Quit Expectations - Start with Baby Steps!

John (Gold)

February 25th, 2002, 2:39 am#1

Quit Expectations Skills - Baby Steps
Are you just beginning a new quit? What do you currently expect of yourself? Do you truly believe that you will NEVER EVER smoke another cigarette for the REMAINDER of your life? It's a bit hard to believe, isn't it! Then why begin your journey by imposing such distant, remote or unrealistic expectations? Try this instead. Do you truly believe that you have the ability to not smoke for the next HOUR? Of course you can! We all can!

If we are being honest and realistic with ourselves then why would we force our mind to accept the concept or goal of quitting FOREVER when today it seems unrealistic? Why not instead develop an outlook that focuses entirely on remaining successful here and now, by engaging in what we each know that we are 100% capable of doing - quitting for the next 60 minutes! In fact, if our definition of success at quitting is in staying quit FOREVER, instead of here and now, the only time we will ever feel that we've achieved victory and entitled to celebrate is after we've died as an ex-smoker. What good would that do us? Why not celebrate each hour and each day as its own victory!

Here at Freedom you'll hear our members refer to this important quit expectations skill as "baby steps," "One Day at a Time," or simply as patience! New babies don't start out by attempting to run or even believing it possible! We each crawled and gradually over time our confidence grew. It's the same with quitting. To begin, we should each be content with crawling just one hour at a time! If you focus on remaining successful for the next 60 minutes, it won't be long until the hours will have built themselves into an entire day of healing!

Most of the anxiety associated with quitting is self-induced. An initial unrealistic goal of quitting FOREVER (like trying to force a new born baby to run immediately upon birth) can be extremely discouraging and act as anxiety fuel that seems only to magnify the intensity of a crave that would have ended within three minutes anyway. Learn to crawl first! There will be plenty of time later for walking and then running!

Picture yourself as a mountain climber engaged in a steep 72 hour climb to the top. Like the new born crawling babe, the entire climb will be on all fours. Would it benefit the climber to allow their mind to constantly remain filled with thoughts about how much further remains to be climbed or would that only create unnecessary anxieties? Would it benefit the climber to allow their mind to constantly dwell upon the thought of how far they would fall if they lost their grip, or would that only create unnecessary anxieties?

Baby steps is an expectations skill that allows quitters to concentrate on remaining successful here and now by doing what they already know they can do - baby steps! It encourages all engaged in climbing withdrawal's mountain to focus upon getting a solid grip on the rocks (one hour at a time) beneath their hands, knees and feet. It's a mental tool and skill that allows all new quitters to successfully navigate this temporary period called quitting, so that the can begin feeling the comfort and calmness beyond! No nicotine here and now! Give your confidence a chance to build! Baby steps! YQB John : )


February 25th, 2002, 3:35 pm#2


A great string for the newbies to start..(now I am getting the feeling I am no more a newbie)!!..

My baby boy (now 11 months old) was crawling on all four when I started my quit on Jan 12 th from Jan last week he started getting up by Holding on to things..started to hold and walk ..and yesterday he walked the first few steps by himself!!

When I watch him i really feel excited! here I am too taking baby steps!!


One month, one week, six days, 15 hours, 34 minutes and 53 seconds. 892 cigarettes not smoked, saving S$308.08. Life saved: 3 days, 2 hours, 20 minutes.

John (Gold)

February 27th, 2002, 6:10 am#3

Congratulations Ravi! His very first steps and in clean air too! You can't beat that! Congratulations on both of you as you walk together! My mom smoked throughout my childhood, Ravi, and although it was not her fault that I started, it sure did make it easier. I loved her more than anything and whether she knew it or not, she was always my role model! I pray that you get to spend more years with your son than my mom was able to spend with me! Congratulations again! Just one day at a time Ravi! This is doable! YQB John : )

Lori225 (Silver)

March 6th, 2002, 1:32 am#4

John. Great advice. Changes that mountain into a very small hill!! I smoked for 28 years and I've decided that I want to be around for my children and my childrens children. My girls are 11 and 7 and I don't want them to follow in my footsteps! I was 13 when I started - and it embarreses me to even admit it. I only I hope that it's not too late to be a positive role model for my daughters.


I have chosen not to smoke for 1 Week 1 Day 58 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 80. Money saved: $14.00.
Time/Life Saved 13 Hrs 20 Mins 4 Secs

John (Gold)

March 8th, 2002, 12:07 am#5

Lori, not only will you be a positive role model for your daughters, you'll be an educated role model too! I'm sure you'll share a few extremely valuable lessons along the way. I have two daughters as well, now 20 and 22, and they both grew up witnessing just how difficult it was for their father to try and break free. I'm still not sure why, but I never once hid behind any lies or junkie thinking that gave them the impression that smoking made any kind of positive contribution toward my life - there was none and somehow they both knew it! It may be that I was trying to protect them from a force that I could never seem to defeat.

