Desperate Addicts Parade: Have You Ever...

humble live
Joined: 12 Jan 2009, 23:24

16 Mar 2008, 21:33 #241

Just the other day I walked to a bus stop and stared at a whole cigarette lying on the ground. The addict in me was tempted to pick it up and smoke the dirty thing until I snapped the elastic band on my wrist which brought me back to the land of the living. Note: Lying beside the cigarette was a wrapper from Nicorette Gum. Go figure.
I have been quit for 1 Week, 3 Days, 21 hours, 2 minutes and 1 second (10 days). I have saved $114.20 by not smoking 380 cigarettes. I have saved 1 Day, 7 hours and 40 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 3/5/2008 12:30 PM

John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

16 Mar 2008, 22:48 #242

On Feb. 11th I completed presenting 63 cessation seminars in 28 S.C. prisons and much of what I heard from both inmates and staff belongs in this thread. These prisons had made all tobacco illegal and in maximum security prisons (what's called Level 3) the price for a single cigarette was usually near $8 dollars. At my first female prison I shared the $8 figure and one lady afterwards claimed that she was paid $40 for a single cigarette while boasting, "and her parents put the money in my account!"
At my very first prison the warden said that inmates were caught trading illegal drugs for tobacco, something he thought he'd never in his lifetime see. Inmates at lower level prisons doing roadside cleanup were often caught trying to get the butts inside. I used this in later presentations by asking inmates to reflect on what animal may have urinated upon them first. An ice breaker, it usually brought a laugh. Needless to say that Bibles were disappearing at an alarming rate as the thin paper was used to hand roll cigarettes.
At a number of prisons I heard reports of inmates selling themselves for cigarettes. At every prison there were stories that once the new policy went into effect that inmates were caught experimenting with smoking tea or coffee, but no story where any inmate did so twice.
One thing that really crystalized in my mind is just how similar tobacco becomes to other drugs of addiction once declared illegal. With a prison retail per price of nearly $1,600 per carton (10 packs x 20 cigarettes each x $8), which was usually heavily discounted if purchased by the pack, we saw a number of correctional officers and other staff members lose their jobs for getting caught attempting to supplement their modest wages by selling cigarettes.
At one prison they were flying remote controlled airplanes and helicopters and dropping cigarettes like bombs into prison yards. One warden took me into his office and showed a number of cards and letters received that very day that had attempted to bring into the prison loose tobacco that appeared to have been dumped into each. Out of 28 prisons, while nearly all x-rayed my shoes only two had me turn all my pockets inside out.
Initially I was a bit concerned about the fact that most of the prisons were scheduling seminars AFTER the policy went into effect but Joel was correct (as always) in seeing this as a positive not a negative. He assured me that many would be living in perpetual relapse and would value what they'd hear.
But I promise you, never once did I feel superior to what I was hearing as I did some rather horrible things during my 30 years in order to produce that next fix. They are things I'd rather not remember like going underwater on an FBM patrol with no cigarettes or money in order to force myself to quit and then spending the entire patrol living out of ashtrays or begging. How much lower can a man get than that? Still just one rule ... no nicotine today!
John (Gold x8)
Last edited by John (Gold) on 19 Apr 2009, 05:06, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:06

01 Apr 2008, 00:20 #243

Oh Bob, this is a great one! As I am still fairly new here, I hope that this goes somewhere near the top of the list of threads.... I experience a wide range of feelings and emotions reading through these.... Laughter, sadness, fear, anger, disgust, embarrasmment, and the list goes on. Truly, this should be read by all. Because we have all done that....
Loved it and thanks for the reminder of how desperate we were as addicts. Just for thought, here is my: Have you ever....

Have you ever twisted and turned in your car (parked in a small space where you can't really get out to actually see), trying to reach under seats hoping that you will find that one cigarette that will give you your fix until you get to the store? I have. I strained a muscle in my neck by the way, reaching under there and the smoke was about 5 weeks old. It was partially broken. But I smoked it. I smoked it with my finger on the broken part, trying to mend it somehow, as I puffed away. And the feeling of touching it under the seat was like... AH! relief... I knew I would find one somewhere under there!

