I'm giving up tobacco, permanently

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I've given up tobacco, permanently.

Postby manas » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:11 pm

DAY 4

When the previous owners of my flat decided to sell it and move on, the bloke came in and fixed a few things (they allowed me to stay here despite having to do all these repairs, for which I'm grateful). Some of his 'repairs' were a bit dodgy though, and seemed more like a quick patch-up so the place could get sold. For example, there's a stubborn leak in the roof over where the toilet is, and despite trying to fix it time and again, the owner had never quite been able to isolate the problem. So when it came time to sell, he simply went into the bathroom, sanded down and plastered over the decaying, mouldy section of ceiling (due to damp from regular leakings), and gave it a fresh coat of paint. So, not fixed at all, rather just plastered over, and made so that it could not be noticed. But over time, the decay became visible again, and it looks even worse now than before.

Why I started smoking regularly, why I even allowed this to kick in as a habit, I suspect was a bit like that. I suspect I was doing it to distract myself from certain powerful, uncomfortable, and sometimes painful emotions. And so long as I kept drip drip dripping a little bit of the nicotine in, the emotions were kept at bay. Now that I've stopped totally, they are back with a vengeance. I've felt more in the last three days, than I would normally feel in a month.

Taking any drug, even an 'allowable' one like nicotine, is like plastering over our feelings / emotions, imo. I notice such a difference in how I feel, now I'm getting free of it. Emotions are deeper, I can feel them more in my body again, I can feel the connection with my surroundings more fully, it's a subtle thing but life is just that bit more real, vibrant, alive. But the cost is, emotional honesty. I can't hide so well, whatever comes up is 'right here' and wants to be dealt with right now. So when emotional pain comes up, it can cut like a knife. But that is the price we pay, for being truly alive, to truly live.

I admit that, last night I was in such despair, that I didn't care about anything anymore. I searched around just for one more half-finished smoke from the past, surely I dropped one somewhere? Finally I found a bit, about six puffs worth left on it. I smoked it, savouring the mild rush...for a few minutes the emotions subsided...but soon, I just felt bad. Kind of a sick, dull feeling. The vibrancy of life had been tarnished again, just that little. And I thought, no, I won't go back...keep on with this course. You are making progress. You are halfway through the worst of it. Stay the course. You can do this.

I've decided that, I would rather feel life fully, deeply and truly, even if the price of that is, sometimes it will really hurt. But I still prefer that, to just trying to plaster over things, distract myself from them, by using a substance. I want to be fully present with Life.

:anjali:
Last edited by manas on Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I'm giving up tobacco, permanently

Postby dagon » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:34 am

I was working with a kid who had a crack addiction - during a conversation he said that he had quit cigarettes but he could not quit crack. i asked him if he could dump cigarettes why couldn't he quit crack.

He asked me why I was still smoking - i said because if i did not smoke i get very stressed. What he asked me to do was to write down each time that i was distressed because i could not have a cigarette, each time i stressed cause i need to go to the shops to buy smokes, each time i could not find cigarettes or lighter ....... and then add the stress at work from the time i was working to pay for cigarettes. :cry:

If you do that and quit - never get rid of that list, love that list.

metta
paul
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Re: I'm giving up tobacco, permanently

Postby mirco » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:33 pm


dagon wrote:I was working with a kid who had a crack addiction - during a conversation he said that he had quit cigarettes but he could not quit crack. i asked him if he could dump cigarettes why couldn't he quit crack. He asked me why I was still smoking - i said because if i did not smoke i get very stressed. What he asked me to do was to write down each time that i was distressed because i could not have a cigarette, each time i stressed cause i need to go to the shops to buy smokes, each time i could not find cigarettes or lighter ....... and then add the stress at work from the time i was working to pay for cigarettes. If you do that and quit - never get rid of that list that list. metta, paul

Nice trick.

Once I drank a glass of water every time I was about to eat something. That did not prevented me from compulsive eating, but added a conciouss break between the craving and the acting out. After ten days or so I was not overeating that much anymore.

:clap:
I get what I give
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Re: I'm giving up tobacco, permanently

Postby manas » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:08 pm

Thanks everyone for the support, encouragement, and helpful stories of recovery. :anjali:

DAY 6


I am pleased to say, that even by yesterday, the emotional distress, turbulence and sometimes desperation I had been experiencing, that was so difficult and tricky to handle, had subsided. :woohoo: Today, I feel even better. From now, it is purely a mental challenge, I think. My body does not seem to be craving to smoke, it's only if I think about it, well then I get this little feeling of temptation, and so I am literally taking the Blessed One's advice and NOT THINKING ABOUT IT haha! And if the thought arises, knocking it out like a bad peg straight away, with a positive thought / emotion. The trick is not to even let the thought see the light of day, I'm finding. What is helping me to achieve this, is keeping busy doing productive and / or fun things. Must admit, don't think I could have done this as easily, without the warmth and companionship I now feel, from a good friend I recently made. Alone, hmm I'm not sure I would have been so inspired to stick this out. (Of course my dear friends here on DW are very, very helpful, but there's something powerful about spending time with a friend in the physical, 3D world, you know?)

