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Old 02-07-18, 05:33 AM
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my horrible addiction to smoking

I have a back room off my kitchen thats part of the laundry room that I joke is my lair. Its where I smoke if I am indoors. I can shut the door and I dont smoke anywhere in the house and its well ventilated but it is off the back of the kitchen and I am guilty of leaving the door open way too often and have been getting lazy about it. Its so horrible of me. My kids and family do not deserve this. So when I woke up this morning there was this note on my chair:


I hope its readable or can be enlarged to be read.

It was from my son. Of course I cried. Not because he hurt me but because I know he is right and he is such a good guy. I have heard they have something called Jewels which are sort of like vape pens but draw more like cigarrettes and a lot of people l know that quit went to them. I have a vape pen but honestly if I move to full time vaping I need something better- I need to put a tiny bit of money into it as an investment because if its cheap, breaks, leaks or isnt doing the trick, Ill still smoke. Besides that if I want to teach, there is no smoking on school grounds. WTH is wrong with me? I mean I kicked alcohol! I narrowly dodged an issue with xanax. (not abuse or addicted but loving it enough where I was on my way). How can I be a slave to this? The worst party is I LOVE it. I am not a rude smoker. I dont litter, I dont stand in front of stores and resturants or entranceways. I dont light up next to kids, at sporting events or on beaches. If someone asks me would I mind not doing it I comply. I get its my issue. I try to shield my family from it but I am failing at that.
I dont know how to find something that will do for me what I feel (right or wrong) that smoking does for me. I enjoy it, it helps me stay calm. It relaxes me. I look forward to it. Yet I know it will kill me. Alcohol would have killed me quicker and the justification has always been well, if this is what you do instead of drink or drug then ok- but I am getting to a point where that argument is weak. I have five years alcohol free now. WHAT is up with me. I feel terrible. I am a positive person and try and see the good always but this whole thing has gotten me down. And I am not upset with my son. He is a good guy. Not mean and we have a close bond. AND he is 100% correct. I feel so low right now. Sorry for being a downer.
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Old 02-07-18, 06:49 AM
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Re: my horrible addiction to smoking

Wow.

(((Sweets)))

How old is your son?

You did a good job with him. The amount of respect and love that he's shown for you through this letter is amazing. He was mature, honest, empathetic and sincere. I don't know anything about him...but I know he must be amazing.

I like how he doesn't start out by asking you to quit smoking. He just wants you to step out.
I like how when he DOES suggest quitting...he does so very non-judgmentally and in a non-pushy way.

I quit smoking 7 1/2 years ago cold turkey. Vaping wasn't as big of a thing back then, though it did exist...but I don't think I could've done it. Like you...it wouldn't have been enough for me...I'd still want the real things.
I too LOVED smoking. It very much so helped with keeping me calm in the moments I was smoking and everything.

Thing about quitting though...is you have to do it for yourself. Or at least that's what I've been told. You can't quit because your family wants you to quit, or for your husband...it's something that you've got to want for yourself...and it's tough.

...
And...oh Sweets

I sure don't like seeing your so down on yourself!
Quote:
"WTH is wrong with me?"

"WHAT is up with me. I feel terrible."

"Sorry for being a downer."
All those negative thoughts about yourself...well...you'll have to excuse me here...but,

They can go F*** OFF!



That felt good!

...
I can't believe I'm about to say this...but, maybe you shouldn't consider quitting just yet. I do believe that the time is coming...that you'll eventually get to the point of wanting it deep down for yourself and putting your foot down.
But (again I can't believe I'm saying this lol)...you don't HAVE to quit right now. Just keep it outside.
Don't overwhelm yourself. Don't quit because your son wants you to. You need to quit for yourself...not him.

He's not asking you to quit. He's just asking for you to step outside.

So cheer up, be proud as hell of the son you've brought up...and most importantly...STEP THE F* OUTSIDE FOR GOODNESS' SAKE!

