ForumTouchy Subjects ► Experience with nicotine addiction
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Everyone: Just wanted to make a thread about this. Don't take nicotine. Read as much or as little of this as you want. Read the whole thing and I’ll appreciate the shit out of you.


I really hope that this does not sound arrogant or if I'm saying things I don't understand (please correct me). That's a flaw I have and particularly hate. Anyway... Peoples reasons for initiating a nicotine addiction are different, obviously. You might just be having fun one day and think "I'm gonna be 'bad' and smoke a cigarette, that'll be cool." You might be given one and think "Sure, why not?" That won't necessarily initiate the addiction if you ever develop it. You'll probably, hopefully, feel really uncomfortable think "What the fuck did I just do?" whether you hit a vape, smoked a cigarette, or took dip or used those stupid ZYN/Velo pouches or anything you put in your mouth. Hopefully/probably maybe you'll enjoy it but then not do it ever again or maybe try it again every few/several years or so. My dad is in his 60s and smoked when he was a teenager and college student (according to him, he never felt addicted). For as long as I've known him, he's smoked maybe 10 times at most (I counted 7 times I can specifically recall) and that's only been a couple drags off of a cig or a cigar before putting it out. If anyone can think of any other ways (preferably from thinking about people you know) people get introduced to nicotine, please say so. I'm leaving out patches because who the fuck is gonna never take nicotine then suddenly put on a patch.


In my case someone gave me one and I thought "Sure, why not?" At the time I was under what I think was a particularly intense amount of stress for a 15 year old, especially considering that I instantly wanted to have my own cigarettes as soon as the halfway point of the cig. At the time, a friend was driving me home from school and I had a day where it all became too much to deal with and was crying in his car while he was driving me home. He said something like "Dude... you want a cigarette?" And as soon as I took a hit, the crying stopped, almost against my will. I still felt bad but could manage and put those feelings back and managed to talk about the stuff bothering me instead of just cry. As I said, halfway through it, I think I said, out loud, something like "Wow, cigarettes are amazing."


So I started plotting ways to get my own cigarettes. First thing I did was ask my friend if I could have a few more cigarettes to take home with me and he gave me some. Then I started thinking about everyone I knew who smoked cigarettes, which was only a few people, but I started keeping them closer to me and at less of a distance than I did before. Some of them were already close friends so that worked out well for me. By the next year I was starting to give people I knew who smoked money to go buy cigarettes for me and they never minded and always did.


I started to smoke cigarettes in the morning right when I woke up before I got a shower to go to school and then again when I got home from school and then again at least 2 more times in the day before going to sleep. Upon waking up, my body was too heavy, my mind too foggy to be able to function. I was not conscious until I absorbed nicotine from the smoke. When going through the day, I was too on edge to be able to handle stressors thrown my way. This was when I was 16.


Despite the fact that being on edge was normal before I even started smoking, I still responded by smoking the pains away instead of responding by crying or talking to someone about what was bothering me. It's not as if the smoking made me feel good, rather it made me clearer headed and able to think through what was bothering me. That's not good. That's a teenager thinking through their problems without any input from someone who might know better and be able to supply ideas that the teenager would never have had on their own.


As the years went on, smoking and using nicotine became much more common. I was always very shy and nervous in social situations. The clear headedness and easing of anxiety afforded by smoking allowed me to stay calm in social situations enough to be able to talk even if I was in a group larger than 4 people. But this put me on a nicotine addict's schedule of socialization. Socialization became a hill to walk over with fellow addicts who all, without ever saying it to each other, realized that it was a hurdle whose peak always ended with readying up for the next one.


Later on, when I started college, I was still smoking and had a lot of trouble meeting people because all of my friends dropped out after the first semester. Because smoking wasn't banned on campus on that point, it was very easy to find cigarettes because no one really minded "Hey, man, can I bum a cig from you?" and always that was followed by a conversation with the person I bummed a cigarette from.