WOW... That was then... This is now. I am 29 days nicotine free and I feel amazing!

Sal GOLD.ffn
Joined: 16 Jan 2003, 08:00

17 Apr 2008, 06:47 #244

Have you ever had your child reach up to hold your hand and instead get burned by the cigarette you were holding?

She still remembers it...Image

Now I have a grandchild who will never have that happen when she reaches up to hold my hand. Image

Gold x 5 and savoring my freedom

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:05

06 May 2008, 19:02 #245

Have you ever tried to time your nicotine fixes at 90 minutes before your infant would be wanting to breastfeed, telling yourself that that way, most of the nicotine would be gone from your body? Of course, you conveniently overlooked the fact that because your infant was also used to getting nicotine, she would start crying well ahead of her "scheduled" fix via mother's milk? Who were you fooling?

Did you ever look at a pregnant woman smoking and think "that's horrible, when I get pregnant, I'll quit". And then you did get pregnant, but didn't quit? Twice?

Did you ever convince yourself you no longer liked or loved someone because you could not smoke around that person without drowning in shame?

Did you ever prefer to be with people only because you could smoke - but you had to convince yourself you actually prefered their company to that of non-smokers - otherwise none of it made any sense? Mmmm, junkie thinking...

Did you ever just miss out on so many good times with people you love because you wanted to be able to smoke?

Did you ever notice there is no end to the "did you ever's"? I've done all that I've written, and probably 99% of what has been written by other posters here, because I've been addicted to nicotine for the past 20 years.


An excellent thread for driving home the point on what addiction will make you do. Recommended reading from start to finish.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:44

07 May 2008, 07:51 #246

I was struck by the statement that "addiction made me do it." Inevitably WE all make our OWN choices, good or bad. If addiction had the hold we think/thought it does, then nobody would have ever quit doing whatever it is they were dependent upon. Addiction didn't make me do anything. It may be that addicts act in stupid ways, do desperate things, etc., but I take full responsibility for my actions, for my own stupidity. "Did you ever say" my addiction MADE me do it, as if it was holding a gun your head. Blaming "addiction" for our problems doesn't help one bit, at least for me, except it rationalizes our behavior, explains it away, excuses it: when we say "addiction made me do it" we displace responsibility onto some anthropomorphized phenomonon. Addicts do the doing. I did it in part because I was addicted, but it doesn't explain it all--it doesn't explain how so many people are able to stop doing it. I can stop it. That's what I think about it. Maybe I'm wrong?


Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:06

19 Jul 2008, 01:36 #247

this is an amazing and powerful thread. I just read through it all from start to finish.

Here goes...

Have you ever been told by your doc that you HAVE to quit smoking to address your breathing problems, sheepishly agreed, got up and got into your car, and had one lit by the time you put it in drive?
I have, I'm an addict.

Have you ever, and in fact countless times, used your asthma inhaler so that you could breathe well enough to finish that cigarette and 'enjoy' it without choking too badly on your chronic and phlegmy cough?
I have, I'm an addict.

Have you ever visited your father, who is on oxygen and can barely walk from one room to another without gasping for air, so that it breaks your heart every time you see him, and excused yourself to go outside and sit on the back porch in the dark and the cold so you could **** down a couple of cigarettes? All the while knowing, somewhere deep inside you, that it hurt him so to have to witness that?
I have, I'm an addict.

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with your breathing problems, and felt like you were getting only about 10% of the air you should be able to get, and, after laying there in the dark for awhile, still breathing so shallowly, decided that you couldn't sleep afterall, so why not get up and go out to the front room and have a smoke?
I have, I'm an addict.

Have you ever, all you women out there, gone out so late at night and in such dicey neighborhoods, that your heart beat so loudly you could hear it in your ears, and your eyes scanned the surroundings continually, on hyper-HIGH alert for predators, with the adrenaline pumping through you so strongly you felt the pressure of it in your head, and placed yourself at very real risk for sexual assault, so that you could achieve that all- important end, that vital need, to buy a pack of smokes to see you through until the dawn?
I have, I'm an addict.

