Sadge wrote:Thanks everyone for your support.
I reckon I'm making this sound worse than it is!
Think I'm over the hump with nicotine, feeling much calmer today. Man. I have nothing else to give up! Amazing!
Nothing else to give up!? Come on now, there's plenty....like all those defilements in your head.
Yeah, well said. In my experience of the path, it's a process of gradually 'giving things up', renouncing or abstaining from things, letting them go, peeling them off -- but the other side of that process is you're likely to discover or re-discover other things that are more helpful, whether that be meditation, friendship, dana, etc.
Alcohol/intoxicants and nicotine have been problematic for me at various times. And in the past when I 'took a break' from them for an extended period, I had the problem of struggling to enjoy myself or relate to others without them. But I've found this becomes less of a problem the more I deepen my practice -- the more I cultivate mindfulness, compassion, equanimity, etc.
Anyway Sadge, I congratulate you on giving up the booze and the smokes.
I definitely feel a lot better for having given them up.
manas wrote:nicotine isn't a 'drug that leads to heedlessness', so I would say that if you were only smoking you could count that at being '100% sober'. While I'm also trying to cut down on smoking, I don't regard it as intoxication. It doesn't give me either a high or a trip, just a brief head rush, which is a purely physical phenomenon. And while smoking tobacco long term can harm your body, it won't harm your mind in the way that alcohol does.
In my experience I've found it difficult to separate what's physical from what's mental when it comes to something like a nicotine 'head rush'. And while I agree in a sense that smoking tobacco 'won't harm your mind in the way that alcohol does', I'd say that smoking tobacco is still harmful for the mind -- certainly once you become addicted. I think back to all the cravings for a cigarette, the irritability that would arise if one couldn't smoke when one wanted to, how thoughts of smoking become so prevalent in the mind ... Looking back, I think such mind-states could at least contribute to some form of heedlessness. Or do you think I'm taking liberties with the definition of 'heedlessness' in terms of the fifth precept here?