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Oneistoo

Oneistoo's Quit Journal

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... was it enjoyable as you expected, or was it an illusion all along?

 

It was not an illusion, and yes, it was enjoyable. But DOING IT is just not a good idea for all the obvious reasons. Besides, I've been wanting for a very long time to see what lies beyond life as a smoker. 

.

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I think life as a nonsmoker is much like life as a smoker except healthier. With more money

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I think life as a nonsmoker is much like life as a smoker except healthier. With more money

 

This is where I am pretty sure it changes you more fundamentally; to have successfully gone from being highly addicted to something through "conquering" your addiction to living addiction-free. There has got to have huge personal psychological benefits to your self-esteem and sense of self-worth, and that has got to reverberate throughout your life-situation. I'm just sensing this, obviously, as I have only been able to stay quit for a year before. 

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It was not an illusion, and yes, it was enjoyable. But DOING IT is just not a good idea for all the obvious reasons. Besides, I've been wanting for a very long time to see what lies beyond life as a smoker. 

.

One - each quit is intensely personal and there is no right or wrong. I respect that.

 

However - the line above encapsulates for me the difference between an Easy quit and a hard quit.

 

I take my hat off to people who quit something that they genuinely enjoyed. That is the triumph of willpower over the desire for gratification. I could not do it.

 

In relative terms, my quit is easier - because I became aware that I did not enjoy a cigarette, never had enjoyed a cigarette and never will enjoy a cigarette. This realisation is what made the quit possible for me. 

 

This is the Allen Carr EasyWay approach - not some flash of genius from me.

 

The only genuine benefit that I received from a cigarette was the relief of a craving for nicotine caused by the last cigarette. Sure - I attached lots of meaning to smoking - "Hmmmmm..lovely dinner, now a cigarette and I am complete", "Hmmmm..I need to think - I know a cigarette will help", "Phew, what a day! I deserve a cold beer and a cigarette". None of those are REAL benefits - they are meanings that I attached to smoking. Ingesting a poisonous cloud of smoke NEVER actually helped me think (it removed the distraction of my brain craving nicotine), it NEVER helped me relax (actually it was a stimulant).

 

I do not stay quit because smoking is bad for me, I stay quit because smoking NEVER did anything good for me.

 

I just wish that it had not taken me 30 years to work out the con. 

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Stu....you said that perfect....

We still enjoy all those things ...without clogging our lungs at the same time...

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I've changed to the avatar I used more than ten years ago to stop drinking alcohol. Alcohol, btw, follows the same logic as cigarettes so you are really only deluding yourself that you enjoy drinking alcohol, in reality it is a vile cancer-producing neurotoxin disguised in pleasant smell, taste and color, surrounded by clever marketing and cultural permissions, that, if you ingest it dilligently, will hook you and make you addicted. The same goes for sugar, and all of the other psychotropic substances. Sic transit gloria mundi.

 

Anyway, I spent the morning swearing and I constructed enormously long sequences of expletives.

 

I'm at 44 hours into the 72 hours as I write this. I'm eating white cabbage, raw. There were some really fresh cabbage heads at the supermarket yesterday, and eating them provides a great and satisfying crunch. The aliveness of this food beats the soulless and nutritionally dead candy. 

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I'm stealing this from Marti to Rob, it's good:

 

I want to be real for a minute. Sometimes, I used to wish smoking was the answer cause not smoking felt hard. The next day it would be like a gift of an easy day and it would re set me. This does not happen anymore Rob, I promise! I learnt that when it felt hard...THAT IS WHEN THE QUIT WAS GROWING... like got that day done, don't ever have to face that again, winning! 

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At four this afternoon I finally hit 72 hours. Btw, this morning I had a very long but not too hard craving. It only ended when I had to rush to an appointment with my eye doctor and got distracted by doing this. This afternoon I had several more cravings, but I wanted to at least put it off until after I had hit 72 hours (the logic was that I had been so focused on the 72 hours, I wanted to hit that mark). And now, at the 76-hour mark the cravings are no big deal.

