice of the reasonable side sounded distant and far away.

At this point I realized that yesterday at least, the defenses and the celebrations of being nicotine free and all the joys that entails just weren't going to offer any comfort. And, I think that's what I was looking for. I wanted to feel better. I wanted to feel like the positive empowered person I've generally been since about day 6. But, it just wasn't going to happen. I heard the reasons, but they didn't sink past the outer levels of my reasoning.

SO, I resigned myself to the fact that yesterday wasn't going to be fun. Reached in the pocket, and pulled out the trump card -- "I ain't gonna smoke today," I said. Simple, effective. It doesn't matter that my junky mind is (for the moment) winning the debate over how good or bad cigarettes taste, and over how good or bad the experience of smoking is, my reasonable ex-smoker side has veto power. Since quitting, that side took custody of my wallet, hands and mouth. Without those 3 assets, the junky side has only the power to make me feel rotten; but not to relapse.

The reasonable side knew that "I ain't gonna smoke today" was the final word, and spoke it. End of debate. Like a parent to an unreasonable child throwing a tantrum, "BECAUSE I SAID SO!". So, the junky sulked for the rest of the night, screaming, and stomping and generally annoying me, but had no power to touch my quit.

Today (day 14) is better so far. Another wonderfully clear (if a bit cold for Santa Cruz) day. The bold child seems to have forgotten last night's tantrum, and has resumed playing by the rules. I celebrate "half-green" tonight.

Best to all,

Bob
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improud (golder)
improud (golder)

January 19th, 2002, 3:53 am #2

Whew pretty powerful huh O'BOB? Your statement "didn't feel like an ex-smoker creeping up on 2 weeks but like a smoker who was denying his craves" That is exactly what you are a smoker who is denying his craves!! There is really only ONE of you and that is the addicted nicotine junky but the education you are receiving is trying to take over. LET IT. You have no nicotine in your system. These are junky thoughts.  You will not SMOKE TODAY. Tomorrow will take care of itself. You sounded better at the end of your post and I hope you keep that resolve to NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF. You're doing great. Keep it up.Cathy - GOLD CLUB
Last edited by improud (golder) on March 1st, 2014, 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jinksy (Gold)
Jinksy (Gold)

January 19th, 2002, 4:00 am #3

So, I pulled out the "Ain't gonna smoke today" trump card. 


Way to Go Bob. You had a plan to stay nicotine free and it worked. Isn't it amazing what a difference an educated quit makes. 
Congratulations on your half green status too. Be proud of yourself. You done good. 

Proud to be your quit sister, Julia
@ 10 months, 3 weeks, and 2 days

PS Glad you're feeling better today:)
Last edited by Jinksy (Gold) on March 1st, 2014, 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

January 19th, 2002, 4:16 am #4

Hello Bob,
Get yourself a bigger pocket and print out all of these letters and read each one if it happens again. I suspect by the time you get down to the fifth article, you will be fine. If not, by the time you finish the sixth article. You probably will end up finishing up the first one and then be merrily on your way. Hang in there Bob, tomorrow will always be a cleaner fresher day as long as you remember for today to never take another puff!
Joel


Bad days
The Urge Hits!
Thoughts that seem worse than the first days urges
Smoking Triggers
"Boy, do I miss smoking!"
The Smoker's Vow
Last edited by Joel on November 22nd, 2009, 3:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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OBob Gold
OBob Gold

January 19th, 2002, 4:39 am #5

#4 is a big BINGO for yesterday. I occassionally do contract work running lab tests out in the central valley (California) which is about 3 hours from home. Always in the past, I'd be at the end of about 4 hours in the lab, and it was always, into the car, start down the road, and light up (to ease the withdrawals brought on by 4 hours of being in the lab). Yesterday, this was it (much like the lady in the ice cream aisle). The crave was probably made even worse by the guy that came into the lab with a just-smoked cigarette on his breath.

It was just after leaving the lab, and on my way to the car, that that "taste" hit. And it was the entire 3 hour drive home during which the crave(s) just kept coming. In fact, I remember gearing up for that drive several days ago, when I knew I was going out. But, for some reason, yesterday, the gearing up had faded, and it caught me off-guard. In retrospect, that had to be as big a trigger or worse than the trip to the pub. Smoking on the drive home from work (after hours without) was a huge part of my addiction. Since, I generally work at home now, I haven't faced that drive prior to yesterday.

