My Smoking Addiction: Time To Quit!

My psychological addiction to smoking is incredible. I am filled with fear and a complete panic when I just contemplate quitting smoking.

I started smoking when I was 14 years old and I had heard everyone (including my mother that was a smoker) telling me that it is highly addictive and I must not try it. Who listens to that anyway? Of course I won’t become addicted, it just won’t happen to me right?

But it did. I started off smoking like most teenagers do, in groups to be cool. I remember clearly the day I first had a cigarette on my own. I remember that little voice in the back of my head telling me that hey this can’t be good, this is all wrong. That was the day I became a nicotene addict. It was not even a year down the line before I was hooked on a packet of cigarettes a day.

psychological addiction to smoking

Is Marijuana the Gateway Drug or is Nicotine?

People are always saying that Marijuana is the gateway drug, the one that leads people off the beaten path to harder drugs. I’m not so sure about that. I wonder if perhaps cigarettes and alcohol is actually the problem? Both are reasonably socially accepted. Yes smoking is frowned upon by many, but nobody is going to arrest you or completely shun you for smoking a cigarette or drinking a glass of wine now are they?

Fear of Quitting Smoking

I read a book a while back, called Alan Carr’s Easy Way to Quit Smoking. It was a great read and it covers all the fears smokers have. I am terrified of not having my cigarettes. I have been smoking for 22 years and can’t imagine my life without my cigarettes. I keep thinking how my life will be worse without smoking. This of course makes no sense whatsoever does it?

I mean come on, I am blowing money daily on cigarettes, I stink, I am always trying to run away from my children to sneak outside to poison my body. Exactly in what way is my life going to be worse without cigarettes? Will I maybe miss that morning smoking cough?

Logically I cannot think of a reason to keep smoking. Everything is pointing me to quit but I just cannot get over the psychological addiction of smoking. The physical cravings will be bad I am sure, but the mental pain scares me.

The truth is I feel like an idiot, I feel like it is too much to quit smoking. Not even giving up drinking and drugs was this scary for me.

Perhaps that is part of the problem. This was my first drug and I have given up everything else, so maybe it makes me want to hold on tighter to the only addiction I have left?

How to Quit Smoking?

My husband also smokes and he has tried the nicotine patches, changing to smoking cigars instead of cigarettes and getting prescribed medication from our doctor. He believes the way to quit is through nicotine replacement therapy.

My husband has been great with trying to quit and he has managed a few times to stop smoking for a period of time. Unfortunately he has never managed to stay stopped.

I have never truly made an effort ever to quit smoking. I believe that it can be done through applying the 12 Step Program and without any nicotine substitutes. I have applied Step 1 to my smoking very easily, there is certainly no denial left about the fact that I am addicted to cigarettes and that it has caused damages in my life. I have made the decision to stop and I must now just do it.

The Decision to Quit Smoking

Yes I have decided to quit smoking. My husband and I are quitting at the end of September. I hope we are successful and I hope to be able to share my experience with this and what goes on in my head during this time.

So please check back for my success story in a few weeks and feel free to give me some feedback as I go along, I am sure I will be needing plenty of motivational and inspiring comments to keep me amped for this scary journey!

 

 

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22 comments

  1. Joanne says:

    They say nicotine is more addicting than heroin, and I believe it!

    I think I snuck my first cigarette from my Mother when I was about 11 for the same reasons you outlined above, and of course, we all can guess what that led to.

    I’m in my early 60’s now and have not had a cigarette in over two years only because I made the change to an electronic device. I couldn’t get rid of the “habit” completely. Real Cigarettes were literally killing me, so with the help of a friend I made the switch – it has SAVED me.

    I am rooting you on!!! – it’s a tough battle, but with the support of your husband (and his support of you), you can do it!

    Take good care, and I will be thinking of you.
    Joanne

    • Lynne says:

      Well done Joanne and thank you for sharing your experience with me!

      I’m not sure an electronic cigarette would do it for me lol, but it is much better for you than nicotine.

      Kind Regards
      Lynne

  2. Emily says:

    hi Lynne
    congrats on your decision!! I am not a smoker and actually am highly sensitive to it. But I can understand how addictive it is, from being a mental health clinician and also having people in my life who smoke. My past partner being one of them. I have to say that his smoking was affecting our relationship. He was doing what you are describing. Sneaking outside to smoke. Basically our whole days revolved around when he could smoke. If I went to take a shower, he would go out to smoke, if I were on the phone he would go out to smoke, if I was busy for 2 minutes he would go out to smoke….It seemed like it was all he thought about. And it probably was. Because that’s the addiction. Correct me if I am wrong, but it felt like the smoking was controlling him. Just like any other addiction. And he had one hell of an addictive personality!
    Sorry did not mean for this to sound like a rant. Just sharing a bit of my experience.
    Take it one day at a time, breathe and enjoy te beauty around you ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Lynne says:

