Recognizing Needs

Subconscious use cue extinguishment
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:12

06 Oct 2003, 00:56 #21

I really needed this today.....for some reason, I feel like "something's missing".... this puts it into perspective.

Miss C.

(Silver in less than 30 days)
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:38

28 Oct 2003, 05:05 #22

I know I'm responding to an old post, but this is soooo true. Sometimes I blame things on quitting smokng ... it's a craving, it's the nicotine trying to fool me. Well, after 20 years of fooling myself that nicotine was the solution to my problems, I'm not going to blame it for everything that goes wrong. I am responsible for my actions and my deeds. No more nicotene to blame.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

28 Oct 2003, 10:33 #23

Bob ~ what a great post. Thanks for linking it in one of your posts today. I haven't answered my everyday "needs" like a normal, drug-free person for most of my life. Gosh, it's tough learning to be a "grownup" when you're 57!! Ahhhh, the Journey of Freedom from Addiction! Love it, Love this site and all the great folks who hang out here!!

Candi - Free and Healing for Four Days, 22 Hours and 52 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 8 Hours, by avoiding the use of 99 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $12.88.
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 01:47

21 Jan 2004, 14:51 #24

Bob,

I know it's months later, but I'm still a newbie and I was looking at other newbie's posts and this one was recommended and I became curious and whaddyaknow...

I really needed to read this now!

Not only for your beautifully written and accurate words.

But, because I'VE FORGOTTEN HOW TO CRY TOO.

And I see someone wrote that to you.

So important to realize what it IS we're craving in place of nicotine.

Nice to get another perspective here.

Thankx.

Blessings!

Clarity who is two weeks free of nico-drug and happy to be!
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:33

22 Jan 2004, 04:16 #25

Hi OBob,
I know this is an old post,but it still works today!Thanks! All that you said is so true. As long as I had my cigarettes I didn't really need anything else.
Or anything else just wasn't as good without a cigarette. Learning how to "be" without a smoke is quite interesting. I have been very tired ever since I quit which will be 3 weeks tomorrow. I thought I might be depressed, but emotionaly I'm doing okay. I think my body is just adjusting. Maybe I'm just learning how to live without a cigarette and it is taking a lot of energy.
Laurie
I have chosen not to smoke for 2 Weeks 6 Days 9 Hours 3 Minutes 43 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 652. Money saved: $81.51.
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:38

22 Jan 2004, 08:44 #26

This thread is a great help. Learning to re-learn signals from the body - I've especially been a good one for not saying or really dealing with stressful situations. I would go and have a cigarette instead of talking something out or even taking the time to figure out how I really feel about something. And having a cigarette instead of eating or drinking, etc. is quite common. At 3-1/2 weeks quit I've been rather confused about how my body feels - I'm just learning how to recognize hunger from thirst from whatever but I didn't even recognize that this was a common problem that developed because of the addiction. Thanks!

TerryLynn
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Joined: 16 Jan 2003, 08:00

25 Jan 2004, 13:40 #27

Learn to investigate your body's craves. You feel something... DON'T assume it's a nicotine crave. Sure, they come now and then, but our body uses similar feelings to get us to fill the daily needs of life. Go through the list. Are you hungry, tired, thirsty, angry, restless, run down? Do you need to eat, sleep, drink, vent, exercise, rest? Your body and mind have real needs, and it has ways of asking for them. Learn to listen, and you'll find that they might not be asking for nicotine as often as you thought. Learn to answer the needs by fulfilling them, instead of replacing them with nicotine, and you'll find health benefits you might not have expected.
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Joined: 16 Jan 2003, 08:00

01 Feb 2004, 08:57 #28

"I've learned -- and this is the point -- when I get what I think is a crave to examine it. To ask myself, okay, I'm craving something... is it really nicotine? Have I eaten? Have I had enough water? Am I run down? Have I exercised in the past couple of days? As often as not, I find that I'm craving something I actually NEED, and not nicotine at all. I find this especially when I get any kind of physical type of crave. I know I'm WAY past withdrawal. But I feel this physical call... my body is demanding something, but it's not nicotine. "
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

12 Apr 2004, 20:56 #29

Nicotine's two-hour half-life inside the human body was the basic clock that not only regulated the deadline for that next feeding but also which feedings we'd consider our "best."

