14 years ago I quit smoking and remained smoke free for 5 years until that one day I decided “just one puff won’t hurt.” That began my next 8 years of bondage to cigarettes. I tried to quit dozens of times. I tried to control and ration it. I minimized it by saying to myself “oh I can quit at any time. I have before.” I would have that little nicotine monster whispering in my ear, “your life is better with me. You have more fun. You are more relaxed. You’re not as depressed or anxious. You think clearer. You can never quit me. It will be too hard.” 101 days later, smoke free, “Not One Puff Ever,” I can now say that those were ALL LIES! Lies that I believed on some level. ADDICTION IS REAL. Anyone who minimizes addiction as it relates to nicotine is in straight denial. I was there. I know.
To the person who just quit: You are a warrior. You deciding to quit proves that. NOW act like the warrior you are and don’t let that nicotine enemy win. It will try every which way possible to trick you. Never let your guard down. NOPE: Not One Puff Ever. Come in here daily. Multiple times maybe. You will find support here. You need an army. These people are your army and they do it well.
To the the person that just started again: Relapse is part of recovery from this nightmare. Through relapse we learn how to be better warriors when the time comes to quit again. Any day to quit again is a good day. Pay attention to the lies that nico monster is telling you.
To the person experiencing depression: This too shall pass. My nico depression just about ate me alive. I think this is like mourning our old life. All mourning requires a stage of depression. Likewise, acceptance is on the other side. Here is where you will start to see your new life and walk it out. You will decide differently. This is your new life. Live it well. Write down things you want to do and DO them. As humans, we are creatures of habit. BUT, you just changed a BIG habit so now everything changes. This is a good thing. Go to places you never have before. Try new things, make NEW habits. Science shows us that trying new things increases dopamine in our brains. That is the feel-good neurotransmitter.
To the person who is 2 months into quitting: KEEP GOING. IT DOES GET EASIER. Honestly, both times I quit, 3 months marked a turn for me. I began thinking about it less. And between 3-4 months, even less. It starts to fade. Really. Just don’t let the pain it has caused fade too quickly or you may find yourself rationalizing smoking again: “just one.” THERE IS NEVER JUST ONE. EVER. Let the scar be there. War wounds. Scars heal. You will heal from this. It just takes time. Be patient with the process and with yourself. Victory is yours.
101 Days of FREEDOM!!
Thank all of you who took the time to read this. Writing this is part of my healing and I truly do appreciate all of you. <3