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Quitting smoking using AVRT

Old 05-18-2013, 09:35 AM
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Quitting smoking using AVRT

Anyone here done this successfully?

AVRT is a new concept for me. I'm almost a year sober and quite secure with that now, I'm using a recovery program and am happy to stick with what's working for me.

But the smoking....nothing has worked and I'm desperate to quit. I've done some reading on AVRT, haven't smoked for a couple of days and I'm struggling I will be honest. I'm finding it hard not to listen to the AV. I'm finding it hard to separate that voice which at present is screaming at me from my rational voice. I know what I want and need to do. I know I need to ignore it, but it is so hard. I feel panicked and anxious and it is so convincing.

I guess I'd like to hear from others who have managed this in relation to smoking. How on earth did you learn to ignore it??!

This seems way harder than giving up drinking, but maybe that's because the struggles with that have faded a bit with time for me.

I need to succeed. I want to succeed. Why am I doubting that I can?
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:07 AM
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You are not doubting that you can succeed. Remember? That would be your AV right there.
Make it Standard Procedure, that any thought about ever smoking again, or any thought about doubting in your ability to quit, doesn't come from your 'thinking' brain, it comes from your Addiction, or AV. Here is how this can make sense: Once you have made a conscious choice about never smoking again, also called a Big Plan, these thoughts must have come from your lizard brain, your pleasure centre, your Smoking Beast.

This image allows you to separate yourself from them, and decide that they are 'not you'. Because they are not you, they are powerless to force you to do anything, including powerless to 'make' you smoke. You have made your Big Plan, and you have all the power now, you get to choose, and you have chosen. You have decided. You will never smoke again and you will never change your mind. This is a BP.
There is no 'ignoring', in fact it's just the opposite. Become mindful and hyper-aware of the urge to smoke. Allow the urge to be, accept its presence, without believing that it can force your action. The simple truth is that it is powerless over you. You have the power here. All of it.

Set that self confidence to 11 and believe in yourself. Believe in Jen, she can do this thing. She already quit drinking for heaven's sake, so she can do this too.
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:19 AM
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Ok.....thanks. My AV is having a field day with me at the moment. It is so convincing. There shouldn't be a doubt I know.

I want this and I can do it.

Bloody tricky though doing that separation thing. I think I'm going to print out your message and put it up somewhere in the house to remind me.

There is that 'you're not strong enough' , 'you know you always give up on the 3rd day', ' try it again tomorrow' dialogue that's playing on a loop at the moment. And my cravings are through the roof. Aargh!!
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:57 AM
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I know the feeling of panic and anxiety that comes along with the urges, Jen. We all do. It is part of this whole addiction breaking thing. The urges are sign that you are actually achieving and doing this very very important and death defying thing. You can separate from this anxiety, not ignore it but accept it. It is not you, it is that AV trying to bully you into buying another pack. I hate bullies. And whingers, too. I said, NO!!!1!!1!!!, are your ears painted on?

Please revisit our correspondence. Have you given any thought to those lists? What about creating a whole complete picture of this new person you are creating. What is she like? How about all the benefits of smoking? Have you listed those?

You don't look like a smoker, Jen. Onward!
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:07 AM
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'I don't look like a smoker'. I like that. I guess that's because I'm not a smoker....

The anxiety is crushing though. I'm learning to sit with that when it comes because it does pass after 10 minutes or so. Urge surfing is a lifesaver at the moment. I'm finding that between bouts of panic and wanting to bang my head against something hard I'm actually quite strong about this. It's like I'm 2 different people...and I like the non-smoker better.

I'm still trying to argue with my AV though, I must try and stop that. I guess it scares me.

Right...deep breaths. We've got friends coming over tonight, and one of them smokes.
My AV likes that thought. I'm aware of that. I can take it.

And I will create that picture of myself as a non-smoker, good strategy. Thankyou so much.
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeni26 View Post
'I don't look like a smoker'. I like that. I guess that's because I'm not a smoker....

It's like I'm 2 different people...and I like the non-smoker better.

And I will create that picture of myself as a non-smoker, good strategy. Thank you so much.
So let's work with that idea then. This Non Smoking Jen - what is she like? I would think that she is smart, self-possessed, graceful, classy, well-mannered. She looks fresh, pleasant company, someone deserving of respect.

