The Urge Hits!

Subconscious use cue extinguishment
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:17

26 Sep 2000, 23:20 #11

Hi there Robert,

You better stop to listen to this little gou or... I'll come over and give you a hug.

Best wishes, my Friend
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:00

26 Sep 2000, 23:25 #12

Thanks Joel for the message,

I am really having urges ( in the beginning of my 4th day). I found a cigarette under the chair on my porch. It had rained and the butt was stained and damp and limp. I ripped it up and threw it in the garbage. Now, I don 't want to take any credit because had it been fresh I may have said "What will one cigarette hurt?". It is amazing to believe what a powerful addiction nicotine is. Sorry to say, I have a daughter who is addicted to crack and that is why I am raising her son. My other two children are fine. But I keep praying everytime I want a smoke that God helps me and at the same time helps her to have her child back. My oldest daughter is a letter carrier for the U.S, Post Office and at times has terrrible asthma attacks. Guess what, when she was a baby, every single person around here smoked and thought nothing of it. I just know that this is the reason for her life=long asthma. And I was one of those smokers. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever get through this. God bless all of you for being there to help other people. Thanks

nanakaren
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:17

27 Sep 2000, 00:32 #13

Hi Robert

I sure hope you are feeling better. I am not going to post fancy pictures and colorful writing cause I dont' feel it's necessary to tell you that I am praying that you will get past this bump in the road.

I don't know you well but one thing that I do know is that you and your humor have helped a lot of people here in Freedom, myself included and for that I want to say thankyou.

As you always tell everyone here .....NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF.

I will be thinking about you here and sending telepathic messages from Canada to help. I am not sure what a telepathic message is but what the heck it's worth trying if will help you not to smoke.

Take care my non-smoking friend

Hugs Dodie

(((((((((((((((( Robert ))))))))))))))))))))))) hang in there
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

27 Sep 2000, 00:39 #14

Robert my friend

You gave me some good advice...I'm a gonna give it BACK to ya.

Read what you have posted to others in the last few weeks, especially those having a rough time. Read Read READ ! ! ! ! ! ! And know that YOU are smarter than this thing that haunts you. So hang in there. You can do this. You know you can. WE know you can. You have been an inspiration and cheerleader to so many of us, so take your own VERY good advice...NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

I felt the same way when I relapsed....and I regretted it, trust me. You do NOT wanna go thru what I went thru.

(Hefting a few rocks from my Ernie pile) and you do NOT want me to lob any of THESE atcha....chuckle.

Be well my friend, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Al
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:00

27 Sep 2000, 01:48 #15

Robert, if you look through all these posts, you'll see you have lots of support and hugs. You've been a shining star all through your quit, and are entitled to have an off day, but I don't think you want to go and have that one little puff and destroy everything you've worked so hard for. My thoughts and prayers are with you throughout your trying times. And, by the way, I had steamed, spiced shrimp on Friday night, and ate some for you! WITHOUT THE ASIAGO CHEESE SAUCE! Anyhow, take care of yourself, and we're all behind you, cheering you on!

Jitterbug
Last edited by Jitterbug on 01 Apr 2009, 23:39, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:04

27 Sep 2000, 02:10 #16

I just now logged on this afternoon. (Whenever I go to my computer, I just can't leave without checking the board). I was really surprised when I saw the thread "Robert needs help". That one sent me to this thread.
Robert, I have always gained so much encouragement from your postings that I thought you never had weak moments like I do. After reading all of this, I realize all over again that I must never let my guard down. Just when I thought I was home free like you.
As always, Joel, your input is extremely helpful and timely. We are blessed to have you share your wisdom. I am so thankful for the help I have received here. I pray that my words are as helpful to others as their words are to me.
~~ Vivian ~~
One month, one week, four days, 14 hours, 5 minutes and 17 seconds. 2129 cigarettes not smoked, saving $139.47. Life saved: 1 week, 9 hours, 25 minutes.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

26 Oct 2000, 12:06 #17

Thanks for being up front Robert! I had a rough day all day today and tonight I'm despondent due to wondering if all days will be like this. I just simply want to find 15 cigs and go out on the patio and smoke them all in a row! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr I won't 'cause you all raised me to keep saying I'll never take another puff but geez some days are just the pits. It seems like all the swell times come with a smoke. "I know that's not true" but for tonight it sure seems like it.
I'm going to bed early and cover my head and wake up fresh tomorrow.
Good luck to you Robert, you have over 2 months in? Good going.

