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Does (not) smoking change you as a person?   Introductions/Newcomers Nook

Started Nov-10 by NikaSuzi; 5963 views.
NikaSuzi

From: NikaSuzi

Nov-10

... so, I know it does not change your basic personality but still ... do you feel (a little bit at least) like a different person when you smoke vs. when you don't? Is that a part of why you wish you didn't want to quit before? That you like "the smoker" version of yourself better?

I would really like to read your thoughts and ruminations on this. Thanks for sharing,

Nika

Allamer1980

From: Allamer1980

Nov-10

I don’t feel my personality has changed. My outlook on tobacco/nicotine has though. I feel cleaner, more in control, and have my life back. An increase in confidence, less worry about anything. I feel more dedicated to more important things in my life such as my family and relationship with God.

In reply toRe: msg 2
Allamer1980

From: Allamer1980

Nov-10

I read over your post again. 
 

I didn’t smoke, but chewed and then NRT. I think that version of me was selfish as I planned most around my nasty addiction. I felt like I could do everything on my own. That’s the part I dislike most; I wasn’t fully devoting my life to the ones I love. 

Loreficent

From: Loreficent

Nov-10

Nika!

Has not smoking changed me? Yes, absolutely. I feel for the better, albeit definitely at times more difficult for me. I’ve written quite a bit on here how since starting to smoke as a teen, I think there were some very strong connections made on how I cope with things emotionally. Good emotions, bad emotions, nervous emotions, post-climactic emotions (we are all adults here, right?) though, post-climactic for me can also mean conquering a cliff at the Coast, or staying upright on the board for more than 10 seconds, or hearing there was an avalanche right where I was in snowshoes an hour earlier, or narrowly escaping the Feds and their acrid gas, accomplishing La Valse d’ Amélie at the intended speed, and not just men in man buns and sandals with power tools (expounded on with Peggy in other threadjoy). But I think you get the picture. All of these things I would have joyously smoked after, and yes, some (most) I did. Well, most of the men, but many of them were pointless as the smokes as well. Particularly the ones that were pointless!joy I think I’ve digressed...but my knee jerk reaction to so many things, (including the jerks), was to quickly go off by myself and smoke! So it is still taking some time to figure out at certain moments just how to process some things without what I saw as my most intimate and trusted “buddy” in it’s slender, paper wrapped, combustible case. Oh, yes, pull one from the pack, tap slightly, run closely under my nose for the length of it, inhaling before I light, like that moment of rapture encounter of sultry eyes meeting, knowing that we would soon be entwined and inseparable for a few brief minutes, bringing the final and calming emotional release of whatever had it been that I just endured that spurred me to seek solace on my own with my smoke. So, yeah, going off to take a bath or a walk does not always cut it still. I crave still. But now, I understand and accept the addiction behind the crave. The bad and abusive date I had many many times a day. I step back and realize, yes, I’m changed. For the better. I’m stronger in ways I can’t quite describe yet, but, I’m new at this yet. I’ve not gone through all the “seasons “ as an Ex smoker yet. But I am slowly piecing together the emotional connection of coping that I had built over many years and am finding new neuronal pathways I think that had been hidden by the veil of smoke; they are now at times quite young and raw and real and not always steady and sure of how to handle things without operating under, behind, or within the veil. At times they feel extremely vulnerable and exposed. Mostly though? They feel exceptionally  triumphant and empowered. Like they are learning to climb that cliff, stand on the board and get thrown by the waves, piece together a new piece, note by note, measure by measure until it comes together to make a profoundly beautiful and joyful song. (Well, except to my dog joy)  But, point is, yes, this is absolutely amazing and delightful and frightening and empowering and climactic to learn all of these new pathways in my brain without a smoke. 
Maybe I’ll write more later on this...I think I still have a bit of fever...flushed

In reply toRe: msg 4
Jonny84

From: Jonny84

Nov-10

Day 8 and still going - I am on step 2 patch.  I usually have no problems until the afternoon and evening.  Maybe its because allergy stuff wears off - or weather changes - or lingering covid crap - or anxiety creeps in.  At any rate - i am still going.  I think its tougher this time because I am located in Rockford Il - and all of the pandemic stuff is really bad here.  Its all over the news - they are talking about shutting everything down again.  2020 has just stunk.  I know my anxiety would be a lot higher if I was smoking.  At least when I go to bed - I don't have any regrets.  It feels good to breath for a change.  Stay safe everyone!

Loreficent

From: Loreficent

Nov-10

You are rocking it Jonny. Don’t envy you with the COVID for sure. Yes, absolutely your anxiety would be higher with smoking! Not just because of COVID. It is taking me a while to piece together just how much I processed with a smoke. I nattered on above about it, a d it is absolutely true. Jaka and I talked about some too. We don’t realize as teens when we start, or early 20s even how much our brains are still developing. We have talked them into and taught them they needed nicotine to deal with anxiety. Well, turns out, it actually creates more anxiety with constantly falling and rising nicotine level. We smoke because the level drops, right, and triggers an urge to fill up the receptors again. Constant viscous cycle. And the developing brain learns this and associates the “relief” of the anxiety caused by filling the urge with relief of anxiety overall, this compounding it, not solving it. Do we still have some anxiety when we stop? Absolutely! That’s normal. It’s a spectrum like most things we feel. Soon, you will be sorting out what is your normal day to day stuff that spikes it a little and what is the urge. This is a process though, and I’m telling you, the longer you stick with it the more empowered you become realizing there is something beside nicotine receptors in your brain in control. Keep going! Post posts! Engage! Do this!!! 

