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Everything posted by MindHacker

  1. Craving a smoke badly. Not Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. Thought about posting an SOS, but I asked myself, "Am I really that close to flipping mindsets and going out to buy cigarettes?" Nah. It's too cold outside. It's dark. I've eaten a light, healthy dinner. I walked about a mile today with my dog, so I feel pleasantly invigorated. Don't want to pollute my lungs or hand over any savings to tobacco magnates. I was watching a series on Netflix about people tidying up their homes with Marie Kondo. As the families in each episode go through their "stuff" and decide what to keep or part with, I began remembering my former home and how much I have lost. The sadness made me teary for a few moments, but then I sat up straight and shook it off. I returned to present-oriented and forward-thinking. Shifting my focus triggered a powerful craving. This is the point where I would have celebrated the transition from gloom to acceptance by going outside to have a smoke. And now I'm remembering my own post today about a bright line. Gloom is on the other side of the bright line. I am on this side, the right side. The bright line is inviolable. Deep breaths. Craving is weakening. Another episode of exerting willpower, and now I can relax again. Not taking a chance of recurring cravings today, though. It's only 6:00-ish (pm), but I will go to bed early. I dreamed once, recently, that I was arguing about smoking with someone. I didn't want to, but he was strong and demanding. Other than that, no dreams about smoking or craving in my sleep. One's willpower ebbs as the day progresses and by evening temptations can feel impossible to resist. A few dark chocolate chips for a dopamine hit. A mango. Then brush teeth and to sleep.
  2. My work day usually starts at 9:00 am--or, at least, it has been for a few weeks. Today I begin work at 12:30. Time is motionless. The sensation of being suspended in air is unsettling, and in such a state of mind, I want a cigarette. This is a situation when, in the past, I would smoke. It would be a time--smoking--when I would collect my thoughts. A grounding time. Since I haven't been smoking for the past month (yaay), this would be a time when I would eat something sweet. I've begun reversing the trend of weight gain, so no sweets to provide a dopamine hit. Feeling fatigued early in the day. Fuzzy minded. Going to take the dog for a walk. That's what a nonsmoker would do, right? And what a non-overeater would do. OK, I can do this. After that, maybe I'll take a short nap. But then, I'm so afraid I'll oversleep and be late for work. I'll set two alarm clocks. Staying Quit takes some adjusting. My brain is weary from rethinking so that I don't fall into automatic actions, like going to the store to buy cigarettes, then falling wearily into a chair on the patio with coffee. Sound familiar?
  3. MindHacker

    Monday 14th January 2019

    "Never, never on a Monday...." I won't smoke today.
  4. ..."bright lines," a term that [George] Ainslie borrows from lawyers. These are clear, simple, unambiguous rules. You can't help but notice when you cross a bright line. If you promise yourself to drink or smoke "moderately," that's not a bright line. It's a fuzzy boundary with no obvious point at which you go from moderation to excess. Because the transition is so gradual and your mind is so adept at overlooking your own peccadilloes, you may fail to notice when you've gone too far. So you can't be sure you're always going to follow the rule to drink moderately. In contrast, zero tolerance is a bright line: total abstinence with no exceptions anytime. It's not practical for all self-control problems--a dieter cannot stop eating all food--but it works well in many situations. Once you're committed to following a bright-line rule, your present self can feel confident that your future self will observe it, too. And if you believe that the rule is sacred--a commandment from God, the unquestionable law of a higher power--then it becomes an especially bright line. You have more reason to expect your future self to respect it, and therefore your belief becomes a form of self-control: a self-fulfilling mandate. I think I won't, therefore I don't. (Baumeister and Tierney, 2011, pages 185-186.) Baumeister, Roy F. and Tierney, John. Willpower: Rediscovering the greatest human strength. (2011). New York. The Penguin Press. I feel more confident about saying "N.O.P.E." (never ever)--in addition to "not today," when I imagine a bright line into the future, separating my bright path from a dismal path that descends into darkness. That imagery and concept are helpful for me. Adding another coat of bright-paint to the line each day when I pledge to not smoke reinforces my willpower to stay on this light-filled side of the bright line.
  5. MindHacker

    Kate18 is One Month Smoke Free

    A whole month. Wow. I did it and it wasn't even terribly difficult. Most of the time. Regardless of how the experience of the first month has been, the point is that it was successful. My savings account is looking better. On to month two. Thank you, all, for your kind congratulations and other support. Your presence in this forum, and your responses when I was wavering, have made the difference between staying quit and relapsing. I came here to distract myself when I was craving. And I ate. Sigh. I am back to sensible eating, now that the cravings are diminishing. Only one or two a day, and those are milder and transient. I'm on my guard for surprise attacks in moments of stress however. Won't turn off my red-alert system.
  6. MindHacker

    Sunday 13 th January 2019

    I won't smoke today.
  7. MindHacker

    Kate18 is One Month Smoke Free

    Feeling happy. Also feeling the extra fat on my body from diverting energy from smoking to eating. Still, had a big piece of carrot cake to celebrate. Gotta change my solution to cravings.
  8. MindHacker

    Saturday 12 January 2019

    Won't smoke tomorrow, Saturday. Didn't smoke today. Makes it easier to not smoke tomorrow.
  9. MindHacker

