How do I escape from the dark when the light seems a lifetime away?

Hello everyone,

Firstly I would like to aplogise if I am posting this in the wrong place. Secondly I like to say hello & introduce myslef to everyone & possibly ask for some help if I may.

My name is Caroline (or Caz for short) & I'm 21, sadly I've been smoking since the age of 11. To start off with obviously I wasn't a 'full-blown' smoker but over the years my dependency has increased & I now smoke 25-30 a day average.

Deep down I know I hate smoking yet I just can't seem to kick the habit. I've lost count of the number of times I have tried to quit and have tried everything from cold turkey to hypnotherapy, patches to champix - & any other method you can think of inbetween I've been there.

The most I ever lasted smoke-free was 6 months. These days I can't even manage half a day, the 'I'm going to quit routine' now consists of me smoking the last one in my pack & telling myself before I go to sleep that will be it. No more smoking. Then I wake up, the first thing I think of is smoking & before I know it I've been to the shops & have a fag hanging out of my mouth. It's like I don't even think anymore, like its some sort of sub-concious activity.

I feel so helpless & weak, smoking is killing me yet I feel I have no strenght left to fight it anymore.

On the 7th July 2008 my beautiful Grandad was diagnosed with satge IV lung cancer which consisted of two tumors - one on each lung. I was devestated. I attened every single hopsital appointment with him & nusred him through his journey. I watched him turn from a man who was as strong as an Ox to a man who couldn't even put on his own socks because he was so out of breath within a matter of months.

On his last visit to the hospital he was told nothing more could be done for him & that he had around six months left to live. My beautiful Grandad lost his fight a mear three days later on Friday 28th November 2008 at 9am. One of the tumors had grown round several veins within his lung and these burst open. He bleed out his lifes blood externally into the kitchen sink before colapsing backwards and dying on the kitchen floor. He was 70 years old - much too young in my eyes.

My Grandad was my life & no amount of words can express how much I miss him, I went to visit him in the chapel of rest before he was cremated & I made him a promise that throghout my life I would do everything I could to make him proud & that one day I would give up smoking, because although my Grandad never moaned at me about the amount I was inhaling I knew deep down he didn't like me smoking as I'm sure most Grandad's would.

I want to fulfill my promise to my Grandad & you would think that this alone would be enough motivation for me to quit. So why can't I? I hate smoking. I hate that it stole my beautiful Grandad away from me & I'm scared that I'll go the same way.

The fact that I can't seem to kick the habit has knocked my confidence so badly I feel I will be trapped forever. A sea a black surrounds me & I can see no way of breaking free.

Any help anyone can give me would truly be greatly appriciated & applogies for the lenght of this post but I felt I had to get my feelings out.

Thank-you all for listening & thank-you in advance to anyone with some words of wisdom to give me the kick start I need.

Speak soon,

Caroline x

6 Replies

  • (sorry for the long post, i was just off to bed, and really was about to close the web-browser when i saw your post, .. i saw what you typed about your granddad and it struck several chords in me, so had to reply before i went bed)

    As a start, i would say some of the best things you can do is prepare knowledgewise about what it is you are planning to undertake. You say you've already tried man of the various quit methods and have indeed listed them but can i first of all ask.. what method got you to the 6 month marker?

    I think thats the method i'd be employing first.

    These forums are pretty good though Caz, i know from your first post that you've pretty much poured out how you feel, and although you'll find we are indeed helpful and supportive, we are pretty much just normal folk.. we are not employed as supporters, we are quitting the smoking to varying levels of success and the beauty of it is, we have bags of experience of both the good parts and the bad bits. We know its a tough call, for some, and the half-day non-starters that your beating yourself up over right now sounds more to do with 2 things: 1) The strength of your determination 2) the methods you were trying to combat the cravings.

    I totally appreciate your devotion to your granddad though, i lost my last granddad not so many years back, and the devastation i felt then was undescribable, but i am sure you know the extent of the feelings. Especially if they were more of a guiding kingpin in your family and certainly played a big part in your childhood.

    I know you say in your post 'one day i would give up smoking', but I believe everyone has it within them to conquer this addiction, and on your part i think you first do need to stop dreading the starting to quit due to failed previous tries and gather together a list of what made you fail on them instead.. where was the flash points that you decided to smoke during the quits.. what prompted them.. write all those things down.. can they have been avoided? what could you have done to prevent those smoke events occuring.. was it temptation in your way.. availability at a weak moment or was it a conscious choice where you went out and bought them. Only by knowing were you did go wrong can you stop the pattern repeating over and over.. but going back to what i said earlier, by reading up much more about smoking addiction, and ways to combat cravings while your quit etc, you may well find it gives you a much much more solid base for your quit.

