Need a boost? Reach for your dreams!

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

05 Sep 2003, 08:07 #21



Image> Listen to your rational well reasoned dreams while laughing at those deep inner emotions that are were so conditioned by years of chemical dependency that they are now afraid of "you" returning to the real "you!" Embrace recovery as it's nothing more again becoming comfortable engaging life as "you!"

Only one rule - no nicotine today! John
Last edited by John (Gold) on 09 Feb 2009, 20:47, edited 1 time in total.
Reply

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

30 Oct 2003, 18:09 #22

Image Image

Denial vs. Dreams
Denial is the unconscious defensive filtering system of the addict's conscious mind. It's characterized by refusal to acknowledge the painful realities of true chemical dependency, gradual self-destruction and the process needed for recovery. It's objective is simple - protect the addict's chemical world of "nicotine normal" while preserving as much human dignity as possible. Over time it can grow into a thick insulating wall that is almost impenetrable by the world around us.

Our wall was built of dependency ignorance, fabrications, distortions, rationalizations, half-truths, minimizations, intellectualizations, blame transference and avoidance. Protective during active dependency, years of denial can quickly become the primary adversary following the early challenges of chemical withdrawal and trigger reconditioning, as it conflicts with and chips away at our dreams fueling cessation.

When quitting, it is normal to picture leaving our smoking history behind us as we step into that fresh clean world of ex-smoker-hood but in reality the wall is deeply embedded in our consciousness and comes with us. It can easily result in anxiety filled smoking-fixation tug-o-wars between dreams and denial that, if allowed, have the potential to gradually **** the juice from freedom's dreams.

Addressing denial is a matter of using intelligence, new understanding, insights and honesty to take the wall apart piece by piece. Although the dreams and motivations of many are powerful enough to permit them to reach acceptance and begin tasting the fruits of full recovery, not addressing denial is like intentionally holding on to the seeds of relapse.

Be careful not to allow a conscious understanding of denial to become yet another brick in your wall of denial. Use it as a tool to contrast concepts such as "like" and "love" with addiction. What's love got to do with it? Addicted to love? No, you were addicted to nicotine!

Is it a love of having life constantly interrupted to feed sagging blood-serum nicotine levels as the real clock in your life is nicotine's two-hour chemical half-life? Is it that you love having your brain's dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline pathways, and roughly 200 other neurochemicals, controlled by nicotine?

Reflect upon the smell and taste of over 4,000 hot burning chemicals. "Like"? "Love"? How did the smell strike you before becoming addicted and how does it smell now? Again, does it really matter how they smell or taste if the autonomy and freedom to not have them touch your senses no longer exists?

Impose honesty upon the concept of just one puff. A basic premise of law of addiction is that "one is too many and a thousand isn't enough."

Can we really take a big puff of nicotine and not immediately revive thousands upon thousands of smoking memories, re-establish at least one feeding cue that will likely be met again, and somehow will or command the nicotine that just entered our bloodstream to not travel up to our brain and release dopamine, adrenaline and serotonin?

When it comes to statistics it was easy for the addict to turn them into yet another brick. For example, take the 50/50 chance of smoking costing you roughly 5,000 days of life. The addict plucks salvation from the jaws of death by declaring that there is a 50% chance that smoking won't kill them while ignoring the equally as great odds that it will. They also ignore the fact that it isn't just death they need to be concerned about as for each smoker robbed of life each year twenty others are battling to recover from or survive with tobacco related strokes, heart attacks, cancers, or COPD.

As normal thoughts and yearnings to smoke nicotine enter your mind they will often be followed by denial thoughts that attempt to justify relapse. Although the yearnings are normal and become less frequent with the passing of time, the denial justifications that often accompany them are a golden Imageopportunity to set the record straight. An open recovering mind that's willing to tear down its wall can accelerate the arrival of acceptance.

Turn the tide. Allow full acceptance of a permanent chemical dependency that can be arrested but never killed, to minimize the nonsense employed to justify continuining captivity. Allow acceptance that each and every puff destroyed a bit more of your body's capacity to receive and transport life giving oxygen to intellectualize the importance of preserving and improving the performance of all capacities that remain. Allow acceptance that recovery leads to new expectations that don't include nicotine - by simply not allowing any nicotine back into your bloodstream just one day at a time - to bring a smile to your face each time a thought or urge crosses your mind.

When it comes to denial's blame game don't blame what you're feeling on where you're going but if you must cast blame, blame it on where you've been. We blamed life's stresses for not being able to quit, blamed zealots and fanatics for not tolerating our smoke, blamed our family and loves ones for not knowing what we were going through, what it was like to endure recovery and not supporting us during it, and even blamed smokers around us for our relapse - "I wish you hadn't of given me that one cigarette as I ended up buying an entire pack."

The intelligent and educated quitter leaves little room for competition between their current dreams and former denial. Some competition is probably inevitable but keeping the memories fueling our dreams robust and alive (our years of endless feedings, our chemical bondage, a 30% diminished lung capacity, escalating circulatory damage, increasing costs, generally declining health, a diminished life expectancy, increasing social stigma, and the mountains of ash, ashtrays, butts, the smoke, stink and the yellow film that covered our world) while directly confronting denial vastly increases the odds of continuing to choose freedom over feed-em.

