I'm desperate

I'm appalled by the number of people who perpetuate the myth that giving up smoking is about holding back from doing something you feel compelled to do for the rest of your life.

It can be if you want it to be. I've seen people post about having quit ten or twelve years ago still fancying a cigarette from time to time. I've seen loads more people a few months into their quit wondering how long the "cravings" will last. I've even seen otherwise sane forum members suggesting that quitting is about staying away from smoking the next one (N.O.P.E.).

Many forum "oldies" will pop up from time to time to express their concerns about having dreamt about smoking, or how they felt tempted but managed to overcome the desire. How heroic!

Quitting smoking is basically about taking the decision not to smoke any more. Of course, there is a lot more to it than that, but broken down into Boolean logic, you either do (smoke) or you don't (smoke) :D

What really cracks me up (pardon the Americanism) is that many people base their non-smoking future on permissibility :D Duh! You are allowed to smoke! The broader question is whether you want to smoke or not.

Admittedly, some people have a hard time distinguishing between wants / needs and taking responsibility for their own actions, but still...

Quitting is a decision to not smoke, for whatever reasons you feel make sense to you, but p-u-l-e-a-s-e let's get away from the notion that quitting is a life-long chore!

Alex.

12 Replies

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  • I like this post, i'm sick of hearing people say that they gave up smoking 5, 10, 30 years ago but still fancy a fag :eek: I find that really depressing to be honest.

    Denise :)

  • I've even seen otherwise sane forum members suggesting that quitting is about staying away from smoking the next one (N.O.P.E.).

    I guess I'm included in the comment above as I think I'm sane, I'm a forum member and during my early quit N.O.P.E. is keeping me on track.

    In my humble opinion, many people try to overthink quitting smoking.

    There is no doubt that a lifelong quit involves a change of mindset and/or, as some people put it, a quit in the subconscious.

    I believe that the subconscious is a series of learned behaviours which become so normal that you do things without thinking.

    During the early part of a quit, your learned behaviour is to smoke. Smoke in the morning, smoke after food, smoke with a drink, smoke when you're stressed etc, etc.

    As such, you can't rely on your subconscious not to smoke as it isn't the norm for you.

    At first it's a battle, a state of mind over matter, a period of willpower.

    The more you say N.O.P.E., the more it becomes the norm. The more it becomes learned behaviour.

    Eventually, not smoking becomes such an ingrained learned behaviour that it becomes part of the subconscious and you no longer think about it.

    I'm using N.O.P.E. to focus my mind when needed (which is becoming very infrequent now) and as a tool to change my learned behaviour from being a smoker to a non smoker. I'm using N.O.P.E. to help change my subconscious and it's working.

    What's wrong with that?

  • Capitan,

    There's nothing wrong with NOPE in and of itself. I guess it was poorly worded. I was meaning it in the sense that holding off from smoking by going around constantly thinking about NOPE is not a very healthy way to live.

    Alex.

  • I'm using N.O.P.E. to focus my mind when needed (which is becoming very infrequent now) and as a tool to change my learned behaviour from being a smoker to a non smoker. I'm using N.O.P.E. to help change my subconscious and it's working.

    What's wrong with that?

    Nothing!!:D:D..xx

  • Capitan,

    There's nothing wrong with NOPE in and of itself. I guess it was poorly worded. I was meaning it in the sense that holding off from smoking by going around constantly thinking about NOPE is not a very healthy way to live.

    Alex.

    Ahh see what you mean...xx:D:D

  • "Many forum "oldies" will pop up from time to time to express their concerns about having dreamt about smoking, or how they felt tempted but managed to overcome the desire. How heroic!"

    Since I did precisely that the other day, I can't help but take this comment personally. Well colour me ashamed, for saying that I'd had a moment of wanting to smoke.

    But I never meant to imply that not smoking is a constant struggle, or a battle of will or whatever. I think I make it clear pretty much every time I post that life without fags is happy and easy.