Education is power Lori and it's never too late to teach our children the true power of nicotine! Congratulations on a wonderful beginning to your new life! Motherhood is much more clean, healthy and free with Lori in charge of her addiction! No nicotine, just one day at a time! You're doing great! YQB John


March 8th, 2002, 7:23 am#6

After all, we (most of us) have been smoking years and years and years. When we finally put our cigarettes down, we're just going to have to expect some difficulty. There's no other choice. And that's what its all about. Choices. But if we take it
ONE DAY AT A TIME (it gets better and it's not always neat and tidy these darn quits...they have a mind of their own)
and worry about next week next week.................it can be done. WE can do it! You can do it. I'm doing it. Yeah.
Bronze Plus

Cathie (Green)

April 7th, 2002, 12:46 am#7

Good advice!

When I have tried to quit in the past I kept telling myself that it was just too overwhelming to think of quitting for the rest of my life and therefore it was not worth my while to quit now.

Freedom has taught me to take quitting in baby steps so that it does not seem overwhelming.

I have been free now for 5 days 11 hours and 44 minutes and proud of it!


John (Gold)

May 27th, 2002, 9:18 am#8

Don't kid yourself into believing that you'lll ever be stronger than nicotine. None of us are! It doesn't require strength to break free and stay free. It requires desire, patience and understanding! Years of feeding your chemical dependency upon nicotine, and sensing relief from sagging blood serum nicotine levels within 8 to 10 seconds of that very first puff, has bred a tremendous sense of impatience when it comes to complying with your mind's commands to obtain more nicotine. The first step toward building a sense of patience when it comes to breaking free is in understanding the source of our impatience! It isn't all that hard

Joanne Gold

June 6th, 2002, 1:41 am#9

If you are just starting out and wondering if you can hold on to this quit forever.... STOP! All you have to do is get through the rest of the day without taking that first puff. Each day free from the grips of a powerful addiction, is a victory. Day by day the healing process takes shape, recovery symptoms fade and comfort does come.

Hold on tight! Your life worth is any temporary challenges.

Just for today...not one puff...no matter what!


July 12th, 2002, 9:39 am#10

I am a real witness of the truth expressed in this simple phrase. Today I visited two clients, old friends that I hadn´t seen for a while. We use to smoke together. They work on the same company on different desks, rooms or offices. I felt the personal crave ( Is the one I am finding all over: people that used to smoke with you, always trigger a crave, they even offer one), I promised myself: I am not going to smoke while I am with this guy. Then again, with the other one: I am not going to smoke with this one either. I worked. Baby steps less than an hour, I survived my visit, open a deal, no puff at all.

Remember Never take another puff


John (Gold)

January 17th, 2003, 12:04 am#11

Joel's Reinforcement Library


This concept is taught by almost all programs which are devoted to dealing with substance abuse or emotional conflict of any kind. The reason that it is so often quoted is that it is universally applicable to almost any traumatic situation.

Dealing with quitting smoking is no exception. Along with NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!, ONE DAY AT A TIME is the key technique which gives the smoker the strength to successfully quit smoking and stay free from the powerful grip of nicotine dependence.

When first quitting, the concept of ONE DAY AT A TIME is clearly superior to the smoker thinking that he will never smoke again for the rest of his life. For when the smoker is first giving up smoking, he does not know whether or not he wants to go the rest of his life without smoking. Most of the time the smoker envisions life as a non-smoker as more stressful, painful, and less fun.

It is not until he quits smoking that he realizes his prior thoughts of what life is like as a non-smoker were wrong. Once he quits he realizes that there is life after smoking. It is a cleaner, calmer, fuller and, most important, healthier life. Now the thought of returning to smoking becomes a repulsive concept. Even though the fears have reversed, the ONE DAY AT A TIME technique should still be maintained.

Now, as an ex-smoker, he still has bad moments every now and then. Sometimes due to stress at home or work, or pleasant social situations, or to some other undefinable trigger situation, the desire for a cigarette surfaces. All he needs to do is say to himself, I won't smoke for the rest of today; tomorrow I will worry about tomorrow. The urge will be over in seconds, and the next day he probably won't even think of a cigarette.

But ONE DAY AT A TIME should not only be practiced when an urge is present. It should be practiced daily. Sometimes an ex-smoker thinks it is no longer important to think in these terms. He goes on with the idea he will not smoke again for the rest of his life. Assuming he is correct, when does he pat himself on the back for achieving his goal. When he is lying on his death bed he can enthusiastically proclaim, "I never smoked again." What a great time for positive reinforcement.