Imagine sleeping through four nicotine half-lives (8 hours) and awaking the next morning with your nicotine level somewhere down around your socks. No wonder that morning fix was one of the "best." Although the clock could not be slowed, acid generating events such as stress, anxiety, alcohol and mega doses of vitamin C could accelerate the clock by more rapidly depleting the body's reserves of the alkaloid nicotine. Such events would more quickly transport us to the brink of onset of early withdrawal. No wonder we made such deep rooted yet false conclusions about nicotine's relationship to stress and alcohol. No wonder they were some of our "best!"

Living life on nicotine's clock totally ignored our body's own natural and healthy neurochemical timetables. As you've probably read here at Freedom, nicotine caused the brain to release stores of adrenaline and noradrenaline that prepared our body for the fight or flight survival mode. An amazing cascade of fight or flight neurochemicals would temporarily shut down all non-essential systems and functions, constrict extremity blood vessels to help control any bleeding during battle or escape, accelerate the heartbeat to pump a greater volumes of blood, stimulate the lungs to process more oxygen, would heighten the senses, and dump stored fats and sugars into the bloodstream to provide an instant source of energy. Question: Is that what our body really needed when life's moment begged for deep relaxation like just before climbing into bed to sleep?

Recovery can be a wonderful adventure in self discovery as we begin to appreciate that our body's own neurochemicals each had purpose and their flow had natural controls, controls that the chemical nicotine was able to completely bypass. Was it time for a nicotine induced dopamine "aaah" reward sensation upon learning the tragic news of the death of a close friend or loved one? Was it time to smoke a chemical that would diminish the flow of serotonin, a mood and critical anxiety busting neurochemical?

All that matter are the next few moments and each is entirely doable. The accomplishment induced dopamine "aaah" sensation resting just beyond that next challenge is not only yours to enjoy, it's "you," it's beautiful, and it's an honest message that this recovery is a keeper. You're coming home! There was always only one rule, no nicotine today!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

John


Last edited by John (Gold) on 11 Jul 2009, 02:25, edited 2 times in total.
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:37

13 Apr 2004, 11:36 #30

THIS IS ABSOLUTELY ONE OF THE BEST POSTS

ARI
19 DAYS OF FREEDOM
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Joined: 16 Jan 2003, 08:00

16 Apr 2004, 09:37 #31

For our new quitters.
Life will get better and better as you adjust to being free from nicotine.
In any situation, always remember to never take another puff. The crave will end whether you feed it or not.
NOT works really well!
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:37

12 May 2004, 06:58 #32

this is one of the best posts! i was dehydrated all day and though i wanted a cig! oh... read read read ! amity
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Joined: 16 Jan 2003, 08:00

15 May 2004, 08:28 #33

Learn to investigate your body's craves. You feel something... DON'T assume it's a nicotine crave.
Last edited by Sal GOLD.ffn on 11 Jul 2009, 03:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

12 Jun 2004, 02:26 #34

"Learn to investigate your body's craves. You feel something... DON'T assume it's a nicotine crave. Sure, they come now and then, but our body uses similar feelings to get us to fill the daily needs of life. Go through the list. Are you hungry, tired, thirsty, angry, restless, run down? Do you need to eat, sleep, drink, vent, exercise, rest? Your body and mind have real needs, and it has ways of asking for them. Learn to listen, and you'll find that they might not be asking for nicotine as often as you thought. Learn to answer the needs by fulfilling them, instead of replacing them with nicotine, and you'll find health benefits you might not have expected."


What a smart OMan that OBob is!



Melissa

36 months
Last edited by Toast (GOLD ) on 11 Jul 2009, 03:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

30 Jun 2004, 23:41 #35

This is by far one of the best analytical articles about craving. However, while I do realize that we have to examine our craves, I find it very difficult to satisfy that crave; albeit not for nicotine. For example, I used to sit in my back yard and smoke when I relax. I am unable at this time to sit in my back yard any more, because it triggers a crave - whatever that crave may be. I am now virtually unable to relax at all. So I keep myself busy by working during the time that I used to relax, smoke and even ponder over matters in my life. I am certainly unable to do that now. I simply cannot relax. I am able to work and function, jog and walk, but I am unable to relax. Therefore, recognizing what the crave really is, is one thing, and satisfying that newly discovered crave, is yet another. If you have any ideas, please help. I truly need to sit, relax and ponder. Is that possible now? I don't know. All I can hope for is that one day, out in the future, I may re-learn to relax.

Aida
Two weeks, two days free and healing.
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:02

01 Jul 2004, 02:45 #36

Hi Aida...I noticed your question hidden in this post here. Hmmmm...relaxing.

Now that you say it, I DO remember early on in my quit that I kept myself busy a lot to get past most of my cravings. In fact, I think it is difficult for many people to relax in general, smokers, ex smokers and never smokers alike! It sounds strange, but when you think about it, one of the hardest things to get our minds do is absolutely nothing!

