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Group Discussion WK/42: How is a commitment to NOPE essential for a successfull quit?


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Why is a firm commitment to NOPE (Not One Puff, Ever) essential to a successful quit?

 

How do you make a commitment to NOPE when you're not even sure if you can make it 1 hour or 1 day without smoking?

 

In the beginning, how did you stick to NOPE?

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N.O.P.E. 

Was what got me through the day in the beginning. Coming to the board and actually making the commitment. My cup of coffee in hand pledging replaced smoking with coffee. The fact that I made a pledge and essentially publicly gave my word not to smoke got me through. 

 

When I first started pledging NOPE I always added (just for today) because that was what I was giving at that moment... day to day. which became week to week,  month to month. The E means ever for me now.  I will never again pick up a filthy cigarette, I have no desire to, I loathe what they were doing to me and I am glad that I opened my eyes. That daily commitment is now a lifetime commitment.

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I remember back when I first tried to quit in 2011.  I had psyched myself up that it was going to be so tough and near impossible.  I knew I was addicted, thought I enjoyed smoking, that is benefited me and plus, I wanted to quit only because I knew it was bad for me, not because I was a slave to the addiction.

 

I had just moved to MD from NC and was renting a room in a house with few other people as my family was back in NC planning the big move up north.  I was the only one who smoked in the house and I remember after cooking my dinner one evening that I would try and quit smoking.  Try doesn't work but more on that another time.  I went to the gas station to get some gas and and by the time I got home and I had convinced myself that I couldn't take it anymore and I bought a pack and started again.  That quit lasted about 30 minutes. 

 

It wasn't until a little over 1 year later that I made a firm decision to quit.  This time, I read all that I could about this addiction at whyquit.com and spent countless hours reading about how nicotine affected my body.  At this point, I knew enough about the addiction to know that I was not going to suffer from withdrawal like I had convinced myself that I was going to (I was rationalizing smoking by convincing myself how horrible quitting would be) and just quit.  Although I had some cravings, it was nothing like I had built up in my had previously.

 

I wondered how long I would be able to stay quit because of so many failed attempts in the past.  I stumbled across this timetable of how your body is healing each day once you quit and I looked at it every single day.  It was my motivation to stay quit.  I made a commitment to myself, nobody else, that I would stick to NOPE no matter what circumstance I found myself in.  Trust me, I found myself in plenty of them.  :)

 

When you make a commitment, you have to stick to it.  Making a commitment to never take another puff is the only way to stay quit.

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NOPE is a game changer.  When I finally accepted that to be a successful quitter I had to stick to NOPE, no matter what, it became so much easier.  A decision or commitment had been made.  If you give yourself an out eventually you'll find a reason to fail.  I've never regretted it one minute!    I wanted my life back.  I wanted to sit on the floor playing with my kids and not be wishing I was outside smoking.  I didn't want to feel guilty for being outside smoking. 

 

I have my life back and I'll never give it away again, that's how I was able to stick to it.

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One of the most important things I learned from an online quit smoking forum is that everybody's quit is different. That really surprised me because we're all addicted to the same drug, right? So the process of quitting, the timing and intensity of the withdrawal symptoms, and the strategies we use to overcome our addiction forever should be the same for everyone. But as you watch many people tackle and overcome the beast you see that, indeed, there are a lot of different approaches that work. 

 

I firmly believe that if I ever again allowed myself to smoke a cigarette, I would soon be back to smoking full time. I've just seen too many people who had good, solid quits going but they let their guard down, smoked a cigarette, and within days were totally back to smoking. I can learn from others' mistakes.  However, I do not tell myself "N.O.P.E." every day. I do not take the N.O.P.E. pledge every day. I know that a lot of people do; I know that it really helps them to focus on their priorities every day. And that's great. But that strategy didn't appeal to me.

 

What really appealed to me and helped me keep my quit during the tough times was to have a very clear vision of how my life would be better when I no longer smoked. In particular, I imagined myself being fit and healthy enough to go mountain biking like I used to long ago. The phrase I would repeat to myself over and over when I was battling withdrawal was, "I would rather be able to ride my bike than smoke." Picturing myself biking along a county road in autumn was my equivalent of "N.O.P.E.".

