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Old 22-01-2012, 11:33 AM
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austinlegro austinlegro is offline
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Default It does get easier.

"When is it going to get easier" seems to be constant question on FB.
Permit me to post here and link...

It does get easier.

Even better, it gets easier quicker once you know what to expect and how to react.

1. Nicotine withdrawal.
It'll be gone from your system over a couple of days and you'll feel like you're coming down with a cold. If you want to avoid those minor feelings at a time when you're dealing with the mental side then take some NRT and withdraw over whatever timescale you're comfortable with. Cravings are not withdrawal symptoms. Don't confuse the two. If you subscribe to NRT you will still want to smoke regardless of what the TV, nurse or NHS tell you. Conversely the psychological effect of taking a 'medicine' may reduce your desire to smoke.

2. Stopping Smoking (physical)
Not inhaling smoke increases the oxygen levels in your blood making you feel odd, intoxicated and spaced out. Many report insomnia and weird dreams. Taking NRT, particularly 24hr stuff can intensify this. The resulting repair of your body throws up all manner of things like ulcers, acne, lethargy and so on.

3. Stopping Smoking (mental) This is your actual quit.

Every time a smoking opportunity arrives your subconscious will prompt you to smoke. It doesn't make the blindest bit of difference whether you're sucking on an inhalator or whether you've smeared peanut-butter on a piece of sellotape and slapped it on your forehead. You will be prompted continually until you decide to light up. You don't even have to smoke, just lighting up will kill the prompt. The prompt isn't a need for nicotine, it's purely a need to smoke.
The prompts don't happen when there is no smoking opportunity. Flying is a classic example. I believe that traditional flight smoking etiquette is to try not to think about smoking until about 30 minutes before landing, panic through customs and baggage retrieval and then rush outside and smoke 2 with the cab drivers.
If you can convince your brain that you're on a flight that's never going to land then the prompts will be non-existent.
OK, that sounds a bit weird but we know that prompts don't occur when smoking is not permitted so the trick is to convince your subconscious that from now on that it's prohibited continually.

If you can out-stare a mental prompt that manifests itself as a physical need you're laughing and each little battle gives you better ammunition for the next one.
The craves come thick and fast in the early days but slow down due to the prompts being less regular. For example you get the morning prompt every morning whereas the lying on a beach in the sun prompt is a little less frequent!

Never forget that it was YOU who forced your subconscious to allow your lungs to admit smoke into them when the natural reaction is dramatically the opposite and it is YOU who has to put a stop to it.

A note on Willpower

"A conscious application of effort against a subconscious desire to smoke is unlikely to be successful.
If we imagine a burglar trying to crack a safe with a combination lock we can all appreciate the futility of grim determination and continual attempts. Sure, he might strike lucky and mathematically, given enough attempts, he'll crack it.
However, turn up with the combination in his pocket and he's out of there with the contents.
Unfortunately far too many of us seem to get bogged down with the make of the safe, the burglars choice of mask and stripy sweater, what time of day the burglary was, what car he drove, what picture the safe was hidden behind etc etc and we forget that all we need is the goal, the combination and the opportunity."


Very few of us have the inner strength to maintain the effort necessary to consciously ignore the desire to smoke.
We can all summon the willpower to leave the sofa and empty the dishwasher or take the dog for a walk in the rain but we can’t do that for months on end. There are far too many demands on our conscious to keep the finger in the dyke and before you know it the habitual behaviour has returned.

If our conscious mind truly had control then a conscious desire to do anything would require no effort at all to achieve it whether eating less, or quitting fags.
Irrespective of how flamboyant we make our conscious desire to quit and who we tell or what we plan, failing to let the subconscious in on it will rarely prove successful.

People who quit, “just like that” aren’t hit with a massive dose of willpower one day or some super inner strength, they have something more akin to a change of heart rather than a change of mind.

I really wish I could tell you what it is and how to make it happen.
Many expectant mothers seem to manage it, a major bombshell from your GP or a genuine appreciation of our own mortality sometimes does it. For many others there comes a sudden realisation that they no longer want to smoke, the subconscious has in effect 'changed its mind.'

If you plan to quit, but really want to smoke, willpower will keep you off the fags until either you achieve the change of heart or run out of willpower.

Failing that, read widely and there’s a good chance your subconscious will find something that brings it in line with your conscious desires. Bear in mind that your subconscious doesn't necessarily (or usually) read what your conscious reads!

We are also our own worst enemies. Even if we've managed to quit, by either stubbornly hanging on or we've had a change of heart, we can still stumble when faced with a new dilemma that makes us open up the big bag of smoking clichés and pull out a corker.
I've fallen off the wagon at 6 months because I was stressed and we all know a fag "calms us down." That might have been my proper quit if I hadn't had that nugget of codswallop tucked away in my head...

Education is the key, it really is!
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"It is easier to go on believing what you have always been told than to recognise the truth you've never heard before."


The Sad but True NHS Quit Tips. Comprehensive Smoking Data Sources. Useful read.

Knowledge truly is power over tobacco. Now into my 7th year of quit and everyday I learn more about this awful habit. We quit in the subconscious.
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  #2  
Old 22-01-2012, 06:09 PM
Karri
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Austin I wish you would write your own book. I don't read anymore because it has hindered more than helped my own personal journey.

This IS education and not all that endless stuff about how bad you will feel.

I hope they make this a sticky and everyone reads it. I learnt more from one single post than from months of Internet surfing.

