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Sept. 27th, 2007 (these are incomplete and out of order. Rob posted a hell of a lot of these things so we can cut him some slack. If anyone runs across 1 - 20 please feel free to post them Thanks )

 

 

The Final Five Have a great nic-free day!

 

 

51. Regardless of how long you've chewed, how old you are, or how badly you've damaged your body, it's never too late to arrest your dependency, become its master, and commence the deepest healing your body has likely ever known.

 

52. Study Chewers closely. They are not chewing nicotine to tease you. They do so because they must, in order to replenish a constantly falling blood-serum nicotine level. Most nicotine is chewed while on autopilot. What cue triggered the public feeding you're now witnessing? Watch acid-producing events such as stress or alcohol quickly neutralize their body's nicotine reserves. You are witnessing an endless mandatory cycle of replenishment.

 

 

53. What should you call yourself? Although it's normal to want to be a non-Chewer, there is a major distinction between a never-Chewer and an ex-Chewer. Only the ex-Chewer needs to protect against relapse.

 

54. Don't let complacency destroy your healing and glory. The ingredients for relapse are a failing memory of why we quit, rewriting the law of addiction to exclude ourselves, and an excuse such disloyalty, stress, war, death, celebration or a cigar at the birth of a baby.

 

 

55. Remember that there are only two good reasons to take a chew once you quit. You decide you want to go back to your old level of consumption until chewing cripples and then kills you, or, you decide you really enjoy withdrawal and you want to make it last forever. As long as neither of these options appeals to you just one day at a time … NEVER TAKE ANOTHER CHEW!

Edited by Wyoming4life

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Oct 2nd 2007

 

 

Nice article focusing on the fact that no circumstance or person makes us chew. It is our attitude towards circumstances that impact our recovery and our potential for freedom. Recognize that you have been given a gift – a second chance so-to-speak ,with this website and that today, you are fighting against this addiction. Millions of others are not as lucky as we are, do not see their addiction for what it is, and may very well die before they get another chance to quit. Don’t give up, don’t ever give in. This is YOUR life you are fighting for and YOUR freedom. If you are feeling pissed off today, make a list of 20 things you have to be grateful for. You’ll be amazed at what it does for your attitude. Have a great nic-free day!

Rob

 

Using Attitude to Reduce Anxiety

 

Have you tried quitting before? If so, have you ever stopped to consider that each of your attempts have been different? It’s far more common than you think to see those knowledgeable and skilled regarding nicotine cessation to experience far less challenge than during any prior attempt. Those who learn how to correct the wild blood sugar swings that often accompany cessation, who learn why their daily caffeine intake may need adjusting, and who recognize and appreciate the different phases of emotional loss associated with giving up their chemical, can actually use their intellect to help avoid many of the symptoms they would otherwise have experienced. This article focuses on another important factor, the importance of expectations and attitude.

 

 

Can we make ourselves miserable on purpose? Of course we can. Throughout our lives we've experienced worry, fear, anger and irritability, only to find out later that our worries, fears and anxieties were either totally unnecessary, overblown, or were over little or nothing at all.

 

 

During nicotine withdrawal, after years of actively feeding, self-induced tensions and anxieties can at times seem overwhelming. We can escalate them to the point where we lash out against loved ones and friends, where we want to hit a tree with our bare hand, or where we put our head under a pillow and scream at the top of our lungs. Craves and urges don’t cause relapse. If they did then few of America’s millions of comfortable ex-Chewers would ever have become ex-Chewers. What causes relapse is the layers and layers of anxiety icing that we intentionally cake upon each crave.

 

 

Remember when we were first learning to swim and found ourselves in water over our heads? Did you panic? I did. Would I have panicked if I had been a skilled swimmer? Of course not. Quality cessation programs teach those seeking freedom how to swim and then lead them into deep water. Once there, they may still experience fear but they won’t panic and relapse. Instead, they’ll do their best to remain calm and, as much as possible, enjoy the swim.

 

 

Quitting doesn't have to be nearly as difficult as we’ve likely tried to make it. In fact, it can be one of the most amazing adventures we’ll ever experience. Imagine the healing associated with every living cell in your body as you slowly detoxify your body with each and every day that you abstain from tobacco use. Imagine slowly realizing that you’ve left nothing behind except a chemical, as each day you engage additional aspects of life without wanting for nicotine.

 

 

Sadly, almost half of all current Chewers will not discover how to navigate through their dependency before it costs each an average of roughly 5,000 days of life. Many genuinely believe that time is running out and disaster is about to strike. Sadly, such gut instincts are too often correct and bad news is just around the corner. Others falsely believe that plenty of time remains but after repeated attempts they still remain nicotine's slaves.

 

 

Either way, don’t panic! Instead, invest the time needed to become an excellent quitter. The more knowledgeable and skilled we become, the greater our chances of breaking free. Yes, there may be a few big struggles along the way but that doesn't mean we can't overcome it.

Freedom from Nicotine – www.whyquit.com

 

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Oct. 3rd 2007

 

 

another article. This one is by far my favorite reading related to these funks we experience. Acceptance will come. Just stay quit brothers, it will come. there ain't nothing a chew will fix today. So don't believe the lie.

Rob

 

Understanding the Emotional Loss

Experienced When Quitting Chewing

________________________________________

 

In her 1969 book, On Death and Dying, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross identified five distinct phases which a dying person encounters. These stages are "denial," "anger," "bargaining," "depression," and finally, "acceptance." These are the exact same stages that are felt by those mourning the loss of a loved one as well.

 

Denial can be recognized as the state of disbelief: "This isn't really happening to me," or "The doctor doesn't know what he is talking about." The same feelings are often expressed by family members and friends.

Once denial ceases and the realization of impending death is acknowledged anger develops. "Why me?" or "Why them?" in the case of the significant others. Anger may be felt toward the doctors, toward God, toward family and friends. Anger, though, doesn't change the person's fate. They are still in the process of dying. So next comes bargaining.

 

In bargaining, the person may become religious, trying to repent for all the sins that may be bringing about their early demise. "If you let me live, I will be a better person, I will help mankind. Please let me live, and I will make it worth your while." This stage, too, will come to an end.

 

Now the patient, becoming aware he is helpless to prevent his impending fate, enters depression. The patient begins to isolate himself from his surroundings. He relinquishes his responsibilities and begins a period of self mourning. He becomes preoccupied with the fact that his life is coming to an end. Symptoms of depression are obvious to anyone having contact with the patient in this stage. When the patient finally overcomes this depression he will enter the last stage, acceptance.

 

The patient now reaches what can be seen as an emotionally neutral stage. He almost seems devoid of feelings. Instead of death being viewed as a terrifying or horrible experience, he now peacefully accepts his fate.

As stated above, these stages are not only seen in the dying person but likewise in the family members mourning the loss of a loved one. However, on careful observation we can see these same stages in people who lose anything. It doesn't have to be the loss of a loved one. It could be the loss of a pet, the loss of a job, and even the loss of an inanimate object.

 

What does all this have to do with why people don't quit chewing? People who attempt to give up chewing go through these five stages. They must successfully overcome each specific phase to deal with the next. Some people have particular difficulty conquering a specific phase, causing them to relapse back to chewing. Let's analyze these specific phases as encountered by the abstaining chewer.

 

A question asked to a group during a nicotine clinic was, "How many of you feel that you will never take nicotine again?" It was remarkable for even one or two people to raise their hands. For the most part the entire group is in a state of denial - they will not quit chewing/chewing. Other prevalent manifestations of denial are: "I don't want to quit chewing," or "I am perfectly healthy while chewing, so why should I stop," or "I am different, I can control my chewing at one or two a day." These people, through their denial, set up obstacles to even attempt quitting and hence have very little chance of success.

 

Those who successfully overcome denial progress to anger. We hear so many stories of how difficult it is to live with a recovering chewer. Your friends avoid you, your employer sends you home, sometimes permanently, and you are generally no fun to be with. Most chewers do successfully beat this stage.

