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Erica S., NC

My battle with cigarette smoking, my lessons and advice

I started smoking socially with friends when I was down on my life. After going through a medical diagnosis of bipolar depression I was hospitalized for it in 2006. I pushed myself then to quit too wake up and push more into a more sober life due to my inability to focus or breathe. This way I can do yoga for wellness and create some positive achievements for myself I mean I did drop out of high school so I owed myself this. My mother taught me about the benefits of exercising. I achieved success in my job and stayed busy with exercise. I stayed quit for 6 years after maybe getting too taxed out. I just needed the self worth and to prove it that I can do it literally!

Then in 2014 I moved on with my life but also gained some sociable friends with some irresponsible habits. I then went from being the quit way to the smoking way again and it deeply saddened me inside. Since then its been the ways of gambling with health and it scared me so much that after days of depression and illness I pulled thru this and came out of it. Now since being diagnosed with chronic obstructive sleep apnea my desires to breathe more easy became a priority. I am not willing to become debilitated with COPD.

I then had to dig deeper within myself and didn't want to end up with an illness because they say sleep apnea leads to copd. I say this I only am smoking to meet a craving I never meant to come out with an illness. My social smoking ways were almost toxic to me, I thought. I had to channel my old ways and get involved in my causes so I called the mental health association to join a friendship program and support the cause a little bit for my own needs. I already reached out to my online peer connections to share about my struggle with smoking on social media. That was a success and I liked the supportiveness I received. Once I accepted the blame and because responsible for my smoking it made my path more sturdy and clearer too. I had to realize I can do it by looking at my posts visually and imagining myself more better than the path I was already on so I prayed and used therapy with my music and my parents support they had for me. That energy they had gave me confidence to tackle this. They were like my cheerleaders. They told me how to get real and that what I was doing was silly.

I needed and craved quitting as an alternative to being a social smoker. My life that way was clouding my mind with confusion and anger and resentment, that I gained an illness by not using my better judgement. I never meant to go this far with it enough to get a disease. I was angry with me and stressed out always. Many times with my quit struggle I used to also go outside hoping I could escape my usual smoke trigger locations and I cannot avoid the smell other places too. My improvement was with quitting and my struggle was still with breathing and sleeping with quality breaths they are more shallow. In my state I found lots of drawbacks like the toxic air and less in person supports like groups and chats. The community wasn't in touch with themselves quitting here, its like either you smoke or you do not smoke you join a gym class. In reality, really there is no way to escape the smell in the air. Needless to say I felt disconnected. The day I learned you define your quit by watching Uncle Adams on You tube he is popular and mentioned the book by Allen Carr, the advice may make you think about why you smoke and wonder your own motives even enough to push you away. But too me its the way you want to define your quitting of smoking that's up to you just make up your mind and go follow through and do it. Why??? because anything can be possible with a can do attitude. Following my own advice is crucial too like here is what I did...  

I find quitting to be in my loved ones life's longer easier to admit thru support and self care. I find it to be important to me. Vocalize your feelings to your family so you can hear yourself thinking. Having a voice is a powerful tool. Use it, and don't you give up even for anyone's life put your first.

I used my local programs since they were virtually available like texts, phone calls and coaching. Quitting smoking is a personal thing it depends on you its your decision when you want to stop the struggle and give in. Its emotional, spiritual behavioral and stressful to but even physical and biological. So try your best, ace this class first is my advise. Don't be hard on yourself and come out of the darkness if you have mental health and addiction issues with tobacco. Thanks

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