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Should quitting alcohol be so different from quitting smoking?

Old 01-25-2013, 10:40 AM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
Me too, I was a "smoke it to the filter" kinda girl. Same way I drank, til it was all gone or til couldn't physically lift it to my mouth.

With booze it was life or death...with the butts, I wasn't to that point yet, but I started thinking, "Hey, I wonder if I could use the same strategies I used when I quit drinking..."

I had a pretty serious love affair with benzos too. Also a "process addiction" some would call it.

With all of these it felt the same or similar. I wanted to quit, but didn't want to quit. Wanted to quit, but couldn't. The attempts to moderate were there, each couched differently according to the DOC, but there nonetheless. Upon breaking that cycle, my addictive voice messed with me to get me to engage in each of those addictions the same way. The justifications were there, the perceived triggers...same beast with a slightly different face.
Yeah. So true, eh!

:ghug3
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:05 AM
  # 42 (permalink)  
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I quit before they invented the Patch.....i worked for a cardiologist who kept telling me what was going to happen to me if i kept smoking.

my brother was dx'd with one of the throat/parotid cancers (he was only a brief smoker)...these are the worst to endure chemo/radiation treatments after 2 surgeries....the side effects are horrible and painful.

i do 6 cups of high octaine coffee every morning unless i am sick. but then i am done and it's fine, once i get into work, it's decaf tea, no problem. i'm working on the "sugar moderation"
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:21 AM
  # 43 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by fandy
my brother was dx'd with one of the throat/parotid cancers (he was only a brief smoker)...these are the worst to endure chemo/radiation treatments after 2 surgeries....the side effects are horrible and painful.
Exactly...I wonder what he would think of the argument that smoking is not near as "bad" an addiction as drinking...
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:30 AM
  # 44 (permalink)  
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Nicotine withrawl made me high. I don't think it's the horror show that pharmaceutical companies make it out to be with the invention of the patch, nicorette, and whatever else they've come up with. Having smoked almost 3 packs a day for well over a decade my withdrawl was a sore throat, cold, and a wizzy high like feeling, that I actually enjoyed.

And while nicotine has been proven to be addictive, I don't believe it's nicotine addiction that keeps people smoking. If anything that might be like 1% of the addiction. The rest comes from the fact that for me it was something I did every 10-15 minutes for years on end. And I liked it. That's a pretty frikken powerful habit to just be done with. If it were mostly the nicotine that had me addicted, I'd have been much more successful when I chewed nicotine gum. Or if I had just put on a patch.

Just my opinion and experience. I have nothing scientific to back any of that.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:49 PM
  # 45 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Itchy View Post
The end, and others, yes it is that simple to quit for all. When you said that you didn't have to chang to quit smoking that is exactly how I felt about quitting drinking. See I was never a drunk exvept accidentally, and that occasionally. I drank beer as others drink coke. Then I retired and every day was Saturday so I could start at noon. I was controlled only in that I liked a gentle buzz but not the slurry feeling and stumbling loss of motor control. So I was drinking two beers an hour from noon to midnight. That is a case of beer plus, with no drunk, just a gentle buzz. If I started to go overboard I switched to mixed drinks with just a tiny bit of scotch, a full glass of water and lime on ice. Once I dropped back to a buzz I relaxed again. This was not self control, I actually hated the drunk feeling. I stopped drinking when I had serious life decisions or problems to resolve. That did not make me superior to anybody. I found my tolerance had built to the point that it took a lot of beer wine and scotch daily just to stay somewhat functional. But I never ran away from problems with drinking, passed out in public, had blackouts, or used drinking to self medicate physical or emotional, real or imagined, deficits.
Well it's nice to know that we all have different experiences and can converge here to discuss one subject. Unlike you, I was that black out drunk, there was nothing controlled about my drinking, drinking and drugging in the car, at work, passing out in the street, getting Baker Acted and arrested, and stealing medication from the very people that were entrusted to my care.

So this is why I had to change on the inside and outside, but that's my experience.

