I wanted to quit smoking but I wasn’t able to.
What started out as a leisure activity had become an addiction for me. I started smoking back in school on the insistence of my friends. They always forced me to try out a cigarette whenever we would hang out or chill. It started with taking a single drag occasionally when we were out at parties or maybe, after tuition. Initially, I would not like it at all. I would cough incessantly just after one drag. Slowly, I got the hang of it, and I started enjoying it. An occasional cigarette gradually became ten a day. It had been 3 years, I was in college, and I smoked a pack a day. I knew this was nothing to gloat about but it had become a necessity for me that I couldn’t even take a dump without having a cigarette first.
There came a time in between when I would smoke two packs a day. I would get restless and uneasy whenever I would not have a cigarette in my hand. Attending classes got difficult. I kept constantly craving for a cigarette, spending all my pocket money on it. Although I realized things were getting out of control, I just could not stop. I could not contain my urge to smoke at home as well. My parents caught me red handed smoking multiple times in the house – sometimes in the washroom, sometimes in the balcony and sometimes in the car parking area. It also became physically evident as my lips got discolored, and I would smell of smoke. I was constantly coughing and felt fatigued. I became irritable and started having frequent arguments at home. My parents got extremely worried and forced me into therapy.
I attended the first few sessions reluctantly. However, after a few open interactions with the therapist, I understood the impact my unhealthy habit was having on myself and my family. It opened my eyes. The therapist made me understand how addictive nicotine was and the harmful effects associated with it in the long run. She also helped me identify the triggers that made me want to smoke, and together, we made a plan to get through the cravings.
Additionally, the therapist asked me about my relationship with my family. This got me thinking and I realized how distant I had gotten from them. I had become so selfish that I did not consider the impact my addiction had on my family members, especially my little brother. The therapist emphasized on the fact that I was setting a bad example for my younger brother, and this hit me hard.
In due course of time, with the help of therapy, I was finally able to cut down on my intake, and I had come down to less than one pack a day. Unfortunately, I was not able to reduce my intake any further. My therapist had thus referred me to a de-addiction centre. I was willing to follow what she said because I really wanted to give up on my addiction, and I didn’t want my parents to be troubled because of me anymore.
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