Addiction: a Discussion.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
a discussion of one addiction, and how to get that monkey off your back.

Submitted: November 30, 2013

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Submitted: November 30, 2013

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Addiction:
a Discussion.

While folding laundry, a lot of things were going through my head regarding smoking, alcohol, and addiction. I said to my self, this would make for a good discussion on paper. Well, now that I am here to discuss it, I have nothing to say. Ironic isn't it?

To start things off, lets go over a few things. We all know the Doctor/Governmental propaganda about smoking. We all know that our government wants America to be a no smoking country. How did this happen when the smokers outnumbered the non-smokers in the beginning by something like 6 to 1. (statics are not certain, only hearsay.) the answer is simple my friends. The non-smokers banded together and organized whereas the smokers just sat there and said: we outnumber them so much, what can they do?

Cigarettes, cigars, and other forms of tobacco are in large part a cash cow for the US. No one will willingly give up such a moneymaker. Well guess what folks, the non-smokers went to the government organized and efficient backed up with facts from the medical profession (which is also trying to take over America.) and some propaganda mixed in for good measure.

By the time the smokers realized what was going on, the non-smokers had them by the balls. By then it was too late to try to organize and take back their right to smoke in public places. I mean you hear all the time about non-smokers rights, but do you ever hear about Smokers Rights? Nope, thus starts the great American propaganda machine. Used to be smoking was considered sexy, now you have commercials where the smoker is scorned, and ostracized. Used to be you had a place in restaurants, bars, and even airplanes where you could gather with the like minded and have a smoke. Not any more.

Now why is that? Well some of it is propaganda pure and simple: smoking makes you UN-sexy, and you should be shunned by those you would wish to be around. Some of it is factually based medical research. We all know how smoking affects your health.

Any one born after the '70s grew up knowing the hazards of smoking. So don’t lie to me saying “well I am suing the tobacco company for my husbands death from smoking!” because we all know that after the '70s the health hazards were so prevalent in the news, commercials, and other sources that your husband who died from smoking knew it was bad for him and he chose to continue smoking anyway as was his right. So you should not be able to sue the tobacco company for a choice/decision your husband legally made.

OK, some more background before we move on. We all know that people in the medical profession (not just Doctors) will tell you the dangers of smoking. You can take it that they pretty much know what they are talking about. Things you don’t hear, the little old lady pushing 100 is told by her doctor that she needs to quit smoking, drinking, and chewing tobacco. So she does. Two weeks later you get the headline in the newspaper “Blount County's Oldest Resident Dies at 100” (I don’t know for certain, but stories like this happen everywhere, this particular I believe happened in Blount County TN.)

A technician who did an ultrasound of my heart tried to tell me that it only takes 28 days to quit smoking. Pure propaganda. I once quit smoking for six months, and every day of that six months I had to keep telling myself “Do not smoke that cigarette” and I have heard testimony of others who have been smoke free for 20 years that they STILL have to resist that temptation.

So why is smoking so hard to quit? Really there are lots of reasons. The prime one is you will not quit for ANY reason. Oh you can tell yourself I need to quit because it is damaging my health, etc etc... That is just a rationalization. If secretly in your heart you still enjoy smoking you will never quit smoking no matter what  rationalizations you can come up with. A lot of you will say that they cannot quit because of the nicotine addiction. I am sorry, the nicotine addiction is by far the easiest addiction to break when quitting smoking. It is the rest of the picture that really makes it hard to quit.

You don’t need a patch, you don’t need a pill, you don’t need gum. As a cardiologist once was heard to say, all you need is to not pick one up. A week of withdrawal, and THAT particular addiction is broken. (from my own personal experience, individual results may vary.). So what makes smoking so hard to quit? There are many factors involved, only some of which will be covered here.

Now we get to the purpose of this paper. ADDICTION. Now we all know when you get addicted to alcohol it is called a disease: Alcoholism. And it is a recognized disease. And we know that even though users will deny it, smoking pot comes with a psychological addiction. This has been proven in studies. (I’ve been there, I know.) So, what about smoking?

Well we know that alcohol is now legally categorized as a drug, and we also know that nicotine is also categorized as a drug. Considering this, what most (I haven’t found any who tell their patients this) doctors will not tell you is that there is VERY little that makes smoking and alcoholism different.

