My journey to the Penthouse

Well I'm here, I've actually made it! :)

I've been thinking, over the last couple of days, of all the things I want to say. Reassurances I can give to newer quitters, thank yous to all of the wonderful people who've given me the support and encouragement I've needed to get to where I am today. But I can't quite choose the right words now that I'm here. :rolleyes:

So I've decided to take anyone who can be bothered to read :p on my journey over the last year, in the hope that it will instil some confidence in those who are still having tough times and to give the same encouragement and positivity that I have received in the last 12 months.

I decided to quit smoking after starting with yet another cold (I usually had 4-5 a year) and realising that my habit was probably the reason I suffered so badly. I was tired of spending a week at a time sleeping on the couch, instead of in bed with my OH, because I refused to just give the fags a rest for a week or two. I could usually manage a couple of days, but after that the cravings would kick in again and I'd be choking my guts up and keeping us both awake at night. I also suffered quite badly with nose bleeds whenever I was ill, so I generally dreaded the common cold.

Earlier in the year we'd been away skiing and, while in the airport coming home, I was so stressed and desperate because of not being able to smoke that I totally ruined our time together travelling back, it was my most selfish time as a smoker and I was truly disgusted with my childish behaviour when I looked back. But hey, we'll do anything for fags won't we? ;)

My first week was a breeze. I was using patches but found I didn't really need them because my cold was keeping the cravings at bay anyway. I also found in that first couple of weeks that I was so set on the challenge it was keeping me positive anyway.

I remember hitting a point just before the month mark, when I decided to buy an e-cig. I wasn't sure that it would be a good idea but I needed something to help with the terrible cravings that had kicked in after week 3. In my post, admitting to this, I said that I would happily be a smoker if it didn't effect my health the way it did, thus justifying an e-cig.

I found that it worked for me on and off, but whenever I used it I would feel immediately guilty. I was torn between wanting something that would help and feeling so weak and pathetic (after managing three whole weeks barely using patches) for caving. I spent the next couple of weeks up and down like a yo yo, either being elated that I was managing or literally bursting into tears for no reason at all. That was the hardest point of my quit, a time that I think most of us ex smokers have to go through to realise what we want.

Six weeks after I quit was my "crossroads" point.

I decided I was going to smoke and no one would stop me. I was fully prepared to be a ten a day smoker again, I didn't kid myself that just one would be enough. I bought the cigarettes, took one out of the packet and thought to myself "don't do it, you can get through this and you will be so proud".

While that voice made me feel extremely angry, because I was so torn between what was right and what I wanted, I gave the packet to my boyfriend. It took some time after that for me to come around and I still spent a little while with that "lost" feeling in my belly, but that couple of minutes and that one decision totally defined my quit and changed my attitude for the better.

And I guess I can say that the rest is history really. Every milestone that came and went left me feeling more confident and so proud of myself. :cool:

I'm not saying I didn't have my tough days, but they were nothing in comparison to previous cravings and they slowly ebbed away until now I don't even have memory of them.

I know that I wasn't exactly what you would call a heavy smoker, but boy was I addicted! The routine and habit were so embedded that I just couldn't imagine life without nasty nic "helping me out".

Not only have I managed it, I have ENJOYED these last few months of being a non-smoker. What a great feeling of achievement and how normal it feels not to rely on stinky cigs!! And, whether healthy or not, I don't EVER want to pick up a cigarette again. I don't hate or dislike them, I nothing them.

So that's my story. Nothing too dramatic and I suppose I didn't really struggle as much as some people can/have, but I hope there are some things in my post that you can relate to. We all travel on the same path to freedom and it's great to know that WE'RE NOT ALONE.

Here are my 1 year stats:

Not smoked: 3650 cigarettes :eek:

Saved: £1400

Added 14 days onto my life

Have been a non smoker for 1 year and 14 hours

I think I'll always keep the no smoking app to hand, as a reminder of my forever building stats!

Thank you thank you thank you to this wonderful forum and its members for the help you've given me :D I know that achieving the goal has been on my shoulders, but I honestly believe that I would have already failed by now if it hadn't been for this place. I'm hoping I can spend the next however many years guiding others too, the way I have been guided.

*oh gosh! getting emotional now!*

Max and Kat, if you wouldn't mind helping with my bags I'm ready to move into the Penthouse :p

Much love xxx

42 Replies

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  • WOOHOO!!

    She's posted :D :D

    I just want to say huge well done - doesn't sound nearly enough - because you had one tough quit in the early stages (and yes, I remember sitting down to a Yahoo message "I've bought cigarettes") but now you're a total non-smoker!!

    I think your journey is a really fab example for those of us who do don't find it easy, because you had staring matches with the Marlboro Man, and you won!!

