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Closet Fascination

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

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quit smoking

Natural Remedies for Anxiety

I had to make a bunch of phone calls today. I hate making phone calls. This is where my social anxiety peaks. I was already feeling anxious about my Dad’s situation, but phone calls make it worse.

The following captures the pain accurately: 

Source: http://sociallyawkwardmisfit.com/post/83147191941/sociallyawkwardmisfit-com 

So I was feeling pretty anxious. Thoughts of cigarette smoking danced through my head. Instead, I went fabric shopping. Didn’t find much. Then I went tea shopping and bought a new tea as well as some of my regular varieties. Realized that, in my anxiety, I had forgotten to eat. Picked up some lunch at a local place. Still feeling pretty anxious. Thoughts of smoking return. But I know I really don’t want that. Stopped at the grocery store to pick up some herbal tea, something that helps me relax. Found some and on my way through to the tea, I went through the natural supplements aisle and noticed a supplement called L-theanine with a claim to be stress relieving.

Naturally, I was skeptical. I had never heard of it. A quick Google search, and I discovered it is an amino acid derived from green and black tea. Ok, but is actually effective. I then looked for actual research via Google scholar and apparently L-theanine is a well studied amino acid with anti-anxiety effects. I figured what the heck, the FDA approved it considering it to be not harmful nor habit forming. Worse case nothing happens or I experience the placebo effect. Best case, it is effective. So I pay the $13.99 for 30 125 mg chewable tablets. Cheaper than a bottle of e-juice or a pack of cigarettes and healthier too.  

I got home, chewed a tablet and made myself a cup of herbal tea. I wasn’t expecting to feel anything, but after about 20 minutes my anxiety seemed to dissolve. Not the rapid relief of nicotine, but three hours later, I still don’t feel anxious. It seemed to clear my mind. I suspect it would enhance meditation. Now it isn’t supposed to make you drowsy, but I suspect because it relaxed me more than I’ve been able to relax in the past four or five days, the cumulative sleep debt of the past few days was suddenly apparent and I had a nap. I plan on taking another tablet before bed and hopefully I have a better sleep than I’ve had in the past few days. 

I found another blog post that has done a great round up of primary research on L-theanine.

This amino acid might explain why I like the way tea makes me feel vs coffee. Both have caffeine, but I always feel more anxious after a cup of coffee. 

Hopefully things get better with my dad soon. I hope… 

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Looking at Old YouTube Channels

I was just browsing my stats and I noticed a few people had clicked on a YouTuber I had blogged about called fusswhip. I don’t like most of the smoking videos that are on YouTube, but I always liked hers. I’m pretty sure the creeps scared her away from making videos at some point because for a long time she was just putting out regular videos, which I actually didn’t mind.

Anyhow… fusswhip, like myself, doesn’t smoke anymore. Her most recent video was published about 11 months ago and she sort of teases the audience before bringing out her vape pen. I thought the video was cute and the comments she got were actually mostly nice. Her videos are pretty random overall.

If you want to see that video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkOUFzD1loo

Tomorrow is day 20… I think I’m going to make it to 30 days no problem.

 

Why Start?

Many of you might be asking why I started if I’m considering quitting. Why take the plunge at all?

If you’ve followed this for awhile, you know that I have a history of being drawn to smoking. So much so that I end up obsessively thinking about giving in and subsequently loathing myself for giving in. And the cycle repeats…

I couldn’t give in entirely to smoking for many reasons so vaping seemed like a good way of giving in, having the experience of being a “smoker” that I so desired, without the emotional baggage I had linked with smoking. And it worked. I’ve had the experience of being very physically dependant on nicotine. I got to vape at a frequency that I never would have allowed myself to smoke at even if I had given in because I would constantly been counting and regulating my consumption.

I’ll be honest, at the height of my physical dependence, I was a little worried about the rabbit hole I had dived head first into. I was waking up in the middle of the night in withdrawal (although I wouldn’t let myself give in) and I wasn’t sleeping well. Slowly, my body told me that it wasn’t sustainable and I weaned myself down from 6 mg to 3 mg. My cravings lessened in intensity and frequency and I felt better at a lower consumption level overall. I am sleeping through the night now and don’t need to vape upon waking.

But the best side effect of this trip down the rabbit hole is that I feel free of cigarettes. Vaping is now what is coupled with pleasure in my mind and while it is still up in the air whether I quit or not, I’ll be happy either way.

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