(((((((Sweets)))))))

You are amazing.
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Old 02-07-18, 07:01 AM
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Re: my horrible addiction to smoking

Cigarettes really are awful. The worst part about being addicted to them is that they genuinely do help with some ADHD symptoms. I am more productive, less anxious, more kind and have a good out if I get upset and need a quick break. Just have to excuse myself to go for a smoke, which will remove me from the situation as well as give me some nicotine to calm me down, perfect combination. Unlike what most people who quit say, I genuinely loved smoking. I actually liked the taste of them and looked forward to every cigarette I smoked.

I quit for my health, for vanity reasons (skin is way healthier, teeth whiter and I don't smell) and for my wallet. It took me a good while to get to the point where I no longer crave them all the time and as I'm unmedicated for my ADHD my mood just isn't as stable without them.

I would love to tell you how to quit, but there's really no other way than stopping. That won't happen unless you genuinely want it for yourself, because it takes every bit of willpower that you can muster. Your mind will come up with every excuse in the book to just have one cigarette for the next several months or maybe even a year or longer, and you have to be able to firmly tell yourself no. Every. Single. Time. No matter how much you know it would help you at that moment. You can't even entertain the thought or you will be right back to smoking again after a while.

Quitting also has this paradoxical effect after a few weeks, when the immediate psychological withdrawals start waning, where it feels too easy a lot of the time. At this point you can fall into a false sense of security and end up smoking again because you tell yourself you apparently aren't really that addicted. There were no physical symptoms after all. This is the most difficult part of quitting in my experience, and I fell for it more times than I would like to admit. When you quit you have to quit and never again let your mind even consider having a single smoke, no matter what's going on in your life.

All this is to say, that you shouldn't beat yourself up for being a smoker. It's hard enough for people without ADHD to quit, it's even worse when you use it for self-medication. Vaping sounds like a good option if you feel like you aren't up to the task of quitting right now. At least that would take care of the second hand smoke problem. I'm sure it's cheaper too, so even if the initial investment is high you will save money over time.
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Old 02-07-18, 07:07 AM
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Re: my horrible addiction to smoking

(((((((OyVey)))))))

Beautiful reply.
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Old 02-07-18, 07:59 AM
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Re: my horrible addiction to smoking

Sarah

That was beautiful letter. I'm sure was painful to read but it's also testament to what a fantastic job you've done with your son.

So yes, you have to step outside. And maybe it will have all those benefits that your son mentioned. Making smoking less easy and less convenient does help.

For me, ultimately vaping did help to quit. I first tried without and yfat didn't work. Vaping is quite different to smoking she it's not as much fun it as satisfying (at least initially) but that is why I think it helps. It gives you the nicotine hit but it breaks the habit of lighting up. Also, since it's about 90% less unhealthy thsn smoking (at least for now this what the research says but I think they are slowly finding that it has issues too) even if you continue vaping it's still a big improvement.

I'd definitely recommend vaping. I bought the cheapest I could find in a super market. It's easier just about £20 (28dollars)...

Huge hugs. I know it's though. I loved to smoke too. So much that I thought that if I stopped the quality of my life woukd significantly reduce. But you know what 2.5 years later I genuinely don't misst anymore
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Old 02-07-18, 10:59 AM
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Re: my horrible addiction to smoking

It’s a beautiful thing when someone loves you enough and respects you enough to show you truth.


Cheers,
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Old 02-07-18, 11:03 AM
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Re: my horrible addiction to smoking

For 24 years I self-medicated w/ large quantities of Nicotine (2+ packs/day if not drinking)and added in large quantities of caffeine (1-2 pots coffee/day during all of day). I was unaware that I was self-medicating most of my ADHD issues and when I quit smoking (hated smoker's hack in the morning and brown phlegm) symptoms started popping up that interfered w/ me performing at the same high levels causing additional problems. The situation snowballed over the next few years w/ symptoms of depression emerging and worsening. The point being is if you are self-medicating w/ the nicotine and discontinue the med by quitting cigarettes, those newly-unmedicated issues will need to be addressed somehow. Unaddressed, new or old symptoms may pop-up and slowly worsen.

