GOD GRANT ME SERENITY,
TO ACCEPT THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE,
COURAGE TO CHANGE THE THINGS I CAN
THE WISDOM TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE
As smokers trying to stop smoking, we cannot change the craving for cigarettes, but even if we can’t change the craving, we can accept it. The truth is that until we can accept our craving for cigarettes, we will not stop smoking. Lighting another cigarette is what we do if we decide we cannot accept the craving!
It’s that simple: If you want a cigarette and you will not accept the craving, then you will surely light a cigarette. Or maybe you will have “one puff” to get you through, but even one puff is “not accepting” the things that you cannot change.
Accepting the craving does not mean we want the craving or like it. Accepting it means, first, recognizing the craving for what it is: a strong desire, physical or psychological, not a need, for a cigarette. That’s all. We do not fight this craving; rather, we look at it, letting it be, not getting panic-stricken or feeling sorry for ourselves, but saying, “Yes, I really am craving a cigarette right now.”
We do not practice self-deception and try to trick ourselves into thinking we don’t want to smoke. This is an honest program. Nor do we try to hate the habit (or ourselves) so much that we quit. No, we cannot make ourselves stop smoking, but we can live with the craving, and so we pray for…
The courage to change the things I can…
The thing that we can change is our unwillingness to live, even for a short time, with the craving for the next cigarette. We can, with God’s help and the support of the group, change our old way of dealing with craving, and we deal with it in a new way: We become willing to live with the craving; we no longer light a cigarette to get rid of the pain of craving. Our lighting up shows that we have not accepted what we cannot change and have not acted with the courage to change the things we can. Of course, living with a craving is hard, sometimes very hard, but you are not alone with God’s help you can do it. That is what this Serenity Prayer is all about.
So we ask God to help us accept the craving, and then we ask God to give us the courage not to take care of this craving–as we have always done–by smoking one more cigarette. Thus, we need the strength to accept the craving, and the courage not to light up…
And the wisdom to know the difference…
The wisdom we ask for here is to become aware of the difference between our old way of handling the discomfort of craving in the past (by compulsively lighting up) and the new way of dealing with cravings: accepting the craving until it passes, uncomfortable though we maybe for a few moments.
The strength and courage to live as ex-smokers with this discomfort do come if we ask for it, even though it may take time. What we receive is not raw will power, but Power that comes from God, from the group, and from our inner-most self. The power that we want is actually to love! It is only with this kind of power that we can become ex-smokers and receive a new life free from nicotine addiction.
The reason we did not become ex-smokers years ago is that we chose not to live with the craving. Every time we craved a cigarette, we gave in and smoked it. And kept on hoping that in some magic way a day would arrive when the craving would disappear or we would find an absolutely painless way to stop smoking. That day never came. Each of us kept using our favorite rationalizations or excuses for lighting up, our own justification for not living with the craving. And we kept on craving and smoking, craving and smoking, year after year. But now we can change all that: The moment we can accept what is — “I want to smoke” — and face it with the courage God gives us, we can say, “I choose not to handle this craving by smoking a cigarette” then we become ex-smokers!
If you continue to smoke even though you say this prayer, then say it again, and again, and keep on saying it while you reflect what it means to you, a smoker. Eventually, it will work. It will not work if you are not sincere, but if all you can do at first is to say the prayer without believing it, then at least do that! Some time may be needed for you to receive the power to live with the discomfort that comes from craving without lighting up, but eventually, it will come. In time, the craving will diminish greatly, and someday, we trust. it will disappear altogether. If you have a slip, however, and you light one up, accept yourself reverently and say the prayer again the next time!
Remember, it really is not the stress, frustration or even the craving that causes us to have another cigarette, but rather our lack of strength to deal with the craving. That strength comes from God, from the group, and from your own healthy inner self! May God be with you now! – J.S.
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After 9 months of unsuccessful quits, my official quit date was: 01/01/01. That date saved my life, literally.
I can continue to smoke my 3 to 5 packs of Merits a day. And I can look forward to definitely developing Emphysema, I already have COPD. Having Emphysema, I will be hooked up to an oxygen tank, so that I can breathe. I’ll have to carry my oxygen with me, everywhere I go. It’s similar to a ball and chain.
