I can't call myself an addict. I don't know what that means. I do know that I have chosen dangerous and unproductive behaviors to cope with stressful situations, like smoking cigarettes.
When I was a teenager, I used to go with my best friend to be her cover, her excuse, while she met with her forbidden boyfriend. We would go to the movies where she'd meet him. Part of the ritual was to smoke in the ladies room. I can still see the smoke filled room where all the girls were smoking just to be cool. I actually started there, but mostly I would take a few cigarettes from my boyfriend when we were together.
I tried all kinds of cigarettes from different countries when I was commuting to the university. The train station had quite a variety. Cigarettes from France, Galloises, were my favorites. They did help pass the time waiting for the train. They also were a stimulant that helped to keep you awake pulling an all-nighter for an exam.
Actually, the government and even doctors recommended the benefits of cigarette smoking for combat soldiers. I think cigarettes were supplied to the men, just to keep them going. All that until it was revealed how damaging smoking actually is. I can understand that if you were in imminent danger of dying, a little pleasure from a cigarette is not so bad in the balance.
So, unfortunately, I developed the habit of having a cigarette to stimulate me, pleasure me and generally fill the time. The unfortunate part is that cigarettes are addicting. Even if the main reason for smoking is no longer valid, you can get hooked. I didn't understand what that meant until I asked for clarification from an acupuncturist. I learned that smoking is as addictive as heroine, and quitting it is just as troublesome.
Throughout the years, I have quit then started again, then quit once more. Most recently, I found myself in its clutches yet again. I tried everything. Lozenges. Fasting. Chinese seeds. Chinese ear magnets. Nothing helped. I was caught. I'd last half a day and then I had to run to the store for my fix.
I decided to invest in treatment. I was ashamed; I hadn't told my partner I had been smoking, though I am sure he knew. In any case, I was determined. My acupuncturist is a wonderful medical doctor, nutritionist and acupuncturist. She put me on a whole program, not just acupuncture. I had herbs, aromatherapy, exercises, and daily treatments for two weeks.
It's been over a month. It takes that long for starting a new behavior as well as quitting a bad one. I have gained a little weight, but...so what? Better fat than poisoning myself. I am not fat, just a few pounds heavier. My skin looks good. The horrible bags under my eyes have almost entirely disappeared. My pocket book looks great!
People so often justify this habit by saying that we all have to die anyway. Yes, we do, like it or not. That is not so much the point. We have to live well, not knowingly make our life miserable, even if the habit seems to be a pleasure. It isn't. After a while, the taste is ... well, terrible. I am, happy to say, I am now a non-smoker. I am rediscovering ways to deal better with my stress, to fill my time more productively and to celebrate life!
Writing and art are my passions!