Not saying you should or shouldn't quit. I am saying it may present new problems to deal with after the cravings are gone. GL Sarah, -LN
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Old 02-08-18, 05:32 AM
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Re: my horrible addiction to smoking

Quote:
Originally Posted by psychopathetic View Post
Wow.

(((Sweets)))

How old is your son?

You did a good job with him. The amount of respect and love that he's shown for you through this letter is amazing. He was mature, honest, empathetic and sincere. I don't know anything about him...but I know he must be amazing.
He is amazing. He is 21 and has a paid internship with an international SOS company. I adore him.

Quote:
Thing about quitting though...is you have to do it for yourself. Or at least that's what I've been told. You can't quit because your family wants you to quit, or for your husband...it's something that you've got to want for yourself...and it's tough.
Same with drinking and its why I feel so sh*tty. Its like."am I really choosing smoking over my son?" of course not but at the same time the addiction is saying " yes you are".

...
Quote:
And...oh Sweets

I sure don't like seeing your so down on yourself!


All those negative thoughts about yourself...well...you'll have to excuse me here...but,

They can go F*** OFF!
This was awesome. touche.

Quote:
I can't believe I'm about to say this...but, maybe you shouldn't consider quitting just yet. I do believe that the time is coming...that you'll eventually get to the point of wanting it deep down for yourself and putting your foot down.
But (again I can't believe I'm saying this lol)...you don't HAVE to quit right now. Just keep it outside.
Don't overwhelm yourself. Don't quit because your son wants you to. You need to quit for yourself...not him.

He's not asking you to quit. He's just asking for you to step outside.

So cheer up, be proud as hell of the son you've brought up...and most importantly...STEP THE F* OUTSIDE FOR GOODNESS' SAKE!

(((((((Sweets)))))))

You are amazing.
I think I am defintely going to shift locations to start. Trying to go from my lair to outside is drastic enough to set me up for failure. I was thinking of starting with the porch. Its screened so ventilated and outside but still minimal shelter. I'd have to wear my coat and all so no lounging about. I need to see what he thinks.
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Old 02-08-18, 05:33 AM
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Re: my horrible addiction to smoking

This reminds me very much of stopping drinking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OyVeyKitty View Post
Cigarettes really are awful. The worst part about being addicted to them is that they genuinely do help with some ADHD symptoms. I am more productive, less anxious, more kind and have a good out if I get upset and need a quick break. Just have to excuse myself to go for a smoke, which will remove me from the situation as well as give me some nicotine to calm me down, perfect combination. Unlike what most people who quit say, I genuinely loved smoking. I actually liked the taste of them and looked forward to every cigarette I smoked.

I quit for my health, for vanity reasons (skin is way healthier, teeth whiter and I don't smell) and for my wallet. It took me a good while to get to the point where I no longer crave them all the time and as I'm unmedicated for my ADHD my mood just isn't as stable without them.

I would love to tell you how to quit, but there's really no other way than stopping. That won't happen unless you genuinely want it for yourself, because it takes every bit of willpower that you can muster. Your mind will come up with every excuse in the book to just have one cigarette for the next several months or maybe even a year or longer, and you have to be able to firmly tell yourself no. Every. Single. Time. No matter how much you know it would help you at that moment. You can't even entertain the thought or you will be right back to smoking again after a while.

Quitting also has this paradoxical effect after a few weeks, when the immediate psychological withdrawals start waning, where it feels too easy a lot of the time. At this point you can fall into a false sense of security and end up smoking again because you tell yourself you apparently aren't really that addicted. There were no physical symptoms after all. This is the most difficult part of quitting in my experience, and I fell for it more times than I would like to admit. When you quit you have to quit and never again let your mind even consider having a single smoke, no matter what's going on in your life.

All this is to say, that you shouldn't beat yourself up for being a smoker. It's hard enough for people without ADHD to quit, it's even worse when you use it for self-medication. Vaping sounds like a good option if you feel like you aren't up to the task of quitting right now. At least that would take care of the second hand smoke problem. I'm sure it's cheaper too, so even if the initial investment is high you will save money over time.
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Old 02-08-18, 06:18 PM
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Re: my horrible addiction to smoking

I can get why this note would make you feel down ... probably because it reminds you of all the times you thought you were smoking in an OK way and it turns out the smoke was bothering your son.

