DAY 25 ~ I’ve done some more reading. The more I read, the more disturbed I’m getting. Here is the most direct expression of the issue I’ve found on the matter:
“Tobacco smoke is toxic but also anti-inflammatory. Paradoxically tobacco smoke contains hundreds of toxic and carcinogenic chemicals that produce inflammatory reactions and numerous degenerative diseases, but it also contains nicotine that is anti-inflammatory. Smokers assault their bodies, but moderate and obscure the inflammatory degeneration and disease, until they stop the nicotine exposure” ~ (From a post in a forum at mindandmuscle.com)
I started describing the nicotine fit even back in high school as that it’s like having “itchy veins”. That was thirty years ago. I can’t help but wonder what are the implications of misidentifying chronic inflammation for this long? Where might I be at in whatever this process leads to?
If cigarettes are ironically treating the condition they are also contributing to… what might the medical consequences be when I finally remove them from the mix – especially now that it is so much “later in the game”?
I’m worried, but much more than that… I’m angry. Everything could have been so very different – if I had known it was such a treatable condition all along.
DAY 26 ~ I feel…
Inflammation started diminishing faster last night – back down to almost normal. I’ll give it a 3 at the moment. It’s interesting though, I feel like… raw, or injured. Like burnt. Almost like post sunburn burnt. Not just on the skin, more like through-out. Muscles are even sore.
This is how it gets during every major sugar binge, it’s actually what causes me to back off. So even though the latest binge ended a month ago, it almost feels like it didn’t.
I got back (up) to the apps recommended number of smokes, basically by easing off of competitively getting ahead. It took a couple days to seemingly stabilize.
Day 5 off of dairy ~ Dinner last night was bean tostadas (without cheese or sour cream) – a definite first to not have cheese with my mexican food.
Probably also worth noting: I don’t seem to be craving cheese as far as I can tell as I would have expected, and now that I’m feeling better, the normal craving for sugar is noticeably returning and rising. I won’t be giving in to it though. Water is becoming a surprisingly adequate substitute on that front.
To better understand my addiction I’m looking into some of the possible reasons I might have become a smoker in the first place. So what are the known effects of nicotine?
An article by Dan Hurley at Discover Magazines website says:
“Nicotine — delivered by chewing gum or transdermal patch — may prove to be a weirdly, improbably effective drug for relieving or preventing a variety of neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), Tourette’s and schizophrenia. It might even improve attention and focus enough to qualify as a cognitive enhancer”
A “cognitive enhancer”… yes I would agree with that. Initially I think that was the effect, and was the reason for the strong attraction.
I’m just getting started on this. What I am expecting to find to be the largest part of the addiction, is that I am using tobacco to relieve chronic, systemic inflammation. I also think I might find that smoking also exacerbates the condition. That is my current theory, based on nothing but how I feel physically.
I guess if I could ask people who have successfully quit cigarettes a few questions, they would be these:
1. How many years were you a smoker?
2. How many did you smoke per day?
3. Approximately how many times did you try to quit previously?
4. Which different methods did you try?
5. What finally worked?
6. How long has it been since you quit?
7. Do you think you will ever smoke again?
I would also very much love to hear from people about what they have experienced in the way of physical withdrawal symptoms.