Author Topic: Today I quit. Tomorrow, I'll quit again. (A journey through one man's recovery)  (Read 17016 times)

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Offline wildirish317

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May 04, 2016 @ 4:42 PM

The Symptoms of Post Acute Withdrawal

Why am I doing this? Why am I posting shit on a random thread buried so deep in a random website that nobody other than myself will find it, much less read it? I used to think I was helping other people like me. Fock that. There are no other people like me, and everything I post on this thread is old news. This website is about 11 years old, and there have been 12 groups go through this process in each of the 11 years, so this path has been traveled at least 132 times. I don't have anything new to add.

I guess, like my good friend Kubiackalpha stated earlier today, "Writing is therapeutic." So I'm finished writing for a moment. Let me just post some juicy "old news" from the site I linked above.

The most common post-acute withdrawal symptoms are:
Mood swings
Anxiety
Irritability
Tiredness
Variable energy
Low enthusiasm
Variable concentration
Disturbed sleep

Post-acute withdrawal feels like a rollercoaster of symptoms. In the beginning, your symptoms will change minute to minute and hour to hour. Later as you recover further they will disappear for a few weeks or months only to return again. As you continue to recover the good stretches will get longer and longer. But the bad periods of post-acute withdrawal can be just as intense and last just as long.

Each post-acute withdrawal episode usually last for a few days. Once you've been in recovery for a while, you will find that each post-acute withdrawal episode usually lasts for a few days. There is no obvious trigger for most episodes. You will wake up one day feeling irritable and have low energy. If you hang on for just a few days, it will lift just as quickly as it started. After a while you'll develop confidence that you can get through post-acute withdrawal, because you'll know that each episode is time limited.

Post-acute withdrawal usually lasts for 2 years. This is one of the most important things you need to remember. If you're up for the challenge you can get though this. But if you think that post-acute withdrawal will only last for a few months, then you'll get caught off guard, and when you're disappointed you're more likely to relapse. (Reference: www.AddictionsAndRecovery.org)

Wait, wat??? TWO FOCKING YEARS?!?!?

I don't have two years. I can only do this for today. I can only do this for myself. Bless you Kubiackalpha, I'm depressed too.

Again, old hat, old news to most of you. I would spare you, and put it somewhere else, but you don't have to read it.

I remember when I was a kid, the first time I realized that the sun didn't actually land on that field way over there. Great focking discovery for me!! Everyone else around me already knew this. This is how I feel on this site.

Hopefully, I'll look back at this post TWO FOCKING YEARS from now and think "My God, why did I post that shite?"
“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else, everything". - Danny Trejo

Offline wildirish317

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April 29, 2016 @ 10:21 AM
The Road Called Recovery

Day 65. If I didn't know any better, I would say I'm "cured". However, I do know better. I am through withdrawal, and moving down the road they call recovery. The trick now is to stay on this road and not get sidetracked into relapse.

So, I've mastered the Law of Addiction. My addiction is arrested. I'm through the withdrawal, the suck. I'm on the road of recovery. Now what? How do I stay on this road?

The first rule to recovery is: You don't recover from an addiction by stopping using. You recover by creating a new life where it is easier to not use.
If you don't create a new life, the Nic bitch will lure you back into using her.

There are tools to help us create a new life. You can find them at www.addictionsandrecovery.org. I want to discuss them briefly here because they are important.

The three tools are:

1. Avoid high risk situations.
2. Learn to relax.
3. Be honest.


Some common high risk situations are described by the acronym HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired). You can't always avoid these situations, but learn to recognize them and be on guard for the Nic bitch, because she's watching and waiting.

We used nicotine to relax. We need to find something to replace that. Drugs and alcohol are not your best choice, as these are addictive substances as well. Meditation is a good tool for relaxation. KTC had a good thread on meditation, but it didn’t get carried over to this site. I tie flies to relax. My mother played the piano to relax. (I used to think she just liked to play. Now I realize she would do it when she was upset.)