Every day the ex-smoker should wake up thinking that he is not going to smoke that day. And every night before he goes to sleep he should congratulate himself for sticking to his goal. Because pride is important in staying free from cigarettes. Not only is it important, but it is well deserved. For anyone who has quit smoking has broken free from a very powerful addiction. For the first time in years, he has gained control over his life, rather than being controlled by his cigarette. For this, he should be proud.

So tonight, when you go to sleep, pat yourself on the back and say, "Another day without smoking, I feel great." And tomorrow when you wake up, say, "I am going to try for another day. Tomorrow I will deal with tomorrow." To successfully stay free from smoking, TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME and - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

© Joel Spitzer 1995, 2000

John (Gold)

January 25th, 2003, 11:19 am#12

Yes, it's easy for us, sitting here fully recovered and 100% comfortable, to remind new members of the importance of staying focused upon achieving victory over the task at hand -victory over today - but it wasn't always so. We were each in your shoes not so long ago and our brain dopamine pathways were probably no less nicotine dependent than yours.

I think you'll find that a few slow deep breaths into the bottom of both lungs, a glass of cool refreshing water, a nice big hug when the opportunity presents, and the ability to look any challenge in the face for three full minutes, will carry you far. There is absolutely nothing standing between you and full recovery if you believe with every fiber of your being that the next few minutes are doable.

We're here if you need us! Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! John

John (Gold)

May 28th, 2003, 3:07 am#13

Which selection are you using to measure victory?
  1. I see each day of freedom and healing for the full and complete victory that it represents. Today I am free!
  2. I will only declare victory after I've quit smoking for the rest of my life.
Which selection provides greater opportunity for celebration?

John (Gold)

July 30th, 2003, 8:25 pm#14

The Emotional Journey of Adjustment
Denial - "Who am I kidding, I can't quit!" "My cigarettes are my friend!" "It's too hard!" "Who am I kidding, I can't quit forever!" "It's getting worse not better!" "I won't be me anymore!" "I'm no fun without smoking nicotine!"
Anger - "This isn't easy and it isn't fun but I'm gritting my teeth and doing it!!!" "Get out of my way, Dog!" "Leave me alone, People! "No one seems to appreciate the tremendous sacrifice I'm making, here!!" "I've giving up my entire life here, my happiness, my best friend, and for what!!!" "What do I get, craves and hastles!!!
Bargaining - "Hey, I've quit for a whole day!" "A little reward, just one little puff!" "I've earned it!" "I'm stronger than all those other quitters at Freedom!" "They won't know!" "Even if I do relapse, I think I can do it again!" "But I won't need to, I sure I can handle one big puff of nicotine!" "I'm different!" "Anyway, I'm sure it can't be as nearly addictive as they're all saying!" "They're just trying to scare me!"
Depression - "Well, I've held-out and it looks like I'm going to make it but how can I possibly function without smoking nicotine?" "I don't feel like a smoker anymore and I'm not any comfortable ex-smoker either." "I feel lost and oh so alone." "Is this what it's like being an ex-smoker?" "Is this what it's like being me?"
Acceptance - "Hey, this isn't so bad after all and great tasting coffee too!" "I sort of like all this extra time and the fresh air!" "A passing thought or two when I saw smokers smoking but not a single crave yesterday!" "Amazing, and the quitting chatter that fogged my mind seems to be lifting too!" "Is this me?" "This is good!" "This is far far easier than living life out of a pack!" "I know I can handle any challenge that comes my way!" " This is entirely doable!" "I know with every fiber of my being that I'll never put nicotine back into this body, I'll Never Take Another Puff!"
The next few minutes are entirely doable and only one rule - no nicotine today, NTAP!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! John (Gold)
Last edited by John (Gold) on March 20th, 2009, 4:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

John (Gold)

November 14th, 2003, 4:09 pm#15

Welcome to Freedom, we've been waiting on you!
Today may possibly be the most important day of your life! When it comes to victory over nicotine, yesterday is history, tomorrow untouchable yet for 50% of us an average of roughly 5,000 days of life are on the line!
Let today be a full and complete victory in itself! The next few minutes of healing are all that matter! Make the most of them. Remember, no subconscious crave episode will last longer than three minutes but time distortion is a very real recovery symptom so be sure and keep a clock handy. Delay and patience are your best friends right now. Only one rule, no nicotine today!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! John - The Gold Club
Last edited by John (Gold) on March 20th, 2009, 4:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

John (Gold)

December 12th, 2003, 7:30 pm#16

Using Attitude to Reduce Anxiety
Have you previously tried to break nicotine's grip? Have you ever stopped to consider that each of your recovery attempts have been different? It might surprise you to learn that those investing the time to eduacate themselves often experience far less challenging recoveries than ever before.