Bargaining is probably the most dangerous stage in the effort to stop chewing. "Oh boy, I could sneak this one and nobody will ever know it." "Things are really tough today, I will just have one to help me over this problem, no more after that." "Maybe I'll just chew today, and quit again tomorrow." It may be months before these people even attempt to quit again.

 

Depression usually follows once you successfully overcome bargaining without taking that first chew. For the first time you start to believe you may actually quit chewing. But instead of being overjoyed, you start to feel like you are giving up your best friend. You remember the good times with chew and disregard the detrimental effects of this dangerous and dirty addiction. At this point more than ever "one day at a time" becomes a life saver. Because tomorrow may bring acceptance.

 

Once you reach the stage of acceptance, you get a true perspective of what chewing was doing to you and what not chewing can do for you. Within two weeks the addiction is broken and, hopefully, the stages are successfully overcome and, finally, life goes on.

 

Life becomes much simpler, happier and more manageable as an ex-chewer. Your self esteem is greatly boosted. Your physical state is much better than it would ever have been if you continued to chew. It is a marvelous state of freedom. Anyone can break the addiction and beat the stages. Then all you must do to maintain this freedom is simply remember to never chew again!

 

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Oct 10th, 2007

 

 

Keep a positive mental outlook everyone. You are fighting for freedom, for your own life, you are NOT depriving yourself of these toxins. Don’t let your addiction confuse the issue.

 

Have an awesome day everyone!

Rob

 

 

Do you feel like you've lost a close friend (half empty) or do realize that friends don’t slowly kill friends (half full)? Are you “quitting” (half empty) or engaging in recovery knowing that the real quitting took place on the day that nicotine took control of your mind (half full)? Do you fear the arrival of that next crave (half empty) or do you look forward to the opportunity to re-condition yet another subconscious nicotine feeding cue and reclaim another aspect of life (half full)? Will the next episode last forever (falsehood) or will it end within a couple of minutes (truth)? Will withdrawal never end (falsehood) or will its intensity peak within 72 hours and then begin to gradually subside (truth)? Will you continue to experience daily craves forever (falsehood) or will you experience that very first day where you never once think about wanting to chew within the next few months (truth)?

 

Do you truly find joy in being addicted to one of the most powerful substances on planet earth or is that just something you convinced yourself of in order to justify your addiction, your next fix, and to avoid the challenge of withdrawal? Will 5, 10 or even 20 temporary extra pounds actually kill you (if they even happen at all) or have you learned that it takes 75 to 100 extra pounds to equal the health risk associated with one can of chewing tobacco a day?

 

Do you tell yourself that chewing helps to calm and reduce stress, or have you discovered that stressful acid producing events rapidly neutralize the body's reserves of the alkaloid nicotine, and that chewing more nicotine simply replenishes a rapidly falling blood-serum nicotine level bringing you back into that artificial comfort zone? A Chewer and a non-Chewer both experience flat tires. The nonChewer reaches for a jack while the Chewer reaches for nicotine. The Chewer doesn’t do so because he wants to but because they must.

 

Do you tell yourself that you're growing weaker by the hour and won't be able to handle the next crave episode (if any), or do you find comfort in the fact that it’s a very necessary part of your healing and won’t last longer than 3 minutes? Do you show fear that breeds and fuels extra anxiety or does education, understanding, and planning have you celebrating? Do you feed your mind visions of going to the store and purchasing that relapse can of decay, destruction, defeat, disease and a 50/50 chance of a very early death, or do you delight in the extra coins gradually filling your pockets or purse?

 

Are you missing the toxic chew? Crushing chemically laden cans and dumping an endless cycle of spittoons? Or are you marveling in a new spittoon-free world that's clean, bright and refreshing? Is your cup half empty or is it half full? We are what we think - attitude is everything.

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Oct. 17th, 2007

 

 

During the first few weeks I worked hard to maintain a strong positive attitude while refusing to allow negative thoughts to infect my thinking and dreams. While feeding myself large doses of positive thought I also confronted and analyzed those remaining thoughts that seemed to keep inviting relapse. Soon, it was no longer a matter of trying to believe what I was telling myself. I did believe in the new nicotine-free me!

Although at times intense, I did my best to remain focused on the long overdue healing occurring inside this body. I saw each and every day as a full and complete victory in and of itself. Today I was free and today I continued to heal! The little gifts along the way - the smells, tastes, energy, extra pocket change, the whiteness emerging in the smile, pride, empty pockets, a bit bigger step, odorless fingers, hope, endurance, new found time, long overdue self-respect, gradually lengthening periods of comfort, freedom and even the few extra pounds - was simply me coming home to meet me.

I encourage you not to fight your recovery but to find joy in it. Welcome each crave and thought, and embrace them as a very necessary part of this amazing temporary journey of re-adjustment. It's nice never having to quit again. Our prior attempts failed because we lacked understanding but not this time. Our eyes and minds are open and this time we're going the distance, headed home to again reside inside a quiet mind and to again meet the real "us"!

Do not sell your mind on the belief that starting your new life needs to be painful or intense. If you relax, maintain a positive attitude, keep your reasons for wanting to break free in the forefront of your mind, abandon the unrealistic victory standard of "quitting forever" and instead focus on only the next hour, challenge or day (there is no need to see yourself eating the entire elephant when one bite at a time is plenty), drink plenty of fruit juice for the first three days to keep your blood sugar level, don't skip meals, reduce your caffeine intake by roughly half if you're a big caffeine user, this adventure toward meeting the nicotine-free and comfortable you may turn out to be the most enjoyable and deeply satisfying experience of your entire life -- even if challenged now and then.

We are what we think. If you think recovery will be difficult then why shouldn't it be? If you believe that the healing happening inside that body is utterly amazing then it is. If you keep thinking you will fail then chances are you will. If you believe that no force or circumstance on his planet can stop your quest for freedom then nothing can. Victory is in the mind.

 

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Oct. 18th, 2007

 

 

Hey Quitters - Keep your guard up – ALWAYS!

Rob

 

The urges that happen weeks or months after initial quitting can catch you much more off guard than the urges encountered during the first few days. When you had an urge at 10:00 am the day you quit chewing, it was no big deal. You likely had one at 9:55 am just before it. In fact, the first few days if you went to long without an urge you would have felt something was wrong. Although, some people just have one urge that first day - It hits them when they wake up, goes away when they go to sleep, at which point they dream about chewing all night. In essence, it was chronic.

 

When you start to get more time under your belt not chewing, the triggers become more sporadic. At first separated by minutes, then hours, eventually days and weeks. But they still happen. When they occur after a long period of time they catch you much more off guard.

 

Also, in the beginning, when your guard is up and urges are frequent, you are constantly talking yourself through them. You are then basically reinforcing your resolve over and over again all day long. When you stop having chronic urges, you naturally stop reinforcing your resolve throughout the day. Then when the trigger hits, not having talked yourself through it very recently, you sometimes have a harder time mustering up the initial motivation for quitting and ammunition for staying off.

 

One other factor happens with time making urges feel stronger. You start to forget chewing but still remember the "good" chews. You forget the ones you chewed automatically, paying no real attention to even as you chewed. You forget the nasty one you despised. You forget all the associated annoyances that went with being a chewer. Then you start to remember the best chew you ever had in your life. If you focus on this chew without recalling all the others and the problems that went with the others, it is hard to not want it.

 

But that "one" chew concept is a fantasy. Chewing is what it was at the end, the day you quit—not what it was like early on when it initially hooked you. Remember chew as it really was, not how you wished it was. Then when the urge is triggered, you will have the ammunition to squelch it. You will recognize that you were just having a bad moment, when you were quitting you were having "bad days." When you were chewing you were a slave to a product that was killing you. You fought long and hard to overcome that control and you never want to relinquish your freedom of choice over such a deadly product again.

 

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Oct. 23rd, 2007

 

 

This is a great article from whyquit.com, reminding us of the dangers of our addiction and the potential consequences of one simple relapse.

 

Don’t romanticize the chew, don’t toy with the thought – recognize it for what it is! UST wants you back on their addict list to slowly eat your life away while paying their shareholders. Don’t give in, don’t ever give in.

 

Rob

 

"Just One Little Chew?"

