Exactly one year ago I had just started the first part of the GIC, and in exactly one week I’ll be heading for the Combat & Fighting Instructor Course. I have been looking forward to this course even before I became an instructor, so in some ways I’m even more stoked than I was before the GIC. Now in retrospect, I regret not blogging during the KIC and the CMIC. They were both amazing courses and we had lots of fun. Therefore I will be blogging during the entire CFIC.
I don’t really have much more to say about that right now, but I’m guessing that the course will prove to be quite the muse. So onto something a little more personal; addiction. Now, it’s not what you think. But for the majority of my adult life, I’ve been a consumer of snus [prononuced: snoos], a smokeless tobacco product. It’s a moist powder (sometimes in small pouches) that you place under your top lip. You don’t burn it and you don’t need to spit when you use it. The reports are more or less conclusive in that it’s a better choice than smoking. They are however inconclusive in how your health is affected in general by it. The manufacturers have been trying to get the warning label removed from their products, but have failed so far. The vast difference though, between snus and cigarettes, is that a box of snus contains approximately nicotine equivalent to somewhere between 40-70 cigarettes. The numbers vary between different brands of course. But snus contains a lot more nicotine that cigarettes. It’s by no means something healthy and it’s highly addictive. Highly. Addictive. Partly due to the high levels of nicotine. But also because of the convenience to consume. You don’t need to step outside or even get up from your seat to use it. You’re not bothering anyone, so you can use it whenever.
This also means that quitting snus is physically harder than quitting cigarettes. It takes approximately 72 hours for the nicotine to leave your body. So you endure three days, your body should be clear of any nicotine residue and you should be home safe, right? Wrong. The first three days are a nightmare. The nicotine rush is closely connected to your dopamine levels. Which means that when you “pop one”, you’re actually creating a link between that feeling and happiness. So when you’re off the juice for three days, you’re basically sending yourself into a micro-depression. I’d usually go through a box and a half every day. Basically, from the moment I woke up till I went to bed, I had one under my lip. So I went from that, to zero, null, nilch, nought, nada, in just one hour. Now the smart thing would have been to perhaps, have one just before bed and then stop in the morning. As in, not have a morning snus and go from there. But I decided to quit midday, three days before going back to work from the summer holidays. In hindsight, not my smartest move. But it’s now been five days since I quit and I can honestly say that I’m feeling a lot better. I’m not craving it anymore, even though I miss it at certain times during the day.
All in all, I’m glad that I’m officially snus-free. Partly because of the health aspects, but mostly because of the addiction itself. No addiction is good for you. No addiction. Not training, not food, not love, not this, not that. Addiction means that you’ve given away control over your life to someone or something else. Why would you want that? Why would you not want to be the captain of your own ship? I’m finally free from the toxic addiction that controlled every waking minute and hour of my life for the past years. Stay strong.