My name is Deborah and I am a 32-year-old smoker. I started smoking when I was 15. Both my parents smoke and when I started, I did so because many of my friends also smoked. As well, seeing my friends and my father doing it made me wonder why it was so “popular”. Despite warnings from family, I continued to smoke. I would later come to realize that it isn’t a popularity thing but an addiction and a nasty, life-controlling one. I wish I had never started and I am sure many people currently trying to quit as well as ex-smokers can relate to this feeling.
Flash forward to the present…I am currently 35 weeks + 5 days into my third pregnancy and it has been a process for me to quit smoking. I quit in my second month and stayed that way for 6 months, which is my longest amount of time as an ex-smoker – Yay Me! I started up again due to stressors about a month ago. I have been fortunate to have the support of my fiancé (a non-smoker) and a Hamilton Public Health Nurse through Hamilton Public Health at the ADGS (Alcohol, Drug and Gambling Services) building. They both recognize that quitting is a process and have been patient with me through my weak periods.
I have large amounts of guilt related to starting up again and would still like to be free of this life-controlling habit. I don’t want my children to see me smoke – even though I do go outside, I want to be a better role model for them. I want to be healthy in this pregnancy and be healthy in the future so I can stick around as long as possible to enjoy my children and grandchildren. I will get there, I did it once and I can do it again. I just need to regain my mental strength I know I have in there somewhere and remind myself how successful I was and how I got there. I need to repeat that “process”, however many times it takes. Everyone has their weak moments or moments where our confidence can has highs and lows, that’s why my nurse calls it a “process”. See an example of that in the video link below. It shows how confident I was with quitting in the video and right now I’m at a low point, but I’ll get back up again!
Thanks for reading and listening 🙂
Here’s a video called “Pregnant and Smoking? You’re not Alone!” that was put together by the City of Hamilton…