The Urge Hits!

Subconscious use cue extinguishment

The Urge Hits!

Joel
Joel

August 23rd, 2000, 1:56 am #1

The urge hits! You have been off cigarettes for a long period of time. You have not thought about cigarettes for days, maybe even weeks. But now, right now, you want a cigarette.

Sound familiar? It should. Your experience is shared by most of the 33,000,000 ex-smokers in today's society. The thought of a cigarette is aroused by some situation, person or surrounding. Often you have no idea why--all you know is that you want one and you want it fast.

There are two ways to get over the urge for that cigarette. First, you can borrow, buy or steal one and smoke it. That will satisfy the urge for that one cigarette. It will also create an urge, a need, a full-fledged addiction for another one plus an additional million (if you live long enough to smoke a million) after that. Considering this, taking a cigarette is not a preferable solution.

The other method of getting over the urge is, simply, don't take one. 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.
Last edited by Joel on April 1st, 2009, 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

September 10th, 2000, 8:54 pm #2

For the benefits of newbies wondering if they will ever stop wanting a cigarette, I thought I would elaborate on this one a little. When we say that the urge hits weeks or months or even years after a quit, it is a desire or a thought for a cigarette that is different than the "urge" experienced during initial withdrawal. Those urges are physiological craves, the body demanding nicotine to alleviate a drug withdrawal state.

The thoughts that happed down the road are triggers of fond memories. The thought is often that it seems like a good idea now to smoke a cigarette. Kind of like the urge you get to clean your house on a slow day. Seems like a good idea for a few seconds, but if you find something better to do, so be it. The same concept holds true for the thought of a cigarette.

Other times there will be thoughts of "I used to smoke when I did this." Not a desire for a cigarette or smoking, but a feeling that your timing or ritual is off. Sometimes there may even be a feeling that you are supposed to be doing "something" right now, but do not even realize what it is. All of a sudden you realize you used to smoke at this particular juncture of time or a specific new situation. Again, it is not that you want or need a cigarette in these two cases, just that the routine was a little off.

Years into a quit though, most days ex-smokers will go days, weeks and maybe even months without a thought. Even days which they call "bad" with desires, they may be going 23 hours and 59 minutes and 50 seconds without a thought, but because they think of it once, they think that was a lot. It really does get easier and easier.

The alternative side, smoking, is constantly riddled with thought of quitting. Whenever you are going to a doctor, a non-smoking friends or family home where you want to visit but cannot smoke, getting a new symptoms or aggravated by a chronic problem, read a news headline or hear a news report on television or radio on a new danger from smoking, have to pay another price increase for cigarettes, find another friend who has quit while you do not, stand outside in blizzards or heat waves or torrential downpour for the luxury of getting a quick fix or experience some horrible withdrawal because you can't escape for a cigarette or heaven forbid, you run out of cigarettes.

Yes there were plenty of times smoking made your life totally unmanageable. Not to mention the times that may come where a diagnosis of a horrible condition that require extraordinary measures to save your life that in themselves are almost as terrifying and painful as the disease itself. That unpleasant scenario still provides a chance of survival. There are frequently the cases where the first real symptom of a smoking induced illness is sudden death. Then you don't even have a chance to save your life.

As an ex-smoker, there may be times you want a cigarette. As a smoker, there will be times you want to quit. Neither side is perfect, but the ex-smoker side has clear advantages. It will get easier and easier over time getting to the point of smoking becoming a thing of the past. The smoking side leads to a much more ominous road.

Keep focused, whether it is hours into a quit or decades into a quit. It was a good decision to quit, maybe the most important decision you have made in your life as far as quality and length of your life goes. To keep the decision alive and continue to reap the benefit, always remember, Never Take Another Puff!

