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Quitting One Habit and Picking Up Another


I wasn’t a smoker before going to rehab, but since leaving, I have become addicted to this “habit” that I repeatedly told myself I would never pick up!  As a chronic pot smoker since I was fourteen years old, I would wake up, use and continue throughout the whole day until I went to bed.  Pot was all that I smoked.  Smoking cigarettes never crossed my mind.  As a young kid in school, I was introduced to D.A.R.E, a program promoting the harms of cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol.  The policeman that came to speak on these matters showed us demonstrations on what one cigarette does to your lungs and every student including me was disgusted.  I remember telling myself that I would never touch a cigarette, let alone smoke one.  Years later, and still not a smoker, my thinking was skewed and changed when I got to rehab.  Since my drug of choice, marijuana, was my way of getting out of my head and out of my reality was taken away from me, I turned to the only thing that could possibly allow me the same effect, cigarettes.  When I smoked a cigarette my problems seemed to disappear.  I could get away from all the rehab drama that so frequently annoyed me and forget about the situation I was in.  The average cigarette lasts for about five minutes so I was smoking like a chimney, and usually catching that nicotine buzz after it was gone.  After just a few days I was addicted, smoking sometimes half a pack a day.  I had picked up another addiction in rehab as I was trying to quit two others.  I believe that being addicted to cigarettes is a lot better than being addicted to and using pot or alcohol, but I wish I had never started in the first place.

Unfortunately, about five years ago I learned that I had chronic asthma when I was starting my freshmen year of college at around eighteen years old and that gave me more of a reason not to smoke but that thought went away when I longed for something other than my addiction to change the way I felt.  Since starting cigarettes I have definitely felt a negative effect in the way I’m able to breathe and my over-all lung function.  I am sometimes out of breath and for being such an athlete this bothers me because it restricts me from running long distances and swimming laps in the pool.

Luckily, in this present moment, I have found and smoke something called an E-cigarette.  This electronic cigarette is a new way for smokers like me to enjoy the feel of a real cigarette without the harmful tars and chemicals.  Even though this is not a real cigarette, I am hooked to the nicotine and the relaxed, care-free feeling I get from smoking them.  It is hard for me to think about quitting.  Not having that short break from my reality and what I’m feeling is a scary thought.  Eventually I want to stop this horrible habit but for now, my recovery from my real demons that make my life unmanageable are first and for most.

By Matt B.


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Filed under: Addiction, Featured, Recovery · Tags: Addiction, E-Cigarette, electronic cigarette, habits in recovery, picking up new habits in recovery, rehab, smoking cigarettes, smoking pot, substance abuse

4 Responses to "Quitting One Habit and Picking Up Another"

  1. John L says:

    Smoking cigarettes was a horrible habit that I too picked up while in rehab to “calm my nerves”. It was really hard for me to quit after smoking for 2 years in sobriety but I did and I feel great now. Those e-cigs are quite better for your health but I would recommend getting off those too.

  2. James says:

    Whatever you need at the moment to stay sober… though you’re right, nicotine is just another drug. But, the lesser of many evils.

  3. Nikolai says:

    At least you have the experience of kicking the marijuana habit to look back on. Good luck in your quest to kick tobacco as well! Perhaps gum-chewing is in your future?

  4. Mark says:

    I am going through the exact same problem. I told my self I would only smoke in rehab, now i am out of rehab and its still continuing. But what james had said, as long as your sober your okay

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