How I Made it to One Full Year Smoke-Free

Scottie Girl's Quit Story

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Smoking Cessation support forum member Scottie Girl wrote the account below when she reached a year smoke-free.  

Thanks for sharing and congratulations!

From Scottie Girl:

Hi Everyone - I can't believe I've made it to ONE FULL YEAR smoke-free!

It's a day that I have yearned for longer than I can remember, but never really believed that I would make it. This is something that I have never before achieved in my adult life - being smoke-free for one year.

It feels, quite simply, amazing.

I was driving to work this morning and took 20 minutes or so to reflect on how I felt about today and what this represents for me and my life. I have been defined by smoking my whole adult life; it was woven into every fabric, behavior, emotion, sentiment and goal that I ever had or made and I never, ever thought I would be free from its chains. I was convinced that I was the one who would get lung cancer, heart disease or have a limb amputated. I was terrified.

I started smoking at the age of 12 or 13 (can't quite remember), and it wasn't long before I was hooked. I spent the next 20 years trying to stop. Every time I tried, I failed - two weeks, three weeks, three months, even nine months.

I became known as the serial quitter. I lost belief in myself and I think others did too. No one ever said it but you could tell they thought it. Alongside that, the praise and encouragement tapered off to where it was virtually absent.

My dad sent me a 'well done for stopping smoking' card once. It was the only one he sent and I pulled it out each time I stopped smoking.

So, why is this time different? Well, I will never say never, but there are two fundamentals things that are different with this quit than with the others. Firstly, I understand my addiction and secondly, I have the best support that I could ever have dreamt of through this forum.

These are simply the main differences. Nothing more, nothing less.

I've learned three major things in the last year about nicotine addiction and myself:

1) 'Just the one' puff, drag, ciggy, fag, or whatever doesn't exist. There is no point in trying to make it real because it will never be real. Those words and thoughts of 'Just the One' led me to be in a constant battle with nicotine my whole adult life. I understand that to remain free, I need to remain SMOKE and NICOTINE free - completely. Remember this and you will be ok.

2) Healing from nicotine addiction is not an event, but a process. I saw my journey in two distinct stages:

I have been through a lot and managed it smoke-free. Before I thought I would be ok after the quit date but this needs to be broken down, strategies need to be developed, navigation of difficult circumstances and belief in oneself above all (which I developed over the course of time).

3) My addiction made me avoid confrontation, allow people to walk all over me. I suppressed anger, irritation, annoyance, hurt, and confusion. Dealing with my addiction made me first. It felt uncomfortable and I felt exposed. But I tell you something. I feel more alive now and in control of who I am than I ever did as a smoker.

This has been the best thing I have ever done in my life and I am so proud of myself.

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. You can do this, too.

Scottie Girl - One year Free.

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