No Smoking Day
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The Post I Thought I'd Never Make

Darlings! I've decked myself out in fur and spangles and I'm clutching a bottle of champagne and flinging open the doors of the penthouse.


I am - it must be said - spectacularly proud of myself.

Man, it's been a bumpy road. But here I am!

A year ago today, I stood in my back garden sick, shivering, trying to force down lungfuls of smoke despite the fact that I was coughing myself nearly sick. Even when I didn't have the flu (which is what precipitated this quit) I woke every night coughing. I woke every morning coughing. I coughed all the bloody time, and got through asthma inhalers at an alarming rate. My skin was grey, my fingers and teeth were yellowing. I was constantly sneaking away from the kids to smoke, I got irritable with them for demanding my attention when I wanted to get into the garden and gasp down a fag. I was so sick of being enslaved to a weed but I believed it was part of my identity, the last vestige of my youthful rebellion. I thought I liked it. But I knew I had to stop.

Now I'm a whole year down the road. I never cough any more, my skin is brighter, my teeth are whiter, I'm more patient, more self aware, and infinitely happier.

I'm not going to say I never think of smoking, because that would be a lie. Every now and then I stop, sigh, think 'I would have smoked now', and I suppose in a very detached way I could say I 'miss' it. But, having withstood an entire year of triggers - occasions, arguments, stress, bereavement, holiday, sunshine, aggravating kids, worry, boredom, you name it - I'm pretty sure that there's nothing life can throw at me that would induce me to go back to smoking. I simply don't want to be a smoker any more. It categorically is *not* an integral part of my identity. It never was; that was just an excuse.

The biggest thing I have learned is that it is all about choice. It's a stark, bald fact that when the trigger comes, whatever it may be, it boils down to you choosing to light up, or not. That's all there is to it. And it's a lot easier to say 'no' to that first tempting cigarette than it is to light up... and then try and resist the next thousand of the b**ards. Personal responsibility, that's where it's at. Not easy, as we all know. God knows I'm hopelessly weak willed and pathetic most of the time. But really, life is short, and I want to enjoy my time on this planet.

To those who are starting out on this road, please have faith in those who tell you that it gets easier and easier. God knows, I know it doesn't feel that way, but it truly does. Take it one day at a time. Don't lose sight of why you're doing it. Understand yourself, and your addiction, and keep making the right choice no matter what. Oh, and make full use of this forum. Without it, I would never have made it, and I thank each and every one of the people on here who reached out to help me when I struggled.

It's easy to skip past those 'I would have smoked' times now, it causes me no pain. I never thought I would reach that point, it took me some months to battle my demons and climb my personal mountain, but I'm here now and I wouldn't change the view for the world.

My, they have this penthouse decked out nice for Christmas. Champagne anyone? Or shall we put on a show? The luvvie has arrived!

Helen x

PS Sorry for the humungously long post but if this occasion doesn't merit it, I don't know what does!

24 Replies


one whole year i am way proud of you hels

thank u for your support and fun over the last year



Encore! :D Great post!

We always knew you would do it Helen - but a huge well done, anyway!

You have been a wonderful support to many of us following in your wake, so thank you for that as well.


Well done.... And now for a little message from Cliff


Wowser...the big un. Well done Helsbelles...don't spill anything on your's a bugger to get it out. XXXX



Fantastic achievement. You deserve to be very proud of yourself.



I've been looking forward to this post for ages - I always knew you'd make it :D You're an inspriation!

Merry Christmas - may this be the first of many, many smoke-free Christmases to come!




A fantastic post full of truth and reality.

All of those who "can't" quit, should read this. Repeated constant choice to steadfastly stand by the decision you made that quitting was right will see you out the other side.

Well done!

Trust Yourself


Well done Helen, fantastic achievement.

You are an inspiration to me - Have a great Christmas x x


well done

well done on your one year birthday !!!i quit 14th december on patches not been to bad but this morning i feel like crap ! i have headache,feel sick and feel so wooly headed its unreal please tell me this is a side effect and will go away , the good news is i am not coughing,can breathe with ease and i dont stink and do not really want a cig!!!


Fantastic Helen!! You are an inspiration.

Your post has made me think about my own negative feelings at the moment.

Got to get myself sorted out!!

I hope you are going to have a big treat deserve it.




A great post that rings true in lots of ways. All the excuses for saying "well, this happened so I had to smoke", is all just excuses we gave ourselves to have a reason to smoke.

Congratulations on a fantastic acheivement.. Looking forward to getting there myself next September! Well done and happy Christmas!



Brilliant post Helen. Very well written and I can relate to much of it.

You have been one of my main inspirations on this forum and I hope to join you in 60 days or so.



Congrats Helen it must feel amazing to have attained such a "Difficult" milestone!

Your post HAS and WILL inspire us "newbies".

So armed with your success it's the penthouse or broke for me LOL



What an amazing thread well done what an amazing achievement get comfy in penthouse and put a xmas movie on and have a glass of champers its well deserved.

Is it true that someone else does all the cooking and cleaning in there? lol

happy xmas


Great Post


I have just read your post and welcome to the Penthouse ( was that you that was drunk and dancing on the tables the other night). I am a year in front of you and I could relate to every aspect of your post, you should now be ready to enjoy the rest of you life smoke free.



Well done Hels! I love the fact that I read lots of threads from starters struggling to quit (including mine), suffering cravings etc and those that get to the penthouse have mainly the word 'choice' in their post. Its true. It boils down to to that. Finding the way to understanding that 'choice' can be a rocky road indeed, but for those that come out of the other side its a total brilliant achievement! Fab!


Well done what a great achievement :D



Sorry A bit late, but well done on getting to you 1 year Hellsbelles... brilliant :)


Thanks everyone.

My sister in law was telling me today how much better I look this Christmas season than I did a year ago. She didn't know I smoked in the first place (I was a really REALLY secret smoker :D) so this wasn't said to bolster my quit or anything.

I looked in the mirror and thought, you know, she's right. I put on weight, but I needed to. By the end of that hideous flu last year I weighed 6.5 stone and I'm 5' 7'' :eek: My skin is better, my teeth brighter, I'm a year older but there's absolutely no doubt I look younger!

Which is all an added bonus to just generally feeling immeasureably healthier.

I love being quit! I'm so happy, I'm bouncing off the walls of the penthouse today. I promise I'll simmer down soon :)

Huge congratulations to all my fellow NY quitters. Each and every one of you, a star.


H x



sorry its abit late i was wondering who the glam sparkling lady at the bar was :D

its great to have another one in here there is always space


Well Done Helen!!!!

Sorry for being a bit late on this Special Occasion.

A Fantastic Achievement and Heartiest Congratulations.




Just discovered this post so congratulations are in order. you help to make quitting smoking a real pleasure and an awesome achievment. i still think quitting smoking is underestimated it is the most miraculous thing in the world

mash x


Great big Well Done , make sure you give yourself a special present, you sure do deserve it.



I have also just found Helsbelles original penthouse post, and really love the bit about youthful rebellion...that resonates! Bloody well done, and thanks for still being so active on really helps the rest of us x brilliant achievement


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