Quitting Smoking

Today’s post is in response to a prompt on The Red Dress Club. The prompt was the following photo:


In February I wrote a post, I Quit, where I announced my commitment to quit smoking. In this post I shared that I knew I was powerless over alcohol and that I didn’t want to be addicted to any substance.
I meant every word.
Why am I still smoking then, why did the focus upon it fade?
Because I’m an addict and a part of me is pre-programed to overlook this behaviour, to self-sabotage and continue to harm myself over time with the momentary feeling of satisfaction which each drag brings.
This is not a cop out, it’s a fact.
Anyone who has smoked before knows the short term benefits, the physical satisfaction, the distraction it provides, the feeling of relaxation, the momentary commonality with other smokers. While actively living as a smoker we can cite numerous benefits and yet in our hearts we know we wish we didn’t have to.
We have felt the disparaging glances of non-smokers, the isolation of the addiction and felt the often scathing opinions cracking our facades of loving being a smoker. We have hated ourselves for needing the cigarette as much as we needed to breathe, resented the reliance upon the act which is so abhorred.
 In this day and age we all know the negative effects of smoking; it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to list them, even my 7 year old can do a fine job.
Again I ask myself why I was unsuccessful in February.
The answer is simple.
My motivation for quitting smoking was wrong. I was feeling like outcast, judged, hated the smell of my clothing, smoking cost money which I would rather have spent elsewhere…all superficial reasons. I wanted to succeed to improve others opinions of myself and for financial gain.
These may seem like valid reasons for quitting smoking to some people, but for me, someone who is truly an addict, it needs to be a deeper reason. It needs to be on a spiritual level, a deep conviction for change will be the only thing which will allow me to overcome the physical, emotional and mental cravings for a smoke.
Smoking for me has become more than just lighting a cig and taking a drag, it’s become a part of who I am. I hadn’t fully realized that.
Cutting out the act of “going for a puff” is going to be like experiencing a death, losing a part of myself. Irrelevant of the positive motivation this behaviour has become ingrained with my being over the past 20 years.
So what now?
For me there are no late night TV infomercial fixes; I cannot rely upon anything to quit, no meds, no patches….just my faith and determination.
Now I have to seek that deeper motivation.
I will pray and ask for God to convict my soul.
I will ask God to remove my need to smoke, I will spend time in meditation reflecting on the effect smoking has on my soul.
I will ask God to strengthen me for this fight, to fill me with the determination to overcome each screaming instinct within me which will surely occur.
I will not set a quit date, nor will I tell anyone other than hubby my need for support on that day.
When the day comes I will use the tools I’ve learned in AA and through God’s strength I will learn to tread softly through the grief of this loss and determine my new self.
Until this day I will continue to attempt to cut down my smoking, to respect the feelings of non-smokers and not allow my addiction to define me or shame me.
Any man can fight the battles of just one day.

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17 Responses

  1. Big hugs to you. I quit feb 2 and smoked a few cigs at a party this weekend and I am now struggling so hard not to light up…Cigarettes are so addictive – more than the physical addiction, the emotional identification is what really hinders me.

  2. I can only imagine how hard it is to stop after smoking regularly for a long time. I hope and pray that once you decide to take the leap you are able to jump all the way! Hugs!

  3. Funny story. About a week after you "quit" Maddy said, "Mom, I think Auntie Julie only meant she was quitting for Live Free Day, not forever."Once you do it, you'll be so glad you did. Visiting a no-smoking camp would be a great time!

  4. It is hard to give it up but I like you rely on God to give me what I need to give it up. I hold myself back He is more than willing to take it way if i am willing to let Him. You are so right, do it the way that works for you and do not be ashamed or feel guilty. The time will come and when it does it will be so sweet.

  5. I cannot imagine, but what I think the most important thing is that you know you want to do this, and you can only take the steps to doing it for you, when you and you alone are ready to. My dad has been smoking for over 50+ years. He never takes the initiative to stop, never tries. I try to convince him, but know he has to want to. I want to support him, but it's just not even remotely close to happening. Maybe someday. G-d willing. I wish the same kind of strength to you!

  6. You have my best wishes on the matter Julie. I quit smoking long before I quit drinking and I regard both as The Best Thing I Ever Did For Myself. Will-power didn't work for me but fortunately God showed me another, easier way.

  7. You are 100% right. You have to quit for yourself, not everyone else. In trying to please everyone you will please no one. I hope the best for you. I sincerely do.

  8. You are so right…and every time I have wandered from God, I seem to pick them up again. My latest quit was in August….it has now finally become easier to go without. So good luck…another thing to surrender!

  9. "…elf-sabotage and continue to harm myself over time with the momentary feeling of satisfaction which each drag brings." – So powerful. I feel the exact way you describe in your post, but about food, not cigarettes. Thank you for writing – you gave me much to think about.

  10. I can't imagine how hard it would be to quit. And you DO have to do it for the right reasons, which only you know. Everyone is different, and motivations for one person do not equal motivations for another.When the time is right? You've got it in you, girl. But on your own terms.

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