    A really strong resolve and confidence to go about it helps tons.

    If you check many of the links in our signatures, you'll probably find some really nicely written documents that may apply well to you, and others not so much, but the trick is to do some reading first, get your mind strong and onto the task in hand and then why not try the method you used for the 6 month success you had again. Perhaps with the extra support and encouragement on this forum and from friends also in your social circles, you could repeat that and better it, and perhaps even go the full distance?

    Good luck.. but believe in yourself yeah? you can do this.

  • Jase - Thank you v.much for your reply.

    Although I have tried nearly all methods in the past, the one that got me to six months smoke-free was hypnotherapy and although I would love to try this method again I'm a student due to go back to university in 2 weeks so havn't really got £250 free lol.

    The advice you gave me about going over the reasons why I have failed in the past was just what I needed. I know I said I have tried almost every method to stop smoking but looking back this isn't the case really. I would always use the NRT for around a day & then just stop & then instead of going back to the NRT when I had a craving I would just try & sit it out, then it would get to bad and I would just smoke. I never really gave the NRT products a chance to work for me.

    Also whenever I would try to quit smoking I wouldn't tell anyone. Most of my family smoke so when I would ask them for a fag they would think nothing of it & just give me one - whereas if they known I was trying to quit they wouldn't have.

    I also looked through the links in your signatures & found some really good information - I printed out a piece on combating cravings & now plan to carry this round with me.

    My Grandad played a massive part in my life and still does as I know hes watching over me & my determination to make him proud far outweights my desire to smoke. I now know I have the streght to do this - I always have done, but instead I chose to punish myself over my failed attemps. I've realised I need to stop living in the past as I can't un-do past failures, now I'm fully focused on my future & my life without smoking.

    I smoked my last fag at 22:15 & although its only been an hour I'm more determined then I have ever been!

    Thank-you again for your advice & words of wisdom Jase - I shall update you on the quit soon :)

    Caroline x

  • hi caz, aww you poor girl, firstly i am so sorry at the loss of youre grandad.

    A bit if advice hope it helps

    youre quit is about you, it is for you. I didnt set date just puts pressure on me personally. I went to the nhs smonking cessation clinic. Got my patches & started the very next day. & here i am

    You can & will do this take all your strength(of which im sure youve got lots inside) & go for it, ask yourself what have you got to loose & what is the worse thing that could happen. Do tell your family so they wont tempt you with cigarettes & treat yourself daily. Cravings do pass, nothing bad will happen & you will start to feel stronger as each day passes.

    Im a right moaner on here & although i do find difficulty with the quit at times it does get easier x keep posting a big welcome & a good luck x

  • Glad i was able to help in some way Caroline, even if just something helped then it was worth replying for sure :)

    I'm glad that focusing on the 'what went wrong' you were able to see things a bit more clearly because its so easy to beat yourself up on what you fail on without fully appreciating the why's.

    I wish you all the strength that i found for myself in your early days though, and when you find it tough going, i hope that strength doubles to meet the challenge set before you, and that you come through the other side of your cravings to find your relaxed self on the other side again.

    Good luck, and much respect to you for embracing your quit with renewed vision.


  • Hi Caroline

    Theres the title of a book in my sig thats well worth a read.

    What have you got to lose???

    21 months ago the light seemed a long way away for me to.

    Its just around the corner!!

  • Jase, Kitkat & Tomatpots,

    Thank-you all for your advice & support thus far. Sorry I havn't replyed for a couples of days - Afaird to say I lost sight of the goal... My original quit date was the 27.08.2009 and after 18hours smoke free I gave in. Silly I know.

    But even so I'm still very proud of myself, in the past whenever I would slip-up and have a fag I would tell myslef that that was it, I had smoked & so I would go back to smoking my 25-30 a day. This time were doing things a little different.

    I reflected upon the reason why I had smoked and have spent the last couple of days reading, reading & reading some more. Mainly the stuff which is posted within people signatures. And I have to honestly say I have NEVER felt more prepeared.

    And although part of me will still be stopping in order to fufill my promise to my beautiful Grandad the other, and larger part is doing it for ME.


    Began fufilling my promise to Grandad for keeps: 30.08.2009 @ 20:00pm

    Will keep you all updated on my journey & thank-you again for the advice that helped me to see the light :)

    Caroline x

You may also like...