Have you ever considered your cigarettes a friend? Does the prospect of giving up cigarettes make you feel sad or lonely?
These feelings are common among longtime smokers, and they won’t last forever, but it’s important to acknowledge and address them, so you can put 100% effort into quitting.
Our community is a great place to explore sadness or ambivalence about quitting — feelings that people who’ve never smoked may not understand or may even dismiss outright.
Some smokers don’t recognize their bond with cigarettes until they get serious about quitting. That’s when — in search of reasons not to quit — they start thinking: Cigarettes don’t pass judgment me. They don’t argue with me. They’ve always been there for me, through thick and thin. They are my loyal companion.
True enough! But let’s explore this notion further. If cigarettes are your friend, just what kind of friend are they?
In truth, they’re a “friend” that spends your hard-earned money, compromises your health and your pet’s, sucks up your time, invites dirty looks, and exiles you from restaurants!
The reality is, cigarettes control you, demanding your time and attention throughout the day from when you wake up to when you go to bed.
Leaving an unhealthy relationship is never easy, but we’re all capable of it. Here are three approaches many smokers have used with success:
- Write a “Dear John” letter to your cigarettes. For instance: “Dear cigarettes: You are stealing my money, my singing voice, and my stamina, and you make my car smell! I cannot be your friend anymore. Goodbye.”
- Come up with a mantra to repeat whenever you feel the urge to smoke. For example: “You are not my friend; you are my enemy.”
- Focus on the ways cigarettes have hurt your actual friends and loved ones. As one smoker put it: “You killed my grandfather and strapped my father to an oxygen tank. You are not going to do that to me. You are not my friend.”
Which, if any, of these strategies resonate with you? How will you break off your “friendship” with cigarettes?