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Quit Smoking In Recovery: Getting Prepared

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So, you put down alcohol and drugs. Now you are starting to notice the longer you stay clean and sober, the more ridiculous it is that you are still smoking cigarettes. You are starting to become more aware of how it makes you feel; the smell, the taste, the greasy film left on your body after the day's pack is gone, and countless other annoyances. Your addiction to cigarettes has taken on new meaning now that you are in recovery. Your day's events are planned around smoking – making sure that you have enough time to get your fix. The only question that remains is, if the obsession to drink and drug has been lifted, can’t the obsession to smoke be lifted by applying the same principles?


Signs & Symptoms That You Need To Quit Smoking

  • When you try to put it down, you can’t stay stopped for long.

  • You never seem to have enough money and when you do, it goes to purchasing cigarettes.

  • You’re dating life has become limited because non-smokers don’t want to date you.

  • You can’t run long distances because you start to get shortness of breath.

  • You worry about when you will get your next cigarette.

  • You start to plan your schedule around when you are going to be able to smoke.

  • You can’t go a day without a cigarette or nicotine.

If any of the above sound familiar, it may be time to quit smoking!​
Interestingly enough, many people place cigarettes in a different category than drugs. Probably because the consequences are not as outrageous at first – you don’t see many cigarette smokers getting pulled over for DWI’s. The truth is, you don’t need any of those excuses to ask yourself if you should quit or not. It’s hazardous to your health regardless, and many people in recovery want to quit because they know what it feels like to be free of addiction. Naturally, the next logical step to attempt is quitting smoking. So how does one get prepared to stop and stay stopped?
Here some simple steps that can help you get ready. Try treating your cigarette smoking like your drug addiction or alcoholism. First, prep yourself; don’t think too much at once, and remember this is a one-step-at-a-time process. The first step is willingness; just be willing to give up smoking. Start to bring this conscious thought into your prayers and/or meditation in the morning and night. After you begin this process, you begin to prepare to quit.

Pick Your Quit Date

Once you have started to pray and mediate over quitting you will begin to slowly obtain the desire to actually go through with it. It’s that internal GPS that is telling you now – do it now! Listen to that signal and pick a date. Now, make sure you go tell your support. You will want people in your support group who know what it’s like to quit smoking and who have accomplished it. Be honest about how you feel. During this prep time, set up any quit tools (i.e. nicotine gum, patch, or prescribed medications by your physician). Make sure you follow the instructions; withdrawals from nicotine can cause some very noticeable symptoms that lead many back to smoking. This is why it’s important to prepare so that you continue to stay quit once you start the process. Make sure you have told your support and those important around you when you quit. This will help you be accountable.

You Can Do It

Remember that this is no different than quitting drinking or drugging. Nicotine is just another substance abused, so treat this the same way as you would any addiction. You are powerless over your addiction to nicotine, therefore you need a power greater than yourself. Your willpower didn’t get you clean and sober, therefore meditate on the words, “I can’t, he/she can, I think I’ll let him/her”. Give all that control, anger, and fear up to your Higher Power to handle for you; it’s not your job to worry about that part. You are going to be about the action.
Next article, Quit Smoking In Recovery: What To Expect, we will go into detail about the process of actually quitting smoking, effects, feelings, and how to push through it. Get ready; we’re entering a new chapter in your journey in recovery. 

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