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Closet Fascination

A blog about a journey, smoking, not smoking, vaping and everything in between

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mood

Addiction as Self-Medication

One might reasonably posit that you have a well-established addiction to the Drama of worrying about addiction.
– Vesperae

This quote, a reply to my last post, actually got me thinking of something I have suspected about myself for a long time. I’m not sure I’ll do a good job explaining it, but she is pretty well spot on as far as her assessment goes. Despite my long standing fear of drugs (of any sort) and becoming addicted to them, I somehow usually end up “addicted” to less socially taboo things. I self medicate with food often. If my partner would let me, I would probably be a sex addict. I was reading something on Binge eating- and while I do not binge eat, what I have been doing with smoking is very similar. I found something that said that binge eaters obtain pleasure and stimulation from the rush of planning their binges. I’m sure they don’t get sexual pleasure, but pleasure is pleasure. I get a lot of pleasure from just planning the smoking. Almost more pleasure than I actually get from smoking. But really the planning is a build up of tension from which I get an awesome release when I smoke.

I’ve been self-medicating for years whether it be addiction to TV, internet, running. You name it, I’ve probably done it compulsively. Eventually, I get bored with or decide I want to start something new and start the cycle all over again with something else. Or eventually- my addiction does not provide the same rush it used to, so I have to switch to something else. I guess it is akin to when a drug addict builds tolerance to a drug and has to increase dosage. Well as a psychological addict of things I have to keep things novel or the rush is not there.

The question is: What am I trying to escape? I don’t feel depressed at least I do not think I am. I mean, I feel blah a lot of the time, but nothing like the black holes of my teenage years. One of my more recent theories was of being a potentially undiagnosed case of ADHD… Addictions are something that people with ADHD commonly use to escape their own minds. But it could be something else too… I’ve been living like this for as long as I can remember though. I’m not even sure how I would cope without the constant simulation of something- whether it running, thinking about smoking (since I do that far more than I actually smoke), becoming addicted to certain TV shows or books. I think in a lot of ways, I am trying to escape my own mind because I fear that if I stop doing anything for long enough, I will not like what I see.

I think part of the reason I reacted so strongly to the difference between nicotine-stimulated-me and the absence-of is that I’m not used to feeling that good. I could concentrate (which for me is variable- depending on how much I like the subject) and it doesn’t matter how much I want to concentrate sometimes, I just can’t. Other than that, I just felt good, like I do sometimes, but not all the time.

I have a pretty constant mood though, unlike in my teen years where my moods were so variable. But sometimes I wonder if this is what “normal” feels like sometimes. Maybe it is, but if so, than normal really is not that awesome… it is kind of well- blah. Kind of a heavy post, but sometimes life is like that.

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Nicotine Amazing, but Temporary

Today, I decided to forego the morning cigarette as much as I was enjoying having one first thing. I mean I really could have used one, what with the four or five hours of sleep I had not to mention how anxious I am feeling about all the exams I am writing. But based on how I felt both Tuesday and Wednesday (great at beginning of day and progressively worse as day went on) I decided to tough out the tiredness, the blah feeling and the anxiousness. And you know what- as much as I loved the way nicotine makes me feel, the effects are only temporary and once they are gone, everything that was bothering you before comes back and life seems that much worse because but three hours ago your brain was riding a nice dopamine high. That is how the cycle begins. I think what I hated most is the feeling that I had inflicted this upon myself. I was far more anxious about everything yesterday than I was today. Today I felt like shit, but it was a nice even steady state all day. I found that easier to deal with, because based on my schedule right now- it totally makes sense. I’m stressed, but it is understandable. 

I guess this adverse reaction- signals to me that I really do not want to become tied to the cigarettes permanently. The idea, while attractive from a fetish point of view, bugs me that I have less direct control over my emotions and state of being. I hated the feeling that I had self-inflicted a mini-depressive episode because my brain decided that it wanted more nicotine. Sure, it would have felt good to give in, but only because the contrast between the two states would have been huge. Even seeing people smoke today gave me a mixed reaction. Part of me, thought, “Mmmm cigarette.” Part of me, thought: ” Do you want to start the cycle again?” I think more and more I think I am going to work towards not smoking because hands down, despite the fact that part of me loves smoking(namely my brain and such) , despite the fact that smoking actually turns me on, on the whole I do not feel that smoking increases my quality of life enough to keep at it. Nor do I think I am capable of keeping my smoking down to some sort of low level. I’d have good intentions, but one would become three, which would become five and I have shit self-control when it comes to stuff like this so likely it would not stop there. 

Along with this- I will have to work something out with the fetish. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to stop myself from being turned on by smoking. It is kind of involuntary. Actually I have no idea how I am going to deal with this aspect, since being turned on by smoking is part of what drove me to smoke in the first place and the two are pretty intimately linked. But that will be a discussion for another time… tonight I learn about the weather.

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