“Positive anything is better than negative nothing”

Are you pregnant? And still smoking cigarettes?

If so then I am sure you can understand the feeling when people give you that look of disgust when they see you smoking or purchasing a pack of cigarettes. For me, these looks are insulting, degrading and make me feel ashamed and embarrassed. So why not just quit?  I know it is easier said than done, and I can honestly say I am trying so hard to quit. Even though I am due in just a few weeks and there is no better opportunity than the present, I haven’t fully quit yet but thankfully I have been able to dramatically cut down my tobacco intake to about 5 cigarettes per day.

There are more non-smokers than smokers in the town which I live especially because I live in a retirement community, and most people frown upon the habit. When people see a person smoking they tend to give dirty looks, so imagine the looks that are giving when they see a younger, pregnant woman having a cigarette! It doesn’t feel very comfortable at all and actually makes me feel quite ashamed and embarrassed, and definitely lowers my self-esteem.

But what strangers don’t know are the details of the personal struggles which all individuals have faced or are facing. Personally, in the past I have struggled with depression, anxiety, and addiction and have come a long way, so having a cigarette somewhat fills a void for me and is like a band-aid for stress. There is a stereotype that lower class people smoke, but little do strangers know that I have my diploma and attended college. I also know many well-known professionals who also smoke. Most woman know about the harm that can be caused when they smoke while pregnant, but there’s obviously reasons as to why they just can’t kick the habit – personal reasons which strangers probably wouldn’t know about the individual.

Strangers could be more positive and personally, I wouldn’t even mind an encouraging comment rather than a rude look. Even if a stranger said something as little as “you can quit” or “I strongly encourage you to stop smoking”, this would be better for me than a rude look. It would make me feel empowered, boost my self-esteem, and maybe even give that extra push that is needed to quit. I do not condone nor agree with smoking while pregnant but everybody has their bad habits and reasons for doing such things.

Next time you receive a dirty look from a stranger remember how far you have come, everything you have achieved and all of the positive things you have accomplished. Do not let the dirty looks from strangers bring you down or lower your self-esteem. If you can try using it as reinforcement to give you that extra push to kick the habit.

Positive anything is better than negative nothing

– Elbert Hubbard.