October 16, 2007

A Letter to Whoopi Goldberg About Quitting Smoking

I've been watching The View from yesterday because I was interested in seeing the Hilary Clinton segment (don't ask me why. I don't even like Hilary) but I got sucked into Whoopi Goldberg's segment on smoking. She was filmed talking to several people working for The View to see how they quit, in order to guage how difficult it might be for her. I hope that she googles herself and finds this post.
Dear Whoopi.

I was happy to hear that you would like to quit smoking. But it will be difficult. You just have to do it. Don't TRY to do it. Just do it.

I smoked for a long time, about 18 years, before I decided to quit. It's been a little over three years. I told myself that I wasn't a smoker and that smoking was unnatural for me. That was enough. It was a struggle. But I did it cold turkey. I just had to train myself not to smoke.

Perhaps you've heard that the craving to smoke goes away after three days. Don't listen to anyone who says that. If you've been smoking a long time, that's total shite. You will want to smoke every day. The cravings are intense and they last for a very long time, but they do pass. Don't bother fighting them, just let the feeling move through you. The cravings start to decrease in time and intensity. Eventually you'll spend so much less time craving you'll forget you were ever a smoker.

Now that I've said that, I'll contradict myself a little bit. There were times when the craving took over so badly that I just had to have one. The other secret to my success was that I would smoke one cigarette every two months or so.

Because you're human, you'll have to give into it every now and then, but when you do after months of not smoking, that cigarette is going to make you feel sooooo sick. But it will satisfy. It will sustain you while you continue NOT to smoke. The first one I had after months of not smoking made me sick to my stomach. But even those occassional slips will pass. It takes a LONG time to completely quit smoking. I don't mean to be discouraging but you have to be realistic.

There is no mystery. There is no secret. There is no trick. JUST DON'T SMOKE. And eventually you won't need to smoke anymore.

Be kind to yourself and forgive yourself if you do slip, but stick to it. And you'll be golden.

Remember, you are not naturally a smoker. Smoking is not natural. Think of that everytime you want to buy a pack.



The Complainaholic said...

i love this. so true. it is hard. what helped me quit was every time the little voice in my head suggested i go buy a pack i'd counter with another voice reminding me how awesome i was for quitting. it's quite an ego boost - especially when you're the kind of person who beats yourself up for smoking. thanks for writing this.

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