Subconscious use cue extinguishment
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.
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.
Bob (3 years, 10 months free)
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!
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
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.
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.
- Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am
The urge hits
Last edited by Sal GOLD.ffn
on April 11th, 2009, 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
For Russ & Mary.
The last paragraph of O'Bobs original essay above:
Confront the fear, and confront the voice. Our junky side doesn't fight fair, and uses confusing logic. It plays upon the parts of us that feel most vulnerable. The parts of us that want to hide and wish things away. You can eliminate the fear, and silence the voice by always looking it in the eye, seeing it for what it is, and never letting it get away without shedding the light of truth upon it.
Keep taking it one day at a time. One minute at a time if you need.... You'll get there. This is eminantly doable.
Freedom's guarantee - give your body and brain time to heal and adjust to what is normal - free of the infuluence of a killer chemical, nicotine &........calm comfortable living as you were always meant to live will envelop you. It's true. We've all been you.
Like Bob said in Three years vs. three days
- we just got here and started on the road back to the true us a bit sooner.
Exercise some Patience
and sooner than you can imagine you'll be Turning the corner - and gaining acceptance
Last edited by JoeJFree Gold on April 11th, 2009, 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
This is what Freedom is all about to me
From Bob's original message, still dear to my heart:
"And, like the monster under the bed when we're small, the best way to deal with the unknown is to face it, to understand it."
Katie - After 40 Years! Free and Healing for Three Years, Five Months, Two Days, 12 Hours and 55 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 73 Days and 19 Hours, by avoiding the use of 21259 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $4,478.02.
This site is like having the lights on and when the lights are on the monster can't get you. What we can see is information and the constant input of reasons not to pick up another cigarette.... I have to say since I quit over 4 months ago I have been through ALOT, including the deaths of my father in law and my birth mother(I'm adopted) who both would have lived longer lives without smoking. The point is I quit after 40 plus years and still haven't smoked ..... the monster is there though and I need to keep a clear head and enjoy my quit( which is such a gift!) with my eyes open . The " just one puff" thoughts still go around even now!. I love this site cause I can run here and bolster myself with the truth and take a deep breath and be thankful for my health and my quit!!!I have been quit for 4 Months, 1 Week, 2 Days, 23 minutes and 42 seconds (130 days). I have saved $487.56 by not smoking 3,250 cigarettes. I have saved 1 Week, 4 Days, 6 hours and 50 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 11/11/2007 9:34 PM
I love the "dare to look deeper" attitude that I find on this site. And I really appreciate this post today, as I have not dared to even peak at the monster under my bed. I have been trying to hum away the addiction chatter and pull the covers over my head! I just took a moment to look at monster head-on and have discovered that the chatter is not an urge to smoke at all, but a lack of belief in myself, in the fact that I can stay quit. This is a confused junkie thought that has been fed by years of addiction, not by logic, as you say; whereas the decision to quit was a decision ruled by logic, a weapon against addiction that I possess as much as anyone! The chatter ceases immediately in the light of this truth! So I will confront the voice and answer, as I cross the threshold from smoker to ex-smoker:
"I, like anyone, was meant to live nicotine-free, and am strong enough (smart enough) to do it".
- Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am
Allow yourself the time it takes to adjust to living without your drug. True healing is taking place in your brain. Let it happen. Breathe, continue to educate yourself about nicotine addiction and recovery, and pat yourself on the back often. You are FREE and HEALING!
As written by OBob: Keep taking it one day at a time. One minute at a time if you need.... You'll get there. This is eminantly doable.
Yes even on Halloween there are no monsters under the bed with regards to smoking.
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]Just Found a Cigarette [/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]Being honest about our addiction
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]I am an addict! Hooray![/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]Desperate addicts parade: have you ever...[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]Facts You Should Know About Smokeless (Spit) Tobacco[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]Wakeup Call is a 'hidden' Classic from the often recommended & read O'Bob Gold.[/font]
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[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]Turning the corner - acceptance[/font]
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[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]Comfort [/font]
Last edited by FreedomNicotine on January 18th, 2012, 6:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Thank for the post. Really helps me! Marge 19 days free!
Here's the "ahhhh" feeling I needed today. Positively terrific post!
