Stronger or Smarter?

Stronger or Smarter?

Hillbilly(Gold)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

22 Jul 2002, 04:39 #1

I just had a conversation with a fellow ex-smoker about being stronger than our addiction, and it got me to thinking.
I don't think I will ever be stronger than my addiction to nicotine. This really bothered my fellow ex, but here is what I mean. There were several times early in my quit when I stormed out the door headed for a grocery, gas station, bar, etc. to buy a pack of smokes. I'd had it, was through, this isn't going to work, I can never quit, you name the relapse excuse, I made it. One night I even called Joel at home to tell him. Thank goodness he wasn't home, I would have never heard the end of it.


Each time, before I got to the point of buying a pack, my education kicked in and I calmed down and went back home. Each of these times, if there had been a pack lying in front of me, I probably would have smoked, and would still be smoking today, in full relapse.


That's what I mean by being smarter than the addiction. By not having them handy, I had to leave, thus giving myself time to think things through rationally. I had come that far, why not give it another day. I can always start back tomorrow, I'll just not smoke today, etc.


Nicotine cessation is not like dieting. I've done both and trust me, it's not the same. I lost 56 pounds over a three year period. All through that dieting stage, I would always look forward to Friday night. On Fridays I could eat and drink anything I wanted. It kept me from feeling too deprived, and it worked.


The difference is, with nicotine there can be no Friday nights. One puff turns into 60 smokes a day. There is no feeling deprived, there can be no relapse. For the first few weeks, that's tough, real tough. No one is that strong, so we have to be smarter. Smart enough to not carry temptation around with us, smart enough not to go to smoke-filled bars if we're not ready, smart enough to avoid smoking friends if we're not ready.


After a while, when the baby steps get longer, we go to our favorite bar, meet our smoking friends, look temptation in the eye and defeat it when we're ready, on our own terms. That's what I mean by being smarter. When we've been quit for five years and the temptation hits one night to just have one for old times sake, education tells us it won't/can't work--one puff equals 60 per day, for the rest of our lives.


Nicotine addiction can be defeated, but not by being stronger. We can be stronger MOST of the time, but not ALL of the time. That's what I mean by we have to be smarter.
Image Dave
Last edited by Hillbilly(Gold) on 22 Jun 2009, 16:56, edited 1 time in total.
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ladywuzzy
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:12

22 Jul 2002, 08:15 #2

Good words Dave. its kinda funny that i log on because i'm feeling really anxious right now and your thread is the first one i went to. as i was reading i was starting to calm down. but prior to, running through my mind was getting dressed, going to the garage, getting in the car and driving less than 4 minutes to the nearest gas station. but i don't want to and I'M NOT GOING TO. i've come quite far for me, One week, three days, 1 hour, 35 minutes and 39 seconds. 150 cigarettes not smoked, saving $33.97. Life saved: 12 hours, 30 minutes, and i'm not going to give it all up.

i do feel a little calmer but could still calm down some more. so i'm going to read right now. thanks for the thread dave. Image
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Buckshee(Green)
Joined: 09 Jan 2009, 20:42

22 Jul 2002, 08:30 #3

I am about to log off, but wanted to wish for a peaceful night. I too get calmer when I come here and read. Carrie N.
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Hillbilly(Gold)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

22 Jul 2002, 09:17 #4

Ladywuzzy--You're almost there!! Don't give up your quit, now. If you relapse now you have two choices--smoke at your old level (or more) from now on or go through withdrawal again.

You obviously didn't like smoking at your old level or you wouldn't have quit. That takes care of one choice. The other choice is going through withdrawal again--do you really want to do that???

Dave
I have chosen not to smoke for 3 Months 3 Days 23 Hours 17 Minutes 25 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 3323. Money saved: $457.05.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

22 Jul 2002, 18:58 #5

Hello Dave:



I actually wrote a few responses to other people's posts on this very issue in the past but for the life of me I can't remember when or to who. It may very well have been here before you were ever a member. The fact is that you overcome nicotine addiction by being smarter than nicotine not stronger than nicotine. If a person were stronger than his or her addiction he or she would have controlled smoking at a level of one or two a day or one or two a week. People here lost their ability to do that--most years or decades ago. It is because they crossed a line of addiction and now nicotine became much stronger than the individual.