Now lets examine that statement. If alcohol is the drug, and drinking it can give you the disease you are called an alcoholic, and have the disease alcoholism. Well smoking isn’t any different. Nicotine is the drug and smoking is the way you get it (I know there are other ways to do this, all apply) then you are a smoker. The disease can be named whatever you want, but after X number of years smoking, you can fairly say you have the disease.

Even while writing this, I have a craving for a smoke, because sitting right here at my computer is where I did the most smoking since the late '80s.  This is why behavioral modification does not work. We will address that later. So, if I need to avoid places that trigger the desire to smoke, that would mean I could never use a computer ever again.

Now we know that alcohol gives you a physical addiction, and a psychological addiction as well. Smoking is no different. You get the same addictions. And like alcoholism, in smoking the physical addiction is also the easiest one to break. The other addiction like alcohol is the hard one to break.

Psychological addiction. I have met smokers who have not had a puff in 20 years tell me that they still have to fight temptation each and every day. Just like an alcoholic. I have not yet had a doctor admit the psychological addiction. Oh yes, they do tell you that behavioral modification is essential in quitting smoking, but that is only a small part of the psychological addiction. How many smokers have said: “what do I do with my hands”, or “I have been a smoker for so long that I don’t know how to be a non-smoker.”
well folks you have heard the stories, “Well I chew gum to fight the craving”, or they constantly snack to fight the craving taking care of the “What to do with my hands”, and the chewing. And what is the result? “Oh yea, I quit smoking and I gained 30 pounds.” you hear this all the time. Or they will constantly play with a pencil to cover the craving for hand movement. All of these are behavior modification which only redirects the craving. Another thing you get told is “in order to stop the desire to smoke, stay away from places that trigger the habit.” in my case, that is right here at the computer.

So here I am sitting in a trigger zone, with an ashtray right in front of me, and everyone else in the house smoking approximately 20 smokes a day, and while I have the craving, I have no desire to smoke. I thought long and hard for three years since my first heart attack. Oh sure I told the doctor I was cutting down, and trying to quit, but that really is (or was) an appeasement. I came to recognize in those three years that there is really no difference between tobacconism and alcoholism.

You have to break the psychological addiction the same way you break alcohol addiction. How many drinkers that have been sober for 20 years sit there and raise what used to be a drink in the same way as they did before they got sober? You will not find any. You must do the same thing for smokers. Break the hand to mouth addiction, destroy the “What do I do with my hands” rationalism and modify your very thinking to realize that you will always be a smoker, and yet you do not have the desire to pick one up no matter the temptation.

The only way to quit is to have the only reason to quit. “I want to quit.” it is that simple. (though hard to do.) so by comparing the two, and reasoning out the similarities of the two, I came to the conclusion that no matter how long ago my last smoke was, I will always be a smoker. Just like an AA meeting: “Hello my name is George, and I am an alcoholic. I've been sober for 20 years” (example, I never had that addiction.)  I will forever more be saying “Hello my name is George, and I am a smoker. I have been smoke free for two days (currently.)”

So, until the Government, Doctors, and the “Do it yourself” quit smoking kit folks, take this into account quitting smoking will always be difficult. Yes right now it is purely a matter of decreasing the desire by using nicotine products like the patch or gum, or going the other route by taking a pill that keeps you from feeling the smoke in your lungs (welbutrin) or makes you want to vomit when you smoke (hearsay: chantix) it really is all a matter of will power even if you use these products. Personally taking welbutrin has caused me to smoke more because I could not feel the smoke in my lungs. Others have also I am sure.

In my last hospital stay (unrelated to smoking) I had a technician (a different one from before) mention the missing link (in my case) for the reason I should WANT to quit smoking. That seven word statement he casually made in the midst of a discussion about veins and arteries made everything click into place for me.

I came home, picked my smokes right back up, smoked for a few days while thinking about this and all of a sudden I had no more desire to smoke. In other words: Smoking Quit Working for Me. And like other drugs, once it quits working for you it is nothing to never take it again.


Hello. My name is George, and I am a Smoker.
I have been smoke free now
since 11-29-13

 

EDIT: well folks, it has been almost a month now, and I still have no desire to light up!


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