      Emily you are so right! My whole life revolves around smoking. It is the first thing I do in the morning and the last thing at night. I even schedule my work around smoke breaks. I decide how much work I am going to do before I have a smoke and do the next lot of work. Even taking family holidays we have to stop the car every so often so my husband and I can have a cigarette and my kids get irritated with all the stops.
      You are welcome to rant on this website, this is what it is about. Addiction controls every aspect of an addicts life, it ruins relationships and causes damages. Smoking is no different from any other addiction and some people don’t see this.
      I am so glad you shared with us how as a non-smoker your past partner’s smoking affected your life. A lot of people use the excuse that smoking affects no-one but themselves and they are wrong. It affects everyone. My sister has allergies and once she went out and there was smoking allowed in the venue. She literally had a nose bleed the next day. How is this not affecting other people?
      So rant away and share your unhappiness about smokers, some people need to hear it!

      Kind Regards
      Lynne

  3. Melody says:

    I can see myself writing the same thing. I have smoked for over 15 years. I started as a teenager and never turned back. I know its bad, I have the cough and stinky hands to prove it. And I know I am addicted. Just reading this blog is making me a crave a cigarette (Crazy).

    I wish you every bit of success and look forward to seeing how you overcome this nasty, life altering addiction.

    • Lynne says:

      Hi Melody

      Yes the more I think about quitting smoking the more I want to smoke. Just the last few days I have gone to smoking one pack of cigarettes a day to smoking nearly 2 boxes a day! It is like I know the end is near and I must get in as many cigarettes as possible.

      That is why I say the psychological addiction of smoking is so strong. It really is not logical to try and smoke more now, it is not going to make any difference to me.

      Kind Regards
      Lynne

  4. Jean-Pascal says:

    Hi Lynne,

    I’m a smoker too and I can tell you that it is a real effort for me to write this and admit this as I am quite ashamed of being one.
    Many of my non-smoker friends don’t even know that I smoke.
    Until recently I always thought I was un control and that’s what was keeping me from quittting.
    Now I realize it is a real addiction and as an addiction, it dhould be treated.
    I will follow your success story for inspiration and get rid of that bad habit.

    Thank you.

    Jean-Pascal

    • Lynne says:

      Hi Jean-Pascal

      I also feel terribly ashamed of my smoking addiction! I hope I will inspire you to try and quit smoking too. I am not going to find it easy and I am feeling a lot of pressure to succeed now that I have put it out there.

      Kind Regards
      Lynne

  5. Gary says:

    I’ve watched dozens of friends, family, schoolmates, and co-workers become “addicted” to a variety of substances, and other stuff too. It’s been my observation that they all went through the same “gateway”.

    That gateway was not a substance, however. That gateway is anxiety. Cigarettes (which are a lot more complicated than just the nicotine), alcohol, opiates, cannabis, sex, shopping, cutting, purging, etc; all these things reduce anxiety and bring about a calm that is hard to achieve without it.

    Me thinks it’s a bit more complicated than a simple chemical dependency.

    When it comes to cigarettes, watch out for days 28 and 29. Addiction is a trickster and it is on those days where it is most likely that it will trick you.

    Gary
    share-a-like dot com

    • Lynne says:

      Hi Gary

      I totally agree with you there. If it was simply a chemical dependency once a certain amount of time has passed you should be free from the addiction and not at risk of using that substance again. Why then after a few years do addicts relapse on drugs and ex-smokers start smoking again?

      Addiction is a lot more complicated than just getting off the substance, there is a mental addiction to the substance and that is where things get tricky.

      Stopping smoking is not going to be easy, I think it is going to be the hardest of all my addictions!

      Kind Regards
      Lynne

  6. Stefan says:

    Hey Lynne
    As a college professor I was responsible for the special program of addiction prevention and health promotion. We were able, over time, to reduce the number of new beginners as far as smoking and drinking goes. THe latter with its binge drinking is still a hard problem. From what the youngsters tell, there’s no logical reason for doing it.

    As for myself, I’m glad I was never a hard smoker. I’m able to enjoy a cigar or pipe. But I can relate to the mechanism of addiction in other areas. Besides bad habits and biochemical effects, I believe it also has to do with our deepest longings and disappointments. It leads you on a spiritual path discovering your inner shadows and beauty.

    On my site I offer an integral approach to relieve stress and unlock your potential. Have a look at this post: HOW TO GET RID OF NEGATIVE THOUGHTS รขโ‚ฌโ€œ Train Subconscious Mind. It might help you in the days ahead.

