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The ciggy in the green ashtray. If I did it… You can do it!

Today, exactly one year ago, I smashed my last cigarette in a green Moroccan ashtray and decided that I was done forever with smoking.

If I did it, you can do it!

It all started because I thought I was pregnant. I wasn’t totally sure about it, but I thought it would be a good idea to try to quit smoking even if I really didn’t have the will. Half convinced, I started reading THE Allen Carr book. He tells you that you should continue smoking until the end of the book. You can read it in a month or in a day. The day after, in the middle of the book, I consciously crushed my last Marlboro light in a green Moroccan astray. The thing is that I was not a casual smoker… no way! I was smoking at least 3 packs a day since I was 14.

Honestly, I wasn’t convinced that I would really stop smoking. Few years ago, I tried to quit, but after 3 months with no cigarettes my life went upside down and I fell into depression. Nice hum!? It lasted for years. Of course, I started smoking again but the fact of being without cigarettes opened some doors I would have rather left closed. Few years later, I tried stopping again but 2 weeks later, I started crying like a baby for no reasons and decided that my life was meant to be the life of a smoker if I wanted to stay depressed-free!

In my mind, living without cigarettes was synonym of a miserable life. I was convinced that the fact of not smoking created a chemistry that would mess up with my emotions. And maybe it did, or maybe that’s true. But today I believe that your emotions are governed by your mind and more specifically by the internal story that you will tell yourself. You create what you believe in.

Let me be more specific. You can tell yourself that you are unhappy without cigarette, that you are deprived, that a piece of yourself is missing without that stick in your hand. For sure you will feel down, sad, depressed, lonely. Your reality will be conform to the story you tell yourself and in which you believe. Or you can tell yourself that you are happy, healthy, free and not dependent of this piece of S*** and feel the happiness of being a nonsmoker, the happiness of being independent and free.

I guess we all have different expectations of what would make us happy. For me, I must say that being free is what satisfies me the most. To be very honest, my dependence to cigarettes was so strong that I would refuse some diner invitation just because I couldn’t smoke. I had reached a point where I wouldn’t go to some places because smoking was not allowed. If I had to travel, I would check in advance if there were smoking areas in transit airports. I was wondering how I would accept a new job knowing that I couldn’t smoke in the office. Not being able to smoke while working was unthinkable for me! You see how pathetic I was!? This is to say that for me the freedom gained by being a nonsmoker is what reminds me every day that I am soooo happy not to smoke anymore.

I don’t think that something is MISSING… I know that I GAINED freedom! This is the secret of the mental switch which allowed me to quit smoking easily without suffering.

I don’t feel deprived… I feel fulfilled.

I knew that I was over for good with cigarette when 2 days after having crushed my last cigarette I understood I wasn’t pregnant. That was the original reason I wanted to stop. Of course I was sad, so a little voice in my head started saying “Ok Stef, you no longer need to stop smoking, you have no more reason to be smoke free. You should light up a cigarette because you are sad, it will comfort you… It will cheer you up”. For once, the rational side of me took the advantage. It was as if I was laying down all the cards, turning them one by one, revealing the truth. And that truth was that:

  • Smoking a cigarette wouldn’t change things. It wouldn’t bring back a baby.

  • Smoking a cigarette wouldn’t change the fact that I was sad;

  • Smoking a cigarette would only make me feel angry against myself

  • I wouldn’t be proud of myself if I started smoking again at the first bump on the road;

  • I had already done the most difficult part; crushing that last cigarette

  • I realised that these stories we tell ourselves to justify the act of smoking were only illusions.

  • It is an illusion to think that a cigarette will remove your pain or your sadness. If you realistically think about it. It is NOT TRUE.

This internal dialogue revealed an evidence: All the ideas that I had about the cigarette were untrue.

They are only false pretexts trying to justify why lighting up a ciggy is a good idea.

  • You are happy, so you must smoke

  • You are sad, so you must smoke

  • Something good happened to you, so you must celebrate with a smoke;

  • Something bad happened, you must have a smoke because you’re sad;

  • You are partying, smoke is festive;

  • You are bored so you’ll get occupied

  • You are alone, it will keep you company

  • You are anxious, it will calm you

  • You need to concentrate, it helps

  • You need to think

  • You just had a coffee

  • You are amongst friends

  • You need company

  • It’s break time

You see, every excuse is good to have a smoke! But for each occasion ask yourself the following question: “is this statement true?”

You will grasp that it is not the reality. It is not true that a ciggy will calm you if you are anxious. You THINK that it calms you but it is NOT TRUE.

My point here is not to give a lesson to anyone on the fact that cigarettes are not good for your health. Honestly, I didn’t stop because of this and to be even more honest, I did not see a huge difference on my breathing nor on my skin. As I said, we all have different motivation and freedom was mine.

Putting out this cigarette in this green ashtray one year ago was the best thing I did since a long time. It was the beginning of a new life and if I did it, you can do it!

This is how I became a non-smoker. If you want to try, that’s the way I did it:

  • I read “the Book” of Allen Carr : The easy way to stop smoking

  • Every evening for 2 or 3 weeks I listened to the hypnosis of Paul McKenna: Quit smoking hypnosis. You need 21 days to change a habit!

  • Each time I had a doubt or a little voice came to mind suggesting me to smoke, I re-read the last chapter of the book “the final cigarette”. I still have it in my iPhone, just in case!

  • Believe you can do it!

  • Be happy!

Here's a song to motivate you of boost up your day.

Al Hudson & The Partners - You Can Do It!

Until next time…



This Blog is all about my love for Colors, Art, Food, Healthy living, Design & more generally about all the good and colorful things life has to offer.

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