Those who learn to handle the possible wild blood sugar swings that often accompany nicotine cessation, who learn why it may take only half as much caffeine in order for their blood serum caffeine level to be identical to what it was while still actively smoking nicotine, and who take the time to understand and appreciate the different phases associated with the sense of emotional loss are using their intellect to help avoid many of the symptoms they might otherwise have experienced. This article focuses on yet another important area, diminishing anxiety by embracing recovery.

Can we make ourselves miserable on purpose? No doubt about it. Throughout our lives we've experienced worry, fear, anger and irritability, only to find out later that our worries, fears and anxieties were either totally unnecessary or were over little or nothing at all. Most often they resulted from procrastination as we failed to take those first baby steps and instead fled into the dependability of our addiction or addictions.

Addiction isn't about intoxication but about feeling normal, safe and temporarily free of stress. For the nicotine addict it's about returning to that artificial chemical world of "nicotine normal," a strange mix where elevated dopamine output briefly restores that missing "aaahhh" sensation, while elevated levels of adrenaline yet again prepare the body's defenses for fight or flight. But when it comes to recovery, what was once the mind's conditioned subconscious defense to real or imagined harm, now becomes the greatest obstacle to recovery.

Nicotine's two hour chemical half-life inside the human body creates a constant struggle to remain in that energized zone of comfort. It's a lifetime battle to avoid the inevitable letdown associated with constantly declining nicotine reserves and the corresponding decline of dopamine output, as the lingering aftermath of the addict's early aaahhh sensation - sensed in the brain's reward pathways within 10 seconds of that first puff - begins to evaporate.

It's a never-ending cycle of nicotine induced adrenaline releases whipping every neuron in the body's central nervous system, with each cigarette, like some tired horse badly in need of a rest. It's an endless struggle to avoid feeling tired and drained as adrenaline output declines. It's the struggle to avoid losing the instant energy and alertness that arrived as stored fats were released into the blood while an accelerating heart-rate pumped carbon monoxide, nicotine, additional oxygen and the fats through rapidly constricting blood vessels engaged in preparing for the possibility of blood loss during fight or flight.

Welcome to the addict's world of "nicotine normal," no longer an adventure but a lifetime job. Although staying addicted is hard work, the inner mind has been conditioned to believe that chemical withdrawal and recovery -- that temporary period of adjustment needed to again become 100% comfortable engaging life as "you" -- is a threat to survival. Even though the logical, reasoning and dreaming conscious mind sees recovery as the only possible way of ever returning to a true sense of non-chemical normal, the subconscious "nicotine normal" mind has been heavily conditioned by years of feeling the immediate effects of elevated dopamine and adrenaline levels. It sees nicotine cessation as quitting you, not recovering you. Incapable of reason or logic, it sees recovery as a threat and will employ fear, anger, anxiety, depression, and pre-conditioned crave episodes in its struggle to get the conscious mind to comply, relapse, and bring new nicotine back into the body.

Instead of reassuring the subconscious mind not to fear returning to the "real" you, many add needless self-induced tensions and anxieties to the recovery experience that at times can make recovery seem overwhelming. We can make them escalate to the point where we lash out against loved ones and friends, where we want to hit a tree with our bare hand or where we put our head under a pillow and scream at the top of our lungs. Our crave episodes and thoughts don't cause us to relapse. If they did then few of earth's more than one billion comfortable ex-smokers would ever have become ex-smokers. What causes relapse is the layers and layers of anxiety icing that the conscious mind intentionally cakes upon recovery.

Remember when we were first learning to swim and found ourselves in water over our head. Did you panic? I did. If I had been a skilled swimmer would I have panicked? Of course not. Here at WhyQuit and Freedom we teach smokers to swim and then lead them into deep water. Once there, the smoker can panic and risk relapse or remain calm, enjoy the swim, and fully embrace this most amazing experience. Recovery doesn't need to be nearly as difficult as our instincts are inclined to make it. In fact, it can be a proud, reassuring and glorious adventure in physical and psychological healing.

Sadly, almost half of all current smokers will never learn how to swim and the toxic feedings associated with their chemical world of "nicotine normal" will end up costing them their lives. Many genuinely believe that time is running out and disaster is about strike. For far too many this gut instinct is correct and bad news is just around the corner. Others think that plenty of time remains but after repeated failed attempts they still remain a slave to nicotine's subconscious chemical conditioning. Don't panic. Instead, invest the time needed to become an excellent swimmer. The more knowledgeable and skilled we become the greater our chances of breaking free and remaining afloat. Yes, there may be a few big waves along the way but that doesn't mean we should fear their arrival or that we can't relax and do the backstroke until encountered.

As part of our recovery, why not work on reducing self-inflicted stress, worry, anxiety and panic. In evaluating your thoughts try to be as objective and honest as possible with yourself.. If we repeatedly tell ourselves that this temporary period of adjustment called "recovery" is hard, frightening and painful, won't our anxieties only escalate further as we fuel our subconscious mind's survival instinct to see "nicotine normal" again prevail? Seeing truth after living a lifetime of denial isn't easy. Let's look at one quick example shared with me by Professor Phil Michaels at U.S.C. School of Medicine.

