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Smoking = Outsourcing

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Miller, Jun 9, 2020.

  1. Miller

    Miller Peer Supporter

    Weird title but bear with me.
    Background: headaches and dizziness + recently anxiety

    I am learning a lot about myself and it's taken me a LONG time to accept that I have unresolved emotions contributing to my symptoms. I did not want to face the fact that I have many regrets, insecurities and guilt/sadness. I'm finally working on those emotions. I am very analytical/intellectual and truthfully do not want to spend time with myself, so I'm forever avoiding meditation, breathing etc. Anyway I'm working on that.

    One of my current hurdles is smoking/vaping. Again, something that I did not connect to my symptoms - if people without symptoms can smoke/vape and feel fine, why should I stop, right? That's just playing into it being something physical?

    But I'm seeing a real pattern - that I smoke/vape to relieve feelings of anxiety and emotion. It's not the same feeling as needing a cigarette like a normal smoker would. It's like I'm outsourcing my emotions to something else.

    I want to stop but it's a habit/compulsion/addiction that I find very very hard to stop. Probably because I don't know how to deal with the emotions myself.

    Not sure if I'm even asking a question or just thinking "out loud" but it's an interesting revelation to me.
  2. Miller

    Miller Peer Supporter

    Actually interested to hear from @Baseball65 as I have read a bit about addiction from you. Hope you don't mind the tag.
    Baseball65 likes this.
  3. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    No worries.

    I am always as honest as I can be at any given time.

    I smoke. A LOT. I began smoking when I was 14 years old and my friend died right by my side...went from occasionally smoking a few to 2 packs a day.
    Over my 54 years I have had problems with Opiates (Roxy, Heroin, Pills) Cocaine (enough to kill several touring funk bands) amphetamines, Hallucinogenics and the stray 'new' drugs that came down the pike. I know by admitting this online , since the internet is archived I am surrendering any possible career in politics. Glad that's over....

    Meanwhile. Yes, I smoke. I am a 'real' smoker but upon reading Your post, I don't think at the core my reasons for doing it are any different than the ones you've listed. Escape. I know it's an oral fixation... I also know that it's not WHAT I am smoking, it's the actual act.... I switched to the lightest/shortest cigarettes made when I discovered this (and feel a lot better in spite of Henry Waxman's theory that it's all the same)

    My father (who also had TMS) was an Ivy League 'patches on the elbows' intellectual 'classy' guy...and you can't find a picture without him holding his pipe! Oral fixation? Bad parenting? Oedipal conflict? Your guess is as good as mine. My whole family is smokers too, in an era when we are pariah's...

    I suppose the reason I qualified it with the horror story of Other addictions is harm-benefit ratio? Justification? I can still do everything I want to do physically ... I wish I could run a little faster, but I can still run...not that bad for a 54 year old Tasmanian devil. I can still go first to third on a single.
    I do know that I associate smoking with 'freedom' as far as "You can't tell me what the F to do"... You can only smoke in places where your out of doors, in your own space,etc. I have often thought our family motto should be "You can't tell me what to do, F You" ..... we disagree on politics, religion and everything else but on that one topic we are all the same...very American. Libertarian?

    But yeah... it's not Healthy and I am always moving towards less and lighter. I can go several hours without smoking, but left alone, I always do. I CAN tell you, it has nothing to do with my TMS unless I consider that If I quit I might be more prone...that's how you find out you need a crutch, right? By removing it?

    I have no answer, but I am 'guilty'.
    Lizzy likes this.
  4. Miller

    Miller Peer Supporter

    There was an answer in there for me actually.

    Realised I'm just looking for reasons why I can't get better... Yet again

    I.e. "I can't get better because I smoke and that's how I deal with my emotions... So I unless I stop smoking I'll never find healthy coping mechanisms therefore I'm fucked"

    Excuse my language but my brain is starting to get on my nerves with all these tricks

    I think Steve O said it was getting lost in the details of healing and picking apart the TMS approach. So I guess I'm guilty of that too.

    I dumped TMS healing after "trying" it (aka just reading and doing nothing about it) a couple years back. And now I'm here again!
  5. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I have always looked at "Healing Back Pain" Like a school text book .