Hugs from puget sound country where right now its damp, dark, and pitiful. Dionne
Two weeks, three days, 21 hours, 4 minutes and 30 seconds. 178 cigarettes not smoked, saving $26.82. Life saved: 14 hours, 50 minutes.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Nov 2000, 20:45 #18

I see we have a number of people just over three days now so I thought I would bring up a few posts about the thoughts for cigarettes still happening and contrast them with the demands your body was creating the first few days for nicotine, or true urges. They are different and you will find that if focused on now, the desires can be squelched. I will bring up a couple of other articles on the topic too and will just cut and paste this description on all of them. Have a good day everyone.

Joel
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:13

30 Nov 2000, 22:53 #19

Wow, I'm going to have to watch the dates more carefully, I thought that "Robert needs help" was happening today!!! It really did illustrate something though, that it very well could have been. These quits are to fragile and need to be guarded with our lives. I will...
NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
SHEILA
6 DAYS 3 HOURS 50 MINUTES- ONE SMALL STEP AT A TIME
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Dec 2000, 21:03 #20

For Deb:

The urge or more accurately the thought or faint memory does come sporadically, years and for some people, decades after their quit. But they are really sporadic for most, sometimes occurring less than once or twice a year after decades.

It is comparable to when a certain trigger reminds you about a relationship you were in decades ago. You may have a momentary feeling of longing or sadness or relief, depending on the situation, but it is not like that resurgent memory effects the rest of that day or the rest of your life. It passes into oblivion again, until the next time some thing triggers it again.

That is what the thoughts for cigarettes are now, a reaction to a trigger that shall pass, not a big deal. If a puff is taken in reaction to a trigger, then you have a full-blown relapse and the course is dramatically altered. Now every 20 minutes or so your body is going to demand nicotine and cause a basic debilitation or at least a distraction for any other activity you have to do in that time period.

This state will go on for the rest of your life until the smoking either cripples or until you have to quit again and go through a long and sometimes tenuous quitting process that may take days or weeks to feel normal again. Either scenario is raunchy when really analyzed, although one is far worse than the other.

The best situation then is don't end up in either state, smoking again or quitting again. The only way to avoid either is to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:28

01 Jan 2001, 06:57 #21

Hello Joel and Nomad

I just noticed that you brought this excellent post up for me. Thank you both very much.
6 hours left in 2000
It'll be day 27 for me (at 1:00 am).
There's absolutely no way I could have made it this far without everyone's help. Bless you all !!!!!
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:31

07 Jan 2001, 08:53 #22

Thanks so much.....this is so encouraging!!!I love Freedom............Karen Quits 2001!
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:03

24 Jan 2001, 02:13 #23

Just what I needed to hear! Sometimes I even think about how long it has been since I thought about smoking and that makes me think about smoking! Pretty crazy huh!

Succeedng at over 8 weeks and 1 day
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:08

01 Mar 2001, 01:25 #24

I would rather be an ex-smoker w/an occasional desire to smoke, than a smoker w/a constant desire to quit... Suzanne
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

10 Mar 2001, 09:57 #25

I think I'll just pass on the cigarette, fresh air feels a lot better in my lungs than smoke.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

02 Apr 2001, 19:46 #26

... and the frightening thing, considering how many people relapse, is that it really IS as simple as that
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Deb
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:03

18 Apr 2001, 12:35 #27

Joel,
thanks for pulling this back up for me and others.
I've been hit with urges before but have been able to over come. This time was a double attack for me and I wasn't prepared. I've completed my first day and so far so good. It will continue to do good because I'm not willing to give up. I will be feel. Also I'll be staying in closer contact with Freedom, this with one of the down falls. To busy and thinking I was strong enough to handle it on my own. When will we learn. I
know I have. Again, thanks.

