"Take it ONE DAY AT A TIME"

"Take it ONE DAY AT A TIME"

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

11 Feb 2001, 01:09 #1

Joel's Reinforcement Library
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"Take it ONE DAY AT A TIME"


This concept is taught by almost all programs which are devoted to dealing with substance abuse or emotional conflict of any kind. The reason that it is so often quoted is that it is universally applicable to almost any traumatic situation.

Dealing with quitting smoking is no exception. Along with NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!, ONE DAY AT A TIME is the key technique which gives the smoker the strength to successfully quit smoking and stay free from the powerful grip of nicotine dependence.

When first quitting, the concept of ONE DAY AT A TIME is clearly superior to the smoker thinking that he will never smoke again for the rest of his life. For when the smoker is first giving up smoking, he does not know whether or not he wants to go the rest of his life without smoking. Most of the time the smoker envisions life as a non-smoker as more stressful, painful, and less fun.

It is not until he quits smoking that he realizes his prior thoughts of what life is like as a non-smoker were wrong. Once he quits he realizes that there is life after smoking. It is a cleaner, calmer, fuller and, most important, healthier life. Now the thought of returning to smoking becomes a repulsive concept. Even though the fears have reversed, the ONE DAY AT A TIME technique should still be maintained.

Now, as an ex-smoker, he still has bad moments every now and then. Sometimes due to stress at home or work, or pleasant social situations, or to some other undefinable trigger situation, the desire for a cigarette surfaces. All he needs to do is say to himself, I won't smoke for the rest of today; tomorrow I will worry about tomorrow. The urge will be over in seconds, and the next day he probably won't even think of a cigarette.

But ONE DAY AT A TIME should not only be practiced when an urge is present. It should be practiced daily. Sometimes an ex-smoker thinks it is no longer important to think in these terms. He goes on with the idea he will not smoke again for the rest of his life. Assuming he is correct, when does he pat himself on the back for achieving his goal. When he is lying on his death bed he can enthusiastically proclaim, "I never smoked again." What a great time for positive reinforcement.

Every day the ex-smoker should wake up thinking that he is not going to smoke that day. And every night before he goes to sleep he should congratulate himself for sticking to his goal. Because pride is important in staying free from cigarettes. Not only is it important, but it is well deserved. For anyone who has quit smoking has broken free from a very powerful addiction. For the first time in years, he has gained control over his life, rather than being controlled by his cigarette. For this, he should be proud.

So tonight, when you go to sleep, pat yourself on the back and say, "Another day without smoking, I feel great." And tomorrow when you wake up, say, "I am going to try for another day. Tomorrow I will deal with tomorrow." To successfully stay free from smoking, TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME and - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

Joel




Last edited by Joel on 15 Aug 2012, 18:21, edited 2 times in total.
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mirigirl (silver)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

11 Feb 2001, 07:12 #2

NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!!
Thanks Joel Image For all of us.
YQS Maz
Three weeks, 10 hours, 14 minutes and 25 seconds NICOTINE FREE!!
535 cigarettes not smoked, saving $171.41. Life saved: 1 day, 20 hours, 35 minutes.
Last edited by mirigirl (silver) on 11 Jul 2009, 00:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Patticake (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

11 Feb 2001, 10:28 #3

Joel, I'am not sure I fully understand what you mean here. For 40+ years I let cigaretts control my life, a life I intend to take back. I want Nicodemon and his stinking habit out of my life forever. As difficult as this quit has been everyday and every trigger only makes me more determined to NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF. Is there no hope of ever reaching a point in time when although I no longer have the smoking addiction I will still have the mental addiction? For the rest of my life the first thing I will have to do when I wake up is confront the smoking issue? Joel, I love the time periods I go without even thinking about smoking, so much so that I have noticed the past several days when I do think of it I experience a mild jolt. Can't explain it but to me it is real. Will I have to deal with this the rest of my life, is the addiction so strong that I can never be completely free?
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GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

11 Feb 2001, 10:58 #4

Hi Patti...

Like you, I also smoked for 40+ years...it was my life....I began smoking at 16 and stopped at 57....cigarettes controlled my every waking moment.

