A Post for Addicts -- scolding not welcomed

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Depleted

Guest
#21
I'll try to quit with you. I've quit a couple times but I'm not going to quit quitting. I'm thinking rationing. The patches gave me some kind of breakout and the gum makes my gums numb.

Years ago I had like electric accu not puncture but an electronic stimulation, with my Dr (He's an MD but suprisingly open minded)
it cured the craving but after six months and to many stressors I started again.

I'm trying to be realistic I don't think that I can just quit cold turkey.

Think rationing and gradually cutting down could work?
The adhesive on the patches causes allergic reactions in many people. (I itch, but I can live with it. Hubby needed adhesive patches for his high blood pressure, and his allergic reaction was so bad, the outline of the patch was a big red hive that itched for twice as long as the patch was on him. He couldn't use benadryl cream, (because it increases blood pressure of all things, lol), but it's supposed to help relieve the allergic reaction before it starts. (Might want to check with your doctor if it's a good idea for you.)

And now there are nicotine lozenges, although I think that will give you the same reaction as the gum.

I think rationing might work, but I couldn't do it. All I did was count the minutes until the next cig. How are you on will-power? Because mne stinks. lol

But hubby did get to a point of making it one smoke every 90 minutes. (Down to half a pack a day, and he still couldn't pass that hump.)

And that 1-800-Quit-Now site really did offer a counselor that taught me how to get over my hurdles. Stuff I never read or heard in hours and hours of research. I suspect they can give you ideas too, although warning -- the intake part takes a good half hour.
 

Magenta

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2015
43,476
18,073
113
#22
Hello Lynn. You and I have spoken on this subject before, so you have some idea of how much I struggled with it, though you may have forgotten the details. I probably need to remind myself also ;) I started my daily smoking "habit" when I was fifteen, and I smoked about a pack a day for twenty four years, until I first got clean and sober at age 39. I had some previous experience with the 12 step program before that, so a few weeks into being clean, even though they tell you not to make any major decisions (quitting smoking would qualify), I wanted to quit smoking (taking suggestions from others is not my strong suit), and I decided I would use the 3rd step to help.

Step three is about making a decision to turn your will and you life over to the care of God as you understand Him. I really didn't have much of an understanding about God at that time, not being a believer, but I wanted to believe others when they told me that working the steps would help me with my problems. So essentially I decided to test the program, and especially step three and God, to see if it would work with quitting smoking. Also, getting clean followed closely on the heels of crying out to God, to help me escape the cycle of abuse I was caught in. I was not looking to get clean and sober but that is what happened when I turned in desperation to this God I did not believe in for help.

Saying a craving lasts ten minutes can be deceptive. Testing God this way, the cravings at first would come and go fairly quickly. I prayed my way through them, silently repeating the serenity prayer, and that did help. But after a while, maybe days, maybe a week, a craving would come and it would last for hours. I prayed for hours, and it would eventually pass. Within a few weeks the cravings passed completely, and then I was finally free of the addiction and cravings, Hooray! And thank you, God :)

I don't say any of this to discourage you, but to contrast against the last time I quit smoking, because seven years after quitting that time, I started again in 2001. Bad decision, and it led to a full blown relapse
a year later (drugs and alcohol again after being clean for over eight years <99 and a half months>). I was hooked pretty quickly, and smoked for another 13 years, maybe 12 and a half. At the end of that I could barely breathe any more, and I knew I had to quit, but I was really afraid of facing the kind of struggle and pain the withdrawals from that first time had proven to be, despite all my prayers, which had helped, after all. I used the patch for a year and a half, and managed to cut down to ten cigarettes a day during some of that time, especially toward the end. I purchased other products as well but never really ended up using them, and eventually gave them away. The patch and reduced smoking it was for me, as I went about telling people I was trying to quit.

