How old were you when you first started smoking (or maybe even vaping)?
According to ash.org.uk, the chances are that you started before the age of 18, quite possibly between the ages of 11-15. I was older than that, but I grew up in a household where my Dad smoked, and in the 70s, you could buy cigarettes for your Dad when he sent you to the shop.
There were no laws in place, and the kids at school used to buy “loosies”; loose cigarettes for 10p each. If you didn’t get the bus to school and walked instead, there was always a corner shop owner on the way, who was willing to put 3 or 4 cigarettes in a 10p mix bag for you. I would have the occasional cigarette when I was a lot older, but it was enough to lay the foundations for my later addiction.
So, if you’ve been smoking since you were a teenager, the chances are you’ve been smoking for at least 10, 15 years, if you’re reading here; most of our clients are in their 30s and upwards for quitting smoking. You’ll be feeling the aches and pains associated with smoking, maybe feeling a little more aware of mortality, and scared of the very real dangers from smoking, such as cancer, emphysema, and so on.
But there’s a problem here; you’ve been through all your major life events as a smoker, so it’s become central to your identity.
Think about it; every success, difficulty, party, graduation, new job, job loss….sometimes even baby news…has been accompanied by cigarettes. They’ve been in your pocket, in your bag, in easy reaching and lighting distance.
They’ve served as an antidote to boredom, stress, and all the while, you’ve known you “should” quit but this is the thing that really stops us. We see smoking as part of who we are.
Without cigarettes, what will we do?
Grieving for your friends
It’s a perfectly natural state to grieve for a part of you that you feel you’ve lost. When you decide to quit smoking, I can vouch for the empty feeling, the hollowness, and the grief that a big part of your life has gone. However, your friends don’t drop hot rocks onto your clothes on purpose, and don’t make you go outside in the pouring rain to smoke; they don’t make you miss crucial parts of films because you just need to nip outside; and as far who you are, you are someone whose life is constantly interrupted by the need to smoke.
Smokers don’t take breaks; smokers are forced, by their addictions, to smoke.
So in that case, is this a part of who you are, really? Or are you keeping yourself from a much better life because you’re being held to ransom by addiction? I know it’s the latter; I’ve been there, come out of the other side, and learned how great life is when you can breathe and aren’tidentified by being a smoker.
A smoker is not who you are; it’s something you do. And all behaviour can be changed.
If you want and need to quit smoking but you are scared that you will lose out, then talk to me; let’s set up a 20 minute free information session, and you can find out how to quit and what will make you successful.