"Did you "like" destroying your body, "like" the taste of 4,000 burning chemicals stinging your tissues, "like" being a chemical slave, or "like" interrupting life's special moments in order to go feed your addiction? The "like" example of addiction denial is grounded in each of us using honest reason to reach a faulty conclusion that often flows like this: "I do not do things I do not like to do," "I smoke lots and lots of cigarettes, " "therefore I must really like smoking." An honest alternative would be "therefore I must really be addicted to smoking." Denial comes in many forms including recovery denial.

We can deny that the law of addiction applies to us and make believe we somehow have the ability handle one powerful puff of nicotine and not experience full blown relapse. We can also feed ourselves the big big bite theory that says that the only way to measure success is in terms of staying nicotine-free "forever," instead of focusing on the only time frame that really matters -- complete victory over the next few minutes. If we keep feeding ourselves massive doses of dishonest or destructive thinking, how long will our conscious rational mind last before abandoning its quest for freedom and joining our emotional subconscious in demanding relapse? But let's turn back to subject of self-inflicted anxiety that can grow so intense we begin to fixate and dwell denial lies while seriously pondering relapse.

Picture a plugged-in lamp but without a bulb and the switch turned off. Picture yourself intentionally sticking your finger into the bulb socket and leaving it there. Now picture all of your nicotine feeding cues (triggers) -- the times, places, emotions and events during which you customarily smoked nicotine and thereby conditioned your subconscious to expect the arrival of new nicotine -- being wired directly into the lamp's switch.

We know from detailed studies the "average" number of crave episodes experienced during recovery. Power to the crave lamp will be briefly turned-on a specific number of times each day, with the average being less than 18 minutes on their most challenging day -- recovery day three with 6 craves, each less than three minutes in duration. Be sure and look at a clock as a recent study found that time distortion is a very real recovery symptom that can make a 2 to 3 minute crave episode feel much longer. I've prepared the below crave chart from crave coping data presented in a 1998 study published in Research in Nursing and Health.

With the above chart, please keep in mind that these are just averages and every recovery is different. Some experience no craves at all while others can have twice as many as show above. Even so, if you were in the extreme with double the average, that's still only 36 minutes of crave episode anxiety on your most challenging day - 36 minutes to freedom, each minute entirely doable!

If you know that you are going to be encountering your crave triggers and cues but you don't know when, what will having your finger in an electrical lamp socket all day do to your nerves? Will it keep you on edge? Will the constant sense of anticipation breed anxiety that has you lashing-out against anyone walking into the room? Will you feel like crying? Will worry and concern deprive you of concentrating on other things? Will it wear you down and drain your spirit?

But what if you knew for certain that the shock itself would always be tolerable, that no crave episode would ever harm you, cut you, make you bleed, break bones, make you ill, or kill you, and that the episode itself would not last longer than three minutes? What if you actually began to believe that meeting, greeting and moving beyond each crave episode was a critical and welcome step toward full, complete and permanent recovery? Can honesty, certainty, confidence, understanding, planning and attitude make the time and distance between crave episodes more relaxed and their eventual arrival a welcomed event?

Instead of focusing on any minor anxiety discomfort you may experience during the short period of time a crave episode is actually occurring and the recovery light switch is on, why not work on learning to relax more during the massive amount of time that the switch is actually off? If we keep feeding ourselves the thought that recovery is hard then we should fully expect our subconscious mind to issue forth the emotions needed to cause the rational you to abandon your quest for freedom. If we keep telling ourselves this is hard, we should expect it to be hard.

Why feed ourselves failure? Why fear the swim and worry needlessly when some of us are not even in the water yet? Why assist our inner conditioned mind in breeding negative and powerful anxieties? Why allow such thoughts to fester until they begin oozing anxiety's destructive relapse puss? Instead, chase all negativism from your mind. Replace it with calmness, safety, joy and the knowledge that no three minute crave episode can force you to ever again **** nicotine into your body. Replace it with the reassurance that most subconscious crave triggers are re-conditioned or broken after a single encounter. Fight back with your reason, logic, and dreams that look forward with confidence while knowing that nothing is being left behind, and that nicotine addiction does not define who you are, your life or command your remaining time on earth.

Embrace recovery as your wonderful journey home to experience the rich, deep, and tranquil inner calmness that resided inside your mind before climbing aboard the endless nicotine/dopamine/adrenaline lifetime roller-coaster ride of cycling highs and lows. See encountering and reconditioning each crave trigger cue for what it truly is - a highly visible sign of true healing and recovery. Sense the emerging glory that is you and the abundance of oxygen arriving at every living cell in your body. In times of challenge fill your cup with truth, desire and the reasons that caused you to embark upon this quest for freedom . See all thoughts of smoking nicotine, that at times may seem to flood the mind, as golden opportunities to shed honest light on each, while sorting through years of conscious denial in which you made excuses for your chemical addiction that built a safe-house based on lies.

