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Aug 2 15 9:07 AM
Aug 2 15 10:43 AM
Zebra wrote:Hi Joan. I noticed that I had more intense cravings last week too. I'm not as far along as you though (26 days today). But when I analyzed the cravings I think they might have had more to do with other things that were going on in my life that I previously would have pushed aside or minimized with nicotine. So I'm taking them as just another association that needed to be busted!
The problem is people who are just off for one month, or a week, or a few days, or people who are here reading just considering quitting will see posts like this and begin to dread the "inevitable" two month mark where they have now been led to believe that they were going to begin to experience a tough and miserable time.
The truth is that there is nothing inherently threatening about the two month mark. Some people may experience some tough times, others will not. This is no different than the three month mark issue discussed above or any time frame.
Everyone reading here needs to know though that as long as they keep reminding themselves of the reasons that they first quit and keep reinforcing their reasons for wanting to stay off that even at these arbitrary moments of smoking thoughts that their quits will stay intact as long as they stick to the commitment that they made to themselves to never take another puff!
The very same principle applies to people who have been off for 10 days, or 20 days, or any other denomination of days. No one reading here at Freedom should be getting the idea that there is some predestined number of days, weeks, months of years that that are going to be bad. The only day that we know will end up being bad is the day that you renege on your personal promise to yourself to never take another puff.
Aug 4 15 11:41 PM
Aug 4 15 11:56 PM
Aug 5 15 7:24 AM
The fear of failure
The fear of success
The fear of relapsing
"I'll be a nervous wreck forever if I quit smoking"
Quitting smoking: A fate worse than death
Quitting smoking can make you calmer, happier and healthier
Smoking does not help you overcome stress
Resources explaining interaction between nicotine and stress
"I've been alcohol-free for eighteen years, and have spent time believing that if/when I quit cigarettes, I would have to face many more of my stuffed feelings—"
People in recovery from other addictions
Everything you did as a smoker you can do as an ex-smoker
From the string Alcohol and quitting:
Let me echo everyone else's welcome and assurance that you are in the right place. Your background in AA will serve you well here. You basically come to us with a thorough understanding of addiction. If you didn't, you would not be a recovering alcoholic but rather, an actively drinking one. You understand the principal of one drink, or one sip for that fact.
Now it is just transferring your experience and knowledge with alcohol and aiming it at nicotine. Same problem, drug addiction--same solution, stop delivering it into your system.
You probably feel quitting is scary, what will your life be like without smoking? Well, you probably had those exact same fears when quitting drinking. You were right when you thought your life would be different. It in all likelihood became immeasurably better. The same will hold true with this effort.
I always state it this way. Treat an addiction as an addiction and you will learn to control it. Treat an addiction like a bad habit and you won't have a prayer. Your use of nicotine is an addiction. Take your understanding of addiction, aim it at nicotine and you will do fine.
I should point out, whenever I have anyone who quits smoking after quitting another substance; they often have a harder time than many others in the group. Smoking may have been a crutch off the other substance. Now, when quitting, not only are they trying to break free from a primary addiction, but, they are trying to pull off the crutch from the other addiction.
While it may be harder up front, they are usually more successful than the average, again, because they understand addiction. Aim your other program at this and you will do fine.
If anything we can do to help, don't hesitate to ask.
Aug 5 15 5:33 PM
Aug 5 15 5:37 PM
Aug 5 15 5:40 PM
Aug 5 15 5:56 PM
"Boy did I ever drink my brains out, today," a clinic participant enthusiastically proclaimed, "But I did not smoke!" She was so proud of her accomplishment. Two whole days without smoking a single cigarette. To her, being bombed out of her mind was a safe alternative to the deadly effects of cigarettes.
Just 24 hours earlier I had made a special point of mentioning the dangers of replacing one addiction with another. In quitting smoking one should not start using any other crutches which might be dangerous or addictive. But this was not of concern to her. She said, "I already have a drinking problem, so what more could go wrong with getting drunk to quit smoking." Twenty minutes into the program, she stood up, passed out and had to be carried out.
Quitting by crutch replacement carries varying degrees of risks. Turning to any other addictive substance, even legal or prescribed drugs, carries the risk of a new addiction. In many of these cases the end result will be a more significant problem than just the original smoking. The new addiction can cause the person's life to end in shambles, and when it comes time to deal with the new dependance he or she will often relapse to cigarettes.
Turning to food, especially high calorie sweet foods, will usually result in a psychological need with a subsequent weight gain. The risk of weight gain is insignificant in comparison to the dangers associated with cigarettes. The ex-smoker would have to gain over 100 pounds to create the equivalent health hazard of cigarette smoking. But weight gain often results in a state of panic and frustration which can lead the ex-smoker to conclude that he or she would rather be a skinny smoker than an obese ex-smoker. The fallacy which causes the ex-smoker to reach this conclusion is that only two options exist for him or her - smoke or eat more. In fact, other choices exist. One is not smoking and eating in a manner similar to when he or she was a smoker. Another is increasing activity levels to compensate for the added caloric intake when eating extra amounts.
Some people turn to a healthy alternative as a crutch, like jogging or swimming. These activities carry low risk and, in fact, often result in physical benefits. But if they are being done as a direct crutch in maintaining abstinence, they pose one major threat. As with drugs, alcohol, or food, when the day comes that one must stop the activity, the seemingly successful ex-smoker will often relapse. Sometimes a minor ankle sprain will temporarily end a jogger's running, or an ear infection will interfere with swimming. What should be a temporary minor inconvenience ends in a tragic result - relapse to cigarettes. Again, the ex-smoker believes that only one of two states exist for him or her - either smoking or mandatory exercise. But, in actuality, a third choice exists, not smoking and doing nothing. This is not to say an ex-smoker should not take up physical activities after quitting. But exercise should be done for the enjoyment and for the true benefits derived from it. The ex-smoker should do it because he or she wants to, not because he or she has to.
If you are going to develop a crutch, make sure it is one which you can maintain for the rest of your life without any interruption. One that carries no risks and can be done anywhere, anytime. About the only crutch which comes close to meeting these criteria is breathing. The day you have to stop breathing, smoking will be of little concern. But until that day, to stay free from cigarettes all you need to do is - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
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Quitting smoking and mental health
"Will this get better?"
Medication adjustments that may be necessary after smoking cessation
Also, check out the string Depression: a normal reaction or a real organic depressive effect?
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