 

So while I understand and agree with NOPE, one is not REQUIRED to repeat that phrase to themselves or to take the NOPE pledge in order to quit smoking. The NOPE pledge is one way to do it, it is a very good way to do it. But there are other good ways to strengthen your commitment and help you hang on during the tough times. The important thing is to find a way that works for you to Keep The Quit!

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That's right Chrys, it's the commitment that matters, not the words or phrases.  I don't take the pledge either or repeat the words to myself but I believe in the message behind it because the message is that if you smoke, even one, you'll be right back where you started.

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NOPE was one of the things that got me to where I am today. I am still pledging after more that a year quit, with no plans to stop.

 

For me, NOPE was a promise to myself that I would not smoke, just for today. It was my line in the sand - once I'd posted my commitment, smoking was no longer an option. In the beginning, I would tell myself that I had already pledged NOPE for the day, and if I still wanted to smoke tomorrow, then that's fine, just not today... I would deal with tomorrow, tomorrow! And if I couldn't keep a promise to myself, then what good was I, and did I really want to be that person who can't even be honest with himself?!

 

Also, for me, the comradery of the pledge... It wasn't just me pledging, its all of us - we've all pledged not to smoke TOGETHER. We were all in the same boat, and that is a really big deal for me.

 

Some days (most days) I would pledge NOPE as soon as I woke up, or if I was feeling particularly week, stay up past midnight so I could pledge before I went to sleep... There were a few days where I woke up pondering if I would smoke... I didn't pledge for a long time those days, and they were horrible days where I would fight with myself... When I would finally pledge on those days, probably on the afternoon, then it felt like a weight was lifted from my shoulders.

 

Rest assured, if you see me post NOPE, then it is an absolute guarantee that I will not smoke, just for today.

 

NOPE was and continues to be an integral part of my quit.

 

I hope that makes sense, and it helps someone.

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It helped me alot, I joined a quit site when I was 6 weeks quit and I was wobbling a bit, I know if I had of went out drinking I would have gone back smoking so when I first learned the NOPE strategy it actually started to make me understand alot more about this addiction and once I pledged that day I knew smoking was off the table no matter what because I don't break promises, so it helped when i went out for a drink, I gave my word, I said I wouldn't smoke so I couldn't.

I can't cope with the guilt of it, just like breaking a promise to a child, I don't, can't and won't ever do it, same as promising myself and my fellow quitters, I gave my word,

 

I find pledging for a year is beneficial aswell.

 

NOPE xxx

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NOPE gave me something to hang onto when I doubted my own strength to quit. It was simple and direct in it's message and I did cling to it like a lifeline.  The Ever part gave me some problems so I would add just for today on the end.  

 

I replaced morning smoking with a NOPE and posting on the forum initially. As said above some nights when it was a struggle I would wait up to post so I tied myself to not smoking that day. 

 

In the early days I used the "Nope shuffle" where you switch from foot to foot repeating nope in your head. Later I would walk and repeat it in my head when the thoughts crowded me. I think it was important to have something I could turn to in any place I happened to be. 

 

I still pledge every day and I believe I wouldn't smoke anyway but it makes me accountable and I like that.

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Most defiantly coming here taking a daily n.o.pe has been a huge part of my quit....

In my early quit....I would just shout out the slogans I,d learned....

No.p.e was repeated quite a lot some days.....

I still enjoy ,coming here and doing the pledge with the newbies ,too....

I think of it as friends,taking hold of each others hand that day....

It's friends taking a promise to each other...they will not smoke for 24 hours....

I too intend to n.o.p.e for a while to come....

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One thing to keep in mind is that the only way to have a successful quit is to never take another puff from a cigarette again.  We're all just one puff away from a lifetime of smoking, stench, disease and an early death.

 

Without a commitment to NOPE, NTAP etc., you're doomed to relapse.  In other words, you have to be committed to your quit which means you're committed to never take another puff, or NOPE.  There is no other way.  :)

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I didn't usually pledge, but I knew in my mind that I would not smoke, because I knew all the new good things would fall away piece by piece if I started again. I guess it was a pledge in my mind.

I learned very early on that my rationalization that smoking "wasn't that bad for you if you only had a few per day," could not have been more wrong. My cough disappeared either day 1 or 2, can't remember, but almost instantly after 20 years of abuse. My workout stamina previously was that the 40 min per day med cardio just took it out of me - that changed straightaway too. Sky became the limit.

