Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by amymb74, Jan 20, 2003.

  1. amymb74

    amymb74 New Member

    I read in your post about quitting smoking. That is also my next big goal - I read this on the addiction forum here & thought it was really good. Just thought it may be of help to you too. Good luck. Amy

    New Year's Quit Smoking Tips for 2003 12/25/02 05:20 PM

    Will New Years' 2003 really be the exact moment that you quit smoking forever and permanently break nicotine's powerful grip upon your life? Does it really need to be? In truth, quitting on December 31, January 2, January 8, in the middle of any day, tomorrow or even before that next puff, are all perfect times to begin the up to 72 hours needed to purge your body of all nicotine so that chemical withdrawal can peak in intensity and then begin to gradually decline. In truth, any moment that you choose to reclaim your life is a glorious moment indeed.

    Contrary to what you'll read, it doesn't take massive planning, truck-loads of motivation, costly magic cures, a certain number of attempts, or you making major changes in your life, in order to quit. It requires only desire and you taking the time -- at long last -- to read the instructions that came with your addiction.

    Over ninety percent of all successful quitters alive on earth today (more than one billion) quit smoking cold turkey . My name is John and I teach abrupt nicotine cessation at /, an all volunteer education and support forum that is both 100% free and 100% nicotine free. It's home to serious quitters and exists to take the mystery and "cold" out of quitting cold turkey.

    If you continue to treat your chemical addiction to nicotine like a nasty little habit you are likely to continue to experience defeat. Cocaine creates true chemical dependency in 15% of all regular users, alcohol about 10%, and nicotine between 70 - 90%. The experts tell us that intoxication has nothing to do with addiction. Yes, we nicotine addicts are "real" live honest to goodness drug addicts -

    It is crucial to understand the law of addiction. It’s simple. If a former nicotine addict uses any nicotine, even one puff, they are all but assured of full and complete relapse back to their old level of nicotine intake or higher. Nicotine permanently enslaves the same brain reward pathways as other addictive drugs, except far more efficiently and in a far greater percentage of humans. Whether you quit for a day, a month, a year or a decade, just one puff of new nicotine and your period of healing and freedom are over.

    Nicotine’s half-life in the human body is two hours. Within 72 hours the quitter’s body is nicotine free and chemical withdrawal peaks in intensity as the brain begins sensing the arrival of, and adjusting to, nicotine free blood serum. But, just one puff and the early quitter must again endure the anxieties associated with another 72 hours of nicotine cleansing. None of us are stronger than nicotine but then we don’t need to be as nicotine’s I.Q. is zero. Don’t try to out-muscle your addiction, outsmart it.

    When it comes to true chemical addiction there is no such thing as having "just one." It’s a destructive illusion that kills. Instead of picturing that one "perfect" smoke, picture all the others that come with it. Instead of trying to cheat or reward yourself by bumming just one cigarette, grab the entire pack and run because you’re going to need every single one of them, and the thousands more that follow. There is only one rule to staying free - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

    Quitting smoking is a temporary period of adjustment during which a nicotine dependent person develops the patience needed to allow themselves to once again become 100% comfortable functioning with natural levels of dopamine and adrenaline. Peak chemical withdrawal occurs within 72 hours and within 10 days to two weeks the brain has chemically adjusted to functioning without nicotine and the thousands of chemicals that arrived with it.
    Psychological recovery also normally peaks at about day three, when an "average" of six crave episodes occur. A crave episode is triggered by encountering a time, place, location, emotion, event, or activity that acted as a conditioned cue for your subconscious mind to begin to expect the arrival of new nicotine. It’s the ingrained nicotine feeding patterns that you selected to fulfill your chemical addiction’s endless need for more.

    The good news is that most triggers are reconditioned and discarded by the mind with a single encounter. The good news is that no crave episode will last longer than three minutes (be sure and look at a clock as your mind may try and convince you that the minutes are hours). The good news is that the "average" quitter experiences just eighteen minutes of craves on the most challenging day - day three. The good news is that by day ten the "average" quitter is experiencing just 1.4 craves per day.

    You may have established more feeding cues than the "average" quitter but even if you are compelled to meet, greet and defeat ten triggers on your most challenging day, that’s still no more than thirty minutes of anxiety on the worst day of all. Can you handle 30 minutes of substantial anxiety? Sure you can, we all can.

