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Doc Quit date 14th October 2008
Oct 23 10 4:28 AM
I picked up a cigarette, with a flip of the lid and on strike from my thumb I had flame. Why am I doing this? I know better. I know that one puff will ruin all the effort that I put myself and my family through. Why in the world am I doing this? The lit cigarette in my mouth is winning over these thoughts, as I take that first drag. No sooner than the smoke fills my lungs, I feel huge disappointment in myself. How could I have done this, how stupid. The claws of the nicotine demon welcome me back and promise to comfort me, but at the moment, I feel terrible.
That was the dream/nightmare that woke me up. This was my first smoking dream, it was so vivid, and seemed so real. This is one dream that will not come true!!
Winning the battle for 2 weeks, 2 days, 17 hours, 49 minutes, 53 seconds.
Oct 23 10 9:51 AM
The smoking dreams are common if not universal among ex-smokers. It is especially common when a person is off a short time period, and if it occurs within days or weeks of a quit, it is likely to be extremely disturbing and very realistic. Realistic enough in fact that the ex-smoker will wake up smelling and tasting a cigarette, convinced that he or she has actually smoked. I have had numerous clients search the house for the butt, it was that realistic of a sensation. Let me explain first why the physical sensation is so pronounced.
When first quitting, one of the early physical repairs that start up is cilia production. Cilia are tiny hair-like projections that line your trachea and bronchus, constantly sweeping particulate matter out of your lungs. When you smoked, you first slowed down, then paralyzed and would eventually destroy cilia. This is why smokers often have more colds and flues, they wipe out the first line of defense against the incoming microbes causing these illnesses.
When a person stops smoking, usually within 72 hours or so, cilia starts to regenerate. The ex-smoker may start cleaning out the lung in a matter of days. One of the early symptoms first encountered is coughing and spitting out, this is mucous and trapped matter that was never being cleaned out efficiently while smoking but now has an escape route and mechanism to start sweeping it. Ugly but good, you are starting to clean out a lot of garbage in your lung. Much of the garbage is tobacco tar--tobacco tars that have a very distinct taste and smell.
Let's say you are dreaming now, maybe a totally innocuous dream having nothing to do with smoking. While sleeping, cilia are sweeping, tobacco tars get brought up, reach sensory nerves for taste and smell and low and behold, you create a dream sequence involving a cigarette. But not only are you now dreaming, physical sensations of taste and smell persist upon awakening. This then becomes a real smoking sensation.
This gives a plausible explanation of why the dream occurred and why it was so vivid. But that is not the end of the significance of the dream. The dream can be interpreted in one of two ways upon awakening, and quit often, the ex-smoker takes it as a sign that they actually want to smoke. After all, they had been off smoking and just dreamt about it, that means they want to smoke, right?
I used to get calls in the middle of the night for clinic participants panicked by the dream. They would start off saying, "They can't believe it, off all this time and they still want to smoke." They knew they wanted to smoke because they dreamt about it. I would then ask them to describe the dream. They would tell about the vividness and realism, and they would almost always say it started to take on a nightmarish proportion. They would wake up in a sweat, often crying, thinking that they just smoked and blew the whole thing, that they were now back to square one. That all that time off smoking was wasted.
As soon as they would finish describing their feelings, I pointed out one very obvious fact. They just dreamt they smoked and assumed that meant that they wanted to smoke. They woke up and upon further clarification, they describe the dream was a nightmare. This is not the dream of someone who wants to smoke; it is the dream of someone who is afraid of smoking. This is a legitimate fear considering the ex-smoker is fighting a powerful and deadly addiction. Hence, it is a legitimate dream too. It kinds of gives you a sense of how bad you would feel if you actually do go back to smoking. Not physically speaking but psychologically. If the dream is a nightmare it makes you realize how bad this feeling is without having to actually have smoked and fallen into the grasp of nicotine addiction again. It can give you some perspective about how important not smoking is to your mental health.
The dangerous dream is when you smoke a whole pack in it, hack and cough, get socially ostracized, develop some horrible illness, end up on your death bed about to let out your final live breath-and all of a sudden wake up with a smile on your face and say, "that was great, wish I could do that when I am awake." As long as that is not the dream you were having, I wouldn't let myself get to discouraged by it. If that is the dream, then we may need to talk more.