    Good luck and God’s Speed! Stefan

    • Lynne says:

      Hi Stefan

      Thanks for sharing your experience with addiction and for the advice, much appreciated. I feel I need all the help and support I can get. As the day draws closer I find my addict mind starting to give great excuses to not quit now, perhaps next month. Or even better why not make it a new years resolution and give me another 3 months to smoke!

      The time is now and I must keep with my decision or it will just make it easier to make excuses next time.

      Kind Regards

      Lynne

  7. rina says:

    Lynne, I truly admire your spirit to quit smoking.
    Personally, I’m not a smoker and I always thought, what are those smokers thinking, they are burning money every single day.
    But, I witness on my own a friend of mine who was struggling to quit smoking. It’s not easy. It is that hard. She’s trying nicotine patches and some other ways. Still, she came back to smoke.
    So, now I’m here to cheer you up to quit smoking. Listen to your voice, yes, smoking is bad, not only for you, but for your surroundings. Think of your children. They may inhale the smokes from your cigarette and that’s bad for their health.
    I wish you all the best to quit smoking. I believe you CAN do this!

    • Lynne says:

      Thanks Rina

      I’m sure it looks silly to non-smokers. Smoking is just taking your money and burning it, but I have not been able to quit. It is a very powerful addiction.

      Thank you for reminding me about my children, you are so right. My daughter that is turning 4 in October told me she is going to grow big, become a mommy and smoke! This is what I am teaching my daughter by my behaviour. It doesn’t matter that I smoke outside, she sees that I am putting my smoking above everything else and she looks up to me. Therefore she sees smoking as something she would like to do when she is big. It breaks my heart.

      As smokers we believe the damages are only to ourselves, yet my daughter at 3 years old thinks she would like to smoke when she is big? The damages are huge!

      Kind Regards

      Lynne

    • Lynne says:

      Hi Ryan

      I know a lot of people that have quit smoking cigarettes and now use electronic cigarettes.
      However giving up one addiction and just replacing it with another = cross addiction. Yes it is less expensive, it is healthier and causes much less damages. All true! But you are still hooked on something. I suppose if you want to choose the lesser of 2 evils why not?

      Personally I want to rid myself of all addictions and not be a slave to anything.

  8. Matt says:

    Hey Lynne,

    thank you for sharing with us part of your story on here! It is very brave and inspiring to see you doing this. I think you have also created a great community that will not only lift you up out of addiction but others as well.

    I hope that this becomes a place where other smokers and people with addictions can come to lift each other up out the addictions they face.

    Awesome job and looking forward to hearing your success story!

    • Lynne says:

      Thanks Matt!

      I am on day 2 of no smoking and I can tell you this is HARD! I’m going to try and write a new article on it today just to update everyone while I am feeling angry, emotional and all over the place. I want others to know exactly how I am feeling so they know what to expect.

  9. Tyler says:

    I’m unable to put myself in your shoes, never smoked a day in my life and I don’t think I ever will.

    I grew up with my grandparents who at the time were regular smokers and I got to see first hand the negative effects of smoking. The coughing all the time, the crabbiness they had when the were trying to quit, the smell, all negative memories.

    I even have friends now that are smokers who had the same denial you mentioned “I won’t get addicted” and “That won’t be me”. It’s sickening to see what they go through already being so young, hardly being able to play a game of football without almost coughing a lung up.

    I really hope this reaches as many people as possible, it was a great read, and thank you so much for giving back!

    I wish you the best of luck on your journey!

    -Tyler

    • Lynne says:

      Hi Tyler

      Thank you for sharing about your experiences with your grandparents and friends that smoke.

      It has been a very interesting journey and my hubby and I are close to our 3 months clean from nicotine. Quite an achievement!

  10. Wendy says:

    Quitting an addiction can be really difficult and not fun for family members. I quit smoking when I was 25 and it was the hardest thing I ever did. But I never went back. I’m not 52. I had to do cold turkey. I just decided one day to quit and that is what I did.

    I see that you wrote this post last year. I was just wondering how you are doing? Where you able to overcome your smoking addiction?

    • Lynne says:

      Hi Wendy

      Congrats on quitting,that is great.

      Yes I managed to quit successfully. My last cigarette was on 30 September 2015. It was very tough and there were so many times I thought I wouldn’t make it, but I got here and I am now so grateful.

      It was so hard in those early few months but I look back now and everything was worth it. My biggest motivator for quitting smoking was my children and just last week I was talking to my nearly 5 year old daughter and I mentioned smoking. She looked at me strangely, so I asked her if she remembers me smoking. She said no, not at all.

      Mission accomplished, I am so happy!

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