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I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts on how they have dealt with addictions. I’m a smoker and drinker. I find it very hard to avoid both. I know smoking is bad but feel it helps me calm. The drinking is worse in my cause I use it to become numb to feelings and numb myself when overwhelmed but I usually just spiral out of control when I drink and become more depressed and suicidal then I already am. 

any tips would be appreciated.  

I am safe 

look forward to hearing some input.

2 Replies 2

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi chaoswalking


From my own experience, I've found smoking and drinking to be 2 extremely different addictions. While I now drink far far less than I used to (maybe once or twice a year), I'm still a cigarette smoker who struggles to kick the addiction/habit.


I drank largely for emotional regulation and stopped drinking because I came out of long term depression. It was my brain that suddenly kinda dictated in a number of ways 'No drink for you anymore'. This happened when I was 35. Between then and now (as a 53yo gal), I've had to find a lot of different ways to manage emotions, especially when experiencing periods in depression. So, it's been 18 years or so of learning a lot about myself and feelings. When I say 'feelings', what I mean is how to get a better feel for things, including the depressing stuff. While I used to drink to not feel what challenges me, now I don't drink so I can feel what challenges me. It's about feeling my way through and out the other side of a depressing or potentially depressing challenge in life. Of course, not easy to do at times and I rely on help from others on occasion. The thing I also found with not drinking is it allows positive inner dialogue to come to mind at times. While drinking, all the dialogue was depressing which meant there was no inner dialogue to lead me out of depression (none that I was conscious of anyhow). I think that's the key thing with drinking, it alters our level of consciousness. At rock bottom in depression and while drinking, there'd be no inner dialogue that sounded like 'You need to reach out to someone, now' or 'You're managing the best you can under torturous circumstances, you need to be much kinder to yourself', It would be more so 'You're never going to get better. You'll be like this for the rest of your life. You're a waste of space...' and on and on it would go. As far as inner demons go (such as 'the harsh and brutal depressing inner critic'), they don't call alcohol 'the demon drink' for nothing. It can be powerful fuel for the darker parts of us.


While pretty colourful alluring bottles of many different flavours line bottle shop shelves (something the government doesn't see a problem with), let's talk about the ugly olive green packs with horrific warnings. Gee, I sound like a smoker, hey 😊. Personally, I try to manage smoking based on time. While my ultimate goal is to stop smoking altogether, smoking less can be a start. If I have or give myself less time to smoke, I smoke less. I've had plenty of doctors say 'You need to give up' but only one offered relatable words of wisdom to work with, 'Ten cigarettes a day is feeding an addiction, so that you don't feel withdrawal. More than 10 is simply giving into bad habits'. While some folk quit cold turkey, some reduce the habit down to managing the cravings while giving up. Others find what works for them. So, there's no 'one size fits all', it's simply about what works and becoming more conscious of the triggers for smoking. One of those triggers can definitely relate to inner dialogue, such as with 'One more can't hurt'. Of course, one more tips the scales into serious disease. The question becomes 'Which one will it be?'. With one of my inner demons being 'the smoker' in me, what comes to mind at times is 'Don't worry, it won't be this one'. They're shifty little buggers, those inner demons 😁.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Chaoswalking~~

Welcome, I like the name!


Sometimes, in fact very often, logic does not really come into it, neither does expense or harm to oneself. It may take osmething outside oneself to make things happen.


As an example I smoked very heavily since I was a kid, and by the time I got to fifty though it was part of me, used in all sorts of situations including calming myself and there no way I could give it up.


Then I remarried to someone whose husband had dies of lung cancer, having been a smoker himself. Although she never said a word every time I coughed (which was quite a lot) her face wold turn white.


I could tell what she was thinking, that history would repeat itself and the one she loved would go the same way. So I stopped. If it had just been me I would not have persevered, but the fact that going back to smoking would have sentenced my partner to a life full of fear again was enough to make me determined to stay quit.


Incidentally anger helped too, as I said I was a kid whne I started, sucked in by the ads and movies htat made smoking seem cool and I rightly blamed the big tobacco corporations.


I hope you can find something outside you that help in the same way.


Although I get suicidal thoughts at times I don't have the same habit of drinking, using medication and the Beyond Now smartphone smartness app, it suits sits me and my circumstances


If you felt like saying how you were getting on or how you feel that would be welcome.