    Right after the crescendo on page 82, it goes into Q's and A's and one of them is the really common "But I can't change _____(blank) "......"How am I ever gonna get better?"

    Being in another program where I have to regularly inspect my shortcomings, I can assure you they are manifold and durable. A lot of them have been slow in the going, BUT All I needed to get rid of the pain was the Three R's.
    Refute the diagnosis
    Re=educate myself
    Return to activity

    #2 there is the most important... because it kinda has 1 and 3 hidden it it. When I have any new deal, In that split second where I used to go "what the hell did I do Now?", I am now conditioned to go "What the Hell is bugging me Now?"

    that little change is the keystone to recovery, for as Sarno said, he doesn't treat pain which is a symptom, but rather the cause.

    I don't think anxiety is a cause of TMS. It is another symptom...I have seen people here worrying about diet, smoking, alcohol and sex .... just another trick of our mind to keep us from the real culprit. Repressed rage.

    I thought about your post yesterday. While I was sanding a monstrous ceiling and miserable... I actually didn't stop to smoke as often....just focused on how what I am doing SUCKS. Thank You. I also got a lot more done than I planned on....

    this is strange stuff
  6. andy64tms

    andy64tms Well known member

  7. Miller

    Miller Peer Supporter

    Interesting @andy64tms and @Baseball65

    I started smoking in my teens, "quit" 5 years ago in the sense that I replaced it with vaping

    Then recently someone offered me a cigarette and I was hooked again... so annoying

    @andy64tms Re. your points around the autonomic nervous system... I truly believe that I smoke to relieve emotional discomfort or as some kind of response to perceived stress

    I don't technically believe I can't recover from TMS because I smoke... but I do notice that where I reach for a cigarette, I could be dealing with my feelings in a more productive way. For example everything I've read suggests that anxiety really just needs to be left alone to resolve itself, but I keep "reacting" to it by smoking. Also any underlying emotional tension is also being responded to with smoking or vaping on many occasions

    Again, not saying this means I can't recover but I think it's hindering me a bit, as I'm not teaching my brain that it's safe... I'm teaching my brain to keep repressing and go smoke instead... maybe

    Plus the effect on my self-esteem every time I "let myself down" by smoking when I know I shouldn't...
  8. andy64tms

    andy64tms Well known member

    Miller, Baseball, for me smoking had EVERYTHING to do with TMS. This addiction was my lifeline. Later alcohol did the same thing for me. Any kind of substance that covers up deep repressed emotions, or even daily grinding unrepressed emotions, is a complete cover up or Dr Sarno’s “REPRESSION”.

    I am surprised that both of you smoke, for a person that is willing to look into their deep buried emotions would see that smoking is the response to the daily anxieties we all have to face, classic TMS.
  9. Miller

    Miller Peer Supporter

    I think that's my point - perhaps I'm not actually that willing to look at my deep buried emotions

    And @Baseball65 seems happy with the knowledge that his emotions caused him physical pain, which he no longer suffers, whether he smokes or not. So I guess he's happy with his outcome from TMS work? I can't speak for him obviously

    Personally I read a few times that smoking is not the cause of TMS so I discounted it as being a problem per se... Now I'm starting to understand it is a symptom/distraction of TMS it put things in a different light
  10. andy64tms

    andy64tms Well known member

    How about the other side of it? Baseball doesn’t seem to have conflict to remain a smoker. You seem to be in conflict though, with the statement:

    “Plus the effect on my self-esteem every time I "let myself down" by smoking when I know I shouldn't... "

    I know this feeling well as my section about only buying 10 cigs in the morning and 10 on the way home from work at night, who was I kidding? How many days, weeks and years did I kid myself? I let myself down every day, believing I would quit at work.

    Removing internal conflict of any kind is very difficult, you have to ask yourself over and over: Am I being honest with the person that really counts? – Yourself.

    Ref my section: "The Beginning of change" in my previously attached post.
  11. Miller

    Miller Peer Supporter

    Ugh @andy64tms it feels like the emotional/personality component of this gets more complicated by the day... Not sure I'll ever understand myself!

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