 

It is hard for many people to grasp the concept of how just one little chew can result in full-blown relapse. It just doesn't seem logical to some people. But should you ever find yourself debating the thought of whether or not you could possibly get away with chewing "just" one, think about what advice you would give to a family member or friend who you cared for tremendously, while knowing that they were a recovering heroin or cocaine addict who was for the first time in months or years considering attempting recreational use. Imagine your shock and horror at even the thought of it, especially if you were with them back during the peak of their addiction when it was ruining almost every aspect of life and maybe even putting his or her very life on the line.

 

Would you say to him or her, "well, maybe you are better now, maybe its worth finding out if you could handle just one?" Would you feel the need to do a little research in current journals to see if maybe “one” is an option now? Would you maybe even delve into a few neurological journals to see if the scientists now have a better grip on neurotransmitter pathways that could explain why addiction happens? Then maybe you could say, "Well they are starting to understand a little more of how addiction works and maybe soon they can alter your brain physiology. So now, if you relapse it may not be a big deal for a cure is just around the corner--maybe even only a few years away.” It is more likely that you would you cut through the rationalization and say, "If you do it, you are going to be back where you were when you first had to quit. You are going to mess up your life and everyone around you."

 

The odds are you would go the latter route. You would be horrified and take a firm stand that he or she shouldn't do it -- it would be stupid and even worse, suicidal. Well there is no difference between this scenario and the concept of, “Maybe I can have just one, now.”

 

Well there is actually one difference. It is not medically or physically based, but rather societal. Our societies have not been taught about nicotine addiction. People have been taught about addiction and other drugs. Even though nicotine is more addictive than most any other addictive substance, and maybe even the most addictive of all, people still don't grasp how any administration of the substance can cause a relapse, even though they are taught this about most other addictive drugs.

 

How often has someone asked you after he finds out that you have quit chewing the question, "You mean you haven't even had one?" This is such a ludicrous comment, and yet so common. Or how many times have you seen literature put out by medical organizations advising a recovering addict to not let a slip put them back to using? The message has been clear and consistent with other drugs, the message being don't slip.

 

Everyone here has been exposed to this discrepancy, not just since they quit, but also for years and decades while they still chewed. You now have to alter a way of thinking that is part of your culture, no matter what culture you are from. The pervasive attitude of the society around you is wrong.

 

The society may accept the danger of chewing but they do not yet grasp the concept of the addiction. You have to be smarter and more informed than the society around you, maybe even your health care provider. It is asking a lot of an individual to think differently than the society as a whole, but in regards to chewing it has to be done.

 

The consequence of not becoming fanatical against a chew is too serious to just dismiss. It will be the loss of your quit, and that can easily translate into loss of your health and eventually loss of your life. You have to be vigilant at all times, to keep reminding yourself that you are a recovering addict.

 

Over time there may be no signs of the addiction; thoughts of chewing tobacco may have become rare events now and maybe even non-existent. But even at this stage of the game, there is a silent addiction still there that can take you down with full force for making one miscalculation -- thinking that maybe you are different.

 

You are no different than any other drug addict, whether the drug was alcohol, cocaine, heroin, etc. You are an addict for life, but as long as you get the drug out of your system and never administer it again, you will never be set into the downward spiral that the drug sets into motion to its users. In regards to chewing, that spiral is loss of your freedom, your health and your life, which means you can lose everything. By Joel Spitzer

 

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Oct. 24th, 2007

 

 

This is really good stuff in this article – pay attention now cause this stuff may help you stay quit on the next wave of crave! And remember, be a nic-ho no-mo!

Indy aka Rob

 

"Minimizing the Most Common

Side Effects to Quitting Chewing"

 

Blood sugar plummets in many people when first quitting. The most common side effects felt during the first three days can often be traced back to blood sugar issues. Symptoms such as headache, inability to concentrate, dizziness, time perception distortions, and the ubiquitous sweet tooth encountered by many, are often associated with this blood sugar drop. The symptoms of low blood sugar are basically the same symptoms as not having enough oxygen, similar to reactions experienced at high altitudes. The reason being the inadequate supply of sugar and/or oxygen means the brain is getting an incomplete fuel. If you have plenty of one and not enough of the other, your brain cannot function at any form of optimal level. When you quit chewing, oxygen levels are often better than they have been in years, but with a limited supply of sugar it can't properly fuel your brain.

 

It is not that chewing tobacco put sugar into your blood stream; it is more of a drug interaction of the stimulant effect of nicotine that affects the blood sugar levels. Chewing tobacco cause the body to release its own stores of sugar and fat by a drug type of interaction. That is how it basically operated as an appetite suppressant, affecting the satiety centers of your hypothalamus. As far as for the sugar levels, nicotine in fact works much more efficiently than food. If you use food to elevate blood sugar levels, it literally takes up to 20 minutes from the time you chew and swallow the food before it is released to the blood, and thus the brain, for its desired effect of fueling your brain. Chewing tobacco, by working through a drug interaction cause the body to release its own stores of sugar, but not in 20 minutes but usually in a matter of seconds. In a sense, your body has not had to release sugar on its own in years, you have done it by using nicotine's drug effect!

 

This is why many people really gorge themselves on food upon cessation. They start to experience a drop in blood sugar and instinctively reach for something sweet. Upon finishing the food, they still feel symptomatic. Of course they do, it takes them a minute or two to eat, but the blood sugar isn't boosted for another 18 minutes. Since they are not feeling immediately better, they eat a little more. They continue to consume more and more food, minute after minute until they finally they start to feel better. Again if they are waiting for the blood sugar to go up we are talking about 20 minutes after the first swallow. People can eat a lot of food in 20 minutes. But they begin to believe that this was the amount needed before feeling better. This can be repeated numerous times throughout the day thus causing a lot of calories being consumed and causing weight gain to become a real risk.

 

When you abruptly quit chewing, the body is in kind of a state of loss, not knowing how to work normally since it has not worked normally in such a long time. Usually by the third day, though, your body will readjust and release sugar as it is needed. Without eating any more your body will just figure out how to regulate blood sugar more efficiently.

 

You may find though that you do have to change dietary patterns to one that is more normal for you. Normal is not what it was as a Chewer, but more what it was before you took up chewing with aging thrown in. Some people go until evening without eating while they are Chewers. If they try the same routine as ex-Chewers they will suffer side effects of low blood sugar. It is not that there is something wrong with them now, they were abnormal before for all practical purposes. This doesn't mean they should eat more food, but it may mean they need to redistribute the food eaten to a more spread out pattern so they are getting blood sugar doses throughout the day as nature really had always intended.

 

To minimize some of the real low blood sugar effects of the first few days it really can help to keep drinking juice throughout the day. After the fourth day though, this should no longer be necessary as your body should be able to release sugar stores if your diet is normalized. If you are having problems that are indicative of blood sugar issues beyond day three, it wouldn't hurt talking to your doctor and maybe getting some nutritional counseling.

 

Joel Spitzer

 

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Oct. 24th, 2007

 

 

Take it One Day at a Time

 

This concept is taught by almost all programs devoted to dealing with substance abuse or emotional conflict of any kind. The reason that it is so often quoted is that it is universally applicable to almost any traumatic situation.

 

Dealing with quitting chewing is no exception. Along with NEVER TAKE ANOTHER CHEW, ONE DAY AT A TIME is the key technique which gives the Chewer the strength to successfully quit chewing and stay free from the powerful grip of nicotine dependence.

 

When first quitting, the concept of ONE DAY AT A TIME is clearly superior to the Chewer thinking that he will never chew again for the rest of his life. For when the Chewer is first giving up chewing, he does not know whether or not he wants to go the rest of his life without chewing. Most of the time the Chewer envisions life as a non-Chewer as more stressful, painful, and less fun.

 

It is not until he quits chewing that he realizes his prior thoughts of what life is like as a non-Chewer were wrong. Once he quits he realizes that there is life after chewing. It is a cleaner, calmer, fuller and, most important, healthier life. Now the thought of returning to chewing becomes a repulsive concept. Even though the fears have reversed, the ONE DAY AT A TIME technique should still be maintained.