    Somehow, I knew you were a lot tougher than you gave yourself credit for, so I knew you'd make it hun :)

    Now, you enjoy your luxury suite - is there a bar? :p

    xxx

  • Welcome to the penthouse Sarah Louise, you have done absolutely brilliantly and I for one am so so chuffed for you:)

    Absolutely brilliant job.xx

  • What a truly wonderful and inspiring post Sarah! :) I really enjoyed reading that.

    Many, many congratulations on your very well deserved entrance to the Penthouse. :D

  • Thank you everyone :) I'm looking forward to glass or 5 later on ;) Feels great to be here!

    For a while I thought "God, when will this start to feel like normal life? When will the time pass without me constantly wanting to smoke?" and now it all seems like such a blur! It's nice to already have what I hoped I would end up with in a few years time, FREEDOM!

    Xxx

  • What a truly wonderful and inspiring post Sarah! :) I really enjoyed reading that.

    Many, many congratulations on your very well deserved entrance to the Penthouse. :D

    Thank you Skiddaw! I'm glad it was something you enjoyed reading and I hope it keeps others on track too. These were the kind of posts I lived for a fee months back! :) x

  • Many, many congratulations Sarah. :) You have made it !!! It was good to

    read your story too. Very, very well done. You should be so proud of

    yourself, enjoy all the Penthouse luxuries - you deserve them. :):)

  • Is it like this ?

    news.sky.com/story/1069663/...

    :)

    Oh my god, that's amazing!!! :D xxx

  • Congratulations Sarah Lou

    And I found this picture of you with your "Savings from Stink" You are a fabulous shining example to all of us Minions ;)

  • Congratulations Sarah Lou

    And I found this picture of you with your "Savings from Stink" You are a fabulous shining example to all of us Minions ;)

    Ha! :) Thanks Jenninegs, great pic! Xxx

  • I'm looking forward to glass or 5 later on ;)

    Glad you're not letting the _Lou's down hun :p xxx

  • :D:D:DMAKE WAY, MAKE WAY, OUR BELOVED D'ARTAGNAN IS MARCHING TRIUMPHANTLY INTO THE PENTHOUSE!!!:D:D:D

    Sooooooooooo happy to see you reach this day hon, I remember your fight to hold on to your quit and held my breath while you confronted the demon and faced him down, from there on in there was just no stopping you!

    We do of course have a wonderful party planned for you this evening but for now you are cordially invited to make your way to the spa for an afternoon of pampering in preparation for tonight's celebration. So enjoy a swim, perhaps a glass of Prosecco in the Jacuzzi, the sauna is available for a steam if you should so wish, and all of our onsite therapists are available, offering a full range of treatments so indulge yourself!

    Massive congratulations hon xxx

    Oooh, how exciting! Sounds lush :p

    Thank you for my countdown hun, you've made these last few days even more enjoyable! Looking forward to partying later on xxx

  • You have my congratulations, my respect, a huge smile, a round of applause and a huge pat on the back that you are now in the penthouse. You are a strong young lady who knows what she wants and you just went out there and got it!!

    Well done Sarah, I couldn't be happier for you angel

    Molly x

  • Congratulations Sarah Lou, your post was brilliant and really honest, especially how your cravings kicked in a bit later on in the quit but you still persevered, really well done for getting to your year quit, what a massive achievement hope you celebrate in the real world as well as on here as you deserve it :) xx

  • Congratulations Sarah Lou, your post was brilliant and really honest, especially how your cravings kicked in a bit later on in the quit but you still persevered, really well done for getting to your year quit, what a massive achievement hope you celebrate in the real world as well as on here as you deserve it :) xx

    Thanks for your lovely responses ladies :) xxx

  • Glad you're not letting the _Lou's down hun :p xxx

    I'd never let you down my fellow Lou ;)

    Enjoying my first wine and soda of the evening. Yum! Xxx

  • I'd never let you down my fellow Lou ;)

    Enjoying my first wine and soda of the evening. Yum! Xxx

    YAY!!

    We've got a reputation to uphold!! :p

    You enjoy your drinks, you've earned them!! xxx

  • Well done Sarah, what a brilliant post. I had tears in my eyes as you made it all seem possible.

    You have not had it easy but you are there now and you now have the life of a non smoker.

    Enjoy your party

    Xxxxxxx

  • Please could you leave a curtain open when the party gets going so that the rest of us can peep in and dream of when our time comes to join you in the Penthouse :)

    J x :)

    I'll leave it open all night! :) xxx

  • Jenny, do not fear!

    We couldn't celebrate the arrival of D'Artagnan without all three of the Musketeers (which means Gemma must be there) as well as sundry other lovely peeps who have yet to pass through those hallowed portals!

    Ergo, a sumptuous marquee has been erected just outside the Penthouse gates to enable us all to party together with our lovely Sarah Lou before we toast her success and she strolls back into the Penthouse for a nightcap at the end of the night.

    Miss SL is currently completing her toilette, having spent the afternoon being pampered and petted in luxury and will no doubt arrive to set the party moving once she is satisfied that she looks as fabulous as she feels!

