Recognizing Needs

Subconscious use cue extinguishment
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

19 Apr 2005, 00:06 #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 11 Jul 2009, 03:10, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:37

23 Apr 2005, 03:11 #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.......

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

02 Jan 2006, 15:45 #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 11 Jul 2009, 02:58, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:06

01 Feb 2006, 05:55 #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!!
Last edited by sondrat123 on 11 Jul 2009, 02:50, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 16 Jan 2003, 08:00

09 Feb 2006, 10:36 #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.


Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

19 Feb 2006, 10:11 #56

Thanks for bringing this one up Sal! It was always one of my favorites.

I would like to share an example of "Recognizing Needs". Last week, I was coordinating a major hardware change where I work. It went "way less than well!" After 6 hours, one of the nurses asked me if "I needed a piece of chocolate"! The secretary (who I used to see out at the desinated smoking area but had forgotten) said "I know what you need"! I (naive as I am!), said, "What?" She said a cigarette. I looked at her and said, "did you not know I quit?" I wish you could have seen the look on her face, she said no. I proudly said, "Yes! 14 months ago!" The nurses all gave me cheers and said. "way to go, Katie!"

So, because of my education here at Freedom! I said, "So I may need something, but it is not a cigarette!"

THANKS FREEDOM! to all newbies, FREEDOM is GREAT. Lovely, actually!

Katie - After 40 Years! Free and Healing for One Year, Four Months, Two Days, 12 Hours and 1 Minute, while extending my life expectancy 28 Days and 21 Hours, by avoiding the use of 8322 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $1,698.24.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

19 Feb 2006, 13:25 #57

Katie...One year, Four Months, Two Days, 12 Hours and 1 Minute.....Thanks for posting, it's exactly what we need to hear! Thanks.
After 33 years of puffing I've been free for 1 Month, 2 Weeks, 1 Day, 16 hours and 14 minutes (46 days). I have saved $217.03 by not smoking 1,400 cigarettes. I have not stood freezing or frying in the elements for 4 Days, 20 hours and 40 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 1/3/2006 7:30 AM

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

28 Mar 2006, 10:00 #58

Thanks for bringing this one up ,Sal.
it's one of many favorites and I actually do go through a checklist like that whenever a trigger hits. MOre times than not, there actually IS something that my mind or body is requesting....and it IS NEVER nicotene!
My brain does a special little happy dance all of its own every time my body gets what it really needs instead of the poison that I used to substitute because of my addiction.
Maybe that's why I'm so happy most of the time lately....I'm finally getting the things I REALLY want and need.
Thanks Freedom!
addicted for 44+ years and quit for 1M 2W 4D 1h 54m 3s 1M 2W 4D 1h 54m 3s (46 days). I have deprived the tobacco companies of $299.12 by not smoking 2,303 cigarettes. I have saved 1W 23h 55m of my life. My Quit Date: 2/9/2006 7:11 PM

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

01 Jul 2006, 21:33 #59

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.


Last edited by JoeJFree Gold on 11 Jul 2009, 02:59, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 01:44

03 Nov 2006, 07:27 #60

Wow, this is some really useful information. I keep wondering why I am still having these physical type craves, even after a month. This clarifies some things for me.
Thanks for sharing.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:04

11 Jan 2007, 13:18 #61

i love this site with its endless posibilities for growth and recognition through posts. what a great moment i just had reading this post put into words something that i've kind of felt but not been able to really grasp.

and what a wonderful way to celebrate clean look at it as a re-exploration of the VARIETY and POSSIBILITIES in meeting our needs. how boring, and unfulfilling it was to have a one common answer. i think of myself as dynamic, so why ever settle again for one catch all solution that doesn't actually solve anything.
the other day i sat and had a bowl of oatmeal before work. while driving to work i realized i felt awake, alert, and fed.

so simple.

so different than how i tried to manage mornings while on nicotine. i'd have a terrible time getting out of bed, rush to get ready, 'treat myself' to 5 minutes of a cigarette before getting in my car, and then down coffee at work until i felt awake.

i myself am enjoying the re-sensitizing to the endless options to meeting my needs.


(i haven't seen hardly anyone use that stick figure, ha ha ha)

(33 days of rediscovering ways to meet my needs, 426 opportunities to choose a path other than nicotine, $110 to spend on finding those new paths)
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 01:32

11 Jan 2007, 13:30 #62

This is an excellant post. I have read it several times but never replyed. I can remain silent no longer. Very helpful, thank you !!!!!


Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:02

11 Jan 2007, 18:19 #63

When I first read this I had been having lots of cravings. I went and got a big glass of water and came back to reread it and some of the replies. I was actually really thirsty!

This article is really helpful.


I have been quit for 2 Weeks, 1 Day, 5 hours, 19 minutes and 28 seconds (15 days). I have saved $76.10 by not smoking 304 cigarettes. I have saved 1 Day, 1 hour and 20 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 12/27/2006 12:00 AM

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:37

20 Sep 2007, 20:35 #64

I'm glad I found this information. After 20 days, I have this wanting 'something' feeling quite a lot. I now know to explore what my body is trying to tell me and not just think that it is a craving that won't go away!
Last edited by Sasha1310 on 11 Jul 2009, 02:51, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 23 Sep 2009, 22:43

27 Sep 2009, 23:05 #65

Thanks for the post really brings thing into perspective

Joined: 20 Jan 2010, 01:49

18 Feb 2010, 02:08 #66

Woke this morning to intense "craves" after working a long stretch of night shift. I used to smoke my way through the tired, not well exercised feeling.  Not today.  I saw this post this am and have been meeting each one of my needs.  This is the first time in 34 days I have taken inventory and corrected what needed to be corrected.  It has helped tremendously!  I am looking forward to tomorrow so that I can practice this new game of discovery and correction.  
Thanks posters!

