Thoughts that seem worse than the first days urges

Retraining the conscious mind

Thoughts that seem worse than the first days urges

Joel
Joel

November 19th, 2000, 9:11 pm #1

Joel's Reinforcement Library

Thoughts that seem worse than urges experienced the first few days


The urges that happen weeks or months after initial quitting can catch you much more off guard than the urges encountered during the first few days. When you had an urge at 10:00 am the day you quit smoking, it was no big deal. You likely had one at 9:55 am just before it. In fact, the first few days if you went to long without an urge you would have felt something was wrong. Although, some people just have one urge that first day. It hits them when they wake up, goes away when they go to sleep, at which point they dream about smoking all night. In essence, it was chronic.

When you start to get more time under your belt not smoking, the triggers become more sporadic. At first separated by minutes, then hours, eventually days and weeks. But they still happen. When they occur after a long period of time they catch you much more off guard.

Also, in the beginning, when your guard is up and urges are frequent, you are constantly talking yourself through them. You are then basically reinforcing your resolve over and over again all day long. When you stop having chronic urges, you naturally stop reinforcing your resolve throughout the day. Then when the trigger hits, not having talked yourself through it very recently, you sometimes have a harder time mustering up the initial motivation for quitting and ammunition for staying off.

One other factor happens with time making urges feel stronger. You start to forget smoking but still remember the "good" cigarettes. You forget the ones you smoked automatically, paying no real attention to even as you smoked them. You forget the nasty one you despised as you smoked them. You forget all the associated annoyances that went with being a smoker. Then you start to remember the best cigarette you ever had in your life. If you focus on this cigarette without recalling all the others and the problems that went with the others, it is hard to not want it.

But that "one" cigarette concept is a fantasy. Not smoking will never be as good as that fantasy, but smoking will not be like that fantasy either. Smoking is what it was at the end, the day you quit-not what it was like early on when it initially hooked you. At the end, smoking was annoying enough to make you want to quit, even though you were going through a horrid withdrawal and psychological readjustment process to do it. You then understood that smoking was making life complicated, ruining your health and basically slowly killing you. Well, cigarettes haven't changed. Just your memories of them have.

Remember cigarettes as they really were, not how you wished they were. Then when the urge is triggered, you will have the ammunition to squelch it. You will recognize that you were just having a bad moment, when you were quitting you were having "bad days." When you were smoking you were a slave to a product that was killing you. You fought long and hard to overcome that control and you never want to relinquish your freedom of choice over such a deadly product again. To keep the control, remember, when the urge is triggered-never take another puff!
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Christiana
Christiana

November 29th, 2000, 12:48 am #2

Thank you for posting today. On this one, the important word is SEEM. Nicotine addiction is a sly one. Education about nicotine has becom strength. Coupled with NEVER TAKING ANOTHER PUFF!!!!!!!!!and i will not change my mind. Yes, it's my final answer. Christiana.
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LindaO
LindaO

November 29th, 2000, 6:41 am #3

I agree with you Christiana, Saturday evening was a prime example, probabaly my first proper social party since quitting, the first time I have had a couple (ok a few!) alcoholic drinks. I was on my guard thank goodness, but there were a couple of times when I so easily could have had "just one puff!" "just to be sociable! one won't hurt!" But I know these are junkie thoughts, and they did pass pretty quickly, but it is mainly those four words that stick in my mind all the time.... "NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF"
And as I tell eanybody who will listen to me as long as I NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF I will always stay a non-smoker!

Linda x
I AM VERY PROUD TO SAY.....
It has been Two months, two weeks, three days, 2 hours, 44 minutes and 39 seconds, since I became a non-smoker! I have not smoked 2343 cigarettes!
This has saved me the grand total of £351.70 (WHERE HAS IT GONE?)!
Which means you will now have to put up with me for an extra 1 week, 1 day, 3 hours, 15 minutes.

