Jump to content


Photo

The Illusion of AAaahhhhhh


  • Please log in to reply
88 replies to this topic

#1 Eric

Eric

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,375 posts

Posted 15 April 2007 - 03:53 PM

"Smoking is an illusion. Cigarettes take away from us, only to give back just enough to make us think that we want them."

-Allen Carr

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My smoking career started off pretty cliche'. Four young boys hanging out by a creek with cigarettes that one of us stole from our parents.

I remember that first cigarette. As I forced the smoke down in my lungs, causing me to have a coughing fit. I remember the overwhelming feeling as the nicotine, smoke and 4000 other chemicals came rushing into my body and brain, causing me to feel dizzy, nauseous, shaky, amped and probably a bit confused.

I don't remember particularly liking it. I should have stopped then, but like everyone else here, I didn't.

Maybe because I wanted to be cool like my friends. Maybe I actually did like the dizziness feeling. Kind of like when I was younger and I would spin around until I was too dizzy to stand. Maybe I was just an addict in the making. It's all just speculation now.

Whatever the reason. I kept on doing it. Unfortunately, the friend who stole the cigarettes had an endless supply. His dad worked for Marlboro as a salesman. He literally had a garage full of sample 4 packs.

So my friends and I would occasionally go down to the creek. Smoke a cigarette. Feel that overwhelming dizzy feeling, lay on the grass for a while until the effects wore off then go ride our bikes. I thought it was something that I could just do or not do, even when I started smoking cigarettes without my friends being around. Even when I started sneaking off by myself to smoke. I was wrong, because something was happening that I was totally unaware of at the time.

Being the amazing machine it is, my brain had to adapt to this foreign poison I was forcing into myself.

Nicotine was releasing a flood of dopamine into my system by mimicing the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. My system became off kilter. My brain needed to regulate the amount of dopamine being released, but it couldn't regulate nicotine, as it was a foreign substance (poison). So it had no other choice. My brain started turning down it's own sensitivity to acetylcholine. Nicotine was literally desensitizing me and impacting how I felt.

The more I smoked. The more my brain turned down it's sensitivity to acetylcholine , creating a cycle that would start to make me rely more and more on the cigarette just to feel "normal".

Being the amazing machine that it is. My brain also started rewiring itself to try and intergate nicotine as part of it's normal function.

Almost as if in self defense. My brain decreased the amount of receptors in some areas of my brain to keep nicotine from being able to bind to them. While in other areas it created millions of extra acetycholine receptors to try and widely disperse this foreign poison.

Nicotine also having the ability to fit my adrenaline locks, created another problem for me. As the effects of dopamine wore off. I was left with a fight or flight feeling. As if something was wrong. Like I was in danger, when in fact there was no outside danger. As I increased my nicotine serum level. My anxieties started to become more and more apparent as the effects of nicotine wore off.

Yet, my subconscious started to figure out something that I wasn't fully aware of. If I smoked a cigarette, that anxiety would go away.

This was the start of what would become known to me as the AAaaahhhhhh sensation.

For 21 years I lived this illusion. As much as I really didn't like to smoke in my later years. I allways thought that it must have done something for me, for me to continue to smoke. Yet the more I smoked, the more I didn't feel anything anymore. Nothing!

I was now smoking just so I could feel "normal". I was smoking just to keep the anxieties of not smokng at bay. There was no pleasure there and I didn't even realize it. I was stuck in the cycle of addiction.

They say that a twenty year smoker who averaged a pack a day and took eight puffs per cigarette, lit 146,000 cigarettes and took over one million puffs!

So even when I tried to quit smoking, my subconcious still remembered smoking. It still remembered that if I felt anxiety, for what ever reason caused it. A cigarette would relieve it.

So even when I quit smoking and adjusted to having no nicotine in my system. I still had those AAaaahhhh memories calling my name.

Everytime, I would fall for the trick and answer the call and smoke that first cigarette, expecting that AAAaahhhhh feeling to come to me. I expected to get that feeling of satisfaction. Yet it wasn't there!!

I usually felt like I did the very first time I smoked a cigarette. Dizzy, nauseous, shaky, heart beating too fast and confused. Confused that the cigarette didn't bring me relief like I anticipated it would.

The problem was that unlike all those memories my mind created during my smoking career. The memories that told to me to expect relief and satisfaction whenever I smoked a cigarette. Now that I didn't smoke, I didn't NEED nicotine anymore. There was nothing missing. There was nothing that needed replenishing. So there was nothing there to relieve.

What I didn't understand at the time is that though the AAaahhhh feeling is real. It is WHY it is real that is the illusion.

Yet, after that first cigarette. I would still look for that AAAaaahhh feeling in the next cigarette and the next.

Again, my brain being the amazing machine that it is would say " Oh, I remember this program and luckily I still have all the rewiring in the hard drive."

So as I smoked that 2nd cigarette and that 3rd cigarette and so on. My brain, once again started to turn down it's own sensitivity to naturally release dopamine. Once again desensitizing me and impacting how I felt.