 

I’m going to be hit with cravings probably for a very long time to come. That’s just the way it is, and it is commensurate with the many years I’ve been smoking and how engrained it is in my life. It worries me a bit that my “fighting spirit” for staying quit seems so low. It’s like I’m not serious about it. Which kind of doesn’t make any sense at all when you take into account how many, many, MANY times I have tried to quit and stay quit, using every method under the sun to make it happen. Why would I do that if I was not serious about quitting?

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You will not be hit with cravings for a long time to come. I'm not.

 

You have quit. Its done. To undo it requires you to consciously sabotage it. 

 

Every day at this early stage is a big deal. Its a great achievement. Well done.

 

Gritted teeth and white knuckles is a look that works for some people - and sometimes it might be required - but most of the time, a relaxed smile and a cheeky glint in the eye is a better look.

 

To borrow from Marti - you are winning One!

 

Nice avatar by the way. ;-)

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I stole this advice from Humbled:

 

Take it minute by minute, hour by hour and day by day -it's like a big game and if you are competitive you will certainly win - habits and cravings versus determination and will....you already won round one so kick hell week in the arse and never look back.  We are here to encourage you but you just like the rest of us here have to do the hard work on your own.

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Day #4 is almost over. I had some why-don't-I-just-go-buy-some-cigarettes-and-smoke-them-and-then-quit-again thoughts this morning, but they passed although they left me feeling a bit depressed and a failure in life in general. I think I'm just unaccustomed to living a no-smoke life.

 

I had a great workout at the gym, and there was a moment in my running where I felt that I was getting high. So I knew I would feel wonderful for the rest of the day. I'm on hour 5 of bliss since my workout. Plus some assorted pains from pushing myself at the gym

 

My goal is to go to the gym as soon as it opens, so I avoid all of the morning-without-cigarettes confusion and instead start the day off in a great mood from working out. It should be doable. And I'm incredibly curious to see the gym at 5:30 in the morning! Who the hell is there? What do they look like?

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GYm at 5.30 is people like Babs :)  Nutters if you ask me, 6am meditation is much more my style!

 

I love your comments about swearing. It's like a victory if you can connect 3 or more swear words together and man does it feel good sometimes to get it out...you know we have a swearing thread right?? 

 

Are you serious about quitting? Well you do keep trying it :)  You wouldn't be human if youdidn't doubt. No one ever embarked on any project shouting from the rooftops oh I have this in the bag!! What will help is pre responding to your own SOS and promising yourself you will post one BEFORE you ever grab a smoke again. Trail back through the board to April and you will see a very sorry state of Marti, wined up to the hilt and frantically searching for cigs...but i had promised to SOS and then BAM there's my own words...can't argue with myself can I...well i probably can but we'd need another thread for that :)

 

Write a list of why you don't wanna smoke and cart it everywhere. Get something to do with your hands, crystal, cut a straw i half...any form of distraction. 

 

x

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Day 5 over and day six begun. I felt like smoking this morning. Because there's no more nicotine in my body it's a lot easier to tell myself that I'll do X, Y and Z before I'll review whether I'll smoke or not. Before I knew about the 72 hours, I'd turn into a robot who gave up the quit right away and went and got cigarettes "just one more time." 

 

Instead, I went to the gym and pushed myself. I've been doing a lot of ab work lately, and as I finished some new crunches on the incline bench I thought my abs were now so shot that I wouldn't be able to get off the machine by myself! I scanned the room, and the closest persons there were so far away from me that I'd have to yell for help pretty loudly. Ah well...I concentrated mightily and was able to pull myself off the machine. 

 

Back home, of course I no longer felt like smoking. Getting really sore kind of helps with this, I think. I'm also competing with myself on the treadmill. And I need lung capacity to be able to continually improve my running. 