I know that everyone will like the non-smoker MUCH better, and most important, you will like her too.

I believe in you, Jen, and your ability. Onward!
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:30 PM
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I forgot to add one thing. This NonSmoking Jen? She is BADASS. Don't mess with her, she is just that good. Out of her way, onyer bike, mate.
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:11 PM
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I think the AVRT approach is very similar to Allen Carr's approach to addiction. But his might be more smoking specific. Might be worth checking out. I use a AVRT a lot with smoking, it is relevant to lots of things really, but I think I will re read the Allen Carr book (The big fat 'permanent' one was better for me as there were more examples in it) because it helped remove some of the myths about smoking and stops me feeling wistful about it. If you can give up drinking you can do anything Jeni x
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Old 05-18-2013, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by freshstart57 View Post
I forgot to add one thing. This NonSmoking Jen? She is BADASS. Don't mess with her, she is just that good. Out of her way, onyer bike, mate.
Love that!

Sorry Jen, I'm kind of chiming in here)

I'm just trying to cope with emotional overeating, and think I could use AVRT as well to beat it.

Best luck with quitting smoking!
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:27 PM
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Thanks Hypo and Midnight Blue.

And Freshstart.....BadAss?....that's something I would NEVER describe myself as!!...but I kinda like it!

I survived an evening in the company of a smoker and heavy drinker...and it really was ok.

So forward I go as a (badass) non-smoker!
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:30 PM
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Anyone who has beaten an addiction, much less two addictions, is b.a. in my books. Respect, Jen, big respect.
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:42 PM
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My AV just screamed at me then that it was just one evening!!! I haven't actually proved I've beaten anything!

I'm getting so much better at recognising that isn't ME talking. Thanks for all your help.
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:53 PM
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It helps my to picture my AV as an ugly demon. When I picture that, I am repelled by everything it has to say.

I quit smoking 8 years ago using AVRT - I must say, it was more difficult than quitting drinking! But it CAN be done.
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:00 PM
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It seems more difficult than quitting drinking to me too, but I'm not sure I remember accurately how difficult the early days of sobriety were.

I picture myself having to explain to my kids that I've got cancer and seeing their faces.

I know that might seem overly dramatic, but it could very well happen, and why would I ever take the risk of causing that? I got sober to be the Mum they deserve.
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Old 05-18-2013, 06:31 PM
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You seem to be progressing through the stages of AVRT that I did, Jen, but much more quickly than I. The real final nail in your separation from your AV is turning your decision, your Big Plan, into a moral issue, just as you have done there.

I now imagine driving while impaired and killing someone which I find morally repugnant. You have found your own key that you can use to lock this away forever, and it relates to an agony and a grief for your kids which is within your power to prevent.

Well done, Jen.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:06 AM
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How are you doing with the nonsmoking Jenn? Great thread!
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:16 AM
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Really good thanks, I've joined MidnightBlue on her thread about binge eating and we are comparing notes along our journeys.

No cigarettes for about 2 weeks now!
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Old 12-31-2013, 02:05 PM
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I am bumping that one up because I just posted in the Nicotine subforum about wanting to quit smoking using AVRT and since I did, my beast is just going insane and the freaking AV is giving me a panic attack (that's just for considering quitting!!).

Chances are that it's the AV but now I am also (or is it it?) starting to think that cessing smoking might jeopardize my sobriety. My av has been very timid when it comes to alcohol and quitting and staying quit was easy. What if quitting smoking woke the drinking beast up?
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Old 12-31-2013, 03:01 PM
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AV (definition): Any thought that supports or suggests the chance of drinking (or smoking too, if you wish) now, or in the future.

You are calm, cool and serene in your choice, it really is your AV that is pitching a fit. And you are so right in that your AV is suggesting that maybe this smoking cessation will be the chance it needs to feel that rush of pleasure again. But you have chosen. That question of ever drinking again has been asked and answered.

For reassurance, just take a look at your avatar again, Carlotta. Behold the Power of NO! I like it!
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Old 12-31-2013, 03:23 PM
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Over 7 months nicotine free Carlotta...after smoking for 30 years and countless attempts to quit.

It works.

My beast told me I would start drinking again too. It is BS.

You can do this x
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