I picked up my first cigarette in college. My roommate smoked and asked me to join her for a Virginia Slim and a study break. It didn't take long for cigarettes to accompany me to the coffee house or to bars/late night partys with alcohol and drug were served. Soon, I developed a pack a day habit, although I rationalized that my ciggies were ultra lights.
I can't count how many times I tried to quit. Each time I did, I lasted a few hours before a cigarette was back in my hand. I purchased my cigarettes from the drive through Farm store and every time I passed one, the cigarettes called me by name. "Pssst, Cate, come buy a pack. What's one more day going to matter?"
After a decade of smoking, I was choking and hacking. I smelled, my car smelled, my clothes smelled and my breath smelled. I couldnt leave the house without my ciggies in my purse. I lied to dates so I wouldn't be a turn off. I lied to my customers so I wouldnt be a fraud (hard to sell healthcare and smoke!)
A guy I was dating in recovery said to me, "It's me or the cigarettes." My lust for him was greater than my desire to smoke so I decided to give quitting another try. I used breathsavers to address my nicotine cravings. I popped one in my mouth every time I wanted a smoke. I jogged with frequency and used the 12 steps to address my obsession.
If the steps could remove my drug and alcohol dependency, they would work for my nicotine problem. Even when the guy dumped me, I didn't return to smoking. The obsession was finally removed. Instead of looking for something else to distract me from my issues, I worked on my insides and the compulsion left for good.