I had a pack and half a day habit for 11 years and tried to quit smoking over 1,000 times. I’d like to pass on what helped me finally to be smoke free for 30 years.
1) I got really angry that I was the tobacco company's patsy who extorted my hard earned money for them to poison me! Every time I felt an urge, I got angry and said, "no way am I going to be your chump any more!"
2) I didn't like how much cigarettes controlled my life. I wouldn't go to places or do things if I couldn't smoke.
3) I made a list of all the reasons I wanted to quit and I would read it when I had an urge.
4) I knew that every time I could resist the urge that eventually the urges would get weaker. I pictured it like an ocean wave going over me and I knew it would go away if I just stuck it out. Just think to yourself, “every time I say ‘no,’ I get stronger.” The first 5 days are the hardest so taking a couple days off and quitting on a Wednesday and having day five be on Sunday can help.
Then, three weeks out can be tricky because you can get cocky and think you can be around smokers or take a puff, but don’t believe that lie the addiction is whispering in your ear. You must remember “one puff and it is all over.” Stay away from smokers and smoke like it is the plague because it can lead to a one-second impulsive act that you will regret forever.
5) I let myself chew as much gum and suck on as much candy as I needed and I put toothpicks in my mouth. The first 2 weeks I let myself eat whatever and however much I wanted. I gained five pounds, but it came off two months later, so don't fear weight gain too much. I also let myself do whatever I wanted on the weekend once I got my errands done. If I wanted to watch TV all day or go to the movies, I treated myself to things I enjoyed. I also took a walk around the block when the urge got too strong. Just left the house and started walking. It helped a lot and I got in better shape!
By Valerie Stuart
How I Quit Smoking
6) Most importantly, I figured out what cigarettes did for me. In my case, they gave me a break from work or a situation I wanted to get away from. It let me stop working for 5 minutes and do nothing. So even after I quit smoking, I still went outside and took a break so I continued to get my down time.
For me, cold turkey is the only way that worked. I knew if I took even one puff, it would set me back and I might never be able to quit again. I stayed away from people who smoked and now none of my friends are smokers. For the first year, I didn’t go to anywhere people smoked as I knew I was too weak to resist bumming a cigarette.
7) You will never feel like quitting and even if you do, it won’t last beyond the first 5 hours of not having a cigarette. The idea of quitting at some date or time in the future usually fails because the addiction will start talking and have you put it off again. You just need to say “I’ve had enough of being a slave to a company that has engineered cigarettes to be more addictive than heroin. I’m sick of giving them my money to poison me and those I love. I’m not taking one puff, not even one and that is that!”
Instead of being a victim whining for a puff, you become a freedom fighter against an evil corporation that extorts money from you, knowing their product is killing you. You will help many people when you quit, who thought they too were too weak to win against the tyranny of addiction.
This way of thinking may seem over the top, but when it comes to your life and the lives of those you love, these types of thoughts can help when you are in the grip of wanting a cigarette. So find your inner warrior, hero or most powerful reason to quit and hang on to that.
I haven’t had a cigarette for 30 years and only had an urge once in the last 15 years and it was easy to say no. It feels wonderful to not taste and smell like cigarettes and to put my money into fun and healthy things I enjoy and to not have people shun me anymore. You can put all the money you would have spent on cigarettes into a jar for the first month and allow yourself to spend it in any healthy way you want to from getting a massage to dinner out! You can even spend it each week to go do or buy something fun.
If you are quitting for or with someone else, just think of how much you love them and want them to be healthier and be around to love longer. If you are craving a cigarette, know if you give in, they probably will too, so you are fighting to staying smoke-free for both of you. If they start smoking, try not to give them a hard time, but get stronger in yourself to stay smoke-free. That is the best thing you can do for them.
I never thought I could quit. It felt like a miracle when I did. I hope one or more of these ideas help you to get free forever! Feel free to email me for support to quit smoking.
Stuart offers sessions in Presence, a direct connection to the truth of who you are. Go beyond problem-solving into living from your true being. She specializes in healing, lifework, relationship, spiritual issues and working with diet to heal disease. More info at the Private Sessions tab at www.livinginpresence.com
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