The following is a direct quote from the linked web page. I can't think of a good way to summarize it, and there are a lot of important points about being honest.

An addiction requires lying. You have to lie about getting your drug, using it, hiding its consequences, and planning your next relapse. An addiction is full of lying. By the time you've developed an addiction, lying comes easily to you. After a while you get so good at lying that you end up lying to yourself. That's why addicts don't know who they are or what they believe in.

The other problem with lying is that you can't like yourself when you lie. You can't look yourself in the mirror. Lying traps you in your addiction. The more you lie, the less you like yourself, which makes you want to escape, which leads to more using and more lying.

Nothing changes, if nothing changes. Ask yourself this: will more lying, more isolating, and more of the same make you feel better? The expression in AA is - nothing changes if nothing changes. If you don't change your life, then why would this time be any different? You need to create a new life where it's easier to not use.

Recovery requires complete honesty. You must be one-hundred percent completely honest with the people who are your supports: your family, your doctor, your therapist, the people in your 12 step group, and your sponsor. If you can't be completely honest with them, you won't do well in recovery.

When you're completely honest you don't give your addiction room to hide. When you lie you leave the door open to relapse.

One mistake people make in the early stages of recovery is they think that honesty means being honest about other people. They think they should share what's "wrong" with other people. But recovery isn't about fixing other people. It's about fixing yourself. Stick with your own recovery. Focusing on what you don't like about others is easy because it deflects attention from yourself.

Honesty won't come naturally in the beginning. You've spent so much time learning how to lie that telling the truth, no matter how good it is for you, won't feel natural. You'll have to practice telling the truth a few hundred times before it comes a little easier. In the beginning, you'll have to stop yourself as you're telling a story, and say, "now that I think about it, it was more like this..."

Show common sense. Not everybody is your best friend. And not everybody will be glad to know that you have an addiction or that you're doing something about it. There may be some people who you don't want to tell about your recovery. But don't be reluctant to tell the people close to you about your recovery. You should never feel ashamed that you're doing something about your addiction.
“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else, everything". - Danny Trejo

Offline wildirish317

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April 20, 2016 @ 6:21 PM
The Law of Addiction

Day 55. I'm not sure why I started adding titles to my intro posts, maybe so I can find them easier. This one comes about after a discussion with kbdavear about how many times a person should be allowed to post day #1 on this site. I'm not going to go into that discussion here. You can find it in July 2016's quit group thread on April 19, 2016.

The discussion led to research. The research led to the law of addiction.

The Law is rather simple. It states, Administration of a drug to an addict will cause re-establishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance."

Mastering it requires acceptance of three fundamental principles:
  • that dependency upon using nicotine is true chemical addiction, captivating the same brain dopamine reward pathways as alcoholism, cocaine or heroin addiction;
  • that once established we cannot cure or kill an addiction but only arrest it; and
  • that once arrested, regardless of how long we have remained nicotine free, that just one hit of nicotine will create a high degree of probability of a full relapse.
Once you have mastered the law of addiction, there is absolutely no legitimate excuse to put nicotine into your body in any form. As a nicotine addict, you have permanently altered the way your brain functions. This cannot be undone. The only way to stay quit is to stay quit.

There is a smoking cessation website named whyquit.com. They have zero tolerance for nicotine. You get one try per lifetime on this site. You have posting privileges as long as you remain nicotine free. If you ingest nicotine, your posting privileges are permanently revoked.

I've given this topic a lot of thought over the past two days. For now, I'm going to leave my comments brief. There is a lot to absorb in this post.

“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else, everything". - Danny Trejo

Offline wildirish317

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April 14, 2016 @ 4:57 PM
My Quit Plan

Everyone needs one of these, right? This is a work in progress, and I will edit it as life goes on.

Post roll first thing every morning. Then go back later in the morning and post in the Party Bus a Quit, every June group, and every 2016 group.

When I get a crave, text Danojeno and ask for permission to take a dip.   So far, just thinking about doing this chases the crave away before I even touch the phone.

