Anyone who has tried to stop smoking knows that the craving for nicotine takes a long time (or never) to disappear, and the early weeks of abstinence are accompanied by side effects such as disruptive sleep, distractibility, excessive eating, depression, anxiety and anger. — Judith J. Wurtman Ph.D.
The adverse effects of smoking are known, from cancer to heart problems to other severe medical health conditions. According to Reuters, about 500,000 die each year because of smoking, but still, cigarettes are sold in plain daylight in the market. The funny thing is many people declare poverty, yet they have money to support their smoking addiction. I should know because I’m one of those people.
Just a few years back, my father died of lung cancer, and it hit us hard as my mom passed away sooner. Our dad stood up for us four, and I believe too much pressure and stress made his immune system weak. Now, my siblings and I barely talk to each other. It felt like nothing was connecting us anymore. I learned how to smoke cigarettes right after I lost my dad.
Somehow, smoking makes me calm plus it makes me think. I almost forgot it’s what killed my father until one day when I wasn’t feeling okay. I had a terrible cough, so I had to go to the hospital to have a checkup. Sitting right next to me was a beautiful girl – a beautiful bald girl. She was sitting in a wheelchair, reading a book. It’s obvious what she was there for and what her condition was, and that made me feel ungrateful. There she was battling to lengthen her life, and here I am not giving a care about what smoking is going to do to me.
Essentially, if a stimulus predicts getting a hit, the brain gets smokers to pay attention to it so that they can do whatever is necessary and get a little drug in. — Adi Jaffe Ph.D.
After I had my checkup and was given medications, I hurriedly went home and fired up my laptop. I then browsed for the nearest counseling I could find, and luckily I saw one. I believe I’ve already seen this clinic once when I did an errand in that building.
Now, I’m on my third month of counseling, and we don’t just discuss how to quit smoking. My counselor has helped me identify the factors that led me to be a nicotine addict, and it primarily pointed out to the death of my father. It got me all depressed and fearful of losing another person in my life. Maybe that’s why I chose not to talk to my siblings. I have also realized that I haven’t been living. I was just surviving because I was afraid to die. I survive for the sake of it, but I forgot how it was like to have a purpose.
…smoking cessation is often accompanied by withdrawal states that contribute to resumption of smoking, including low mood, difficulty engaging in rewarding activities, and impaired thinking/memory. — Rick Nauert PhD
I’m still trying to figure out what my purpose is, but one thing that I am sure of is that I want to live longer, so I am determined to live healthily and quit smoking. It’s never smooth with all the cravings and mood swings, but I’m getting there. I’m almost close to not ending up like my father (hopefully – at least I lessened the risk).
Aside from going to a physical clinic where you can attend an actual therapy session, you could also check out credible counseling websites such as Betterhelp to aid you in quitting an addiction. They are available to lend a hand anytime.