The Monster Under the Bed

Subconscious use cue extinguishment
misledfairy
misledfairy

April 17th, 2002, 9:50 pm #11

Hi Bob.
Great post, I can relate to fear of the unknown, I am going to a friend's in Scotland on Saturday, and I have nearly cancelled a few times because I know I wont smoke, I have just never crossed this bridge before, it is a round trip of about 350 miles and as I say although I know without doubt I won't smoke, I am not looking forward to it.
Thanks though that post came at a good time for me to prepare.
Love Naymor xxxx
2 weeks 16 hours 47 minutes.
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improud (golder)
improud (golder)

April 17th, 2002, 10:11 pm #12

Thanks Bob, a great help for newbies and us olddies too
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Rosemary (Gold)
Rosemary (Gold)

April 17th, 2002, 11:00 pm #13

Hi OBob,

I don't have much to add. I just wanted to say thank you for your very important post.

Rosemary--Nicotine free for 2 Months 6 Days 10 Hours 29 Minutes. Cigarettes not smoked: 1308. Money saved: $327.18. Life reclaimed: 1 Wk 2 Days 2 Hrs 7 Mins 15 Secs.
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gard757 G O L D
gard757 G O L D

April 17th, 2002, 11:20 pm #14

Hey Bob!!
THANKS for the amazing post!!
Your friend Sarah
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Lori225 (Silver)
Lori225 (Silver)

April 17th, 2002, 11:53 pm #15

Bob.
Once again thank you for a great post. I always new that I was afraid of failure - I even thought is was stupid of me to feel that way - especially when I would hear myself say it out loud to a non-smoker. Boy, they must have thought I was a little nuts! But, what really hit home in your post was the "fear of success". This one I never admitted to myself or anyone else until now. That just goes to show you how powerful a drug nicotine is to create that kind of junkie thinking. Daily I am amazed at how great I feel and how I am enjoying adjusting to a life free from nicotine. I know that there may be tough times ahead but I also know that I can face them!!

Lori
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

April 18th, 2002, 12:38 am #16





Bob, I got an awesome ahhh feeling just reading this piece!
The mind's blend of fear of the unknown, fear of failure and fear of success can be a major force in keeping us hiding inside our turtle's shell for many many years.
One thing that always strikes me as odd is when a smoker says that they "like" smoking. Our addiction compelled us to invent reasons for not coming out of our shell, a psychological security blanket of sorts. I know mine did. When you quiz them, most admit that they can't quit and that they have almost zero memory or recall of what it was like to live inside their mind before nicotine became their master. To "like" something you must have something else to compare it to. What most are really comparing and really saying is they don't like what happens when they don't smoke - full blown nicotine withdrawal.
I don't recall which member it was, maybe you Bob, but not long ago one of us said, "If you'd told me on the second day of my quit that someday soon I'd begin experiencing entire days, then weeks, and then months where I never once THOUGHT about wanting to smoke nicotine, I would have called you a liar. Wonderful post Bob!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

John
Last edited by John (Gold) on March 18th, 2009, 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TooKan25 (green)
TooKan25 (green)

April 18th, 2002, 1:27 am #17

Bob,


...And you've accused ME of considerable introspection and philosophy! What courage it has taken you to sit and contemplate your words with such unblemished honesty. Only someone who has shuddered through the seemingly insurmountable terror of the demoralizing monster and cringed in the darkness of this horrid addiction could compile such words and command such a complete understanding. This is the thing that shreds our perception of ourselves, our esteem... the grand generator of the lies we tell... the lengths we will go to in protecting our secrets, fears, flaws, the wounds...our pain... our addiction.

I also believe that anyone who as recently fought to the point of considering a quit, or who has recently pulled up a new quit should see your post as "required reading."


As with life itself, there is light in direct proportion to the monster. ...There is freedom to be had and found for a very small cost. The payment of choice in deciding whether or NOT having that Puff TODAY will create an opportunity for truth, happiness, awareness, availability, ease, confidence...the list goes on.

This has made me realize that I've been living on the dark side of the moon for a couple of decades and have now come 'round to the sunny side of life. I will not trade my life today for one puff or a million (which is what that one puff would lead me to...) I cannot find a good reason to smoke today, given the gifts of being an ex-smoker. This is nothing short of incredible-- as is your post.