    I posted partly because it was just how I was feeling. And partly because I've seen people who have been quit longer than me back here starting again because in a moment of madness they just thought 'ah, sod it' and had a cigarette. It's not some great heroic battle, no, but it doesn't hurt to be mindful that the subconscious habit can trip you up occasionally.

  • I think it's great that a number of the long termers stay around to share what they have learned - that is a lot of the value of this site. If it were restricted to those of us in the first few weeks or months, it would be like the blind leading the blind.

    However, sometimes, there is a sense that it is only those long term quitters who have subscribed to a particular philosophy who are worthy of imparting their knowledge to others. It's almost a kind of snobbery.

    What I see here is a diverse group of people who are quitting in their own ways. Yes, some are more successful than others. And if it is not working, then maybe approach it differently next time.

    I'll stop there, but for me, Not One Puff Ever is what is working, and is what was missing last time I tried to quit. No one will persuade me otherwise.

    :p

  • Hi Helen,

    My post wasn't inspired by you, but by the phenomenon in general. It must be unnerving for people starting out on their quit coming onto the forum, only to see someone who has quit a long time ago talking about having a crave.

    Conveniently, PhilfromWales just posted this is another thread (which was also not the inspiration for my OP), but which I think sums things up quite nicely:

    Are triggers not something that we naturally have in life anyway and it can happen to people that have never smoked in their life ?

    I had a craving the other day for the original Caramac chocolate bar because it's something I enjoyed years ago but I did not jump in my car to get to the nearest shop.

    Obviously for the first few months of my quit I would have the occasional cig trigger but they were nowhere near to be a craving but these days even thinking of smoking makes me feel queasy

    ---

    BillyO, sorry if I came across sounding like a snob. I was just giving an opinion, and I certainly do not consider it the only opinion worthy of posting.

    Alex.

  • [QUOTE=Helsbelles;266433

    I posted partly because it was just how I was feeling. And partly because I've seen people who have been quit longer than me back here starting again because in a moment of madness they just thought 'ah, sod it' and had a cigarette.

    Well can I, for one, say a big thank you, Helen, for being willing to carry on sharing your feelings. And your thoughts. And your wisdom.

    It may be 'unnerving' for people new to the forum to hear about craves happening so long into a quit. But I've always believed that forewarned is forearmed, and as newbie I found it fantastically helpful to read about what may lie ahead.

    As a new quitter I was motivated, prepared, optimistic and determined - which I believe are basic requirements for success. But it was useful for me to acknowledge that a conscious decision that I would not smoke today would be all that stood betweeen success and failure.

    NOPE just sums it up - pretty well, for me.

    Sue

    Sue

  • It may be 'unnerving' for people new to the forum to hear about craves happening so long into a quit. But I've always believed that forewarned is forearmed, and as newbie I found it fantastically helpful to read about what may lie ahead.

    Ah, but would you look forward to a lifetime of craving cigarettes and having to fight off the thought of smoking by repeating the mantra N.O.P.E. for ever more?

    Contrary to what some people have picked up on, my OP has nothing to do with N.O.P.E. but the phenomenon whereby some people perpetuate the myth that quitting smoking is a life-long struggle, which I seriously doubt it is, based on my limited knowledge of people around me who have quit, and my own experience.

    I also doubt, but I may be wrong, that the "craves" experienced after say one year or more are anywhere near the same as during the first few days. Therefore, I'm genuinely concerned about longer-term quitters stating that they had a crave.

    If any of the oldies would like to step forth and admit that they have a daily battle fending off the cigs then I will eat my hat. :D

    Alex.

  • Well Alex sorry but I still have a daily battle but it's a war I'm going to win!:)

    Will you be wanting salt and pepper on your hat, Alex? :p

  • Will you be wanting salt and pepper on your hat, Alex? :p

    No thanks! :D

    Alex.

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