~~Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.~~ Unknown
I seemed to have ruffled a few feathers today, unknowingly and unintentionally, with my blog about addiction. Most of us, as another exer pointed out, didn't know cigarettes were addictive when we started smoking. Big tobacco may indeed have hidden the truth. An being a nicotine addict is not the same thing as being an illegal drug addict. Or a gambling addict. Or an alcoholic. All different yet in many ways the same.
My intent was not to upset anyone. It helped me when I decided to stop playing around with my quit to actually really understand addiction and therefore understanding that I was an addict. That little four inch paper cylinder had total control over me because even if I could "put it off" for awhile, I always ended up finding a spot to smoke. Always.
The definition of addiction, per the ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine), is as follows:
Short Definition of Addiction:
Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.
Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.
I'm here because I want to help people quit. Even if it's just listening or supporting or educating. I can't make things nice because people don't want to hear the ugly. Addiction is ugly. Smoking is ugly. It just is.
I hear people say that they will quit tomorrow...or that they just couldn't help caving in....or that they are too afraid to quit. But the truth is that addiction has them caught right now. I know they are 'just words' but maybe if we stopped skimming over the ugliness of addiction and stopped romanticizing smoking in our minds, it may help us quit. It did me. I didn't want to die an addict, especially not to a skinny little tube of tobacco.
I felt it was important. I can't apologize for the post but I hope with all my heart that you took it in the spirit it was written in. I care about you and don't want you to die an addict. That's all.