|WARNING - Many smoking cessation links contain articles, advertisements or other links that will encourage you to use nicotine replacement therapy or NRT (nicotine patch, gum, lozenge, spray or inhaler). If you have remained nicotine free for 72 hours then your blood is now 100% nicotine free. Your withdrawal symptoms have peaked and are now beginning to gradually subside. For you, physical nicotine withdrawal is all but over. The best way to guarantee that your cycle of physical withdrawal is a never ending story is to ingest nicotine back into your blood. This is the "Law of Addiction."|
During this first week you'll sense the most intense period of healing your mind and body have likely 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 or crave episode can either be seen as utterly horrible or a true sign of just how dependency infected your life had become. You can try and hide from your smoking crave triggers or come to realize that none are 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 challenge you are being rewarded with the return of another piece 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, you are coming home to a rich inner calm that an endless roller-coaster ride of nicotine induced neuro-chemical highs and lows has made long forgotten. Although it feels like it now, you're leaving absolutely nothing behind as all the neuro-chemicals that nicotine's two-hour half-life controlled already belonged to you. Even the love in our heart, we get to bring it with us!
Every symptom, crave and smoking thought reflect a moment and degree of healing on a physical, subconscious or conscious level. Physical healing is primarily a product of time. Within 72 hours you'll reside inside a nicotine-free body and mind. Within 10 days to two weeks your body will have physically adjusted to functioning without nicotine, and brain neuronal re-sensitization will be substantially complete.
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 the subconscious mind does not receive the expected result - 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, locations and emotions that you trained your mind to expect the arrival of nicotine as possible. We can dread our healing or embrace 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 tremendously accelerate putting conscious thoughts of "wanting" behind us. For example, we likely sold ourselves on the belief that we liked smoking, when in truth what we didn't like was what happened when we didn't smoke - the onset of early withdrawal. We may have convinced ourselves that we smoked for taste without ever stopping to consider that there are zero taste buds inside our lungs. Instead, the lungs were nicotine's starting path for its eight second journey to the brain.
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 shed our fears in favor of the excitement of coming home to feel what it's like to embrace true freedom from nicotine.
But let us never forget that no matter how long we are free or how comfortable we become that our chemical dependency is permanent, we remain wired for nicotine, and that we've successfully arrested our dependency, the key to trading places with it is just one powerful puff, 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, 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.
Available as 1.4 MB PDF quitting book entitled "Never Take Another Puff!"
If it's normal to feel what you're feeling then why be afraid?
Recovery symptoms are the clearest proof of healing in progress.
Why measure victory in terms of quitting forever
-- the biggest bite imaginable -- when you can celebrate
full and complete victory "one day at a time!"
Have at least three coping plans ready just in case and
promise yourself that you'll use them all if necessary.
WhyQuit's basic "how to quit smoking" video
|Knowledge is a Quitting Method!|