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Joel
Joel

November 30th, 2000, 8:44 pm #4



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
Last edited by Joel on July 11th, 2014, 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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herstory101
herstory101

December 25th, 2000, 2:16 pm #5

History here,

You know, even with this much time under my belt, Two months, two days, 21 hours, 30 minutes and 41 seconds. And this many cigs not smoked 1597, (which is the most time for me ever not smoking) I have been exeriencing some pretty tough urges.

But, like in one of your other posts, The Lucky Ones Get Hooked, I'm one of those, I know that I'll get hooked all over again if I were to have even one.

Junkie thoughts keep running through my mind. But, I just refuse to give in. I just know it has to get better.

Sometimes I become afraid but I always remind myself, after a long hard prayer that I will NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!!!

Thank you Joel for posting this. I really needed it.
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GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)

December 25th, 2000, 2:32 pm #6

Hi herstory....

Hang in there sweetheart......you are still in the relatively early stages of a quit and while you have conquored many triggers....there are still lots to face. The holiday time is very difficult for some as smoking was a big part of it. Please read all the posts that Joel brought up today on the holidays.

Pretty soon....at about 3 months....you will go for longer and longer periods during the day when you don't even think about smoking....really! Try not to dwell on what you remember as being the "perfect" cigarette and remember all the terrible and disgusting ones. The addiction is calling to you....it is a nasty and sneaky one. While I am at almost a year quit...the thought of a cigarette.....very rarely enters the picture. I work in a drugstore and when I smell the tobacco on my customers....it makes me very sick and I wonder how I could have ever let myself smoke for over 40 years. the thought of taking that one puff really scares me to death and I thank goodness for every day that takes me further and further from an addiction that was stealing my life.

Stick close to the board and keep posting and reading.....and remember, that whatever you do....never take another puff. You can do this....and I promise you....it does get easier.

have a wonderful holiday.
hugs, Linda
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freebirdy
freebirdy

December 26th, 2000, 12:21 am #7

Thanks Joel,
I needed that ! I once talked to a counselor about my weight issues and she said to try to picture my fav fattening foods only in black and white and dingy and unattractive, and to picture vegetables,salads and fruits in glowing colors. That helps me, have lost 40 lbs in the past year. Am remembering the nastiness and stink and bad taste involved w/nicotine...makes me shutter..Iwill be more prepared for the "sneak attacks" after reading this today
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Joel
Joel

January 4th, 2001, 9:19 pm #8

For people now passing the 72 hour mark. There are still moments but that is a difference. Moments instead of hours or constant pain. Hang in there this gets progressively better.

Joel
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Cristy
Cristy

February 20th, 2001, 10:33 pm #9

Thanks, Joel, Joanne, everyone....(yes, I finally figured out how to post :)

I'm past the 72 hour mark, but by the skin of my teeth, and by the grace of the Lord! It's been act of will now not to succumb to the "thought" cravings...especially since hubby was still smoking. But thanks to talking about FREEDOM for the last 2 days, hubby has put down the cancer sticks TODAY!!!

love,
Cristy
I have been smoke-free for: 5 Days 10 Hours 19 Minutes 24 Seconds. I have NOT smoked 190 cigarettes, for a savings of $28.51. I have added 15 Hours 50 Minutes to my life.
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Shelby (GOLD)
Shelby (GOLD)

March 19th, 2001, 2:33 pm #10

Thanks for the reality check.... I KNEW it was that ol' Junkie, jive talking, romanticizing that most perfect cigarette of all time.
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S Sweet
S Sweet

April 13th, 2001, 11:42 pm #11

thank you joel! it is so amazing to me how many times you can read these words and how many different things it means to you each time! i use to read this particular article and think "i will never become complacent"... if you had asked me yesterday i would have told you "heck no, i am NOT complacent in my quit" but oh how complacent i really was! in a way, i am very happy that i had the huge trigger i had last nite.. i am grateful that i was reminded just how precious this quit is! thank you!
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