    Within just a few weeks you’ll begin experiencing entire days without encountering an un-reconditioned crave trigger, but remain alert. After going a few days without a crave episode it’s normal to let your guard down, and when a trigger is eventually encountered it is likely to feel like you’ve been caught off-guard and sucker punched. The crave was no more intense than others. You just were not as prepared for its arrival.

    As the number of craves continue to dwindle, you’ll move into a phase where you’ll find yourself sorting through and dealing with thousands or even millions of independent memories associated with years of lighting, puffing, tasting, smelling, inhaling, sensing, ashing, butting, needing, craving, buying, feeding, trying, decaying, crying and dying. At times they may seem to flood your mind. Unlike crave episodes, thoughts can linger on as long as you allow them. The good news is that to a great extent we can control our thoughts. The good news is that with each passing day you’ll experience fewer and fewer thoughts of wanting to smoke. The good news is that within just a few months you’ll begin enjoying entire days without ever once thinking about wanting to smoke.

    An important expectations tip is to abandon all thought of quitting forever - a mighty big bite to chew upon - and instead seeing each day of freedom as the full and complete victory that it truly is. If you insist upon measuring success in terms of quitting forever when will you be entitled to celebrate? What good is celebrating once you’re dead? In closing, I’ll leave you with a dozen solid quitting tips but I encourage you to spend some quality time reading at :

    1) Drink plenty of fruit juices the first three days to help avoid symptoms associated with wild blood sugar swings - headache, inability to concentrate, dizziness, time perception distortions and the ubiquitous sweet tooth. Cranberry juice is excellent. Nicotine fed you by indirectly pumping stored fats and sugars into your blood via adrenaline releases. Smokers could skip meals and not feel hungry because nicotine was feeding them. Normal people must eat. It isn’t a matter of consuming more calories but of learning to spread your daily intake out more evenly over your entire day.

    2) Studies have shown that nicotine accelerates the rate at which caffeine is metabolized by over 200%. This means that nicotine smokers need twice the caffeine as non-smokers in order to feel the same effects from caffeine. If you are a heavy caffeine drinker (over 750 mg) and you fail to reduce your caffeine intake by roughly half during prior quits, it’s likely that you found yourself climbing every wall in sight. Don’t give up your caffeine but do understand that you may need less.

    3) Quit for yourself not others. If you quit for others, what will happen the first time they disappoint you? We call it "junkie thinking" and it is a quit killer. Don’t entrust your cessation motivation to anyone but you. It may be fun to have a quitting buddy along but don’t lean upon them as a primary source of motivation. Also don’t expect your family to appreciate what it’s like for a drug addict during withdrawal and recovery unless they’ve ever been chemically dependent themselves. It just isn’t fair.

    4) Although you may need to reduce your caffeine intake or take great care in using alcohol during the first week, don’t give up anything in your life when quitting except for nicotine. Also, don’t pick-up any new crutches either, good or bad. Food can be a crutch but so can any abrupt or major lifestyle change, even exercise programs. A crutch is any new activity that you are relying and depending upon to help you quit. You don’t need crutches.

    5) Write down all of your reasons for quitting, keep them close at hand, and use them as a crave coping tool during challenging times. Also, take a few notes or get even out the video camera during the first few days so that you can document what withdrawal was like. The mind forgets life’s negatives. Preserve them as both a yardstick to measure your healing and a tool to renew and invigorate your motivation to stay quit.

    6) During crave episodes you can (a) briefly distract your mind (try reciting your ABCs while associating each letter with a food - A is for grandma’s hot apple pie), (b) engage in relaxation (a five minute shower, or clear your mind of all thoughts and chatter while focusing on your favorite color, object, person or place), or (c) reach out and embrace your crave. A crave cannot hurt you, cut you or make you bleed. Take a deep breath and reach out in your mind while wrapping your arms around it. Sense its power peak in intensity and then slowly begin to subside. Victory is yours! In that a crave episode is always less than three minutes, delay is your friend. Get rid of all your cigarettes and build-in a bit of delay. Chemical withdrawal is not a time for mind games. You have nothing to prove.