So, it really wasn't different to any other triggers I've faced, it's just that I forgot it was coming. And, it (they) should be mostly, if not completely, reconditioned now (??). It's just the same old story of trigger reconditioning, in a different venue.

Thanks Joel. Very appropriate letters!
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OBob Gold
OBob Gold

January 19th, 2002, 4:55 am #6

Improud, Jinksy,

Thanks for the gold and silver encouragement and advice. It helps!

Cheers,

Bob
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janetd (GOLD)
janetd (GOLD)

January 19th, 2002, 6:02 am #7

Hi O'Bob, almost half green ... Wow, that's great.  I had a similar thing happen to me on 12/21/01, the day we broke for the Christmas Holiday. I always leave the office at 11:50 on this one day of the year. Everyone who has kids brings them into work to see Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Many of us bring in food. I bring in a cheese ball. I have done the above for one morning out of every year for the last three years. I had been quit for a little over a month at that point. Had mastered the trigger of leaving the office at the end of the day and not lighting up.

One day a year. I'm leaving the office at 11:50, and Huge Trigger. I never even thought about it, and it hit me hard. I survived, and so did you. That's the most important thing. Never take another puff. You're doing great!

yqs, janet
8 weeks, 6 days, 11 hours, 59 minutes, 13 seconds
Last edited by janetd (GOLD) on March 1st, 2014, 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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marty (gold)
marty (gold)

January 19th, 2002, 6:49 am #8

Hiya Bob

I was going to say "nice story", but that's wrong --- it's a good story. We maybe overemphasise here the need to argue with your junkie thinking, defeat it with cold, hard, irrefutable logic. What you did was act "Like a parent to an unreasonable child throwing a tantrum, "BECAUSE I SAID SO!", and you got it right. That's not because there were no logical arguments against your craves, but because going thru the arguing process was too mentally draining. That may not be a nice way to behave, but it's good if it works.

If I read your personality right from your posts (careful, Marty, you're taking a chance here ) I think you will feel some guilt about taking this shortcut. While you feel huge satisfaction from winning the day yesterday, your intellect will not allow you to do it that way too often. That's fine, you won't need to. The single and absolute priority for the first few weeks is just to protect your quit at any cost, any way you can. After that, you have to allow a new, natural, smoke-free life develop, and that's the bit that will need the education, the intellectual satisfaction, the continual justification.

That's the phase that is to come, Bob. It truly is wonderful, and I know you're going to love it. Yesterday was a day that enabled you to look forward to the future. Tomorrow is the day you will start to nurture and build that future.

Marty
NOT A PUFF for one year, one month, two weeks, five days
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OBob Gold
OBob Gold

January 19th, 2002, 7:27 am #9

Marty,

You're one perceptive person. Yes. I would much rather defeat my triggers with logic and reason. I don't know if I'd describe it as guilt, but it definitely makes me feel more secure when I'm able to embrace it, stare it down, reason with it, and leave it wimpering off into the distance. I've had a good few experiences like that, and they're incredibly satisfying. They leave me feeling very confident.

Yesterday, I had to remind myself that I'm still early in my quit. A "W" is a "W" (win is a win) as sports fans tend to say in the States. Nicotine doesn't fight fair, and if I've got to pull out the ace up my sleeve, well then so be it. I woke up this morning nicotine free. And while I might be tempted to grade my victories in terms of how impressive or comfortable they are, I know that defeat for the addict is all the same: absolutely terrible.

It is important to know that it will get easier -- I thank you for your constant reminders. There's a piece around here somewhere on the site about how if the rest of your life as an ex-smoker were like the first 2 weeks, most people would go back to smoking. Knowing that the rest of my life as an ex-smoker will NOT be like yesterday makes it easier to fight the fight however I have to in the mean time, in order to get to that point.

Thanks again for an another insightful post. (Don't know if you're into soccer/football, but I can think of all sorts of analogies involving nil-all away draws, while not equally satisfying, being just as important as 3-0 home victories in the World Cup qualifiers.)
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Joel
Joel

January 19th, 2002, 7:34 am #10

Here Bob:
This may be the one you were referring to.
"Quitting Smoking": A Fate Worse than Death?
Last edited by Joel on November 22nd, 2009, 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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OBob Gold
OBob Gold

January 19th, 2002, 7:46 am #11

That's the one all right. Thanks Joel!
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mirigirl (silver)
mirigirl (silver)

January 19th, 2002, 8:45 am #12

Hey OBob - I love the way you describe your triggers and the way you defeat them - please don't stop posting these messages it is really helping me!!