Even after smoking was banned on campus, people still smoked and it was still easy to find both cigarettes and sources of human interaction as the two were tied together. Note that I did not live in a dorm, rather I spent all of undergrad either living alone or with one roommate who was usually either gone physically or gone mentally from being strung out on drugs. This living alone, coupled with extreme insomnia, left me alone with my thoughts far too often.


I started smoking inside of my apartments and houses out of a small pipe. Not those wooden tobacco pipes with very fancy tobacco that you smoke slow, no I had a bag of loose dried tobacco that I smoked large pinches very quickly out of a glass pipe- i.e. a very quick burst of a large dose of nicotine. This was a little while before vapes were commonplace.


Most of the time, the being alone with my thoughts that I had mentioned caused me a lot of distress and seemed to make me experience depersonalization (sometimes derealization) to a rather extreme degree. Nicotine seemed to be able to keep me from getting stuck in that world and gave me enough clarity to pull me back to reality and made the distress go away. Now these were very high doses of nicotine and they were absorbed very fast. This exacerbated the addiction to an extreme degree and made me return to absorb more nicotine at a higher rate than I ever had before. Because I was already very physically active (walking at least 4 miles and running at least 2 every day), the negative physical effects I experienced from this weren't as bad as they could have been but they were still present. My ability to recover from injuries was not as good as it could have been and my breathing was definitely affected.


You hopefully are already knowledgeable of the negative physical effects of smoking. I experienced basically all of it except for effects on blood pressure and heart rate as mine are always rather low and that's still true to this day.


I don't want this to be a story of the negative effects of nicotine on the body and rather hopefully a glimpse into what it feels like to be addicted to nicotine and the other, nonphysical consequences of a nicotine addiction. Instead of seeking ways to grow past things that bother you, nicotine makes it easy to avoid it altogether. Instead of seeking ways to adapt to a new environment, nicotine allowed me stay stuck in the same patterns of behaving as I always had. Instead of having a mental problem develop far enough for me to find mental help when I really needed it the most, nicotine allowed me to stay stable just enough to make it through until I was only able to talk to a therapist about that time in retrospect.


When I finished college, I eventually stopped smoking cigarettes and used those stupid vape things very briefly. These days I just use nicotine patches and am tapering off of it all together. I know that I'm running the risk of making nicotine sound appealing, but if you're anything like I used to be (whether you're a teenager or not), then I doubt you won't get addicted to it if you try it in the same way I did.


All of this has been on my mind because my mother in her late 50s last year tried a cigarette in a similar way to how I had my first one and now is fully addicted to them and she has always sworn that the only other times she had ever had a cigarette was once when she was 13 and another time when she was 23 and both times she said she hated them. Now I see her responding the same way I responded to them. Wake up and smoke. Smoke once halfway through the workday. Smoke once after work. Smoke once before dinner. Smoke once after dinner. Unable to calm down from stressors enough to function until nicotine has been absorbed. Unable to even eat until nicotine has been absorbed. All of the anger, sadness, anxiety that she experiences throughout the day; she is unable to face them until she absorbs nicotine again. That is how I was when I was in the thick of a nicotine addiction. I hope that anyone who read this who has once considered smoking/using nicotine will reconsider.



I doubt most of you might develop a nicotine addiction, but still.
  
Kind of a meta question, but could you go through real quick and add some white spaces between some of the paragraphs? Large blocks of text aren't very easy on my eyes, but I am curious about what you have to say about nicotine.
  
Yeah sure hold up.
Done.
  
I obviously could never have the will to read a long post like this, but from the five seconds of scanning I did, I feel like you had a terrible relationship with nicotine.

I also despise cigarettes. Thank goodness I won’t get addicted when I hate any form of smoke.
  
Not many people have a good relationship with nicotine. I’ve never heard of such a thing anyway, except in rare cases where it’s used medically or people like how I described my dad. Remember, it’s not just smoking. It’s anything that has it.
  
