Nicotine Addiction | My Current Struggle

Hello world, in this article I plan to share with you my struggles with nicotine addiction. I’m a former poly-addict with almost 5 years of sobriety from all substances with the exceptions of a few. The only difference is now the substances I use are legal. I was able to quit methamphetamine and heroin, but why can’t I seem to let go of nicotine?

How my Nicotine Addiction Started

As a kid I was desperate to fit in regardless of the lengths I would have to go. I was overweight, had red hair, and was socially anxious. Kids either didn’t get my sense of humor or didn’t want to get my sense of humor simply because they didn’t want to be seen around me. This forced me to do outlandish things in order to make my peers laugh. Sometimes it was pranks, other times it was drugs. In the case of nicotine, I did use it to fit in with the “cool kids” at school. There was little, if any enjoyment from cigarettes. Most of the time I smoked I laid still hating life as I was plagued with nausea. But why keep smoking? Again, I would go to any lengths to fit in. I began to not inhale to avoid being sick so I could “look cool” while engaging in an activity that made me feel part of the crowd.

How did my nicotine addiction progress to what it is today? Eventually I started experimenting with other substances. As a poly-addict I quickly realized I could get addicted to anything that alters me from the neck up. This furthered my interest into nicotine and lead me to fight through the sickness until I was physically dependent. To this day I can make little sense of why I would want to be addicted to a substance. Typically it’s thought of as an unfortunate byproduct of substance abuse. However, I sought after it. Perhaps it was a means of escape, a path of fulfilling curiosity, or it was processing decisions with illogical emotions. Regardless of the cause the end result remains the same, being chained in various addictions including nicotine addiction.

nicotine withdrawal symptoms

How Did it Progress?

Of course, as with any addiction nicotine was progressive. It is cunning in the sense I didn’t wake up one day in full-blown nicotine addiction, it snuck up on me. It started with me counting my cigarettes and limiting myself so I wouldn’t feel guilt. Half a pack a day isn’t bad right? After a while I had strong enough of a desire to quit. I would buy a pack of cigarettes and throw half away. Due to financial restrictions this inhibited my access to nicotine and did work. After not smoking for a year I got started again. Why would I start up again if I knew I didn’t want it in my life? To this day not being able to answer that question baffles me.

I made another swing at quitting by switching over to e-cigarettes. I thought this would be a sure-fire way to quit nicotine. Rather than help me quit nicotine it took my addiction to another level. In my experience, nicotine addiction is purely physical with no psychologically addictive properties. There was never anything fun about smoking, it was just a peculiar need almost as if a cigarette was an ice cold beverage after running a marathon. With vaping I had the same physical addiction to nicotine but with psychologically addictive properties added. There were more fun aspects to vaping, I could socialize at the vape lounge, build my own coils, test out flavors, the list goes on. It also doesn’t help with denial when everyone around you is saying vaping doesn’t have long-term consequences including cancer. I still find it hard to have a reason to quit.

e-cigarette

Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms

At some point I decided I needed to quit vaping. Not because I thought it was horrible for your health, I just hated being dependent on a substance. I attempted to quit by lowering my e-liquid nicotine levels and experienced various nicotine withdrawal symptoms. This included gaining weight rapidly, little motivation to do much of anything, easily agitated, generalized anxiety, craving nicotine and using 0mg juice like a pacifier. I was able to quit a week and relapsed. Now it’s so hard to find time to face the gnarly nicotine withdrawal symptoms and keep smiles on my face at work. This is one addiction I’ve yet to beat and would love your support in the comments. I need to get over the nicotine withdrawal symptoms once and for good.

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Comments

  1. Fernando

    I highly recommend reading “The easy way to stop smoking”, by Allen Carr; or going to one of their seminaries.

    Regards!

  2. adkb

    Going through something similar with nicotine at the moment its not great but better than past addictions as in easier to handle in everyday life.

