By starryshapes

Quit 3 Years And 2 Months Ago But Still Mindful Of The Fact That It's Always One Day At A Time...

I was alerted to the fact that this forum existed through my work as a hypnotherapist. I quit smoking three years and two months ago due in no small part to the help I received form my hypnotherapy mentor during my training. Knowing that the power of hypnotherapy is so great in this quest for healing, it is my pleasure and privilege to be a member of this group and to see that so many others are on this journey with me. 

I started smoking age 12 when my cousin forced me to smoke a cigarette because she was smoking and she didn't want me to tell on her.... I hated it, but like every other smoker (and ex smoker!) I know that this was a habit I had to work hard at to get really good at it, and likewise, I have had to work equally as hard at kicking the habit for good. 

I am no stranger to habit kickers and am reminded in my work many times a month of one of the reasons I gave up my habit three years ago, it flipping STINKS!!! when a client comes to see me and they have just smoked their last cigarette I am painfully aware of how I must have smelled to the non smokers around me when I came in from having a crafty ciggie at work, or wherever else I chose to smoke. 

I have to say though that I am also reminded that this is a lifetimes worth of daily choices to not take a single puff of a cigarette, sometimes when I am out and about I smell that first whiff of a freshly lit cigarette and I think - just for a second- 'ooh I could really enjoy that.....'- but I do what my mentor told me, I play that tape forwards and imagine how I would feel if I was to smoke a cigarette, how much I would feel that I had let myself down, and those around me who now regard me as a fully fledged non smoker. How much I would regret it and how many years, months and days I would have just thrown away with just a few moments of stupidity and weakness. Its a hard journey but not impossible, I can testify that much... It's as much, if not more in our minds as it is in our bodies. 

One of the things that my mentor told me was that even though I was smoking up to 40 cigarettes a day, not once had my 'addiction' woken me up at night through withdrawal symptoms, yes I would wake at night to use the bathroom, or get a drink and I would inevitably use that time to have another cigarette, but the simple fact was that the withdrawals from cigarettes after several hours of not smoking and being asleep did not ever feel bad enough that I would wake up shaking and sweating because I NEEDED a cigarette. 

I am also a recovering drug addict, and I HAVE been woken up by the withdrawals from the drugs I was taking and I can tell you that that really was a visceral, physical withdrawal that left my body in tatters and my mind completely broken... The pain of waking up in the middle of the night for a hit was unavoidable and I NEVER had that same sensation when sleeping after my last cigarette of the day, the truth of her words dawned on me, my body was far less addicted to the drugs in those rolls of paper and a filter than it was to the other illegal drugs I was addicted to, and if my body wasn't addicted as much as I thought then the addiction was evidently in my mind, and if hypnotherapy deals with my conscious and unconscious mind then I KNEW it would work. 

And it did. And I did. I worked at dropping that habit as hard as I worked at picking it up in the first place. That drug lied to me, it told me that I needed it when I didn't, it told me that I 'enjoyed' it, when really whats to enjoy about sticking some dried leaves in a tube of paper in my mouth and setting fire to it and breathing in all that crap and poison, it doesn't even TASTE nice!! I realised the ridiculousness of the whole charade of smoking, what I thought it gave me when really it was just stealing from me the whole time..... and I consciously and unconsciously made the choice to ditch it for good. 

Still, it is one day at a time, show me a man, woman or child who can live out an entire week in one go and I may yet be convinced, but as far as I know we only have the moment that we are in, and if we can consciously choose to keep that moment, that hour, that day clean, clear, healthy and free from the toxic smoke for just that moment then we are absolutely on the right track. 

I still need reminding of that, and also the fact that I am in my nature prone to feeling addicted to things, food, alcohol, drugs, spending, not spending, you name it, I will find a way of making it habitual! I have come to the awareness that practice makes perfect and therefore we need... I need... to be careful what I practice! 

Like any other addict, or habitual user, we are only ever one cigarette away from that next pack or carton, and I remain firm in my resolve to abstain in this moment, in this hour, and in this day. I hope to meet like minded individuals who I can draw inspiration from to keep going on this quest for pink healthy lungs and a strong heart with sleek arteries, and maybe even my own journey will inspire someone else. One thing that has been a mantra of mine, as I have used support groups in the past, is 'together we can' and we really can. 

Beautiful post! Thank you for sharing
3 Years! AWESOME progress. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I hope you stick around :)
I love hearing from long term ex smokers. Thank you so much :) Do you ever have any cravings anymore?
Hypnotherapy certainly does help some people quit. Our minds are crazy impressive :)
Wow age 12 - that is super young! Congrats on 3 years!
hi thanks for these lovely replies.... mumbojumbo, in short, no I do not have cravings any more. I do have momets when I smell a cigarette and have a fleeting thought that I might enjoy it if I had one, but as I was in the process of giving up, back before I quit for good I would have a month or two without a cigarette and I would give into a craving and immediately regretted it and didn't enjoy the taste so knowing tht I actually don't like the taste, even when I have that fleeting thought I am able to dismiss it and it never fully develops into a proper craving I can honestly say I NEVER actually crave a cigarette any more, at this point in time. I may go through a stressful situation in the future and really crave them, I don't know which is why I am so sure tht this is a daily program of deciding to stay abstinent. because we don't know what the future holds so we don't know if we will want to smoke or not, so I choose to be clean from toxic smoke in this hour and in the next hour and so on. It is not currently a hard decision to make but who knows what the future holds. I would hope that I never have a cigarette again, but not having a cigarette for today is good enough for me :) xxxxx
Starryshapes..Thank you for a true and honest out of the heart post...I was one of those lucky ones and never got hooked by any other drug than nicotine...Also forced to overcome maybe boredom as a young man in the trenches fighting a war...smoked for 38 years and thought nothing of it until it became difficult to bash the waves with my Kayak and paddling against wind and high swells...So I stopped and rediscovered life the way it should be..I am happy and glad to say I am not depending on that cigarette anymore but make my own happiness...!
thank you for your kind words and I would say that I agree with what you said definitely hercu, making my own happiness is essential! I am an artist and a writer and thoroughly enjoy doing those things without the constant stopping and starting of smoking.... also the amount of money I wasted when I would start smoking a cigarette and then get distracted y what I was doing and leave the cigarette burning down to the stinky filter lol all those £1000's wasted!!!