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I was really resistant to 'pledging' or committing to ANYTHING, .

 

It felt silly and ridiculous.

 

When I learned the truth about nicotine addiction ,

 

the truth about MY ADDICTION,

 

I realized I HAD to commit to myself and my quit if I truly wanted to Be Free.

 

The TRUTH was that I could NEVER have another puff .   

 

I tentatively whispered NOPE to myself and that small voice became louder and stronger

 

and helped break down my resistance,

 

NOPE helped to harden my resolve

 

and helped me to understand my addiction.

 

I know you can 'NOPE' in different ways...it may be semantics

 

but, for me, NOPE is neat and tidy and convenient and ALWAYS True.. 

 

 

 

eta:

The 'ever'  part of NOPE has been most instructive and thought provoking to me.

The never forever part that hangs people up.

It hung me up too.

I had to really accept the truth about addiction.

I am an addict FOREVER and that can't be changed.

I can handle not smoking day by day or hour by hour and living in The Now

but, I am an addict forever and ever.

Edited by Sazerac
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In the beginning...for me..NOPE meant...not one puff ever this minute, this hour.  I got thru 10 minutes...I can get thru another 10 minutes..then 20..then 30...then sometimes hours went by and I completely forgot about smoking...until I remembered that I forgot about smoking  :) 

Eventually..hours turned to days and weeks and months...

 

It has changed for me over the course of 2 years...while I used to pledge for accountability...I now pledge to re-enforce that commitment here and there and also just to join you all on the quit train nope chain...it's fun!  :)

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i never pledged. but used nope for first week as my way to make it. If I didn't take a puff, i would stay quit. then I was too far along to go back....pretty simple

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Nope is a small word, easy to say but the meaning behind it is huge for me it was simple to hold onto until I understood the addiction better

 

in the beginning I pledged everyday more for the contract that I said to myself " no matter what happens I will not smoke" some days that was hard to honour but the principle behind N O P E no matter what is what keeps your quit I grew to understand this.

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Nike said it best: Just do it.

 

Just do it.

 

The Sarge has never pledged... but he NOPEd it every day.

 

Now? He just lives every day without even thinking about it unless he comes here.

 

Just.

 

Do.

 

It.

 

 

 

Easy Peasy

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in the beging it was my way to  make sure i would not smoke that day now its to remind me i never want to go back to smoking  not one puff ever   has meaning to me  im enjoying my smoke free life    . i dont have to see a smoker to know theres on near i can smell it a long way off  yuk    so i committ to nope as a reminder where i was  nearly     19 months ago if i can do it you can do it  like srg says easy peasey         quitters     rule 

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The NOPE was the first thing that I found to keep my decision in the forefront of my mind - the idea of Not One Puff Ever is so simple but much more defined then I am not going to smoke- 

it's easier to have a cigarette once in a while without feeling guilty if you just say I'm not going to really smoke - or I don't smoke that much. I know I am guilty of that in the past.

 

I like structure of NOPE - better mindset -maybe that is why I was drawn to the concept of it - I look forward to seeing who is pledging for the day - I don't need to but I like to. It's part of my new routine I guess. I just think it is a great acronym - and one I plan to Follow from here on out.

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  • 3 years later...
On 10/18/2014 at 7:27 PM, MarylandQuitter said:

Why is a firm commitment to NOPE (Not One Puff, Ever) essential to a successful quit?

 

How do you make a commitment to NOPE when you're not even sure if you can make it 1 hour or 1 day without smoking?

 

In the beginning, how did you stick to NOPE?

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So many previous failed attempts because of convincing myself that “just one” was harmless. Daily NOPE means remembering having one is not harmless and it paves the way to a successful quit. 

 

The NOPE Pledge is also honouring the extent of the addiction and the work I have done to free myself. NOPE every morning upon waking is the prescription to treat the  addiction. 

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I do not publicly pledge. I did it at QSMB at first but it was simply not in there. It was my commitment but that commitment wasn\t in that expression, I don't know how to explain it. However, this quit has been a road to self-discovery and while at the previous attempts I genuinely believed in the concept of "just one", now I simply know it would mean becoming a smoker again. I see my reactions to sugar after a period of abstinence, how does the body react and I make a rational decision not to smoke, even when nagging thoughts appear. This knowledge makes everything easier.

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