You know when I first started going to AA I was not willing to quit drinking, but kept going to meetings because people talked about the realities of life, the pain, the suffering, the challenges, failures, and feelings, and I needed to hear all that, because it was saving my life, and I kept going back, not even hearing the solution. I used to go to a meeting and then go have a beer or two or six on the way home :p That was in the days when you could still smoke indoors. Then I got clean and sober, and was going to both AA and NA meetings, but never once, in the first eighteen months of being clean and sober, identified myself as being an addict or an alcoholic. I would say I was powerless over my addiction or powerless over alcohol (that is actually what step one says in each fellowship, respectively).

However, during that time, I was coming up against myself again and again and seeing how much of an addict I really was in so many areas of my life, again, highlighting for me that drugs and alcohol had not been the problem, but my inability to live in a way that reflected any semblance of sanity. LOL. I was obsessive and compulsive, and I had little experience at setting boundaries with others, let alone even knowing what healthy boundaries were. Working the steps really helped me come to grips with the reality of who I was even as I wondered what it was I was recovering from.

You know, I found out that I was recovering from living a life running from God in rebellion and defiance, and that all the pain I had experienced in my life was essentially because I was not living by His principles. All this, the last couple of paragraphs, to say that it suddenly dawned on me that I was telling people I was trying to quit smoking when in reality what I was doing was trying to control something I knew full well I was powerless over, and that I had really acknowledged thousands of times over the last twenty years that I was incapable of managing on my own.

When the enormity of the insanity of that hit me, it hit me hard. Suddenly I remembered not wanting to give it to God, because secretly I did not want to quit smoking. I liked smoking even though it was killing me
. I liked smoking even though it was stinky, even though it was making me broke, even though I had to be anti social to do it, even though it took precious minutes and hours out of my day every single day. I liked it and I did not really want to quit, and if I gave it to God He would take it from me. I did not really want it gone so I was trying to do it on my own. I was really lying to myself. I was not trying to quit smoking at all, I was trying to find the magic number I could smoke every day without having it kill me.

That was when I became willing to surrender it completely to God. When I gave it to God and really let go of it, I was able to stop, and I stopped smoking and did not experience any cravings or withdrawals at all, absolutely none! It seemed like a miracle. It will have been two years since I last quit smoking in a couple of months :)
 
Apr 8, 2016
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#23
Magenta...Wonderful! Thanks for sharing!
Depleted...Wonderful! Help is on the way!
It's good that you support each other. :)
 

Magenta

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2015
43,476
18,073
113
#24
I had to finish up quickly there and neglected to say something else that really helped: toward the end, I was cutting down more and more by delaying the first cigarette. Normally as a full blown smoker, the first thing you do when you get out of bed is light a cigarette, or make coffee and then have your nicotine with your caffeine. I can't remember if I was a coffee drinker then or not, because I can go years at a time with no coffee and then suddenly it smells so good I cannot resist haha. Anyways, delaying that first light up, and also smoking each cigarette in three separate sessions, so just a few puffs at a time, really helped to get the the place where the day I actually stopped, by eight o'clock that night I had not had my first smoke yet, and since I had not smoked yet that day, I really didn't want to start.

I know they always say to make a plan (not good at following directions), but I had not really planned to quit that day, and was walking to my neighbourhood AA meeting when a fellow alcoholic walked by... so I ran to catch up to him, so I could safely pass by the store without caving and going in to buy smokes. The funny thing is, that he had also just quit smoking, so he didn't think it weird at all that I required his moral support that day just to walk past the store, and I would always credit him with helping me to quit when I shared about it at that meeting, and then found out that at some point he had started up again sometime later :(

But I got over that first hurdle of a day with no smokes, and that was when I wanted no more, then I truly gave it to God, and there were no more cravings or any withdrawals or anything for many many weeks, until I was well past the physical side of it, and then one day as I was relaxing after dinner , the thought just came out of nowhere, gee, a cigarette would be nice right now. I crushed it, it was a shocking thought, and no craving was attached to it, but it did revisit me from time to time, and if I allowed myself to dwell on it the craving would come, but I would just steel myself against it, and give it back to God, and I have been smoke free since June of 2014 now, wow, it is so nice not to be a smoker again, I can hardly believe I did this once for seven years already and stupidly started again, but such is the nature of addiction. It is Satanic, a cunning enemy of life, and God really is the solution.
 