There is no good relationship with nicotine.
  
How could there be?
  
Well, this is my dad’s relationship with it: smoking a couple hits off of a cigarette or a cigar on rare occasions just for fun. Like I mentioned in the first post, he’s smoked 7 times that I can recall in my life. Each were on occasions like baby showers and weddings. That’s not considerably unhealthy. There is an annoying group of people who are able to consume it rarely without becoming addicted to it.
  
This might sound hypocritical, but i hate cigarettes and cant live without them at the same time. Its an alternative to smoking pot. Since its not legal in the state i live in.
  
Well, this is my dad’s relationship with it: smoking a couple hits off of a cigarette or a cigar on rare occasions just for fun. Like I mentioned in the first post, he’s smoked 7 times that I can recall in my life. Each were on occasions like baby showers and weddings. That’s not considerably unhealthy. There is an annoying group of people who are able to consume it rarely without becoming addicted to it.

My uncle smokes every day.
  
I've always believed there's better ways to artificially make yourself feel good/better. Caffeine seems a lot milder in its long-term effects than nicotine, but then again I don't know much. I guess I understand though, that when a lot of younger people start, they do it out of something more akin to desperation; feeling like nothing else will help.

I'm glad that I am the way I am about cigarettes as a whole. At my job, the occasional guy smoking out front is always the worst smell. It just offends my sense of smell, and I hate the feeling of that smoke getting in my system. Of course there's those who'll vape instead, but even then it just feels off. It's like saying "I have enough courtesy that I won't harm those around me, but am still subjecting myself to it anyway".
  
I'm tired of smoking. Tired of poisoning myself. Been trying hard to quit to no avail. Called up a friend who quit and got some pointers today.

I've had to miss the last three days of work from some other kind of poisoning, probably food poisoning, and its making me more resolved to kick this habit.

Literally there's no mental reason for me to smoke, its all withdrawals, insecurities, pains, emotions, etc.

Its been 10 years already with only a few short, unsuccessful breaks. I'm just tired of it and I'm tired of not being at my best and I can be good or even great but I'm never gonna be the best I can be if I keep poisoning myself.
  
This is what you have available to help in the way of treating it pharmaceutically: 24hr nicotine patches + lozenges when you have a craving, bupropion (Wellbutrin), varenicline (Chantix/champix). Patch+lozenge is shown to be highly effective. It’s what I’m using. I haven’t had a cigarette or a used a pussy stick in a couple months. Patch doses are set up to taper down. If you have insurance then you can get prescriptions nicotine to make it cheaper too. Sublingual/transdermal nicotine itself is nowhere near as bad for you as inhaling smoke. Nicotine is even significantly safer than tobacco. Like with tobacco you’re getting the carcinogens in tar (same sort of compounds found in crude oil and charred meat) and also a group of carcinogens specific to tobacco (tobacco-specific nitrosamines). Best advice I have is to just bite the bullet and admit you probably won’t get it cold turkey and put up with the no where near as strong substitutes. If you do wanna go completely no nicotine then consider either of those other drugs to help. I haven’t tried either myself but I know they’ve helped people a lot. There’s also psychotherapy that helps too if you’re interested in that. Not trying to tell you what to do or anything like that, that’s just my advice from one nicotine addict to another.
  
That's awesome congrats on 2 months that's amazing!

I've tried most of that stuff from free and helpful resources. It didn't work at all for me.
  
Have you tried having a particular person hold you accountable?
  
Hope you get there, Pheo. It's tough not being able to control your own thoughts. I myself had to stop drinking about a year ago. And y'all know I've been a fairly consistent drinker since high school. Like margaritas or highballs pretty much daily. Used to drink wine, but it started making me sleepy. Was getting headaches when I drank and was feeling tired all the time. Found out I had Fatty Liver Disease, which isn't like cirrhosis or anything, but does cause fatigue and obviously you don't want to have anything with the word disease in it. Point is, I'd prob still be drinking if I'd not been diagnosed w something. Don't want that to be you. I also know folks don't like being lectured at. Especially by someone who's just an internet friend. I just want you to know I hope you find something that works for you and I'm rooting for you.
  
