Jul 03 2008

Free From Smoking, Part Three

The first two articles in this series told the story of a person who tried for years to quit smoking, unsuccessfully. That person was me, and the story wasn’t pretty. In Part Three, I’ll tell you what finally worked — what helped –and some new tools that you can use to stop smoking for good.

Let’s cut to the chase here. I know you want to know what worked, so I’ll just tell you. Five things:

1. Coming to live with a person who has asthma and cannot tolerate smoke in any form. I cared about this person and did not want to harm her. My smoking did — and would — definitely harm her. I suddenly had a bigger motivation to stop.

2. Caring about myself enough that my own life and health matter more than any addiction. That one was tough — but essential. I had to be willing to quit for my own sake, not because of what someone else wanted FROM me — but because of what I wanted FOR me.

3. Finding the right aids to help me overcome the powerful physical effects of withdrawal. I came to understand that THIS was the main thing that kept defeating me, over and over. I found the right things. More on that in a minute. . .I’ll give you a list.

4. Understanding that for any kind of addiction, regardless of the substance, there is no such thing as “I’ll just have ONE.” If I am addicted, I cannot have ANY. Ever. Period. It took me such a long time to get that.

5. I had to be willing to become a person who does not smoke. That is a subtle but powerful change of attitude. And it’s essential.

Here are all the things that helped me to overcome the withdrawal symptoms:

  • A homeopathic formula made by Natra Bio, called Smoking Cessation. (If I can find a link for it, I will post it here — I found mine in a health food store.) But you have to have already stopped smoking, for it to work. So be really sure — and get your mind and attitude ready to start thinking of yourself as a non-smoker. Because that’s what you will need to do, to stay away from cigarettes.
  • Aromatherapy. What worked best for me was Green Apple. For some reason, it really made me not crave cigarettes so much. I carried a little vial of it around with me, and whenever I felt the craving start, I would open the bottle and sniff until the craving went away. Fortunately I like the smell of Green Apple; it’s pleasant and reminds me of healthy things.
  • Having something to do with my hands and mouth. I got a large supply of plastic straws and swizzle sticks and chewed the heck out of them. I suppose chewing gum would also work.
  • Washed all the curtains and all my clothes; sending my winter things to the dry cleaners to get the smell out of them.
  • Threw away everything that reminded me about smoking. Cleaned out the ashtrays in my car and took it through the car wash. Used aromatherapy inside the car, too.
  • Avoided (as best I could) places where people smoke. And I put all my friends, co-workers and acquaintances on notice that I was quitting on a specific date, and I wanted them to support me by not smoking around me for a while. Thankfully they were glad to help.

Nicorette gum did not work for me, ever. It kept tobacco in my system and kept me craving. I didn’t use it when I finally quit. I didn’t even try to taper off, I just set a date and stopped. I made a decision, took the actions, and kept moving toward whatever I had to do to become a non-smoker.

The mental shift made me think more about what a non-smoker does, than what a “suffering cigarettte addict” does. It forced me to think — and behave — differently. And that worked for me (along with all the other stuff I outlined above, of course.)

Was it easy? Well, yes and no. It was easier than the other times I tried — because I usually never made it past those first crucial 24 hours. This time, I did. The worst moments were during the first ten days; it got easier after that — with the help of all the above.

It’s now been more than ten years since that last cigarette. Do I still crave cigarettes? Sometimes. Rarely now, after this much time. I just don’t smoke. No matter what. I like being a smoke-free person. My lungs have gotten healthy. My clothes and hair smell nice all the time. My breath smells fresh all day long (unless I’ve eaten garlic, hehehe. . . )

And best of all? I really like myself. One of the hidden benefits of stopping smoking — which was a big surprise to me — is how much self esteem I recovered. Wow. Huge bonus!

But you know what? I have never forgotten how hard it was for me to quit. I hate the smell of cigarettes and don’t like to be around it — but I have lots of compassion for those who want to quit and can’t. My sister still smokes, and I worry about her. She has 5 kids. My dad died of lung cancer and refused to quit until the day he died, in horrible pain and anguish. I don’t want to die like that, and I don’t want anyone i care about to have to go through what I did.

That’s one reason why, after I became a Certified Flower Essence Practitioner, I decided that I wanted to find the flowers that can help people stop smoking. I wish I had known then what I know now — because flower essences would have been one of the first places I would have turned for help. But my past is what it is. I can’t go back and change how it happened for me.

But I can change how it happens for you! Or, more precisely, the flowers can. . .

The Smoke No More Formula is my custom blended flower essence formula, prepared with love and understanding — and powerful flower patterns that help you release addictions to tobacco, and get your mind and spirit ready to become a non-smoker, and help you stop.

I highly recommend that when you get ready to quit, you try the homeopathic tablets too, and follow a system similar to what worked for me. I don’t know how long it will take you — but you can quit faster than I did if you learn from my story and from what finally made the difference for me.

You may not have to move in with an asthmatic — but you sure can do the other steps! If you are addicted to cigarettes — or any other form of tobacco — freedom is just one decision away from you. The flowers can help. Try Smoke No More today. Make that decision now.

Many blessings,

Nancy

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