Author’s note: I’m usually trying to be humorous, or sarcastic, but tonight I am trying to pass on information that I discovered during my journey with nicotine addiction. I am still learning!
I can go weeks without ever thinking about cigarettes. Then plans get messed up, a medical emergency happens, or I can’t find something important and dammit, I want to smoke. Like that is going to help my plans, my health, or my brain. After nearly two years of being smoke free you would expect me to no longer be addicted to nicotine. You are wrong.
Sure, my body is rid of the nicotine and other chemicals from inhaling cigarette smoke. Unfortunately, my brain won’t let go completely. Nicotine in my blood-stream would reach my brain and “light up” sensors that made me feel good. My brain remembers this (or the sensors do). I’m not even thinking about smoking, but my brain has those sensory memories stored somewhere. Waiting.
When we are stressed, our mind works overtime to find a way to get us back to a non-stressed state. Why doesn’t my mind find a different solution? Like a cup of tea or a nice long bath? Probably because I never used those things to calm down. I would always light up a cigarette. I thought that inhaling the nicotine calmed me down, when in reality, nicotine is a stimulant that increases your heart rate and blood pressure. I only felt calmer because I satisfied my craving for nicotine.
That’s how they get you. The Tobacco industry. Their products supply you with nicotine, your brain starts to need the nicotine and you end up smoking to satisfy those greedy neurotransmitters begging for another nicotine fix. If that isn’t bad enough, the cigarette you just had is setting you up for the next one. Because the sensation of withdrawal is uncomfortable, and the only way to stop it is another cigarette.
No wonder the industry can make billions of dollars – and we can’t stop smoking.
Non-addicts believe that if you just used some will-power, you could quit. HA! You can’t break addiction with will-power. Why? Because the brain, neurology and psychology are inter-twined around your addiction. The Bitch owns you. You need professional help, but you don’t want to ask for any, because the thought of you never smoking again terrifies you.
I heard that heroin addicts have less trouble getting the monkey off their back, than smokers. Don’t believe that? I didn’t either – until I asked a recovering heroin addict. She opened her purse and showed me her cigarettes. So, I guess that meant yes.