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Twenty-four years ago tomorrow, I smoked my last cigarette. I gave it to myself and my then unborn second child as a Valentine’s Day gift. When asked how I quit, I tell the person asking that every time I smoked, I got morning sickness. Pregnancy acted as a smoking antabuse for me. I did not go back to smoking after the pregnancy was over either, like many women do. Every time I felt the craving to smoke, I put off picking up the next cigarette until I no longer wanted the cigarette. The cravings gradually became less frequent and less intense.

However, the surprising thing is, every once in a great while I still crave a smoke. Usually I crave one when I am under stress, but I know that if I don’t give in to the craving, I don’t crave it long.

Not the First Time I Tried to Quit

This was not the first time that I tried to quit. however. From the time that I started smoking, I had been trying to quit. I had quit eight months earlier. That time, I gradually cut down on cigarettes over the course of a month. Because I smoked menthol cigarettes, I cut out the menthol first. Then I began putting off the first cigarette that I smoked until later and later in the day. Finally I quit all together. Yes, I went through withdrawals, but I did it without nicotine gum, patches or anything like that. I also lost weight rather than gaining it during that time. I should not have picked up the next cigarette, but I succumb to giving in to the stress and picked up the cigarette.

Do You Want to Quit A Bad Habit As A Gift To Yourself?

Some habits by some people can be quit in the way that I quit smoking, by gradually reducing exposure to the substance and then quitting. Some habits are best quit cold turkey. Some habits are quit by using other substances to control the cravings. Some habits you can quit with the help of like minded people who have quit. Some habits require professional interventions. All bad habits however, need to be replaced by  better, healthier actions. If you are willing to do whatever it takes, you too can remove a bad habit from your life and maybe eventually you too can celebrate 24 years of abstaining that habit.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

2014-04-07 07.07.08

Cygnet Brown has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon.For more info on Cygnet Brown and her books, click here.

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