 

Now, as an ex-Chewer, he still has bad moments every now and then. Sometimes due to stress at home or work, or pleasant social situations, or to some other undefinable trigger situation, the desire for a chew surfaces. All he needs to do is say to himself, I won't chew for the rest of today; and tomorrow I will worry about tomorrow. The urge will be over in seconds, and the next day he probably won't even think of a dip.

 

But ONE DAY AT A TIME should not only be practiced when an urge is present. It should be practiced daily. Sometimes an ex-Chewer thinks it is no longer important to think in these terms. He goes on with the idea he will not chew again for the rest of his life. Assuming he is correct, when does he pat himself on the back for achieving his goal. When he is lying on his death bed he can enthusiastically proclaim, "I never chewed again." What a great time for positive reinforcement.

 

Every day the ex-Chewer should wakeup thinking that he is not going to chew that day. And every night before he goes to sleep he should congratulate himself for sticking to his goal.

 

Pride is important in staying free from chewing tobacco. Not only is it important but well deserved. For anyone who has quit chewing has broken free from a very powerful addiction. For the first time in years, he has gained control over his life, rather than being controlled by his chew. For this, he should be proud.

 

So tonight, when you go to sleep, pat yourself on the back and say, "Another day without chewing, I feel great." And tomorrow when you wake up, say, "I am going to try for another day. Tomorrow I will deal with tomorrow." To successfully stay free from chewing, TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME and - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER CHEW!

 

By Joel Spitzer at whyquit.com

 

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Oct. 24th, 2007

 

 

Just some food for thought as you trudge the happy road of destiny. As with any of the articles I post, you may get some benefit from it, you may not. They are meant purely to help, not to scrutinize your cessation program. The fact is, if you are abstaining from nicotine today, you are accomplishing something that millions are afraid to undergo and for that, you are congratulated.

 

Have a good day

Rob

 

Crutches

 

"Boy did I ever drink my brains out, today," a clinic participant enthusiastically proclaimed, "But I did not chew!" He was so proud of his accomplishment - two whole days without chewing a single chew. To him, being bombed out of him mind was a safe alternative to the deadly effects of chewing tobacco.

 

Just 24 hours earlier I had made a special point of mentioning the dangers of replacing one addiction with another. In quitting chewing one should not start using any other crutches which might be dangerous or addictive. But this was not of concern to him. He said, "I already have a drinking problem, so what more could go wrong with getting drunk to quit chewing." Twenty minutes into the program, he stood up, passed out and had to be carried out.

 

Quitting by crutch replacement carries varying degrees of risks. Turning to any other addictive substance, even legal or prescribed drugs, carries the risk of a new addiction. In many of these cases the end result will be a more significant problem than just the original chewing. The new addiction can cause the person's life to end in shambles, and when it comes time to deal with the new dependence he or she will often relapse to chewing tobacco.

 

Turning to food, especially high calorie sweet foods will usually result in a psychological need with a subsequent weight gain. The risk of weight gain is insignificant in comparison to the dangers associated with chewing tobacco. The ex-Chewer would have to gain over 100 pounds to create the equivalent health hazard of chewing tobacco. But weight gain often results in a state of panic and frustration, which can lead the ex-Chewer to conclude that he or she would rather be a skinny Chewer than an obese ex-Chewer. The fallacy, which causes the ex-Chewer to reach this conclusion, is that only two options exist for him or her - chew or eat more. In fact, other choices exist. One is not chewing and eating in a manner similar to when he or she was a Chewer. Another is increasing activity levels to compensate for the added caloric intake when eating extra amounts.

 

Some people turn to a healthy alternative as a crutch, like jogging or swimming. These activities carry low risk and, in fact, often result in physical benefits. But if they are being done as a direct crutch in maintaining abstinence, they pose one major threat. As with drugs, alcohol, or food, when the day comes that one must stop the activity, the seemingly successful ex-Chewer will often relapse. Sometimes a minor ankle sprain will temporarily end a jogger's running, or an ear infection will interfere with swimming. What should be a temporary minor inconvenience ends in a tragic result - relapse to chewing tobacco. Again, the ex-Chewer believes that only one of two states exist for him or her - either chewing or mandatory exercise. But, in actuality, a third choice exists, not chewing and doing nothing. This is not to say an ex-Chewer should not take up physical activities after quitting. But exercise should be done for the enjoyment and for the true benefits derived from it. The ex-Chewer should do it because he or she wants to, not because he or she has to.

 

If you are going to develop a crutch, make sure it is one that you can maintain for the rest of your life without any interruption. One that carries no risks and can be done anywhere, anytime. About the only crutch that comes close to meeting these criteria is breathing. The day you have to stop breathing, chewing will be of little concern.

 

Whyquit.com

Joel Spitzer

 

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Oct. 25th, 2007 (A post from WoodmanMN)

 

 

This comes from another program of recovery I’m in. I have changed the words, but I think the meaning fits perfectly with the events of late and is something we should adhere to.

 

In spite of all we have learned on QS, our old way of thinking comes back on us, sometimes with overwhelming force, and occasionally some of us have slips. We forget or refuse to call out for help. We seem to deliberately make our minds a blank so far as our quit knowledge goes, and we take a dip. We are temporarily right back where we started from. Those who have had slips say unanimously that they were no fun. They say that quitting had taken all the fun out of dipping. They knew they were doing the wrong thing because the old mental conflict was back in full force.

People who have had a slip are ashamed of themselves – sometimes so ashamed that they fear to go back to QS. They develop the old inferiority complex and tell themselves they are no good, that they have let down their friends on QS, that they are hopeless, and that they can never make it. This state of mind is perhaps worse than it was originally. They have probably been someone weakened by their slip, but the training and tools they have learned can never be lost.

When people come back to QS after having a slip, the temptation is strong to say nothing about it. If they are willing and well grounded in quitting, they will realize that it is up to them to tell their quit brothers and sisters about their slip. There is no possible evasion of this duty, if they are thoroughly honest and really desirous of quitting again. When they have done it, their old confidence returns. They are home again. Their slip is in the past and should not be mentioned again.

 

In my own life I have faced many challenges and battles. None of them compare to my sobriety and my addiction to nicotine. These are battles that I will surely fight each day. My hope and prayer is that I’ll never fight alone. I know I can’t.

I’m proud to be in the trenches with each of you!

Pressing on,

Woody

 

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Nov 1st, 2007

 

 

The Chewing Dream

 

Chewing dreams are common if not universal among ex-Chewers. It is especially common when a person is off a short time period, and if it occurs within days or weeks of quitting, it is likely to be extremely disturbing and very realistic. Realistic enough in fact that the ex-Chewer will wake-up smelling and tasting a chew, convinced that he or she has actually chewed.

 

The dream can be interpreted in one of two ways upon awakening, and quite often, the ex-Chewer takes it as a sign that they actually want to chew. After all, they had been off chewing and just dreamt about it, that means they want to chew, right?

 

I used to get calls in the middle of the night for clinic participants panicked by the dream. They would start off saying, "They can’t believe it, off all this time and they still want to chew." They knew they wanted to chew because they dreamt about it. I would then ask them to describe the dream. They would tell about the vividness and realism, and they would almost always say it started to take on a nightmarish proportion. They would wake up in a sweat, often crying, thinking that they just chewed and blew the whole thing, that they were now back to square one. That all that time off chewing was wasted.

 

As soon as they would finish describing their feelings, I pointed out one very obvious fact. They just dreamt they chewed and assumed that meant that they wanted to chew. They woke up and upon further clarification, they describe the dream was a nightmare. This is not the dream of someone who wants to chew; it is the dream of someone who is afraid of chewing. This is a legitimate fear considering the ex-Chewer is fighting a powerful and deadly addiction. Hence, it is a legitimate dream too. It kind of gives you a sense of how bad you would feel if you actually do go back to chewing. Not physically speaking but psychologically. If the dream is a nightmare it makes you realize how bad this feeling is without having to actually have chewed and fallen into the grasp of nicotine addiction again. It can give you some perspective about how important not chewing is to your mental health.

