So this time last year I decided to stop smoking. It wasn't the first time and although I started off with determined optimism, I remembered countless other quits that had ended in failure and if I'm honest they were already haunting me. Why was this time going to be different, why not just give up quitting and accept the fact that you will die a smoker, were some of my thoughts. Why put yourself through this again to fail 6 or 7 weeks down the line was another thought.
I didn't even tell my poor long suffering non smoking bloke. We've been together 27 years so he'd got bored of hearing I was quitting after about 7 attempts and now greeted news of my latest foray into the non smoking world with gritted teeth. He was the one who tolerated the mood swings and all the other stuff that goes with the first few weeks, then has to pick up the pieces when i returned to the weed. Oh and don't forget the times i lied to him and said I wasn't smoking when I most definitely was!
I'd always tried to do the preparation, I read Allen Carr easy way and loved every word of it BUT it just didn't seem to turn the switch in my head. This time, 5 weeks in, I tried to get the help of a stop smoking NHS counsellor, a big step for me as I'm the sort of person who does things herself with minimum fuss and i don't do asking for help very well. I won't bore you with the details but I was given the wrong time for a fictitious clinic session. It nearly drove me back to smoking!
I then discovered this website and lurked around for a bit reading other experiences and somewhere I discovered NOPE and the January Freedom Fighters (cheers Debbie and Donna and Lindy Loo and Steve). I also read The Nicotine Trick which although almost the opposite of Easy Way was the missing pieces for me. It dawned on me that the only thing a cigarette does is make you want the next one. If you don't smoke the first one you NEVER want the second one. I counted how much money I was saving, made lists of things I'd bought with my smoking money, all of this helped and I got through the tricky 6 week barrier. This was one of my many Nemesises, here are a few more.......
The I'll just have one....... I can control it this time. Yeah right!
I'll just smoke when I drink.... I can control it this time. Yeah right!
I'm sooooo angry I have to smoke
I'm sooooo upset I have to smoke
I'm sooooo happy I have to smoke
You can have one now you're no longer addicted after 2 months
I'm drunk give me a smoke.
TG helped me round the 'curiosity one' what would it be like now that I've not been smoking awhile.
This one crept up on me and luckily i read a post by TG which mirrored thoughts that I hadn't even realised I'd been having but as soon as i read them i recognised them and was able to stomp all over them.
That for me was the secret, think about smoking, read about smoking but stomp down on any thoughts of actually smoking. Read posts from people struggling or people who failed (thank you you brave people) that's where you see the slavery and true horror of the addiction. Read the joyous posts that tell you it does get better. The biggest thing though is NEVER see smoking through rose tinted glasses ever again. Remember the stink, the cost and the fear.
So here I am out the other side, one year smoke free. It is amazing to be here. I never thought I could do it and not to have to smoke is incredible. I very rarely think about smoking now and NEVER with fond memories, it was an evil addiction that tried to kill me and I'm so glad I will never have to do it again.
Happy New Year/Blwyddwyn Newydd Dda