Here is a story to help you give up.
One day, a long time ago when this beautiful young girl was a teenager and everyone around her seemed so much more grown up and sophisticated than her, she decided that she needed an adult magic wand – something to help her fit in with the grown up world of smoky bars and mysterious clubs.
Someone offered her a cigarette and this beautiful young woman, not knowing that the real reason for the person offering her the cigarette was jealousy, innocently accepted the cigarette and lit it. The acrid smoke filled her lungs and almost choked her. How could anyone enjoy this experience?
However, because she desperately needed to fit in and win the approval of her peers she persisted with this terrible burning sensation and eventually the horrible side effects started to disappear – not that they left, just that the beautiful young girl didn’t notice them any more.
After a while the lovely young woman subtly changed, she didn’t look so young any more. Whenever, she wanted to look cool and sophisticated she fired up a cigarette and puffed at it reflectively, looking mysterious and artistic. However, her close friends and family didn’t know how to tell her that the smoke from the cigarette was coming from both ends of her body. As she inhaled and exhaled, the smoke poured, a trickle at first and then a torrent, escaping from other parts of her body. She was slowly burning away inside.
By now, there was no pretence that the cigarette was making her look cool and sophisticated. The evil stick of poison that lurked in her handbag sniggered horribly to itself, knowing that its owner would not be able to resist taking it out and applying a light to it, enabling it to further its mission of burning her away inside.
After a few more years had passed, the beautiful young woman was beautiful no more. She was now known as the dragon lady, because fire and smoke blew from her as she walked. Children cowered in front of her, avoiding her flaming breath, which was noxious and foul smelling.
The evil little stick in her bag whispered to her, telling her that she would never be able to give him up, for she depended on him for her very life – and the pain of rejecting him would be too great. This was a lie, as others had told the evil midget stick to begone – and he had to obey because all human beings control their destinies, whatever the doubters think.
One day the beautiful woman’s children approached her with masks over their faces, to protect themselves from her raging, flaming anger and issued an ultimatum. ‘The evil white stick – or us Mummy’, they cried, with tears falling softly to the ground, hissing on the heat and smoke that surrounded the woman.
The woman had heard a wise old man in the cave on the mountain had the answer to stopping the dominion of the evil white stick. She went to see him. He laid a comforting hand on her shoulder. ‘Indeed yes, there is an answer’, he said. ‘You must remember this one thing. The human being is not what it does. You are not a smoker, you are a human being who smokes. The choice is yours. Choose to stop. It is your destiny.’
The beautiful woman realized that she was not a slowly evaporating puff of smoke, but a unique human being who makes a decision every time she puts an evil white stick in her mouth. If she could choose to do this, she could choose not to do it. The sun rose, the clouds parted, the air on the mountain side smelled sweet. She was a free woman. The evil white stick in her hand looked frightened and then turned to dust. She was no longer a smoker, but a woman who chose not to smoke. A woman who chose beauty and family, life and hope. A woman with a future.
Roy Stannard 13.7.09