But I want to assure you that things DO change and you will go not only for longs time periods during the day where you do not think about smoking....to days, weeks and months where you don't think about wanting a cigarette.

But what Joel says here is that to say we are not going to smoke for the rest of our lives is like saying we aren't going to speak to Mrs. S the rest of our lives or we're not going to forget to floss our teeth the rest of our lives. We have to live for the present and the present only......we have no idea what the rest of our life will bring. That brings us to the fact that you and I and all the others here at freedom are ex smokers, but at the same time nicotine addicts and we must never ever forget that. Complacency can become a major obstacle in every addicts' life and Joel is essentially telling us that we have to remind ourselves of our addiction to make sure that we never let it take control again.

So while I have not smoked for over a year.....and while the only time I think about cigarettes is when I am at work and smell my customers when they come into the store.....or when I see someone smoking outside in the cold....or when I am here at freedom reading and working....smoking is NOT on my mind. But at the same time....I also have to remind myself each and every day that I am only one puff away from a full blown addiction and at the end of every day, I go to bed giving thanks that I was able to live my day smokefree by not taking another puff.

You will find your freedom....you will live your life without cigarettes and love every second....but both you and I and everyone else must remember that yes, we will always be addicts and that we can never take another puff.

wishing you the very best,
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hugs, Linda....one year, one month, one week and tomorrow...one day.....and savoring every minute of being smoke free.
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Patticake (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

11 Feb 2001, 11:13 #5

Thank you Linda, sometimes I am just overwhelmed , guess now I can climb down off the roof. Love your stats. 1,1,1 GREATImage
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

03 Sep 2001, 19:45 #6

Image It is important to understand the concept of such phrases as "One day at a time." These should not be thought of as just empty words or a catch phrase; the concept behind the phrase is key to keeping not smoking a less intimidating and more importantly--a likely outcome.

So whenever you use the phrases of "One day at a time" or "never take another puff," reevaluate the statement and see if your reasons are still valid. If you remember smoking in its entirety you will likely recognize that staying smoke free and healthy and alive is still your true desire and to keep your desire a reality you still choose to never take another puff!

Joel
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marty (gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

03 Sep 2001, 21:52 #7

Very timely, Joel, specially for us middlebies. You're right that we tend to remember the words and forget the meaning ! And "one day at a time" is probably the best tool available at the start of a quit, or at a time of crisis.
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mirigirl (silver)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

03 Sep 2001, 23:25 #8

Thanks Joel for bringing this - and other educational threads - up to the top.
You know - I don't know if it's just the fog of 8 days quit or the after effects of soaking my brain with nicotine - but I am finding it very hard to focus on even the basics of recovery from nicotine addiction. I feel like I'm all over the place!
Like when one of my Freedom friends posted to me about "junkie thinking" - as soon as I saw that term, I thought - yes, now why didn't I see that?? It's like all your teachings got washed away... so I'm reading as much as I can and sticking close to the Board. And whatever else "never take another puff" is not really too complicated to understand! Image Image
It feels very strange though...... like when someone who has a drinking problem goes and has a relapse.... it's like I've knocked off a few brain cells ( though it's probably more likely lung cells!!) I feel "knocked about" or like I've been "run over by a truck" and I guess real tired. Also having the moods swings of early recovery - happy one minute - full of self-pity the next.
Trying to look after myself. Oh well... I'm sure each day it will get better and for today, I can acknowledge that it's
"another day without smoking and I (nearly) feel great" :-)) getting there!
thanks
yqs Max
8 days Free
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Joanne Gold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

19 Nov 2001, 01:32 #9

It is so important for us to remember the concept of ONE DAY AT A TIME...we need to really live it out.

Learning about my addiction and remembering to remain proud and aware of my success, on a daily basis - has saved my life. Whether we quit smoking two days ago or two years ago, Joel's words here should always apply.....
"So tonight, when you go to sleep, pat yourself on the back and say, "Another day without smoking, I feel great." And tomorrow when you wake up, say, "I am going to try for another day. Tomorrow I will deal with tomorrow." To successfully stay free from smoking, TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME and - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!"
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

31 Dec 2001, 12:17 #10

Image Important for all people just about to begin a quit, as well as for all people who are planning on continuing a quit for another day.
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