Vaporizing the Vape



I seem to give up my addiction to nicotine on holidays. Last year, I gave up smoking on St. Patrick’s Day. This year I gave up vaping on President’s Day. Neither one was intentional, it just turned out that way.


Since I had started smoking again this summer, after a brief hiatus of not smoking, I picked up vaping as well. I was a combo smoker. I still enjoyed a cigarette but I vaped, too. Pretty soon, I ditched the cigarettes and stuck to the vaping. 


Vaping was clearly a superior product. It didn’t stink. You could do it anywhere. You didn’t have to be secluded to do it, except in homes of people who were not accepting and in front of children. In my own home, I was no longer sequestered to the garage to smoke. I didn’t have to pause the television to take a break. I could vape and watch an entire show. 


I could vape in my truck. I could vape in my bed. I could vape anywhere without there being an issue. I was addicted. I needed to vape more and more. I needed nicotine in my system in a steady stream. 


I’m stopping the vaping because I am having surgery and I need to be nicotine free. I’m also stopping because I know it’s not good for me. 


Months ago, the smoke shop told me they were no longer going to be selling my favorite flavor of pods for the JUUL. I bought $200 worth of pods. It has lasted me over three months and I still have at least a month’s supply. I was going to wait until I vaped the last of my pods.


A few weeks ago, I bought nicotine patches on Amazon. When they arrived, I put it on the counter in my bathroom and took a deep puff of my JUUL. 


Now, almost a week into using the patch, I have to say the first and fifth day was the worst. Breaking the habit of doing things. I think the habits with the JUUL were harder to break than with a cigarette because you take the JUUL with you everywhere and do it everywhere. Smoking is contained in a section. It’s dirty and secretive. Vaping is fun and smells good. 


They say the one pod equals one pack of cigarettes so I thought I was getting a lot more nicotine than I was when I was smoking. I went with full strength patches. THAT WAS A MISTAKE! I was sick and had wild, more so that usual, dreams. I didn’t sleep well. I didn’t put it all together that it was the patch, so of course, dummy me put another one on. 


The next day at school, I had an upset stomach and trouble concentrating. I finally put two and two together and took the patch off.


I have been trying to go longer and longer without using the patch and against the rules, I have cut the patch slowly. 


All seems to be working out. I am not sleeping with the patch and I am sleeping better. I take it off before I leave school and I don’t put it on until I get to school. I made it until about one today before I had a craving and put a patch on. I’ll take it off later today and we will see how it goes.


Mentally, I’m in a good place. My concern was the last time I quit smoking I ran into issues with self-harm. I haven’t self-harmed in six months. I’ve had the desire in the last six months but found alternatives to the behavior. I waited for it to pass. 


I am concerned once the nicotine is completely gone, that I will go back to self-harming myself for a bit of release. I can only be aware of my behavior and seek alternative methods. 


For now, I’m titrating down off the nicotine. It’s been easier to come off the vaping nicotine than to come off the cigarette nicotine after a week. But the first day was the toughest.


Who knows what will happen? Changes need to happen. I’m taking one step forward, one day at a time.

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