“Don’t ever give up,” he said to me. “ Take what you learned from this quit attempt and bring it to the next one.”
Those are the words of my friend Drew when he would encourage me with the millions of times I tried to quit smoking.
He was right.
The more attempts I made, the closer I got to quitting for good. And I finally did.
Quitting smoking was one of the greatest challenges of my life. It was one of the best decisions I had ever made. It is one of the best things you will do for your health, longevity and sanity.
Cigarettes are not your best friend. They are your enemy. They enslave you. They own you until you quit.
Look at a quit attempt as throwing a wrench into the ritual of your patterns and triggers. It mixes things up; starts breaking up the routine of being a smoker.
Many people experience withdrawals that are not a walk in the park, in the least. Insomnia, irritability, crying spells, exhaustion, disorientation, rage. Who wants to feel these things? Nobody. But if this is your passage to freedom, then embrace the courage and walk through it. You have nothing to lose except a horrible addiction and everything to gain, like your vibrant health. Withdrawals are temporary, unlike some of the sickness and diseases caused by smoking.
People get traumatized by the withdrawal symptoms and use it as an excuse to smoke another “comfortable” decade before making another attempt to quit. Don’t do this. Don’t just give up for awhile. Keep going and take what you learned from the mistakes you made and turn them into strength to go further until you finally give it up for good. Everyone and everything will thank you for it. You will gain confidence and energy by quitting. You will wake up without a desperation to get your first nicotine fix of the day. You will break the chains of being a slave to tobacco. Keep going!
Another reason why people give up is because they have not been successful in quitting…YET. Yet is the key word. People give up on themselves. Who likes to feel bad about themselves? Nobody. Nobody likes that feeling of setting out to accomplish something important and then it doesn’t work out. Nobody. But don’t let this be an excuse to give up. Keep going.
Research studies show that it usually takes smokers several attempts before giving up cigarettes for good. It is the nature of the beast. This is a hardcore addiction that we’re dealing with. Don’t forget that. At the same time, don’t assume that you will fail, even if it’s your first attempt. There are always exceptions to the rule, and you could be one of them. You will never know if you don’t give it your best shot. So just do it!
Another reason people hold off on quitting is because they believe that they are weak if they do not quit cold turkey; if they cannot “do it on their own.” Pride gets in their way. If you need some help in quitting, whether that looks like some free counseling or some patches, then so be it. Don’t let tobacco win. Don’t settle for it ruling your life on account of your ego. It’s not worth it.
You can do this. Go in with optimism and don’t expect the worst. You might be surprised. Your hope and your strong intentions to quit can propel you into a smoke-free life. Never ever ever give up.
As Drew once told me, “The more attempts you make, the closer you get to quitting for good.”
And he was right. Don’t ever give up. You CAN Quit and you WILL!