Smoking...

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st0nes (November 03, 2010, 16:02:08 PM):
Tell me something long time quitter friends...

People always say "I'm X years clean and I don't think about it at all".

Well, I may just be coming up to the 2m mark now, but I still have these random cravings that hit me out of nowhere. I would've thought they'd be "toned down" by now, but still they hit me full force and I just want to head for a shop that sells cigs.

So, long time quitters, at what point does this get better? I won't lie, the exercise is starting to seem futile to me.
The physical cravings have gone already--you have no nicotine left in your body. What you are experiencing is the mental craving. Your brain is kidding you that you'll feel so much better if you can just have a smoke. It remembers when you were addicted and the tremendous relief you experienced when you lit up, and it wants you to recreate that feeling now.

But it's a chimera. The fact is you felt like crap most of the time when you smoked and the "relief" was just getting back to feeling normal again. Now you feel normal all the time, so you wouldn't get that relief even if you did light up, you would just re-addict yourself. The brain goes back into its corner if you ignore it for long enough. I've been free for 15 months now, and these brainfarts get less and less frequent all the time. My beloved still smokes and I've been tempted from time to time to steal one of her cigs and light up, but I know it wouldn't be satisfying and it would undo all the hard work I've done.

I won't ever smoke again.
BoogieMonster (November 03, 2010, 16:25:10 PM):
So, more than a year later, I can expect to still be on the "decreasing frequency" curve. Yowch!
DNA (November 03, 2010, 17:41:11 PM):
At two years and 1 month now, I can't remember when I last had a craving, but they were still there some months before the two year mark, but very infrequent.

I struggled for the first year at times, but the craving does change and weaken over time.

I am lucky, 'cause my significant other quit before me. I think I would have struggled quite a bit otherwise, so much respect to st0nes and others that manage under those circumstances.

I think everyone has a different experience. I'd also find it going away for 2 months and then having strong cravings for a week.

Seems to be mostly in the past now.
cyghost (November 11, 2010, 10:17:59 AM):
The physical cravings have gone already--you have no nicotine left in your body. What you are experiencing is the mental craving. Your brain is kidding you that you'll feel so much better if you can just have a smoke. It remembers when you were addicted and the tremendous relief you experienced when you lit up, and it wants you to recreate that feeling now.

But it's a chimera. The fact is you felt like crap most of the time when you smoked and the "relief" was just getting back to feeling normal again. Now you feel normal all the time, so you wouldn't get that relief even if you did light up, you would just re-addict yourself. The brain goes back into its corner if you ignore it for long enough. I've been free for 15 months now, and these brainfarts get less and less frequent all the time. My beloved still smokes and I've been tempted from time to time to steal one of her cigs and light up, but I know it wouldn't be satisfying and it would undo all the hard work I've done.

I won't ever smoke again.
Brilliant post!
BoogieMonster (November 11, 2010, 10:51:37 AM):
It was a good post, yes, from a motivational standpoint. I almost feel I shouldn't post this, they were my initial thoughts on reading it the first time. But I feel obliged since this is a SKEPTIC's forum, after all. Sorry st0nes, but I have to, it relates to what I think is the truth.

Quote
The physical cravings have gone already--you have no nicotine left in your body.

This is a non-sequitur, albeit that the first statement is probably true, it doesn't follow from the second. I really don't like that people equate the two.

Quote
But it's a chimera. The fact is you felt like crap most of the time when you smoked and the "relief" was just getting back to feeling normal again. Now you feel normal all the time, so you wouldn't get that relief even if you did light up

I think this is wrong. I have quit before, and re-started before. I'll tell you this: Cigs WHILE addicted may just help you maintain your level, but that first cig when I haven't smoked for a long time is THE BEST CIG I can ever have. The head-rush effect is almost overpowering, and I feel waves of calm flowing over me. It's the subsequent cigs that have diminishing effect until they just help me "maintain" again. (As the brain becomes desensitized)

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm still clean and I still maintain that I've quit for good, and I do not want to light up again. But these gripes give me an aversion to most of the self-help literature out there, including the link I myself gave. I can't seem to find anything out there that I would consider an accurate description of nicotine addiction. All of it seems to be horribly polarized. Like some literature tells you it's all cat's whiskers and bell-bottoms after just a couple of weeks, in an attempt to encourage you. But it's just not true. It's EASIER maybe, but there's still some hard roadblocks even now, months after I've quit.

I'm also growing weary of the "one cig will re-addict you just like you were before" statement that I myself have echoed. In one of my quitting exercises before this thread, I stopped for two weeks or so, and smoked one cig. I was not instantly re-addicted and proceeded cigarette free for the following weeks without problem. I don't think it was a wise choice, because it increased my temptation to give in again given the apparent lack of instant consequences. I also feel some may think that, having smoked that one cig, they have failed (due to what they've been told) and just smoke away as before since they feel like a failure already. BUT I don't think that justifies preventing it with a lie.

This is why I'm meaning to ask Fearie: How did the weaning go? At last check-in you seemed to be doing fine using the taper-down method?

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