Posts tagged ‘addiction’

August 31, 2013

Quitting smoking is the easiest thing you will hate that you never did!

Yep, that’s right I said it. Quitting smoking is very easy. Oh yeah you are going to have some moments where you will be like – wow I would really like to smoke right now, or uggg I feel so uncomfortable not smoking at the moment, or I feel really anxious this second…..

Right now, at the moment, this second! It passes that fast.

I have heard for years that cigarettes are harder to quit than heroin.

Withdrawal symptoms for nicotine:
Anxiety
Depression
Drowsiness or trouble sleeping, as well as bad dreams and nightmares
Feeling tense, restless, or frustrated
Headaches
Increased appetite and weight gain
Problems concentrating

Withdrawal symptoms for heroin:
Agitation
Anxiety
Muscle aches
Increased tearing
Insomnia
Runny nose
Sweating
Yawning
Abdominal cramping
Diarrhea
Dilated pupils
Goose bumps
Nausea
Vomiting

So I am thinking where in the hell did the whole fairy tale about nicotine being harder to give up than heroin come from?

I have been smoke free One month, four days, 3 hours, 59 minutes and 41 seconds. 527 cigarettes not smoked, saving $153.76. Life saved: 1 day, 19 hours, 55 minutes.

I am rockin this shit! Love being nicotine free!

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August 12, 2013

…but

The R Wines 2007 Bitch Grenache

I am OK!  I made it:

Two weeks, two days, 5 hours, 9 minutes and 15 seconds. 243 cigarettes not smoked, saving $70.90. Life saved: 20 hours, 15 minutes.

For those of you that are interested the statistic are courtesy of SilkQuit.org!

The physical cravings are GONE!  The memory of smoking is still there  however!  This scares me, so I am still avoiding all situations where smoking is involved.

I am not manic, depressed, or having a mixed episode.  I will tell you that the first week feels very much like a mixed episode – at least it did for me.

If you are bipolar and quitting smoking it is important to be very in tune to what you are feeling, how you are acting, and where your emotions are.  If you are on meds talk to your doctor but make sure to tell him or her where you are at in your quit.  If he or she is not familiar with nicotine withdrawals educate him or her.  Emotional withdrawals last much longer than physical withdrawals.  But the physical withdrawals are the ones that will really screw with your mind!

I am sure I am a quitter!  I am a nonsmoker!  I am one bad ass bitch!  After everything I have been through, lived through, etc… this is the moment in my life that I have truly become ONE BAD ASS BITCH!

August 7, 2013

OK ok ok…so day 5 (and really 6 and 7) sucked!

broken cigarette symbol

There is no better word… sucked!  I really wanted a smoke several times.  I totally freaked out my husband when I said, “I have to go and spend some money!”  And I meant it.  I was feeling manic!   Agitated and manic!  What truly looked to be a mixed episode!  Uggg

With the lack of nicotine in my system you would think I would be deprived of dopamine.  In other words you would think really depressed. Just down!  But in fact I had two days where I was up and agitated.  And to be quite honest I have been loud, had presured speech, been impulsive, been UP, and agitated a lot since I gave up cigarettes!

So here is the quandary… is this mental illness or is this just the normal response to nicotine withdrawals?

Are all of my fears coming true about quitting smoking?

Will I become unstable for the first time in almost 10 yrs?

Do I need to be medicated?

Even if I did would I agree to be medicated?

So I make a week… 7 whole days without a smoke!

By day 8 I am starting to feel more balanced, but………………………………………………

August 1, 2013

The bipolar, nicotine, and dopamine connection

The brains of humans with bipolar disorder, according to current reasoning, cannot regulate their dopamine uptake.  To much dopamine = mania.  To little dopamine = depression.  This is why medication adjustments are so common with humans that are bipolar.

I have discovered that I can regulate dopamine production on my own.  By living a life where I get plenty of sleep and I do not create chaos (ie… create lots of dopamine).  I also make sure I have enough dopamine to not become depressed, I find value in my life (go to school, do dog rescue, etc.), have wonderful friends, and have healthy relationships.

Now all of this being said lets talk about nicotine.  Because cigarettes are a nicotine laced with ammonia delivery system they are able to supply the body with so much nicotine with one smoke that dopamine production is increased and then the brain becomes dependent on nicotine to give it that pleasure feeling. Eventually making the human feel – No nicotine = no pleasure.  The reason people become chain smokers is because this dopamine effect wears off so quickly!

So now that I have quit smoking what in the heck is going on with my dopamine?????

Well, I feel less pleasure for sure.  And I know that I am much more vulnerable to depression.  In order to compenssate for this I am riding my bicycle twice a day instead of just once a day.  I have added about 6 mile a day to my current route.  I am eating healthy but as much as I want.  However, I am not depriving myself of simple pleasures.

I am doing my breathing exercises often! I will be getting a massage this weekend!