I'm well on the way to recovery, and although I am not willing to declare complete victory as yet, I'm very pleased that the emotional pain and turbulence only lasted 4 days, and that now on day 6, I am feeling fairly calm.

with metta
'manas
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Re: I'm giving up tobacco, permanently

Postby Mkoll » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:00 pm

I can't speak for tobacco but I can for marijuana. Though not as addictive, I allowed it to have a hold on me for 5 years. Towards the end, the negative aspects of the practice became more and more apparent: the burning sensation of the smoke going down into the lungs, the dirty taste of the smoke and tar, the disgusting smell of the smoke, the gigantic tolerance to the drug my body had built, the sight of this little flower having such a coercive effect on my mind, the thought of desiring to smoke some more even while I was smoking, the feelings of guilt at doing something I knew was harmful, the feelings of shame over what I was doing...

Metaphorically, I see a connection between quitting drugs (or any addiction: food, sex, etc.) and quitting Samsara. Both are addictions fueled by craving. Dropping the grossest one, I'm proceeding to drop the more subtle ones.

Good luck, manas. You will do it if you want to.

:namaste:

James
Peace,
James
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Postby manas » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:43 pm

Thanks James, and to everyone who has replied and offered support. I am still going! I'm not sure how many days it's been, but it seems like quite a while has passed...maybe every other day, I get this recollection and desire to smoke, but I quickly squash it, and redirect my mind to more wholesome things. Damn it it is persistent, it is not? But let's be logical, sucking into my precious lungs a cocktail of toxic chemicals in smoke, why would I want to do that? I'm NOT going back, I already decided that. So if the odd wish for it still pops up now and then, well I will just endure the momentary discomfort of saying NO to the unwholesome, and redirect my mind to what is wholesome. But even though there is this flicker of pain in saying no to desire, there is also a gradually increasing feeling of strength in me, that I admire, and this makes up for the pain. I like being able to decide what I do with my life, to have the strength to see something through that is difficult, but is for my own good, in the long run. One more thing: I must admit that, I made a dear friend a few weeks ago who is a non-smoker (in fact she is very clean-living in general) and this has spurred me on a bit, too...good association has it's influence.

By the way, my mind and emotions are clearer, and my lungs feel kind of softer, more relaxed...

manas
:anjali:
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Re: I'm giving up tobacco, permanently

Postby Ajisai » Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:14 am

Manas,

I wish you good luck even though it seems you are doing very well ! :smile:
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Re: I'm giving up tobacco, permanently

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:16 am

You're doing well, Manas - keep it up!
Two suggestions:
1. Start thinking of yourself as a "non-smoker", not as an "ex-smoker" or "someone who has given up smoking". It's a purely verbal shift but it's a shift from the negative way of thinking about the positive change, to a neutral/virtuous way.
2. Enjoy your sense of smell when it comes back, as it should be doing quite soon.

:namaste:
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Re: I'm giving up tobacco, permanently

Postby manas » Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:13 am

Thanks everyone :thanks:
yes I am beginning to just think of myself as a "non-smoker" since my intention was to quit permanently. Even just to avoid having to ever repeat the first four days of the detox, which emotionally were hellish, I would not wish to go back. Having said that, though: today, while cleaning up, I was tempted. I found about two thirds of an organic cig, in good condition too. Must have fallen into a box of odds and ends, by accident once. I thought about having it. After all, it's just a little, right? (said Mara)...But with force I rushed to the sink, doused it in water to ruin it, and threw it in the garbage. I reject it. It's disgusting in reality, so to still want it shows that the work is not completed as yet. But I'm on the way.

manas
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Re: I'm giving up tobacco, permanently

Postby SarathW » Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:19 pm

:thumbsup:
:popcorn:
:)
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Re: I'm giving up tobacco, permanently

Postby manas » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:48 pm

Thanks to everyone for their kind words of support and encouragement. I can't see myself going back to smoking anymore; the withdrawal and detox was too painful, and I would not want to endure that again. I think I'm finally done with it.

I'm asking for this topic to be locked now, because I believe I have now given up smoking, permanently. One last word, though: I did not do it alone. The love of a dear friend I made, gave me the energy and inspiration to persevere, to see this through. (The fact that she is a strict non-smoker helped too of course...) In my direct experience, I can now say that the connection between two beings on the spiritual journey, the warmth and love they share, is sweeter by far than the dubious 'pleasure' of inhaling toxic smoke, or any other number of addictions, and that without such a connection I don't think I would have achieved this result.

with metta and gratitude,
manas.
:anjali:
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Re: I'm giving up tobacco, permanently

Postby Still Searching » Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:57 pm

My suggestion would be to go cold turkey as you'd still be feeding the habit but that's just my theory.

Motivation can distract you.
Replace 1 addiction with another like say sports, gym work, college, cooking, gardening, art etc.
"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." ~ Siddhārtha, Gautama Buddha
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