Y'know, if I could take anything back in time to give to my younger self, ... well, I'd probably actually choose some materials that would help convince myself, my parents, and some early-'80s healthcare professionals that I had AuDHD; knowing those things about myself and getting medicated would've altered the course of my life.

AFTER that, or FAILING that, or as a backup plan to that, I'd hand over all my vape stuff and as much juice as I could manage.

I started sneaking cigarettes when I was 15, and went from periods where I'd have two cigarettes in a day to years where I'd have 30 in a day. That's a mean of >1 smoke for each of the 24 hours, and I wasn't awake all 24 hours.

I was blasting myself with both caffeine & nicotine in unrecognized attempts at self-medication. It's remarkable that I have the lung capacity and blood pressure I currently enjoy. I should be an easily-winded wreck, perpetually ready to burst, and cannot begin to guess why I'm not. 🤷

But! I didn't smoke at all for seven years. My partner wouldn't kiss me if I did; I stopped.
But! Vaping came along. I was able to self-medicate again without a lungful of hot particulate, without pickling my organs in a brine of harmful additives and combustion by-products.

Vaping didn't save my life. I hadn't had a cigarette in years when a buddy let me try this cool new "blu e-cigarette" he had.

It did give me back some self-medication. There are things I accomplished in the past 14 years that might have proven too difficult without nicotine nudging my brain a little closer to "average", especially when I wasn't truly aware that it was so far off the neurotypical mark.

Whatever you think about vaping, please keep in mind that it objectively, demonstrably helps some people by giving them back their concentration and executive function. There is literally no case in which it produces as many harmful compounds as inhaling burning plant smoke. And it doesn't stink up the person or the room.

I'd give my younger self that gift in a heartbeat.