Joel
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elec7
elec7

September 10th, 2000, 10:24 pm #3

Joel

Thank you for another thoughtful message at the right time. Yesterday I faced one of my most feared triggers. For years on Saturday afternoons I have gone to a friends repair shop and had a few beers. There are usually 6-8 people who all by the way smoke sitting around telling stories and jokes. They all know of my history of quit attempts and say here goes Ed again. They of course asked where I had been the last couple weeks and I wanted to be honest and told them and why it was difficult to join them for awhile. They respected my choice but didn't make it easy packs of cigarettes on the table within reach and smoke filling the air. I stayed for 5 hours this is a part of my life I refuse to give up just because I don't smoke. I told them about Freedom and left the questions to them I know how I hated reformed smokers going on and on about the benefits of not smoking. They all agreed they would like to quit but don't think they can. I heard all the excuses I used for years why I could not quit. I let it drop and enjoyed myself everyone asked how I felt and most remaked my cough was gone. When I was leaving two came up and asked me for the website address and said they were sorry for continuing to smoke in front of me. I told them if I could not face people smoking I would never had come out to visit. I was very nervous at first and could feel the strong triggers but now I knew how to handle it and what it was because of Freedom. I hope they come and join us one is going to be a Grandfather soon and mentioned he would like to be around awhile. Every smoker knows the price of the addiction cancer sticks, coffin nails the list goes on. The secret is to quit before you have to quit for health reasons and I know some smokers who didn't quit even then. Thank you Freedom for giving me the information and encouragement to face life as a addict trying to do something about his addiction. I know this is a lifetime job to stay nicotine free and know I can NEVER PUFF AGAIN...Ed

After 46 years nicotine free for Three weeks, four days, 10 hours, 22 minutes and 38 seconds. 559 cigarettes not smoked, saving $122.53. Life saved: 1 day, 22 hours, 35 minutes.
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neve
neve

September 10th, 2000, 11:09 pm #4

Congratulations for staying so strong in your resolve to stay smoke-free, Ed. It sounds like you passed a 'trigger test' with flying colors!!! It is great that you were able to prove to yourself that you can still hang out with your friends who smoke-pretty scary the first time! You are a real inspiration, Ed. An inspiration not only to your friends who are probably now realizing that they might have the strength to quit as well, but also to us here at Freedom. Thank You for showing us all the power of a positive attitude!
Last edited by neve on April 1st, 2009, 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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eagle66
eagle66

September 26th, 2000, 11:27 am #5

Another great article, Joel. Just wanted you to know that I made it through the evening after our chat and feel pretty good about myself for the moment! Thanks for your help and Linnee's. It's going to get better and better!!!!!

Eagle66

One day, 21 hours, 26 minutes and 52 seconds. 37 cigarettes not smoked, saving $5.21. Life saved: 3 hours, 5 minutes.
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R b rt
R b rt

September 26th, 2000, 9:07 pm #6

Good morning my friends ... ... don't get worried - I feel confident enough to say that I WON'T RELAPSE INTO A FOG ... ... ... but I did want to share with you all that I have been going through some really rough days!!! I am posting to this particular thread because I have been in an almost CONSTANT urge to smoke! (It's driving me crazy!) I have been using my humor to help, and it does for a while ... but it only goes so far!

It's like no matter WHAT I do, I feel like smoking! (I THINK - JUST ONCE!) But I know it'll be more than just once, and I am NOT prepared for THAT BATTLE (again)!!! But the NICODEMON tells me: ". . . . . go ahead, smoke ONCE --- you can do it, you're tough!! You know you can STOP after that ONCE!" I push back the thoughts ... but they come back real fast!
I KNOW I WON'T SMOKE .... but jeepers I think it's time to S-T-O-P !!!

I WILL NOT SMOKE TODAY !!! I WILL NOT SMOKE TODAY !!!
I WILL NOT !
-robert-
SMOKEFREE FOR: one month/three weeks/four days
I CAME THIS FAR --- I AIN'T GONG BACK !!!
Last edited by R b rt on April 1st, 2009, 11:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)

September 26th, 2000, 9:40 pm #7

Dear Robert.....

At almost 2 months into your quit you gotta know that the little guy above is playing with your mind. Try to find out what it is that is fueling the fire.....certainly, at this point, it is not a physical need.

