Lesley – Free and Healing for One Month, Twenty Four Days, 15 Hours and 12 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 5 Days and 19 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1669 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me £585.49.
OK so I am now 55 days smoke free (well apart from 1 little blip of smoking half a fag) and I feel so much better. In all honesty I never thought I would get this far, I never thought I would get past the 1 week mark never mind be so close to reaching the 2 month one. Surprisingly enough other people have said they never thought I would have managed to stop – nice to have encouragement, BTW these are friends who have said this. The thing is I think due to me becoming very lazy in my thoughts and actions in the past while, I think people had forgotten what a very strong willed women I could be. I was determined I was going to stop smoking as I’ve said for health reasons more than anything else. Determination is a very powerful emotion; I’m kind of thinking also the fact that I’m as stubborn as a mule probably helps too. So if you tell me I’m not going to do something I will try my damnedest to prove you wrong.
Since stopping smoking I’ve tried to remember when and why I started but for the life of me I can’t remember exactly when I started or why. I think the why would be a lot to do because most of my friends smoked and if that’s the case then I was probably in my late teens before I started. I do remember at that age never being a persistent smoker, more of a social smoker. I used to smoke if I was drinking or in a social situation where everybody else was smoking. I remember stopping smoking totally when I was 18 due to being pregnant but starting again after my baby was born (he was stillborn at 42 weeks but that’s another blog altogether). So technically I’ve smoked consistently since I was 19 and apart from a short smoking break when I was ill (a month I think) I’ve never tried to stop smoking. I knew the problems it could cause me but for some reason in the past I’ve never wanted to stop. Now for some reason my brain has kicked in and told me to stop and that now was the time. I was ready to stop now which is why I think it’s working and that I haven’t fallen back into my old way.
In the UK October has been reclassified as Stoptober – they are aiming to get people to stop smoking for 28 days. Stoptober is challenging people to stop for the month. They will provide help and support to anybody wishing to take up the challenge. Check out their website for more details.
Reasons we give for smoking –
I enjoy it
I enjoy not smoking more
It helps me when I’m stressed
I now realise that it didn’t help when I’m stressed. I’m still stressed at times but don’t need to reach for the fag packet anymore.
It helps me be social
This is one for the smokers whose friends all smoke. If you’re out anywhere your friends now have to go outside to smoke so if you’re a non-smoker you would then be left inside on your own.
As a lovely friend of mine told me when I first stopped – the nicotine habit is the easiest habit to break, kicking the smoking associations is harder to kick. We associate so many things with smoking, whether it’s having one with your coffee/tea, after dinner, when driving – these are the things we have to stop our brain from kicking in each time we do them and stop it from associating it with smoking. I am finding I’m no longer craving nicotine but I do still find myself thinking I could be doing with a smoke with my coffee. My brain sometimes forgets I don’t smoke anymore.
I’m enjoying being a non-smoker and I’m very proud of myself for managing to get as far as I have.