I Have Never Been More Nervous Than This About Posting Something Online

So, I have never been more nervous than this about posting something online. But I want to make a change once and for all, and, as all my previous efforts to make said change have not been successful, I feel as though a bigger, more dramatic action is needed.
    The change I want to make subsists of a lifestyle shift from ‘smoker’ to ‘non-smoker’. The reason I am so nervous about publicising this is due to the fact that I have never really faced-up to this identity as a ‘smoker’, and many people who I love dearly are also unaware of this alter-ego of mine. I deeply fear the judgement, but I am also aware that maybe this is what I need to motivate me to quit once and for all.
    I have always considered my relationship with cigarettes to be one of unattached flirtation, owing to the fact that I smoke primarily when intoxicated, and can go several weeks without a single cigarette, if these weeks also include a lack of alcohol. During my last year in Paris, I vowed to myself at the beginning that I would not ever smoke there, as I didn’t want to make any habitual associations in my brain between nicotine and certain places/activities, and consequently I was extremely proud of myself for going the entire year abroad without smoking once, when sober…
    However, the whole association between places/activities and cigarettes is so strong for me, way stronger than any physical dependency, and WHENEVER I drink - even if its only one or two - I ALWAYS seem to give in…
    What is worse than this, still, is another association I have between smoking and university stress… a kind of self-medication which became a really bad habit in my second year of uni, manifesting itself as half a pack a day and a consequential sense of self-hatred for this habit, and I am so determined not to poison myself both physically and mentally like this again….
    Up until now, my attempts to quit have become a kind of vicious-cycle, in which my failures increased my stress and lowered my self-esteem and incentive to care for myself, and therefore provoked me to smoke even more…
    As I mentioned, I have never really admitted that the reality of my life includes a dependency on tobacco, and I think publicly admitting this and facing-up to the judgement that I deserve will incentivise me to really make this transformation, and no longer take my body, health, and life for granted…
    I have heard that it takes three weeks to form a habit… so over the next three weeks I am going to work on forming the habit of non-smoking. The greatest challenge will be upholding this when drinking… so I am also going to attempt to control the amount I drink over these 3 weeks, whilst I re-tune my habits to spend the nights indoors without visiting the smoking area and consume alcohol without the accompaniment of tobacco.
    To replace the time and money I would normally spend on cigarettes, I am going to commit myself to my yoga practice, as I predict this will also have the complementary effect of increasing my love for myself and my body, my peace of mind, and my confidence in my ability to achieve my goals…
    I know this will be a real challenge. But nothing good ever comes without hard work, and it is just so important to me now that I make this shift. I love my body, I have always been naturally healthy with a super strong immune system, athletically able etc. etc, and I am going to start embracing this and caring for myself. I love this world, and the people around me, and I want my actions to only have positive consequences for the environment and those I love... 
I will continue to share my honest progress online, as further incentive to stick to my intentions, and I hope that my success will set an example for anyone else fighting a nicotine addiction… Thank you for taking the time to read about a battle that has been very emotionally-charged for me, but over which I am now going to triumph <3 

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Jade Windle

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