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New Around Here   Introductions/Newcomers Nook

Started Sep-11 by AsthmaGirl; 837 views.

From: AsthmaGirl


Hello All,

Thanks Douglas. I really appreciated your story. I tried a red 100 over the summer and those are no joke! I got two puffs in and turned back.

Anyways, I’m approaching 30 and I’ve had an interest in smoking since I was maybe 13. It started with weed. It was an act of rebellion that fascinated me. My first experience with cigarettes came when I was about 15. I’m from Ecuador and my parents let me stay by myself in Ecuador one summer. It was a crazy time and I discovered the vendors on the street would sell me alcohol and cigarettes no questions asked. It was a short stint since that trip didn’t last long and ended with a bang. But that’s a story for a different time. I basically stopped when I got back seeing as I had no access. But I don’t regret that stint. Those are some cherished memories. Roaming the ancient streets of Ecuador with a cigarette, dressed in my hippie garb. What a phase.
Maybe nows a good time to mention why I really don’t belong here. Not that any of us do but I have asthma. A condition that’s been relatively mild in my case but affects me nonetheless. You’d think someone with knowledge of compromised lung function would prioritize staying away from poisonous inhalants. But it’s dawned on me recently that while I outwardly project confidence I never really have cared much about myself. 
So fast forward to early 2022, my life seemed to be sliding down hill and I made a conscious decision to “become a smoker”. It was absolutely 100% a conscious decision not a mistake I stumbled into. I’m the only one to blame. The day I made the decision I went to the smoke shop and bought a vape. My occasional thc vape pen wasn’t cutting it anymore. God I loved those vapes. The flavors and not to mention I could sneak it at work without having to go outside! More rebellion. I’m noticing a pattern lol I made an exception to the well-known rule: never date a co-worker. It ended as quickly as it started and I made another decision, to change everything about my life as quickly as possible. I quit my job, blocked them on everything and I even ended up moving away. 
I was fortunate enough to find a new job quickly. It was gonna be great. I was gonna be a summer camp counselor. This was gonna be it. I was gonna pour my love into the kids and forget about my ex. I was gonna get healthy on the farm and lose some extra pounds. It was gonna be this healthy getaway and things were really shaping up.

Thats not how things turned out. Let’s just say I’m on a breathing machine 2-3 times a day now and I’m unemployed with no prospects. The camp never worked out. There was a lot of issues between the camp directors and some systemic racism became an issue. Anyways the director quit out of the blue and the camp was canceled. The kids never came but we were offered the option to stay on the farm and work if we wanted. A group of 30 young counselors from all over the country dwindled to 10 of us. Overall, it’s one of the funnest summers I ever had but a small group of us bonded over cigarettes. Oh it had a chokehold on us. From mid May to the end of August my asthma symptoms got worse. I would wake up and need my inhaler and sometimes I could just tell there was a lot of mucus in my lungs. Felt like I was underwater. Anyways, it went on all summer. It’s not like I was doing a pack a day or anything at most maybe 4-5. Usually it was 2 though. 
The camp ended, my lease was up, and so I moved home. My parents have been out of town for 2 weeks and I’ve just been alone. Smoking is no longer social and definitely not fulfilling. 
I’m taking back the decision I made earlier in the year. I don’t want to be a smoker. I can’t be a smoker. I can’t afford it mentally, physically or even financially. It’s currently 7am and it’s only day two of full quitting. I’ve been tapering these last two weeks. Breathing machine is up to 3 times a day now. It seems to be getting worse not better. So I started to do some reading which is how I found you guys. Apparently it might show improvement in a month? I still want to smoke. I don’t think I’m addicted to nic. Maybe to some extent but it’s always been the act of smoking I’m  addicted to over the nic.

I just wish this decision was as easy as the one I made all those months ago. I guess I’m left wondering what activities are gonna make me feel that act of rebellion that I somehow so desperately crave without putting my life in peril. I’m unsure of how to mentally convince myself that this is important, that I’m important. Right now the only thing keeping me off it is that I literally physically can’t.


From: Loreficent


Wohhhhhoooaaaa. Hey there Asthma Girl….

Ive already likened to calling you AG. Would that be OK with you? 
Asthma and smoking don’t mix well, you are correct. It’s interesting your statement that you “outwardly project confidence but you never really have cared much for myself “. To me that speaks a volume of self awareness.
One has to wonder if that is the case with all smokers, right? The conscious choice to self destruct is generally not thought of as a productive and growth enhancing choice. Yet, most smokers never see the choice to smoke as a choice to self destruct and a form of self loathing. We seem to focus it in a way that casts us a bit more, albeit not completely, but a bit more in a victim role really. So, good on you for taking the ownership that is written here! I love that brutally honest self reflection. It’s incredibly refreshing in todays culture, here in the US anyway. But, my thoughts on all of that are likely left to another conversation and likely a different forum, joy. Don’t go thinking bad things about me from that statement either, please. I’m an incredibly liberal person with an innate sense of stoicism and justice, a huge amount of salt of the earth humanitarian ethics, what I consider to be a balanced and guiding inner moral compass, an amazing and unrelenting amount of intestinal fortitude, topped off with what so far has been an unbreakable resilience. Yet I relented all my strength, wisdom, and power to my nicotine addiction for years. Why? Not sure. Unaddressed sense of self loathing? Victim of Big Tobacco? Just plain stupid choices? Faulty wiring in my brain and lack of better developed coping mechanisms and ability to be with emotions? Combination of all of that? Does it matter beyond my knowledge of who I am and the fact that I let something have an incredible amount of power and control over me that in reality has absolutely no power or control other than what I choose to give it??

