Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Quitting smoking - 1 week - The mind altering effects of cigarette addiction.

I’m now a week into the process of quitting smoking. Some things have gotten easier, some have gotten harder, and some things are still the same. Oddly enough, I still want a cigarette. I don’t want tobacco, as I am not craving a pipe or a cigar, I am craving a cigarette still to this day. It’s worse when I am idle. Whatever you bastards at the big tobacco companies put in your cigarettes, it works and I hope you all fucking go to the 7th ring of hell for it. This is not a simple case of nicotine addiction.

I’ve come to realize something about the smoking addiction; it isn’t tobacco alone that causes the problem, it’s whatever the cigarette manufacturers do to hook us. I loved premium cigars and smoked those for years along with cigarettes. I don’t want a cigar at all, what I want is a cigarette. Now, this may simply be because I have smoked cigarettes since I was 15 years old but I find it interesting that it is a specific product that I want considering the physical, mental and emotional reaction I am having.

Sleep? Ha! I am still suffering through the worst insomnia I have ever had in my life. Last night I was able to pull in a whole 2 hours of fitful and restless sleep before the weird and spooky nightmares woke me up. After that I didn’t sleep, I just laid in bed in a sort of trancelike state, tossing and turning like I was in some sort of wild and bad movie. I haven’t had more than 4 hours of solid sleep in more than a week and those 4 hours were not restful.

My head still isn’t processing information properly. I am having trouble concentrating and remembering everything about my day. Sometimes I feel trapped and sometimes my sense of time flies away. I’ll look at my watch or the clock and think an hour has passed since I last checked the time and will be confused to see that only 10 minutes have passed since I last looked. I now understand what folks talk about when they discuss the phenomenon of lost time in alien abductions. This is a very disconcerting effect and it has made me wonder more than once if I will regain sanity or my grasp on reality, as I knew it.

Did the tobacco alter my entire perception of the world? Is this similar to a psycho reactive drug experience?


PW said...

Whatever you have to go through, I wish you success. You might try reading "The Easy Way to Stop Smoking" by Alan Carr. He gets into the differences between the Willpower Method and "The Easy Way" method. Goes into the psychology of smoking more in depth than others. I started when I was ten years old and still having a hard time quitting. I have probably quit 75 times, dunno lost count. But the point is to keep trying. Dr Mercola says you should not try to quit until you have gotten your health act together, ie diet and exercise. I believe a combination of these two methods will help you. As for myself, I am still working on it. For me, being busy and stressed is cause for me to smoke more. In your case however, it might be the reverse, so if you can stay moderately busy, it might also help you. Maybe I am not the one to ask how to stop, because I haven't quit yet, but hopefully these tidbits can keep you going in the right direction.

As for sleep, I conquered my insomnia with the following:

1. Less TV and less staring at computer screen.

2. Stop drinking coffee and black tea. I drink straight green tea with a tad of stevia for sweetening, that gives me a lift without the side effects. Trader Joe's has this good instant green tea that you can make as strong as you want.

3. Detox the body, toss the junk food, the sugar etc. Don't drink alcohol, or very little. Drink loads of water. Eat less meat. Eat loads of fruit, brown rice and veggies. Anything that affects the liver and the digestion will affect your sleep.

4. Do some exercise twice a day. Hard labor works too. Do some stretching and loosening up before bed time. When you hit the hay, progressively relax every muscle and commence to slow deep breathing.

5. If none of the above works, then try either reading a book or leave a boring video of some lecture on and pretty soon you will not be able to keep your eyes open no matter what you do.

Best of luck with it

The CT blogger said...

Thanks for your kind words, suggestions and support. Coming from a fellow smoker who knows how tough this is, is even more appreciated. Much peace to you.

I'm now at the beginning of the third week and it's not really getting better but it's not getting worse either, which is a huge relief. Staying active is really the only thing that really helps. Once I stop moving, especially on the weekends, it all goes to hell for me. Constant activity, physical and mental are the only thing that really works. The thing that sucks is that I can't sit down to just watch a baseball game as it makes me want to light up.

You are 100% correct on green tea being a blessing and a help. I'l a serious tea lover and green tea is a great "treat" as well as health booster. A cup of tea has always had an effect of calming me and making me feel "even keeled".

Good luck to you if you quit again. Just remember, that 76th time is always the charm! Strength to you and best of wishes!