To continue healing and keep the risks headed in the other direction is a matter of not allowing nicotine into our body today. The next few minutes are all that really matter and each is entirely doable. Just one day at a time Never Take Another Puff!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long, Freedom! John


Image
Last edited by John (Gold) on 09 Feb 2009, 20:28, edited 2 times in total.
Reply

Liuchka
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

19 Nov 2003, 10:01 #23

To John: ImageImageImageImage
Last edited by Liuchka on 09 Feb 2009, 20:30, edited 1 time in total.
Reply

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

22 Nov 2003, 11:55 #24

Reach for Being You Again!
Nicotine is the tobacco plant's natural protection from being eaten by insects. Drop for drop it's more lethal than strychnine and three times deadlier than arsenic. Yet, amazingly, by chance, this natural insecticide's chemical structure is so similar to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine that once inside the brain it fits a host of chemical locks permitting it direct and indirect control over the flow of more than 200 neurochemicals.

Within eight seconds of that first-ever inhaled puff, nicotine arrived at the brain's reward pathways where it generated a flood of dopamine resulting in an immediate "aaahhh" satisfaction sensation. Sensing it would cause most first-time inhalers to soon return for more. Nicotine also fit the adrenaline locks releasing a host of fight or flight neurochemicals and select serotonin locks impacting mood.

A toxic poison, the brain's defenses fought back but in doing so they had no choice but to also turn down the mind's sensitivity to acetylcholine, the body's conductor of an entire orchestra of neurochemicals.

In some neuro-circuits the brain diminished the number of receptors available to receive nicotine, in others it diminished the number of available transporters and in still other regions it grew millions and millions of extra neurons, almost as if trying to protect itself by more widely disbursing the arriving pesticide.

There was only one problem. All the physical changes engineered a new tailored neurochemical sense of normal built entirely upon the presence of nicotine. Now, any attempt to stop using it would come with a risk of intermittent temporary hurtful anxieties and powerful mood shifts. A true chemical addiction was born. Returning home to the "real you" now had a price. Gradually the calmness and comfort associated with being the "real you" faded into distant or even forgotten memory.
The brain's protective adjustments insured that any attempt to stop would leave you temporarily desensitized. Your dopamine reward system would briefly offer-up few rewards, your nervous system would see altering the status quo as danger and sound an emotional anxiety alarm throughout your body, and mood circuitry might briefly find it difficult to climb beyond depression.

Successful nicotine dependency recovery is developing the patience to allow the mind the time needed to readjust to functioning normally, and the recovering nicotine addict time to both readjust to their brain's adjustments and to become 100% comfortable engaging life without wanting for nicotine.

The body's nicotine reserves decline by about half every two hours. It's not only the basic chemical half-life clock which determines mandatory nicotine feeding times, when quitting, it's also the clock that determines how long it takes before the brain begins bathing in nicotine free blood-serum, the moment that real healing begins.
It can take up to 72 hours for the blood-serum to become nicotine-free and 90% of nicotine's metabolites to exit the body via your urine. It's then that the anxieties associated with readjustment normally peak in intensity and begin to gradually decline.

But just one powerful puff of nicotine and you'll again face another 72 hours of detox anxieties. It's why the one puff survival rate is almost zero. None of us are stronger than nicotine but then we don't need to be as it is just a chemical with an I.Q. of zero. It does not plot nor conspire and is not some demon within you. It's a chemical.
The key to nicotine dependency recovery isn't dragging out 72 hours of detox by toying for months with gradual weaning or creative means for delivering nicotine. You need to know that the over-the-counter patch and gum generated an average 93% six-month smoking relapse rate in the seven studies conducted to date (Tobacco Control, March 2003). The key is education and understanding.
The next few minutes are entirely doable and there's only one rule - no nicotine today!
John
Reply

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

23 Nov 2003, 15:37 #25

Pain or Fear as a Primary Motivation
Yesterday we had a member post a distress thread entitled ....
Why is it getting worse?
" I have no trouble visualising lung cancer and other horrific examples, but my smoke cravings are intolerable. I have been quit for 10 days, and I almost feel like the life is not worth living if I can't smoke. Please tell me that I can have fun eventually, without cigarettes. No scary lung cancer examples, please, this just insults my intelligence lately."
"Also my throat biopsy came back all clear - the removed "thing" turned out to be completely non-malignant ulceration. This was my main reason for quitting smoking as I was afraid that I was getting some throat cancer and I am only 32, well, 33 tomorrow. I am no longer excited that "I did it" like I was after the first 72 hours. Help"
In response Joel posted as follows ...
From: Joel As you have illustrated pain as well as fear are often powerful motivators for a person to start a quit. The problem is both pain and fear have a tendency of wearing off when the problem or problems that are causing them are identified and treated. If pain and fear are the only reason that you quit and now the only reason that you stopped is gone then there is no reason for you to really stay quit anymore. That is why it is crucial that you work on developing a variety of reasons why you quit.

