First Week of Not Smoking

Blog Post created by Rosenkrantz on Dec 1, 2018

It has SUCKED. I have used e-cigs for the last few years, the kids might say I vaped, and I am here to tell you that quitting e-cigs is as bad as quitting tobacco cigarettes, maybe slightly worse because I couldn't get excited about not smelling bad. Even though my experience is that e-cigs are less harmful physically than tobacco cigarettes - I didn't cough or get winded when using them like I did with tobacco - they still perpetuated my serious,expensive, and ridiculous nicotine addiction.


I am helplessly addicted to nicotine. Like, serenity prayer, AA give it up to the Lord addicted.  I am an atheist, but I see the comfort in giving it up to the Lord, believing someone will shoulder some of the load when you think you can't bear to take all of it, even though you do shoulder all the load, you get through it, don't sell yourself short. Recovery is less daunting a task if you believe you have some superhuman help, though.  I believed this week.


Nicotine doesn't do a damned thing for me. I don't get high from it, I just feel bad if I don't get it, so I have spent a lot of money over my life to get it. There is no addiction as useless as a nicotine addiction because there is no point during a nicotine addiction where you get high or feel significantly different or happier than you normally do. Okay, maybe that first cigarette after a long period of abstinence makes you feel pleasantly dizzy for ten minutes, but that's about it.


Nicotine addiction is a *****. I can't intellectualize myself out of it. I know some things about it, like how each suck on a cigarette gives me a small hit of dopamine, about how my brain has all these receptors taken over by nicotine. That's about all I know, I should do more research on nicotine addiction because it'll probably be soothing, but this is the first week, I need to cry in private and eat too much and breathe hard with my eyes closed and get through it. 


My younger sister is an opiate addict, has been for years, it's been over fifteen years since she swiped Oxycontin pills from her boss's medicine cabinet and liked them so much she kept stealing them until she got fired.  She can't function in the world because of her opiate addiction.  I can function in the world despite my thirty year nicotine addiction, but I am just as much an addict as she is. The differences between her addiction and mine is that mine doesn't alter my consciousness, mine is legal and easily available, mine doesn't get me high so I can keep a job, mine most likely won't result in an overdose death.  Mine most likely will result in my having to tote around an oxygen tank or having to spend most of my days in chemotherapy when I'm in my late 60 and early 70s, the same fate that befell my smoking grandmother and aunt.


I want to live longer than that, have a good old age that doesn't require an oxygen tank.  I want to die at age 82+ while hiking through Corson's Inlet, NJ.  My wife and I hiked three miles through Corson's Inlet this morning, it was mostly easy, the last part was strenuous because the bay side sand was sucky, you sunk into it at least an inch. 


I felt those endorphins for a whole hour. When they settled down, I didn't smoke.