My latest trigger was an overheating  car and the purchase of a new radiator yesterday - only to go out last night and find the car overheating again -very frustrating!!  So it was back to the radiator guy today - and it's still not fixed! So I had to drive the car home again with the meter on hot again!!    and wait for the mechanic on Monday.

The point of this whole story is that all today I was thinking ... wow I'd really be smoking now!!  It wasn't so much a crave - as I just couldn't stop thinking about smoking and how many cigarettes I would have had by now!

On the drive home I saw a motor bike rider sitting on the side of the road next to his bike - smoking a cigarette. He'd obviously stopped off on a long trip (we live in the country) to reward himself with a cigarette!
**trigger.trigger** Fantasy No## Mirigirl as as free and easy motorbike rider travelling all over the countryside - no worries -no responsibilities - just free to stop and have a cigarette now and then!??

I remember so many years after I stooped drinking I saw an advertising billboard of a young woman at a pub looking very groovey listening to music.  Fantasy no### mirigirl at a pub, drinking, having fun..... manageable..... until my next thought was "Who are you trying to kind mirigirl? You were never manageable, you were never together and groovey... you were always a drunk mess..."

Oh Dear.... obviously my fantasies have always fuelled my addictions. And that's exactly what they are FANTASIES -so totally out of touch from reality for me. Wow I need to wake myself up and get real about my life! I am so glad that I no longer live in that fantasy world. And today reality isn't really all that bad. Sorry to rave on so much but I guess I really needed to say and let go of all that. Today I like being nicotine-free. I may not be groovey anything, but at least I'm not playing russian roulette with my life.

So grateful today, that I haven't taken another puff. And it's real warm here so I'm off for a swim! It's good to be alive and free.

Thanks Freedom
mirigirl
another nicotine addict
2 weeks 4 days 11 hours Free
Last edited by mirigirl (silver) on March 1st, 2014, 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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OBob Gold
OBob Gold

January 19th, 2002, 9:51 am #13

Beautiful! That really tickled the funny bone. A good laugh..... I'm still cracking up here..... I just have this image of the adventures of mirigirl, racing around the countryside in a convertable MG with a broken radiator, being pursued by a scores of alcohol and nicotine triggers in black sedans. Non-stop action. Kind of a mirigirl as James Bond (or maybe Austin Powers -- I can even here that flute music in the background as you screech past another groovy billboard).

Nothing like a good giggle to cap off another day without the smokes. Well played getting past all those nasties. Enjoy the swim -- you've earned it! (None for Obob today, as we're uncustomarily down in the minus range on the celsius tonight). And I hope you have better luck with your car tomorrow!

Cheers from your addict buddy.....1 Week 6 Days 12 Hours 50 Minutes 8 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 135. Money saved: $33.84(USD).
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AMD33 (gold)
AMD33 (gold)

January 19th, 2002, 1:07 pm #14

I love this thread! Congrats to you OBob. You beat the trigger. But you know what else? You were so dedicated to your quit that you prepared for that moment when you wouldn't be ready. You got your trump card and put it in the critical place so it would save you in case of an unexpected crisis.

Congrats on your great victory!

yqs,
Jessica
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knowbutts (Gold)
knowbutts (Gold)

January 19th, 2002, 1:09 pm #15

Yes mirigirls post was really fabulous.

Obob ,
I really hear you when you talk about that taste in your mouth. You feel dry and edgy and you start to breath a little faster and you know its the time when your hand would be reaching for the lighter like a mindless slave...
NO!!!
I haven't experienced this for several weeks now but your post brought back the memory.
Don't waste your precious quit energy splitting hairs. Your fighting for your life! Be proud of every victory because NOTHING FEELS WORSE THAN RELAPSE!

knowbutts
failure is not an option- 9 weeks 6 days
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OBob Gold
OBob Gold

January 20th, 2002, 4:55 am #16

Cheers Jessica and Knowbutts. 'nother smokefree day today (day 15). Went to the pub last night, the 4th time since I quit, and had maybe 2 thoughts, and no craves! The pub, at least, has been reconditioned.
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michelle25
michelle25

