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Smoking
Moscow Ringroad
cyanide_chic
- A way to alter your body chemically as well as biologically.
I have been doing it for 16 years. That's almost hals of my life, which is a quite impressive amount of time from that aspect, but barely more than that.

For the last few years I have been suffering periodical angst concerning being a smoker, especially those afternoons waking up after heavy partying all night long, when I lit up my first cigarette, physically as well as mentally feeling the poison spread all through my body: Increase of heartbeat, hands shaking, body shivering and above all the mental stress and angst efficiently mating with it. This didn't happen once without me questioning what the hell I was doing to myself. The smoke of a cigarette contains over 600 carcinogens, but I would willingly light up another one, as soon as it had become integrated with the system again. To this, most people are likely to react like lab rats exposed to electric shocks, but addicts are rather to be compared with Schrödinger's cat and in that sense both dead and alive until the quantum laws proves us dead.

In any case, I finally decided to quit.
Is it at all relevant to go into why I at all started that dull November afternoon in 1994? From the aspect of the fact that I'm no longer the same person as I was back then, the answer is definitely "no", but if bearing in mind that every addict is to some degree defined and identified with his/her addiction, the answer would rather be "yes".

For me it was a choice made completely made by myself. No one else is to be blamed - no smoking parents, no manipulative friends, no nothing. It was simply my irresponsible way of saying "Screw you!" and everything was included in that. I remember how well I thought that fit me, filling a void, manifesting destruction and I was just so goth. Mind you, I don't take myself all that seriously.

A thought, even with a purpose, if maintained long enough, becomes a habit; the habit is integrated and after a while becomes a part of you. It's almost like any routine, but with some differences. For example it can be a routine to have lunch the same time every day, or always watch the evening news, but most people aren't stressed out if they miss out of one of these things. Thinking of it, most of most people's life are routines, but to become an addict it takes something more - of course something that's been there all the time but that is brought into daylight and becomes embodied with the addiction. It's a sleeping beast.

So what does it take to become an addict? Of course, there are many factors, not least the psychosocial ones, but I intend to focus on the perspective where it fills an actual need, which can mean anything from compensating for lacking of relevant brain chemicals, neurotransmitters, et cetera, to make up for a mental or emotional void, and sometimes all of it, perhaps with an internal coherence added. Thereby follows the question of which causes which: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Few things, if any at all, have only one explanation.

So, we have the beginning, we have suggested factors and then we have life. The more interesting question is exactly why decided to finally kick the habit, quit the abuse and being and addict. Why? Simply because I'm not an addict anymore. Many things in life have proven that I have the typical symptoms and tendencies of an addict, but just as concerning mental illness, certain factors are needed to trigger the disease, and those have disappeared. There is no room in my life for self destruction, and that's what made me come to this decision. No more, no less.

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Nice to read through, honest an introspective
I suppose all addictions are the same, the substance used varies but the results (pleasure centre, dopamine, endorphins etc...) is the same.

I do get bored when I meet up with friends and they go of to smoke a fag and leave me lumbered with the coats etc in pubs! Hope u continue to do your best!

The chemical perspective should not be underestimated, I think, as I believe it matters quite a lot when it comes to why some people get addicted and why some people get addicted more easily, whilst there are people who don't get addicted at all. Of course all that has, as I mentioned in the post, other factors as well, but this plays a very important part in it all and I will come back to that further ahead.

I fully understand that. -I wouldn't like it either, although it's often the opposite for me: I was usually the only one to go out for a smoke, as smokers are rare amongst the people I normally hang out with.

I friended you. Hope that's all right. Best of luck with the quitting project!

By the way, your posts don't seem to appear on my friends page. Do you have some funny settings that prevent them from appearing? Otherwise either I f:ed something up, or LJ did.

Of course it is! I just friended you back, so I hope that my posts will appear on your friends page from now on.

And thanks!

Yay!

And yes, it seems to be working now. :-)

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