Thank you,

TooKan
Last edited by TooKan25 (green) on March 18th, 2009, 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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wcsdancer (Gold)
wcsdancer (Gold)

April 18th, 2002, 8:31 am #18

Bob, thanks for this incredible post. At 5 months quit I am running into the "oh, that wasn't so hard, now I can have just one" monster under the bed whispering to me. Since this is the first time I am going to succeed with my quit, I'm pulling out all the stops. Your post was a very timely and valuable reminder. Especially the "Just One" warning. In the past I've always fooled myself into thinking I wasn't an addict and that I could smoke socially. I'm grateful I know better now. I'm grateful I'll never have to go through another **** week. And I'm grateful to you and all of the Freedom family for your selfless sharing and wisdom.
Huge hugs to you,
yqs *Candy* 5months1week2days
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janetd (GOLD)
janetd (GOLD)

April 18th, 2002, 12:03 pm #19

Hi Bob, Great post! My sister-in-law passed her one year quit mark one month ago. I was visiting with her tonight, and asked her what every smoker's ideal is? She didn't guess the answer so I told her, "To be a social smoker." Next question: Why do so many people lose their quits? "Thought they could be social smokers." LOL
yqs, Janet
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grafix(Gold ))
grafix(Gold ))

April 18th, 2002, 12:55 pm #20

The "meet, greet, defeat" philosophy has got me to where I am today....
to understand our addiction is halfway to beating it...

Great post Bob!

YQB
Chris
Eight months, three weeks, two days, 4003 cigarettes not smoked,
saving $1,307.77 Aussie dollars. Life saved: 1 week, 6 days, 21 hours, 35 minutes.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

August 23rd, 2002, 3:19 am #21

Melissa made the below post in another thread by Guy.  When I first read about the concept of conscious incompetence it immediately reminded me of Bob's Monster Under the Bed. I hope you guys don't mind me posting it here too. John


From: Toast (GOLD!)     Sent: 8/20/2002 7:23 PM
I've got a couple cents to throw in this discussion!




We're talking about facing an addiction, but also that we are rewiring our awareness about long-standing habits around that addiction. We are learning! Anytime we endeavor to change - leave a relationship, start a new job, take up or give up a hobby, habit or addiction - we enter into a broad process that has been identified as four stages of learning: 1) unconscious incompetence; 2) conscious incompetence; 3) conscious competence; and 4) unconscious competence. At first, we are unaware of what our decision to move forward will mean in the details of life. As we begin, we learn and learn and often quickly become aware of all there is yet to learn! With determination, practice and patience, we are rewarded with doing well - and knowing it! Finally, we are so adept, so incorporated, our new state becomes easily taken for granted. Think of learning to drive a car. Do you still climb behind the wheel with the heightened awareness of a 16 year old and desire to do well, with a keen eagerness to use the turn signals and clutch as tho it were effortless?



So, in a very real sense, "learning" to quit smoking successfully fits into this pattern of learning. What is described here as a No-Man's Land could be compared easily to the conscious incompetence state described above. The rush of the newness is diminishing. We know enough to feel pretty content with this new state of things, and yet we are keenly aware of the experience only time and practice and continued desire will manifest. We long of competence. Everyone else appears to be confident and competent in their current place, while we can feel odd & out. It is that longing that can keep us moving forward!



I'd like to say as well that I don't think that educated thinking about your quit counts as obsessing about smoking. Obsessing is fixed, often unwanted, circular, unreasonable, loopy thinking that doesn't let up. I think lurking, reading, posting, thinking about your quit, trying on other people's ideas and successes and failures in your head, these things can really help sort out your thoughts, your triggers, your psychology behind why you smoked. Now, if we were all posting all day about those "Ahhhhhh" cigarette moments or the times we felt like a smoke was just the ticket ... that'd be another thing. That'd be obsessing and it's be nothing near the entire truth. Instead, we are focused here on the greater reality of cigarettes, smoking and nicotine addiction: quitting active nicotine addiction can add years and health to your life.



Huzzah!




  Melissa
Gold Club
Last edited by John (Gold) on June 28th, 2011, 3:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

October 28th, 2002, 11:04 pm #22

For years WhyQuit's visitor statistics have indicated that Monday is Freedom's busiest day of the week. Not only is it the day when we have the most members returning for reinforcement but also the busiest day for new visitors arriving for the first time. The above article by Bob is a wonderful summary of the fears associated with this temporary journey of adjustment called quitting.

If you're just embarking upon Freedom's Road keep in mind that the fears and realities associated with today's challenges (if any) should not be blamed on where you're going (back home to meet the real you and once again reside inside a comfortable mind) but upon where you've been (years of active chemical dependency upon nicotine and an endless cycle of feeding a never-ending need).

