|WARNING - Expect to encounter advertisements, articles or webpages that do their very best to tease and entice you into giving e-cigs, NRT (the nicotine gum, lozenge or patch) or smokeless tobacco products a try. If you have stopped using nicotine for 72 hours then your blood and body are now 100% nicotine-free. For you, withdrawal has peaked and is beginning to gradually subside. For you, the hardest part is over. The only way to guarantee that your cycle of physical withdrawal is a never ending story is to introduce nicotine back into your blood. It's called the "Law of Addiction."|
WhyQuit's basic "how to quit smoking" video
The first week of recovery may be the most intense period of healing that your brain, emotions, mind and thinking have ever known. The consequences of skipping another once mandatory nicotine feeding can be both frightening and exciting. By shedding as much needless fear as possible, you allow yourself to better notice and appreciate the gradual beauty unfolding before you - the beauty of the long lost inner "you."
Every withdrawal symptom, crave episode, emotion or moment of use fixation can either be seen as utterly horrible, or a true sign of healing and rock solid evidence of just how dependency infected your life had become.
You can try to hide from your nicotine use cues or come to realize that rarely if ever will any crave episode last longer than three minutes (look at a clock as cessation time distortion is very real and without perspective the minutes can feel like hours), and at the end of each you are rewarded with the breaking of another use cue and return of another slice of life. Yes, each challenge overcome teaches your conscious and subconscious mind that another aspect of life is entirely do-able without feeding upon nicotine.
Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of that next challenge, you are coming home to a rich inner calm that an endless roller-coaster ride of nicotine use highs and lows has made long forgotten. Although your dependency has you convinced otherwise, you are leaving absolutely nothing behind. Except for nicotine, the roughly 200 neuro-chemicals it controlled already belonged to you. Recovery is about discovering that nicotine addiction is about living a lie, that every activity done while using can be done as well or better without. Even the love in our heart, we get to bring it with us!
Every symptom, feeling, crave, and use thought reflects a moment and degree of healing on a physical, emotional, subconscious or conscious level.
Physical healing is primarily a product of time. Within 72 hours we move beyond peak withdrawal and reside inside a nicotine-free body and mind. Within 2-3 weeks our brain will have physically re-adjusted to functioning without nicotine, as neuron receptor re-sensitization will be complete.
Emotional recovery reflects phases of feelings experienced during an expectations journey that transports us from disbelief to acceptance, as we end a long and intense chemical relationship.
Subconscious trigger extinguishment is a product of meeting, greeting and defeating our own conditioning. Most trigger links will be broken by a single encounter during which we intentionally say "no" to our subconscious mind and deprive it of what it expects - a new supply of nicotine. With the exception of taking tremendous care with alcohol (which is involved with nearly 50% of relapses), there is no reason to delay reclaiming as many of the times, activities, people, locations and emotions that you trained your mind to expect the arrival of nicotine as possible. The choice is ours, we can dread our healing or embrace and accelerate it.
Although time and fading memories will gradually overcome our years of conscious denial rationalizations , and the endless stream of daily lies we fed ourselves in order to justify that next nicotine fix, honesty can accelerate putting conscious thoughts of "wanting" behind us. For example, we likely sold ourselves on the falsehoods that smoking is a stress-buster, that we liked or loved smoking, or that we can quit and then use "just one" or "just once" here and there. And how can smokers claim to smoke for taste when there are zero taste buds inside our lungs, the place we deeply sucked and briefly held each puff?
Right now it may be hard to imagine life without nicotine but so long as no nicotine makes its way into your bloodstream you won't have to rely on imagination. You now have a front row seat as the unimaginable unfolds before you. This can be a time of dread, agony, anguish and fear, or we can dump needless anxieties in favor of the excitement about coming home, and this temporary journey of re-adjustment that leads to entire days where we never once think about wanting to use.
But let us never forget that no matter how long we are free or how comfortable we become that our chemical dependency is permanent, that our brain remains grooved and wired for nicotine. While we will have successfully arrested our dependency, the key to trading places with it is just one powerful puff, vape, dip or chew of nicotine. Just one guiding principle that if followed guarantees success to all ... no nicotine just one day at a time, Never Take Another Puff, Vape, Dip or Chew!
Here are a few links to aid in transforming fear into excitement:
|Over 90 short articles on almost every recovery topic imaginable. Almost 200 YouTube video cessation lessons. Also, be sure to read Joel's free book "Never Take Another Puff!"|
|Or download individual PDF chapters providing a road-map home, packing tips, or explaining how nicotine enslaved us, recovery's only rule, the inherent conflict between quitting and recovery, debunking common use rationalizations, sharing common pitfalls, and the keys to navigating the first 72 hours, reviewing recovery's four layers (physical healing, extinguishing subconscious conditioning, navigating the emotional sense of loss, and overcoming conscious use fixation), and closing with homecoming and relapse prevention.|
Daily Quitting Lesson Guide
|Knowledge is a Quitting Method!|