I quit smoking in September of 2016, after 15 years of being a smoker. My friends and I all started smoking in high school, and of course, we were very cool. At least we thought so!

All four of us remained smokers into adulthood. Even after I moved to NYC and my cigarette costs went up 300% from Florida’s prices, even when I was briefly unemployed, and even though I am smart enough to know how terrible it was.

When my husband and I met in 2010, he was also a smoker. A few years ago, he switched to e-cigarettes and he smells much better now.

But I was still wallowing in smoke.

I liked smoking. Honestly, I sometimes still miss it, or am smoking in a dream. It was the perfect excuse to step away and have a moment to myself at work, at a party, whenever. It was something to do with my always-fidgety hands. It was a habit.

That was the hardest part to break. The habit of having a cigarette after eating a meal, or when I was frustrated or bored while driving, or when I wanted a quiet few minutes because I was at a really good part of my book, and pulling out a book in the middle of conversations with others or at a party was typically frowned upon.

I would joke that I couldn’t stop because “Hey, I’m no quitter!”

The truth is that I liked it. That’s what nonsmokers are so afraid of. You can’t force someone to quit something, it only happens when the person WANTS to change. And I LIKED smoking cigarettes. I liked the way I felt, the way I thought I looked, and I had been doing it since 15, so it felt like part of my identity by the time I hit 30.

So, why did I quit?

Well, I finally felt it was time. I felt ready. I knew my husband and I would want a kid at some point, and neither he nor I would be willing to start trying if I was still smoking.

I wanted to live as long as possible and be with my family.

Most of all, I was able to reconcile in my brain that smoking cigarettes is not who I am. It’s not even part of who I am. It was a crutch I was using to remove myself from situations. I am an adult, if I need to remove myself, I don’t need smoking as an excuse.

So, I quit. And I feel better. Of course, I immediately gained 10 pounds, but that was what started my journey to low carb! Good things happen to good people.

Written by

Entrepreneur, writer, editor, book coach, cat lover, weirdo, optimist. Author of “Write. Get Paid. Repeat.” & “Concept to Conclusion.” jyssicaschwartz.com

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