The day had arrived – April 2015… I finally got the courage to reach out for help. I won’t lie, it was hard to pick up my phone and search http://www.smokershelpline.ca. I am not sure why, but maybe it was difficult because I had to face the truth….. I was a smoker and needed help. Maybe, I was trying to convince myself otherwise but I am a mother, and I need to be a good role model. Being a good role model starts with facing the facts. I want to live to see my children grow so I had to be a mature adult and face reality.
Alright…so I am logged on to the website. Hmmmm, so many options- Online Quit program, Free help by Phone, TXT messaging, One step at a time. Which option do I choose? Since I am embarrassed of my smoking habit, I picked my most anonymous option: the online quit program with self-directed tips, tools and support. I had to become a registered member to use the tools…not sure if I was ready for this. There are online forums but I had done a lot of internet research and read many blogs. I needed something more individual and supportive.
Next, I needed information on staying smoke free after quitting during pregnancy. I feel this is a more unique situation that needs different types of support. I called Smokers Helpline and used call block by pressing *69 on my telephone keypad. I followed some prompts to speak to someone. When I was directed to a counsellor, I was able to stay anonymous. I provided my postal code, which can be used for future calls as well. I started the conversation nervous and hesitant, however the counsellor was non-judgemental, and I became very comfortable talking. The counsellor provided some websites, including Pregnets. She also provided the public health phone number and email in my area.
The counsellor discussed some open-ended questions with me to explore on my own. For example, “Why I want to stay smoke free for myself rather than staying smoke free for the baby?” and coping mechanisms “What strategies can I use to take a break and have ME TIME”. The counsellor explained writing my thoughts down could be helpful. The discussion gave me inner confidence that I can still work through my challenges of smoking with small tasks.
Has anyone else called Smokers Help Line? What was your experience?