I had been a smoker for more than 12 years and the thought of quitting almost sent me into a panic attack. My chest would feel tight and I started sweating like some poor menopausal sap. I was so overcome by a fear of quitting. People who have never smoked don’t understand this fear because it is so different than others. It’s the most intangible fear on the planet. How does a person become afraid to STOP doing something?
My logic was simple: I would get fat, I’d eat my own children because of no outlet for stress….on, and on, and on. But as I said in a previous post, I had a paradigm shift this year and in January, I felt another shift coming on. It was time to let go of my greatest fear and my good, dear friend – cigarettes.
How did I do it? On January 20th, I up and stopped. No gum, no patch, no acupuncture, kick boxing, or booze. What I had convinced myself was the impossible, it became abundantly clear that I was going to survive and so were my husband and children. No one was eaten, the house didn’t burst into flames and I didn’t gain twenty pounds. Was it difficult? Yes. Did I experience withdrawal symptoms? Abso-flippin-lutely. I would get on the phone with my best pal, Quan, and try and have him talk me down from the ledge. The two of us would end up giggling our guts out at how completely wacky I was sounding on the phone. It was almost to the point of hallucinations. I sounded like one of those people in movies that are in some kind of hostage situation and they know they’re going to die, so they start that mad giggling/crying external chatter. That was me, but I still had to be a mother, wife and friend. I had no choice. Push through, or roll over and die. Dying is never an option.
I made it through, starting running like a woman possessed and I feel amazing. I feel transfigured. And most of all, I feel empowered and that I will never let anything or anyone have that kind of hold on me. Do I still have cravings? Every once in a while, but when I do, I don’t fight them, I embrace those feelings as a part of what makes me, me! I will always be a smoker, but I will never again be a slave to cigarettes. Grab on to life and hang on – it’s bumpy, but what a thrill! Fear #2? CHECK!!
If you need help or support to quit smoking. Contact me and get connected with others who feel your pain. Share your journey so you won’t feel so alone.