On the 10th of September I stopped smoking. I had wanted to for ages, had tried several times before and ultimately failed. But, more than anything I wanted the control back in my life on my terms, rather than being bound by when and where I could smoke. I also hated the smell and the effects it had on my health both short and long term. Most of our cigarettes were duty free – but the equivalent of buying 20 a day in the UK would have been just over £210 a month (over double that when you include my hubby’s 20 a day habit also!). So the financial incentives were massive. Holidays or smoking basically.
I am not one of those people who can smoke occassionally, or socially. I so wish that I was. I envy those who can just have the odd cigarette. Me, its nothing or 20 a day – there is no in between. It was a planned quit attempt and this time I used a drug called Champix to help. I had previously managed to quit for 3 years using a drug called Zyban so was optimistic. Champix is apparently a newer drug and more effective and I was commited. Within a week of taking the champix I couldnt smoke. Literally couldnt bear the thought of it. It was like a miracle. The miracle lasted about 2 weeks. Champix, whilst being really effective on the smoking front made me sick. Within minutes of taking the tablet I was wiped out with chills and nausea for a good couple of hours. I tried everything – eating, not eating, a pint of water before and after, taking it early, taking it later – nothing helped. So after a few weeks I cut down from the recommended 2 tablets a day to just one tablet – taken last thing at night so that I could just climb into bed and hopefully sleep through the side effects. I was torn between recognising how effective it was in stopping me smoking, and not wanting the side effects. After a few more weeks though, even the night time tablet was being evil to me so 2 weeks ago, I decided to stop taking the Champix all together.
I am now at almost 8 weeks of not smoking. No cheating, no odd puffs, nothing. I am effectively clean and have hit the UK governments target for being a non smoker. I’m not celebrating yet though. I am amazed that I have lasted so long, really pleased that I have and love being a “non smoker.” But, it is hard. Every single day I battle, it is not yet getting any easier. I thought that by now the cravings would have eased but in honesty, all I really want to do is sit outside and enjoy a smoke. I have incentives – which involve travel with long flights. How much nicer the whole airport and flight experience will be without the cigarettes. Enjoying a meal without going outside to smoke. Not have to go out in the bitter cold of the English winter to smoke. My stop smoking App, which tells me daily how much I have saved by not smoking so far (£402), How much I have extended my life by so far (3.5 days), how much my circulation has improved so far (58%) and so on. The list of pro’s is endless, my motivation hasn’t changed and hey – i’m not smoking. But I sure as hell miss it – most of the day, every day. Surely it will get easier soon?!!