New bad habits

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Layne
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Re: New bad habits

Post by Layne » Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:10 pm

Has anyone else experienced re emerging bad habits following stopping drinking?
Prior to working the 12 steps, oh yeah! I was still hard wired for bad habits. Working the 12 steps changed my thinking processes. With the change in thinking, I was able to start dropping bad habits by the wayside and became more aware and selective in new emerging behaviors. I am far from perfect, but I am far from what I was. :~)

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Re: New bad habits

Post by Theo50 » Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:14 am

Brock wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 2:11 pm
...I see the same stress relieving, euphoric expressions on all the AA members as I had cracking open a cold beer, when they light up a cigarette at the end of a meeting.
As a smoker for about fifty years, I am pretty sure the euphoric expression is only because they know that the craving for a cigarette will now end. Maybe the same as cracking open a beer, but with the beer, at least I knew a comforting relaxed feeling would be coming my way about six beers later. Not so with the cigarette, the first puff which satisfies the craving is as good as it gets.

Of course the beers led to major problems, and the cigarettes might also, I only stopped when I got throat cancer. Only those who have really ‘got’ what this program offers, will understand and believe, that the comforting relaxed feeling is possible while breathing in just air.
Are you stating that cigarette smoking doesn't cause a mind altering effect. I was under the impression that smokers will get a stress relieving feeling. I have quite often heard the same "I need a cigarette" as "I need a drink" after a stressful event.

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Brock
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Re: New bad habits

Post by Brock » Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:57 am

My experience and belief, is that they ‘need a cigarette’ to relieve the withdrawal symptoms. Here is part of an article from a reputable site (mentalhealth.uk), underlined are the points I am making -
The biological factors involved in smoking relate to how the brain responds to nicotine. When a person smokes, a dose of nicotine reaches the brain within about ten seconds. At first, nicotine improves mood and concentration, decreases anger and stress, relaxes muscles and reduces appetite.
Regular doses of nicotine lead to changes in the brain, which then lead to nicotine withdrawal symptoms when the supply of nicotine decreases. Smoking temporarily reduces these withdrawal symptoms and can therefore reinforce the habit.


Smoking and anxiety
Research into smoking and stress has shown that instead of helping people to relax, smoking actually increases anxiety and tension. Nicotine creates an immediate sense of relaxation so people smoke in the belief that it reduces stress and anxiety. This feeling of relaxation is temporary and soon gives way to withdrawal symptoms and increased cravings.
Smoking reduces nicotine withdrawal symptoms, which are similar to the symptoms of anxiety, but it does not reduce anxiety or deal with the underlying causes.
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Re: New bad habits

Post by Theo50 » Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:34 pm

From that information, it would indeed validate the initial expressions I see on the faces of AA's.

"When a person smokes, a dose of nicotine reaches the brain within about ten seconds. At first, nicotine improves mood and concentration, decreases anger and stress, relaxes muscles and reduces appetite."

"Nicotine creates an immediate sense of relaxation...."

Doesn't this also validate that nicotine is indeed a mind altering drug?

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Re: New bad habits

Post by Layne » Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:16 am

Doesn't this also validate that nicotine is indeed a mind altering drug?
If it does...what then? Doesn't really impact my recovery in a positive manner either way, so pondering it is not a good use of my time. Not only that but the word "drug" is a semantical rabbit hole that I choose not to go down.

Lots of things can be mind altering. Watching a small child play is mind altering for me. I find that it improves my mood and concentration, decreases any level of anger and stress that I might be experiencing, and relaxes muscles usually resulting in a smile.

Mindfullness meditation also has mind altering benefits and the changes show to be of a more permanent nature to the brain. There is a great article on it that appears in Scientific American. Googling "What Does Mindfulness Meditation Do to Your Brain?" could possibly bring it up.

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Re: New bad habits

Post by Theo50 » Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:31 am

Layne wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:16 am
Doesn't this also validate that nicotine is indeed a mind altering drug?
If it does...what then? Doesn't really impact my recovery in a positive manner either way, so pondering it is not a good use of my time. Not only that but the word "drug" is a semantical rabbit hole that I choose not to go down.