Your son is undoubtedly wonderful. Dude has some courage, and he really loves you to write a note like that. But even great sons are imperfect. There is a way that his note crossed your boundaries ... it's one thing to say, "I don't want to smell your smoke, ever! So please smoke outside." That's fine ... he's talking about his right to his own smoke-free space and air.

But then he crosses into managing you by saying that if you go outside, you'll realize how bad smoking is for you and all of that ... and he gives you tips about writing down how much you smoke, etc. That's all going beyond his boundary--toward fixing you ... and micro-managing how you think and act.

The problem with boundary-crossing criticism is that it can make the recipient of the criticism feel deeply ashamed, feel like crap. And it's easy to quit because you want to be good to him and be around to enjoy him than it is to quit because someone you love is mad at you. (Feeling the anger of people will love can easily throw us into more stress and more deeply into our addictions.)

I quit cigar smoking--and I had a major habit--12 years ago. Cigars, unbeknownst to a lot of people, have a ton of nicotine, so can be very addictive.

I took the advice of my dental hygienist and decided to use nicotine lozenges and gum instead of going cold turkey. (My dental folks got involved because they were worried about oral cancer, and they could see the stains and damage the cigar smoking was doing to my gums and teeth).

Well 12 years later, I'm still using nicotine lozenges and gum ... and my wonderful primary care doctor has ZERO problems with me being on nicotine gum. She thinks that nicotine gum is 95 percent better than smoking.

I really wouldn't worry about teaching and smoking ...You'd have a rough first few weeks and then you'd adjust to not having access to smoking during the day. A lot of people quit or reduced smoking after bars banned smoking, restaurants banned smoking, workplaces banned smoking.

Smokers adjusted ... and survived. They didn't have collective meltdowns or mass firings. In fact, the teaching could be a great shift in environment that makes it easier to quit.

Plenty of people quit smoking when jobs and bars banned smoking.

Good luck.

Tone
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Old 02-09-18, 08:12 AM
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Re: my horrible addiction to smoking

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToneTone View Post
I can get why this note would make you feel down ... probably because it reminds you of all the times you thought you were smoking in an OK way and it turns out the smoke was bothering your son.

Your son is undoubtedly wonderful. Dude has some courage, and he really loves you to write a note like that. But even great sons are imperfect. There is a way that his note crossed your boundaries ... it's one thing to say, "I don't want to smell your smoke, ever! So please smoke outside." That's fine ... he's talking about his right to his own smoke-free space and air.

But then he crosses into managing you by saying that if you go outside, you'll realize how bad smoking is for you and all of that ... and he gives you tips about writing down how much you smoke, etc. That's all going beyond his boundary--toward fixing you ... and micro-managing how you think and act.

The problem with boundary-crossing criticism is that it can make the recipient of the criticism feel deeply ashamed, feel like crap. And it's easy to quit because you want to be good to him and be around to enjoy him than it is to quit because someone you love is mad at you. (Feeling the anger of people will love can easily throw us into more stress and more deeply into our addictions.)

I quit cigar smoking--and I had a major habit--12 years ago. Cigars, unbeknownst to a lot of people, have a ton of nicotine, so can be very addictive.

I took the advice of my dental hygienist and decided to use nicotine lozenges and gum instead of going cold turkey. (My dental folks got involved because they were worried about oral cancer, and they could see the stains and damage the cigar smoking was doing to my gums and teeth).

Well 12 years later, I'm still using nicotine lozenges and gum ... and my wonderful primary care doctor has ZERO problems with me being on nicotine gum. She thinks that nicotine gum is 95 percent better than smoking.

I really wouldn't worry about teaching and smoking ...You'd have a rough first few weeks and then you'd adjust to not having access to smoking during the day. A lot of people quit or reduced smoking after bars banned smoking, restaurants banned smoking, workplaces banned smoking.

