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.
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.
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.Recommended1 recommendationPublished in