    7) On September 11, 2002, a new California study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) which concluded that "NRT appears no longer effective in increasing long-term successful cessation in California smokers." NRT is the nicotine patch, gum, spray, inhaler and lozenge and it’s just as ineffective where you live as it is in California. Nicotine is nicotine and the concept of gradual stepped-down withdrawal only delays chemical withdrawal and lengthens recovery. Here is a link to the JAMA study -

    8) Your body’s healing is likely to trigger one of the most vivid dreams in your entire life. Don’t be afraid as it’s perfectly normal. You’ll awake convinced that you have actually smoked, when what your improved senses of smell and taste have sampled are the odors being given off during the breakdown of tars inside horizontal healing lungs.

    9) Although metabolism changes can account for a pound or two of weight gain, within just ninety days of quitting you can expect an almost one-third increase in overall lung function. The ability to build cardiovascular endurance is a powerful tool for change. Quitting smoking does not cause major weight gain - eating does. Two quick points. Smoking was your old cue that a meal had ended and you may need to find a healthy new cue. Also, with nicotine feeding us, many smokers are not used to dealing with true hunger. Whether you eat with a shovel or a teaspoon it still takes roughly 25 minutes for your body to digest those first few bites so that the brain’s hunger switch can be turned off. When hunger arrives eat as slowly as possible.

    10) In dealing with symptoms, it’s pretty safe to blame quitting for everything you feel during the first three days of quitting, but after that you need to take much greater care and contact your doctor should you have any concerns. Each puff of smoke introduced 4,000+ chemicals into your body. Some of those chemicals could have been hiding or masking a serious underlying condition or even interacting with medications that you were already taking. Also, it is not unusual for medications to need adjusting.

    11) Even though you are leaving an extremely abusive and destructive relationship, the endless cycle of using nicotine to briefly satisfy your dependency created a powerful bond. During this temporary journey of adjustment from active smoker to comfortable ex-smoker, the emotional sense of loss and the phases you go through can be similar to those experienced during the death of a loved one - denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Don’t be afraid to seek professional counseling should the need arise.

    12) While quitting, the next few minutes will always be doable. One of the greatest challenges faced by the new quitter is in developing quitting patience after a lifetime of sensing new nicotine arrive in their brain within 10 seconds of a new puff. Give yourself a couple of minutes and the worst will pass. Someday soon you’ll look back upon your biggest challenge of all as your greatest moment of glory. Just one day at a time, baby steps and never forget the golden rule - no nicotine - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

    John R. Polito
    Nicotine Cessation Instructor

  2. Sunshyne1027

    Sunshyne1027 New Member

    I read the site you shared for awhile last night, then again today. Its such a great inspiration, help. That site has so much valuable information within it!

    I quit smoking yesterday morning. The first 24 hours isnt too bad. The last few hours have been sort of a struggle, but a struggle that I am dealing with and overcoming. Not too much longer I will be nicotene free! I feel really sure of myself that I will quit smoking.

    I havnt drank as much caffiene since quitting, I have been soooo thirsty for water. I am having a bad cough and sore throat, but hey thats a sign all the tar and stuff is loosening itself and ridding of itself etc..

    How are you doing with quitting smoking?

    I look forward to being so much healthier, you too?
  3. Sunshyne1027

    Sunshyne1027 New Member

    I am having troubles with finding something to occupy my mind when the withdrawl is happening, the cravings.

    I think I will try and use the stationary bike more so. Havnt used it in months. I have been more fatigued and tired too since quitting. I think the extra sleep though is good, its refreshing in ways. I am not having such a hard time falling off to sleep since quitting.

    All these wonderful things!!


  4. amymb74

    amymb74 New Member

    Just after I posted it I read you'd be gone a few days. I really haven't been up to exercise but I found even sitting around I can ward off cravings. I read somewhere to close your eyes & take deep breaths - I thought yeah, right - but it does help. Also I bought a bunch of meditation cds awhile ago & there are some short meditations, 8 mins or so, it really takes your mind off smoking too. I'm so glad you're doing well with quitting. I quit last month for 2 1/2 weeks & started again. So stupid of me - I really didn't even crave them that bad. I plan to do it again. I'll let you know.............Congrats. Amy
    [This Message was Edited on 01/26/2003]