  3. Mia

    Yes, I also highly recommend the easy way to stop smoking by allen carr. He gives the key to ditch willpower and to come out of the maze of psychological addiction. I stopped smoking thanks to it. For some stupid reason i kept starting again (usually when i was drunk or trying to hook up with someone who was a smoker). And the book was always there to hold my hand and get me out again. That happened about a dozen times. But now its been 6 years off nicotine. (And interestingly, off alcohol and off one night stands). Shifted a lot of my addiction to caffein until one day i realised i could feel myself that well, as if i was on some kind of antidepressant meds. So i’m working on that now, and have become interested in working and understanding emotions, in order to deal with what i hate feeling when i’m not running away . Just saw your last youtube post. Keep at it. We love you. I was a meth addict for 2 years in the late neinties when i was living back in Indonesia. I had no idea what i was taking or why i was going through hell. We had no information, just that it was some cool chinese new stuff. Your videos helped me so much connect with some grief about my past.

  4. youlasty

    i tried nicotine, super strength, 28 mg eliquid strength, thats so fucking much, vaped like 2 ml, so 60mg of nicotine in my body, 60 cigarettes basically, didnt feel any buzz, high or anything, does it have anything to do with my genetics? im 13

    1. errorfairy

      Omg Don’t vape anymore kid please. I’ve realized the sugar in vape liquid has ruined my teeth. I hate saying bad things about vaping since it saved me from all the chemicals in cigarettes but the sugar it places apon your teeth daily must be horrendous. I need dentures now. If you have no enamel, I would not recommend vaping unless your teeth are covered in coconut oil. Ugh.

  5. Jodi

    I have 18 years clean from everything except cigarettes. It is sooo hard! I have often times said I wish there was an inpatient rehab for cigarettes. Keep posting on this because it’s the most difficult thing I’ve come across yet.

  6. Jace

    I also struggle with nicotine addiction, I’m 22 and have dipped tobacco since I was 16. I quit for roughly 2 months (December/January), mind you for the 10thish time, and once Feb started I gave myself that BS talk of “I can still dip if I can do it in smaller amounts”; used to be 1-2 cans a day, more recently it’s been 3-5 cans a week, so I tell myself if I can do 1 can a week that’s not bad. The problem is I say that and usually, it ends up being 5 cans a week.

    I personally think nicotine is one of those sleeper drugs that people don’t think will be difficult to knock until they get hooked, I mean more so than many other known hard drugs.