Smokers adjusted ... and survived. They didn't have collective meltdowns or mass firings. In fact, the teaching could be a great shift in environment that makes it easier to quit.

Plenty of people quit smoking when jobs and bars banned smoking.

Good luck.

Tone
Tone- Thank you so much. You make some really awesome points. I think thats why I am so conflicted. I mean- he is almost 22, we fully support him he graduated with an associates and is moving into Rowan universtiy as a transfer for his BS. He has a paid internship so he covers his own gas and pocket money but we havent had the car insurance talk yet. He was working part-part time at Barnes and Noble and could barely scrape together 90$ a week so we would never ask him for money. But I think he is now guaranteed 24 hours a week @ 20$ an hour so we need him to contribute. He is getting financial aid and one small loan and my husband's job covers up to $14,000 Tuition a year for any school so the balance of that should be covered. Its just going to be room and board I think. So I meam technically we havent "paid for his education" but by busting his butt and keeping a good job his father essentially is; besides, I wasnt raised to believe college was a right and parents were required to pay for it all. If the economy hadnt crapped im 2008 and my husband hadnt been out of work for so long we would 100% be in a better position.
And I have three kids so dreams of them having their education paid in full are dreams- I cant afford three colleges and I refuse to take on debt myself.

Sorry to hijak-
I want to quit but Im afraid Ill drink. Am I kidding myself and making an excuse? I dont know. I do know that I have an addictive personality- other than responsible pain medication use- benzos are out, sleep meds are out, sedatives are out. No weed, illegal drugs but most importantly my substance of choice- NO alcohol. So Im afraid the lack of something addictive or...compulsive will send me into some spin. Then again maybe Im just telling myself this, after all i just celebrated 5 years sober, had two hand surgerys between September and November and four broken toes in December. And I havent given up.

I dont know.
I thought a compromise would be moving to the porch for now. Id have to wear a coat, its nearly outside- but I think jumping from to holing up in my lair to going outside sets me up for failure.
AHHHH. Any other insights ( with compassion please because I am ashamed) are welcome.
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Old 02-09-18, 12:30 PM
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Re: my horrible addiction to smoking

Sarah,

Your worry that quitting smoking will lead to drinking is totally reasonable.

When I was in recovery about a decade ago, I stopped one addiction and of course, began to gain weight. I even talked to one of the elder, wisemen-sponsors who said to me ... don't worry about the weight gain for now. Stop your primary addiction that is immediately destroying your life, he said.

One of my favorite addiction writers, Laurel Mellin, got her start in addiction by first treating people for obesity and over-eating. She could get people to lose weight and then they would start drinking more ... or smoking more ...

So bottom line: your thinking and worry about drinking if you quit smoking is totally sound and legit. So if and when you decide to quit smoking, make sure to surround yourself with tons of support. Go slowly and safely ... Don't just jump off the cliff cold-turkey ... Maybe go to extra meetings if meetings are good for you ... work with a therapist ... have some accountability built in ... Also talk to a good doctor or psychiatrist. A coworker of mine who wanted to quit ... went on one of the new anti-smoking drugs and hated it ... I'm not sure what happened, but a year later, she went back on the drug ... and this time loved it! ... and quit smoking ... I think the first time she had a drug interaction that created bad side effects ... Not sure, but she said the medication really worked the second time.

Or consider ... the easier way of using the nicotine patch and gum and lozenges ... Not trying to sell you on this ... but I get all the good benefits of nicotine--and nicotine undoubtedly has its positive effects on concentration--without the cancer risks. It does not feel like I'm sacrificing!

On the money issue, sounds like you are really on top of the details of your family's situation ... I can share my honest impression that the students who have to work ... do have some struggles ... but they just get to a maturity level that is much higher than kids who don't have to work through college.

So really I wouldn't get tripped up with guilt over money on cigarettes. You are sober, and that is priority #1 and priority #2 through #10. And for now the cigarettes are part of your coping ... that's OK ... You mentioned five years of sobriety. That's wonderful and that's still pretty early. You can aim to add this new change ... But be gentle ... you're not super-human. And your sobriety is its own gift to your children--a gift in the present and a gift in the future of someone making a huge positive change in their lives.