In regards to smoking, no matter what you do in your dreams, you will be OK as long as you remember in your waking state to Never Take Another Puff!
There is no "Nicodemon"
The in-depth view of why we don't embrace the term of "Nicodemon."
Nicodemon seems to give the impression of an evil persona associated with the chemical nicotine. Nicotine is no more evil than arsenic or carbon monoxide or hydrogen cyanide--all chemicals found in tobacco smoke. Although nicotine is unique among the thousands of other chemicals that comprise tobacco smoke because it is the addictive chemical in tobacco.
Even so, the idea that nicotine is somehow calling to a smoker who is off smoking for weeks or months is quite inaccurate. It is the person himself or herself whose own mind is creating the desire from triggers that he or she is experiencing. Those triggers are also not evil, they are just life events being experienced for the first time.
I think the problems I have with the terms is they make nicotine seem to have more power than it actually does. The personification given to it can make an individual feel that nicotine has the potential of tricking him or her into smoking. An inanimate object such as a chemical has no such power. As John has said often nicotine has an IQ of zero. People do not overcome the grip of chemical addictions by being stronger than the drug but rather by being smarter than the drug.
Lets not give nicotine more credit than it is due. Lets not make it some cute and cuddly or evil and plotting entity--it is a chemical that alters brain chemistry. It is no different than heroin, cocaine or alcohol. These drugs don't have cute names given to them either and giving them to nicotine can start to make it seem different than these other substance--more trivial or less serious in a way. Nicotine is not more trivial than other drugs of addiction and in fact kills more people than all other drugs of addiction combined.
I think the only place where I think I have ever appreciated the term "Nicodemon" is in this one string. Because in this one post the lies that people make up in order to secure their continued use of a deadly drug are all dispelled in one quick swoop. It has a short, simple and catchy title that seems to fit the logic used in this piece very well--Nicodemon Lies. But anyone reading this whole article and the associated links quickly will realize that these are not the lies of a demon, these are the lies made up by an addict rationalizing, legitimizing, defending and protecting his or her drug use. They are the lies that people make up and tell themselves to defend the otherwise un-defendable.
People cannot rationalize the reason that they smoke with truths; they can only do it with lies. More important for people here though is that a person cannot secure his or her quit by telling himself or herself lies either, but he or she can secure his or her quit by telling himself or herself the truth. The truth is that the only way to keep yourself smoke free is to simply accept the truth that to stay smoke free you must never take another puff!
Oct 23 10 8:04 PM
The dreams won't hurt... but acting on them can quickly turn into a nightmare and a full blown addiction in full blown reality. Stay strong, you are doing great!I can tell you it gets easier and it's worth every bit of effort and crave you fight! Stay smarter than the addiction is strong and Never Take Another Puff! You are free, and no one can take that from you! NO ONE!Congrats on being half way to green! In the beginning I couldn't even think that far ahead. Now I look back and can't believe I was once filling my lungs with poison and feeding my brain with nicotine. It's wonderful getting back to the "real" me... and it will be for you too!KellyFree and healing since Sept. 19, 2010
Oct 28 10 3:30 PM
Nov 2 10 7:26 PM
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Nov 5 10 6:19 PM
Nov 6 10 2:09 PM
I passed one month a little after 10:00
AM EST today 11/6/2010. What a month, changes in sleep, eating,
coffee& alcohol consumption, and about everything else. Things feel a
lot better now. I hardly think about smoking at all. Anymore they are
just thoughts and not craves. I am so glad I quit.
I never want to go through that month again, I will never take another puff.
4 weeks, 3 days, 3 hours, 33 minutes, 37 seconds!
Good Luck to all
Nov 16 10 5:21 AM
Jan 1 11 5:34 PM
Jan 1 11 7:31 PM
Jan 6 11 10:14 PM
Jan 7 11 12:41 PM
"You don't have the
option of one, and if you try to test the theory,
you are going to find yourself
a smoker again."
Mar 8 11 9:14 PM
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