I Am a Drug Addict

By Nimbus Popsicle | 1/15/2015

My addiction over the years has made me a liar, thief, sneak, and to be labeled disgusting by some.  My addiction is so strong that the very thought of becoming clean frightens me, causing great stress.  I sometimes go on binges that are so great I pay for it tenfold for days afterwards. I was a wild youth, partaking in various types of narcotics, hallucinogens, and alcohol, living my life on the wild side. That eventually landed me in prison for a brief time. Even though I have successfully completed drug treatment, and have not used any narcotics or heavy drugs in over fifteen years, I still battle the very first drug that opened up the pandora’s box of addiction for me. Cigarettes.

I have been a cigarette smoker for twenty one years now. I know it will eventually kill me, if it's not already done enough damage to do so. I do not even enjoy it anymore, it is just a mechanical ritual to get nicotine into my bloodstream to keep the devil of withdrawl at bay until I need the fix again. I have tried to quit many times over the years using various methods. 

My First Attempts To Quit Failed

Nicotine patches were my first choice, but I quickly found out I was allergic to the adhesives used. Even the patches for sensitive skin left rashes on my arm for days. I then tried nicotine lozenges and gum. They worked great at cutting my cravings down to nothing, and even satisfied the oral fixation that comes with smoking (get your mind out of the gutter). Unfortunately, a side effect of the lozenges and gum can be uncontrollable hiccups, which I got. After three weeks of not wanting to smoke, but sore ribs from hiccups I started smoking again.

I Have Also Tried To Quit Cold Turkey

Being a hairstylist, I work with high volumes of people every day, so I have to maintain a friendly and professional attitude with my clients. As much as my clients love my work and my personality, the last thing they want to see or hear from me is how I want to Hulk-smash everything in sight because I want a cigarette. No one is really safe with me from the wrath of withdrawl when I quit cold turkey.  I’m glad my significant other did not divorce me during this time. and am also grateful my pets still love me, too. My neighbors, on the other hand, still give me dirty looks from time to time. The biggest drag on this method, besides the intense rage flareups, was how much food I was stuffing into my face. I quickly gained ten pounds, then fifteen, then looked into the mirror one morning to see this fat face staring back at me. I said, "Screw it!", and started to smoke again.

Fighting Drugs With Drugs

The most successful stop smoking method I have ever used was Chantix. I was smoke free for over a year, and it was great. Other than the occasional cravings when drinking alcohol; I was alright. I started smoking again when my Father passed away, and shortly followed by my Mother. I have been smoking since. You would think that I would get another prescription for Chantix and be on my way to being smoke free again, but, honestly, I am afraid to take it again due to the nightmares I had. Not just nightmares that make you wake up then realize it was just a dream so you roll over and go back to sleep. I’m talking about nightmares so disturbing you wake up crying, feeling that you need therapy because [during the nightmare] you tore an infant in half with your bare hands and laughed as its entrails fell on your feet with a warm flop. 

Switching to Vapor

"Why not vape? That is the new way to smoke now!" Yep, tried that also and was not a long term success. Besides being pricey, the vapor dried out my sinuses and chafed my throat, and it wasn’t the same satisfaction of burning on a real cigarette. Plus, in my opinion, the “vapers” almost seem cult- like, douchey, and preachy at times. I’m not about ready to get into any that.

 With the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana going on in our states now, I have heard many arguments against it saying how marijuana is a gateway drug to cocaine, heroin, and other drugs. I can attest through personal experience with addiction, my gateway drug was cigarettes. Cigarettes, followed by alcohol, then marijuana, and then the long list of other things that I did when I was a full-time party machine. Starting at the age of sixteen when I thought I should smoke cigarettes to have something in common with this girl I liked. I have not given up on the fact that I will be rid of this beast one day; in fact, I have been preparing myself mentally for more than a year. My addiction runs very deep, and I understand my experiences may not be the same as others, but I am willing to bet that my struggles are very familiar to many. 

I just do not understand why something so powerfully addictive and destructive to our health is still legal. Well, I’m not that naive. However, that is a different subject entirely.  I hope that anyone who reads this and relates knows that they are not alone.

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