WRITE THE BOOK!!!
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Old 22-01-2012, 06:41 PM
Pip Pip is offline
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Really insightful post Austin. It described in an understandable manner the problems I feel I have had. What really struck a chord was that up until the last few weeks I was fighting like mad and still badly wanted to smoke. I am now currently achieving the change of heart you mentioned. I've been running on sheer willpower for the last four months and just when I thought I couldn't carry on any longer, I suddenly realised I really didn't want to go back to smoking, almost overnight my feelings changed. The thought of having to rush off for a smoke all the time and the control it would again have over me, no thanks, I'm doing just fine without them . I'm probably still going to get triggers but the thought of smoking controlling me again almost frightens me out of the triggers. I'm getting to the stage where I don't view them as my friends like in the early days, they are the enemy and must be avoided at all costs. Now there's a post I never thought I would make, but proof that even the weakest most dependent upon smoking gal in the world can gain control of this addiction. No one who knows me ever thought I could do this, but I have, and I am proud I rode out all those horrible days and weeks because this really does get better. I think I am finally a non smoker .

Thanks for the post, Austin, it was relative for me just at the right time!
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Old 22-01-2012, 09:29 PM
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Helsbelles Helsbelles is offline
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Absolutely. Completely. Utterly. Right.

I had months of uphill struggle, fighting and gritting my teeth. Every day I was constantly wanting to smoke and every day I just said no no no no no, I choose not to do this. I read, I posted here, I ate like a pig, I kept repeating my reasons. And then... the change of heart did happen, almost imperceptibly. I don't know how or why, but it did. My brain has been retrained, and if I very occasionally encounter a mental prompt I recognise it for what it is and can sail through it with ease.

Honestly Mr Legro, this is the best post I've read in a very long time. Well done you.
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"When it comes to silencing the inner voice, the secret is repeated conscious choice."
- Woofmang Tales from the Quit. To read the whole article, click here. What the man says is TRUE:
http://talesfromthequit.com/silencing-the-inner-voice
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Old 23-01-2012, 04:07 AM
Teleguy Teleguy is offline
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Be careful, this is ONE person's experience and is in no way scientific. While I agree with some of what you said, much of it was way off for my quit.

Like he/she says, education is the key, not just taking what some people say as the truth. Find your own path and be careful of those peddling the "answer".

Just saying, be careful.
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Old 23-01-2012, 05:57 AM
dicko dicko is offline
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I agree with austin and the others. Although the statement is a generalisation it is a ****** good one.
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Old 23-01-2012, 08:30 AM
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austinlegro austinlegro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teleguy View Post
Be careful, this is ONE person's experience and is in no way scientific. While I agree with some of what you said, much of it was way off for my quit.
I was trying to find the post that this referred to and then realised it must be mine!
Far from being one person's experience the above actually relates to the majority of successful quitters. Unfortunately the success rate is still horrendously low.
Luckily science is one of the last things you need to quit. All the science side of quitting does is send people down the wrong path and wastes precious resources that could be better spent helping people to stop.
A clear understanding of why we smoke is the best starting point. Heading down the wrong path on day one makes it easier to get lost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teleguy View Post
Find your own path and be careful of those peddling the "answer".
Bravo! We've been saying it for years!

Can I ask what was way off for your quit? I'm a sponge for data.
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...You cannot prevent success, you can only delay it...

"It is easier to go on believing what you have always been told than to recognise the truth you've never heard before."


The Sad but True NHS Quit Tips. Comprehensive Smoking Data Sources. Useful read.

Knowledge truly is power over tobacco. Now into my 7th year of quit and everyday I learn more about this awful habit. We quit in the subconscious.
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Old 23-01-2012, 10:16 AM
Cavalier Cavalier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austinlegro View Post
Can I ask what was way off for your quit? I'm a sponge for data.
Your sleeping mask must be slipping down your forehead, Austin He quit CT as indicated in his sig
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  #9  
Old 23-01-2012, 10:26 AM
austinlegro's Avatar
austinlegro austinlegro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavalier View Post
Your sleeping mask must be slipping down your forehead, Austin He quit CT as indicated in his sig
I know. That explains nothing though? Unless my addled brain is missing something this fine Monday morning?
__________________
...You cannot prevent success, you can only delay it...

"It is easier to go on believing what you have always been told than to recognise the truth you've never heard before."


The Sad but True NHS Quit Tips. Comprehensive Smoking Data Sources. Useful read.

Knowledge truly is power over tobacco. Now into my 7th year of quit and everyday I learn more about this awful habit. We quit in the subconscious.
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  #10  
Old 23-01-2012, 10:39 AM
Cavalier Cavalier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austinlegro View Post
I know. That explains nothing though? Unless my addled brain is missing something this fine Monday morning?
Possibly addled...generally you are more explicit even if you're a bit in-direct.

But I see your point. The initial process of quitting, be it CT, NRT, Hypnosis, Champix, Spray, etc only gets us into the initial phase - the first battle. Whilst there's a further journey and that's the mental part where the real 'war' can be won.

Tis a fine sunny Monday morning

Edit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teleguy View Post
...much of it was way off for my quit.
Plus

Quote:
Originally Posted by austinlegro View Post
Can I ask what was way off for your quit?
Equals

Mea Culpa

Having not read Teleguy's post appropriately methinks my brain is addled by a bout of head cold.

Last edited by Cavalier; 23-01-2012 at 11:06 AM. Reason: fek :(
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