Let’s talk about something very real- How and why I quit smoking cigarettes.
Y’all know I keep it real AF. I don’t play games here. When we’re all sitting down behind our phones or our computer screens we dive into the internet and search for answers that we may or may not be afraid to talk about out loud. Smoking cigarettes is one of them. I sure as shit didn’t want to talk to anyone about my addiction, because that meant I HAD an addiction. Ew, who wants to admit that?! Obviously not an addict. And certainly not I.
I started smoking when I was 15. I grew up in Los Angeles, where it’s relatively easy to access things you’re not supposed to until you’re of age. Cigarettes being one of them. The interesting thing is that I grew up in an affluent neighborhood where most people move to so they can raise their children in a family friendly infrastructure, where crime is reduced and safety is held in high regard. But even those factors couldn’t control just how many people smoked cigarettes at my high school. The fact is I was breaking the law buying cigarettes, and so was the business that sold them to me knowing damn well I wasn’t 18.
But there I was, addicted. And it was my release. It took me 11 years to quit smoking, and when I did, that was another liberating release, but in a different, and better, way. I was no longer tied down to planning my smoke breaks around the times that I ate. Or planning when my next break at work would be so I could quickly get that drag to escape my reality of stress or exhaustion. Or if I became sad or anxious or hungover or drunk- puff puff puff. I was a slave to my habit. I was smoking up to almost a pack a day, imagine how much time and money I put into cigarettes, it was a lottttt.
But the trick to quitting, at least for me, was having a solid and strong reason to quit. I tried quitting a handful of times before the last time really set in. And it stuck. My reason, you wonder? I got pregnant.
But that was still no cake walk in terms of kicking my addiction! Here’s what truly helped me quit.
How I Quit Smoking Cigarettes
- Find a real and true reason that makes you want to quit smoking. Yes, I hear people often say if you become pregnant than you’ll quit smoking. But that doesn’t hold true for everyone, nor does it stick. It also doesn’t make it any less hard. Find that reason that drives you to stop killing yourself.
- Replace your habit with a better one. Get addicted to something else for the time being. My addiction became game of thrones. I replaced my addiction with a better one, Jon Snow haha. Like, yeah, getting addicted to working out would have been a better addiction but not everyone is going to take that route. Baby steps.
- Remind yourself often why you quit. There are apps that will remind you how much money you’re saving, how your lungs are improving, and how many cigarettes you haven’t smoked. We’re human and we love to see what good we’re doing for ourselves, so if we can’t physically see it, we can read about it!
- Quit in a way you know you’re not going to cheat yourself. Cold turkey, cutting down, the patch, e-cigs – do what works for YOU. Not everyone is going to quit in the same way and you cannot expect to.
- Find someone to hold you accountable. This one is easier said than done, but even if you have your cat hold you accountable at least you’re telling someone the truth about your process. Talk about it out loud. Take away the power that cigarettes have of you.
Sugar coating shit isn’t my cup of tea, and I know many out there who struggle with the same thing. Don’t sugar coat your addiction. Own up to it, even if you don’t decide to quit now. You will eventually, if you take that first step.
Quitting is honestly harder than most anything I’ve ever done. In the spirit of full transparency, it may take years. After Bodhi was born I smoked a cigarette or two here and there if I drank. They still had a slight hold on me. But I knew myself and knew if I denied that craving than I would binge in a worse way, most likely resulting in picking up the habit again. I was also going through postpartum depression, so the damn things pulled me back in for a brief moment, but nothing more than a brief slip up leading to me feeling soo gross right after.
Don’t put a ton of pressure on yourself if you don’t at first succeed. Addiction should be handled with care. But I do hope one day you try, because it feels good to be on the ass kicking side, the side that breaks yourself free of being a slave to a freaking stick of death.