I’ve spoken to lots of folks about quitting cigarettes for good. Though they are all from different walks of life, and started smoking for different reasons, there are some things they all have in common. In particular:
They all feel judged for smoking
Every single one of the people I have spoken to have, at one point or another, been bashed-on a little bit by the people around them whenever they have lit a cigarette, thought about a cigarette, or even when the other person has just randomly remembered that one time when they interrupted a smoke break outside to talk about the latest gossip at work or whatever. (Side note: can we just stop and have some mercy for a moment toward the poor soul who has so little opportunities for alone time and personal space that they have used cigarettes as a way to set a boundary so they can try catching their breath? How would you feel if you literally had to set yourself on fire just for people to leave you alone for one dang minute?)
They feel shame about smoking
Trust me: no one actually likes smoking when they know it’s bad for them. Yes, even the ones who joke about at-least-they’ll-die-happy….sure they made a joke but THEY ARE SAYING THEY KNOW THEY ARE DYING! C’mon folks. Anyway. I have never met a cigarette smoker, not ONE, who didn’t wish there was a way to quit, and who didn’t wish for an easy way to talk about the process without enduring the suffering of guilt and shame.
You’re not alone.
Addictions make people feel utterly alone half the time, and make it so that the person can only think of themselves the other half of the time. That’s just no way to live. That’s why I really want to tell you that if you have ever felt guilt or shame around cigarette smoking, you are not alone.
I’ve been there.
I had some great friends that helped a ton. I had some folks around me who weren’t so great, as well. The important thing for me to remember during my period of smoking recovery was that I wasn’t alone. I also knew that in order to heal from smoking cigarettes, I would also have to address the feelings of guilt and shame surrounding my cigarette smoking.
It was possible for me, and it’s possible for you too.
Trust me: If I can do it, anyone can have success when quitting. But you should know also that I was terrified of suffering through the withdrawals–not because I thought they’d be bad, but because I dreaded the amount of them there were waiting for me. All I saw was a long obstacle course, and I couldn’t guarantee my success over time. I was nervous about losing my endurance and failing.
The thing that made the absolute 100% difference for me was this mindset:
Maybe, just maybe, there was a way to embrace the withdrawal symptoms so they didn’t drain all my energy.
Then I thought:
Wait a minute, maybe I can take it a step further: Maybe, just maybe, there was a way to embrace my withdrawal symptoms and make them work in my favor. Maybe there was a way the withdrawal symptoms could actually actively help me progress in my recovery from cigarettes.
Yeah, I thought it was a crazy idea too.
Too good to be true, maybe? But I figured with that endeavor in mind, even if I did fail, at least I would fail doing something worthy of failing at, if that makes any sense. So I gave it a try.
It was working. A month after I quit cigarettes, it was still working.
After six months I got excited.
After a year, I felt so happy and confident, and so free from shame–I enjoyed the anniversary of my quit without having to post it on social media, or even share it with family. I needed validation from no one. I felt so independent and free!
I decided to write a book, and started the process, but I thought “yeah this works for me, but what about someone else?” I realized I hadn’t gone through enough time to really be qualified to talk about my method to other people just yet.
So I kept at it for another year. A great year. To be honest, I was amazed in such a state of wonder at the fact that I was recovering from smoking and having a blast!!
NO ONE HAD EVER TOLD ME THAT IT COULD BE FUN TO QUIT SMOKING!!!
At the two-year mark, I finally started writing. I had everything down and published on Amazon within six months.
No more shame.
No more guilt, no more self-sabotaging. Cigarettes had taken over my identity, but now I was free. I knew I would be free forever.
The book has been on Amazon for a little while now, and it has started to pick up speed. I hope people will start leaving reviews on the product page. Actually, I’d rather donate the reviews section on the product page for people to leave notes of encouragement for other people who are quitting! Other people who, like me, maybe alone and need real understanding before being prescribed advice.
So if you’re thinking about quitting smoking cigarettes…
Keep thinking about it. Don’t ever stop thinking about it. Trust me, this is a real start! If you’re thinking about recovering from smoking, keep thinking about it!
And know that you aren’t alone. There’s a whole world of us out here. We see you, we know you, we love you.
If you need some help…
I am a huge encourager for people to go to their doctor whenever they feel it would be a benefit. Get some real good friends who lift you up and who never guilt you for being a victim of cigarette addiction. Find a Quit Counselor. Make a plan.
The book I wrote detailing exactly how I quit and had fun with it is up on Amazon. Here’s the link to read it for free with Kindle Unlimited.
If you’re ready for the paperback version, you can find it here.
And if you feel so inspired, I hope you’ll leave a note of encouragement for anyone who might need some kind words to help them continue toward smoking recovery!
You can do this.