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Thread: quitting smoking

  1. #111
    atom arranger Sistamatic's Avatar
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    My quitting coincided with my higher education in biology. Knowing what was happening every time I lit a cigarette was the most important part of engaging the neural pathway that leads to the "fuck you nicotine" region of the brain. If I had been one tiny little bit less stubborn and one tiny little bit less pissed off about being controlled by nicotine, it might have taken me a million and one tries instead of just a million. (I smoked heavily for about 10 years, I quit cold turkey about 15 years ago after an unknown but very large number of attempts.)

    Essentially, it creates static throughout your entire nervous system that your nervous system has to "shout" to be heard over. Your nervous system continues to shout for a while after you remove the nicotine and that's what makes you feel all fucked up.

    Knowing what was going on in my brain as I quit was a big part of winning the arguments the "fuck you logic, I want a damned cigarette" part of the brain slipped in. You know the ones I'm talking about. They start out as little justifications, tiny little whispering things that make it seem like one teeny little cigarette is no obstacle to your quitting goals and end in you smoking a pack a day again. After you quit for good, those little chains of reasoning will look idiotic in retrospect. In the end, I quit smoking because smoking is highly illogical.

    I have 3 family members who are addicted to nicotine. None of them smoke, but they have been on nicotine replacement of one form or another for decades. I only know a few people who managed to quit nicotine completely for years, and all but one of them are women, most of them quit during pregnancy and never started back. I guess the point here is that quitting nicotine forever is a big mountain that won't be climbed unless you are committed.

    One line I played in my head was from a movie I can't find, not even on google. It's origin is lost to me. "Decide whether you are a smoker or a non-smoker, and just be that." I played that line in my head over and over the final time I quit. I had decided I was a non-smoker.

    I also set it up in my head as a mindgame that was being played against me -- my low self vs. my sentient self. Once I did that, I wasn't about to let my inner Spock lose to my inner spoiled child. I just had to weather the tantrums of my id.

    When I looked at those mental whispers trying to convince me one teeny cigarette was ok as if it was a child trying to whine at me for a toy I already said no to, it also helped me to engage the "fuck you nicotine" center of the brain.

    The good news is that eventually you stop craving nicotine. I don't even like it anymore. You know how if you drink way too much of a certain kind of liquor and get puking sick off of it, the smell of it makes you ill. I'm like that with cigarette smoke now. It's as if my body has survived a poison and learned to recognize it as such. It can be inconvenient and it makes it very difficult to be around smokers, especially if their clothes reek of it, but I've decided that, at least for me, it is better than having a 2 to 5 thousand dollar a year habit that makes you statistically more likely to have a host of medical issues as you move into the senior years, which is something that is looming pretty close now. That wasn't my impetus when I quit fifteen years ago, but I'm sure as shit glad I did now.
    Last edited by Sistamatic; 05-11-2017 at 06:09 PM.
    Insults are effective only where emotion is present. -- Spock, "Who Mourns for Adonais?" Stardate 3468.1.

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  2. #112
    fluctuating Obfuscate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sistamatic View Post
    I also set it up in my head as a mindgame that was being played against me -- my low self vs. my sentient self. Once I did that, I wasn't about to let my inner Spock lose to my inner spoiled child. I just had to weather the tantrums of my id.
    this what i am trying to focus on... i hate the feeling of confusion when identifying if i am experiencing a nicotine craving or hunger... most of the time i can tell, but other times i just feel vaguely dissatisfied...
    "The vanity of intelligence is that the intelligent man is often more committed to 'one-upping' his opponent than being truthful. When the idea of intelligence, rather than intelligence itself, becomes a staple, there is no wisdom in it."
    Criss Jami

    "When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion."
    "Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving."
    Dale Carnegie

  3. #113
    atom arranger Sistamatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obfuscate View Post
    this what i am trying to focus on... i hate the feeling of confusion when identifying if i am experiencing a nicotine craving or hunger... most of the time i can tell, but other times i just feel vaguely dissatisfied...
    Slamming down a big glass of water can sometimes make that subside a bit. (room temp water is better for gulping down) It's like you are throwing the craving a bone. You reacted to it and put something in your face in response to it, and in response it says, "all right...maybe not exactly what I wanted, but at least you are paying attention."

    Edit: Another trick... Whenever it comes up, don't say, "I'm trying to quit," or "I quit," instead say, "I don't smoke." It really helps to reinforce the mindset. No one wants to be a liar.
    Insults are effective only where emotion is present. -- Spock, "Who Mourns for Adonais?" Stardate 3468.1.

