3 Beliefs That Will Help You Quit Smoking for Good

An ex-smoker recounts her personal and inspiring quit journey


Jenn wanted to quit as much as any ex-smoker I've ever met. That said, her first year was a bear, as she explains below. But she didn't give up. She didn't smoke, not even once.  It was painful to see her struggle at times, but she fought through every bump in the road with honesty and determination.

Her story, written at three years smoke-free, offers hope for literally anyone who thinks quitting tobacco is just too hard for them to do.

We are all unique in how we recover from nicotine addiction, but one thing is certain.  If you give yourself the time you need to heal, you'll get there just as surely as any other ex-smoker has.  Believe it.

Jenn, thanks for sharing your story, and congrats on three years smoke-free!

From Jenn:

Three years ago I started a journey that scared me to the very core. I had tried to quit twice before. The first time I lasted two weeks. It took another six years to try again for my quit to last only four months. Three years ago I still hadn't forgiven myself for these relapses. My self-esteem was low and I had very little faith in my ability to break free from nicotine addiction.

I had fed myself the lies that the reasons my prior quit attempts didn't work were because I was destined to be a smoker for life. I clung to the statements from those in my past that said I would never amount to, or accomplish, anything.

I'm here to tell you that this was all junkie thinking.

Today I have been smoke-free for three years.

I had lots of motivation to quit over the years. My mom passed away from lung cancer four days after her 50th birthday. She didn't smoke a day in her life but my dad smoked over two packs a day around her.

My father passed away from COPD. I am a cancer survivor and underwent treatments in 2011 and 2013. I kept smoking. That is the power of this addiction.

When I decided to quit, about half of my social circle still smoked. They snickered and joked about how long my little experiment would last.

During my quit journey, I dealt with several physical and mental health issues, a stalker, and a house fire. Yet, I'm still adding up the smoke-free days. I scratch my head sometimes and wonder how and then I realize there are quite a few reasons that have helped me reach this day.

1) Believe in Yourself

Quitting smoking is scary and can feel like you just jumped off a cliff. Whatever you do, don't give up. You are worthy of freedom. Love yourself enough to stop the endless cycle of having a cigarette to get rid of the nicotine withdrawal symptoms from the last one.

I self-medicated my emotions away. I had such a sense of loss when time stood still in the early part of my quit. That's where changing your relationships with cigarettes comes into play. A cigarette won't take away the emotion nor the cause of that feeling. It will just make things worse.

I had to start believing in me, my personal strength, and that my personal identity didn't have to include "smoker".

2) Believe in the Process

I finally took a leap of faith in myself and the smoking cessation process. I was petrified to quit and scared of withdrawal, triggers, life without them, losing what felt like a friend, and most of all, failure.

The catch is that by quitting smoking I wasn't depriving myself of a darn thing. In fact, I was on a journey of personal discovery, regaining self-esteem, and taking control back from a drug that had infiltrated every aspect of my daily life.

I had to trust the cessation process and let it take its course. With every smoke-free day, a little bit more healing has happened.

3) Believe in Patience

I smoked for 24 years, reinforcing this addiction day in and day out. It takes some time to relearn every aspect of life. I had to learn patience with the process because the feeling of peace requires time to heal. I had to surrender and trust.

Patience is about defiance and perseverance even when you have a complete emotional meltdown, think you can't cope, you believe you don't deserve freedom, and when you dig deep and feel as if there is nothing left.

Life responds to you, your words, your thoughts, and your actions. Time is your best friend. It won't always feel this way. It will get better, a lot better. 

I am so incredibly grateful for each smoke-free day. I am blessed to have had the support I had. Regardless of your life circumstances, you are worthy of freedom and have the power within you to achieve it. Believe. 

I am stronger than this challenge and this challenge is making me stronger.

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