The wise 12-step man who counseled me on overeating as I was getting sober used to have this wonderful phrase that has taken on more meaning as time goes on. Recovery is not magical, and nobody has a perfect recovery.

Tone

Last edited by ToneTone; 02-09-18 at 12:45 PM.. Reason: shortening and tightening
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Old 02-09-18, 04:29 PM
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Re: my horrible addiction to smoking

You can quit smoking! It makes perfect sense that you would be worried about relapsing. Can the 12-steps be used to quit smoking? Could you read the Big Book and go to meetings as a two-for-one?

My mom smoked for 40+ years and died 10 years ago at 63 yo. of lung cancer so I am a big advocate of quitting smoking. She loved smoking, never tried to quit and I never asked her but I wish I would have. Your son is awesome for writing such a thoughtful letter and you can see that you have a great relationship.


All 50 states have free resources to quit smoking:

http://www.nj.gov/health/fhs/tobacco/quitting/
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Old 02-09-18, 05:17 PM
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Re: my horrible addiction to smoking

I think for now just very very gradually make little changes...like stepping outside. I'm curious why you think that would be a deal-breaker for you. I always smoked outdoors and I did it in pouring rain,freezing cold and when oj days when it was so windy that it would take me 20min to light a cigarette (no exaggeration. I checked the time...). The only time when I smoked indoors was at uni when I stayed in uni accommodation and then I'd just chain smoke. I'd have about 5 cigs during the day and then smoke 15 or more in the evening in my room. So I think keeping it outdoors definitely reduced my smoking but because I knew I go outside for a smoke anytime it wasn't that difficult (even though I had fewer cigs).

I mean I'm not saying it has to be possible for you as well but I'm just curious about what is worrying you with smoking outdoors.

I also agree that you don't have to stop smoking right away. Your sobriety is definitely more important. I'd like to say that if you could quit alcohol you can probably quit smoking but I've been telling myself the same with overeating and well, it doesn't work at all...

When you do decide to quit I can't really recommend vaping enough. It gets rid of the withdrawal effects because you are still getting your shot of nicotine but it breaks the habit, the ritual of smoking. Even if you get habituated to vaping...that's still a lot better than smoking.

Another thing, for me the worst thought was the finality of quitting, the thought that I'd never smoke again. It made me not want to quit ever. I couldn't deal with the finality of it. So when I quit I told myself that in a few years if I really wanted to I could go back to smoking. That helped too.

Finally, whatever you decide please don't be so hard in yourself. You are not weak or anything like that. You quit drinking and that takes a very strong person. Also, quitting smoking is incredibly hard. I think nicotine is one of the most addictive substances out there. And with ADHD it's even harder. I remember reading a paper in which they said that people with ADHD were more likely to continue smoking after trying it, to get addicted to it, to struggle more to quit, suffer worse withdrawal effects and to go back to smoking. I don't remember the details but they argued it was because of how nicotine affects out pleasure and reward centres (I think, i genuinely don't remember but they into the chemistry of it). Sorry not sure if that is discouraging but please don't be hard on yourself.
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Old 02-12-18, 05:59 AM
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Re: my horrible addiction to smoking

The 12 steps can be used for just about anything. I know there is one nictotine anon meeting around her but I went one and it only had a few members and the group was close to folding. I have to get past the mental part where I am worried about drinking. I think Ill ask around from some of my recovery friends whether they quit after getting sober and what they did.
Fuzzy- stepping outside isnt a deal breaker I just know that the most successful changes that I have made when it comes to habits have been in small, consistent steps. Anytime they have been extreme I set myself up for failure and if I do fail- then the shame and guilt only prompts me to do the thing I was trying not to do more. It was that way with drinking. The only difference is I had come to a bottom where stopping drinking that very day and going to a meeting for the first time was the only, last solution. It was all I had left. With smoking or eating even, its not the same way.

I'm sure many people might judge me for being able to quit drinking and not smoking or you for quitting smoking but struggling with food so I hope you can understand what I mean.
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