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Depleted

Guest
#25
Hello Lynn. You and I have spoken on this subject before, so you have some idea of how much I struggled with it, though you may have forgotten the details. I probably need to remind myself also ;) I started my daily smoking "habit" when I was fifteen, and I smoked about a pack a day for twenty four years, until I first got clean and sober at age 39. I had some previous experience with the 12 step program before that, so a few weeks into being clean, even though they tell you not to make any major decisions (quitting smoking would qualify), I wanted to quit smoking (taking suggestions from others is not my strong suit), and I decided I would use the 3rd step to help.

Step three is about making a decision to turn your will and you life over to the care of God as you understand Him. I really didn't have much of an understanding about God at that time, not being a believer, but I wanted to believe others when they told me that working the steps would help me with my problems. So essentially I decided to test the program, and especially step three and God, to see if it would work with quitting smoking. Also, getting clean followed closely on the heels of crying out to God, to help me escape the cycle of abuse I was caught in. I was not looking to get clean and sober but that is what happened when I turned in desperation to this God I did not believe in for help.

Saying a craving lasts ten minutes can be deceptive. Testing God this way, the cravings at first would come and go fairly quickly. I prayed my way through them, silently repeating the serenity prayer, and that did help. But after a while, maybe days, maybe a week, a craving would come and it would last for hours. I prayed for hours, and it would eventually pass. Within a few weeks the cravings passed completely, and then I was finally free of the addiction and cravings, Hooray! And thank you, God :)

I don't say any of this to discourage you, but to contrast against the last time I quit smoking, because seven years after quitting that time, I started again in 2001. Bad decision, and it led to a full blown relapse
a year later (drugs and alcohol again after being clean for over eight years <99 and a half months>). I was hooked pretty quickly, and smoked for another 13 years, maybe 12 and a half. At the end of that I could barely breathe any more, and I knew I had to quit, but I was really afraid of facing the kind of struggle and pain the withdrawals from that first time had proven to be, despite all my prayers, which had helped, after all. I used the patch for a year and a half, and managed to cut down to ten cigarettes a day during some of that time, especially toward the end. I purchased other products as well but never really ended up using them, and eventually gave them away. The patch and reduced smoking it was for me, as I went about telling people I was trying to quit.

You know when I first started going to AA I was not willing to quit drinking, but kept going to meetings because people talked about the realities of life, the pain, the suffering, the challenges, failures, and feelings, and I needed to hear all that, because it was saving my life, and I kept going back, not even hearing the solution. I used to go to a meeting and then go have a beer or two or six on the way home :p That was in the days when you could still smoke indoors. Then I got clean and sober, and was going to both AA and NA meetings, but never once, in the first eighteen months of being clean and sober, identified myself as being an addict or an alcoholic. I would say I was powerless over my addiction or powerless over alcohol (that is actually what step one says in each fellowship, respectively).

However, during that time, I was coming up against myself again and again and seeing how much of an addict I really was in so many areas of my life, again, highlighting for me that drugs and alcohol had not been the problem, but my inability to live in a way that reflected any semblance of sanity. LOL. I was obsessive and compulsive, and I had little experience at setting boundaries with others, let alone even knowing what healthy boundaries were. Working the steps really helped me come to grips with the reality of who I was even as I wondered what it was I was recovering from.

You know, I found out that I was recovering from living a life running from God in rebellion and defiance, and that all the pain I had experienced in my life was essentially because I was not living by His principles. All this, the last couple of paragraphs, to say that it suddenly dawned on me that I was telling people I was trying to quit smoking when in reality what I was doing was trying to control something I knew full well I was powerless over, and that I had really acknowledged thousands of times over the last twenty years that I was incapable of managing on my own.

When the enormity of the insanity of that hit me, it hit me hard. Suddenly I remembered not wanting to give it to God, because secretly I did not want to quit smoking. I liked smoking even though it was killing me
. I liked smoking even though it was stinky, even though it was making me broke, even though I had to be anti social to do it, even though it took precious minutes and hours out of my day every single day. I liked it and I did not really want to quit, and if I gave it to God He would take it from me. I did not really want it gone so I was trying to do it on my own. I was really lying to myself. I was not trying to quit smoking at all, I was trying to find the magic number I could smoke every day without having it kill me.

