“A while back I told myself that if I ever searched “herbs to help you quit smoking”, that I would know I was ready to start that journey.”
In the summer of 1995 I got a job here in our tiny little town. My very first, tax-deducting, paycheck-earning job. It was a good job and I quickly became friends with the other girls working there. That is where my addiction began.
In the beginning, I would take a “drag” from one of the cigarettes my friends were smoking. It made me a little light-headed, which I thought was “pretty cool”. Soon I was sharing a cigarette with a friend during breaks. Then it quickly escalated to “Hey, let’s split a pack, so we can have 10 smokes each.” I was addicted and I didn’t even know it at the time.
You know how people say “If I could only go back in time, I would tell my younger self…” Well, in this situation, I really wish I could. I wish I could travel back in time and slap the cigarette from my 17 year old hand! If only, right?
The years passed by, and I never quit, I just smoked more and more. I even married a man who smokes.
In 2008 I began studying about herbs and learning about how harsh chemicals can be on your body. Then, in February of 2009, we (my mom, sisters and I) opened a little shop in town and began selling all natural bath and body products that we handcrafted. I never really thought about quitting during this time. I was mainly researching vaccines (thanks to the birth of my youngest + a sweet friend who was skeptical about vaccines) and chemicals in bath and beauty products.
Fast forward to 2012. This is the last year my children received vaccines. I had been researching for about 5 years, but I still believed everything my doctor told me. So, I took my youngest in to get her shots. Not long after we got home, she developed a very high fever. Tepid baths + Motrin + Tylenol helped bring it down to around 100 degrees, but her little legs (where they injected the vaccines) were red and swollen. My friend told me that was definitely a reaction and to keep an eye on her, so that’s what I did. I was scared, and angry at myself, and I felt like a piece of crap for taking her in when my gut told me not to. Nothing severe ever happened, thank goodness, but she did develop a little bit of a droopy eye. Thankfully, that went away (in time) as well. I talked with my husband and told him about her reaction and he agreed that we should stop vaccinating our children. You’re probably wondering what this story has to do with my journey to stop smoking. Well, this was the year I began to research even more.
2013 was a pretty crazy year. I pulled my children out of the public school system to homeschool them, I discovered the Herbal Academy, and my momma told me about GMOs. I kicked my research into high gear around this time, but I was STILL smoking and still okay with the fact I was smoking.
It wasn’t until 2014, when I signed up with the Herbal Academy, that I began to feel embarrassed about smoking. For me, it just didn’t seem right to be an Herbalist AND a smoker. So I began to cut back. I even switched to a vape sometime between 2014 and 2018. The vape made me feel like I couldn’t breathe, so I switched back to cigarettes, and eventually started rolling my own cigarettes with chemical free tobacco. For some odd reason, that made me feel better.
Over the next 4 years we began to make BIG changes in our home. We switched over to chemical-free household cleaners, chemical-free laundry soap, wool dryer balls instead of fabric softener, chemical-free bath + beauty products (some are even homemade), and I began making herbal remedies to fill our medicine cabinet. We even switched over to organic foods, stopped going out to eat as often, and (slowly but surely) we are eliminating plastic from our kitchen. I have also watched my husband try to quit smoking several times.
Several months ago, my husband decided he was going to try to stop smoking cigarettes again, and so he switched to a vape with nicotine. On that day I told myself that if I ever searched “herbs to help you quit smoking”, that I would know I was ready to start that journey…the journey to quit smoking.
Yesterday, September 18th, I typed those words into my search and so today my journey begins. My goal is to be nicotine free by October 21st, the day of my 40th birthday.
I have decided to share my story with the world, in hopes that it may inspire someone else who is struggling with this addiction. I will be posting journal entries each night, before I go to bed, so I can share my experiences for the day. So stay tuned, if you would like to follow my journey to quit smoking.