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REMINDERS FROM MY EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT


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#1 cookielinda

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 08:52 PM

Triggers: Reminders From Your Executive Assistant


Original post : Kattatonic Gold/ Freedom member.


"It's all in your head" has developed a really bad rap in our culture. What's up with that? The power of the brain is remarkable. We should marvel and be impressed.

Has anyone told you that since physical withdrawal is over... get a grip... or get over it... or something like that?

What about patience with yourself? You've been informed that it's psychological after 2 weeks . Do you think the impulse to smoke should stop now, now, now?

Do you think impulses after you have quit for a while indicate you are weak?
Quite the contrary, actually. Your brain is working as designed.

Okay, listen up. Your brain is amazing. Every time you do anything, one function your brain performs is to try to save you time and prevent you from repeating past mistakes. So quickly and subconsciously, your brain scans the memory banks for similar circumstances whenever you do anything. When it finds comparable history, it compares that with what you are doing now and alerts you to differences, just like an efficient little assistant.



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Yesterday I pulled on my day pack, went out the front door and turned left to walk up the street. Suddenly I am hit with a trigger. Why? Because I haven't turned left off my front stoop since before I quit. I quit in the winter and I have either gone out the back door to my car, or turned right to walk to the subway. Turning left means I am going to bother to walk to the grocery, which I haven't done since I quit.

The part of my brain that tries to save me time, let's call him the Executive Assistant (the EA), recalled past left turns from the stoop. He went down a checklist. What did she need / what did she use on previous excursions like this? Wallet? Check. Keys? Check. Bags? Check. Smokes? NOPE. "Ah, ah, ah, excuse me!" I could imagine him running up behind me yesterday as I set out and picked up pace. "You've forgotten your cigarettes! You're going to need your cigarettes when you get to the café!" (I treat myself to a special coffee when I bother to walk to the market.)

Remember all those times you forgot your cigarettes and kicked yourself? It was such an inconvenience when you were an active using addict. Back then, your reaction went something like this: "Memo to self. Don't forget the cigarettes!" What I'm calling the 'EA' function in your brain monitors these memos. He got the memos and he's acting on them. He got thousands of memos like that!

The poor guy is just trying to do his job. So I thanked my EA for trying to save me frustration, reminded him that I no longer smoke and that he should refer to the new Never Take Another Puff memo.

After my coffee up the street, I paused to listen to the Let's-Smoke trigger, a little different and a more uncomfortable than the Forgot-Your-Cigarettes trigger. There he was again, but this time trying to get me to actually smoke! What a guy! His reasoning? "You've eaten, walked and coffeed, you're about to shop... you are going to want a smoke before you know it and you'd always rather smoke here than while walking home. Always! Always!"

This guy is no dummy. I did in fact send him that memo many, many times. For heavens sake, I smoked for 25 years. The filing cabinets are full of those old memos.

How to teach an old dog new tricks? Well the EA in our brains can and does learn new routines all the time. We may learn slower as we age but we do still learn and adapt, especially if we do it consciously. We have to note new memos to ourselves, sometimes several times and we have to be kind to ourselves... or our ‘EAs’. The kinder and calmer you are, the more chance you have of him 'getting it' each time. So what to do in the café?

I said to my EA, "Thanks! I appreciate the reminder but you have to look at the newer One = All memo again. I am not going to smoke today or ever. Please remember that coffee time is no longer smoke time."

He will get it; I know he will. It will just take a while and a walk through all my various scenarios. He is really very, very good. He learned so well the first time -- I have to give him time to learn the new mandate.

Thanks for reading my ramblings. You are doing it,! It is doable! It does get better and it is worth it... wait! Make that, YOU are worth it. Yes, you are.The factor that really shows the addiction is not how hard or how easy it is to quit. What really shows the addiction is how universally easy it is to go back. One puff and the quit can go out the window.UCanQuit
  • akm5720, Jack, joylovepeace23 and 20 others like this
I promise you that a day will come when you will be comfortable in your own body. I promise you that a day will come when your brain will heal. Never take another puff. Your a puff away from a pack a day.
Quit date April 28, 2008

#2 tanyau

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 03:38 AM

That is fantastic. Funny and Oh so true!!!!
Will have to have a word with my EA when I get to that point.
Thanks
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#3 Mountain

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 01:07 PM

Bump
........................Mountain

...... Smoked for over 45 years - not any more

"IF I HAVE JUST ONE, I'LL BE BACK WHERE I STARTED.
WHERE I STARTED WAS DESPERATELY WISHING I WAS WHERE I AM TODAY"
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#4 Victoriaparkhil

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 06:52 PM

Bump for Mainecardinal :D Vic
Keeping my Quit and Never Taking Another Puff!
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AFTER 43 YEARSquit date: December 31, 2008
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#5 Mainecardinal

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 11:43 AM

Thanks VIc. Your a doll!!


