I have used cigarettes as self-medication for stress and depression for so many, many years. I have trouble processing sadness and anger, and tend to be very demanding of myself. It's also hard for me to reach out for help or support. On the outside, I appear very calm and grounded (which reflects how I usually feel)...BUT, I run like the wind to smoke when confronted by (what seems to me) overwhelming stress. The irrational thoughts go something like this: "I cannot possibly survive this without smoking. Smoking is the only thing that will help me."
I know this is addiction speaking. I know this is wrong. For example, over the past year, I have dealt with an opiate addicted son moving back home again (with all the accompanying chaos and heart-break) and my mother dying unexpectedly. And then a million smaller stressors. I'm not special. Everyone has stress in their lives. But not everyone feels like the only way to get relief is to slowly poison themselves by smoking.
After a relapse ( usually only for a day or 2, before I come to my senses), I have no illusion that smoking helped.
I don't want to continue to repeat this insane cycle. There will always be stressors and crises. I want to learn how to live life without smoking.