Have you ever been to a yoga class? The first class I ever went to we talked about "quieting the mind" or "sitting quietly with our thoughts". My teacher observed that most Westerners can't even sit still when they sit, we use rocking chairs! ANYWAY, I had started studying yoga and buddhism about a year before I quit smoking, so I was already familiar with this idea of learning how to "sit" with my antsy feelings. It's no easy feat, Aida, to sit still and just let the thoughts whir by in our brains. It takes practice to quiet one's mind. I know it may sound simple but, I have found that the only way we can relax is to do it.

Try it. Sit in a quiet place and practice letting the thoughts float by like little bubbles in your head. Don't latch on to any, just observe them as they pass by. If you need help, focus on your breathing, say to yourself as you breathe in and out "Breathing fresh air in" "Breathing stressed air out". I'm sure you can find plenty of helpful books on practicing meditation and relaxation exercises at your local library or even on the internet.

Also, here's a great thread from my fabulous quit friend Parker that touches on this "letting things go" philosophy in regards to craves: Don't Get Discouraged!

Otherwise, keep reading and listening to the things your body is trying to tell you. Practice Patience and trust in the fact that this WILL get better. Oh, and a huge congratulations on half green!

YQS~Lotus

645 days of FREEDOM and I am happy as a clam!
Last edited by IrishLotus GOLD on 11 Jul 2009, 03:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

01 Jul 2004, 03:59 #37

Hi Aida,


Here's where I think you may benefit from a new approach. You say that, "I am unable at this time to sit in my back yard any more, because it triggers a crave - whatever that crave may be."


While that may be true the first couple times you sit in your backyard, it won't be true over time. At 2 weeks, you're right at the point where many quitters experience their most challenging patch. You're fresh out of the physical challenges of withdrawal and the other physical adjustments your body makes when nicotine is removed from the equation, and you're finding yourself confronted by raw, mental triggers. This is unsettling, and at first overwhelming. It's a different kind of challenge, and takes a different kind of approach.


As opposed to the raw white-knuckling that often characterizes the "physical phase", the mental challenges requre an understanding of the nature of the challenge, and a readjustment of the manner in which you deal with the challenge.


Essentially, you need to understand...


a) that triggers are reconditioned by experiencing a situation smoke-free. If you used to smoke during sitting in the back yard, you'll very likely encounter a trigger the first time or 2 or 3 you sit out in the back yard. However, each time you sit in the back yard, and DON'T feed the trigger, that trigger weakens. Eventually, sitting in the back yard will be no more associated with smoking than taking a shower.


b) that the best way to recondition these triggers is not to avoid them; but rather to confront them, and in doing so, beat them. Avoiding situations like sitting in the back yard, and replacing it with other activities merely builds the fear of that situation up in your mind. You create a crisis out of a mere challenge.


It also leads you to mistakenly blame the loss of an important activity (sitting in your back yard and relaxing in this case) on your quit... jeopardizing your commitment to that quit. The TRUTH is that ANYTHING you did as a smoker, you will be able to do as an ex-smoker without being harassed by your addiction. This is true AS LONG as you commit to living through each trigger-situation smoke-free.


IMPORTANT: This is NOT what it feels like to be an ex-smoker Aida. This is what it feels like to be Aida 16 days removed from ending her enslavement to the planets strongest addictive substance. I remember distinctly that my 16th and 17th days were probably the most challenging of my entire quit (not that there weren't other challenges in the future). Face these triggers head-on. Confront them and defeat them. As the hours and days pile up, so will the list of reconditioned activities that you will be able to enjoy smoke-free.


Ex-smokers can and DO relax. Being a smoker didn't remove this ability from you. You simply need to allow yourself the time to do the healing necessary to remember how.


Here are some important posts for you to read that pertain to what I've just covered here. I have a couple more I want to dig up, and will be back with them in a minute.


Monster under the bed

Embracing craves
Smoking triggers
The evolution of triggers
Triggers, should I avoid them?

This gets better. I promise.
YQB,
Bob (2 and a half years free)
Last edited by OBob Gold on 11 Jul 2009, 02:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

01 Jul 2004, 04:06 #38

I am different, I'll never be comfortable
Crutches
Tell a newbie how many seconds a day you still want a cigarette


And, as evidence that, despite my 2.5 years of freedom, I started out with the same challenges... compare this post...


And on the seventh day



with this one...