Emphysema is a slow, very painful, expensive terminal illness. It’s similar to drowning slowly. Each day I’ll see the sadness in my daughter’s eyes. I’ll see the smile on my husband puts on for all of us. But knowing him as well as I do, when I look into his eyes, I will see the sorrow and all the pain. I’ll miss out on so much. My girls’ first crush, heartbreak, when they marry, have children, and so much more. All the plans we had made, gone just like that. If I keep smoking, inhaling over 600 toxins, and spending all that money, to slowly kill me.
It’s will be best if I give up this nasty habit. It won’t be easy, but I have to do it. For myself and my family. I’ll be better off in the end. This is a horrible habit, I am addicted to nicotine. But I will beat this, I will prevail!
I plan on sticking around for all the birthdays and holidays. I’ll get to see my girls in their plays, sports, choirs. I’ll get to help them with their homework. Even those notorious mother and daughter disagreements and arguments. I will watch them grown into beautiful, responsible, confident young women.
I won’t miss out on their weddings, I’ll be there to help and calm their nerves. One day I will be a Grandma! And the best of all is I’ll get to experience everything, right along with my husband, Tommy.
I tried quitting more than once. Then I got the idea to make this website in December of 2000. It will help me to keep occupied. It will hold me accountable. In my research, I will learn a lot of information on quitting smoking.
As I sit here with my laptop, several ideas start to form. I have a feeling this website will be a very important part of my quit.
In the Spring of 2000, I desperately searched the internet, looking for helpful information on quitting smoking. I came across so many sites the claimed they could help you quit smoking easily, and fast. There is not a thing out there that can make quitting smoking easy or fast! It really angered me because I know how desperate I am, and these companies prey on that to get your money. Please don’t get taken in by these frauds.
Tools such as Zyban, the patch, an inhaler, the gum, or the nasal spray, if they help you with your quit, excellent. I use But please keep in mind that these tools can be great, but it comes down to you. With your determination, and possibly one of these tools, you can quit successfully. Even if it takes you a few attempts, never stop trying.
In creating this website, I hope that it will help you as well. If whatever you find on my site, helps you to find answers to your questions, or helps to keep your mind off a craving, that is all that matters to me.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my story. And remember to always ‘KEEP YOUR QUIT.’ No matter what… it is WORTH IT!
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I have not failed 10,000 times, but have successfully found 10,000 ways that do not work.”
Thomas A. Edison
“What doesn’t kill me, only makes me stronger.”
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Take a Close Look at These Pictures:
The lung on the left is healthy lungs, those on the right are the lungs of someone with terminal Emphysema! YES, these pictures are gross, but they are also a daily reminder for me, that if I go back to smoking, this is what I have to look forward to!
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Heavenly Father, hear my plea,
and grant my lungs serenity.
Give me the strength to kick the smoking
that’s been causing all my choking.
Let my breath be fresh and clean
without a trace of nicotine.
Each ciggie I smoke so often
Adds another nail in my coffin
Guide me, Lord, by your holy means
past all those cigarette machines.
It hurts to hear My Loved ones say
kissing ya’s like lickin’ an ashtray.
Please oh Lord, hear my voice,
Give me will power, while I have a choice.
I ask your help and it’s no wonder
Because if I don’t quit, I’m six feet under.
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Useful Links to Help You Quit & Stay Quit
- 10 Steps to Relapse
- 11 Ways to Keep Your New Years Resolution
- 20 Quick Tips
- 41 Tips for Gaining Freedom from Nicotine
- 101 Replacements for Lighting Up
- Caring for Our Quit
- Checklist of Benefits
- Coping Strategies (cutting those urges off, right at the knees!)
- Five Keys for Quitting
- How Smoking Affects the Body
- How Smoking Affects Your Mind
- How to Reward Yourself
- Junkie Thinking
- Key Points to Success
- Knowing What to Expect
- One Day at a Time
- So You Want to Quit Smoking
- Stages of a Quit
- The Benefits of Quitting
- The Effects of Second Hand Smoke
- The First Week – Hell Week
- The Symptoms of Recovery
- The 12 Steps to Nicotine Annonymous
- What You Inhale Every Time You Light Up
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Thomas Alva Edison
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