Lots of things can be mind altering. Watching a small child play is mind altering for me. I find that it improves my mood and concentration, decreases any level of anger and stress that I might be experiencing, and relaxes muscles usually resulting in a smile.

Mindfullness meditation also has mind altering benefits and the changes show to be of a more permanent nature to the brain. There is a great article on it that appears in Scientific American. Googling "What Does Mindfulness Meditation Do to Your Brain?" could possibly bring it up.
Sorry, I don't want to cause any resentments :) Just asking a simple question.
I have read several threads here on e-AA, on nicotine and there appears to be conflicting views on whether it relates to ones sobriety date. I often hear AAs in meetings state that "I have not had the need to have a drink, or another "mind-altering" drug" when the are sharing.

I take medication for my anxiety and there are plenty of conflicting views on medications as well. With the trend toward legalization of marijuana in New England, I wonder where "medical" marijuana will fit in. I know it can also be utilized as an effective anxiety medication and I don't know where AA lies on this. I will be switching to a new doctor to discuss my medication as it does not seems to working effectively and I have been taking it for over a decade. I want to be honest with my new doctors/ therapists but also need to be honest with myself and my AA program.

Again, relating back to smoking cigarettes, I was attempting to find out if they do have the calming effect they appear to have and if I did start smoking, how it would effect my AA program. I am also not a social person and I have witnessed the huge social bonding that is related to cigarette smokers. As a non-smoker, it is another group that I am not "part" of.

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Re: New bad habits

Post by Layne » Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:39 am

Sorry, I don't want to cause any resentments :) Just asking a simple question.
No resentments here, quite the opposite. That is the tricky part about sharing electronically, no body language or voice inflections to pick up on. I will possibly reply with more later but I have to run for now because I am going to a AA meeting.

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Re: New bad habits

Post by PaigeB » Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:03 pm

Theo50 wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:31 am
I often hear AAs in meetings state that "I have not had the need to have a drink, or another "mind-altering" drug" when the are sharing.
That is their story. Not my story. I am 100% alcoholic. I am an ex-smoker who now takes nicotine via vape pen. I am a chronic pain patient who finds it necessary, at times, to take pain meds. My sponsor knows. A few of my AA friends know. Of course my doctor knows. ALL of them have said something to the effect of "Well, if you become addicted to pain meds, or think you might be, we will cross that bridge when we get there. That was 10 years ago.

As for the nicotine, I told my friends and sponsor about my quit date. My sponsor said, "If it come to picking up a drink or picking up a cigarette - pick up the cigarette."

We all know that IF I DRINK I will be all in on everything mind altering - including allowing my mind to be my master again - second of course, to King Alcohol.
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Re: New bad habits

Post by Mike O » Sat Feb 01, 2020 3:20 am

Theo50 wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:31 am

I have read several threads here on e-AA, on nicotine and there appears to be conflicting views on whether it relates to ones sobriety date.
Smoke away, if that’s what you want to do. I,personally, don’t reccommend it as it will probably kill ya or make you ill eventually. However, it has no bearing AT ALL on your A.A. way of life or on whether or not you are sober.
😁

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Re: New bad habits

Post by Wanderingdave » Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:40 pm

Layne wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:10 pm
Has anyone else experienced re emerging bad habits following stopping drinking?
Prior to working the 12 steps, oh yeah! I was still hard wired for bad habits. Working the 12 steps changed my thinking processes. With the change in thinking, I was able to start dropping bad habits by the wayside and became more aware and selective in new emerging behaviors. I am far from perfect, but I am far from what I was. :~)
Ditto for me. Taking the twelve steps in order with a sponsor changed me from the inside out. I have a new freedom and a new happiness, just like the big book promises, because I followed the directions. I have lapses with things like eating and laziness, but they are short lived and serve to get me back to the fundamentals of AA.

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