I never ever thought I would be writing this post. I genuinely did not believe that I would actually be able to give up smoking. I don’t make new year resolutions – I don’t believe in them. If I want to do something then I do it – I don’t do something because a date dictates. I just believe that if you are not making a decision to make a life change because it is what you really want to do, then you will fail. Having said that, I do have things each year that I would like to achieve before that year is up. In 2012, giving up smoking was one of the things that I really wanted to have given up by the end of that year.
On 9th September 2012 I smoked my last cigarette. I woke up on 10th September telling myself that I was a non smoker. It was really hard for the first three months or so. Really hard. It literally consumed my every thought at first. But, 6 months on and I have not smoked and neither do I want to. Even in the brief moments that I miss it I would never revert and have a cigarette. I am amazed. Even though it was something I wanted to do I didn’t have that much faith in myself. I have tried before to give up but this time I wanted to stop more than ever before. I hated the smell, hated the cost, was very aware of the health risks, premature ageing and all of the other negative effects. Most of all though, I hated the control that it had over me. I planned everything that I did around smoking. I hated being outside in the cold and rain smoking, I hated avoiding long haul flights, leaving check in to the last minute so that I could have that last smoke, leaving the table at meal times to smoke between course. The list is endless. I just didn’t want to smoke anymore.
I am sure that a lot of my success so far is because I didn’t quit for anyone else. I wasn’t forced into it and I didn’t make a big thing of it. I initially used the stop smoking drug Champix. It was amazing in helping me to stop, but I had to stop taking it a few weeks into the course as it made me really sick. I do believe that it helped immensely for the weeks that I was able to persevere with it though.
I do feel so much better and can honestly say that it is the best decision I made last year. I still get cravings from time to time but am able to resist. It is true that the longer you can not smoke for, the easier it gets. For me, the biggest part was breaking the habit. It is now more normal for me not to smoke. I don’t automatically reach for a cigarette after dinner, or when I have a glass of wine, or when I get into the car.
What I do do though is eat! I have managed to replace the hand to mouth action of smoking with the hand to mouth action of eating. When people ask how long ago I gave up smoking my answer is a stone and a half ago!! So next week – the diet commences…. 🙂