January 20th, 2002, 11:11 pm #17

Bob,

Thank you for your post. I think the "taste in mouth" experience has hit home for many. I am the type of person who has to do the mental bantering back and forth and pull out a list of answers or rebuttles. You displayed an even more powerful rebuttle to your craves. The simple NO, just because. I also enjoyed how you just agreed with yourself to go ahead and be in a bad mood and not to like it! It is actually what I tell my son when I impose a limit he doesn't like. I say it is OK not to like this and to feel angry right now, but it is NOT OK to be inappropriate in your anger. Great job and thanks again for the encouraging post!

Michelle
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janetd (GOLD)
janetd (GOLD)

July 5th, 2002, 12:08 am #18

Thanks, Bob! Another good post for this weekend!

Newbie buddies, if you're tempted, read this entire post and all the posts that are linked to it. One Day at a Time!

yqs, Janet
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Alyson GOLD.ffn
Alyson GOLD.ffn

July 5th, 2002, 2:35 am #19

Wow. I'm finding myself a little frustrated at the slow pace my quit is hitting now that the lip chewing, pillow pounding phase has subsided. I AM UNCOMFORTABLE - ARGGGHHH. This thread was just what I needed! I really look up to Bob & Mirigirl as towers of strength - peering in on their early struggles helps me so much in keeping the faith. Thanks for sharing!

Alyson
9 Days 17 Hours 32 Minutes closer to comfort
220 Cigarettes denied
$44.00 & 18 Hours 20 Minutes reclaimed
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SammymnGOLD
SammymnGOLD

August 8th, 2002, 1:06 am #20

Dear OBob et. al,

I am so all over this post! I occasionally have that irrational voice utter, "you still may wretch this thing up ya know," and though I usually can answer back with a somewhat strained and sometimes whiny, "ya but this time it's different because of a, b, and c" there are times I'm too damned tired to keep up the fight. But now I've got this post, which I absolutely adore and that is on its way to the laminating department as we speak, (slight exaggeration), and I'm borrowing your trump card, just in case I hid a bad patch. I think of it as a security blank for a 38 year old. Maybe someday I'll return it, maybe not, but its darned nice to know its there, tucked away in my handbag.....

Wonderful! Thank you! Sammy (33 days, 12 hours, 46 minutes).
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Lilac (Bronze)
Lilac (Bronze)

August 15th, 2002, 6:19 am #21

What does one say after reading such a post? It is such a flawless account of one man's wisdom, humanity and humility. and a beautiful portrayal of an addict's winning struggle over his addiction.

Hey, isn't that the Haiku guy? That artist, poet fella? You know-----O'Bob., I think his name is.
Thanks to whomever pointed out this post to those of us who had not seen it.,
Lilac
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relagoldalicious
relagoldalicious

August 15th, 2002, 10:41 am #22

What a great thread. i don't know how I stumbled upon it but i'm glad I did. It is nice to see a more seasoned freedomite go through this in the beginning too. It is exactly the thought process that i go through with the rational mind. thanks oBob. As they say in So.Cal...
You're Rad!!
YQS-AriellaOne week, one day, 18 hours, 15 minutes and 8 seconds. 175 cigarettes not smoked, saving $61.32. Life saved: 14 hours, 35 minutes.
Last edited by relagoldalicious on March 1st, 2014, 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RIVERDOGgold
RIVERDOGgold

August 15th, 2002, 11:33 am #23

Could someone PLEASE put OBOB's brain in my head.......I'm serious. It worries me to see his clarity, I just don't know if I will ever real have that degree of clarity, Mike : )

peering thru the fog, 33 days, 1000 smokes
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Lilac (Bronze)
Lilac (Bronze)

August 15th, 2002, 7:08 pm #24

Dear Riverdog,
Your posts are priceless. "Peering through the fog" is not only apt for most of us but sure to make us smile. And smiling, for me, is a large part of hanging on. You have your own kind of clarity. A well rounded forum this is--------

Happy to be here, Lilac.
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SammymnGOLD
SammymnGOLD

September 28th, 2002, 3:10 am #25

It's safe, reliable, effective. It's O'Bob's Trump Card post.


, Sarah
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