Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

April 16th, 2004, 9:37 am #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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cal amity
cal amity

May 12th, 2004, 6:58 am #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: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

May 15th, 2004, 8:28 am #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 July 11th, 2009, 3:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Toast (GOLD )
Toast (GOLD )

June 12th, 2004, 2:26 am #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 July 11th, 2009, 3:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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AidaSaba1
AidaSaba1

June 30th, 2004, 11:41 pm #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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IrishLotus GOLD
IrishLotus GOLD

July 1st, 2004, 2:45 am #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 July 11th, 2009, 3:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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OBob Gold
OBob Gold

July 1st, 2004, 3:59 am #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 July 11th, 2009, 2:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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OBob Gold
OBob Gold

July 1st, 2004, 4:06 am #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 July 11th, 2009, 2:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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AidaSaba1
AidaSaba1

July 1st, 2004, 9:54 pm #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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FearNothingDK GOLD
FearNothingDK GOLD

July 3rd, 2004, 11:24 pm #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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Marjie
Marjie

July 8th, 2004, 9:01 am #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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WideEnlightened
WideEnlightened

August 27th, 2004, 2:23 pm #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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Just Gie Gold
Just Gie Gold

September 23rd, 2004, 4:32 am #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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WideEnlightened
WideEnlightened

October 17th, 2004, 8:19 am #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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kattatonic1 gold4
kattatonic1 gold4

January 7th, 2005, 4:24 pm #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 July 11th, 2009, 3:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

February 13th, 2005, 1:45 am #46

 Thanks to OBob for writing, Erica for adding even more insight and Sal for recommending today. Actually just what I needed. Just did my taxes, the results are NOT good news . Several strong urges, some crazy junkie rationalizing. Who is that guy in my head? I need some water and a long walk but I now also know what I no longer need . Thanks guys, this was In the Nick of Time. My name is JoeJFree a nicotine addict and Ex-smoker for 1 month, 3 days, 2 hours, 28 minutes and 36 seconds (33 days)  NTAP!
Last edited by JoeJFree Gold on February 18th, 2011, 3:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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GreenSolveg
GreenSolveg

February 13th, 2005, 6:19 am #47

Sorry to hear about your taxes, Joe, but I sure am glad to hear the good news about your making it through the ordeal smoke-free. Before you know it, it won't even occur to you to want to smoke when stuff like this happens.

Keep up the great work!!
Your quit sis,
Erica(Gold)
Last edited by GreenSolveg on February 18th, 2011, 3:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

March 22nd, 2005, 10:58 am #48

The other day I had a big ol' crave out of the blue....and it amazed me because, well, I'm now an "oldbie" and haven't had a crave in a long, long, long time.
I put a magnifying glass on the crave and it turned out to be a yell for WATER, as I'd been busy, busy, busy......
It's amazing how the mind will still occasionally Go There and the first impression will be I'm Wanting Nicotine.
But, I'm not. Really, I'm DEFINITELY not.
Water. That was all it was.
Never Take Another Puff.
Sal
Two years, two months, one week, two days, 19 hours, 56 minutes and 18 seconds. 19195 cigarettes not smoked, saving $3,839.19. Life saved: 9 weeks, 3 days, 15 hours, 35 minutes.
Last edited by Sal GOLD.ffn on July 11th, 2009, 2:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Starshinegrl Gold
Starshinegrl Gold

March 22nd, 2005, 3:15 pm #49

Sal, congratulations on being an oldbie (look at your stats!!!! )!
Your message made me think of one of my favourites I want something ... had to smile when I saw message #70.
Have a great nicotine free day!
Gitte
116 days and a bit
Last edited by Starshinegrl Gold on July 11th, 2009, 2:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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elrandou
elrandou

April 18th, 2005, 6:38 pm #50

I'm so happy I found that post! It explained so clearly the ridiculous situation I find myself in so many times during the day! When I 'm home and "want something" it's easy to go and hug my husband and/or children or go out at the balcony and breathe deeply, but when I'm at work things are not so easy. Fortunately, I can run here and seek for a helping thread!
Many thanks to you all,
Lena
12days 20:03 smoke-free, 255 cigs not smoked, 28,56 € saved, 21:15 life saved
Last edited by elrandou on July 11th, 2009, 2:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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LisaT774
LisaT774

April 19th, 2005, 12:06 am #51

This thread is a great help. Thanks OBob for authoring and to Lena for bringing it up! I always find some other activity or identify what I want, but the hesitation, (standing/sitting there staring blankly into space while I internally search for what I want or something I could/should be doing,) makes some people think I'm 'challenged' in some way. My still-smoking addict roommate, (for whom I am trying to set a "calm ex-smoker" example for,) sees this and thinks some of my synapses are misfiring .

I am confident I will learn better the cues my body is sending and react more quickly and appropriately in weeks and months to come, but in the meanwhile it is sort of amusing...


Have a wonderful, nicotine-free, shiny-happy-Monday! Just look at all those STRONG QUITS out there! Wow! NTAP, people and we will live free forever!


Lisa - Free and Healing for Twenty One Days, 10 Hours and 36 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 21 Hours, by avoiding the use of 257 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $45.07.
Last edited by LisaT774 on July 11th, 2009, 3:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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TrulyFreeMe
TrulyFreeMe

April 23rd, 2005, 3:11 am #52

Amazing!!!! I am so glad I was linked to this message! I did a little replacing myself, but not exactly with what I thought it would be. Thanks. You are very helpful... I did not know that someone would try and replace companionship with nicotine, but I did it! I am just sitting here in shock. Literally, I have typed a few words, then have to stop to realize that quitting smoking to me was really not like giving up a drug, but I had made that inanimate object a personal friend to always be there for me when I call. How utterly shameful that I saw a need in myself and replaced it with something so fruitless and destructive and not filling. It did not start out that way. Just a drag, with the gals. Not after awhile. Amazingly embarassing.......
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kattatonic1 gold4
kattatonic1 gold4

January 2nd, 2006, 3:45 pm #53

Hungry? Smoke.
Tired? Smoke.
Anxious? Smoke.
What do you really need? After I read this thread in the first days of my quit, I put a few sticky notes around the house (saves time from the talking to myself). They said "Listen to your body!" Boy that was helpful!
I also recommend a great post from my quit sis Erica!
Appendix to "Recognizing Needs"
Kay (Gold x 2)
Last edited by kattatonic1 gold4 on July 11th, 2009, 2:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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sondrat123
sondrat123

February 1st, 2006, 5:55 am #54

Thanks, Sal.
I read this and it makes perfect sense to me. I will try to do exactly that. It's people like you that make this posting method so successful. I know thru "other programs" that I attend that helping someone else is the most effective method for me to handle my recovery and I am thinking that this works the same way!! I am nicotine free for another day and am **** bent to NTAP!!
Sandy
Last edited by sondrat123 on July 11th, 2009, 2:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

February 9th, 2006, 10:36 am #55

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.

OBob
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