But like I said before and nobody may agree, you go down to the smoker's thread and you don't see nearly as many posts or converstations on the subject. And to me there is a reason for that. I don't have the answer, but you can't dismiss this as meaningless.
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:42 PM
  # 46 (permalink)  
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Engaging, whether in agreement or not, or neutral, is never dismissive.

It is different for each. No one person's experience and perceptions makes the perceptions of another any less valid . . . for that other person.

For example even though I was sick mornings and felt like I was getting more and more ill with each day, my friends and family saw only a casual drinker except for my SH, who still saw only what she wanted to see. Everybody all said that all I needed was to cut back if I felt I was drinking too much. In some ways more insidious. I actually had some workmen comment on my 9 a.m. beer in hand that they wish they were retired too to do that. My smoking was tough too.
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:45 PM
  # 47 (permalink)  
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Itchy, I do so enjoy a rousing bit of thought provoking banter m'lord!
Your repartee is indeed appreciated too m'lady, quitting need not be dour and grim. Nor lacking in poetry and grace, but wisdom, with some keen wit thrown into the mix, essential.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:56 PM
  # 48 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
Exactly...I wonder what he would think of the argument that smoking is not near as "bad" an addiction as drinking...

For me smoking is not as bad as drinking. I won't forget what I did the next day if I have a cigarette. Is smoking bad for me? Absolutely, I won't argue that one.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:30 PM
  # 49 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by LadyinBC
I won't forget what I did the next day if I have a cigarette.
That just makes it a less embarrassing addiction, not a less serious or deadly one.

"bad for you" is an understatement. But I hear ya...I minimized it too when I smoked. That way I could keep smoking.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:42 PM
  # 50 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Itchy
Your repartee is indeed appreciated too m'lady, quitting need not be dour and grim. Nor lacking in poetry and grace, but wisdom, with some keen wit thrown into the mix, essential.
Methinks thou knowest a thing or two about a quick wit, m'lord...

I think I was supposed to be a medieval corset wearing wench reveling in raucous debauchery...dancing, laughing, swearing, and eating huge turkey drumsticks. LOL
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:54 PM
  # 51 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
That just makes it a less embarrassing addiction, not a less serious or deadly one.

"bad for you" is an understatement. But I hear ya...I minimized it too when I smoked. That way I could keep smoking.
Hey I agree, yes it's deadly. For me it's one day at a time, one addiction at a time. For those that quit I think it is great. I'm not going to lie, I have no desire to quit right now and yes I think there is a difference between quitting alcohol and quitting smoking, but that is for me and just my opinion. I'm just being honest about myself.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:02 PM
  # 52 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by LadyinBC
I have no desire to quit right now
I hope that you can find the desire. xo
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:14 PM
  # 53 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
I hope that you can find the desire. xo
If I can quit drinking, I think someday I can quit the smoking. I think too it scares me to quit.
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Old 01-26-2013, 05:07 AM
  # 54 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by RobbyRobot View Post
Differences?

Yeah, for me, not so much differences exactly...

I eventually quit smoking cigs for the same reason as I originally quit alcohol: it was killing me.
Without the death-in-my-face action from drugs/alcohol, and ciggs, I would NEVER have EVER quit. Quitting became 'seriously important' to me only when dying as an insane drunk / loser was pretty well on the menu as the only entree being served, lol...

So I quit drugs (1978/79) while still drinking, quit alcohol (1981) while still smoking ciggs, and quit ciggs last (2005).
Robby,

I understand that this is how it works for many, but I want to put my expereince in which is a bit different (not more valid or anything...just a different space people come from)....

I almost died twice from my alchoholism...it really didn't get me any progress in staying sober...Not sure what that means...but my first thoughts are every one dies from something...but yet...the alchoholic death I faced was going to be a horrible one...it just didn't matter. Although there was an element of "not wanting to die" there was something more needed for me to find the periods of sobriety I have had. I think it is a personal thing and I think whatever will help you on the path is great.

