I Will Survive!

A Goodbye to Smoking

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This ex-smoker describes the toxic relationship that follows nicotine addiction.

From Liz:

Dear Nic,

I'm writing you a letter that I may never send. You see, I can't have any contact with you right now. When I said goodbye, I meant it. But there are times when the thought of you is overwhelming. And so I think it will help for me to be completely honest with myself.

I must confess that I became dependent on you.

I believed that I could not bear to feel my loneliness. Instead, I always turned to you. And with you around, I never did anything about it. I didn't bother to reach out to others, to develop more healthy relationships. I got wrapped up in my own little world, just you and me and my fantasies that things would get better some day.

But the truth is, things didn't get better, because I lost touch with my real feelings. I had nothing to motivate me. You seemed to satisfy all of my desires.

Now I realize that I gave away my power to you. I convinced myself that you held the solution to all of my problems. In fact, I went into denial. My perceptions of reality became distorted. I confused quenching the uncomfortable feelings with actually dealing with the source of them and taking action on my own behalf.

I am taking this power back now. I am learning how to accept my feelings. I am learning how to face reality without you.

And I see you for what you really are. A false friend. One who would take my very life force away from me. One who will abandon me in the end, no matter how long I try to hang on to you. It's a harsh thing to say, but that is not nearly as harsh as the toll you have taken on my health.

I am glad to finally feel the anger that I used to suppress about our relationship.

I've been through the terror of losing you and the agonies of withdrawal and I'm stronger for it. I've accepted that I might have moments of confusion and self-doubt, and learned that they don't mean that I have to go back to you.

Now that I've finally gotten you out of my system, I have a choice. And I exercise that choice with pride and reverence. I never want to take my freedom for granted. So, like the song says:

Go, walk out the door
Just turn around now
Cause you're not welcome anymore...

I will survive!

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