I wrote this as a response on a blog back on 2/9/9 and just re-read it. Think it might act as a stand-alone discussion so I'm sticking it in here.
Thoughts on cigarettes being our fulfillment center:
Cigarettes are our fulfillment. We think they make us feel replete. I am denied everything else in life, we think - happiness, satisfaction, peace of mind, security, love, hope - a cigarettes is my mythical fulfillment center. When everything around me is the pits - my family relationships, my marriage, my job, my best friend, my friends in general, my mother-in-law, my child who is a pain in the butt, my doctor who has no answers, lawyer who never returns calls, school board person, girlfriend, boyfriend, my dog that died, cat that threw up on the rug, person on their cell phone in the car in front of me paying absolutely no attention, sister who drives me nuts, brother who isn’t there for me, physical ailments that won’t quit, diet I’m trying to maintain.... Add your own scenario. When all that is dealt with on a daily basis, yeah, we go to one of the major sources of what we have programmed into our brains to think of as fulfillment, peace, happiness - a Cigarette. SOME effing thing that gives us PLEASURE in this otherwise relentlessly unhappy struggling for the meaning of life. It represents a moment of relaxation from all that angst. And one of the few constants in our life. And it's ALL OURS! Nobody can take it away from us. We puff away our cares as we suck in the panacea that kills us. We think “I may not have all the rest of it, the great job, the good marriage, the pleasing family relationship, the kind friends, but I DO have THIS. THIS is MINE. This is the ONE THING that is a constant pleasure giver. Until we find it actually robs us of our health in the process. Then it's not quite the pleasure giver we thought.
What we constantly fail to recall is that all those struggles or their equivalency were in our lives before we ever smoked. We had a fulfillment center that worked - somehow. It wasn't until we smoked that we thought and felt we weren't replete. No wonder it's so addictive. We live in a delusion where sucking on some weed on fire will make us feel good even as it kills us. Amazing.