Healed of a smoking addiction

For today’s contributor, a better understanding of God was key in finding her freedom from a 20-year smoking habit and the effects it was having on her health.

For 20 years I suffered because of a smoking addiction. I smoked more than a pack of cigarettes a day and could not get rid of the habit. During this time I made several attempts to break free of the addiction but had no success with any of them.

I had bruises on my legs, which, according to a medical diagnosis, were a result of poor circulation caused by excessive smoking. To disguise the spots, I used a white creamy skin lightener, which bothered me in addition to not solving the problem.

One day during an examination, the doctor jokingly told me that I was getting “rusty” because of the blemishes, which had grown larger, and he alerted me to the fact that they would not disappear until I quit smoking. He also warned me of more serious future consequences from the circulatory problem, which would tend to worsen over time. I was alarmed by what I heard because I was already feeling all the symptoms described by the doctor.

That day I decided I needed to do something to heal my addiction. When I got home, I asked a friend to lend me “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, because I had heard a lot about it and about the healing brought about by the teachings of Christian Science.

I started reading, always in the company of my daily cigarettes. Sometimes sparks would fall on the book, which I immediately extinguished. Although I had not yet quit smoking, I continued firm in the purpose of reading the book from cover to cover.

When I reached the end of the book, I realized that I wasn’t smoking anymore. I was surprised because, honestly, I hadn’t noticed that I had stopped smoking. I hadn’t missed the cigarettes either. I experienced none of the withdrawal symptoms that often happen with those who quit smoking suddenly through willpower or medication.

It seemed clear to me that this was no coincidence. All the time I was reading I was gaining a better understanding of divine Truth, God. This Bible passage, which introduces Science and Health, helped me a lot: “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

I also leaned heavily on the ideas in this passage: “If a man is an inebriate, a slave to tobacco, or the special servant of any one of the myriad forms of sin, meet and destroy these errors with the truth of being, – by exhibiting to the wrong-doer the suffering which his submission to such habits brings, and by convincing him that there is no real pleasure in false appetites” (Science and Health, p. 404).

I had used cigarettes to achieve a sense of well-being. But I realized that I needed nothing material to find true satisfaction because God created me as His complete, spiritual offspring and because He constantly provides all of us, His children, with happiness, love, wisdom, and needed resources. Looking back, I can see how this spiritual truth and all the ideas in the book filled my consciousness and brought me permanent joy and healing.

Today I am healthy. This experience happened over 30 years ago, and I never again felt the urge to smoke. The circulation problem ended, and the spots on my legs disappeared. I stopped feeling fatigue, shortness of breath, and all other discomfort associated with smoking. I am completely cured, and I feel free and happy.

Adapted from a testimony published in the April 2, 2012, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel. This testimony was originally published in the Portuguese edition of The Herald of Christian Science.

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