How full is your cup? Do you feel like you've lost a close friend (half empty) or do realize that friends don't slowly kill friends (half full)? Did you QUIT smoking (half empty) or is this where you really START living (half full)? Do you fear the arrival of your next crave (half empty) or are you excited by knowing that its arrival brings you one step closer to once again comfortably engaging every aspect of life as "you?" Will your next crave last forever (falsehood) or three minutes at most (the truth)? Will chemical withdrawal never end (falsehood) or will its intensity peak within 72 hours and then begin to gradually subside (the truth)? Do you expect to continue to experience daily "thoughts" of "wanting" to smoke nicotine forever (falsehood) or will your recovery amazingly evolve to a point where you awake each day "expecting" to go your entire day without ever once "wanting" to smoke nicotine? (the truth)?

Do you truly find joy in being addicted to one of the most powerful substances on planet earth or is that just something you convinced yourself of in order to justify your addiction, your next fix, and to avoid the challenge of withdrawal? Will 5, 10 or even 20 temporary extra pounds actually kill you (if they even happen at all) or have you already read that it takes 100 extra pounds to equal the health risk associated with just one pack a cigarettes a day?

Did you sell yourself on believing that smoking nicotine calmed or relieved stress when in fact it never once solved a single stressful event in your entire addicted life, other than relieving its own absence? Instead, you simply took flight or escape into your addiction in order to replenish rapidly falling blood-serum levels of the alkaloid nicotine that were being neutralized by stress generated body acids. How much of life went unaddressed by healthy reactions because of endlessly fleeing into our chemical world of nicotine normal? Name one stressful event that nicotine solved? Life as an addict is far more difficult than being "you" as the acid-alkaloid interaction adds the anxieties of early chemical withdrawal to every stressful challenge life throws your way.

Are you selling yourself relapse by telling yourself that you're growing weaker by the hour and won't be able to handle the next crave episode (if any), or do you know for certain that the next brief encounter will be less than three minutes, that you can handle each minute, that a crave cannot harm you, and that they are growing fewer and further apart with each passing day? Are you fueling the subconscious mind's belief that returning to the "real" you is a frightening and fearful thing to do? Are you breeding and fueling needless anxiety while having little or no memory or recall of the wonderful sense of calmness and lack of addiction chatter that occupied your mind prior to becoming nicotine's slave?

Do you miss destroying more air sacs with each and every puff or are you celebrating the freshness that now kisses healing lungs? Do you feed your mind romantic visions of purchasing or bumming the nicotine needed for relapse, or the truthful message of just one puff producing defeat, decay, destruction, disease and 50/50 chance of losing roughly 5,000 sunrises? Do you miss handing-over your hard earned money in order to remain chemically captive, or smile upon discovering the extra funds that your pockets somehow seem to produce?

Do you miss the lingering cloud of toxic smoke containing 44 known carcinogens, more than 500 gases, and 3,500 + chemical particles, or do you delight in the fact that oils upon your face again belong to you? Is your world saddened by not being able to crush an endless chain of hot chemically laden cigarette butts and pour mountains of butts from carcinogen rich ashtrays, or are you marveling in your new ash-free world that's clean, bright and refreshing? Is your cup half empty or is it half full? Our subconscious is listening and we are what we think - attitude is everything.

None of us are stronger than nicotine but then we don't have to be as nicotine is just a chemical and has an intelligence quotient (IQ) of zero. Knowledge is power! Don't be afraid of turning on the light. Embracing recovery is embracing "you!" Baby steps. The next few minutes are all that matter and each is entirely doable! There are lots of lessons to learn here at WhyQuit and Freedom but only one passing grade - no nicotine today - Never Take Another Puff!

"TRYING to quit" is an uncommitted declaration of leaving something behind.
Tell yourself recovery is HARD and unless you're lying it will be.
Believe your craves to be INTENSE and intense will be the ride.
Ponder excuses for a FIX and you'll eventually get to use them.
If you think you might RELAPSE, then relapse you just might.
If you keep telling yourself you will FAIL, then chances are you will.
If you WANT to be a ex-smoker, your mind has yet to heal.
Allow honest DREAMS to fuel recovery and freedom you shall find.
View this challenge as WONDERFUL and fulfillment will arrive.
See the GLORY of today, then glory it will be!
Praise the HEALING of your body and set your spirit free.
Inhale the JOYS of today, feel the spender of the journey.
Yet be TRUTHFUL of the past, to protect the here and now.
BELIEVE yourself a ex-smoker, an ex-smoker you shall see.
NEVER take another puff and freedom it will be!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! John


January 18th, 2004, 10:25 pm#17

I've been quit for 1week 6 days and 12 hrs. the emotional loss is the hardest. I smoked for 32 yrs and I'm in the middle of the emotional ajustment to quitting. It's hard but every hour I don't smoke I am so much more proud of myself, but it's a hard journey and I thank you all for your support and encouragement to never take anouther puff again!!!


