Retraining the conscious mind
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

22 Sep 2005, 20:50 #26

"Our former relationship with tobacco was extremely intense and produced millions of tiny independent memories of needing, craving, finding, opening, holding, striking, lighting, sucking, tasting, inhaling, feeling, ahhhhing, exhaling, ashing, butting, dumping, cleaning, brushing, buying, trying, failing, decaying, lying, hiding and crying.

How could we possibly expect ourselves not to NOTICE others still captive to tobacco or THINK about what they're doing as we encounter them throughout our day? We can't and we shouldn't! It's very normal!

....recognizing the fine distinction between THINKING about your recovery (and the fact that you are not smoking) vs. experiencing an URGE, CRAVE or WANT to put nicotine inside your body, is, in a very real sense, victory in itself!

Even brief periods of wanting new nicotine or a cigarette won't harm us at all. It's only when a quitter acts upon their WANT that they destroy their freedom, healing and glory!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! YQB John : ) (Zep)"
joejFree - Nicotine Free and Healing for Eight Months, Eleven Days, 22 Hours and 32 Minutes, (254 days)
Reclaiming 22 Days and 3 Hours
6373 nicotine delivery devices not used - $1,278.48 retained earnings.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

02 Jan 2006, 22:09 #27

from above.....

"I have to say that the number of seconds I still want a cigarette in a day is usually zero. It doesn't cross my mind, I don't remember to remember it anymore, if that makes sence. When I think about smoking, it is usually because somebody reminds me of that, for example by smoking. But thinking about smoking does necessarily mean wanting to smoke." Triin

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

24 May 2006, 23:56 #28

A Most Intense Dependency

Thinking about going grocery shopping and experiencing hunger pains are two different things. Yes, they can both happen at the same time but most often they don't. This very moment, you're here in the quitting store, stocking up on insights, thinking deeply about the topic of smoking but are you experiencing a crave. Maybe, but probably not.

A ten cigarette per day nicotine smoker, who smoked for ten years and averaged 8 puffs per cigarette has had a cigarette touch their lips 292,000 times, has tasted their burning cigarette's 4,000 hot particles and gases 292,000 times and has sucked nicotine deep into their lungs 292,000 times. Eight to ten seconds later they sensed nicotine arrive in their brain. Yes, 292,000 times - eighty times per day. How well do you know your name? How many times each day do you say or write your name?

Albeit chemical, our dependency upon smoking or using oral nicotine may have been the most intense relationship we've ever known. We're told that nicotine may be the most perfectly designed drug of addiction ever. When we anticipate a human hug or actually get one, we get a shot of dopamine. That "aaah" reward sensation. The same happens when we anticipate or eat an anticipated food, when we anticipate accomplishment or complete a non-routine task.

When anticipation or the excited event actually occurs the firing rate of millions of dopamine neurons in our midbrain increase from their normal baseline rate of about 4 bursts per second to as much as 25 bursts per second (25 Hz) depending upon the intensity of the stimulus. Entirely by chance the nicotine molecule fit into brain neuron receptors designed to receive acetylcholine (the a4b2 sub-type). Like your TV channel changer, it's the brain's conductor of an entire orchestra of neurochemicals, including initiating the flow of dopamine.

We've read research reports here at Freedom indicating that the key difference in using nicotine to steal dopamine versus having its flow controlled by life is that unlike the "aaah" sensation that comes from anticipating or receiving a nice cool glass of refreshing water when thirsty, the dopamine released by nicotine doesn't quickly get cleaned up. That's right, one of the "orchestra" of neurochemicals controlled by acetylcholine is the dopamine killjoy enyzme MAO B. With almost no MAO B, nicotine produced dopamine gets to linger on much longer.

We're not here to become ex-user neurochemists. But it's important to appreciate how nicotine is so gripping that through the hacking, coughing and the six shades of green that often came with that first nasty tasting puff, we each quickly started making excuses as to why we came back for more.

We're told that half of all our brother and sisters in bondage are not arresting their dependency prior to costing themselves an average of 13 to 14 years of life. What we've each done in staying nicotine free is pretty darn special. To think about a relationship that was this gripping, this intense and, yes, extremely dependency dependable is entirely normal. The imposter nicotine and its control of neurochemicals as diverse as adrenaline and MAO B may have made everything from the need for and "aaah" associated with eating a hardy breakfast or a child's loving embrace take a neurochemical backseat in life.

Nicotine dependency recovery can be one of the most glorious adventures we'll ever make if we'll only allow ourselves to not be afraid of the self-beauty that our mind's dependency has so deeply suppressed. Allow yourself to see, feel, smell, taste, hear and imagine the beauty gradually unfolding within.