Weather change, job change, an unopened pack of cigarettes hinding out to you, a major challenge heading your way or just a feeling? Lots of things can make you think about your addiction. Whatever you do, remember where you came from and remember too, where you will head if you succucmb to the call. I truly don't think you will, but re-examine you reasons and motivations for quitting....review Joel's notes on relapse prevention and take a look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that the best is yet to come. Read too, about those who have lost long quits only to hit their heads against the wall and wonder how they could have been so careless or let others influence they reason's for quitting.

Send me a great recipe, listen to music, take a walk, write a letter to yourself about how wonderful life is since you quit smoking and take a peek at whyquit.com again. And, Robert......this too, shall pass.

Thinking of you and knowing that you will be ok.....

hugs....Linda
Last edited by GrumpyOMrsS (Gold) on April 1st, 2009, 11:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)

September 26th, 2000, 9:49 pm #8

Robert......meant to say that maybe you have a pack of cigarettes or a pipe or some of your old "smoking memorabilia "hidden" somewhere that might be calling out to you in the back of your mind....if you do....dump it all "now".....no matter how old or expensive the pipe or whatever your smoked.....you must get rid of them....why keep them them if you will never smoke again?

Linda
Last edited by GrumpyOMrsS (Gold) on April 1st, 2009, 11:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Roswitha
Roswitha

September 26th, 2000, 10:13 pm #9

Robert you are my hero,you can not give up,you always sheer everybody up,and I wondert if you never have urges,like I have ,but I believe we all do.I hade a difficult time in the last 10 days to,but I did not wanted to discourage the new people,who have a much more difficult time with there quit then we do.I know were my triggers come from,I hade lots of changes going on,and I don`t do good with changes.So my friend we need to find out were your triggers come from,and next time you have a difficult time please tell us ,bevor it is to late.I will be thinking and praying for you my friend.

all my love and hugs your friend Roswitha.
Last edited by Roswitha on April 1st, 2009, 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joanne Gold
Joanne Gold

September 26th, 2000, 11:03 pm #10

(((((((((((((Robert))))))))))))) thought you could use a hug. ; ) You already received some great advice here but you need to know that lots of us are praying, keep the faith. You now have learned too much to let your life slip away. Our addiction is powerful, it does take a good amount of time and work to make it to freedom. This unpleasant period will pass...I promise you. With time, no matter what triggers come your way you will not be even questioning your resolve.

It is great that you came here today to vent....I'm afraid that people need help and don't always come and tell it the way it is. We are with you brother....we remember those days and it aint fun...but again, it will pass.

Now is the time to do some reading and look at your old posts...you are Freedom's "history man"...you love digging up old posts...go gettem' Robert. Remember why you quit and go read about it.

I'll be watching for your next post....it better be soon. : )

with love...your concerned quit sis - Joanne
Last edited by Joanne Gold on April 1st, 2009, 11:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bolko J
Bolko J

September 26th, 2000, 11:20 pm #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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nanaKaren
nanaKaren

September 26th, 2000, 11:25 pm #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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Dodie
Dodie

September 27th, 2000, 12:32 am #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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Big Al (Gold)
Big Al (Gold)

September 27th, 2000, 12:39 am #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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Jitterbug
Jitterbug

September 27th, 2000, 1:48 am #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 April 1st, 2009, 11:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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twovees (Gold)
twovees (Gold)

September 27th, 2000, 2:10 am #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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Dionne (gold)
Dionne (gold)

October 26th, 2000, 12:06 pm #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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Joel
Joel

November 30th, 2000, 8:45 pm #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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Sheila
Sheila

November 30th, 2000, 10:53 pm #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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Joel
Joel

December 30th, 2000, 9:03 pm #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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NOMO
NOMO

January 1st, 2001, 6:57 am #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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KarenQuits2001
KarenQuits2001

January 7th, 2001, 8:53 am #22

Thanks so much.....this is so encouraging!!!I love Freedom............Karen Quits 2001!
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Succeeding Gold
Succeeding Gold

January 24th, 2001, 2:13 am #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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Suzanne T Gold
Suzanne T Gold

March 1st, 2001, 1:25 am #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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Patticake (Gold)
Patticake (Gold)

March 10th, 2001, 9:57 am #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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