 

I'm craving lots and lots of very cold water. I let the faucet run until the water feels like it's hauled up from deep inside the frosty ground and I fill giant tumblers with it. It tastes so good, far better than anything else I could drink. :)

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Day 7 almost over. I went to the dentist this morning because I broke a molar during the weekend. After I've been to the dentist in the past, I've always gone home to smoke (or smoked in the street back when I did that). So the thought of smoking really spooked in my head. It was augmented by the fact that I really don't have money in my budget right now for a broken molar, so I felt angry, powerless and like a loser at the same time. On top of that my dentist rubbed me the wrong way, which very likely was her reaction to me rubbing her the wrong way in the first place and me very likely beaming out all sorts of negative energy. 

 

I had to stop by the supermarket on my way back, and my mind kept coming back to buying a pack of cigarettes. The thought of just smoking FOR TODAY and then continuing with not smoking tomorrow, or perhaps just chain-smoking ten or so cigarettes and then pouring water into the rest of the box and throwing it out, was really tempting. But I knew that I would break the continuity of my quit, and what I felt was much worse, I WOULD SET UP A PATTERN WHERE THIS WOULD BE OK TO DO IF THINGS GOT A BIT ROUGH IN MY LIFE. And isn't that already where I have been for most of my smoking career? 

 

Suddenly I thought, "Let me just buy some candy instead." And because I'm over the 72 hour physical withdrawal from nicotine, my body and mind complied that yes, this was a good idea, and the thoughts about smoking cigarettes disappeared. 

 

I bought the candy, and had a few pieces. I'm glad I have disassociated going to the dentist from smoking, and I'm glad I didn't set up a new pattern of breaking my quit when things get rough. 

 

I'm still angry, though. Angry that I have spent so much money on cigarettes over the years. 

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Good work One.

 

Trigger defeated. Big tick.

 

New pattern. Big tick.

 

Seeing tobacco firms for what they are. Big Tick.

 

I hope that the tooth is better and that you sleep well.

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A thought has popped into my mind a lot since I read it about three days ago: "Feeding my addiction." It's a better way of putting it than "Smoking a cigarette."

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I'm a new Convert as well Oneistoo! Honestly, it does get easier just as Everyone on this site tells us. Like you, I had thought that just one smoke would help but as one Person on this site said, cigs don't come in ones they come as a pack. Tomorrow is Day 21 for me & the cravings are not nearly as strong. I had a rough time with insomnia the first 2 weeks but that too has settled. It just takes time & lots of support & willpower (which I have never been good at lol). You are doing great with talking yourself out of the cravings and replacing with something that is not deadly.

Good job!!!

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Hey One, Good job on the breaking of associations.

 

Might help you to think of them as "triggers" rather than "cravings". A trigger is simply a thought process that occurs when you repeat a situation you hvae faced before. Whereas a craving felt like a calling to something I didn't want! It's easier to keep perspective with a triggers I think.

 

The biggest win in a quit is splitting all the associations with when we smoked so you did a great job with that dentist thought! It took a while to understand so I want to share with you, the quicker you replace where you would have smoked with a new pattern..the quicker your triggers will go. 

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Might help you to think of them as "triggers" rather than "cravings". 

 

That's a good way to reframe cravings. And boy, do I have plenty of those. :)

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Woo-hoo getting closer to twelve days! I feel a lot different than I did during my last quit when I was at twelve days. 

 

Jackie66 wrote this somewhere here, and I'm stealing it:

 

"...the addiction stinks doesnt it!  It really is a case of being stronger than the addiction and realising that its not you who wants to smoke but the addiction making you think that, we gave it room to grow and it grows quickly, when that thought comes into our heads we need to be saying to ourselves that we have got this far in our quit without the need for nicotine so why the hell do we think we need it now, because we most certainly don't.  Take this forward now to the level of sticky, you can and you will do this believe in you."

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Just FYI....MQ moved this diary to the Quit Discussions portion of QT. I won't write here any more, and let this version drift toward the back. :)

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Love the Serenity Prayer....it works in all sorts of situations. :)

 

The Serenity Prayer for Nicotine Users

God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”     

* Selected from text written by Reinhold Neibuhr - 1926 
 

God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change...