That was when I became willing to surrender it completely to God. When I gave it to God and really let go of it, I was able to stop, and I stopped smoking and did not experience any cravings or withdrawals at all, absolutely none! It seemed like a miracle. It will have been two years since I last quit smoking in a couple of months :)
I'm up to your story all the way until the second to the last paragraph. I do not want to quit. I do not want to live a life where a damn clump of grass in some paper with a filter controls my life. I am scared to death God won't take it away, or he won't take it away easily, or he will take it away. I am also aware that that has got to be the stupidest sentence ever.

I am to the point of praying that he releases me from me by May 2nd. I'm actually hoping he releases me before May 2nd, so I get a sign that he's doing this, not me. And that terrifies me.

So, thank you. That's it. Your story is exactly where I am, up to that second to the last paragraph.
 

Demi777

Senior Member
Oct 13, 2014
6,847
1,913
113
Germany
#26
I started smoking when i was 13 and stopped in November last year. God showed me I cannot fee his blessings to the fullest if I were not to stop and break down that stronghold. and I woud try to cast away addiction at times. then it was gone.. i smoked again and just kept loeading on more and more demons. then one evening i casted it away, in the morning i started smoking a cig and that addiction demon showed up right infront of me. And i couldntnt move for almost 5 mins. and i felt this body starting to get into mine again and it hurt that I could barely breathe and I gasped for God to take it away. then i thew away the cig and then the demon was gone.
That was not the end of that battle. Everytime I wanted a cigarette Id go for a long walk until the feeling was gone but after every good meal and coffee the wantig would come up. So chocolate was my refuge.
I still fight it today but it gets easier to say no the longer it goes and sometimes it even goes against me when I smell smoke.
If you want to stop throw all them cigs away, go on walks, DO NOT go to friends that smoke because it will drive you crazy to have it around, get chocolate (it releases a chemical in your body that takes down the need for the nicotine), figure sommething out that gets you out of the house so you dont get bored and fall into the temptation even worse than it has to be. Hugs I hope I could help you
 

Magenta

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2015
43,476
18,073
113
#27
In NA we are told that when we are beaten we become willing. I guess that is one of the ways of saying you hit a bottom and then the gift of desperation enables us to do that which we have been unable and unwilling to do before. Nobody can tell you how to let go, surrender. It is an act of the will that empties you of yourself and allows God into that space so He can do for you what you cannot do yourself. God bless you Lynn, you and John. I'll be praying for you... and you are welcome :) So happy/grateful to think I may have been able to help you, even a little :)
 

Eternallife

Senior Member
Mar 10, 2016
345
2
0
#28
Back in the 1970's I wanted to quit doing drugs, but didn't know how. Yes, I was a believer, but God doesn't give a step-by-step direction manual on how to quit any given sin, so I still didn't know how. BUT God is, and God is who he says he is, so events (some the exact opposite of "pleasant") and friends and circumstances all hit in God's very-different kind of way, and within two months of wanting, finally, to quit, I was in a rehab that I could afford. (Free, although working off the debt was part of the cost.)

And because God is, and who he says he is, and omnipotent I graduated that program. It wasn't easy. (About the exact opposite of "easy" as that could get too.) But, through his grace and strength I graduated. And I was the only one of my class to graduate. (Absolutely everyone I started with and struggled with got high and went back to the lifestyle within those 9 months, so I really know how precious what God gave me is.)

40 years later, and I've been to that same place with smoking cigs. I have done the research, the praying, the planning, the scheming, the praying, the asking advice, the listening to advice, the praying, and everything else there is to prepare to quit. (BTW, advice from nonsmokers is useless. "Just quit" is useless, at least to those of us addicted this much. If it was a "just," we would have quit back when a carton went over $10.)

And I implemented all of what I needed more than once and failed more than once. More than three times in the last year. More than once since the beginning of this month.