 

The dangerous dream is when you chew a whole can in it, have the aching gums and tongue sores, get socially ostracized, develop some horrible illness, end up on your death bed about to let out your final live breath—and all of a sudden wake up with a smile on your face and say, "that was great, wish I could do that when I am awake." As long as that is not the dream you were having, I wouldn’t let myself get to discouraged by it. In regards to chewing, no matter what you do in your dreams you will be OK as long as you remember in your waking state to Never Take Another Chew!

 

© Joel Spitzer 2002

 

Edited by Wyoming4life

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Nov. 1st, 2007

 

 

Have a great nic-free day!

 

Rob

 

New Reactions to Anger as an Ex-Chewer

 

 

Dealing with emotional loss has similarities to dealing with anger in regards to chewing cessation and its aftermath. When Chewers encounters a person or situation that angers them, they initially feel the frustration of the moment, making them -- depending on the severity of the situation -- churn inside. This effect in non-Chewers or even ex-Chewers is annoying to say the least. The only thing that resolves the internal conflict for a person not in the midst of an active addiction is resolution of the situation or, in the case of a situation which doesn’t lend itself to a quick resolution, time to assimilate the frustration and in a sense move on. An active Chewer though, facing the exact same stress has an additional complication which even though they don’t recognize it, this complication creates significant implications to their chewing behavior and belief structures regarding the benefit of chewing.

 

When a person encounters stress, it has a physiological effect causing acidification of urine. In non-active tobacco users, urine acidity has no real perceivable effect. It is something that internally happens and they don’t know it, and actually, probably don’t care to know. Nicotine users are more complex. When a person maintaining any level of nicotine in his body encounters stress, the urine acidifies and this process causes nicotine to be pulled from the bloodstream, not even becoming metabolized, and into the urinary bladder. This then in fact drops the brain's supply of nicotine, throwing the Chewer into drug withdrawal. Now he is really churning inside, not just from the initial stress, but also from the effects of withdrawal.

 

Interestingly enough, even if the stress is resolved, the Chewer generally is still not going to feel good. The withdrawal isn’t eased by the conflict resolution, only by re-administration of nicotine, or, even better, riding out the withdrawal for 72 hours. This totally eliminates nicotine via excretion from the body, metabolizing it into by-products that don’t cause withdrawal. Most of the time, the active Chewer uses the first method to alleviate withdrawal, taking another chew. While it calms him down for the moment, its effect is short lived, basically having to be redone every 20 minutes to half hour for the rest of the Chewer’s life to permanently stave off the symptoms.

 

Even though this is a false calming effect, since it doesn’t really calm the stress, it just replaces the nicotine loss from the stress, the Chewer feels it helped him deal with the conflict. It became what he viewed as an effective crutch. But the implications of that crutch are more far-reaching than just making initial stress effects more severe. It affects how the person may deal with conflict and sadness in a way that may not be obvious, but is nonetheless serious. In a way, it affects his ability to communicate and maybe even in some way, grow from the experience.

 

What chewing had done over the years was to stop you from dealing with feelings early on. Instead, they festered and grew to a point where when they came out, it was more severe than when initially encountered. Understand something though. If you had not quit chewing, the feelings sooner or later would manifest, either by a similar reaction as the blowup or by physical manifestations which ongoing unresolved stress has the full potential of causing. Many relationships end because of clamming up early on effectively shutting down conflict resolution by communication between partners. There’s only one way to guarantee that early nicotine withdrawal never interferes with your conflict resolution and communications skills again, by keeping in practice your commitment to NEVER TAKE ANOTHER CHEW!

 

Joel

 

© Joel Spitzer 2002

 

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Oct 31st, 2007

 

 

Quitting for Others

 

"My husband can't stand it when I chew - that is why I quit." "My wife is trying to quit, so I will stop just to support her." "My kids want me to quit so I quit for them." "My doctor told me not to chew as long as I am his patient, so I quit to get him off my back." "I quit for my dog."

 

All these people may have given up chewing, but they have done it for the wrong reason. While they may have gotten through the initial withdrawal process, if they don't change their primary motivation for abstaining from chewing, they will inevitably relapse. Contrary to popular belief, the important measure of success in chewing cessation is not getting off of chewing tobacco, but rather the ability to stay off.

 

A Chewer may quit temporarily for the sake of a significant other, but he will feel as if he is depriving himself of something he truly wants. This feeling of deprivation will ultimately cause him to return to chewing. All that has to happen is for the person who he quit for to do something wrong, or just disappoint him. His response will be, "I deprived myself of my chewing tobacco for you and look how you pay me back! I'll show you, I will take a chew!" He will show them nothing. He is the one who will return to chewing and suffer the consequences. He will either chew until it kills him or have to quit again. Neither alternative will be pleasant.

 

It is imperative for him to come to the realization that the primary benefactor in his giving up chewing is himself. True, his family and friends will benefit, but he will feel happier, healthier, calmer and in control of his life. This results in pride and a greatly improved self-esteem. Instead of feeling deprived of chewing tobacco, he will feel good about himself and appreciative to have been able to break free from such a dirty, deadly, powerful addiction.

 

So, always keep in mind that you quit chewing for you. Even if no one else offers praise or encouragement, pat yourself on the back for taking such good care of yourself. Realize how good you are to yourself for having broken free from such a destructive addiction.

 

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Nov. 2nd, 2007

 

 

Embracing Craves

 

All your life you have been conditioned to either stand and fight or turn and run when faced with challenge. If you are just commencing nicotine dependency recovery then chances are there is another subconsciously conditioned trigger waiting around the corner that will soon generate a short yet powerful anxiety attack that we call a crave. The trigging cue could be an emotion, time, event or place where, or during which, you used to suck warm nicotine laden saliva into crying gums and stomach in order to replenish your blood’s rapidly falling nicotine level.

 

The good news is that most triggers are reconditioned and discarded by the subconscious mind with just a single encounter. The good news is that the triggered crave episode will last less than three minutes. The good news is that the anxiety power of our crave generator is fizzling fast, and with each encountered crave there is one less trigger to recondition. The good news is that the reward of total and complete comfort and new expectations of awaking each day and not wanting for nicotine is just down the road. The bad news is that if you’re just beginning this amazing temporary journey of adjustment then there is probably another crave just around the corner. But is it bad?

 

So what approach do you use? Do you duck or run when you sense one coming or do you turn and fight? Is your game plan working to your satisfaction? Our objective here is simple - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER CHEW, but our natural instincts on how best to achieve our objective may not be the easiest path to travel. Can we hide from our craves or will they find us anyway? Can we runaway from them or will they catch us? It’s the same with going toe to toe in battle, isn’t it? Can we beat-up our craves and make them surrender or cry "uncle"? Can we scare them away? Encountering all of our triggers and craves is a very necessary part of recovering and normalizing every aspect of our daily lives. It’s true healing and we should fully embrace it!

 

Tobacco’s deadly cargo is clearly a killer but what about craves? Can a crave that lasts a couple of minutes kill you? Will it cut you, make you bleed, or send you to the emergency room? Can it physically harm you? If not, then why fear it so? How much of the anxiety associated with your recovery is self-induced? Why agonize over the anticipated arrival of that next crave? Doing so will only fuels the fire.

 

The anxiety of a craving for nicotine is very real and it’s ok to reach out and feel it but most are afraid to do so. Instead, what they feel is a tremendously inflated experience driven by fear, fueled by anticipation, and tense due to a history of prior relapse. Just once, stop running, drop your guard, take slow deep deliberate breaths and then reach out and touch your crave. It won’t injure you.

 

It’s ok to be afraid but be brave for just one moment. Wrap your arms around your next anxiety event. Clear your mind for just one moment so that you can feel the true anxiety of your healing. Make sure that you feel your stomach rising and falling as you take slow deep deliberate breaths. Clear your mind of all needless quitting chatter, worries, fears and thoughts so that you can sense and appreciate exactly what this crave is like.