But no smoker is doomed to be a smoker because they are weaker than nicotine for if they become educated and then stay smarter as you say, they have the tools to in place to keep control over their addiction. Every one of our members prove this beyond a shadow of a doubt every day they stay smoke free.



The other important point you raised here is that nicotine cessation is not like dieting. In a way though it is easier--for the battle line between total success and total failure is much more clearly defined. The string Why so hard on cheating? addresses this discrepancy.

Hang in there Dave. These little self realizations help clearly define the problem of nicotine addiction. The more you learn and realize about what smoking really was, the better equipped you will stay to make this quit the last quit you will ever have to do because you will happily stick to your commitment to never take another puff!



Joel


Related video:




Edited 12-12-12 to add in video above
Last edited by Joel on 12 Dec 2012, 21:06, edited 3 times in total.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

06 Sep 2002, 19:48 #6

Image In case any person here starts to question his or her ability to stay off of smoking because he or she begins to think that he or she is not strong enough. Everyone here has the ability to stay smoke free--not by strength alone but much more so by understanding. The understanding that staying off is doable and success is a sure thing as long as you always remember that to stay smoke free is no more complicated or tougher than just staying reinforced and knowing to never take another puff!

Joel
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SammymnGOLD
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

07 Sep 2002, 01:56 #7

Yet another good one H. D.:

Brains or brawn? Brains, hands down!

One of the "deals" I made with myself is that I'd have to walk to the gas station if I decided to buy smokes. Of course, this would be after I had the obligatory 30 minute conversation with my friend explaining my reasons for wanting to start smoking again. I keep threads from Freedom laying around my house. I've laminated my reasons. I read here M-F (no net at home). And I've posted twice and received help during some particularly bad moments. I've done these things, 'cuz now I'm in the know.

And the most important thing I know is that as for strength, nic has got me beat by a landslide. With one puff, I'd be back to my former position as indentured servant. Since I'm loving my freedom, there will be no more puffs for this girl. Image

Now, how exactly did you get Joe's home number???? Image

Sammy (2months +)
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OBob Gold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

07 Sep 2002, 02:20 #8

We'll never control how many we smoke.... only whether we smoke. NTAP.
Image
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John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

07 Sep 2002, 16:45 #9

Amen to that! None of us are stronger than nicotine but then nicotine is just a drug and has zero intelligence. It's what makes victory possible for all of earth's over one billion nicotine smokers! We can't out-muscle a three minute crave but we're smart enough to realize that they are not nearly as long as our mind was leading us to believe, and we sure as heck can all find it within ourselves to outlast the challenge and move one necessary step closer to that deep and lasting sense of calm that is the "real" us!
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John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 May 2003, 10:58 #10

Image


The experts tell us that nicotine is one of the most addictive chemicals on planet earth. When asked which drug is the Imageeasiest to get hooked to and the hardest to quit, these experts ranked nicotine ahead of crack cocaine, heroin, all other drugs - http://www.byu.edu/~psychweb/bnc/ab/ab-n17.htm. In these two studies nicotine was ranked #1 for dependency - http://www.tfy.drugsense.org/tfy/addictvn.htm.

None of us are strong than nicotine but as Dave points out above, nicotine is just a chemical and its I.Q is zero! No, we're not stronger but then we don't have to be! We know that a crave episode triggered by conditioning of the subconscious mind will not last longer than three minutes. We know that cessation creates time distortions and that time can seem much longer than it really is. We know that looking at a clock can add honest perspective to any challenge. As Dave notes, we know that delay is our friend and that if we'll only use our intelligence that no challenge is too much for us!

The next few minutes are entirely doable! Why? We're each smarter than the chemical that enslaved us all those years! There's only one rule - no nicotine today, Never Take Another Puff, Dip or Chew! John
Last edited by John (Gold) on 22 Jun 2009, 17:03, edited 2 times in total.
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