Three years ago I wrote this post. Today, I am now 3 years smoke free!
On the 1st October 2013 I stopped smoking.
I originally just wanted to make it through the 28 days of the Stoptober challenge. I ordered the NHS Stoptober pack and it told me that if you stop smoking for 28 days, you are 5 times more likely to stop altogether.
I wanted to give it a try and I told myself it’s just 28 days. If I’m not feeling it, then I can go back to smoking.
Stopping smoking was something I had wanted to do for a while. I had tried and failed many times.
I was embarrassed admitting to everyone that I was a smoker. I remember writing that post and being ashamed that you all knew now I smoke.
When I was a student, I didn’t mind people seeing me smoke, but as I got older, it started to embarrass me more and more. When people found out I smoked, they would always be so shocked because it doesn’t seem very me. I think I come across very girl next door. I don’t even know if I’ve used that phrase in the right context.
Smoking doesn’t suit me and I probably seem too goody-goody-two-shoes to smoke. That’s what I mean.
So every time someone would find out they would gasp. Sometimes I would feel like they were disappointed. I got to the point where I hated people seeing me smoke.
My history with smoking hasn’t been consistent. I started at 16 but I didn’t smoke a lot. Not even daily. When I went to university, I was smoking a lot more. You could still smoke in pubs and clubs in my first year of university so I would constantly have a drink in one hand and a cigarette in another.
The next day I would feel like I have a massive elastic band around my throat stopping me from breathing.
I stopped near the end of my first year for around a year when I decided to start looking after myself a lot more in general. Then going out with friends that smoked got me tempted. So I’d smoke when drunk. Which led to buying cigarettes before a night out. Which lead to smoking them when I was sober because I had them so why not.
By the time I moved to France, I was smoking again but in denial. Then the cheap prices got me and I was back to smoking properly again.
The next few years were full of good intentions of stopping but then starting again. Living with smokers made it hard.
Then Christine and I decided to stop.
My other housemate didn’t want to. But she did stop smoking a few months later.
I used an electric cigarette which helped. The first 2 weeks, the electric cigarette didn’t seem to do much. It didn’t hit the back of my throat like I craved.
That’s what my addiction to smoking was like. It was like having an itch in the back of your throat, an emptiness that was satisfied when you smoked.
But before long, the liquid was giving me the same feeling. That’s when I knew it would work and that’s when I knew where I went wrong before when I had tried electric cigarettes. I didn’t give myself enough time to adjust.
I was using the electric cigarette less and less. In the end, I was just carrying it with me in case.
I know I’ve spoken about stopping smoking before and wrote about the book that helped me stop smoking and lead a healthier lifestyle, but I feel it’s important to revisit the things you’re proud of achieving. Especially when you can be as hard on yourself as I can.
What habit or negative cycle have you managed to break?
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