Smoking As Self-Medication

Self-Medicating With Smoking

One thing I have learned about myself in my journey to quit smoking is that I use it to self-medicate. I doubt I’m the only one who does so. For me I am self-medicating for panic attacks and an anxiety disorder. I’ve had those most of my life, but they started getting better when I started smoking. I started smoking when I was 12 years old. Not something I’m particularly proud of.

Since my Mom died in 2010, I’ve had a lot more panic attacks and over-all anxiety than normal. This means I’ve reached for my fail safe far more often. Quitting smoking is hard enough, stressful enough, by itself. With the added stress of my finances crumbling, the strain of my Mom’s passing, and what seemed like months of Murphy’s Law being in effect…it’s become almost impossible. But I’m still trying. I don’t always get very far, a few days, a few weeks, even a few months at one point…then the panic sets in hard core. I try to ignore it, try to move past it, but I keep failing.

It’s not because I don’t want to quit smoking. Oh I do very much. But I haven’t the habits in place to replace smoking yet. The usual methods aren’t working, and my doctor and I are working on my meds, but sometimes I feel stuck in a never ending cycle. I hate smoking, but I haven’t figured out another method of dealing with the panic yet. It’s a cycle of testing out different methods, hoping that one day I will hit the nail on the head and finally be done.

Why do you smoke? What roadblocks have you hit?
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