I'm the only person in 2 generations (siblings, parents, aunts, grandparrents, grand uncles and aunts) who hasn't had cancer. But I know with alchohol the idea that I was gonna be dead in a year or a day never really made me able to be sober...

If fear of death could keep me sober I would not have drank for at least the last 7 years. I've had sobriety in that time...but it never came after a near death expereince...

For me hope and belief I can somehow be "ok" without the drug (nicotine, alchohol, speed, caffine) has been the biggest help in making it through to detox and start the path...

Just some thoughts

Nands
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:01 AM
  # 55 (permalink)  
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I agree with your last point so very strongly, Ananda. That was a huge barrier for me too - how can I live with myself without alcohol? I had created a strong conditioning which told me that I simply couldn't quit, and if I could quit, I could never quit now. If I could quit drinking, wouldn't I have quit already? Puleeeeeze.

Having quit now, I see that doubt in myself was the most insidious part of my addiction, a self sustaining negative story that was created and reinforced with every hangover and every blackout. It infected every aspect of my life, and the cure was the simple belief that I could face my life stone cold sober.

It really is ok without it, I am really ok without it, but the truth is so much more than that. I am 10 times the person I used to be, when I struggled to just achieve wholeness. It all comes together when we give ourselves permission to be the people we can be without alcohol.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:36 AM
  # 56 (permalink)  
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One year free from the smokes, I consider quiting as being my second best achievement in life, thats how difficult quiting was for me and how much I wanted to quit.

Im using the same line of thinking to help me quit drinking, I.e. weighing what I can potentially gain from drinking versus what I risk losing from continued drinking.

The one aspect of AA that I very much disliked was that it wouldnt allow me to take the approach I took for quiting smokes and to use it with drink. I dont want to be powerless, I want to gain strength from quitting booze, I want to feel that I recognised the damage I was doing and now im going to modify my behaviour so I can address my own concerns about where alcohol has taken me and will take me in the future.

In some way I have made smoking a monster of cancer and ill health, it scared me and i allowed it to --- drink scares me stupid by the loss of responsibility and irrational thought it causes.

I guess these are all what might be considered motivation for quitting. And along with the motivation, I have a single "method" and that is to quite simply not drink!

im hoping my approach works, it worked for quitting the ciggies so far.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:58 AM
  # 57 (permalink)  
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and it's a simple effective method....just don't drink...that is all there is to it for me also.

it's a beverage, rather nasty tasting at this point.....i took a sip of what used to be my favorite white wine this past summer and it reminded me of the nail salon smells. icky, no thanks.

it's not really spiritual, i'm not a different person in my life (except i have more $$, am thinner, healthier physiclly and have brain cells that work).
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:55 AM
  # 58 (permalink)  
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difference in the fundamental premise that we each hold

soberlicious,
yes, that's so.
and the reason i entered this discussion is because my "fundamental premise" wasn't a premise or fundamental when i quit drinking. rather the opposite. it's something that to my surprise i now find myself as having developed, in a way . developed is not entirely the right word...i didn't start out with it, in any case.
i moved from "no, it shouldn't be different and therefore it won't be different" through "huh? wth? this isn't going the same way..." to "wow! is this ever different!"
my experience.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:51 AM
  # 59 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ananda View Post
If fear of death could keep me sober I would not have drank for at least the last 7 years. I've had sobriety in that time...but it never came after a near death expereince...

For me hope and belief I can somehow be "ok" without the drug (nicotine, alchohol, speed, caffine) has been the biggest help in making it through to detox and start the path...

Just some thoughts

Nands
Hi Nands,

Yeah, fear of whatever is not enough to stop me from doing whatever. Fear alone is simply not enough. Fear is a mind-killer, and fears can be accepted, understood, and nullified. Fear of death no less either if one puts their mind to getting on top of it.