May 8th, 2001, 7:48 pm #12



We were on our toes and prepared during Glory Week. We expected craves to arrive. Most of us were not let down. As the tail end of the above crave episode chart suggests, after 2 or 3 weeks you may go a few days before encountering a new crave trigger that has not yet been extinguished. When it does arrive it can easily catch you off guard and unprepared. Don't panic! It may feel like you've been sucker punched by the most powerful crave ever but in truth it's probably weaker in intensity than earlier crave episodes. It had just been so long since your last significant challenge that you relaxed, lowered your guard and defenses a bit and were caught totally unprepared. Scrabbling to locate and put back on our life jacket can be terrifying moments indeed.

Immediately go into your Glory Week battle mode and do exactly what you did to get you through the few minutes of those early recovery challenges. Within moments you can celebrate the return of yet another aspect of life! Meeting, greeting and extinguishing nicotine feeding cues is good not bad as it's how we reclaim life. Yes, bigger can be a good sign as it likely evidences substantial distance and time since your last significant challenge. Things are getting better not worse!!!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

John
Last edited by John (Gold) on March 18th, 2009, 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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heath
heath

May 24th, 2001, 11:13 pm #13

Dear Joel, Thanks for this...........I have become more and more confident in my quit, and yet the six month mark will be truly difficult. I have always caved in then. Reading this today reminds me why I start up over and over! I have not kept a journal, except for my posts here at Freedom. At least I can review them. This was by far the most difficult quit I've ever had. I must remember all the reasons I quit because I know that when I want that 1 cig. it's because I have forgotten all the awful stuff!! Thank you for all you do and for bringing so many of us the TRUTH! Never take another puff!!! TLC Heather soon to be bronze!
Last edited by heath on May 2nd, 2013, 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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marty (gold)
marty (gold)

May 24th, 2001, 11:17 pm #14

Heather - one month at a time .
Get to Bronze. When you start getting close to Silver, start posting here like a lunatic !!! That's when you'll have us here to help you get over your psychological hurdle. You will be able to do it when the time arrives. That time is not yet
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marty (gold)
marty (gold)

June 12th, 2001, 7:51 pm #15

This post really helps me as a middlebie (somewhere between newbie and oldbie ). And there is a further thought I'd like to add.

As my quit has progressed, I've started to get greedy. I so much enjoy the benefits my quit has brought me (physical health, mental relaxation, sense of self-control, etc etc) that I have started to want to feel those benefits every second of every day. I like the perfect, idyllic life now . So when I get the odd smoking thought, or have to prepare myself for possible triggers approaching, it seems far worse than it really is, and I resent it as an intrusion on my new wonderful way of life .

It's frankly childish, and of course I get over it very quickly. But isn't it amazing how quickly we forget how much worse off we were such a short time ago and how we so casually become totally intolerant of minor nuisances which a little while ago we never even noticed !!!!
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Joel
Joel

July 21st, 2001, 6:33 pm #16

I saw some discussions happening that the thought for cigarettes that happen beyond the second week are physically predetermined and thus some people may feel destined to face them. They are in fact much more likely psychologically induced, but that does not mean that they are not real or that the person is weak. Having your guard up and your ammunition strong as to why you want to stay smoke free will not stop the thoughts from being triggered by circumstances that are first time occurences. But it will give you the ability to squelch the reaction quickly. In the first two weeks when the urges were physical withdrawals, focusing all your attention on why you were quitting would not necessarily squelch the urge, but it would give you the ability to ride it out no matter how long it lasted. So no one should think of themselves as weak for getting thoughts about smoking. As long as you ride them out you are basically stronger now than you ever were as a smoker. You have taken control of an addiction, your health and your life. To keep that control just always be focused on your desire to stay smoke free and never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

July 24th, 2001, 4:26 am #17

Thany you Beccy for bringing this and the other one up for sewquilts. I am a bit tied up today with a clinic graduation and some other projects going on here. Will be back in action more by tomorrow afternoon, I hope. Anyone seeing posts questions that might be answered by existing strings (it's amazing how answers there are in existing strings) please feel free to bring them up.

