This is part of a series of letters from QuitNet members who shared their experience with quitting smoking using QuitNet, and offered their encouragement for others to do the same. If you'd like to share your experience, or motivate a loved one or smoker who wants to quit, please submit your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Was I strong enough for this battle?
I was afraid it would be too uncomfortable, and that I would suffer withdrawal and pain. I was afraid I would fail . . . again. I was afraid I wouldn’t be me anymore. I was afraid of what I would do in those empty spaces in my day.
I was addicted. I knew that certainly. Nicotine is one of the hardest drugs to kick. I think since it’s somewhat socially acceptable, it makes it even harder to quit. I had dealt with addiction in my family and it was ugly. I didn’t want to be another addict, but yet, here I was. I knew the fight would be lifelong and hard. Was I strong enough for this battle?
I was uncertain about how it would go. How would I handle stress, boredom, anger, fatigue, parties, triggers, and cravings? Would I be miserable and sad? How “sick” would I be with the withdrawals from nicotine? How long would I have to battle this addiction?
Well, I can tell you with utmost certainty that all of this worry was useless. I did get through the very few days of physical withdrawal. I can handle life’s ups and downs and am able to enjoy life without smoking. Cigarettes were not my friends. They were killing me. Once I truly accepted that fact, and it is a fact, that helped me to get through those first few days and weeks. I am still and always will be a nicotine addict. That is a tough one to accept and own. I did this to myself. I can never have just one. Never ever.
QuitNet has played a crucial part in maintaining my quit. The control and conscious choice not to smoke every day is mine and mine alone. But, having the support of this community is huge. I revel in others’ victories and am saddened when they fail. I am constantly reminded to be on guard and to protect my quit. And, if I can help another along his or her quit journey, that’s a good thing.
I am urging, no begging, you to stop smoking. You are stronger than you think you are. Take back your life. It will be the best decision you will make. Guaranteed.