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Smoking as SI?


ehygon

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I recently quit(?) smoking, and ever since, I've been fantasizing about burning myself. Like, I'd be sitting in a car with my friend, trying not to pop down the cig lighter, because i'm so upset.

Thing is, it's not the first time it's happened. It came up many times when i fake-quit smoking. And looking back, I can see myself being kind of strange when it came to cancer sticks. Like, when I first started, I would chainsmoke 2-6 at a time, to the point where i'd get pukish and sick, but I  did it a lot. For those of you who can remember/ dont know, six cigarettes barely into the beginnings of the habit, is kind of a lot. I eventually got to the point where I'd smoke two or three an hour, and it stopped doing anything at all besides make me poor, so I quit.

Does this make sense to anyone but me?

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i think i would agree in a way.  a lot of it is all in your *intentions* i think.  I know that when i get the urge to cut, i will smoke to try and supress it or substitute.... i dont know.  maybe im not explaining myself well, but you do make sense to me....

~Ophelia~

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At first, i'd deliberately smoke two or three cigarettes at once,  to feel a rushing sickness and diziness that's out of my controll, i just wanted to abuse a substance as a form of self harm....Now...i'm addicted...and actually the only time i'm sick and dizzy is when i havn't had a cigarette.

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I can see smoking as SI, at least kind of.  God knows, I smoke plenty, and I love it and don't want to quit.

All the while though, since I'm diabetic, it's really smacking me hard--causing nerve damage and making me go blind (29 and already have cataracts).  One should so not smoke with my poor glucose control and having 22 years of diabetes under my belt.

So, I know I should stop.  But while I have to live with the consequnces daily, and i KNOW they would be mitigated and possibly even reversed, by quitting, I just soldier on.  Partly cuz I don't wanna quit, partly cuz I don't care most of the time.  And also a lot of the time I think "hey, anything that brings me closer to dying sooner".

Cigarettes--more than just an addiction!

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Hm. I have a similar experience with alcohol (or had; I hope I finally got over it). While my friends drank until they were sick, I realised I drank /in order/ to get sick, that I in some level longed for the nausea and vomiting and hang-over (which aggravated my depression wonders for me) and because I knew this was hurting me inside and probably leading me to a young, cirrhosis-tic death.

I do think we ought to treat the two kinds of self-destructive behaviour differently, though, the short-term and the long-term. Cutting yourself causes a variety of emotional reactions, but also an endorphine rush (and maybe also adrenaline?), which makes it potentially addictive. Long-term self-destructive behaviour will give you only the emotional reactions, which come to think of it are quite different ("longing for a slow suicide", "ostensive evidence of pain", etc., there is a lot that is specific for the short- or long- term self-harmful behaviours), plus maybe some other instant reaction of its own (inebriation, relaxation etc.). Both types are forms of self-injury, yes, but I'm surprised to see that to some people smoking (long-term) can replace burning (short-term). Very interesting.

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  • 1 year later...

Ophelia, I get what you mean, and agree.

Ehygon, I've got to say that I've never smoked my self sick on purpose, but for a long time was, I think, doing it partly as a 'long-slow-suicide' thing. I remember being caught smoking at school (boarding school, so more serious than being caught than at regular school) and getting this huge lecture about cancer, emphesyma etc etc etc and looking the staff member straight in the eye and saying "maybe I want to die". They didn't have an answer for that! ;) (You'd have thought that might have been a heads up to that I wasn't exactly in a healthy state of mind, by hey, that's not what they were paid for....)

Also, I do definately smoke more when my mood goes (either way), but I think that more of an 'I don't care' issue that accompanies mood shifts for me: I've only cut down as much as I have when euthymic because I've learnt to care about my health etc and think I should quit.

xx

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I see smoking as a form of self-medication, more than self-harm. Nicotine has been associated with dopamine levels (not sure of the mechanism. Haven't found the motivation to go looking. Will get to that eventually ;) ).

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