Joined: 17 Aug 2010, 16:35

18 Nov 2010, 13:46 #67

Absolutely wonderful!
Gratefully Gold

I escaped from the prison of smoking on August 14, 2010.  
[font]The best revenge is quitting well![/font] 

Joined: 09 Sep 2010, 13:05

18 Nov 2010, 16:09 #68

Wow!  What a great insight to share. Thanks for the original post and thanks for putting it up prominently so I saw it today.

I intend to heed this advice and learn to identify what I am craving.

Jim - Free and Healing for Two Months, Twenty Four Days, 21 Hours and 37 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 20 Days and 21 Hours, by avoiding the use of 6013 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $1,357.73.

(6 days 2 and a half hours to bronze)

Joined: 28 Jan 2011, 19:27

15 Feb 2011, 20:21 #69

I honestly thought the first cig of the day with my cup of coffee would be the hardest one to give up, the one I'd miss the most...Now, I report back-that morning cig is the one i'm the most grateful to not have. It's wonderful to start my day breathing clean air and without engaging the ceaseless cycle of nicotine replenishment and depletion.

Joined: 05 Jan 2011, 00:09

18 Feb 2011, 00:50 #70

I have been compelled also to say - this is an excellent post.  It means so much to have someone say what you feel - and in a way that gives you confidence.
Thank you OBob - I wish you were still on these boards...but that's ok - we're still lovin' you anyway - wherever you are

Quit 1-1-11 smiling and smiling

Joined: 30 Mar 2011, 13:45

19 Jun 2011, 09:35 #71

I love this post too and thought I'd comment while I'm here. I'm approaching bronze, 6 days to go, and the ideas in this post are as relevant to me now as they were at the start of my quit.

In the beginning, I could not bear the feeling that I had an unmet need. I was like a tiny child in a tantrum, unable to wait or think, overcome with frustration, needing something RIGHT NOW to make me feel better. When I look back I'm a little embarrassed.  Then I began to understand how immature I was emotionally in this area. Taking care of your own needs is a life skill, and I hadn't learned it yet. This learning had been hijacked by nicotine in my early teens.  

At the start of my quit, I found the whole idea that perhaps I wanted a glass of water and not a hit of nicotine quite frankly bizarre. How are the two even related? I've gone through a process of trying lots and lots of different things when I need 'something'. Is it a hug, a walk, a drink, a chat? Is it some quiet time, some loud music, what is it? Somewhere along the way I was able to giggle at myself and at my efforts to get it right. I was clueless.

I won't say I have all the answers as I definitely don't. But the process of learning is much more relaxed now than it has ever been. The withdrawal is gone, the restless feeling I had for weeks is gone. It's just me now, on my own, trying to learn what feels like the right thing and what doesn't. When am I hungry, sleepy, bored? What do I need to do to keep myself on an even keel? The frustrated, tantruming child is making fewer appearances as time goes on.

On the whole, my understanding has increased unbelievably following the education on this website and posts like the opening one here. This place is literally saving my life. Many, many thanks. 

Redsunflower - Free and Healing for Two Months, Twenty Six Days and 3 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 9 Days and 1 Hour, by avoiding the use of 2610 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me £261.94. 

Joined: 12 Jul 2012, 14:06

18 Jul 2012, 14:41 #72

Just stumbled across this incredibly helpful post and wanted to put it back in circulation. Nine days nictotine free and I'm rediscovering that my body does indeed have requirements beyond the ubiquitous cigarette. For anyone else who is (re)discovering obscure concepts like Thirst, Hunger, Sleepiness, Restlessness which had previously been construed as the urge to smoke, I refer you to O'Bob's fine original article. I remember well that during the first three days what I wanted was a cigarette a cigarette a cigarette. Only a very few days later, if a crave hits, more often that not it is actually a message that I need something else - even if that something else is simply to stand up and stretch my legs. Learning to listen to my mind and body feels good after years of ignoring them and reacting to all cues by lighting up.
Another happy no smoking day to everyone.

Katharine - Free and Healing for Nine Days, 12 Hours and 48 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 15 Hours, by avoiding the use of 191 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $42.54.

Joined: 03 Jul 2013, 14:10

14 Sep 2013, 22:54 #73

Thank you OBob Gold for this post from many many years ago. This thread was great for me to find and read. I can see from reading all the entries on it that it has been helpful and pertinent for everyone who has read it. It is such a well articulated and great explanation of the "something is missing" feelings I have experienced (as a nicotine addict) during my journey to freedom from nicotine. The "something missing" is so many times just what you have written about, hunger, water,sleep ... the cigarettes took over my life and the nicotine substituted for all these normal needs. No wonder I am feeling less tired and healthier! I am actually enjoying at this time in my quite taking back my life.

a happy ex-smoker,
nicotine free 2 months, 3 weeks, 1 day, 10 hours and 35 minutes