All this and more! Butts from the garbage!!! Cigarettes drying in the oven!!!! Nabbing a long butt from a public ashtray!!! (and that still makes me sick to my stomach) Bumming from anyone - offering them a dollar for one "because you see I'm trying to quit!"

Lying to myself. Lying to the ones who love me. Hurting my little kitties with the second hand smoke (so ashamed of that, so very ashamed...)

Ohhhh man.

And now, soooo thankful to have found this site and all of you, and this philosophy, and Joel's videos...soooo thankful to be here at day 22 and strong in my resolve, despite any discomfort or curveball, to stay true to my quit. No excuses now, no addictive thinking to worm its way in to rationalize putting myself at risk any further than I already have.

NTAP, my choice! My joyful, difficult, life-giving choice! And not alone in that but here, joined with all of you!
pat, swimming now, getting near to green, at day 22.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:01

19 Jul 2008, 02:46 #248

Have you ever.......................smoked 5 mins after your wife delivered..... I have.....I am an addict.

Free and Healing for 14 Days, 21 Hours and 50 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 1 Day, by avoiding the use of 298 nicotine delivery devices.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

06 Sep 2008, 03:46 #249

So many disgusting things people have done all in the name of a smoke! Here goes...

Have you ever felt horribly guilty because your parents moved from Los Angeles to Miami when you were 13 because you almost died from asthma complications...and then you decide to smoke 10 years later?
I have, I'm an addict, and it will never happen again!

Have you ever had to stand outside in the middle of the night (after going out) and wipe down the driver-side door & windows of your car to make sure no one sees all of the ashes on the side of your car?
I have, I'm an addict, and it will never happen again!

Have you ever made your dad cry because you didn't know your parents were at your front door and your boyfriend couldn't warn you before they saw you?
I have, I'm an addict, and it will never happen again!

Have you ever sat in your car and felt sick from all the Ozium you had to spray in your car (while you were still in it!) because someone was about to get in your car who you didn't want to know you smoked?
I have, I'm an addict, and it will never happen again!

Have you ever embarrassingly offered a stranger $1+ for a cigarette?
I have, I'm an addict, and it will never happen again!

Have you ever felt a weird pain on your back, become paranoid that its the start of lung cancer, looked up on the internet to see exactly where your lungs are, and then still had a cigarette when you discover that your lungs aren't in that one spot?
I have, I'm an addict, and it will never happen again!


Rochelle - Free from smoking for 5 Months, 26 Days, 18 Hours and 40 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 12 Days and 11 Hours, by avoiding the use of 3596 nicotine cancer sticks that would have cost me $724.45 and my life.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

06 Sep 2008, 22:26 #250

I do love this thread!!

Have you ever..Visited a non-smoking relative, went outside in the middle of the night to smoke and locked yourself out?
I have, I am an addict.

Have you ever..Held a cigarette behind your back for a picture?
I have, I am an addict.

Have you ever..Smoked in your house with your baby sleeping in the next room?
I have, I am an addict.

Have you ever..Picked an area in a grandstand by where the smokers were instead of where you could see the best?
I have, I am an addict.

Have you ever..Wrapped your head in a towel and changed your clothes on a lunch break just to smoke a cigarette?
I have, I am an addict.

Have you ever.. Accidently dropped your cigarette pack in water and lined them up to dry them out?
I have, I am an addict.

Have you ever.. Lit a cigarette off an electric stove?
I have, I am an addict.

Have you ever..Fired up the wrong end, cut it off and smoked the cigarette later?
I have, I am an addict.

And the number one stupid thing I did..
I stopped on the way to the hospital when I thought I was having a heart attack to buy nicotine gum because I knew I was going to be there a while.

Today is a nicotine free day for me. I have become alot smarter without that nicotine in my system!!!!

Ann - Free and Healing for One Month, Twenty One Days and 25 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 3 Days and 14 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1040 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $242.40.