Chapter Writing: How can one recover from addictive behaviour

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[. . .] The plan for the night is to watch NFL games Sunday as my friends come over for dinner. Cognac sand cigars are part of the dinner deal. A friend brings up my mentor and I find it hard to hold back the tears and depression that I have been dealing on my own with due to his death. he was a big part of my life and his absence has left me somewhat unwillingly independent. once the maitches are over. We head out to a night club and I smoke more cigars as well as consume alcoholic drinks. My life on a general scale seems to be moving up when I tend to smoke more as I apply maire positive and calm outlook on the decision I have to make. However Sunday is always a bittersweet day as I know I can party all day but then reality checks in as inhale to return to work on monday. That brings me down as I have to return to a job that could very well make me feel like throwing up if I let it. That is how much I hate my job. Like I have mentioned earlier, smoking is something I do for pleasure. I am in high spirits as I have a break from work today. I describe pleasure as a feeling of fulfilment, and a source of happiness and contentment. Wanting implies experiencing a powerful urge, needing something, or suffering if one cannot access something. Tobacco manufacturers and sellers are well aware of how pleasure may be confused for craving. Pleasure marketing has been widely adopted, and it unconsciously and continuously assaults our subconscious. Pleasure marketing’s deliberate substitution of happiness for need is very effective, which is why it is resorted to by many. Pleasure rationalization gets one completely involved in dopamine-induced joy and relaxation, entirely neglecting the preceding anxiety, craving, and impulse. I am a real drug addict in this respect. This is, after all, not regarding pleasure; rather, it is our brain’s survival instincts which deliver false lessons one after the other after nicotine activation.

Daily Log: Resumed Behavior, day 8 - 10/16

I feel relaxed and calm as I light up my cigar before driving out of the teachers parking lot. Smoking not only relaxes me but it also puts me in a better mood working as a teacher which is not something I like to do. Football is my favourite support to watch as I eat dinner. Hence I head out to a restaurant for dinner and enjoy a bit of Monday night football. I then head out to the cigar club to watch the reminder of the match again. I smoke a total of 4 cigars and drink 6 alcoholic drinks. I hate Mondays as it forces me to go back to a job that I despise and it leaves me consuming more.alcohol and indulging in more smoking this day then any other day of the work week. My mentor dying leaves me wanting distractions as well so that I don't fall into depression. There are people called emotional smokers, these people smoke majorly when sad. So, I managed to keep smoking limited for a while and then my mentor suddenly died. It is perfectly normal that I’ll feel the urge to smoke. That would have been my action previously; smoke and mourn. The level of success a person is going to achieve in managing his smoking habits is majorly dependent on the kind of attitude they create towards cigars. Here, it is clear that I don’t completely understand how badly smoking affects my health and that of those close to me. Any small trigger will make me depend on my “friend” immediately.

Daily Log: Resumed Behavior, day 9 - 10/17

Nicotine is a powerful drug. It gets past the blood-brain gate and interferes with the dopamine pathways. After several years of smoking, these pathways become permanently changed. Simply put, smoking actually changes brain structure. A few years of smoking programs the brain to react to nicotine. Just thought about the sheer number of cigars I have smoked relentlessly; my brain is definitely well trained. The most serious smoking trigger was inside the car. I’d leave work or school and while in the car on the way home, I’d smoke a cigar just to pass the time; it's like a routine now for me to drive away from work and smoke a cigar as I do so. It helps me control my smoking habits to have a routine. I hate my job and feel like if I can control this aspect of my life at least, theen I can manage whatever comes my way at work. I make my dinner for the night and setup up to watch football. After I finish dinner I notice the time is close to 10pm. So I head out to the patio to unwind a couple of drinks and smoke 2 cigars as well. I think about my mentor's death and realize not a day goes by when I don't think about him. I have to admit that his death has left a gaping hole in my soul as I try to fight falling into depression. Deep down within me, I know smoking isn’t healthy and good and I shouldn’t be indulging in it, but still I am doing it. Even though I am fully aware of the social and health effects of smoking, I clearly got overwhelmed by a society which promotes the habit and even encourages increased consumption. Whenever I’m in the pub, I could easily enter any venue at this moment and get my specially designated smoking corner. I have a …. smoking group thus we can easily find ourselves within the smoking corner and it’s that moment that it turns into a general and acceptable thing, you know …. send a few sticks down to welcome the weekend. Social influences on smoking could either decrease or increase the habit and it’s dependent on if the person walks with smokers or nonsmokers. Having nonsmokers around, as well as the general view of smoking as a socially unwanted act, caused several participants to find themselves in social settings which discouraged the habit, leading to lower smoking frequency (Burton, Hoek, Nesbit & Khan, 2015). It is generally known that several smokers see tobacco intake as unhealthy and often reveal their desire to lower or completely stop its use. Almost 35 million of them desire to quit every year. Sadly, over 85% of these people who make efforts to quit fall back to it, commonly within just a week. I wanting to limit the us1e of cigars find it hard due to the simple fact that my job dissatisfies me and I feel depressed about losing my mentor suddenly and at a very young age.

Daily Log: Resumed Behavior, day 10 - 10/18

It's been a really rough couple of days at work and I smoke a cigar on my way out of the teacher parking lot in order to unwind a little. I feel a bit distrought emotionally and mentally so smoking helps me calm down and let go of the stress. I have dinner and watch football as I eat at my regular restuarant. Memphis is playing vs. Houston today and it seems to be a good game. I went to the cigar bar once I finished dinner and deal with my regular waiter. I end up ordering 6 alcoholic drinks and smoking 4 cigars. I contemplate the impact my mentor had on my life and dealing with the death of my mentor is not easy as I feel helpless and depressed in his absence. Although I could go for a while without smoking; whenever I'm on vacation or some old friends are around, I could consume a whole pack. Smoking remains a small habit that I do from time to time. Social drinking is commonly compared with social smoking, i.e. the regular weekend drinker is to the alcoholic what the social smoker is to the addicted smoker. Studies of stress and smoking have indicated that rather than aiding relaxation, smoking actually raises tension and anxiety. Nicotine causes an instant feeling of relaxation which makes people believe that it causes anxiety and stress. This relaxed feeling remains for only a short time and then engenders more pressing cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Smoking lowers nicotine withdrawal symptoms, which bears certain similarities to anxiety symptoms; however, it doesn’t reduce anxiety or tackle its basic causes.

Daily Log: Resumed Behavior, day 11 - 10/19

I walk towards my car with my cigar in my mouth and drive out of the teacher parking lot. Being dissatisfied at my work forces me to look for satisfaction elsewhere and smoking gives me that satisfaction in more ways than I can express. I eat dinner and watch the Thursday night football. There is another good game on and I decide to go to the cigar bar to finished watching… [END OF PREVIEW]

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