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    Everything I'm already thinking I will hate about quitting!
    gbjess posted:
    I am a 33 year old female, have been smoking for 14 years. I want to quit, I know I need to quit, I have quit before and failed. I recently made a geographic move that is very exciting for me and am thrilled about this new start in life. I have a successful career, I am eating healthier than I ever have and am more active than ever as well. I want to be healthier though and I know I need to quit smoking to be the kind of person I really want to be and be seen as. I am also single and have realized that many men will not even consider dating someone that smokes. I guess what I'm looking for is some advice on how to get these "thoughts" out of my head that overwhelm me every time I seriously start thinking about quitting:
    1) I have very high anxiety and am fearful of taking away the practice that I use to calm myself when feeling particularly stressed.
    2) I don't drink much anymore, but when I do, I love to smoke. I fear I won't enjoy drinking socially anymore if I know I can't smoke.
    3) When the weather is warm, I look forward to nothing more than being outside, reading a book and smoking.
    4) If I'm in my car, I'm miserable will my daily commute be if I quit?
    5) I have recently lost a decent amount of weight and for the first time in my life am relatively happy with my body image...I fear I will gain the weight back if I quit.

    Any advice, thoughts, etc. would be appreciated. Thank you!
    Colleen1125 responded:
    What I've found most helpful is to focus on the good you're gaining, and at any sign of "stinking thinking," remind yourself you have a choice and encourage yourself that your're worth it and your life will be "a thousandfold better," as I read here on WebMD. My husband of 20 years is still smoking when I thought he was going to join me in quitting, but this time I remind myself I'm better off for it and, though I love him, I pity the fact that he is still a "slave" to the pack, which is the cold, hard truth. After 27 years of smoking a half pack a day and three previous attempts to quit, I'm on day 5 with the patch. I tried cold turkey and the gum, and I do recommend the patch, however, for me, the most significant thing is overcoming the psychological addiction. My greatest fear is being alone when my husband and three teenage sons are out of the house because I easily convince myself to have just one more, but this time I'm using positive reinforcement by reading my list of reasons to quit daily, replacing it with healthy habits, and (don't know if you're a believer) memorizing scripture. If the urge comes when I'm alone, I keep my mind and hands busy. So far, so good, at least I'm not "white knuckling it" this time. Finally, I had a conversation with my 19-year-old son who is now a smoker (which I all-too-often blame myself for). He spoke of the high he gets when he smokes. When I told him, at the stage of the habit for me the only thing I gain is to relieve the craving for nicotine, I realized, "How ridiculous is that?!" Sometimes it's the "scared straight" factor too. My sister quit when she had an asthma attack, a friend quit when she heard the testimony of a woman who had her voice box removed, the latter friend's husband quit when he was in the hospital in the same room with a man dying from emphysema, as he put it "he sounded like he was drowning," and what's hit me slam in the face is a chronic-smoking uncle, only 71, who's failing fast while at the same time I just celebrated my non-smoking grandmother's 90th birthday. Learn all you can about it because knowledge is power. I think for most of us the battle is mostly in your mind. Godspeed!

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