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Smoking as a 'cover-up-tool' of the unconsciousness

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Dani-jwz, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. Dani-jwz

    Dani-jwz New Member

    Hi Everyone,

    Just discovered this site, what a relieve and really great that so much knowledge and experiences are being shared here! Good to recognize I am not going crazy ;-)

    I am from Holland, and here TMS is not so much of a 'thing', people look at me as if I am crazy when I tell them about it.

    I want to share an experience with you and wonder if anyone with the same experience or an opinion about it.

    I stopped smoking in January '20. After 13 years of smoking. The first couple of weeks were surprisingly easy.

    After two weeks I started getting depressed an anxious. Fine, I expected this already as an effect of nicotine withdrawal. However, I started to get a lot of physical symptoms simultaneously (which was the same when my attempt to stop smoking failed 2 years ago, which was the reason I started again...).

    And when I say a lot of symptoms, I mean a lot; abdominal pain (stabbing pain), pain in my testicles, pain in all my stomach, leg cramps, pain in my leg which I thought was an injury, but never went away, tinnitus, heart palpations, high blood pressure, headaches, RSI (pain in both arms and fingers), skin disease (psoriasis), itching hand and feet, sore throat, chest pain/cramps, feeling of being choked, pain in stomach, and so on...

    Note: I was always really healthy, I sport a lot and never had real health issues..

    On top of this I developed health anxiety, which I discovered thanks to you guys on this forum is also a TMS symptom. Health anxiety makes everything 10x worse. I was losing my mind.

    Then I realized that this just couldn't be. It couldn't be that I was always healthy and suddenly, just when I should be healthier because I stopped smoking, I get all these symptoms, one after the other. Because I was aware of the TMS concept I started reading into it and I am pretty sure that this could be nothing else than TMS. I did some exercises to see if I can pull some repressed emotions out. While I didn't succeed fully yet, at least I succeeded partially (discovered a couple of things - bad childhood etc.) and while I was in that process, I developed new symptoms. Painful and twitching fingers. Scared to death for MS or MND.. Of course. Perfect distraction for the emotions I try to get out of there.

    However, I realized that smoking was a tool for my unconsciousness to cope with the repressed emotions.

    Imagine you smoke 15 cigarettes a day, that are 15 times 10 minutes of distraction a day. Every time you are not busy with work or your kids, you go smoking.

    Every time you smoke, and you deal with your emotions, you are dealing with your emotions while you are giving your brain a dopamine kick from smoking. So you teach your brain to associate bad emotions with a dopamine kick (not sure, but this is my theory). It not so bad to deal with sh*t when you are high on dopamine all day...

    So my hypotheses:

    1. Smoking is another tool of the unconsciousness to cover up for repressed emotions

    2. Just like any other drugs or bad habits, this could be for a lot of people the reason they actually smoke..?

    3. If you stop smoking without replacing for an alternative distraction, you will develop physical symptoms (or get an emotional outburst).

    Apologies for this long text. I am really curious what you think about all of this.

    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Wow, @Dani-jwz - this is a great post! And welcome, by the way!

    I agree 100% with your theories, because the distraction - both chemical and physical - that is offered by smoking, or any other addiction for that matter, absolutely ties in with Dr. Sarno's theories about how our brains use distractions to keep us from addressing or even experiencing negative, dark, or frightening emotional stress and distress.

    The fact that you experienced even more symptoms when you actually started looking at your repressed issues is even more proof of the TMS mechanism - which you easily figured out on your own :)

    You might be interested in the work of Dr. Gabor Mate. I love his book "When The Body Says No" for his description of the connection between emotional repression and physiological/pathological conditions. But he also wrote a book called "In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts" in which he specifically addresses addiction, also from his unique viewpoint, starting with emotional distress and childhood. I have not read it, since addiction has not affected my life, but knowing what a beautiful and compassionate writer he is, I will still highly recommend it (and it features a forward by Peter Levine, an acknowledged expert in the field of trauma and chronic conditions).

    Good luck to you - and keep it up, too! I can't imagine anything harder during this f***ing pandemic than trying to quite smoking or anything else - Yikes! But it will be worth it - especially if you can hang in there with the emotional work!
  3. Dani-jwz

    Dani-jwz New Member

    Thanks @JanAtheCPA for your response! I will definetely look into those books. Do you have any tips on getting the stuck emotion out? I sort of identified the triggering events/ life-time, but I can't get it all out..
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Writing! Formal or informal journaling. The free Structured Educational Program teaches different techniques to find the one that appeals to you. Nicole Sachs, LCSW has a book, web site, and free podcast and she advocates writing. Start with epidode #1 of her podcast.

    I personally employ the brain dump technique on a regular basis, just writing whatever comes into my head, and finding at least one thing every day to be grateful for. I use old notebook paper and throw it away. I also use the "unsent letter" when I really need to tell someone what I think of them.
  5. Dani-jwz

    Dani-jwz New Member

    Thanks! Sounds good!

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