    What a lovely idea Kat :)

    Get your glad rags on peeps, party will start shortly!! Xxx

  • We couldn't celebrate the arrival of D'Artagnan without all three of the Musketeers (which means Gemma must be there) a

    I'm here!!

    I had to quit smoking to be allowed to celebrate yours and Sarah's big days :D :p

  • Huge and massive congratulations SarahLou, you've been bright tail lights for me to follow since joining. You must feel very proud at this moment :D:D:D

    Now.....off to find the party :D

  • Huge congratulations Sarah Lou! I'm really pleased for you. It sounds like you had quite a rough start to your quit but you came through. Enjoy the party!!

    Sarah x

  • Huge and massive congratulations SarahLou, you've been bright tail lights for me to follow since joining. You must feel very proud at this moment :D:D:D

    Now.....off to find the party :D

    Feeling great Isolde, thanks :) xxx

  • Huge congratulations Sarah Lou! I'm really pleased for you. It sounds like you had quite a rough start to your quit but you came through. Enjoy the party!!

    Sarah x

    Thank you Sarah :) You coming along? You'll need swimwear for later! Xxx

  • Thank you Sarah :) You coming along? You'll need swimwear for later! Xxx

    I may pop in for a little drinkipoo

  • That's brilliant, Sarah Lou....very well done!

    Val

    xxx

  • Huge congratulations Sarah Lou :D

  • Yah for Sarah Lou

    WELCOME TO THE PENTHOUSE HUN

    :D:D:D

    So happy to see you arrive :)

    by the sounds of it missed a great party last night just hope your not suffering too much this morning

    :D

  • Wowee! Congratulations Sarah Lou and welcome to the penthouse! Isn't the view so clear? You can see for miles! Or you could, if you didn't have a stonking hangover from last night's welcome party, sounded like a good'un :D

    Well done on hitting the one year milestone which is a monumental achievement and you should be rightly proud, I'm so pleased for you! :)x

  • Wowee! Congratulations Sarah Lou and welcome to the penthouse! Isn't the view so clear? You can see for miles! Or you could, if you didn't have a stonking hangover from last night's welcome party, sounded like a good'un :D

    Well done on hitting the one year milestone which is a monumental achievement and you should be rightly proud, I'm so pleased for you! :)x

    Thank you so much Hawkeye. My party was amazing, it's a shame you couldn't make it! :) You're right, the view from up here is wonderful and I'm looking forward to many more years like this. x

  • WELCOME TO THE PENTHOUSE HUN

    :D:D:D

    So happy to see you arrive :)

    by the sounds of it missed a great party last night just hope your not suffering too much this morning

    :D

    Thanks Carol! :)

    Yes you missed a good'un, but it's not like we've ever needed an excuse for a knees up is it? ;)

    I'm sure it won't be long before the next one!!

    xxx

  • That's brilliant, Sarah Lou....very well done!

    Val

    xxx

    Huge congratulations Sarah Lou :D

    Thank you ladies :) xxx

  • Congratulations Sarah Lou on your one year anniversary xx

  • Congratulations Sarah Lou on your one year anniversary xx

    Thank you Blondie :) How are you getting on?

    Well done on your first month. I think I must have missed your milestone! x

  • Thank you Blondie :) How are you getting on?

    Well done on your first month. I think I must have missed your milestone! x

    I'm doing really well thanks :) I will be 7 weeks this Wednesday, moving up into the 3 month room next week and can't believe how quicky the time is passing xx

  • I'm doing really well thanks :) I will be 7 weeks this Wednesday, moving up into the 3 month room next week and can't believe how quicky the time is passing xx

    How exciting! It's amazing, once you start moving towards month 3 and onwards, just how quickly the time flies by. :D

    You'll be throwing your own Penthouse party in no time hun! x

  • Magnificent effort and very many congratulations. And the best bit is having achieved it so young. In years to come you will have all the health benefits of a 'never smoker'.

  • Magnificent effort and very many congratulations. And the best bit is having achieved it so young. In years to come you will have all the health benefits of a 'never smoker'.

    Yay! I wanted to quit by the time I was 30 and I'm 5 years early, so a very happy girl indeed :)

  • Yay! I wanted to quit by the time I was 30 and I'm 5 years early, so a very happy girl indeed :)

    And believe me you had a much easier quit than if you had done that :eek:

    xxx

  • Fantastic post Sarah Lou and a massive well done on reaching the penthouse :D

  • Well I'm here, I've actually made it! :)

    Here are my 1 year stats:

    Not smoked: 3650 cigarettes :eek:

    Saved: £1400

    Added 14 days onto my life

    Have been a non smoker for 1 year and 14 hours

    Big congratulations, Sarah Lou. Now that you've been here a short while, wouldn't you agree the Penthouse is a wonderful place? Glad to have you join us.

    :)

  • Thanks guys :)

    Yes DGee, the penthouse is a wonderful place to be!! Parties all the time and no stinky cigs ruining our fun!! Xxx

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