    I'm not avoiding socializing I'm helping socializing avoid me! --MoneyJungle

  4. #114
    fluctuating Obfuscate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sistamatic View Post
    Slamming down a big glass of water can sometimes make that subside a bit. (room temp water is better for gulping down) It's like you are throwing the craving a bone. You reacted to it and put something in your face in response to it, and in response it says, "all right...maybe not exactly what I wanted, but at least you are paying attention."
    i am still letting myself smoke right now... i want to be payed (on or before the 15th), so that a vape feels like less of an investment... i will try this out soonish though; tapering back a bit now can't hurt... my mom has advised me to stop smoking when i wake up, and that seems like a good plan also...
    "The vanity of intelligence is that the intelligent man is often more committed to 'one-upping' his opponent than being truthful. When the idea of intelligence, rather than intelligence itself, becomes a staple, there is no wisdom in it."
    Criss Jami

    "When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion."
    "Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving."
    Dale Carnegie

  5. #115
    atom arranger Sistamatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obfuscate View Post
    i am still letting myself smoke right now... i want to be payed (on or before the 15th), so that a vape feels like less of an investment... i will try this out soonish though; tapering back a bit now can't hurt... my mom has advised me to stop smoking when i wake up, and that seems like a good plan also...
    Whenever I decide to take a caffeine break, I wait until the withdrawal symptoms start fucking me up, and then I take the minimum dose required to make them subside. The time between doses gradually increases, and the required dose gradually decreases. When you wake up, you are experiencing the strongest craving of the day because you've gone 8 hours without. I don't know what kind of demands you have on you at work first thing in the morning, but this could be a self defeating approach (due to being unrealistic). It's possible that the best thing to do would be to try to figure out what the smallest amount of a cigarette you can have to knock the craving down in the morning, then see how long you can go before the next one. Start thinking of it like a drug.

    See I'm thinking that the lower the dosage you require at the time of quitting is, the less painful the experience will be. So it makes sense to, if you are planning to quit in the near future, attempt to minimize the discomfort by lowering your dependence as much as possible.
    Insults are effective only where emotion is present. -- Spock, "Who Mourns for Adonais?" Stardate 3468.1.

    I'm not avoiding socializing I'm helping socializing avoid me! --MoneyJungle

  6. #116
    fluctuating Obfuscate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sistamatic View Post
    Whenever I decide to take a caffeine break, I wait until the withdrawal symptoms start fucking me up, and then I take the minimum dose required to make them subside. The time between doses gradually increases, and the required dose gradually decreases. When you wake up, you are experiencing the strongest craving of the day because you've gone 8 hours without. I don't know what kind of demands you have on you at work first thing in the morning, but this could be a self defeating approach (due to being unrealistic). It's possible that the best thing to do would be to try to figure out what the smallest amount of a cigarette you can have to knock the craving down in the morning, then see how long you can go before the next one. Start thinking of it like a drug.

    See I'm thinking that the lower the dosage you require at the time of quitting is, the less painful the experience will be. So it makes sense to, if you are planning to quit in the near future, attempt to minimize the discomfort by lowering your dependence as much as possible.
    much of my work time is equivalent to free time... i am a nocturnal, live in cna now... i am hard pressed to think of a better environment than this to quit... jail? long camping trip? that's all that comes to mind...
    "The vanity of intelligence is that the intelligent man is often more committed to 'one-upping' his opponent than being truthful. When the idea of intelligence, rather than intelligence itself, becomes a staple, there is no wisdom in it."
    Criss Jami

    "When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion."
    "Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving."
    Dale Carnegie

  7. #117
    atom arranger Sistamatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obfuscate View Post
    much of my work time is equivalent to free time... i am a nocturnal, live in cna now... i am hard pressed to think of a better environment than this to quit... jail? long camping trip? that's all that comes to mind...
    Oh, wow. You should definitely take advantage of that. I wish you the best of luck.
    Insults are effective only where emotion is present. -- Spock, "Who Mourns for Adonais?" Stardate 3468.1.

    I'm not avoiding socializing I'm helping socializing avoid me! --MoneyJungle

  8. #118
    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Well, like Sista I quit many times (longest stretch was 1.5 years, then many months-long stretches). I'm back to not smoking but I don't even remember the exact date I stopped, a few weeks ago.

    I guess I suggest quitting after you've already unknowingly had your last cigarette. Like... don't make it a big good-bye ceremony and shit. The first time I quit I suffered a lot of withdrawal symptoms like cold sweats. The symptoms are fewer and fewer now each time I quit.

    It's always good to quit when you genuinely don't want to smoke anymore. Part of the reason why I kept smoking was because I like it (not just need it), and didn't feel like stopping. But once in a while, something genuinely makes you want to stop, and I think you need to take advantage of those moments. In my case, my last motivation was that I believed my skin was starting to look bad. /deep
    Everything under heaven is in utter chaos; the situation is excellent. - Mao

  9. #119
    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    About two months into my latest quit attempt, I'm finally starting to cough again. It's the cough where your lungs finally take you seriously so they start trying to clean themselves. I was worried that the cough wasn't happening for a while there.
    Everything under heaven is in utter chaos; the situation is excellent. - Mao

  10. #120
    Senior Member jyng1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madrigal View Post
    About two months into my latest quit attempt, I'm finally starting to cough again. It's the cough where your lungs finally take you seriously so they start trying to clean themselves. I was worried that the cough wasn't happening for a while there.
    Got another woman at work who's been told she's terminal. We drive her around the site now as she can't walk far. She's the third woman smoker in 7 years, the youngest was 42.

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