~~At any given moment, you have the power to say, "This is not how my story will end."~~ Christine Mason Mills
I learned something through working with women who have addictions. Not that they told me, because they don't much correct people's misconceptions and judgments. I learned from watching their faces...their body language....their demeanor.
We so often think we know better than they do. "You need to quit doing drugs". "You need in-patient treatment". "You need to be tested for HIV because of your needle use".
They've heard it all. And they've learned to let people talk because that's what professionals do. Professionals know, don't they? And then these women hear it from family as well. "You're going to kill yourself". "You're choosing drugs over your family". "You just don't care, do you?"
Sound familiar? I bet it does. Maybe from your doctor? Maybe your children? Maybe from someone who is now dealing with cancer? They KNOW you should quit. They KNOW you need help. They KNOW you need to stop killing yourself.
All these well meaning, intelligent people who want to help save you. They talk, they advise, they urge.
Guess what? I learned from my girls that you have the right to choose smoking. You have the right to decide not to quit. You have the right...the freedom...to chose how to live. Even if it's not the right choice. Even if it's not the best choice. Even if it may kill you.
Because I've seen the women who are addicted. I've seen their faces after someone tells them they need to go to rehab. They lose that little spark that keeps them alive. That little "maybe things will be better today". Hope. I've seen these women when their families say "You are selfish". These women break just a little bit more.
They know. They know they need to quit. They know they need help. They know it looks like they are selfish......
And so do you, don't you? The you who is addicted to cigarettes. You know you need to quit. You know you need help. And you may even have been called selfish.
But you know. And so as people talk, you may be losing a little more of your spark. That little "maybe things will be better today". Maybe you break just a little bit more.
Please don't break. Don't feel shame. Don't be embarrassed. Because you know what? You have the power to decide what to do with your life and if you want to smoke, you can. If you choose not to quit right now, you can. YOU have the power to do whatever you want to do with your life, no matter what anyone says or how anyone feels.
Take your power back and turn it inward. You get to decide. Just you. And when you're ready, you may decide to quit. But that, too, will be your decision. No one can take that away from you. And no one should.
I respect your right to decide. I respect your right to live however you decide to live. And I will always respect whatever it is you decide.
Because I know that when you are ready, you will quit. And you won't be strong in your desire to quit, but you will know in your heart that this is YOUR decision and you will honor it with everything you have in you. Because it's yours.
There lies your power. It's you. It always has been. Don't be swayed by the advice of others. Don't be carried on the enthusiasm of others. Don't be led by someone who's done it. Choose it instead.
Don't let your quit be written by anyone else, no matter how well meaning they are. You have the power to say "This is not how my story will end." Write it. Create it. Live it. I have faith in you