To increase dopamine production I am eating more eggs, broccoli, cauliflower,bananas, and apples!   I have read that beet juice and watermelon juice are good as well.  I guess I need to make a trip to the health food store!

I still need to post about yesterday!  It was awful!  Today is so much better!  My next post will be all about day 5!

July 30, 2013

What it feels like to quit. Day 1 and 1.2

The first couple of hours I was able to keep telling myself what I was feeling was withdrawals.  I felt only slightly anxious or an even better description might be edgy and kept expecting it to get worse but it never did.  I used to think it was better to quit first thing in the morning, but now I think a couple of hours before bed is best.  This way you will have a good twelve hours of no nicotine and most of that you will be asleep.  Wooo Hoooo sleep through the worst of the withdrawals… hell yeah!  To help me calm down and relax before bed I took a nice warm bath in Epsom salt with some lavender and eucalyptus oils mixed in.  This was huge and I definitely recommend it. You can buy essential oils at HEB or your local vitamin store.  I have taken a warm bath every night before bed and it really takes the edge off.

When I woke up the next morning I made my coffee just like any other day and went outside to drink it.  I sat where I would normally sit if I were having my morning smoke. I took some really deep breaths in and breathed them out slowly in between each sip of coffee.  I relaxed my shoulders and closed my eyes and told myself “I am going to have an awesome day because I am starting a new adventure and it is very exciting!”  Instead of working to keep from smoking, I worked on being happier, excited, and carefree.  I did not allow myself to have the thought of “I want a cig!” Instead I kept thinking “Today is a  wonderful day, this is so exciting!”  Every where I went on Saturday I told people it had been x amount of hours since my last smoke and it was so exciting!  I was amazed at how good I continued to feel throughout the day.  A couple of times I felt that edgy feeling and but instead of relating it to wanting a smoke, I related to the excitement of this new chapter in my life!

Techniques to use when that edgy feeling comes:

#1 breathing exercises I really like this one in particular .   Using breathing techniques throughout the day does several things: it gives you a boost of oxygen, it calms you down, it simulates the same action that you might feel you are missing otherwise (you know – taking a big drag off a smoke).

#2 Tell someone new how many hours it has been since your last taste of nicotine.  Get excited and relate to them how excited you are to be free of your addiction.  Do this over and over and over and over and over…. you get the picture!  Every time I do this I also get emotional and find myself tearing up.  Sunday I made two total strangers almost cry as well!  Awesome!!!

#3 Read, read, read, read… but not just anything!  Read ex-smoker success stories!  Just google “ex smokers success stories” and you will have a wealth of information to read!

 

 

PS:  No depression or mania so far! And I am sleeping.  If you have learned anything else from reading my blog it is how important I believe sleep is!  If I am sleeping enough… I am not manic!  If I am not sleeping to much… I am not depressed!

 

PSS: It is good to be blogging again!  It is incredible to be blogging in real time instead of talking about my past!

July 29, 2013

Addiction! I am an addict!

I have been a smoker since I was 16 yrs old.

Nicotine – an addictive fast acting mild stimulant.

Oh I have tried to quit many, many times. My “quits” never last long.

My excuse to keep on smoking – I was afraid if I tried to quit it would send me into a manic spin!  Yes, that is what I have been telling myself for years!  Actually, that is what my addiction has been brainwashing me with for years!  My addiction, my nicotine monkey on my back would say, “Oh I hate smoking but I am just afraid that my fragile balance will be thrown out of whack and I have worked so hard to be `BIPOLAR NO MORE`.”

Well, screw that!  I am strong.  I am strong enough to kick that monkey off my back! I am 4 hrs from being

72 hrs into my “quit”!  And I feel fine….. I feel fine!   Quit meter

 

 

 

 

I really want to share how the first hours felt for anyone who is also wanting to quit!  But if you have any questions post them and I will answer!  Here is to the next big adventure!  Woot Woot!

 

Hugs, V

 

 

March 15, 2011

A whole new chapter! Steps to recovery

Recovery? To define recovery, one must first acknowledge what they are recovering from.

My personal recovery is from chaos.  Chaos is my drug of choice.

You will notice I use current tense.  “IS” not was.

My recovery will be forever.  I no longer struggle to keep chaos out of my life, but to be honest, I am afraid of becoming complacent.  I am afraid one day I might let it creep back in.

Chaos was my normal for most of my life.  Replacing the chaos with something healthy takes work.  Changing my normal takes courage and a lot of will power.  It is not like changing a bad habit.  It is changing an entire lifestyle.

In the next several blogs I will take you step by step how I not only replaced my drug, chaos, with something healthy, but I will take you through the steps I took (some drastic) to change my normal.

I will also dispel the myths about my depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and personality disorders I was told over the years along the way.

I know this has been an intense journey, but I am so glad you all have stuck with me!

The next chapter will be a light in a very long tunnel.

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