All the extra acetylcholine receptors initially made were still there. Just like a company that was shut down and put out of business. Once again though, my brain had to open the doors and the company was once again up and running.

As I increased my nicotine serum level. The anxiety after effect as the nicotine wore off became more and more intense. This only reinforced my subconscious into saying, " If you feel anxieties, smoke a cigarette and they will go away."

Soon enough the AAaaahhhh sensation was there. Not because cigarettes did something FOR me, but because they did TO me.

I was once again needing to maintain my nicotine levels just so I could feel so called " normal". I had to smoke again and again just to keep the anxieties from not smoking at bay. I had once again built a false sense of normalcy. I was once again in the very place that I didn't want to be..... in the grip of addiction.

As Allen Carr said. Smoking is an illusion. It has to take away from you to create an illusion that it does something for you.

If AAaaahhh memories are calling your name. Remember this. The cigarette never changes. Ever. If anything, it will be how you remember them that does.

I fell for this illusion over and over, because I used to believe it. Don't believe it anymore! You don't have to make the same mistake I did over and over.

You are free now!!

Keep choosing Freedom & Never Take Another Puff!!!


Eric

I freed myself on 7/7/04
  • Beacon, Kate18, zerokewl and 5 others like this
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”~Rumi

#2 Eric

Eric

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,375 posts

Posted 17 April 2007 - 07:22 PM

Mary,

This is why I think people give up on their quits. It really doesn't matter how long someone has been quit. The important part of quitting is how the person feels about cigarettes.

I never made it very far before I relapsed, but the reason I went back to smoking is because I still thought that it did something for me.

I now know that the AAaaahhh feeling was only an illusion and that it was only a result of replacing lost nicotine. It wasn't an added benefit that non smokers don't get to experience.

Yet even when smokers stop smoking they literally have 100's of thousands if not millions of memories saying that if they smoked a cigarette that it would bring relief.

That's why I think education is so crucial.


Eric


Eric
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”~Rumi

#3 Eric

Eric

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,375 posts

Posted 17 April 2007 - 07:27 PM

Also I think the reason is

people confuse stress with a crave and act on it.

people confuse a bad moment with eternity and act on it.

people confuse nostalgia with being deprived and act on it.

and probably the most incedious trick this addiction palys on us.... people believe that they have not smoked long enough and now are no longer addicted and act on it.


Eric
  • Kate18 and coconutbunz like this
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”~Rumi

#4 mary

mary

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,414 posts
  • Locationsan antonio

Posted 17 April 2007 - 07:32 PM

I'm sure you're right, Eric. And what never ceases to amaze me is when I see people say they never pictured themselves as addicts. I guess it's because smoking had been romantized, made to look macho...so to speak, cool for others...you get the picture. But when we see a heroin addict shoot up in the movies it looks so horrible, dirty and tragic. Well, they often give them same ahhh look on their faces after their "fix". And you know darn good and well that the drug is killing them not helping them. If we can just think of a cigarette in the same way...maybe it will help convince us to NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF. Once you get it...it honestly does hurt you to see ones you love smoke. Or atleast it does me. KTQ mary

#5 drseuss

drseuss

    Bad-ass Quitter

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 8,143 posts
  • LocationWashington DC

Posted 19 April 2007 - 12:25 AM

Lets keep this near the top. Good read-
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” ~~ Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904 - 1991)

Quit Date 12/31/2006
Nicotine Free Since 1/30/2007

#6 Jeff

Jeff

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,686 posts

Posted 19 April 2007 - 03:42 AM

I am bumping this up Doc. Eric this is the type
of chit chat the board kicks butt with...it
helps people KTQ too or give them a drive to want to
quit in the first place.

Words might not seem like much on a PC screen but
we are all speaking them in our heads...you know it and
I know it.

EDUCATION....WITHOUT IT I WOULD BE DEAD.
Why? Because I was educated by a doctor first
then I came here and got a dang degree !!!!
QUIT SMOKING AUDIO DOWNLOADS
(Thanks to Skip & Joel) http://www.whyquit.com/joel/#video

DEC 4 2006 = My freedom

#7 Eric

Eric

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,375 posts

Posted 19 April 2007 - 01:58 PM

I'm moving this away from the porno guy. LOL.
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”~Rumi

#8 debbie51975

debbie51975

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34 posts

Posted 19 April 2007 - 02:01 PM

Eric~ :lol: :lol: :lol:
Quit Date: Sat~April 14th, 2007
11:30pm~

My Blog and Family

#9 Eric

Eric

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,375 posts

Posted 07 May 2007 - 05:05 PM

:idea:
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”~Rumi

#10 Mimi

Mimi

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,235 posts
  • LocationMichigan's Upper Peninsula

Posted 07 May 2007 - 05:09 PM

Eric said:

Yet even when smokers stop smoking they literally have 100's of thousands if not millions of memories saying that if they smoked a cigarette that it would bring relief.

I needed, really needed, to read that, Eric. More than you'll ever know...thanks so much.

BTW, wonder where Debbie is now...sigh.