 

Feel it, sense it! You won’t make the anxiety one bit more intense than it otherwise would have been. You’re witnessing part of the most beautiful healing that your mind, body and life may ever experience. Yes, there is anxiety there but for the very first time it’s not being fed and fueled by you. Feel it’s strength slowing and begin decaying. Take pride in your healing. It can’t hurt you. Only you can do that. Enjoy your recovery don’t fear it. Embrace your craves. Enjoy your journey home as there is very special person waiting at the other end.

 

Whyquit.com (article altered for chewless tobacco)

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long!

 

 

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Nov 5th 2007

 

 

Building Protection -

Some of us hid from our dependency by blaming our chronic tobacco use on what we described as tobacco chew’s wonderful smell or taste. This rationalization brick not only ignored the over 600 flavor additives that the tobacco industry uses to engineer an amazing spectrum of smells and tastes, it ignored the fact that hundreds of other plants, products and people smell good too but we have never once found the need to grind it up and smash in between our teeth and gums in order to complete the experience.

 

One brick was our sense that we were each somehow able to control the uncontrollable. Some of us purchased just one can at a time, playing the endless mind game that tomorrow would always be our last. Some intentionally never made a serious attempt so as to avoid having to admit dependency. Others rationalized that since they only chewed a little more than 20 mg. of nicotine daily (about 4 chews of tobacco) they were either less addicted than others, somehow better than other Chewers, or not addicted at all. And then there are our closest Chewers who constantly try to convince us that they aren’t addicted.

 

The most fatal control rationalization of all is the fraud of "just one," "just one little chew!" Although a primary maxim of addiction is that "one is always too many and a thousand never enough," instead of picturing all of them and the return of our entire dependency and the endless destructive chain of feeding linked to it, we rationalized countless relapses by lying to ourselves that we were stronger than nicotine and that we could chew "just one." Why waste time entertaining the repeating thought reflected by this brick when we now know it be a lie?

 

Each time our wall was pierced we simply added another brick. There was our "you have to die of something" brick, our "there’s still plenty of time" brick, and even the rationalization that went as far as to counter tobacco’s 50% kill rate by asserting that it really meant that "there is a 50% chance that chewing won’t kill me."

 

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Nov 5th 2007

 

 

Dignity's Denial - How did we look in the mirror each morning and maintain any sense of dignity, self-worth or self-respect while constantly being reminded that we were prisoners to dependency, decay, disease, and that today we’d move closer to completing the act of committing our own chemical suicide? It was easy - we learned to lie.

 

We each called upon our intelligence and conscious mind to help build a thick protective wall of denial that not only insulated us from the hard cold realities of daily dependency but behind which we could hide when those on the outside felt the need to remind us of who we really were and what we were doing. Our basic tools for building the wall were conscious rationalizations, minimizations and blame transference.

 

As soon as nicotine’s urge commands began telling us that chewing was no longer an optional activity we each found ourselves forced to explain our involuntary obedience to them. Although nicotine’s two-hour half-life inside our bloodstream was now the basic clock governing mandatory feeding times, we each became very creative in providing alternative justifications and explanations.

 

In our pre-dependency days we may have found honest pleasure in experiencing an unearned flood of dopamine accompanied appreciate our new state of permanent chemical captivity, many of us rationalized the situation based upon what we found ourselves doing.

 

"I don’t do things that I don’t like to do," we reminded ourselves. "I chew lots and lots and lots of chewing tobacco, therefore I must really love chewing," instead of "therefore, I must really be addicted to chewing nicotine." Not only were our "like" and "love" rationalizations easier to swallow, they provided a conscious defense against those encouraging us to stop. Yes, the first bricks in our wall of denial were now being cemented into place, and made thicker with each empty can….

 

Is this the fate of us all? That as nicotine addicts, we must succumb to the two hour crutch and replenish the nicotine levels, every day of every week of every month of every year, until death do us part?

 

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Nov 5th 2007

 

 

Tearing Down the Wall

 

The final phase of nicotine dependency recovery is in either allowing sufficient time to pass so that thoughts of wanting to chew -- reflecting the mountain of denial garbage we constantly fed ourselves over the years -- gradually fade away and stop haunting and replaying over and over in the mind, or accelerating the process by seeing the arrival of each as a golden opportunity to set the record straight.

 

Hooked - Imagine residing inside a mind chemically dependent upon a substance that addiction experts contend may possibly be the most captivating of all. Although it isn't likely that any of us then knew or realized that our brain had physically grown millions upon millions of extra acetylcholine receptors, that it had de-sensitized select critical brain pathways from an endless onslaught of nicotine, or that nicotine was in command and control over the flow of more than 200 of our body’s neurochemicals, we didn't need to know the details.

 

We’d each already felt the punishing anxieties of waiting too long between nicotine feedings. We knew we’d lost the autonomy to simply turn and walk away. Even though we’d tried to tune it out, we also couldn't help but hear the dull roar of the endless stream of new study findings telling us that each and every chew not only destroyed more of our body’s ability to receive and transport life-giving blood – replaced with life-taking toxins, but that with it came a greater accumulation of the 43 carcinogens present in each painful chew. We knew that a time-bomb was building in each of us.

 

Although clinging to the security blanket that all we suffered from was some "nasty little habit," deep down we knew we were hooked solid. So how did our conscious thinking mind cope with the sobering reality that our brain was a slave to its own senseless self-destruction?

 

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Nov 5th 2007

 

 

Hang in there. It gets better

Rob

The Effects of Physical Withdrawal

 

Anxiety, Anger, Irritability, Impatience and Restlessness - These are normal temporary effects of physical withdrawal from nicotine. Our life long roller coaster cycles of rising and falling blood nicotine levels are now ending. Your mind is in the process of resuming control of the more than 200 neurochemicals that nicotine had directly and indirectly taken hostage, including select adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin pathways. In resuming control the brain is making sensitivity re-adjustments associated with mood, reward, stimulation and anxiety. In trying to protect your mind from the deadly pesticide nicotine it actually desensitized important neurochemical circuits by reducing receptor sites and diminishing the number of transporters.

 

If a nicotine user remains 100% nicotine free for just 72 hours they'll likely begin to notice the underlying current of recovery anxieties easing off as their brain's neurons begin bathing in nicotine-free oxygen rich blood serum and the brain's sensitivity adjustments begin bearing fruit. Although our quickly healing body is now 100% nicotine free and most of the normal symptoms of adjustment have reached their peak, it will take 10 days to two weeks before our mind and body become fully accustomed to functioning with the absence of nicotine and many of the other 4,000+ chemicals present in each dipping chew.

 

The early healing is rapid. Deep breathing with mind relaxation, together with a bit of physical activity, can help diminish anxieties. Adjustment of caffeine intake and limiting sugars can also have a calming effect. Acidic fruit juices, like cranberry, may help accelerate extraction of the blood's remaining nicotine and decease the maximum of 72 hours required for the body to completely metabolize all nicotine.

 

There is a detailed cessation effects study by Marcia M. Ward, entitled "Self-reported abstinence effects in the first month after chewing cessation," published in Addictive Behaviors, 26 (2001) at pages 311-327. Its findings are fascinating. For example, it may be difficult to believe but, on average, anxieties peak on day one (within 24 hours) and within two weeks return almost to pre-cessation levels. Regarding anxiety, be sure you understand why ex-Chewers only need half the amount of caffeine as Chewers. Irritability, often anxiety's aftermath, seems to peak at about 48 hours while restlessness peaks at 72 hours. According to the study, both begin hovering back around pre-cessation levels within two weeks.

 

Anger apparently peaks for the average quitter at about 48 hours (day 2) and within 72 hours is beginning to return to almost pre-cessation levels. Amazingly, nicotine assumed command of the mind's adrenaline circuitry and a small release was part of our high. When taking back control, anger and fear (fight or flight) are our means of releasing adrenaline. It isn't unusual to find yourself intentionally attempting to induce adrenaline releases by promoting conflict or feeling fearful about permanently altering your mind's sense of normal from "nicotine normal" back to "you."

 

While awaiting re-sensitization, find ways to vent frustrations and release adrenaline that won't cause needless hurt to family members, loved ones, friends or co-workers. Walk, run, vent into a pillow, find a punching bag, bend a piece of steel, or even bite your lip during early withdrawal if that’s what it takes. Discuss your feelings with family, friends or within your support system.