    New trigger

    Brrrr. Feeling chilled and it's after dinner. The combination makes me want to bundle up and go outside to smoke. Also have a headache, which is rare for me. Increases desire to smoke. It's strong, so I'm resorting to my tactic of brushing my teeth, taking the dog for her poop-walk, and going to sleep. Brrrrrrrrrr. Craaaavvvve. Feeling chilled a trigger for anyone else?
  10. MindHacker

    Thursday 10 th january 2019

    I won't smoke tomorrow, Thursday. One day at a time.
  11. MindHacker

    Wednesday 9th January 2019

    Toughed it through a rocky -- whatever today is. I think my today is your tomorrow. Won't smoke tomorrow,, either. Strong craving. Oat chocolate cookie didn't dent the craving. Taking last resort action--going to sleep.
  12. MindHacker

    Tuesday 8th January 2019

    Tuesday forecast is for clear air; no smoke
  13. MindHacker

    Monday 7th January 2019

    Never, never on a Monday..... I won't smoke Monday.
  14. MindHacker

    Sunday 6 th January 2019

    No smoking here in New Jersey. Smokers here are exiled to the curb. (I'm at the airport.) So happy to be able to hug my tiny new granddaughter and know she isn't being tainted by smoke.
  15. MindHacker

    Three whole weeks

    Celebrated with a hot pastrami sandwich, batter-dipped French fries, and a diet coke. At a restaurant with my beloved son whom I only see a couple of times a year. Soon I'll be back home, eating my plant-based, whole foods diet. Thinking about how I want to celebrate one month. Maybe something that won't contribute to weight gain. Nah, that's no fun. Going to work out at the gym when I get back home. Time to make the weight reverse direction.
  16. MindHacker

    You Look Sad

    This was one of greatest fears, losing my teeth. I've realized my gums have receded. A man I know, someone who works near me has only a few random teeth. Stained teeth. I don't know how or what he eats. He's very thin. He smoked for decades. Then his doctor told him he could expect to die in a year or so or quit smoking. He quit cold turkey. Says he misses it nearly every day but won't go back.
  17. MindHacker

    Saturday 5th January 2019

    Won't smoke tomorrow, Saturday.
  18. MindHacker

    Friday 4 th January 2019

    Didn't smoke. Out of town, busy with family and jet lag. Forgot all about smoking and pledging. Mea culpa.
  19. MindHacker

    Thursday 3rd January 2019

    I won't smoke on Thursday.
  20. Apparently, mirror neurons are a tool in our mental survival kit. We watch other people, and if they live, we do what they did. I know, that's way simplistic. I've been feeling very low about having to travel. I don't like to fly anymore. I was a flight attendant for seven years and loved it. Don't know why I don't want to fly again. So, feeling low, and wanting to smoke. Yesterday, a shopper came unhinged and loudly and harshly berated me for the way I was ringing up her purchases. She immediately demanded a manager. I called for a manager, then remained quiet, respectful and apologized, and offered to allow another cashier to help her. The manager arrived, I finished the transaction, and continued on until the next break. I was seething with suppressed anger. (Before I went home, the manager called me aside and said that this is typical behavior for that customer; I did nothing wrong.) At my break, I recounted to another cashier what happened and told her I really wanted a cigarette. I explained that I had quit, but right now was wishing I hadn't. I wanted to smoke. Turns out she smokes; "I keep it to four or six a day." I had a brief memory of having told myself I'd just have four or six a day. Ha! I kept myself from asking her for a cigarette. I strongly craved a cigarette for the rest of the day and during my commute home. I was sorely tempted to ditch my quit. As I drove, I don't know why, but I thought about mirror neurons and how they are related to learning, peer pressure, and crowd behavior--the copy-cat effect. I rambled from thought to thought about it and then said to myself, "I can use this to counter the desire to smoke right now." I imagined two groups of people. I saw one group avidly sucking on cigarettes on a sunless day, with smoke billowing around and smelling up their clothes, hair, and breath. With x-ray eyes, I saw the smoke curling inside their lungs and saw damage being done to their bodies. The other group I imagined were jogging or swimming, biking, gardening, everyone in the sunshine and breathing the fresh air easily. I imagined myself walking on by the haggard looking, diseased smoking group and taking a walk in the park in the sunshine with my small dog, breathing fresh air and feeling great. I began to relax. I mindfully kept my attention on the sunny people, focusing on how these were the survival behaviors, and saw myself copying what they were doing. I thought about these mirror neurons and the impact my return to smoking could have on another new quitter on the QT forum. And what would I say in a post? Lame excuses, that's what. What if my returning to QT as a relapsed smoker, having to start over, triggered a copycat effect in one or more other QTers. I'd feel terrible. Mirror neurons and the copycat effect. We have to be careful about where we turn our attention, be mindful about whom we emulate, and remember that other people may be copying our behavior. I still feel low about having to fly, but I didn't smoke. Another day of appreciating QT and saying "no" to cigarettes.
  21. I just gotta quit celebrating with food. Two weeks. I wouldn't have posted it, but I've been troubled with strong cravings all day. Posting is a visual reminder that I've made it this far, may as well aim for another week.
  22. MindHacker

    Wednesday 2nd January 2019

    I will not smoke today. Three weeks quit.

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QuitTrain®, a quit smoking support community, was created by former smokers who have a deep desire to help people quit smoking and to help keep those quits intact.  This place should be a safe haven to escape the daily grind and focus on protecting our quits.  We don't believe that there is a "one size fits all" approach when it comes to quitting smoking.  Each of us has our own unique set of circumstances which contributes to how we go about quitting and more importantly, how we keep our quits.


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