Recognizing Needs

Subconscious use cue extinguishment
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