~~But here's the rub of addiction. By its nature, people afflicted are unable to do what, from the outside, appears to be a simple solution-don't drink. Don't use drugs. In exchange for that one small sacrifice, you will be given a gift that other terminally ill people would give anything for: Life.~~ David Sheff
So the kids are bickering once again and the washer is on it's last leg. Your boss wonders what you've been doing all day as that report he needs is late. Your spouse is angry because you forgot to pay the electric bill and now you have an additional fee. Ahhh….to grab a cup of coffee, go out on the back deck, and just relax after that first puff of your cigarette. There's nothing like it. It relaxes you. It makes you feel like you can handle your boss and your spouse and your kids and the washing machine yet another day.
That's addiction. That 'ahhhh' moment. That "I can handle things now" mentality. That, my smoking friends, is addiction. You weren't really that upset at the kids. You really weren't that upset at your boss. You totally get why your spouse is upset. If you had really thought about it....all of us have stress and we deal with it. But you couldn't. Not because it was above your skill level. It's because you are addicted to a substance that dictates how you feel, how you react, how you behave.
You may disagree with me. You may say that you truly like smoking, it's not just an 'addiction'. So let's talk about that. Is it you like isolating yourself from others in order to smoke? Because I doubt you are going to light up in that restaurant you took your family to. I doubt you light up in your home so your family breathes in those chemicals. You isolate, most likely. Ok, so you are now ready to smoke. Do you like lighting that paper stick filled with chemicals? You are actually starting a fire and sucking in the smoke. Is that pleasurable? I never found it to be so but maybe you do. And then, as you inhale....yes. You probably definitely like the feeling that hits your brain!! Nicotine releases those 'feel good' neurotransmitters that give your brain extremely pleasurable sensations. That is most likely what you enjoy. That is what addiction is. A chemical solution to life. You escape. You ignore. You numb yourself.
But you never get to live. You never know how strong you are. You never know how wise you are. You never know how much you can love. Addiction stops everything but getting that next hit of nicotine. And then it lies and says you can now 'handle' life. Until you need that next puff...and there is always a need for that next puff.
The reality of addiction is different than what addiction allows you to see. Addiction is killing you. Not just physically...but yes, it can physically kill. It also kills others. Your smoke affects other human beings. Therefore, when you smoke, you are choosing to infect others. Addiction also dries your skin, yellows it as well. It makes you and your clothes and your smoking area smell hideous. It makes your family sad and worried for you. It burns your furniture, the interior of your car, the people around you when you're not careful. It pollutes the world. It makes you view life with a defensiveness....a distrust...an unease....because you know someone will say "I wish you'd stop smoking.".
So when you say you like smoking, you are fooling yourself. You are addicted to smoking. There is nothing to like about it. And one day you will come to that same conclusion. Maybe when you are tired of the expense of smoking. Maybe when someone you love gets through to you. Maybe when you hear the doctor say "It's cancer". Or maybe you will continue to say you like smoking up until your last day on earth. No one, not even me, will try to convince you otherwise. Because it's your choice. It's your decision. It's your life.
I used to be you. I know the power of addiction. I know. But I also know the power of me. Of recovery. Of life. And I chose that side. Giving up cigarettes was not at tough as living the life of addiction. The worry of illness, the isolation from family, the 'just one more'. Over and over and over again.
Your choice. Your decision.