So, I’d love to converse more and hear more of your story of where you are. You are near 30 now and just became a regular smoker this year in 2022? Sorry for my confusion. I am understanding you smoked in Ecuador at age 15 but stopped on return here. Had occasional THC vapes, then went and got nicotine vapes….? 
I’m also very curious why you say you don’t belong here. Do you mean here as in this Forum? Here as in being a nicotine user who has asthma? Here as in this planet? joy

Well AG, the decision itself is as easy as the one you made months ago. It’s the follow through that is hard, haha. As far as what acts are there to fulfill your need for rebellion without putting your life in peril? I guess that makes me wonder who or what are you rebelling against? You are almost 30. Yourself? The Fates? Let me tell you about those three ladies, haha. 

Well, welcome! You do belong here and I suspect you are more addicted to nicotine than you think. But I’m wrong about tons of stuff! Does it matter though? You have effing asthma and realize smoking/ vaping isn’t helping. And you want a take back on your decision. Well, permission granted! Take it back!

Talk soon!


CC to tonypfan

From: xvaper


Hi AG, I agree with Lori on everything. Like her I'm also a bit confused about the timeline, and what you mean by "don't belong here". Did you go from an inhaler to  breathing machine within months by smoking 4-5 cigarettes a day?

You are in the right direction, and yes it gets better. But you have to do mental work as well, strip down conceptions we have about cigarettes and smoking and read some science. It helped me in my journey (almost 13 months clean).

I would like to add one comment. You say you don't think you are addicted to Nicotine. There is one reason we smoke and one reason only: to get a Nicotine fix.

If cigarettes had no nicotine in them, we wouldn't smoke them. I still remember the 'Herbal' cigarettes with no nicotine in them. It was awful and it was a big flop, no one wanted to smoke them more than they wanted to walk up to a bonfire and deeply inhale the smoke into their lungs.

 Yes, cigarettes have been etched into our minds as a forbidden yet super cool thing to do, but it's really a pernicious, decades long manipulation by the tobacco companies to keep thinking this way. It had penetrated our collective memory and culture in an inextricable way. So we tell ourselves that we like to act of smoking. Not so. We want the nicotine effect and replenishment in our brain. .Some of us need 2 packs a day to keep going, some of us only need 2-5 cigarettes to fulfill the need. It makes no difference in term of dependency. You may have started consciously to start smoking but the moment you lit up the first, you were hooked. That's how fast nicotine can work on our brain.

I like to use the following analogy:

Imagine that cigarettes didn't exist, and instead Nicotine was emitted from the exhaust pipe of a car. Now Imagine that beginning in the 1930's until today, the Tobacco companies would have inundated us with images and on the big screens, of glamorous hot movie stars and inhaling the exhaust pipe fumes with a martini glass in their hand, and cool rebellious characters and musicians with a cigarette hanging from their lips. 

Would we then go outside in minus 10 degrees bundled up, start our car engine and inhale the smoke when we needed a nicotine fix?

I know I would.

In reply toRe: msg 3

From: JavaNY


Hope you are doing well, X.

Decades long manipulation, though it has gotten better. For anyone that watched Mad Men, it's unbelievable how much they smoked. On elevators! though probably exaggerated a bit. 

Msg 7127.5 and the next 1 deleted
In reply toRe: msg 3

From: AsthmaGirl


I have plenty of friends who enjoy herbal cigarettes and I even had non nicotine vapes. Like I said I’m not addicted to nicotine but rather the act of smoking. I find it relieves stress. Anyways, just wanted to update. Maybe I was wrong maybe it is as easy as making a new decision. I haven’t smoked since I wrote that post. I’m rounding out 3 weeks now. 


From: xvaper


That's great! 3 weeks is an achievement! I see. Personally I do not know a single person who likes herbals. I do know people who are not addicted to nicotine that can enjoy none nicotine vape. The question is, if it's only the act of smoking you enjoy, why were you not smoking herbal cigarettes or none nicotine vape? 

I'm not trying to give you a hard time, and, since you are doing so well in your quit, it may not matter, but understanding that we are addicted to nicotine is an essential component in long term sobriety from Nicotine.