First I do not encourage anyone to start smoking cigarettes. It's a bad habit I took when I was 17 and It's been going on for years ( I tried to stop 2x for about 8 months to a year but was miserable) and I plan to stop soon again. I only discovered that I was on the spectrum these past few years, and smoking cigarettes was a coping mechanism and a hidden stim for me and I was wondering if anyone did the same?
In college I used cigarette breaks as a way to keep me busy and have an excuse to talk to people in my class. I also used cigarettes has an excuse to hang outside on balconies and porch when invited to a party. It took me a decade to realize that I didn't like the noise and light of parties, unconsciously I would retreat to the balcony or the garden and be like "this is my turf for the night" and would stay there until the end of the event, using the fact that I like smoking to explain to people why I hid in the dark. My hands move a lot when i'm stressed (clenching fists, massaging my palms, rubbing my fingers, etc, I think it would be called stimming) so I would use cigarette as a hand decoy when I was stressed in front of people. I also stupidly thought (not anymore) that it made me look cooler. My so doesn't smoke (he's a champ to keep with me), so i've built a little shed in the garden with a rocking chair and a heavy blanket (again, I did this all without knowing what ASD was like, i'm still amaze I tick so many boxes) so I can go smoke at night and be alone. I also smoke a little bowl of weed there. That spot became my charging station where I replenish my batteries, sometimes for hours, every night. It's funny because I always did those things without knowing why. Now that I'm realizing that i'm most probably an aspergirl, I was wondering if anyone fell into the same trap? Any tips to get out?
TLDR: I smoke, both cigarette and weed, part as a way to hid my hand stim, part as a way to socialize, but also because I really like the sensation. I need to find an alternative. Any tips welcomed.