Melissa (Toast) just shared with me the fact that she hasn't had a crave in years. My last crave was in December 2001 but then again we may both experience one tomorrow. But through all that I have never once seen someone smoking a cigarette, especially on television or in movies, when I didn't think about the topic.

We will never promise you that you will not think about where you spent all those years but we can promise that with each passing day the challenges, if any, will gradually grow fewer, shorter in duration and generally less intense.
Still just one overriding principle, one that will always remain our common bond, no nicotine today, Never Take Another Puff, Patch, Dip, **** or Chew!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

John (Gold x7)
Last edited by John (Gold) on 20 Mar 2009, 20:16, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:05

26 Jun 2006, 08:01 #29

Thanks Sal...You're the best. I think you must have been reading my mind tonight.

I'm so glad that even though I still sometimes think about a cigarette, I never want one anymore.
Christy - Free and Healing for Twenty Eight Days, 22 Hours and 52 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 1 Day and 4 Hours, by avoiding the use of 347 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $86.96.
My Quit Date: May 27, 2006 9:00 PM
Last edited by crissycrost on 20 Mar 2009, 20:16, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Oct 2006, 08:55 #30

Last edited by JoeJFree Gold on 20 Mar 2009, 19:55, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

09 Dec 2006, 21:28 #31

This one doesn't come up much but it is a very important thread with numerous lessons for the committed quitter to read.

Read all of the posts, many by John that help explain this crucial concept. It is OK to think about cigarettes, it is OK and normal to think about not smoking cigarettes as we defuse our thousands of triggering situations.... it is OK to even think about wanting a cigarette (or more accurately a nicotine delivery device). Therein is the key, stripping the 'romance'away from tobacco & cigarette use and making our mind see clearly that what we are missing is the effect of the drug therein.
We must never lose sight of what we are - addicts bound to a chemical compound - and stay focused on our recovery of self, recovery of our life as it should be and should have been save that fateful and permanently damaging initial encounter with the drug hidden within a popular well advertised activity. Yes, it was popular at the time, or seemed so, looking back 20, 30, 40 or more years. At the time for many of us it was a 'right of passage' or so it was made out to be. We need to acknowledge and thenleave all of that thinking behind as we begin anew to discover how our lives can truly be rewarding and calm now that we have regained control of our mood control circuitry.
I'm now almost two years free. Do I think about smoking now and again - yes. Does it threaten my life an an ex-smoker? Only if I allow myself to believe the lie, to buy in to the mirage that using tobacco is in any way a beneficial activity. By demystifying and objectifying tobacco and all of its delivery forms I have learned to keep the focus of my recovery on the 'root cause' - nicotine.
Only one rule to get and stay free & in control of me - No nicotine today by any means no matter what. Now That's a plan for Living!

JoeJ Free
because I wanna be as the alternative is deadly... now 1 year, 10 months, 29 days 22 hours removed from my last dose of nicotine and still only One Puff away from forfeiting my freedom of choice. It is that thought that allows me to choose to say no thanks, I really don't want to go back there again.
Last edited by JoeJFree Gold on 09 Aug 2011, 14:33, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:04

03 Apr 2007, 13:47 #32


i am almost at 4 months, and this post cought my eye in another current post. i figure i would bring it to the top to write my thoughts as well as recognize other newly greened/double greened, bronzed, silvered people may be thinking what i am thinking in regards to this subject.

i really appreciate the thought put towards defining thinking vs. wanting. i've wondered about my thoughts the past 2 months, and have tried to categorize them, differentiate them from prior thoughts.

when looking back, i can definitely recognize that my previous WANT is now a want, and a 'want' that size and that faint is actually a think. still with me?

i rejoice in recognizing the switch from primal desire to analytical thought, and recognize that i am one puff away from returning to that primal person i was before.

(over 110 days! i have lost count, but know i am close to bronze +1...i am not even feeling inspired to check my....okay fine, i'll check it...holy cow 115 days! see what i mean....)

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

09 Oct 2007, 19:35 #33

This one doesn't come up much but it is a very important thread with numerous lessons for the committed quitter to read.

Use the First button to read all of the posts, many by John that help explain this crucial concept. It is OK to think about cigarettes, it is OK and normal to think about not smoking cigarettes as we defuse our thousands of triggering situations.... it is OK to even think about wanting a cigarette (or more accurately a nicotine delivery device). It's OK to stay committed to our healing and staying nicotine free until comfort arrives, by NTAP - naturally.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

21 Nov 2007, 12:45 #34

From: John (Gold) Sent: 2/28/2004 10:57 AM
From: NicotineFreeJon (Original Message) Sent: 2/27/2004 10:00 AM
Hello Freedom Friends,

I haven't been here much recently, but I thought I would post an update.

Firstly, congratulations to all the newbies that have joined. You have made a great decision in giving up smoking, you will be amazed at just how quickly things get comfortable. Just stick with it through hard times and believe what all the older members say in that it really does become easier.