Hang in there everyone. The way to make another day is still to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

September 24th, 2001, 10:14 pm #18

For everyone thinking that quitting is an "uphill" battle. It is likely easier than it was at the beginning of your quit but you very likely have forgotten what it was like in the beginning--at least in respect to frequency, duration and intensity of those urges as opposed to they frequency, duration and intensity of the thought that are occuring today.
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I win (GOLD)
I win (GOLD)

October 13th, 2001, 12:35 am #19

Hi everyone...it's been a miserable couple days...Got so bad that I was ready to lick a dirty ashtray (my husband still smokes)....luckily I still had my "Why I quit reasons" taped to the cabinet where he keeps his cigs...kept reading and reading and yelling at myself...After 3 months it was just horrid to be hit with such a strong psychological urge...and I think instead of meeting, greeting and defeating...I kept nurturing the urge until it kept getting bigger and bigger and meaner and meaner...
BUT, I beat the living daylights out of that nicodemon and this thread REALLY helped me understand what was going on...Thanks everyone!
Phewwwwwwwwwww!
yqs, Patty
Happily bronze and smoke free for Three months, two days, 9 hours, 38 minutes and 41 seconds. 3776 cigarettes not smoked, saving $660.81. Life saved: 1 week, 6 days, 2 hours, 40 minutes.
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ENOUGHisENOUGH
ENOUGHisENOUGH

December 11th, 2001, 7:41 am #20

I'm making a diary each day to remind myself 3,4,5 months ext... what I am feeling now so I want forget the withdraws. I never want to repeat this again. Thanks all for being here.

Newbie 4 days
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preetsat
preetsat

July 23rd, 2002, 12:29 am #21

Hi Joel!

I always make it a point to read your material. It is so inspiring and educative. Why I like this when compared to everything else is that it feeds my intellect. It gives me a very good feeling as I read your material.... that I am an intellectual and I listen when something is explained in clear terms. So, it is the basically a feeling of high self esteem!!

Thanks for educating me and motivating me to become smoke free. I am smoke free for 22 days now.

Satya
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Lilac (Bronze)
Lilac (Bronze)

July 31st, 2002, 10:44 pm #22

Dear Joel,
It is almos magical that many of your messages and often John's too appear exactly on the day that I most need that very lesson.. Is that coincidence?. I am enormously grateful for the articles, the timing and the writers.. This one of yours and one of John's today were the answer to my very troubled night. Thanks, Lilac
3w-4d
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teapot
teapot

July 31st, 2002, 11:14 pm #23

This is the exact thing I am experiencing right now! I will have days when I feel great like quitting is a breeze, then I start romanticizing a cigarette in my mind. I find the only thing that can get me back on track is to remember everything horrible I can about smoking. I read your stuff every chance I get. It has really helped me.



Thanks

T
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Lilac (Bronze)
Lilac (Bronze)

August 1st, 2002, 4:34 am #24

I came back to this message because there was a phrase in it that I want to remember--sort of use as an amulet. I quote,"not smoking will never be as good as that fantasy, but smoking will not be like that fantasy either." during this especially trying period I shall repeat that to myself many times. so that I am unable to dodge the truth of it. thanks, Lilac
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Hillbilly(Gold)
Hillbilly(Gold)

August 1st, 2002, 4:50 am #25

Hi, Lilac, it's me again. You're still hurting, aren't you? I'm gonna be away from the computer for awhile, maybe even until tomorrow, but I'll be thinking of you. You CAN do this, I know what you're going thru, been there, done that. You're doing so well, keep it up.

I tried to email you direct, but no address. Click on my name at the top of this post, it'll give you my address, write to me direct if you like.

Hang in there, darlin', one day at a time.

Dave
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