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Old 03-10-2005, 07:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The Serenity Prayer for Smokers

God grant me serenity, to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change...

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 now way of dealing with cravings: accepting the craving until it passes, uncomfortable though we may be for a few moments.

The strength and courage to live as ex-smokers with this discomfort does 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 innermost self. The power that we want is actually 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!

Copyright © 1999 Nicotine Anonymous World Services
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Old 03-10-2005, 07:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks so much Margo. That was timely for me now, it will be a month for me this Sunday! I's still challenging.

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Old 03-20-2005, 07:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Margo;
This is dynamite!!!
Honestly, I was getting to the point where I was just accepting the fact that I "couldn't" quit!!! That I would succumb to nicotine poisoning my body until the end! Even, at times, hoping it would come quickly!
Thank you... You HAVE given me hope... and the knowledge, knowledge that I knew, but, didn't accept internally, to try again...
Thank you...
Shalom!
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Old 07-30-2005, 07:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you for the post. I like your technique. God truely is the answer :xmasu
The last time I quit smoking (lasted 5 yrs.) I was told to keep saying to myself "The desire for a cigerette will go away weather you smoke the cig. or not smoke the cig.) It really did help.
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Old 08-01-2005, 04:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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HeyHaze,


Did you start smoking after 5 years? I ask because I quit for 18 years and picked up a little over a year ago, then recently quit for 8.5 months and picked up again. I hate it. Really I do. I'm ashamed of smoking after quitting for so long.

I want to stop. I'm getting ready to quit. I know now that I can NEVER pick up 1 single cigarette or I AM a smoker once again. I really get that now. This last quit I kept thinking I could smoke again later...on occasion. Brother!

I do love this Serenity Prayer post. It is so true. Accepting my craving as what it is instead of denying and trying to control it. Acceptance seems to be the key...for everything
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Old 08-01-2005, 04:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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(((Margo)))

Smoking or not this is a very good break down of the serenity prayer thanks a bunch for posting it...
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Old 08-02-2005, 02:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Longtoe,
Yes, I quit for 5 years, and after becoming a caregirver to my mom who has emphazima, lung cancer and a brain tumor, the stress was overwheming one week moment, I was back to smoking and drinking. I am trying to quit both now. I have masterd the drinking part, I hope, and I plan to pick a quit day real soon here. The good thing is the cigs are tasting horrible right now, and I am trying to work out every day and they really interfere with that, so I am hoping it will be ok. Good Luck!!
Vickie
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Old 08-04-2005, 01:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks

Hey, this really helps me. I've been hoping the craving will just one day dissapear, or that I will suddenly have the strength and willpower to do it.

Using the Nicotine Anonymous meetings, I was able to stop for 3 months, but then started again after having too much anxiety. And, just for the record, I've been sober in AA for 3 years now. But, the AA program doesn't seem to be enough to quite smoking. After all, how many people in AA do you see smoking?

Anyhow, I'm on medication now for my panic disorder, but have yet to give quit smoking a real go again. This idea of accepting the craving, however, is a new concept for me. I will add it to my arsenal.

Thanks so much.

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Old 08-30-2005, 09:34 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Margo, Thanks, I never looked at it that way before. Its only been 30 hrs. but I will use all the tools available to me. I know that Naranon & Alanon have truly helped me.

So I will surrender this smoking thing to God, also.

SB
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Old 11-16-2005, 07:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Bump!

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Old 04-21-2007, 06:14 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Thank you Margo,

Finding this forum is Divine Intervention. I made the decision yesterday and brought the patches. I checked out the "Quit Smoking" link, it was very helpful, now I won't be so concerned by the withdrawals.

Thanks again
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Old 05-22-2008, 04:24 AM   #12 (permalink)
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awesome prayer
tks Margo
today is the day I quit.I am down to my last few smokes and to tell you the truth,I really just don`t want to smoke anymore..I may just trash them.
A friend has recently quit.His encouragement has had a good effect on me.I have read a few stories about prayer and smoking.I am going to do a lot of praying,if God can help me get off booze,cocaine,and other drugs,God can help with the smokes.The more I think about it,theless i want to smoke.
My sponsor says I should pray when the thought of a smoke comes and ask God to remove it.It worked for him.
Here goes!
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:03 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Wow! I find this 9.5 yrs after it was posted and it is perfect!

Tomorrow is my birthday and having smoked half of my life I have been saying it is time to stop for years. I will have a year sober on the 12th which only came after surrender and acceptance.

This is really perfect. I have tried everything, everything except acceptance.

Thank you! Prayer always works...
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:56 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Ditto

Quote:
Originally Posted by lukenefox View Post
Wow! I find this 9.5 yrs after it was posted and it is perfect!

Tomorrow is my birthday and having smoked half of my life I have been saying it is time to stop for years. I will have a year sober on the 12th which only came after surrender and acceptance.

This is really perfect. I have tried everything, everything except acceptance.

Thank you! Prayer always works...
I have 1 year 5months sobriety, 93 days off crack, and its time to give up the nastiest haaddiction of all, cigarettes. Great post
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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welcome to SR lukenefox

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