 

Following serious challenge, write yourself a loving letter that can be read a year from now that accurately describes what chemical withdrawal and early psychological recovery were like and why you were more than willing to endure it. The mind does not remember pain or the bad times. In fact, you memories of "Glory Week" will rapidly fade within just a few short weeks. Give yourself the present gift of future memory. It may be just the motivation you'll need to avoid temptation tomorrow.

 

Occupy your time. Try enjoying your favorite activity, sport or hobby. Celebrate each hour of freedom. Keep a positive attitude and review your reasons for beginning this journey. If you need a break, briefly clear your mind of all negative thoughts and chatter by taking slow deep breaths while focusing exclusively upon your favorite person, place, or object. Don’t allow the seeds of false reasoning to fester and infect your logic or desire. Let intelligence serve as courage as you break free from years of slavery to the dictates of a chemical master.

 

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Nov 7th 2007

 

 

Good morning fellow quitters, the elite and the brave. I think there is something for everyone in this article from whyquit.com. I believe I have used each of these rationalizations at least a dozen times each in order to prolong my feeding at the nicotine line. Make it a nic-free day everyone so you can look at yourself in the mirror and be proud of yourself for what you are accomplishing and so you that never again will you have to scurry away into a closet, full of shame and remorse, as you reach for that slave driven can that fuels your addicted ridden veins…

 

Rob aka Indy

 

We also have all of our "why we chewed" rationalizations. We told ourselves that it made the coffee taste better when in fact it deadened our sense of smell and drowned coffee’s flavors in the 4,000 chemicals present in each chew. There was our "best friend" brick which asserted that a chemical with an I.Q. of zero was most loyal companion we'd ever had, even when chewing it had long ago deprived us of certain physical capabilities.

 

There was our boredom brick, our appetizer before every meal brick, our after each meal dessert brick, and the brick proclaiming the first chew of the day to be one of the best of all. Each such rationalization totally ignored the real clock driving the situation - nicotine’s two-hour chemical half-life.

 

They ignored the fact that the average can-a-day Chewer will receive a command to chew (an urge) about every thirty minutes regardless of which activity their denial wishes to credit. It ignores the fact that after sleeping through three to four nicotine half-lives we were left with nicotine blood-serum reserve levels that were somewhere down around our socks. Those first daily chews should have been memorable.

 

Then there were our alcohol and stress bricks. Living in a world of dependency ignorance, very few of us knew that nicotine is an alkaloid and that both stress and alcohol are acid producing events. Instead of understanding how stress and alcohol can neutralize the body's nicotine reserves we rationalized that chewing reduced our stress and that we liked chewing more when drinking.

 

Let's not forget our romantic fixation bricks proclaiming that some of our best memories ever were based upon the presence of nicotine, and that somehow the moment or underlying memory would have been less significant if nicotine had not added dopamine and adrenaline to it. Wouldn't honest reflection have us asking how many of life's perfect moments were interrupted by a mandatory need to leave and feed, or by a mind pre-occupied with the need to do so?

 

And what about our quitting bricks? Pretending that we’d be quitting soon or going so far as to actually set a date would always make today’s nicotine fixes far more bearable. When we failed to follow through or relapsed we could always reach for our blame bricks and lay the cause for our defeat upon family members that just couldn’t handle the temporary anxieties associated with recovery. We could blame friends, a lack of support, a relationship, stressful times, financial hardship, other Chewers, alcohol or even our job.

 

Natural Erosion or Conscious Intervention? - The only limit upon the bricks within our wall was our imagination. Have you ever noticed just how challenging it really is to coax a Chewer out from behind their wall? After years of construction it tends to be a secure and comforting place to hide from those seeking to impose their will upon us.

It is not necessary that any of us set out to consciously dismantle our wall of denial in order to successfully keep our dependency arrested. But what it may help to realize is that the bulk of our "thoughts" of wanting to chew nicotine are likely a reflection of the very wall that we ourselves created.

 

As each thought arrives, will spending a bit of time reflecting upon its origin and validity help shorten this temporary period of adjustment called quitting, and diminish the number of excuses available to justify future relapse?

 

The day and moment is approaching when you'll awaken to an expectation of going your entire day without once wanting to chew nicotine. Oh, you'll still have thoughts now and then but with decreasing frequency, shorter duration and declining intensity. They'll become the exception, not the rule. It may even get to the point where you'll greet them with a smile as they'll be your only reminder of the amazing journey you've made.

 

They say that "truth shall set us free" but here at Quit Smokeless.org we have an even better guarantee. It is impossible to lose our freedom so long as we refuse to allow nicotine back into our bloodstream. The next few minutes are all that matter and each is entirely doable. There was always only one rule ... no nicotine today and Never Take Another Chew!

 

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Nov 8th 2007

 

 

Good article from whyquit.com

I Chew Because I'm Self-Destructive!

________________________________________

 

 

Many Chewers & Smokers believe they continue because of their self-destructive attitude. They actually want to get sick. Some say they are afraid of reaching old age. Others arrogantly vow to continue smoking or chewing until it kills them.

 

While some people do have emotional problems which lead to self-destructive behavior, I believe the majority of tobacco users with this attitude are not in this category. Most make these statements to hide their fears of not being able to give up the tobacco habit.

 

Over the past years, I have had many people ravaged by tobacco related illnesses come into cessation clinics. They often explain that they had made such excuses yet were shocked when they actually did become ill. Clinic participants who fail occasionally state that they just didn't care enough about themselves to give up the tobacco. Unfortunately, some were later diagnosed of having cancer. Others have had heart attacks, strokes or other illnesses. None of them ever called me enthusiastically proclaiming, "It worked, it's killing me!" On the contrary, they were normally upset, scared and depressed. Not only did they have a potentially deadly condition, but they knew that, to a major degree, they were responsible for its occurrence.

 

An equally tragic situation is experienced by the survivors of people who die of chewing related illnesses. Many ex-chewers go back to chewing through the encouragement of family and friends. This usually happens to someone who is disease free and quits to stay healthy. Initially they are nervous and crabby (remember those days?). Soon the spouse, kids and others are saying, "If this is what you are like as a nonchewer, for heaven's sake, chew!" While it may seem to be a good idea at the time, consider how the relative feels when the chewer gets cancer or has a heart attack and dies. The guilt is tremendous.

 

Some beliefs or statements made by chewers sound irrational, as if they have a real death wish. Often, there is really nothing wrong with the person - it is a drug effect. Fear of withdrawal or of being unable to cope with life without chew results in a defense mechanism to justify dependency. Once off chew these excuses simply disappear, leaving a physically and psychologically healthier individual who will have a good chance of remaining this way by following one simple procedure - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER CHEW!

 

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Nov 15th 2007

 

 

Stop Chewing Recovery Timetable

The body's ability to mend is beauty to behold

 

Within ... You can expect ...

• 20 minutes ... your blood pressure and pulse rate to return to normal. The temperature of your hands and feet will also have returned to normal.

• 8 hours ... your blood oxygen levels to have increased to normal limits and carbon monoxide levels to have dropped to normal.

• 24 hours ...your risk of sudden heart attack to have substantially decreased.

• 48 hours ... nerve ending to start healing and your sense of smell and taste to begin returning to normal.

• 72 hours ... your entire body to test 100% nicotine-free with over 90% of all nicotine metabolites to have now passed through your urine. You can also expect the symptoms of chemical withdrawal to have peaked in intensity. Your bronchial tubes will begin relaxing and thus make breathing easier, and your lung capacity will also begin to increase.

• 10 days to 2 weeks ... your body to have adjusted to the physical functioning without nicotine and the 3,500 particles and more than 500 toxins present in each chew.

 

• 1 to 9 months ... your circulation to have improved substantially, any sinus congestion, fatigue, and shortness of breath to have decreased. Your body's overall energy will have increased.

• 1 year ... your excess risk of coronary heart disease to drop to less than half that of a Chewer.