January 21st, 2004, 3:03 pm#18

Hi GOLD (wow) John and all who read this post!

I have to say that the humor involved in this site has really helped me to stay on track and NOT ingest anymore nico-drug. 'The Emotional Journey of Adjustment' that John wrote got me chuckling in it's truth and clarity and WIT. There is sometihng funny under all the intensity and I know this element works well for me. I loved reading all those little voices next to each statement. How silly and absolutely RIGHT ON. So glad that amidst all the sad we can also be glad.

The last time I quit I became very depressed.

And though I have moments of this again, it feels different and lighter this time.

Thankx for the hee hee's with the oh no's.

Blessings Galore in Store,

Claritytree who is 2 weeks out of the awful haze of ciggarette smoke and fog.

John (Gold)

February 21st, 2004, 2:34 am#19

"Quitting is simple--just don't put one in your mouth. I didn't say easy, I said simple (as in uncomplicated). Don't make it harder than it really is." Hillbilly(Gold)

Crystal View1.ffn

November 28th, 2004, 1:29 am#20

I have to write and let everyone know that this article, "Quit Expectations Skills - Baby Steps" has remained one of the major sources of SUPER encouragement for me at times of 'moving through those many experience I will move through that have never been experienced from any other perspective but the one from the prison of nicotine additiction!" Thank you John. I was just doing some reading to get "re-filled" with encouragement and support and again came across this article! Yeah, I "can" do it and did move through my first Thanksgiving, clean, free, and with grace.

Katie - After 40 Years! Free and Healing for One Month, Eleven Days, 3 Hours and 23 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 2 Days and 10 Hours, by avoiding the use of 699 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $140.12.

John (Gold)

January 1st, 2005, 7:44 am#21

You're not battling a whole carton, a whole pack or even a whole cigarette but just one puff. Forget about forever, forget about quitting for all of 2005, a month or even a week. All that matters are the next three minutes, and although your perception of time will be distorted, each of them will be doable, as will the 3 beyond!

JoeJFree Gold

January 3rd, 2007, 9:32 am#22

Reposting John's message # 46 in this string:
From: John (Gold) Sent: 11/15/2004 11:25 PM
What is nicotine addiction? Nicotine is the tobacco plant's natural protection from being eaten by insects. Drop for drop it's more lethal than strychnine and three times deadlier than arsenic. Yet, amazingly, by chance, this natural insecticide's chemical structure is so similar to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine that once inside the brain it fits a host of chemical locks permitting it direct and indirect control over the flow of more than 200 neurochemicals.

Within eight seconds of that first-ever inhaled puff, through dizzy, coughing and six shades of green, nicotine arrived at the brain's reward pathways where it generated an unearned flood of dopamine resulting in an immediate yet possibly unrecognized "aaahhh" reward sensation. Sensing it would cause most first-time inhalers to soon return for more. Nicotine also fit the adrenaline locks releasing a host of fight or flight neurochemicals and select serotonin locks impacting mood.

A toxic poison, the brain's defenses fought back but in doing so they had no choice but to also turn down the mind's sensitivity to acetylcholine, the body's conductor of an entire orchestra of neurochemicals.

In some neuro-circuits the brain diminished the number of receptors available to receive nicotine, in others it diminished the number of available transporters and in still other regions it grew millions and millions of extra acetylcholine receptors, almost as if trying to protect itself by more widely disbursing the arriving pesticide.

There was only one problem. All the physical changes engineered a new tailored neurochemical sense of normal built entirely upon the presence of nicotine. Now, any attempt to stop using it would come with a risk of intermittent temporary hurtful anxieties and powerful mood shifts. A true chemical addiction was born. Returning home to the "real you" now had a price. Gradually the calmness and comfort associated with being the "real you" faded into distant or even forgotten memory.

The brain's protective adjustments insured that any attempt to stop would leave you temporarily desensitized. Your dopamine reward system would briefly offer-up few rewards, your nervous system would see altering the status quo as danger and sound an emotional anxiety alarm throughout your body, and mood circuitry might briefly find it difficult to climb beyond depression.

Successful nicotine dependency recovery is developing the patience to allow the mind the time needed to readjust to functioning normally, and the recovering nicotine addict time to both readjust to their brain's adjustments and to become 100% comfortable engaging life without wanting for nicotine.