When I say I would never have quit without death facing me, I wasn't simply meaning physical death, but more my insides dying, my mind, and the me that was me. I quit at age 24, and I didn't have physical concerns from alcoholism like liver / kidneys / stomach or whatever. My psyche though was completely burnt out and abused. At 20 I was in a three day lockup in the mental hospital because of suicidal actions taken and what I was threatening to do with my life. At the time I was diagnosed with undifferentiated schizophrenia and I was refusing treatment. I was messed up bad - psychotic - and I still didn't quit drinking for another 4 years.

So yeah, sadly enough, I can relate with what you're saying, no problem... I too didn't care enough to care either way back in those using days.

After that lockup, I put to rest any ideas that I was going to be okay. I then knew it was finally over for me, my life I mean, because I wasn't going to stop, and I wasn't taking any treatment they offered. It was a very lonely bare-bones 'existential time' for me the next four years until I quit. I read-up on Kierkegaard and Nietzsche a lot - two outstanding philosophers who were fundamental to the existentialist movement - and I'm forever changed by my interpretations of their brilliant writings. Like I'm saying, fear of dying is simply not enough to make a life from, and probably such a life wouldn't be worth living anyways. Cowards die a thousand times having never lived once kinda thing.

So, putting fear aside, I still needed to know my death was certain before I could care enough to want to live.

There are tons of details I'm not going into in this post, so suffice it for me to say I never really recovered from my suicidal ideations during the remainder of those last four years of my abusing alcohol. I didn't at all become less psychotic over the next four years is what I'm saying...

When I finally did quit, age 24, I was already very dead inside, if you can follow me. Yeah, physically I was there sure, whatever, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, I was 'elsewhere'... I'm sure you can relate, Nands.

So for me, I really needed to have existed 'elsewhere' for me to be able to care enough about 'coming back to reality' in the here-and-now. I really needed to know there are worse things then physical death for me to care enough about living.

When I finally quit I didn't care about being 'sober' at all, and I didn't care how it would work, and I didn't care about being detoxed, and the residential care, and the program. All I cared about was in not being 'elsewhere' any more. I didn't want to die anymore. I didn't want to die drunk anymore.

Strangely, even though I didn't want to die drunk anymore, I still wanted to drink nonetheless. Addiction ambivalence paradox. Even today looking back 31 years, it still gives me a singular moment of eternal darkness and surety that I was totally lost and on the razor edge of simply never ever coming back to the real world. What a long, strange trip its been coming back.

Gratitude is absolutely a cornerstone of my recovered life.

Absolutely Nands, you'll be okay without alcohol / drugs / whatever. You'll be different, no way you'll be whatever you were, but you'll be okay too, and so that has always been good enough for me to stay sober through good times or bad, no matter, I'll never drink alcohol again, I'll never be drunk again, and I'll never change my mind.

Thanks, (((Nands)))

:ghug3
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:46 PM
  # 60 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
Having been there, having known the darkness, I can't help but feel happy to see others walk free, by any method.
Also, because I have concerns about recoveryism in our society, I also like to have discussions related to this. I think that the addicted should be presented with as many options as possible and treated as if they are capable. I try to do my part toward that.
Originally Posted by Itchy View Post
I am passing it forward. SR doesn't keep me from drinking either....Every moderator and "wheel" here are recovered or recovering from alcohol, drugs or both. What are we doing here? We are hollering back and telling everyone it is safe and there are no dangers, come on ahead!
I love it, itchy and soberlicious! Thanks for hanging around SR and giving back. I would have never learned so much if it weren't for people like you sharing your experiences and wisdom, and I'm in a much better place for it.

Originally Posted by MrTumble View Post
I dont want to be powerless, I want to gain strength from quitting booze, I want to feel that I recognised the damage I was doing and now im going to modify my behaviour so I can address my own concerns about where alcohol has taken me and will take me in the future.
Exactly! That empowerment I've gained from quitting the booze with the help of the gang on this thread has enabled me to also kick my nasty diet soda/artificial sweetener habit. It may not be as insidious an addiction as smoking or alcohol, but it was definitely causing me some major health problems.
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