Thank you Bob for the beautifully written, carefully crafted thoughts on early transition. I, too have been hovering in this perpetual state of fear and "now what?" mode, having quit only 3 weeks ago. NTAP has helped me understand that I can truly never have just one cigarette, and the "one cigarette" trap is why I failed in the past. Being clean and smober for the last three weeks has been an incredible feeling. I don't smell bad anymore, my hands don't stink, I'm not constantly applying perfume or swigging mouthwash - or being hostile when I'm jonesing for a fix! I smoked for 17(!) years and I've had to work really hard to remember the me I was before I became a slave to nicotine. I am, however, really looking forward to the me I am becoming without this deadly dependency. When I do have my moments of crisis and panic, visiting the WhyQuit pages, Joel's library and reading the words of fellow quitters also reminds me that I can do this, that it has been done! Thank you!
3 WEEKS, 3 DAYS, 5 CIGARETTES NOT SMOKED: 337; MONEY SAVED: $193.78
Thanks Obob. The 'aagh' moment is the hardest and you just clarified that I would need to get myself back into smoking to feel that again....No thankyou!!! Natural aaghs for me
I have been quit for 1 Month, 1 Day, 1 hour, 21 minutes and 28 seconds (32 days). I have saved $461.61 by not smoking 577 cigarettes. I have saved 2 Days and 5 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 30/11/2010 4:01 PM
Great Post, reading it was a great way to start my 12th day of freedom. Everything you said is as true today as when you wrote it (almost 9 years ago). I really needed to read some of the insights in this post. Everything is getting better for me as I learn more and more to deal with my monster. NTAP
A hearty thanks for that one.
Still going strong for 18 going on 19 days now.
This is one of my Top Ten fave posts...and I greet the monster once again to look it in its eye.
- Joined: November 11th, 2008, 7:22 pm
An expected five million needless smoking related deaths this year and the #1 cause? Fear!
The brain pathways designed to generate intense wanting for species survival activites such as eating food and drinking liquids have been taken hostage. Now instead of craving food a couple of times daily, one billion nicotine addicts find themselves craving nicotine 10, 15 or 20 times a day. Seeing quitting as though starving themselves to death, how could they not be afraid?
Those hostage pathways are doing their job so well that half of adult smokers are smoking themselves to death. So how do we reach the fooled and captive user and teach them the truth? Like trying to convince them that they won't starve if they stop eating food, it's one of the greatest challenges known to man.
Without food we die, without nicotine we thrive! Try telling that to someone whose brain is screaming even louder the importance of that next mandatory chemical feeding. Who should they believe, us or wanting flowing from their deep inner limbic mind? It's why once they are ready to venture beyond dependency's shell that we do our very best to help them see and feel the light, that knowledge is power.
If recovery gradually transports all of us to that first magic day where we go the entire day without once wanting to use nicotine, what do we have to fear? Why fear freedom? Today I read a new paper asserting that smoking doubles the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. If true, we need to find a way to connect with them before smoking destroys their ability to understand, remember and apply the Law of Addiction.
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,
John - Gold x12
What a good article. I needed to see that. I am caught in that middle ground, not in withdrawal, not on easy street. An ex-smoker knowing the truth of just one puff by still enough of a junky to think it just might not apply to me. The truth of this traps me right here. Choose. Don't dwell on it, Just choose and get on with life.I have to keep choosing freedom, I have to keep choosing not to revert back to a life of nicotine slavery. At times like this, when I wonder if I can make it through this stage, I have to consider what full relapse will be (and I know the answer to this) and I must choose not to relapse. Whatever this stage means for me, I have to see it through because relapse for me has become the thing I fear even more than anything this transition might entail.
It's a bumpy road. A good post that speaks the hard truth doesn't make the road less bumpy. It just makes me know it's a well-travelled road and I can stay on it, too.
Bob, thanks so much for that post. Fear of not smoking, actually being successful at quitting, is a biggie. Especially for a newbie like me!
Quit for 4.7 days, or 113.8 hours.
Fantastic post! I am struck by how accurately the post captures the fears and anxieties of those of us whose quits are still rather young. I've been quit a bit more than a month and have had to deal with a lot of the anxiety myself. And reading it described like this really helps you understand what you're going through - which in turn makes it a lot easier to deal with!
36 days, 364 cigarettes, saved 1D 6h 20m of my life, and $182.45