I'm desperate. Honestly I thought the smoking might kill me, but I always pictured a sudden heart attack or rapid cancer, so the killing me part wouldn't take that long. Definitely a shorter time than I've already spent trying to figure out how to quit, so why bother? And then hubby. He proved what I thought was in Lynnie LaLaLand, and I really, REALLY need to quit.

Having exhausted all advice from all the ex-smokers in my life, (which comes down to "just quit. I did," but not one of them got violently sick on that first day they did quit cold turkey like I did, so that's hanging over me too), I just took the absolute last step I could think to do. There's a website online that coaches people how to quit. I just talked to them. Something no one taught me in all my research. The craving only last for ten minutes.

Yeah, I know ten minutes will feel like ten hours, but I can do something for a mere ten minutes knowing the craving subsides a bit afterward. (Sounds stupid, but my old goal was to simply last half an hour, and for my reward, I get a cigarette.)


BUT someone just taught me the things I needed to know, and is helping to arm me against getting violent sick too. (Patches and lozenges.)

Sooo, I know I'm not the only addict on here, and I was thinking it might be a good idea if we started a thread so we can help each other with real advice on how to fight off those moments when we're working at quitting.

Anyone interested?

I do know what I'm not interested in -- other folks telling us how evil we are or telling us "you just..." Addicts! We already tried the "you justs" from non addicts. They don't work!

So, I'm opening this up to any addiction, because, even though I haven't had all addictions, I suspect I'm not the only one struggling with an addiction, and maybe if we came together we might find someone who did struggle with that addiction and can give valid advice on ways to cope ourselves right out of it with God's help. If we don't know, we can't do, even with God's help. I think if we learn, we can do with God's help.

And to the addicts, if you know nothing about being addicted to X, then don't advice on X. It's okay to know how to quit one thing and help others in that one thing, but don't think it's the same thing in all addictions. I know for a fact craving drugs lasted longer than 10 minutes, so I'm not going to say craving porn only last ten minutes. I don't know anything about that addiction, so can't help with that. So please help only for the addiction you know. It's okay not to know everything.


(My quit date is May 2nd, so I want to apologize now when I go off the deep end of emotional
in those first couple of weeks. lol)
You might want to cut back to just four a day and then a week or two later three a day and so on, because it is more than just an addiction it is a habit. Smoking cigs is what I'm referring to.
 
Apr 1, 2016
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#29
Alcohol is my nemesis. I've got a problem with it. I drink too often, and when I drink it do it to excess to the point of blacking out. It's going to be a difficult thing for me to deal with, but I want to and know I need to, so I am dealing with the side-effects. The side-effects are not pleasant.
 
Apr 8, 2016
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#30
Listen carefully to the lyrics, and allow the Lord to apply them to your own life. Ask the Lord to take away any addiction you have.
Let Him lift you up, set your feet upon the Rock of Ages,
and go and fight the good fight of the faith.
You are not alone, He's with you, and He loves you.
Worthy is the Lamb of God, our King,
our Lord, our Savior Jesus. Amen.
[video=youtube_share;JOWYI50NHsE]http://youtu.be/JOWYI50NHsE[/video]
 
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Depleted

Guest
#31
Alcohol is my nemesis. I've got a problem with it. I drink too often, and when I drink it do it to excess to the point of blacking out. It's going to be a difficult thing for me to deal with, but I want to and know I need to, so I am dealing with the side-effects. The side-effects are not pleasant.
The blacking out part isn't pleasant either. I had a roommate who;'do that. She was a virgin, but when she got drunk she'd hit on guys and really pushed them. I had no idea if she was thinking or not until after it was over. I tried to get her home, but she wouldn't go. She hit on a mutual friend, and we both tried to get her to go home, but she wouldn't, so she found a guy in the crowd and they wandered off.

I waited for her to come to the car to go home. I gave up waiting when the parking lot was empty and got home at 4 AM. She was hysterical -- not knowing what happened to me or her. She had no idea if that was her first time or not.

I've had hangovers in my life, but that was one hangover she'll never get over.

Anyway we can help? Of all the addictions I've had, drinking wasn't one of them, but, as I think I mentioned, it's one hubby has to give up.