Lets face it, smoking hits most people with negative consequences on many fronts. I suspect it has hit you the same way as it has to most others. Smoking has the ability to negatively impact people economically, socially, professionally, general quality of life, health wise, and has the ultimate potential of killing the smoker. Even if you do not want to admit or acknowledge that being a smoker is causing problems on all of these fronts cigarettes are likely still causing problems in many if not all of these areas.

If you want to stay free keep seeing cigarettes for what they are. Build up an arsenal of multiple reasons of why you want to stay quit. If one area does not seem to go the way you initially wanted, make sure that you realize that those other areas still exist and are still good reasons to stay smoke free. If you decide you don't want to stay smoke free, we have taught you all you need to know to go back to smoking. Just make sure that you are going back with the intent of smoking until it kills you. Oh sure, maybe you will be lucky enough to be able to get through another full withdrawal cycle sometime in the future and have done it in time to be able to save your life. But there is also the chance that you won't have the strength, desire or opportunity to quit again in time.

While fear or pain may have given you the impetus to quit this time, make sure that that you are fully aware that you may not get such a warning or opportunity next time. The first symptom some people experience for certain diseases is sudden death. On this matter I would not use an example of a scary lung cancer picture. Almost no one dies suddenly from lung cancer without prior knowledge. They get to suffer for at least a few weeks or months or sometimes even years if they are diagnosed with a metastasized and untreatable cancer which a high percentage of lung cancer are. I wouldn't use scary stories of emphysema or other COPD kind of diseases either. These people have years of pain and suffering which are giving them constant reasons to quit yet many continue smoking to the very end. For sudden death issues it is heart disease and strokes that may strike suddenly and without prior warning. I need to point out that these condition are not rare and areas that should not really be of much concern. Smoking kills a whole lot more people from cardiovascular kinds of problems than it does from cancer or lung diseases.

So make sure to consider your options here. If you want to work diligently at getting sick and dying prematurely it is within your ability to do it now. Although you should probably consider something. You don't want to get cancer and you are not looking forward to dying. How do I know this? Because when you thought you had something wrong and were at risk of death you were sufficiently motivated to quit smoking. Lucky for you the problem you thought you had didn't exist. Unluckily for you there are real risks that still exist for you as well as for all people who smoke that you just don't want to recognize or be told about.

As I said above, we have taught you all you need to know to relapse. All you need to do is go through every article in my library, get to the last sentence and dismiss the article and break the one rule at the end that could have kept your quit going and minimized your risk of developing such truly life threatening conditions. All you need to do is break the law of addiction once of disregarding the one fact that to stay smoke free you must be totally committed to never take another puff!
Joel
Last edited by John (Gold) on 28 Feb 2009, 15:29, edited 1 time in total.
Reply

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

30 Nov 2003, 21:18 #26

Image
Is this your fantasy? Reach for your dreams!
Last edited by John (Gold) on 09 Feb 2009, 20:50, edited 1 time in total.
Reply

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

04 Dec 2003, 04:17 #27

Image
Last edited by John (Gold) on 09 Feb 2009, 20:50, edited 1 time in total.
Reply

DlunyGOLD
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

05 Dec 2003, 09:03 #28

The overflowing ashtray is probably the best image you could have come up without getting into human suffering to help me keep my quit today!

That is absolutely disgusting! And I used to contribute to that!

I remember watching the custodian clean the ashtrays in the courtyard at our building and it is a nasty job! He uses rubber gloves to handle the butts and to him it is just a job, you can't tell if he is disgusted or not by his facial expression.

I am sorry to think that I might be putting him out of a job (or at least part of one) but today my health and well-being is more important.

Three weeks, six days, 11 hours, 3 minutes and 47 seconds. 494 cigarettes not smoked, saving $37.07. Life saved: 1 day, 17 hours, 10 minutes.
Reply

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

24 Dec 2003, 13:01 #29

Image
One day at a time, just today! The next few minutes are all you have to concern yourself with each is doable. It isn't unusual for the holiday season to cause us to experience large swings in feeling and emotions. It happened when we were active smokers and it'll happen as comfortable ex-smokers too. The key is getting through this first holiday season with your recovery, healing and freedom intact. Be proud of you, you're doing just fine! Only one rule, no nicotine today! Happy Holidays!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! John
Image
Last edited by John (Gold) on 09 Feb 2009, 21:06, edited 1 time in total.
Reply

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

29 Jan 2004, 21:42 #30

Image
Listen to your rational well reasoned dreams while laughing at those deep inner emotions that are were so conditioned by years of chemical dependency that they are now afraid of "you" returning to the gradually emerging real "you!" Embrace recovery as it's nothing more again becoming comfortable fully engaging life as "you!"
Only one rule - no nicotine today! John
Last edited by John (Gold) on 09 Feb 2009, 21:09, edited 1 time in total.
Reply