    All the best,
    J

  7. SlickSlack

    Hey man, I’m also a nicotine addict, on top of meth. I’m also a former alcoholic and I’d include marijuana in there too. However I see it more as a medicine for the soul now that I’m not actively searching a dry town at all hours for it as I did in my early days Lol. Thinking about trying to pick the last one up again actually as it will be legalized nationwide by the end of summer. If my will power let’s me, I can do without the speed if I get a toke first. Sorry, I tend to ramble. To the topic of discussion. So I started smoking when I was 15 for the after toke effects. In my area it’s called aftertoke smoke anyhow. Just a way to give your high a booster shot. Well it didn’t take long before I’d be walking around asking everyone for a drag when I didn’t have the money. I smoked solidly around half a pack a day from 16 until I was 18. I was able to quit during a battle with laryngitis. I couldn’t speak for 3 days and it wasn’t getting better. Finally my girlfriend told me she read in our local health guide that smoking just happens to severely prolong any progress in getting rid of the laryngitis. She always hated me smoking. She was a major force in my ability to stop. Bless her heart. But I was going bonkers with my voice. So I quit cold turkey right there. Everyone always says the first 3 days are the worst. I tend to agree. Probably wasn’t the most pleasant to be around. I was doing great. Until I turned 19. The legal age of consumption here. I thought to myself, in the middle of a stupor, how nice a cigarette would be in this summer heat. The perfect accompaniment for this refreshing, lonely beer. He needs friends and I need a smoke. So I went to the store and after that first smoke filled day I woke up in the worst shame spiral/tame hangover of my life. I betrayed myself and my, still at the time, girlfriend. I closet smoked for months until finally I confessed.
    I’m 32 now and a lot has happened since then but that was my biggest attempt at the quit. I would one day like to be smoke free. As we all aspire to be I’m sure.
    Friends and co workers alike, have for the most part been smokers. I’m not sure what it is about cooks and smoking but it’s definitely a prerequisite for the lifestyle. Roughly half of the these same people, quit cold turkey. Maybe on their third attempt. Maybe on their thirty third. One girl I previously worked with used hypnotherapy. She’s going 6 months without a cigarette and still doesn’t find her mind wandering to it. She’s front of house and I know that’s a whole nother’ level of stress. Dealing with the public on top of our shenanigans. She’s informed me the drive has to be in you as well as your brains susceptibility to hypnosis. Some people just can’t be hypnotized. Others you snap a finger and tell them to sleep on 3 and they’re out by your 2 count lol. I have never believed I would be easily hypnotized. Alas I’ve never tried. I wonder how that would be with meth? They say nicotine is the hardest of them all to stop. And I don’t want to think that but everyone I know clean from really hard stuff has got nicotine still. Nasty gremlin.
    I just hit a button on my phone by accident and I thought I had just lost everything I’d written when it navigated to another page. The way I reacted you’d think I was in the first few days of nicotine withdrawal. Lol. So my advice is keep trying. It’s not the first time you try that counts right. It’s the one that succeeds. And with every attempt or shot at it. You gradually get a bit better at the thought process. I find as long as you keep going you’ll get there. Maybe you’re not ready yet. But you know the desire is there. As long as you keep at it, it’ll stick eventually.
    I know it’s quite a long post. I just wanted to keep it in the correct forum. And who knows? Maybe someone will read this some day and get some re-encouragement. Is there a place on your site for direct messaging p2p?
    Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge on your recovery so freely and uninhibited. It takes a lot of guts to be that person. Anyone can type on a keyboard and all the negativity I see in the comments on YouTube to folks pouring out their hearts and deepest inner workings with no abound drives me insane. All I can do is write a smug, well written, attempt at being funny, sobering comment. Hopefully provoke a little bit of thought into what made it their days work to anonymously/cowardly attack someone trying to be of service to others. Anyone who speaks up to theem is then a “bleeding heart” and is of course the next focal point of really unimaginative slandering. I post my 2 cents and ignore my notifications lol. It’s literally on every. Single. Video. Not just addiction and road to sober living. How did a video about how to parsail safely in Cabo san Lucas turn into a fight about….. Trump or… I don’t know. It usually is Trump. Anyways, I ramble cause I care. Point being. A place like this to come to is so much more appealing as you’re already a personality people are comfortable with. You candidly relate what we all are going through admirably. The intellectual giants from YouTubes comments section don’t have a video to hold their focus long enough to type their repetitive bufoonery and the algorithm won’t bring them here randomly. And that is so refreshing. Although if somehow you could make it that Toto’s Africa plays randomly through the readers speakers, regardless of where you are on your site, every 5 page changes. It’d be like that little piece of where it all started that people take with them. I kid of course. But, in all seriousness, Thank you so much Philip. You’re doing a lot of good. It’s genuinely appreciated.
    – Chris

  8. Jen-eee

    I have heard black pepper helps. When I come across the link again (currently can’t remember which page it was on), I will come back and post the link.

  9. errorfairy

    Ironically I’m slowly quitting vaping due to lack of interest after I had stimulants for a day (half a 5mgadderall) it triggered my brain into realizing I can do this and I am stronger than I think I am. It was the drug talking obviously but somehow it’s helped me get motivated despite the awful comedown I could never use stimulants daily my body is just hyper sensative. I try my best to not abuse anything. I keep everything at the lowest dosages I can as to avoid tolerances besides cannabis But yeah I’m still detoxing subutex so it’s getting me over that… Maybe that helps me not crave things so much and I know it helps with homeostasis but everyone is so very different in experiences and outcomes from substances.. yayaya. I rant. I rant.

  10. bung

    This looks like a pretty old forum so not too sure if I’ll even get a response, however, I am also addicted to vaping. I use a little device called a Breeze and use 35mg e-liquid. I wouldn’t be as worried about my addiction if I wasn’t only 15 years old, but I am, and the thought that this will become a lifetime habit for me is scary. I’ve tried to give it up a couple times, but experienced headaches and felt stressed for no reason. I know that this is going to be hard to kick, due to the doseage that I’m used to, (2ml/daily of 35mg liquid) but any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.