Cigarettes Were an Abusive Partner

Diana's Goodbye Letter to Smoking

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A member of the support forum here at About.com Smoking Cessation, Diana wrote a goodbye letter to nicotine addiction that details the abuse cigarette smoking puts us through. Her words are alarming and powerfully true. Cigarettes are an abusive partner on every level.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Diana, and congratulations on quitting. Stick with it and the ties that bind you to this addiction will be broken, one-by-one. It takes time and patience, but is worth every bit of work and more. Your precious and irreplaceable life is worth the work!

From Diana:

Yesterday was the three week anniversary of my quit. It has been a rough week-end and it is all I can do to remind myself of all the reasons I quit smoking in the first place and why I need to remain strong as "this too shall pass."

At three weeks smoke-free, the "honeymoon" phase is over and fighting the cravings is just getting old and exhausting at this point. I LOVE the way I feel now, the fact I am replacing chemicals with vitamins and replacing a very bad habit, with better, healthier habits. More than anything, I am so proud of my strength and resolve. I don't want to start smoking again, I have nothing to gain and everything to lose. It is hard though.

This forum is what is helping me get through each day. I went back to reading to help me remember why this fight is so important, and I stumbled across the article about how the only way to not slip after years of quitting is to replace the way we view smoking in general.

It is not "good" it is "bad."

This article made me think that smoking is very much like being in an abusive relationship. It starts off very passionate and enjoyable. We fall madly in love with each other and can't eat, can't sleep, can't be without each other every minute of the day.

After awhile though, the abuse starts.

The physical abuse and the mental / psychological abuse. We start to get sick, gag, feel so much anxiety, we shake, are distracted and are embarrassed. We dread having to face each other, yet can't stay away. We crave the abuse, even though at the same time we feel we deserve better and we can't believe that some one as smart, strong, independent can be so drawn to something so bad for us.

For our self-esteem, our pride, our body, our spirituality. We try to run and hide, we try to stay away, but keep coming back for more. We are scared that we are going to end up in the emergency room, but at the same time we are in denial that our "love" would ever hurt us that bad.

We look at other people in healthy relationships (non or ex-smokers) and want to know "what is wrong with us?", then we think we must deserve the abuse. We think that we are not "good enough" to have a healthy relationship. We think that if we were better people or not as weak, we would not be in this situation, and we stay in it, year after year.

We put up with things that we would hate if they happened to our children or parents.

Cigarettes are my abusive partner, and I should have a protective order against them for the damage they have done to me in my lifetime. They are not healthy. They are not attractive. They did not give me hope, support or love. They did not hug me when I was sad, instead they kept making me anxious, sick and broke.

If I went back to that relationship, nothing would change. They would be so kind to me in the beginning. Welcome me back with open arms, but soon I would lose my new found confidence and freedom and be back in the horror of that abusive relationship.

I say, "good riddance" and I hope to have new healthy relationships with exercise, fresh air, fruits and veggies, clean water and real friends. I will replace the physical and mental abuse with self-love and support from others who have learned to leave a bad situation (the people on this forum).

I have to say thanks to all of you that helped me get through this week-end smoke free. You are all the best!!! Keep posting your stories, struggles, weaknesses and realizations. They all help.

Stay strong and for all the new "quitters" out there, you can do it!! You DO deserve better.

~Diana

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