Hello everyone. First poster here, and I'm really interested on your response to my musings. I've been an on and off smoker for years now, Camel Blues are my vice, they have a real smooth taste, compared to, for example Marlboro Reds. I know they're pretty weak, but it's what i started on years ago.
My relationship with smoking is an odd one. When I'm stressed out, I kid myself that a fag is going to calm me down. I relax knowing that it's in my hand, but physically, I'm not even sure if it does chill me out. Perhaps it's just society telling me that the done thing is to be relaxed with a cigarette, and that's why people smoke in the first place?
Secondly, I have a real black and white relationship to smoking. I use it as a crutch. When I smoke, I feel like a cool [beeeep]. There's a real gang mentality around smoking nowadays, the people that duck out of a pub to light up, etc. However, I just cannot hold onto a pack and slowly work my way through them. Instead, I have em' all in a night, and tell myself, right, tomorrow is the day when you're healthy and you stop, then precede to chain em' till the wee small hours!
The amount of pretty much full packets of cigarettes I've thrown away is ridiculous. I really want to relax and not beat myself up if I smoke every now and again... How do I develop a more healthy relationship with them...
(wow, I really want one right now! )
I have a few thoughts to share in response.
>>My relationship with smoking is an odd one. When I'm stressed out, I kid myself that a fag is going to calm me down. I relax knowing that it's in my hand, but physically, I'm not even sure if it does chill me out. Perhaps it's just society telling me that the done thing is to be relaxed with a cigarette, and that's why people smoke in the first place?<<
Society's attitude toward smoking has been changing for some time. It used to be seen as rebellious, super cool. Not so much anymore. As to the question of whether cigarettes have any qualities that cause relaxation - they do (but it's very short-lived and it causes stress at the SAME TIME so it's not an effective way to actually relax). Here's more explanation of that from a website that has other good info if you're interested.
Cigarettes contain nicotine, a psychoactive or mood altering drug. When a person smokes, nicotine reaches the brain in eight seconds and causes the release of a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine causes feelings of pleasure and relaxation, a sensation the body craves again and again. However, during these feelings of perceived relaxation, the body is actually experiencing increased stress – blood pressure and heart rate increase, muscles become tense, and less oxygen is available to the body and brain. The feelings of relief described by people who smoke may just be relief from short-term symptoms of withdrawal from nicotine.
>>However, I just cannot hold onto a pack and slowly work my way through them.<<
This is why it isn't going to be possible to create a "healthy" relationship with smoking. You are addicted and unable to moderate how much you smoke.
>>I really want to relax and not beat myself up if I smoke every now and again...<<
If this is truly what you want, then don't beat yourself up when you smoke. Personally, I think there is a lot of unacknowledged shame that smoker's carry around because addiction is awful - a form of slavery - and none of us want to be addicted, we all want to think we can control things, and it can be really tough to be that self-honest and admit that something we'd like to control is in fact totally out of control. And then have to do something about it.
>>How do I develop a more healthy relationship with them... <<
What an odd choice of words -- there is NOTHING healthy about a relationship with cigarettes. And even if you COULD smoke 1 or 2 occasionally, there is nothing remotely healthy about inhaling carcinogens and tars and burning your tissues with hot smoke. Literally, poisonous smoke.
I hope the feedback you're getting here provides food for thought. I wish you the best.