Nicotine, alcohol, various OTC pain and sleep meds (that are not for long term use and can have serious side effects if used long term), caffeine and sugar addictions are all ones that I have battled with. At one time there was a more serious pain meds addiction after some extreme damage to my spine.
They say that nicotine is more addictive than heroine (even though the withdrawals aren’t as dramatic) and I believe it. I quit smoking for 8 years and it was very tough, but I was completely free of it. Then during a period of extreme stress I made the huge mistake of having “a few cigarettes” and ended up a smoker once again. I’ve tried numerous times to quit and have for varying lengths of time, only to slip and get right back into it again.
I finally realized that each time I slipped, it was because I was drinking alcohol. Alcohol was a very definite trigger for smoking. It also triggered the sweets cravings. I’m not an alcoholic but I am a cheap date. 2 glasses of anything and I am losing all control – smoking, desserts, etc.
The smoking, alcohol, caffeine and sweets created effects in my body that then seemed to require the use of OTC meds for pain and sleep.
So now I am doing it all – no smoking, no drinking, no meds, no sugar or simple carbs. I am going through some tense, hair-pulling, nail-biting moments, but it’s not like coming off heroin! I’m getting out and doing some short hikes, and some yoga stretches/poses, I’m drinking some green drinks and eating good. I’m keeping my attention on other things – writing, reading, posting, a little housework, cooking and some good movies. And I’m drinking a lot of water and taking some vitamins and minerals.
I’m feeling better! And I am really happy that I am slaying my own monsters – rising above my addictions and conquering them.
I knew so strongly that smoking and being overweight were very very unhealthy. I hated it!!! Every time I smoked I felt bad. I knew this was bad. Every time I had a dessert or went sugar crazy I felt horrible and guilty afterwards. But when I was smoking or eating my piece of cheesecake, I sold myself on why it was okay for now, why it was justified. I had plenty of good reasons that I was placating myself with – I won’t belabor you by listing them, but I am sure you know what I mean.
Realizing that these addictions were feeding each other, helped me to see a way out, that it was possible.
I just finally got to the point where I made myself decide – I couldn’t stand it anymore – justifying why I needed to continue my addictions and feeling horrible about what I was doing to myself. So, I finally just confronted it and made a real decision. You know the kind of decision that you make every once in a while that has a very strong, real honest determinism behind it.
That’s it on all the BSing myself. I knew could get myself through the initial withdrawal effects one goes through.
So I made the decision first. Then I set the date of when I would stop – a time that allowed me to go through a week of tough withdrawals without having to deal with stressful work/life stuff.
If you have addictions that are hurting you, come to grips with how you really feel about it. You can be free of them. And I am happy to help you in any way I can.
It feels good to get the upper hand again. To take total control.