Love it / Hate it - Tobacco
February 21, 2013 7:54 PM Subscribe
How typical are my mental states when using nicotine / withdrawing?
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (15 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I am an inveterate intermittent smoker. While I don't smoke regularly (and certainly not unapologetically), I do smoke when I'm especially stressed and/or feeling trapped and hopeless.
Having gone through the relapse cycle a number of times (someone once said, 'Quitting smoking is easy, I've done it a thousand times,' and I completely get that sentiment), I repeatedly find myself in a handful of familiar mental states, namely:
1. Acuity: A pronounced uptick in my quality of thoughts / intellect. My mind works like it did when I was in college; I think more broadly, and am interested in a wider spectrum of things. I feel sharper, more engaged, more aware, quicker.
2. Compulsivity: Given the benefits of 1., my thought process turns to 'Hey, I need to smoke as many of these as possible right now!', as I feel like SuperMe, even knowing it's a temporary effect.
3. Shame / Self-Hatred: My chest hurts, my clothes stink, my mouth tastes bad, my mental states become less normal. 'Why do I do this to myself?'
4. Withdrawal: uber-duber anxiety and self-doubt
5. Baseline: i.e., in control of my emotions but less in-touch with my better, faster brain.
Is this just standard nicotine addiction stuff? Does this cycle sound familiar to current or former smokers, or is it something unusual? (I.e., no one else has described this sort of phenomenon to me when talking about smoking, so I don't know how representative of typical tobacco use my own experiences are.) If this is familiar, how do I keep my brain working at that higher level (which I enjoy) when I'm first dragging the Marb without descending into the chaos of steps 3-4? Thank you.