Low self-esteem, depression and suicidal ideation are very common among nicotine addicts, especially women. If you are experiencing these crippling symptoms, know that you are not alone. Nicotine not only preys on our weaknesses, but insures that we stay weak and full of self-loathing, hopelessness and fear.
Big Tobacco would have us believe that smoking relieves stress but the opposite is true. Smoking increases stress both physiologically (withdrawal from our last cigarette triggers a series of reactions that make us feel anxious and uncomfortable until we can light the next cigarette) and psychologically (self-flagellation at being too weak-willed to quit even though we want to and are disgusted by the habit and all that it entails.) Smoking a cigarette never actually resolved any of your stress as all the elements that caused the stress in the first place are still very much in place when you stub the cigarette out. Only now, the stress has been compounded by feelings of guilt and helplessness.
Nicotine keeps us fearful of the health, social and economic consequences of not quitting and fearful of the prospect of quitting and detoxing, thereby giving up our “best” friend, constant companion and preferred crutch. In other words, tobacco is one of the great fear producers whichever way we cut it. The only way to conquer fear is to face it head on. Learn the truth about what you are afraid of it, dispel its bogeymen, understand who gains from keeping you in a perpetual state of terror and depression, and accept that you do have the power to reject these cunning traps. Once you have escaped for good, you will gain the confidence and tools to tackle other life challenges more successfully.
You will need to put other mental pathways in the place of the nicotine-driven ones, figure out other ways to handle stress, boredom, loneliness, etc and find other things or thoughts with which to reward yourself. This is what I mean by customized quit plans. You need a game plan specific to your life, your circumstances, your social and family situation, your likes and dislikes, your hopes and dreams.
Remember, you are breaking up with the worst boyfriend/girlfriend ever, not some prince/princess who is bestowing glamor, sexiness and coolness on you. Smoking makes everything more difficult and makes us less attractive, less datable, less employable, far less healthy and far less wealthy. If you go into the quitting prospect excited that you are finally blowing this bad boy/girl off for good…instead of yearning for the good ‘ole days when hanging out with him/her seemed like harmless good fun…it will be much easier for you.