Art & Happiness After Quitting Smoking?
November 10, 2011 11:47 AM Subscribe
How do I resume creative projects that I once enjoyed--when doing so triggers me to smoke cigarettes?
posted by marimeko to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Any endeavor that I enjoy tends to trigger me to smoke cigarettes. I quit smoking ten months ago. My cravings for nicotine have diminished significantly and I finally feel safe in the fact that I won't start smoking again. What I want is to be able to work on various creative projects again. I used to write every day and work on drawings and occasionally made clothing. I currently take photos nearly every day--but it's very different now. It's just awkward to work on art or write anymore (I thought this would quickly pass). I still feel stunted. Cut off. Unable to enjoy what I'm doing as I'm doing it. Also, I feel overwhelmed and will have to stop because I don't know what to do with all the--? (I don't know what to put here: Joy? Emotions? Satisfaction?) of making things. There is also this brain fog (originally it was things like trouble reading/writing, expressing myself, diminished vocabulary, forgetfulness, feeling glazed over) that made perfect sense when I was going through withdrawal. But when it comes to art/writing, I haven't gotten past the brain fog at all. I also feel cut off from whatever it was that used to inspire me (I have no idea what that was!). As well, whenever I enjoy something I feel triggered to smoke just as I once did while under stress. It occurred to me that I feel essentially cut off from happiness right now. Though I assume this is temporary, the idea that I'm not able to work on artwork without feeling awkward, blocked, stunted, etc, is frustrating.
I should mention that I never actually smoked cigarettes while working on art projects or while writing in the past. It's not the act of smoking (or lack of it) that is causing this.
How did you get back to being able to enjoy things after quitting an addictive substance? How did you resume writing/creating? How long did it take to feel like yourself again? Were there specific steps that you took to facilitate getting past cravings/triggers in terms of writing/art? Or was there something you stumbled upon that helped you? Any personal experience or wisdom is greatly appreciated--thank you!
PS: In case anyone asks, I am seeing a therapist.