Thanks Chet, its the same for me and smoking. I don't want to be diagnosed. Its been ten years and I have chills seeing the writing on the wall. This isn't how I want to live, this isn't how I want to die. I don't mean to be dramatic but I've been visualizing the future of this habit and chronically dying from it and wishing I'd quit today.

I've made it about 12 hours at a time several times in the last week.

Ant, I've reached out to a friend of mine who's beat both cigarettes and heroin years ago and picked his brain, asked his advice, and he offered to be that person to check in with.

I've been smoking this morning and will try to quit again sometime today, or tomorrow morning, I haven't taken the full plunge yet.

I realize the thing that's been holding me back is commitment. I've only ever given quitting 95% but there's been a holdout in my mind that says "if things get bad enough I will relapse."

The problem with cigarettes is they're so damn addictive all it takes is 1% to push me to that edge so today I'm thinking of how to give it my 100% and change my attitude to a "Do or Die" attitude.

And it is do or die. If I don't quit this habit I will die. It will kill me.

Please nobody calm me down. I have been working hard to instill a feeling of alarm and urgency in my mind about this.

The insidious danger of cigarettes is that the symptoms of alarm don't happen until its almost too late. I don't want that to happen to me, so I am creating and brooding on the very real and slow danger in my mind to help solidify the certainty behind a commitment to definitely quit.
  
I know nicotine is way more physically addictive than alcohol, too. Like I didn't have to deal with withdrawal symptoms. Mine was all mental. Like wtf I'm I suppossed to do in the evening if I can't drink kinda stuff. Actually, physically craving it? That's got to be rough.
  
Seeing a doctor will, I expect, assist with the sense of urgency.

Also, see a fucking doctor. Burying your head in the sand won't help you avoid dying. Seeing a doctor will.
  
This is the USA I can't afford a doctor lol, but that would be good advice otherwise, haha.

I'm not burying my head in the sand, I don't mean to give that impression. I made it an entire work day without it yesterday, a day before that made it most of the day.

I'm not complaining and sitting down and taking it. I'm complaining and fighting.
  
Oh right. God your country sucks.
  
Its OK. I don't need a doctor to tell me that my body is fucked up from inhaling poison everyday for years. Honestly, even an Xray seeing my lungs all black or something wouldn't help me. I think I just need to take the plunge and commit fully to getting clean from this shit.

I know that I can do it, I'm just waffling on my willingness to go that boldly into the unknown of how I'm going to feel and who I'm going to be and how much constant, nagging torture and pain I can withstand. I know that if I can beat this though I can do anything.
  
I’d love to just snatch away the cigarette packs from my uncle.

Or he can just stay away when smoking.

Another uncle of mine smokes all the time and visits my cousins, from an uncle that doesn’t smoke.

And another uncle of mine works in Philadelphia with his family in New York City. I don’t know much about him.
  
We had an epiphany today.

Its been super easy to go entire workday shifts of construction, entire days out hiking on errands, etc. without a cigarette. The chemical withdrawal definitely sucks, but it doesn't feel like there's any chance for failure.

Its once I get home that I really wanna fuckin start smoking again.

I realized around my family they are so dysfunctional that when I do regular, healthy, normal person things (like politely hold a common senses boundary for myself) all Hell has a tendency to break loose and then people try to antagonize me and villify me.

So, at home, the drug of nicotine dampens me enough to where I'm just dulled out just enough on nicotine that I can choose not to confront this negative atmosphere.

However, I'm court ordered to be here for another 2 years, or depending on when I can pay off about 30,000+ dollars of restitution I owe to the State and to my Family.

So, I'm gonna have to find a way to deal with my family that doesn't involve nicotine.
  
Good lord. That really sucks.
  
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