Deb
littlelam
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

26 Sep 2001, 21:49 #28


" You don't have to take a pill, a shot, a candy bar or a drink. All you have to do is think of something else. Go back to work, take a walk or just take a deep breath of fresh air. The urge will pass in seconds and once again you will go hours, days, weeks and eventually months before you have another urge. Stay happier, healthier and better looking and smelling. "
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

06 Feb 2002, 20:25 #29

This one is quite simple, although a little dated. The actual number of ex-smokers in America is now over 47 million--I am not sure of world wide figures. But it is still accurate in the premise that quitting and staying free is not complicated. The sentence "You don't have to take a pill, a shot, a candy bar or a drink," is of paramount importance. What is making this quit work up to now and will make it last forever is not what you are putting in your mouth--it is what you are not putting into it--a cigarette. This quit will last forever if you so desire as long as you always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:31

22 Apr 2002, 01:09 #30

for weeks now i have not craved, not thought of smoking,......i work nights , and have had trouble sleeping today, and since i got up i am getting cravings like mad.....i cant think straight, my hands are shaking......and i have to work tonight also.......why do i have no thoughts or cravings for weeks does it appear and attack us with vengece and without warning.....my heads hurting also...........i've been doing great and dont want to go back smoking.........how long does this last...........james

One month, two weeks, six days, 18 hours, 4 minutes and 19 seconds. 2070 cigarettes not smoked, saving £465.40. Life saved: 1 week, 4 hours, 30 minutes.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

22 Apr 2002, 01:27 #31

"I want one." " No I don't." "One sounds great." "No it doesn't." "Oh just one!" "Not just one." Sounds familiar? Think in terms of one and you will go back and forth with this internal debate, all day long driving yourself nuts. When you have the urge for one, don't lie to yourself saying you don't want it. You do want it. That is a given. But, you don't want the others that go with it. Taking a puff now means either going back to smoking or going through quitting again. Those are both lousy options.

As far as when will the urge stop, it is not a question of time, more a question of experience. The day to day rituals will break relatively quickly, but new experience happen all the times that you will not learn to deal with until they happen. If you quit in the winter, the first time sitting down at a beach or by a pool next summer will likely trigger the urge because you would not yet have learned to do that as an ex-smoker. You may not go to a wedding for years. The first time is awkward, the second less so, after three or four it may be a non-issue. But this does not prepare you for going to a funeral. Every new experience is another victory when you get through it without relapsing. See it that way. It may have been tough for the moment, but in the aftermath, it was worth it. You are still an ex-smoker.

Also consider how often you wanted to quit when you were still smoking. That was never going away or getting better. Neither side is perfect, but this side has real advantages. To stay on the side where the thought for smoking will get less and less frequent, and the damages from smoking no longer occur always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

28 Aug 2002, 20:11 #32

I can't imagine how I missed this message. I surely would have remembered it. At first, though , there is so much to absorb that I probably read it and there were other questions and answers, at the time, that were more important to me. The entire message spoke to me this morning but I come away from it with a little ,seemingly, insignificant statement, very simple , very honest.. Joel says, " Neither side is perfect but this side has real advantages". A nice, quiet mantra, without drama , having only indisputable truth. And one needs something indisputable.during those mind battles. Boy, there are a lot of "I"s and "me"s in this post---Oh, well Lilac
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:02

28 Aug 2002, 20:56 #33

Hello Joel:

This is a great point...

I can go days and even weeks without thinking about a cigarette...But than all of a sudden out of nowhere it hits me... Yes, your right when you say that it might be my surrounding or the circumstances at the time. I related smoking to relaxation or excitment... When ever I'm in that situation like on vacation in Vegas or just relaxing on the beach, all of a sudden the wave comes over me... But these days it doesn't last long. If I put it aside than I stop thinking about it.... Than it goes away for the next 3 weeks or so.... But it does seem that it gets farther inbetween.

I guess when you were use to doing something for sooo many years, you expect to still do it. I guess it takes a long time to undue the habits you have come to know for many years of your life. I have found that exercising has helped me to cope with those anxiety feelings. It relaxes me and when I'm breathing hard and sweating, kind of like a cleansing of your body....I can not imagine putting a cigarette in my mouth during that time... I remember what it use to feel like when I did and I can tell you this... It's the most nasty thing and because you are breathing hard from exercising, you feel like you can't breathe when you inhale that poison.......

