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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Furman chapter.

On a recent night out, I found myself standing outside the bar with a cigarette between my fingers, my makeup a mess, and surrounded by the comfort of strangers. My life was falling apart (like not actually but you get the feeling). I was an anxious wreck, sleep-deprived, and not treating myself or the people around me well. The moment that I inhaled a Lucky Red, I was free. I shut my eyes, but as I did, my freedom was shattered, and my eyes shot open. My friend had slapped the cigarette out of my hand and was taking me inside. 

I had relapsed on nicotine and made a drunken fool of myself. This mistake had me riddled with guilt and my anxiety skyrocketed. 

Here’s what helps me get over these feelings: 

  • Going to therapy. I had a therapist once tell me that if vaping keeps you from self-harm, compulsively drinking, or abuse, then fucking do it. This helped me to identify that there is no need for nicotine in my life, it just contributed harm. Vaping caused me eye infections, rapid weight loss, lies to boyfriends and friends, fights with my family, and severe depression. When I consistently vaped and smoked cigarettes, I was not a good person. 
  • Wearing lip-plumping lip gloss and re-applying it every time I want to vape/smoke. This helps me focus on a different type of sensation. 
  • Telling a friend before going out (especially when drinking) that I am not going to smoke or vape. This just helps keep me accountable. 
  • Identifying my triggers: anxiety and depression. I mentally prepare myself to feel anxious and potentially crave nicotine or alcohol before walking into a situation that I know will be stressful. Drugs are a temporary escape from reality but getting into a habit of using them to avoid real life is dangerous. 
  • Preparing excuses to leave a certain area if needed! 
  • Cigarettes and vapes are so bad for the environment!!!! Like SO bad :( 
  • Tracking the days I have quit on an app. I also find that taking a deep breath and counting the days on a calendar helps me emphasize how hard I have worked and allows me to concentrate on something else. 
  • Talking to a doctor. Unfortunately, there have been multiple times that I have fallen apart in front of a doctor when they ask about how I’m doing mentally. Just be honest! Getting connected with resources to help you will not hurt. 

What do you do to keep from falling back into bad habits? 

Nicotine may or may not be the drug you are trying to quit, regardless, don’t let one fuck up cause more issues in your life. Do not give up on loving your body, even if it is really hard.