I have been smoke free for 3 Months, 3 Weeks, 5 Days, 21 hours and 9 minutes (115 days). I have saved $993.66 by never lighting up again. I have added 2 Weeks, 1 hour and 55 minutes to my life. I got smart on 01.11.2007, my birthday.
LIFE is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming: "WOW, what a RIDE!"

#11 Krick

Krick

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,125 posts
  • LocationBoston

Posted 07 May 2007 - 05:11 PM

I just thought the same thing when I saw this!

Where is she?

:shock:
KTQ - ETQ

GO SOX!

Posted Image

Choose Life - Mark Renton

#12 Dennis

Dennis

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 939 posts
  • LocationMy Old Kentucky Home, USA

Posted 07 May 2007 - 05:56 PM

That is a great post Eric

Yep,Feed the beast. over and over and over. :x

KTQ :)
"If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right."
Henry Ford

#13 Eric

Eric

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,375 posts

Posted 15 May 2007 - 01:32 PM

As Allen Carr says,

" Smoking is like banging your head against the wall, just so you can feel the relief when you stop doing it."



Eric
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”~Rumi

#14 smokeyb

smokeyb

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 103 posts
  • LocationNY

Posted 15 May 2007 - 03:06 PM

Hey Eric, this post was a GRAND SLAM......

This is just what I needed today to start me off....

Yesterday for some stupid reason I went on this, I want a cig trip.....

Now you know I said to myself, Don't go there, deal with the real issue at hand, I told myself......

When I thought it over logically, I figured out the cause of this desire...

Stress and coping with it... remembering old triggers, and how I use to handle my stress with a PUFF.......

So, after I figured that crap out, I told the nicotine monster to step back..

Homey don't play that :lol: Didn't puff, and don't intend to puff.

That's why this post hit home for me today.

We all are doing so great with our KTQ, but there are moments that

nostalgia kicks in and we have to show it WHO'S IN CHARGE...

Everyone have a great NOSMO day :wink:
Live your life, but be honest !!

#15 smokeyb

smokeyb

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 103 posts
  • LocationNY

Posted 16 May 2007 - 01:53 PM

update on this TEMPORARY touch of psychosis... :oops:

Yesterday at lunch I took the longest walk thus far.....

Didn't have light weight clothing on so I was hot as you know what......

I walked and walked and walked.......No pain, not out of breath......I

mean really pumping that walk......When I returned to work I thought to

myself...... Wow!!!! this is the best I've felt in a very long time.....

I thanked God for allowing me this second chance to reestablish my life

as a whole NO SMOKING PERSON.....

What changes I've seen in myself these past 12 days, I wouldn't change that for anything.....ESPECIALLY SOME PUFFS.......

Had to say this....I want everyone who's struggling with this cigdemon, to look deep withing themselves and see what it is you love the best....

Once you find that, ask yourself, why am I trying to destroy that which I love the most......

AS IT STAND TODAY, I WILL NEVER PUFF ON ANOTHER CIG IN THIS LIFE........ AND THAT'S ALL I HAVE TO SAY ON THIS SUBJECT.... :wink:
Live your life, but be honest !!

#16 Eric

Eric

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,375 posts

Posted 16 May 2007 - 02:00 PM

Good for you smokey!

I had one of those too when I first quit. I was walking up a steep hill in downtown Seattle with some friends and when I got to the top. I realized that I wasn't out of breath.

One of my friends saw me smirking to myself ( which I didn't realize I was doing) and asked me what I was smiling about? I said " I can breathe! I'm not out of breath!".

The last days of my so called smoking career. When I walked up my stairs in my house. I was out of breath.

Smoking doesn't do anything for any of us. It only does to us.

So glad to be free!

Eric
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”~Rumi

#17 Sheila

Sheila

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4,809 posts
  • LocationWestern New York State

Posted 16 May 2007 - 04:40 PM

Great post Smokey,
You are an inspiration to everybody reading your posts..
What a GREAT attitude you have and appreciation for your
new found quit...Way to Go....

Sheila :D
Quit on 12-30-06

#18 Eric

Eric

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,375 posts

Posted 23 May 2007 - 01:09 AM

Don't ever fall for this illusion again.
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”~Rumi

#19 Brat

Brat

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 586 posts
  • LocationSwamp: South Louisiana

Posted 23 May 2007 - 01:23 AM

My new Aaaaaaahh feeling is going to be caused by a fresh piece of gum! No more smokes for me, it's time to let them go.
Mustang junkie.
Go RAIDERS!!!!
Quit 3/22/09

#20 finally87-07

finally87-07

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 155 posts
  • LocationSt. Pete Florida

Posted 23 May 2007 - 02:57 AM

Now THIS kind of post is why I come here!
(That and I love the jokes you wiseacres throw out)
Rob

I have been quit for 1 Week, 3 Days, 19 hours, 27 minutes and 27 seconds (10 days). I have saved $64.85 by not smoking 432 cigarettes. I have saved 1 Day and 12 hours of my life. My Quit Date: 5/12/2007 3:30 AM
"Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try."
Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users