• 5 years ... your risk of stroke is reduced to that of a non-Chewer at 5-15 years after quitting.

• 10 years ... your risk of death from cancer to have decreased by almost half if you were an average Chewer (one can a day). Your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat and esophagus is now half that of a Chewer's.

• 15 years ... your risk of coronary heart disease to now be that of a person who has never chewed. Your overall risk of death has returned to nearly that of a person who has never chewed.

 

Sources for the above stop chewing recovery data include the 1990 U.S. Surgeon General's Report on the "Health Benefits of Chewing Cessation, " U.S. National Institute of Health, Medline Plus

 

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Nov 15th 2007

 

 

I Chew Because I Like Chewing!

________________________________________

 

 

Ask almost any current chewer why he continues to indulge in such a dangerous activity and he will normally reply, "Because I like chewing." While he may say this in all honesty, it is a very misleading statement, both to the listener and to the chewer himself. He does not chew because he enjoys chewing, rather he chews because he does not enjoy not chewing.

Nicotine is a powerfully addictive drug. The chewer is in a constant battle to maintain a narrow range of nicotine in her blood stream (serum nicotine level). Every time the chewer's serum nicotine level falls below the minimum limit, he experiences drug withdrawal. He becomes tense, irritable, anxious and, in some cases, even shows physical symptoms. He does not enjoy feeling these withdrawals. The only thing that will alleviate these acute symptoms will be a chew. The nicotine loss is then replenished and, hence, the chewer feels better. He enjoyed chewing.

A chewer must also be cautious not to exceed his upper limit of tolerance for nicotine or else suffer varying degrees of nicotine poisoning. Many chewers can attest to this condition. It usually occurs after parties or extremely tense situations when the chewers finds themselves exceeding their normal level of consumption. They feel sick, nauseous, dizzy and generally miserable.

Being a successful chewer is like being an accomplished tightrope walker. The chewer must constantly maintain a balance between these two painful extremes of too much or too little nicotine. The fear which accompanies initial chewing cessation is that the rest of the ex-chewer's entire life will be as horrible as the first few days without chews. What ex-chewers will learn is that within a short period of time, the physical withdrawal will start to diminish. First, the urges will weaken in intensity and then become shorter in duration. There will be longer time intervals between urges. It will eventually reach the point where the ex-chewer will desire a chew very infrequently, if ever. Those who continue to chew will continue to be in a constant battle of maintaining their serum nicotine level.

Included in this battle is the great expense of buying can after can and the dangerous assault on the chewer's body of sucking the poison nicotine along with over 4,000 other toxic chemicals inherent in the tobacco. These chemicals are deadly by themselves and even more so in combination.

So the next time you think of how much you once seemed to enjoy chew, sit back and take a serious, objective look at why you have such an idealization of this dangerous product. Consider all the consequences. You will probably realize that you feel physically and mentally better now than you ever did as a chewer. Consider all of this and - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER DIP!

 

Joel

 

© Joel Spitzer 1983, 2000

Page last updated by Joel Spitzer on August 24, 2003

 

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oops this one was a repeat sorry... ummm... Stay Quit!!! :thumbsup:

 

 

haha if anybody reads down this far drop me a note. It is always nice to know if our work here on this site is helpfull

Edited by Wyoming4life

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Nov. 19th 2007

 

 

Hey all – if you read ANY article I post, READ THIS ARTICLE!!! It has proved critical for me and my cessation because stress is such a natural part of our lives and we need to be able to cope (no pun intended) with stress and without the dip. Once again, this is exactly why I advocate that while addicted to nicotine, our addiction is no different that the crack/meth/cocaine addict. Find your freedom and be a nic-wh$re, no more!

 

You Chew Because

You're A Chew-a-holic!

________________________________________

 

 

 

Some chewers say they chew because they are nervous. Others say they chew to celebrate. Some think they chew for energy. Yet others chew to stay awake or to sleep. Some think they chew to think. Another once said he returned to chewing when experiencing chest pains. He figured the fear of a heart attack is enough to make anyone chew. None of these reasons satisfactorily explains why people continue chewing. However, the answer is, in fact, quite simple. Chewers dip because they are chewers. More precisely, chewers dip because they are chew-a-holics.

 

A chew-a-holic, like any other drug addict, has become hooked on a chemical substance. In the chewer's case, nicotine is the culprit. He is at the point where the failure to maintain a minimum level of nicotine in his blood stream leads to the nicotine abstinence syndrome, otherwise known as drug withdrawal. Anything that makes him lose nicotine makes him chew.

 

This concept explains why so many chewers feel they chew under stress. Stress has a physiological effect on the body which makes the urine acidic. Whenever the urine becomes acidic, the body excretes nicotine at an accelerated rate. Thus, when a chewer encounters a stressful situation he loses nicotine and goes into drug withdrawal. Most chewers feel that when they are nervous or upset chews help calm them down. The calming effect, however, is not relief from the emotional strain of the situation, but actually the effect of replenishing the nicotine supply and ending the withdrawal. It is easy to understand why chewers without this basic knowledge of stress and its nicotine effect are afraid to give up chewing. They feel that they will be giving up a very effective stress management technique. But once they give up chewing for a short period of time, they will become calmer, even under stress, than when they were chewers.

 

The explanation of how physiological changes in the body make chewers chew is difficult for some chewers to believe. But nearly all chewers can easily relate to other situations which also alter the excretion rate of nicotine. Ask a chewer what happens to their chewing consumption after drinking alcohol, and you can be sure they will answer that it goes up. If asked how much their consumption rises, they will normally reply that it doubles or even triples when drinking. They usually are convinced that this happens because everyone around them is chewing or smoking. But if they think back to a time when they were the only chewer in the room, they will realize that drinking still caused them to chew more. Alcohol consumption results in the same physiological effect as stress - acidification of the urine. The nicotine level drops dramatically, and the chewer must take one chew after another or suffer drug withdrawal.

 

It is important for chewers considering quitting to understand these concepts because once they truly understand why they chew they will be able to more fully appreciate how much more simple their life will become as an ex-chewer.

 

Once the chewer stops, nicotine will begin to leave his or her body and within two weeks all the nicotine will be gone. Once the nicotine is totally out of the body, all withdrawal will cease. No longer will they experience drug withdrawal states whenever encountering stress, drinking, or just going too long without chewing. In short, they will soon realize that all the benefits they thought they derived from chewing were false effects. They did not need to chew to deal with stress, or to drink, socialize, or work. Everything they did as a chewer they can do as a non-chewer, and in most cases they will now do these activities more efficiently and feel better during them.

 

They will become a more independent people. It is a good feeling and a major accomplishment to break free from this addiction. But no matter how long they are off chewing and how confident they feel, the ex-chewer must always remember that he or she is a chew-a-holic.

 

Being a chew-a-holic means that as long as they don't take a single dip, smoke a cigarette, cigar or pipe, or inject it into their bloodstream with a syringe, gum or patch, they will never again become hooked on nicotine. If, on the other hand, they do make the tragic mistake of experimenting with any nicotine product, they will reinforce their addiction. This will result either in returning to their old level of consumption or experiencing a full fledged withdrawal process. Neither situation is fun to go through.

 

So, once off of chewing, the ex-chewer must always remember just who and what he is - a chew-a-holic for the rest of his life. Remembering this, you can remain truly independent from nicotine by following one simple practice - Never Take Another Dip!

 

 

Joel

 

© Joel Spitzer 1983, 2000

Page last updated by Joel Spitzer on August 24, 2003

This document was created by John R. Polito, editor of www.whyquit.com and presenter of bimonthly free quit smoking seminars at the College of Charleston. These tips were developed primarily from recent medical studies and from Joel's Library (http://whyquit.com/joel), an insightful collection of 95 short quitting articles available for download as a free electronic PDF book at WhyQuit.com (http://whyquit.com/joel/ntap.pdf).

 

Be sure to share this booklet with friends and loved ones who smoke. Not being able to discover the law of addiction through the school of hard-quitting-knocks is a horrible reason to die. It may be reproduced and shared for health education purposes so long as it is not used for commercial purposes and there is never any charge or cost to recipients.

 

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