So I guess everybody has their own way of coping... But I guess that wave will be with us for the rest of our lives because we were addicts... Maybe it will eventually come to the point where we only experience it once a year and that's won't be so bad.....

Judy

18 weeks++++
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:31

29 Aug 2002, 01:50 #34

I'm really proud to be smoke free for so long (2W 2D 2h 24m 59s).

It hasn't been as bad as I thought it was going to be, but it hasn't been easy either.

The cravings are getting less frequent but when I do get them they are huge cravings!!

I was trying to reason why I still get these cravings.

There's no nicotine in my body and I gave up because I really hated smoking, so why do I crave a cigarette?

Every time I got a craving I stopped what I was doing for a short while and thought about what I was doing and why that would trigger a craving. What I came to realise is that it wasn't just associations with people and places that triggered my cravings. Over the years of smoking I had used cigarettes as a means of dealing with emotional peaks. As I got more and more addicted I relied on cigarettes more and more to deal with all the stresses and strains of every day life. Actually I now realise that I used to have a cigarette whenever I was nervous, angry, depressed, tired, bored, annoyed, etc. For instance if I got really stressed I would go and have 2 or 3 cigarettes. I would chain-smoke them. Afterwards I would feel much calmer. The reason I felt calmer was not the cigarette but the fact that I had subconsciously associated smoking with feelings of calm and relaxation. I was so addicted to nicotine that I made myself believe that somehow smoking was actually good for me because it helped me to relax. In the process I had subconsciously made myself believe that cigarettes calmed me down. If you believe something to be true you can not only convince yourself but you can actually alter your subconscious. The fact is that smoking doesn't help us cope with any of our problems or emotions. In fact in some cases cigarettes can actually aggravate the situation.

What it boils down to is that the only reason I used to go "nuts" when I got a really bad craving was because I had successfully brainwashed myself into believing that cigarettes calmed me down.

I realise this is "Junkie Thinking" which has identified the problem the next step is how to deal with it.

What I have tried doing is re-associating the feeling of calm and relaxation with drinking water. When I have a glass of water I take a couple of deep breaths and relax. If I succeeded in subconsciously brainwashing myself into believing that cigarettes calmed me down then I'm sure I can do it again with something less harmful this time!!

There's no reason to get stressed about cigarettes or anything else. As they say, it's all in the mind. I know it's easier said than done but if other people, myself included, can do it then you can too!!! It's strange but I didn't think that I would have to re-learn how to relax and calm down just because I quit smoking.

alex.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

29 Aug 2002, 02:46 #35

Don't feel alone, Alex, it's likely that most all of us allowed our emotions to serve as feeding cues. The good part is that it doesn't take brainwashing or even repeated encounters with the same triggers before the subconscious mind abandons them as cues. The subconscious isn't capable of independent thought. It simply reacts to the input provided. That being said, the longer you go between encountering feeding triggers the more you get out of your defensive war posture and the more it may seem like you've been sucker punched or blind-sided when one does arrive.

Alex, if you have not done so already I strongly encourage you to try and make a record of what a triggered crave anxiety is really like. Why? Well, with fewer and fewer left to recondition, their frequency will continue to decline and you will so go days and then weeks without one. What you will be left to deal with are all your smoking thoughts and memories which at times can seem to flood the mind but unlike a true triggered crave, which lasts less than three minutes, our thoughts can linger as long as we allow them.

Here at Freedom the distinction is important in two respects. We can, to a large extent, control the arrival and departure of smoking related thoughts and memories while the arrival and departure of habit triggered craves, or cutting them short, is beyond the abilities of most to control.

The second reason it's important is in relating to the next generation. You'll sometimes see threads by bronze and silver members saying that they had a "crave" that lasted "all day" when what's really happening is that have allowed their mind to become to fixated upon "thoughts" smoking -- for which we can usually discover an underlying cause -- and the thoughts linger on for some time. We just don't want to confuse those in the first few days of their quit into believing that the tremendous challenge of the first few days lasts for months and months. It really isn't fair to them. By making some record of what a "real" crave anxiety attack is like it helps us see and distinguish later the lingering sea of thoughts that can at times flood, fill and linger in the mind. A wonderful post that brings back memories. You're thinking it through Alex . Be proud of how far you've come! John
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