The Monster Under the Bed

Subconscious use cue extinguishment
John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

23 Aug 2002, 03:19 #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.


 Image Melissa
Gold Club
Last edited by John (Gold) on 28 Jun 2011, 15:13, edited 2 times in total.

John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

28 Oct 2002, 23:04 #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

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:44

07 May 2003, 12:19 #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.

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:22

13 Jan 2004, 01:24 #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

John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

21 May 2004, 11:31 #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,

Last edited by John (Gold) on 18 Mar 2009, 14:12, edited 2 times in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

10 Jun 2004, 02:29 #26

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

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

02 Jul 2004, 11:59 #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

BillW Gold.ffn
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

16 Jan 2005, 23:28 #28

another good one for RickD. Image

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.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

17 Jun 2005, 17:02 #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. Image

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

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

Listening since 2 March 2005