Comfort



It really works. It requires some patience and some willingness to confront your fear (and in doing so to weaken that fear). Take it One day at a time . You'll get to where you want to be.


Bob
Last edited by OBob Gold on 11 Jul 2009, 02:49, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

01 Jul 2004, 21:54 #39

Dear Lotus & Bob:

Thanx for responding to my "hidden question" :>) I feel that I must start learning how to live my daily life all over again like a baby learning her first steps. It may even be more challenging than just a learning process because first we have to un-learn what we have conditioned our body and mind to do, and then learn how to live & function all over again. Some task! huh?
I copied and pasted every article that you both suggested. Luckily it is slow in the office this week, so I will close now and go home. Perhaps I may venture into my beautiful backyard and "sit" and read the articles. May be I will un-learn to sit & smoke, and then learn to sit and read, in my back yard. Thanx again and happy 4th to all.

Aida NTOP NEVER
Free and healing two weeks three days and nine hours.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

03 Jul 2004, 23:24 #40

I thought I would bring this back to the top again, because I know for me when I was a newbie reading this really helped me.

I hadn't realized that we converted our basic needs into craves and learned to give ourselves a hit of nicotine instead of providing our bodies with what it needed - like water, food, sleep, etc.

It is sick really, when you think about it.

It took some work and time to learn to listen to my needs and know what they actually were. It was a huge learning process.

It is comforting to know what it is I am REALLY craving now and to be able to satisfy those cravings and feel so much better afterwards.

Thanks again for this Bob!




Sandy - Bronze - 4 months & 4 days
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:37

08 Jul 2004, 09:01 #41

Very helpful post about craves, thanks Bob. It almost answers my question, but not quite.

I have been quit for 70 days now, and lately I'm getting this thing where my mouth won't stop watering. I have been missing cigs quite a bit lately I guess. All of my friends smoke and I was on vacation with them last week. The weird thing is, I'm trying to figure out why my mouth is watering so much. Is it from missing nicotine? Vacation is over, and it's still happening many times a day. Has anyone else experienced this? I really appreciate your feedback.

Cheers,
Marjie
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

27 Aug 2004, 14:23 #42

To OBoB:

You certainly are very wise. I am beginning to realize that I pretty much replaced everything I wanted in life with a cigarette. Nothing has value without one. One before and one after. And everything in between didn't matter too much.

This impacted my relationships in a terrible way. My son, whom I never see now, has recently told me that he thought I was just "never there." I wasn't! I was smoking in my bedroom when I was home. I am just now beginning to examine what I am feeling or needing. And it is not nicotine. It is what a non "nicotine normal" me would be feeling or needing.

Thanks for this article very much..quit 4 weeks, 5 days 19 hours.

Mary Ann
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

23 Sep 2004, 04:32 #43

Makes me wonder how many needs I stuffed by smoking over the years. No wonder I was feeling so haggard for a while....I was probably dehydrated and tired, not in need of a cigarette. *sigh*

Angie - 8 Months 1 Week 1 Day 22 Hours 13 Minutes 6 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 2023. Money saved: C$809.36 I've reclaimed 2 Wks 1 Hr 14 Mins 3 Secs of my life.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

17 Oct 2004, 08:19 #44

Thanks to whomever brought this thread up.

I read it with great delight for a few minutes, and then with a growing feeling of anxiety, when I found my own reply in the string....at 4weeks, 5 days. I have just copied this to my favorites. How beautifully it is written and how heart-wrenchingly true for all of us who replaced living with using.

I'm still scared by the fact that I have no memory of either reading this article by Obob or of writing a response. The first month of my quit (after 46 years) was passed in a sort of relentless oblivion.

I am actually working again, and hope smoking has not damaged my ability to remember things the way I used to. I am doing legal work again. It requires a lot of concentration and I'm a little worried that I've lost perhaps too much of it. I'm in the process of re-learning things that used to be second-nature to me. I'm also probably going to relocate closer to my job. As for my son......... I am very determined now to be something more than a "phantom" mom in his life.

Can anyone shed some light on my memory loss concerns? My doctor does not seem to think I have any real problems. But, wow! I don't remember this!

Mary Ann 11 WEEKS 2 DAYS NICOTINE FREE
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

07 Jan 2005, 16:24 #45

Appendix to "Recognizing Needs"


Great post, my quit sis Erica! I thought it would be nice to have a link to your post today in the original thread. you explained some real examples very well.

Thanks!



~ Kay (Gold) ~
Last edited by kattatonic1 gold4 on 11 Jul 2009, 03:06, edited 1 time in total.
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