As nicotine users, we cannot change our craving for nicotine, but even if we can't change the craving for nicotine, we can accept it. The truth is that until we can accept our craving for nicotine, we will not stop the repetitive behavior. Using some form of a nicotine delivery system is what we will do if we decide we cannot accept the craving.

 

It’s that simple.  If, for example, you are a cigarette smoker and you will not accept the craving, then you will surely light a cigarette. Or maybe you will have “one puff” or “one pinch” if you chew to get you through, but even one puff or one pinch is not accepting the things that you cannot change.

 

Accepting the craving does not mean we want the craving or like it. Accepting it means, first, recognizing the craving for what it is: a strong desire, physical and psychological, not a real need, for nicotine. That’s all. We do not fight the craving; rather we look at it, letting it be, not getting panic stricken or feeling sorry for ourselves, but saying, “Yes, I really am craving nicotine right now.”

 

We do not practice self-deception and try to trick ourselves into thinking we don’t want nicotine. This is an honest program. Nor do we try to hate the “habit” (or ourselves) so much that we quit. While we are actively using we cannot make our bodies stop craving nicotine, but we can live with a craving until it passes, and so we pray for...

 

Courage to change the things I can...
 

The thing that we can change is our unwillingness to live, even for a short time, with the craving for nicotine. We can, with God’s help and the support of the group, change our old way of dealing with craving, and deal with it in a new way: We become willing to live with the craving; we no longer use nicotine to get rid of the pain of craving. If we light a cigarette to relieve the craving, this shows we have not accepted what we cannot change and have not acted with the courage to change the things we can.

    

Of course, living with the craving is hard, sometimes very hard, but you are not alone. With the help of a Higher Power you can do it. That is what the Serenity Prayer is all about.

 

So we ask God to help us accept the craving, and then we ask God to give us the courage not to take care of this craving - as we have always done - by using nicotine once more. Thus, we need the serenity to accept the craving, and the courage to just let it pass...

 

And wisdom to know the difference.
 

The wisdom we ask for here is to become aware of the difference between our old way of handling the discomfort of craving in the past (for example, by compulsively lighting up) and the new way of dealing with cravings: accepting the craving until it passes, uncomfortable though we may be for a few moments, understanding that a craving will pass whether we use nicotine or not.

 

The strength and courage to live as former nicotine users with this initial discomfort does come if we ask for it, even though it may take time. What we receive is not raw will power, but a Power that comes from our Higher Power, from the group, and from our innermost self. The power we actually want is love! It is only with this kind of power that we can become ex-nicotine users and receive a new life free from nicotine addiction.

 

The reason we did not become ex-nicotine users years ago is that we chose not to live with the craving. Every time we craved, we gave in and used nicotine. We kept hoping that in some magic way a day would arrive when the craving would disappear or we would find an absolutely painless way to stop being addicted. That day never came. Each of us kept repeating our favorite rationalizations or excuses for using tobacco, our own justifications for not living with the craving. And we kept craving and using, craving and using, year after year.

 

But now we can change all that. The moment we can accept what is -“I want nicotine” - and face it with the courage God gives us, we can say, “I choose not to handle this craving by using nicotine,” then we become ex-nicotine users!

 

If you continue to use nicotine even though you say this prayer, then say it again, and again, and keep saying it while you reflect what it means to you, a nicotine addict. Eventually it will work. It will not work if you are not sincere, but if all you can do at first is to say the prayer without believing it, then at least do that! Some time may be needed for you to receive the power to live with the discomfort that comes from craving, but eventually it will come. In time, the craving will diminish greatly, and someday, we trust, it will disappear altogether. However, if you have a slip, and for example, you are a smoker and light one up, accept yourself reverently and say the prayer again the next time!

 

Remember, it is not really the stress, frustration or even the craving that causes us to keep using nicotine again, but rather our lack of serenity and courage to deal with the craving. Help comes from your Higher Power, from the group, and from your own healthy inner self! May God be with you now!

Nicotine Anonymous

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Hmmm....I relapsed. Before you say, "Why didn't you SOS???" I have to say that I went into some kind of auto-pilot and didn't wake up until much later. 

 

New quit meter, new start. 

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