The body's nicotine reserves decline by about half every two hours. It's not only the basic chemical half-life clock which determines mandatory nicotine feeding times, when quitting, it's also the clock that determines how long it takes before the brain begins bathing in nicotine free blood-serum, the moment that surgery is over and real healing begins.

It can take up to 72 hours for the blood-serum to become nicotine-free and 90% of nicotine's metabolites to exit the body via your urine. It's then that the anxieties associated with re-adjustment normally peak in intensity and begin to gradually decline.

But just one powerful puff of nicotine and you'll again face another 72 hours of detox anxieties. It's why the one puff survival rate is almost zero. None of us are stronger than nicotine but then we don't need to be as it is just a chemical with an I.Q. of zero. It does not plot nor conspire and is not some demon within you. It's a chemical.

The key to nicotine dependency recovery isn't dragging out 72 hours of detox by toying for months with gradual weaning or creative means for delivering nicotine. You have a right to know that the over-the-counter patch and gum generated an average 93% six-month smoking relapse rate in the seven OTC studies conducted to date (Tobacco Control, March 2003), that almost 100% of second time nicotine patch users relapse within 6 months (Addicton, Jan. 2004), and that 36.6% of all current nicotine gum users are now classified as chronic long-term gum users (Tobacco Control, Nov. 2003). The key to recovering "you" is education and understanding.

Is encountering your subconsciously conditioned nicotine feeding cue (times, places, events, emotions) that are in need of reconditioning a bad thing? Are almost all cues reconditioned and broken by a single victory in not providing the demanded substance? Is time distortion a normal recovery symptom? Do all subconscious crave episodes last less than three minutes? Can distortion make the minutes feel like hours? Can looking at a clock bring honest perspective? Does the number of episodes peak at an average of 6 on day three and decline to just 1.2 crave episodes per day by day 10?

Does nicotine really double the rate at which caffeine is metabolized? Will your caffeine blood-serum level really increase by 203% if you drink the exact same amount of caffeine after ending all nicotine use? If you are a heavy caffeine user can elevated levels of caffeine cause additional anxieties making nicotine dependency recovery harder than need be?

Why could you skip breakfast and even lunch when smoking nicotine and never feel true hunger pains? Can difficulty concentrating during early recovery, and other low blood sugar type symptoms, often be easily corrected by simply learning that nicotine is no longer your spoon and you must again learn to properly fuel your body? How can temporarily (72 hours) drinking natural acidic fruit juices like cranberry help to both stabilize blood sugar and accelerate depletion of your body's reserves of the alkaloid nicotine?

These are only a few of the hundreds and hundreds of nicotine dependency recovery issues explored in detail at WhyQuit.com, a free online motivation, education and peer support forum. If you are addicted to nicotine then we invite you to explore the amazing world of online nicotine dependency recovery. I think you'll be surprised at how much there is to learn about the deadly insecticide that now controls your brain, health and life-expectancy.

The next few minutes are entirely doable and there's only one rule - no nicotine today! John


JoeJFree Gold

February 27th, 2007, 11:12 am#23

Here's what the two founders of this forumhad to say earlier in this wonderful thread:
From: John (Gold) Sent: 5/26/2002 9:18 PM
Don't kid yourself into believing that you'lll ever be stronger than nicotine. None of us are! It doesn't require strength to break free and stay free. It requires desire, patience and understanding! Years of feeding your chemical dependency upon nicotine, and sensing relief from sagging blood serum nicotine levels within 8 to 10 seconds of that very first puff, has bred a tremendous sense of impatience when it comes to complying with your mind's commands to obtain more nicotine. The first step toward building a sense of patience when it comes to breaking free is in understanding the source of our impatience! It isn't all that hard
From: Joanne - Gold Sent: 6/5/2002 1:41 PM
If you are just starting out and wondering if you can hold on to this quit forever.... STOP! All you have to do is get through the rest of the day without taking that first puff. Each day free from the grips of a powerful addiction, is a victory. Day by day the healing process takes shape, recovery symptoms fade and comfort does come.

Hold on tight! Your life worth is any temporary challenges.

Just for today...not one puff...no matter what!


June 26th, 2009, 6:26 pm#24

This sounds like very good advice I am on day four and this by far has been the toughest day of all sitting at work but my brain is all fuzzy seem to be screwing up things that I do on a daily basis but everytime I think I want to go out for a break I remember how far I have made it and how far that would knock me down. I refuse to disapoint my kids they are so proud of me even though it's only been a few days and I am very proud of my self. Now I just need to make it through this weekend one day at a time and maybe my progress will convince my husband and friends to stop. I will make it through the rest of today without Nicotine. NTAP.

tammy - Free and Healing for Four Days, 7 Hours and 24 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 7 Hours, by avoiding the use of 86 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $24.13.