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Old 03-26-2019, 04:21 AM #1
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Default Alcoholics that still smoke or quit smoking

I am an alcoholic in recovery. My drinking history spans about 10 years and I have been sober for 6. I have stopped and started smoking countless times in my life. I only started smoking when I was 22- I am 44 now. I go to AA. Even though I have 6 years of sobriety under my belt I am afraid of quitting smoking. Thats not the only reason I am struggling but its one of them. I do not want to drink, and all my relapses seem to be behind me. I am afraid that if I do it, it will trigger the urge to drink and I CAN NOT go through that again- and my family cant either. Plus, I have ADHD, GAD, PTSD and BPII and Sjogren's so all of that plays into it as well. I love smoking. It helps me calm down and focus. The only controlled substances I take now are adderall- in the old days I was loaded up on all kinds of benzos and sleeping medicines. I eat well- I had gastric bypass ten years ago and have kept all the weight off except for 15lbs. I am currently recovering from surgery but I am very active and have three kids and a great husband.
What is wrong with me? I do not smoke in my house- its my problem. I have a "lair" off the back of my laundry room- but I know the smoke is still on me so I know it bothers people.
I am too smart to think I can skip smoking related illness simply because it "wont happen to me". I know its deadly. I have an oral fixation and always have gum and candy with me all the time for meetings and other activities where there is no smoking. I have a vape for the evenings. I cant seem to find a replacement that is as satisfying as smoking. I look forward to it. I have tried to use the AA principles for stopping smoking and I cant make it work. I tried Nicotine Anon. and it didnt suit me.

I am not sure if I even want to quit- at least the selfish part doesnt. Yes- I guess I am really selfish for doing this- saying it outloud makes that clear. My sweet husband understands but my kids are older now and they are less forgiving. I know I am alienating myself because there are so few smokers and the rules about it are so strict that I usually have to go somewhere else to do it. That is ok with me, its my problem and no one should have to suffer it but me. How can I reconcile it? How do people with addiction issues ditch it? I have been told time and time again that if its the worst thing I do in life- I should be grateful- because the drinking was so much more devastating to my family. I think the kids may have forgotten some of how bad it was.
I feel really guilty about it- which fuels the addiction more. I have used radical acceptance over it-especially when I was newly sober. I have cut down a lot. I smoke organic, additive free tobacco in the interest of harm reduction- not justification. I try to focus one day at a time- and not beat myself up over it. People are very unforgiving of smokers- and that's ok- its their place to feel that way. I feel demonized most of the time and I know it leaves me looking like a weak little fool when people see me or meet me and think I have such a good life, and am put together and then they find out I smoke. I really do not know how to get to any sort of a place where I dont feel bad about it.
Accepting it hurts- not beating myself up over it hurts. Doing it hurts, not doing it hurts. Being sober doesnt even satisfy me the way it used to. Helping other people get sober is what I live by- and even that doesnt feel good anymore because I feel like a fraud. Does anyone have anything to share about it? Anyone who still struggles, used to struggle or overcame it?
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Old 04-06-2019, 02:09 PM #2
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Default Re: Alcoholics that still smoke or quit smoking

I'm not alcoholic or a smoker BUT what I hear in your post resonates with the pain inside me. Pain drives me to more pain - on a certain level that is the compulsive logic in my life. Controlling pain doesn't fix it, although it can habituate me to a calmer place internally.

I do my best nowadays to address my pain for what it is. The connection to compulsive addictions is a learned compulsion from childhood when we didn't know how to cope otherwise BUT learned compulsions become hot-wired into the amalgya (spell?) in the brain.

My path is to constantly practice/ practice/ practice calming the hot-wired reactions in my body-brain chemistry. Taking the child-pain to a calm place where different choices are possible. There is a Lao Tzu saying something about "nothing is possible without patience. wait patiently until the correct action manifests itself". Also sitting in my easy chair by the radiator and allowing the child to feel pain safely millimetre by millimetre.

I'm sure you will sort this out eventually . Perhaps the habit is worrying at your pain when you are stressed out and least able to deal with it (or in my case physically tired makes me reactive). Breathe, let go, calm, find trust deep inside!

Sending you mental images of butterflies (not sure why).
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Old 04-11-2019, 03:21 AM #3
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Default Re: Alcoholics that still smoke or quit smoking

Thank you so, so much for this.
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