December 6, 2022
It is often complicated to understand what a person struggling with an addiction is going through. It's an uphill battle, littered with obstacles, but that makes the victory even more beautiful! These people who fight in the shadows are heroes and inspirations for others. This is the case of Clem (it is a pseudo), who testifies to his arduous journey, a quest for freedom that shows us that we must always persevere.
The genesis of an addiction: "I grew up with cigarettes in the background"
I grew up in a small suburban town with cigarettes in the background. My parents, aunts, and uncles smoked, so I was never far from cigarettes. As a child, I was called upon after family barbecues to pick up the countless cigarette butts littering the garden. However, I have never been attracted by that, and like many, I did not spontaneously put nicotine in my body. For my part, I needed the "help" of a friend, who himself had received "help" from a friend to enter the hell of smoking.
When I was 17, my friend asked me to join him and his friends at the carnival. It was a great day, and we wanted to mark the occasion. So we shared a joint, then two. I laughed a lot that night and coughed too. The taste was vile, and the smoke was tearing my throat out, but I had my friends with me, and it became our ritual. After that, we smoked joints whenever we saw each other, and we indeed saw each other often. That was the genesis of an addiction.
My story is similar to that of many suburban youths. Before cigarettes, I started with cannabis and then cigarettes to compensate for the absence of cannabis.
The descent into hell: "I used to chain cigarettes to the point where I didn't even realize I was rolling one anymore"
As a young man, I smoked what we call rolled cigarettes during the day and rolled tobacco joints in the evening. Before I quit smoking, I smoked between eight and ten cigarettes daily. But during parties with my friends, I smoked like a chimney. I would chain the cigarettes to the point of not realizing I was rolling one continuously. I quickly knew that this tobacco addiction would destroy me.
Cannabis, over the years, ended up changing its nature. The drug that made me laugh so much suddenly changed its effect and started to make me anxious. I would regularly have anxiety attacks that I couldn't name. The slightest outing cost me a titanic mental effort, a fight against myself. And after a while, my grades started to suffer.
Smoking prevented me from playing sports because I was so thin. I would cough up my lungs every morning when I woke up. I remember when I would light up a cigarette as soon as I woke up. It was so vile! It made me nauseous when I think back to all those mornings that began with the desire to vomit, cough, and that foul taste in the mouth! Terrible things you can do to yourself for years.
I ended up with blue lips and sometimes painful gums, then my teeth started to hurt, my weight, despite my failed attempts at sports, did not exceed 56 kg, and my wallet was at half-mast... it was time to act.
The struggle to break his chains: "I started meditating and taking cold showers"
I stopped smoking for the first time at 24 after seven years of smoking and was a big failure in my university career. I had decided on the testimony of a friend who had also embarked on a fight for freedom because I, too, wanted to break my chains. Of course, my failures and the desire to do something to regain my self-esteem were the first motivations. So I bought Allen Car's book "Freeing Yourself from Cigarettes" I started meditating and taking cold showers, and after a few weeks of going back to the gym, I ran again. I had regained my former shape and gained weight. I was so proud of it, and the Great Clem was finally here.
Of course, it didn't last.
An injury forced me to stop the sport. And as time passed, the months of withdrawal became a given. Finally, after so much effort, I could afford a little cigarette in the evening! Just once in a while, I am now in control, and my addiction is far behind me! And then, why not a little cannabis too? "Remember how cool that was?" people would tell me at parties. Moreover, after months of fighting against smoking, the Great Clem mastered it! If only.
All it took was one resin purchase, and it was back on. Before I knew it, I was smoking again. After eight months of quitting, I took it as a personal failure. I remember the surprised looks filled with judgment and me stupidly responding, "Don't worry, it's nothing! Tomorrow I'll stop."
Except that tomorrow, it will take four years to arrive.
Rebirth: "I took all the withdrawal symptoms as a gift"
Today, at 28 years old, I have resumed my studies, my daily life has meaning, and I finally have the certainty of never poisoning myself again. I learned from this experience, and my stop was much more serene than the previous one.
The irritability of the first few weeks, the headaches, the compulsive cravings... I knew from my first stop how to deal with them. I took all the withdrawal symptoms as a gift. If I was irritable or angry, it was because my chains were breaking, my headaches meant the return of clarity of mind, and when a cigarette passed in front of my eyes, if my mind focused on it, it was only to express to myself all the joy of being free of it.
Looking back, it becomes straightforward after the first few weeks of withdrawal. After that, it only takes a few days of effort, a month, and most of the withdrawal effects disappear. You have to take joy in this fight. It is a life that you find again! Can we give ourselves a better gift?
The miracle method: "Every time I open the application, it's a victory, a shot of freedom!"
I found Kwit searching the internet for an app to track my progress and not have to count down the days myself, like a continuous countdown. Every opening of the app is a victory, a shot at freedom. And HOP money was saved, and BAM, a new positive effect, was found!
It's more than a logbook. It's a look back at how far I've come and a look forward to this new life. And I am proud of it.
What can we learn from this testimony?
Clem shows us through this powerful testimony that in the fight against addiction, the importance is always to know how to get up and never lose hope. Nothing is impossible, and everyone is a master of breaking his chains! So, like Clem, jump into the deep end and know that Kwit will always be there for you if you need a lifeline.