If you are experience challenging moments today please remind yourself that this isn't what it feels like to again be the "real" you, a comfortable ex-smoker. It's what it feels like on this particular day, for you, of that temporary adjustment period called "quitting." Patience, slow deep breaths, plenty of cool water for flushing, while knowing with every fiber of your being that the next few minutes are entirely doable!
John - Freedom's Gold Club
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jess
jess

May 7th, 2003, 12:19 pm #23

Thank you for posting this thread. It is so true. I actually managed to get my stats on here. I wonder what happened to my first post???? Jess



I have been quit for 3 Weeks, 2 Days, 17 minutes and 15 seconds (23 days). I have saved $69.03 by not smoking 345 cigarettes. I have saved 1 Day, 4 hours and 45 minutes of my life.
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jcdgl
jcdgl

January 13th, 2004, 1:24 am #24

I am glad I took some time on my lunchbreak to get some reinforcement. This posting is so good. Today is Day 6 for me. I feel worse than ever. I am at work and I can't seem to stop thing about smoking. I have never been able to smoke at work so there are not many triggers here. My chest is tight and I am feeling light headed again. Last nigh I kept waking up and worrying about not being strong enough to keep going. I love that I have chosen to quit but today I am tired and feel ucky.. Any words from the wise
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

May 21st, 2004, 11:31 am #25


Do you have any remaining memory of the comfort that was you, before nicotine's two hour chemical half-life became the clock governing your brain's neurochemical flow? Why fear coming home to a calm and quiet mind that goes days and then weeks without once thinking about wanting to use nicotine? You're leaving no part of you behind. The more than 200 neurochemicals that nicotine commanded already belonged to you.

If still feeling challenged, this isn't what it feels like to be a comfortable ex-user. This is what it felt like on this particular day of this amazing temporary journey of adjustment that most call quitting but a growing number of us call recovery. You see, the real quitting took place on the day that nicotine took control of our lives. What we're doing here is taking them back!

Use your intelligence and honesty to calm and quiet those deep inner false fears. Going days and weeks without thinking about using nicotine is a good thing not bad. Everything you did while nicotine's slave can be done as well as or better as you! Embrace coming home, don't fight it! The next few minutes are all you can control and each will be doable. There was always only one rule ... no nicotine just one challenge and day at a time! Yes you can, yes you have, yes you are!!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

John
Last edited by John (Gold) on March 18th, 2009, 2:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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samson19622004
samson19622004

June 10th, 2004, 2:29 am #26

Thank you for this post. It really made me think. Samson 1 month 3 days
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samson19622004
samson19622004

July 2nd, 2004, 11:59 am #27

Thanks for your post O-Bob Gold. Tonight has been difficult. I think in just the last couple hours I felt most of the bullet topics in your post filter through my brain. Your post screamed at me, tackled me and I think physically punched me a few times!

I only feel triggers and I think they might be non-specific (is that possible?). I try to analyze why I'm feeling them or what caused them, and can't see the reason for them. I just want to run to the convience store and end this inconvience! I think my "Junkie" might be the stongest, most stubborn junkie in history.

I keep repeating my mantra -NTAP. It doesn't seem to calm like it has in the past. Is this the point of turning from a smoker that doesn't use into an ex-smoker? Is that part suppose to hurt? I really want to get to that point.

Thanks again for your post. I'm off to bed for the night, because I don't think I'm strong enough to get through the rest of the evening. I'll wake up strong tomorrow!
Samson 1 month 3 weeks 3 days
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BillW Gold.ffn
BillW Gold.ffn

January 16th, 2005, 11:28 pm #28

another good one for RickD.

and anyone else for whom the din of battle has subsided into the "boredom" of "just" being quit.....

BillW Two years, eleven months, one week, one day. 32191 cigarettes not smoked, saving $6,357.89. Life saved: 15 weeks, 6 days, 18 hours, 35 minutes.
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OBob Gold
OBob Gold

January 20th, 2005, 4:55 am #29

Last edited by OBob Gold on March 18th, 2009, 2:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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ElevenPinkFlowers
ElevenPinkFlowers

June 17th, 2005, 5:02 pm #30

The Fear of Success was probably the reason why I never tried to quit in 12 years. I mean, I told myself I don't try until I'm "really ready" (whatever that would feel like) because quitting does not work if you're not ready for it, does it? And therefore I put it off all that time.

But really it was the odd fear I might actually make it and quit. And what next? A whole life of "not being allowed to smoke", what a horrible thought.

I wish someone had told me that once you are quit, you don't want to smoke any more, and so the terrible thought vanishes into thin (but nice and clean) air.

I suppose they did tell me back then. I just did not want to hear.