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Never go backward. Attempt, and do it with all your might. Determination is power.

#6 slocum

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 05:18 PM

bump
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Quit date: November 2, 2007
Facing the truth about addiction one day at a time.

#7 cookielinda

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 12:16 PM

BUMP FOR NEWBIES
I promise you that a day will come when you will be comfortable in your own body. I promise you that a day will come when your brain will heal. Never take another puff. Your a puff away from a pack a day.
Quit date April 28, 2008

#8 Victoriaparkhil

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 07:18 PM

bump for Sonata! :D Vic
Keeping my Quit and Never Taking Another Puff!
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AFTER 43 YEARSquit date: December 31, 2008
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#9 Sonata

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 03:50 AM

Absolutely bump! This is a great post thank you so much :) I will be talking to EA when she is trying too hard to "help" and tell her over and over again that her job description has changed. This definitely is going to be interesting to try..

Luv
Sonata

#10 AnneMarie09

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 02:00 PM

Bump for whitehawk. This was my wake up call
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"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." ~ Dolly Parton
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Quit Date: 18th July, 2009.

#11 AnneMarie09

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 03:55 PM

I liked this very muchly. Thought some may benefit. bump!
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"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." ~ Dolly Parton
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Quit Date: 18th July, 2009.

#12 dramagal

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 04:16 PM

New read for me... Thanks for the bump...
August 8, 2009 -FREEDOM
Sometimes you just have to take things moment to moment!!!
BELIEVE YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!
HEATHER

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#13 slocum

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 08:10 PM

:D
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Quit date: November 2, 2007
Facing the truth about addiction one day at a time.

#14 Mountain

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 09:51 PM

:!:

Thanks for moving this one up. Very powerful image.
........................Mountain

...... Smoked for over 45 years - not any more

"IF I HAVE JUST ONE, I'LL BE BACK WHERE I STARTED.
WHERE I STARTED WAS DESPERATELY WISHING I WAS WHERE I AM TODAY"
Author Unknown

#15 AnneMarie09

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 12:27 AM

Bump..I'm feeling nostalgic... 8)
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"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." ~ Dolly Parton
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Quit Date: 18th July, 2009.

#16 Cathy

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 01:48 AM

Wow thanks for the bump, I love this stuff, I believe in the power of we become our thoughts, so this is perfect fit for me.
I think that is why with every thought or crave of a cigarette I have been doing one of my two mantra's.."yippee I am a non smoker" or"I don't need to do that anymore"
from Allen Carr's book and even though I have had my moments it has not been that difficult.....Great post.

#17 WTBF

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 01:59 AM

Wow thanks for the bump, I love this stuff, I believe in the power of we become our thoughts, so this is perfect fit for me.
I think that is why with every thought or crave of a cigarette I have been doing one of my two mantra's.."yippee I am a non smoker" or"I don't need to do that anymore"
from Allen Carr's book and even though I have had my moments it has not been that difficult.....Great post.


I have another one for you Cathy; it's a bit Zen-like:

To become a non-smoker, be a non-smoker.
Tim
**Smoking is Not an Option**
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I used to be somebody else, but I traded him in. ..... The Passenger
N.O.P.E.

#18 bookandcranny

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 02:56 PM

This is one of my favorites. Bumping for those that need it today. :D
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QUIT DATE: June 21, 2010

#19 slocum

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 12:00 AM

bump for greenlover :)
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Quit date: November 2, 2007
Facing the truth about addiction one day at a time.

#20 justlnk

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 01:02 AM

I'll have to come back to this page. :)
Thanks so much!!!!
Libby - Single mom to the best kid in the world!
I'm the only one that will make ME do anything.
1 promise that will never be broken to my lil one.
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