When I quit using heroin it was hard. Perhaps the most difficult thing that I have ever done. In fact, obtaining sobriety was a life-altering moment without a doubt. A proud and profound moment which leads to believe I can conquer all. Sorta.
There is something that I have tried to quit over and over again but, I always fail miserably. I’m not sure if its lack of willpower, maybe I don’t want to quit, or I’m truly not really trying. That thing is smoking cigarettes. I have smoked for close to 20 years now.
Since I became a recovering addict, my smoking has increased. The facts prove that I am not alone. Recovering addicts go crazy over cigarettes and coffee. Is it a replacement for our previous drug and alcohol addiction? Why can’t we just stop smoking? We quit using drugs. Why should quitting smoking be any different?
As for the coffee, I have always drunk coffee in the morning, approximately one to three cups a day. Now, I drink coffee all day long. It is my main drink. According to Vanderbilt University, out of the 1 million people who join Alcoholics Anonymous, almost all of them drink coffee and over 60 percent of them smoke. What is this weird recovery thing of obsessing over cigarettes and coffee?
This has been going through my mind for quite some time. I had to discover the underlying cause for this new habit, Plus, I do want to quit smoking. Take a look at the facts about recovering addicts, their new addiction, and all that I was able to uncover.
Have you ever been to an AA or NA meeting? If so, you know that coffee is a necessity at these meetings. The people who chair the meeting have the coffee brewing and ready to go before the people even begin to walk through the door. That’s not all, along with your coffee, you must have a cigarette or two. Many meetings have smoking breaks. Some meetings even permit smoking inside the meeting. This is a cause for alarm in my book.
Think of it like this. I quit using heroin and all other drugs. I am sober. My family, my husband, my kids need me. One thing that is always in the back of my mind is when I hear stories of a mother relapsing, overdosing, and dying. I feel bad but what tears me apart inside is finding out that her baby or toddler died due to starvation and dehydration being left alone in the house with their dead mom. I’ve heard one too many stories like this. I don’t want to die especially be the cause of my child’s death. My children need me to care for them and to love them. That being said, I need to quit smoking. It’s a bad habit that is decreasing my years on this planet. Not too good, right?
My husband quit smoking over 2 months ago. He couldn’t breathe, he was in and out of the emergency room for weeks. Finally, he stopped smoking. He just couldn’t do it anymore. The feeling of not being able to breathe is terrifying.
You think I would quit simply because he did. Nope, couldn’t do it. Not me. We both smoked over a pack a day. For the first month that he quit, I was down to a pack or two a week. According to me, that was amazing. Well, during the next month my smoking gradually increased again. Truthfully, I feel that the more I try to quit, the harder it becomes. That is because I am obsessing over not smoking so, I’m constantly thinking about smoking. Weird, huh?
Recovering Addicts, Cigarettes and Coffee
So here are the facts about people in recovery loving their cigarettes and coffee. We all know that drinking coffee produces stimulatory effects. So recovering addicts drink it for the same reason as the rest of the world. It wakes you up, making you feel alert, you feel awake. Hell, we are going through some life altering changes trying to start fresh and new without using drugs.
Truthfully, smoking is said to reduce a person’s feelings of irritability, being anxious, or even depression. Common feelings for people early in recovery. There are people who do not even begin smoking until they start using drugs. Or they smoke to fit in. Ultimately, people smoke as a coping mechanism.
If talking to people in recovery, they will say that they quit one bad habit. Let me have this one. Like they don’t have a choice. Even though smoking is slowly killing them, they deserve it for not using drugs.
In other words, smoking is a coping mechanism. It calms you down, reduces emotions that you are now dealing with on a regular basis that are not being depressed by drugs.
Can You Handle The Truth?
Are you ready? Here is the cold hard evidence about smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee. Coffee isn’t bad, per say. Drinking a few cups a day is the norm. Although, if you do anything excessively, it can have negative consequences. Even exercise. We know cigarettes are bad for you. Don’t expect to read any positive attributes about smoking cigarettes. And no, it doesn’t look cool.
Pros and Cons of Coffee Drinking
If you drink coffee regularly or excessively, here are a few things you may want to take a look at. Just so it’s known, the pros do outweigh the cons.
- Having one small cup of coffee a day can help protect your liver from damage caused by drinking alcohol.
- Coffee is high in antioxidants.
- Drinking coffee can lower the risk of developing numerous diseases including cancer, heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s.
- Suppresses your appetite and can help you lose weight if you drink plain black coffee.
- It’s a stimulant meaning it can keep you awake at night and increases heart rate.
- You can gain weight by adding creamer, sugar, sweeteners, and other additives.
- Coffee is addictive, you can have withdrawal symptoms if you stop drinking coffee abruptly including irritability, restlessness, headaches, and insomnia.
- Raises your cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Coffee stains your teeth. Who wants yellow teeth?
Pros and Cons of Smoking Cigarettes
Can you even believe that there are pros to smoking? Unbelievable, take it for what it is.
- Does suppress your appetite if you are trying to lose weight.
- Smoking is known to relieve anxiety, stress, and irritability.
- If there were no cigarettes, thousands maybe even millions of people would lose their job from the actually cigarette/tobacco industry to farmer’s whose main cash crop is tobacco.
- Cigarette smoke causes your breath, hair, clothes, car, house, and anywhere you smoke to smell bad.
- Stains your teeth and causes bad breath even mouth cancer.
- Causes lung cancer.
- Causes bad circulation.
- Costs too much money.
- Bronchitis and other respiratory problems.
- Second-hand smoke can affect others around you. Both children and pets.
- Causes decreased fertility issues in women and impotence in men.
- Cigarette contains harmful chemicals that are bad for your health.
- SMOKING WILL SLOWLY CAUSE DEATH? DO YOU WANT TO DIE?
Recovering Addicts Need To Quit This New Found Glory
As with everything, too much of a good thing is no good. While coffee is not bad for your health like smoking is. You still need to lower your coffee intake to a few cups a day instead of drinking it all day long.
We are in recovery because we wanted to better our lives. Not only for ourselves but, for our loved ones. Am I right? So let’s do this. We will lower our coffee intake and completely quit smoking. Ha, so much easier said than done.
Let’s make our lives the best they can be. Smoking will kill you. So what if it makes you less irritable so, does meditation. Seriously. Once you quit smoking, quit drinking coffee all day, exercise, and get enough sleep, you will feel amazing. It’s a proven fact. So let’s do it. I mean it. Let’s really do this.
The bottom line is an addictions reasoning for using cigarettes and coffee is for the wrong reasons. While it might be a coping mechanism for now. It could reverse and later be a relapse trigger. Recovering addicts are using cigarettes and coffee as a feel-good mechanism. The stimulants in coffee give their body a different feeling. Smoking a cigarette satisfies nicotine cravings plus relieves irritable and stressful emotions that we must learn to deal with. As with all substances or chemicals, our body builds up a tolerance after so long. That might be the moment we relapse. I’m not saying it will happen but, remember that it can.
Stop Smoking Now
If you are serious about wanting to quit smoking. I mean, you were able to stop using drugs so, why not quit smoking too? Here are several different links that you may find helpful. I hope you get the support you need.
- WebMD – How To Quit Smoking
- smokefree.gov – Steps To Manage Quit Day
- helpguide.org – How To Quit Smoking (Tips for kicking your cigarette habit for good)
- vapingdaily.com – Top 10 Tips and Tricks For Quitting Smoking
- lung.org – Five Secrets for Quitting Smoking
If anyone has any suggestions or comments about a recovering addict’s crutch, cigarettes, and coffee. Please comment below.