Jonny84

From: Jonny84

Nov-10

Thank You so Much!!   You  bring up great points about the developing brain - That's when i started as well - as a teen.  It really is a crappy habit if you think about it.  All it does is create a viscous cycle.  No one cig will every satisfy you.  Always leads to more.  I am 46 now - with no real health issues.  I wish I would have quit a lot earlier - but I am hoping this is the only time I will have to stop.  I really don't want to go back to being a smoker!

Loreficent

From: Loreficent

Nov-10

Yes, there is a reason Big Tobacco targets vulnerable and developing brains. How many people do you know that actually got hooked after age 27-ish? I don’t know ANY. This is when the brain’s prefrontal cortex has reached full development, mostly. Give or take a bit and likely not exactly on one’s 27th birthday. Actually a bit younger for women, generally. And for some...never! Haha! joy

But, seriously, yes. There is a lot behind the scheme. Well, let’s pull that curtain on this man called the Wizard as in “OZ” I say, and not let him hide behind that veil with the illusion of having all control ever again! Ok...so, yeah, not quite that easy, but not that hard either. Definitely this is surmountable as the old timers here are a testament to. Right now, you are an Ex smoker. So, just don’t start again. Ride the waves and watch it all play out. Kind of cool in it’s own way, mostly. But, I’m not having a crave right now! Haha!joy

Yes, COVID19 bad everywhere. Got some overall thoughts on 2020 that I’m not quite sure how to articulate yet, but since I tend to natter, I’m sure they will end up here. 
Glad you’re on the mend!

  • Edited November 10, 2020 10:06 pm  by  Loreficent
Loreficent

From: Loreficent

Nov-11

Hey Nika,


Ok, so this will tie in to somewhere else that you asked about the good things noticed, not the more apparent ones like money saved, etc. Can’t find that right now, but I see that question and what you asked here as related. 
As a smoker, I was much like Allamer. Always scheming and devising my plan for the next one. Had to be prepared in so many ways and always have some sort of alibi ready (keep that bail money handy, by the way). Of course I got to be quite efficient and adept at this over the years. It became second nature to hide, avert, devise, and many other things to accomplish my mission; yes, even at times, lie. Everything centered around my ability to smoke. If I knew there was not going to be a way, for example, off with relatives for a few days and no way to get my fix, I would most likely politely decline the invite and avoid the situation all together. Others have written to all of these factors too. So, what naturally follows this kind of relationship really, where one is actually putting the larger part of their self on hold or keeping it at bay so as to serve a more demanding piece of one self? Hmmm. A sense of being unfulfilled. A sense of denial. Disappointment. Unsatisfied sense of connectedness. Shame. Of course I could go on, but...even feeling just those should be enough to make one stop, yes? But did it? Not for a long time. The addict Ruled. It was the “god” within to which all other parts of my psyche paid homage. I lived my life in fear of what I would be like if this “god” did not have it’s comfort. The fear always outweighed my ability to stop, to find out what would really happen if I just stopped.


So am I different without the fear? I think so. I like it. It’s a relief. I don’t think I can quite call it freedom yet like the old timers do as I still will have a thought of desire, an occasional crave. I still have what I recognize as the occasional reminiscence of “romance “. It’s so much better really. For me, it’s so much better because I’m learning to reconcile these pieces of myself with each other and understand that the cigarette was merely a tool to “connect “ what I didn’t know how to connect inside of myself before. It’s a beautiful process really. It is trust. I am finally trusting myself that whatever makes me tick in there is enough and it isn’t fueled by nicotine but hindered by it. I can bring these pieces together and...they fit! Wow! Like a jigsaw puzzle or a painting.  Mine is kind of more like a Dali or Picasso with pieces maybe not exactly where they ought to be and random parts thrown in rather than a Rembrandt or Monet with all the flowing peaceful colors and tones and softness and beauty on the surface value of it, but...the pieces, they fit. So, I smoked for a long time thinking it was because there was a piece missing. That veil I hid behind is what kept me from becoming reconciled and whole. It wasn’t the missing piece I thought it was, but a cog in the wheel of motion in my mind. Am I different without it? Yeah. I think I am starting to understand what it means to define health for me, and not just physical. I think I am on the path to freedom. At least in my mind. I do think I am different without fear. It surely feels better. I think I wouldn’t do so well going back in that cage again with fear holding the key. There is a song with the chorus, and it may not make sense out of context, but “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.” Great song and lyrics. “My Back Pages” by The Byrds. Check it out. Written by your favorite Bob Dylan Jaka, but I like The Byrds version best. 

CC to Jaka38
  • Edited November 11, 2020 3:29 am  by  Loreficent
NikaSuzi

From: NikaSuzi

Nov-11

O my god, Lore ... YES! So much of what you are writing about resonates with me so much that I just keep going back to reading it again and again. Some of it is exactly why I decided to stop and is the basis for that "positive" things that I wanted to tackle in the other discussion.

Haha, so funny to see we're kind of kindred spirits on many levels - from the post length right down to the man buns :D :D

Still working now but will get back to writing some more in the evening. Some discussions I had in this past days really triggered me to go deeper into it.

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