Now I know, and I am so happy about my quit, every day. Thanks Gitte, for popping this one up!

PinkFlowers
Listening since 2 March 2005
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enjoyinglifeJamie
enjoyinglifeJamie

November 9th, 2005, 11:12 pm #31

Firstly, Thank you SO much OBob for writing this. You are truly wise. You have made perhaps the biggest difference in my decision to quit.

This may very well be my #1 favorite. I love this thread. I think this is the thread that did it for me, that made me really believe that I was in fact strong enough to quit. This thread got printed, put into my purse, carried around with me and got read over and over again. I'm silver now, it's still in my purse. I don't read it too much anymore, but when I'm cleaning out my purse I notice it, pull it out and give it another read. Now it serves to remind me of how scared I was to quit, how scared I was of failure, of success, and it truly strengthens my resolve because I now know there is nothing scary about quitting. In fact it's so wonderful, it's better than I ever could have dreamed possible.

These parts used to make me cry, now they make me smile. That alone, shows me how far I have come. Lurkers, pay attention!

This crave is going to last forever, this crave is unbearable, quitting is just TOO **** HARD: Okay, what does this crave really feel like? How long is it lasting? Is it really lasting all day long? Or, is my fear of the crave, and my fear of failure, or my fear of success, making me THINK about it all day long? For how many seconds have I actually WANTED to put a cigarette in my mouth, light it and inhale, as opposed to just being anxious about my lifestyle change, and all of the things associated with it. Am I feeling anxiety? Or am I really wanting a cigarette? Will smoking a cigarette make me feel better or worse than I do? Furthermore, I KNOW from talking to all the former smokers around me that this isn't what being an ex-smoker feels like! I'm in the latter stages of withdrawal, and the early stages of reconditioning my life to NOT revolve around my addiction. Soon, I will be feeling a lot better, and I'll have a hard time remembering how hard this has been. It's only hard for a while.

You weren't meant to quit, You're not strong enough: I wasn't meant to SMOKE. Smoking is not a natural thing. Ingesting deadly chemicals to satisfy a never-ending cycle of withdrawal and replenishing of nicotine supplies is NOT the way I was meant to live. I was MEANT to breathe freely. I was meant to taste my food. I was meant to have good breath. I was meant to be free. And I'm strong enough to realize that nicotine is stronger than me; that if I try just one, nicotine will win, and I'll be trapped. I'm strong enough to make it through this temporary difficulty, in order to live the life I was meant to live on the other side.

Lurkers, no matter what you might believe, no matter what you have been told, if you want to quit smoking there is no good reason why you can't. Period. Believe in yourself and anything is possible.
jamie - confronting my monster (what monster? oh that little twerp??) for 206 days.
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OBob Gold
OBob Gold

November 10th, 2005, 6:47 pm #32

Hi Jamie,

Congratulations on your silverdom! It means a lot to hear that you were able to find some strength in this post. Thanks for the kind words.

YQB,


Bob (3 years, 10 months free)
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ChakkaDawg
ChakkaDawg

February 28th, 2006, 9:21 am #33

OBob,

You are such an inspiration to us newbies! I have saved this post to my favorites to read over and over and over again. Although I do not know you, I already respect and admire you a great deal. Thank you for being here for us, and thanks to Joel and all management!
8 Days Nicotine free!
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FoolishWorkinj
FoolishWorkinj

March 2nd, 2006, 10:19 am #34

Thanks OBob, for the reminder. I haven't had any craves in the past two days, just those old black urges -- the fantasy smoke, I call it, that says how good it was when I know it wasn't good. It didn't taste good -- that harsh, hot burning in your throat. It certainly didn't feel good after hundreds and thousands of cigs had gone down -- it felt depressing and desperate and out of control a lot of the time after all those years. It smelled hideous. It snuck up on your clothes, your hair, your rooms, your car, days afterwards -- yuck! The other day I found a towel that someone had hung on the back of the door in a bathroom that only gets used once in a while, and I could smell it as soon as I opened the door -- that stale, rank smell of cigarettes. So what was good? The fantasy, that early cigarette that pretended to make you feel ahhhhh.
And the fantasy that one puff could solve a problem instead of feeling a hundred problems. Thanks, OBob. NTAP, Best, Joanne
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Kristie
Kristie

March 2nd, 2006, 10:32 am #35

This is the first time I read or that it clicked with me that you wouldn't get an ahh from your first cigarette. Just one more incentive to never take another puff.
Thanks,
Kristie - Free and Healing for Thirteen Days and 1 Minute, while extending my life expectancy 21 Hours, by avoiding the use of 260 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $42.15.
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