Personally, I have never particularly found this quit difficult and I am sure that it mainly due to keeping a positive frame of mind. I refused to let myself feel as though I was missing out on smoking in the early stages, and instead concentrated on all of the positive aspects of quitting. If I felt myself slipping I would simply come straight here and read some more to strengthen my resolve, at times visiting the site for several hours a day (becoming slightly obsessive!). As time has passed, I have become less and less dependant upon the site, and more and more in control of my own life again (this is not to say that I have become complacent, I think I will probably always come here for reinforcement, just less often). It's hard to believe that I could be this comfortable after just 2 months (in a couple of days, officially!), but I really am. I can honestly say that it's not often that I think about smoking each day, and even when I do, it will be a thought ABOUT smoking, not a thought about WANTING to smoke. The last couple of months have also brought some v. stressful times - car accident, illness, virus outbreaks @ work, etc. Through all of these occasions I haven't thought about smoking until I realised I didn't think about it after the event had occurred! I have also, completely conquered my major trigger of going to the pub, which prior to quitting I would have thought IMPOSSIBLE!

The thing that strikes me the most is that I am actually in control of living my life now, and can do what I want to do, when I want to do it, without worrying when I will be able to take my next fix.

Anyway, enough for now. I hope everyone is loving this as much as I am, and to all the new quitters..... no matter how difficult you think it is right now, stick with it, it WILL get better. Remember how long you smoked for. Probably a long time, so there will be no miracle cure. You may get it easy, you may get it hard. No matter how your quit goes, it will DEFINATELY succeed if you never take another puff.

Best wishes to you all


Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:07

21 Nov 2007, 16:25 #35

I think about smoking a lot these days but I would have to go back over 32 years to find a time when I wanted a cigarette less.

Before I quit I'm not even sure that I really wanted any of those millions of ciggies, but I certainly needed them because I was an active nicotine addict and I just had to have them.

Now that I no longer need nicotine I have a choice whether to have a cigarette or not and, because I really dont want one, I choose to never take another puff!!

Sean - free of nicotine now for Three months, three weeks, two days, 55 minutes and 26 seconds. 3451 cigarettes not smoked, saving £178.37. Life saved: 1 week, 4 days, 23 hours, 35 minutes.

Joined: 16 Jan 2003, 08:00

29 Dec 2007, 00:25 #36

Actions speak louder than words - or thought
Last edited by Sal GOLD.ffn on 20 Mar 2009, 20:19, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:14

23 Feb 2008, 01:02 #37

I DO want one. I hate not being able to smoke. But I know where it landed me, in the hospital not being able to breathe. My lungs are cooked, fried, toast. But I still want to smoke. Crazy. But I will not smoke, I know I will reach the comfort zone again one of these days. Kay

Joined: 21 Apr 2009, 02:43

13 Jun 2009, 17:14 #38

How many times? Just had one a few moments ago, the first one I ever had reading the forums.

The nice happy lady sat in the park, reading and enjoying her cigarette.

I thought, ohhh yes that was a nice thing to do. I had previously read it's ok to have pleasant memories?

Now a few minutes later and I am thinking yuck, gross! LOL

I guess my first reaction was the ahh! moment and my second reaction was maybe my first real remembrance of how gross and un-natural it is to **** hot smoke into your lungs.

Sometimes it is fun to go through this experience, I get to laugh at myself. I remember some comedian making fun of the mental state of that first person who decided to put hot, burning smoke into their lungs.

I particularly enjoy John's descriptions of addicts - " walk among the actively addicted as they publicly feed".

I have been quit for 2 Months, 3 Days, 13 hours and 14 minutes (64 days). I have saved $64.55 by not smoking 1,291 cigarettes. I have saved 4 Days, 11 hours and 35 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 10/04/2009 12:00 AM
The intelligent quitter's strategy combines an understanding of the Law of Addiction
with well-protected core motivations.

Nobody ever graduates from Addiction

Cathy, Gold

[Quit April 10, 2009]

Joined: 28 Oct 2009, 18:02

07 Nov 2009, 13:53 #39

What a relief - I really needed to read this today! I don't ever want to smoke again and I am certain of that, but I am fed up of thinking about it all the time. This thread has helped me realise this is actually a positive thing and will help stop me from ever smoking again.

I don't know what I'd do without this forum!

I have been nicotine free for 1 Week, 6 Days, 13 hours, 56 minutes and 47 seconds (13 days). I have saved £40.74 by not smoking 135 cigarettes. I have saved 11 hours and 15 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 24/10/2009 23:55

Joined: 29 Oct 2012, 05:40

20 Nov 2012, 03:49 #40

Good stuff ;). Thank you!!!