If Danojeno doesn't respond, go through all of my KTC phone contacts, asking permission to take a dip, until I find one that says "Yes". By the time I get to the end of the list, I'm sure my crave will be gone.

I'm open to suggestions for improvement.
“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else, everything". - Danny Trejo

Offline wildirish317

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April 07, 2016 @ 7:52 AM
Dip Dream #1

As a newbie, you always wonder about dip dreams. Will they happen to me? What will they by like? I had my first one last night, not really a dip dream, more of a cave dream. Here's how it played out:

Mrs. Irish and I were at our daughter's house, watching a TV show about Virginia cigarettes (may have been Virginia Slims, but I don't recall "Slims" in the name.) As it would be in a dream, there just happened to be a pack sitting on the coffee table in front of me. I was curious to experience what they were describing in the show, so I took one, lit it, and smoked it.

I was reaching for the second one when I realized what I had done. A wave of panic came over me. I looked at Mrs. Irish and said "Shit! I just caved!" I thought about how I was going to explain this to my June group, and the July group that I would have to join. How could I be so stupid not to realize that a cigarette is a cigarette, and they all have nicotine? "Sneaky bitch!" I thought as I woke up.
“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else, everything". - Danny Trejo

Offline wildirish317

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March 17, 2016 @ 9:43PM
I'm at day 22, and it's not too bad, but I don't feel "normal". I don't remember what normal feels like. This is my first nicotine free birthday in 38 years, give or take. I'm still dealing with oral fixation thing. It's a mind game now. I'm good today. That's all that matters.
“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else, everything". - Danny Trejo

Offline wildirish317

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March 10, 2016 @ 8:14 AM
The Three Questions

Now that I've been here 33 days, I've noticed a few more cavers, and my understanding of caving has increased proportionally. (For those of you who are wondering, I'm not preparing my own cave, I'm digging my "quit hole" a bit deeper, and hoping to help some of the cavers understand why the wheels fell off their quit.)

So, after you cave, you come back here, and are presented with the demand to answer the "three questions". Before you do that, you should answer one question for yourself: "Why the fock are you here, knowing how much shite you are going to face for caving?" I can't help you answer this one. You know why you're here, and what you are going to face.

However, knowing that the general gist of your answer is that you need this place in order to quit, I suggest that you take an attitude of humble receptiveness in your re-assimilation into KTC. You are going to give answers to the "three questions". More likely than not, some of your answers will be questioned. Do not take offense at this (even when offense is intended). Most of us addicts can sniff out an addicts lie or misrepresentation, and we will be all over it. So consider the merits of each question. Search yourself for vulnerabilities, and shore them up.

Now that you have "humbled yourself up", here are some reflections that may help you answer the three questions:

1. What happened? This can be rephrased as "How did you set yourself up for failure?". When you cave, you build the scenario in which it is very easy to say "yes" to nicotine. The answer to this question sets up the answer to the next question.

2. Why did it happen? Depending on the addict, you can set yourself up for failure 10 times before you actually cave. The key word here is addict. The short answer is "I'm an addict, that's what addicts do." The long answer is much more complicated, and different for every cave. The answer to this question is the key to getting back on the quit. However, you can't get here without answering the first question first.

Being addicted to nicotine is like having a pipeline to your body, with a valve that is "normally open". Nicotine flows through this valve and into your body unless you consciously or unconsciously keep this valve shut. When you cave, you make a decision, at that particular moment, to let go of the valve.

So the answer to "why" is not "what made you do it?", it's "why did you let go of the valve?" "why did you decide, at that particular moment, not to be quit?" Don't look outside yourself for this answer. Shite happens to all of us. It's how we decide to react to this shite that makes us who we are.

We are addicts. We have to study addiction and addicts to know how to answer this question.

3. How are you going to keep it from happening again? Once you get past the second question, and understand your answer and your addiction, this one is pretty easy. Look at the tools you have at your disposal. Find out what other tools are out there that may be used. Figure out where you are most vulnerable, make plans not to make yourself vulnerable, and have an escape route when you find yourself vulnerable. That's the general answer. The specific answer for each cave must be tailored to each individual.

