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Add this to your toolbox...A Letter To Loved Ones


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.-Repost by Sherry

Posted 07 April 2009 - 11:31 PM

Dear ___________,

I am about to try and change my life for the better. I have quit smoking. I just wanted to write this letter to you so you know what to expect for the next couple of weeks, since the process of withdrawal can be very challenging for me, and for those around me. (Most people do not realize it, but nicotine addiction is literally one of the hardest drugs to kick, even harder than heroin).

Everyone reacts to the withdrawal symptoms differently, but in general, during the first two weeks (Hell Week and Heck Week), I will most likely not be my normal self. My attention will literally be taken up with fighting the physical and mental urges to smoke. I may cry, I may yell, I may ignore you. Worst of all, I may say hurtful things to you, but I want you to know that this is the nicotine talking, not my heart. I WILL apologize afterwards, once the nicotine has left my body and my mind has cleared, but for the moment, please, PLEASE remember that I care about you, and let it roll off your back.

You need to know that when a smoker quits, the body and the mind will try almost anything to trick the user into taking another puff. I may rationalize that "now is not a good time" I may talk about feeling a sense of emptiness and loss. My body may develop aches and pains. I may not be able to sleep. I may act like the pain I am experiencing.

But be aware that I am doing this for ME, not for you. In this one important way, I have to be selfish, so that I cannot give the nicotine a reason to put the blame on anyone else. 

Here are 10 things you CAN do to help: 
• Be there when I need a hug, but don't be hurt when I push you away. 
• If I tell you to leave me alone, give me space, but don't go too far...I need to know you are near no matter what the nicotine says. 
• Don't try to argue with me when I start to rationalize...silence is a more powerful message. 
• Avoid the topic of cigarettes (because I'm trying to get them off my mind), unless I bring it up first. 
• Do the best you can to act as if everything is normal. The more "normal" you act, the faster I will get there. 
• Consciously try to avoid letting me get into stressful situations...if something stressful can be put off for a couple of weeks, please try to do so. If not, please try to cushion me. 
• Just keep telling me it will get better and that this effort is worth it. 
• Tell me I am strong. Tell me you are proud of me. But also, tell me you will be there no matter what I say or do.
I just wanted to prepare you because the first two weeks are usually the worst, but be aware that it doesn't suddenly get better...it will be a gradual process. Also, please be aware that while I am doing this quit for me, you and those around me will benefit as well. I will be free from the shackles of needing to know where the closest cigarette store is. I will be free of the smell. I will be free of an early death. And I will be free to spend more quality time with those I love.

Thank you in advance for being strong enough to care about me, and help me through this.



Edited by jillar
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I always liked this one. It lays out pretty much exactly what to expect in the early days and loved ones close to you can either be a huge support to you or can make things even more difficult depending on how they react to your quit. Remember .... it's you quitting and going through all these difficult emotions and stressors not them so the better prepared they are the more they are likely to be able to help you out.

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I too liked this one and had even used a variation of this to my son and his family and it did help prepare them for that first month, it also let them know that this quit was for me -- no excuses, no one to blame but me, however their support would be helpful.  

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  • jillar changed the title to Add this to your toolbox...A Note To Loved Ones
  • jillar changed the title to Add this to your toolbox...A Letter To Loved Ones
  • 6 months later...

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