We are all just one bad, weak decision away from caving. This is addiction. This is serious.
“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else, everything". - Danny Trejo

Offline wildirish317

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March 08, 2016 @ 9:22 AM
Digging a quit hole.

Okay, day #13 quit. The suck is gone, and the mind games are here. If I see anything round out of the corner of my eye, it's a can of cope. As I type this, there's a focking rubber band just in the corner of my vision. It becomes a can of Copenhagen. They said there'd be days like this.

A couple of observations I've made in this short journey:

The first one is that I'm an addict. This realization hit me during the suck, and it hit hard. I came to this site to quit, but I wasn't an addict. I wasn't addicted to nicotine, no way. I just had a strong habit that I needed to break. Now I'm a focking addict. I really hate that about myself, but I have to learn to live with it. I can't change the color of my skin, and I can't get rid of this addiction.

The second one is that I need you, all of you. I figured I could just come and post roll every day for 100 days, and then leave. I didn't need other people's phone numbers, I'm not going to cave, I'm not going to need anyone. Hah! If you're serious about your quit (and I am), then you need your brothers for support. At some point, I'm going to reach out for help. I have peoples' digits. I also reach out to others in my group that may need help. I know how hard this is for me. It's just as hard for everyone else.

Another thing I've learned is that you have to be serious to quit. That's kind of a given, once you realize you're an addict. Addiction is serious stuff.

I've also dug myself a pretty deep "quit hole". I've expressed my $.02 on a lot of topics, and become an administrator for the accountability spreadsheet. If I cave, not only will I be breaking a promise to me and all of you, I will be the biggest hypocrite this site has ever seen.

Quit on, brothers and sisters, quit on!

“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else, everything". - Danny Trejo

Offline wildirish317

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March 04, 2016 @ 4:06 PM
Okay, day 9. I had my first triggers today. I didn't think I'd have any because I dipped all the time I was awake for 38 years.

I was helping my son in law move. During the course of loading the truck, I really wished I had a dip. Then I thought about it. If someone offered me a dip right then, would I have caved? No. After 38 years, I don't want to dip any more. It's that simple. Not easy, but simple.

So anyway, I'm going to have triggers. That's a fact. They'll probably hit when I do things that are out of routine, like during a fishing trip, or while I'm working on my car. When they happen, I will face off with them and deal with them.

I quit with you guys again today.

“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else, everything". - Danny Trejo

Offline wildirish317

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March 03, 2016 @ 10:29 PM
Exercise, I've been on a strength training program with Mrs. Irish for the past year. Four routines, four sets of ten reps each, one second up, 3-5 seconds down, choose a weight where you cannot finish the fourth set. Holy fock! 30 minutes of pure hell, 3 days/week.

I realize that I have not been nicotine free for any of my adult life. What a focking waste.
“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else, everything". - Danny Trejo

Offline wildirish317

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March 03, 2016 @ 7:52 PM
Okay, starting week #2. I'm nicotine free for the first time in I don't know how many years.

CleanFuel claims it takes about 200 days for the brain to rewire itself. Fock. I'm not going to dwell on this. I'm just going to focus on today. That's all I've got to work with.
“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else, everything". - Danny Trejo

Offline wildirish317

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February 26, 2016 @ 11:44 AM (day 2)
Once you figure out what you're doing with the roll, it's pretty self explanatory. Funny how some things can't really be explained, they have to be experienced.

I'm in a pretty hazy withdrawal fog today, so if I type something that doesn't make sense, call me out on it and I'll go back and edit it.
“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else, everything". - Danny Trejo

Offline wildirish317

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At the request of one of our quit brothers, I am re-posting some of the more insightful posts of my journey to freedom here.  It’s not an introduction.  I’m an addict like the rest of you.  That’s my introduction.
“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else, everything". - Danny Trejo