As I mentioned yesterday, rather than resolutions I have decided to set myself some major goals this year. Goals that will improve many aspects of my life. I didnt put pressure on myself to start from the 1st January. Personally I feel there is way too much pressure doing that and you are almost setting yourself up for failure. Well one of my massive goals is to finally put a stop to my worst habit. After smoking 16 years it is finally time to say I Quit!
I Quit -My Stop Smoking Diary | Why?
There are a few reasons I have decided now is the time to stop smoking. I have been smoking since I was 15/16years old. It started now and again. You know, the usual story of when you’re out with your friends and so on. Before I knew it I was buying 10 packs and hiding them from my parents. I would sneak into the bathroom and spend a very long time in the bath with the window wide open. My Mum was a smoker I always thought she would never be able to tell. She smoked in the house so surely it wasn’t obvious?! Well it was! She knew all along, just waited for me to admit it.
I always vowed my Dad would never find out. He has always been very anti smoking and it is not something he ever wanted his daughters to do. Sorry Daddio! I went on holiday with my Dad and step mum the summer after I left school. Each evening I would go off alone to watch Big Brother. That was my chance to smoke. Until one night my step mum arrived a little early to walk me back to the bar they were in…mid cigarette! I made her promise not to tell Dad and she agreed until we returned from holiday. At 16 years old it was the first (and only) ever massive argument I’ve had with my Dad.
I didn’t smoke in front of him until I was 25 years old. That was only because we all went on holiday together. At 25 years old there was no chance I was hiding in corners all day like a child. I kept my distance though as I never wanted to flaunt it in front of him.
So why now?
I have tried to quit several times over the years. Failing every time. The reason was I just didn’t WANT to. I actually enjoyed smoking. It relieved stress, it helped me relax, it woke me up in the morning. But really – it was just an addiction.
I would get so annoyed when people preached about my smoking. The ex-smokers being the worst! I’ve seen many people around me successfully quit, including my husband, but it didn’t increase my desire to stop. Whenever someone told me to try and quit I always said – “I will quit one day, when I AM ready!”
Well now I am!
I think my thoughts turned to quitting after I saw my husband start smoking again last year. He had done so well quitting the first time around and had stayed away from cigarettes for almost 5 years. I’m not 100% sure what got him started again but he continued and is now quitting again alongside me.
Over the past few months I have considered it more than about 12 times but just didn’t feel in the right ‘place’ to just get on with it. There are lots of things I am trying to achieve in 2017 it just made sense that stopping smoking should be at the top of the list.
I start a new job on the 9th of January so figured the change of routine would be the perfect opportunity to give it a good go. It just feels right!
A long time ago I stopped smoking regular cigarettes and moved over to smoking rolling tobacco. I couldn’t justify spending over £8 per day on my habit. I was soon only spending £20ish a week. To me, that was my way of making sure I continue smoking whilst spending less. Once James started smoking again we were soon spending £40/£50 a week. When you start adding that up it gets a little ridiculous. When you don’t have much money how can you be smoking over £2500 a year away?
You may have read by now 2016 wasn’t exactly a great year for us financially. Even if our circumstances don’t improve in 2017 at least we will be using the money we do have on things that are important rather than tobacco.
If you’re a smoker and a parent how many times have the words “just a minute darling mummy/daddy is having a cigarette” come out of your mouth? I have recently noticed just how often I do it. It isn’t fair on my children. With the schedule I have coming up I cannot be wasting any of our time together puffing away in the back garden.
Socially the acceptance of smoking is frowned upon more and more. What used to be a very social activity is now completely the opposite. You leave conversations, meals, and social occasions every 30 minute – 1 hour to get your nicotine fix. There have been way too many occasions this year where I have noticed the amount of people standing outside huddled under a patio heater is reducing dramatically. Time with friends and family matter. Nicotine, not so much.
This is a huge factor for me. I’m not getting any younger. Turning 30 had no effect on me mentally. Turning 31, a different story. I’m not exactly wallowing in self pity but I need to start looking after myself better. As you get older keeping fit and healthy becomes more and more important.
I have started noticing small differences in my body because I smoke. My fitness levels are way lower than they should be. I even get breathless going up 2 flights of stairs to my bedroom. Chest infections last for weeks and I’d rather not get lines all around my mouth from smoking either.
The biggest wake up call though is my teeth. I have awful teeth as I haven’t been to a dentist for a long time. The stains are becoming more obvious, and when I chipped a back tooth earlier in the year I was absolutely horrified by the colour. Whilst I can’t reverse this I’d rather help reduce the risk of my teeth rotting away completely. ( And yes I am aware I need to go to the dentist…soon!)
Basically the plan is cold turkey. I kind of don’t see the point of taking the smoking away whilst continuing to put rubbish into my body. I watched James do it this way years ago and I really do think it is the best way.
I’m going to have something to keep my hands busy during cravings, will be taking shares out on chewing gum and will keep my mind and body busy as much as possible.
I’ve downloaded the NHS smokefree app onto my phone which will help me see the progress I am making both financially and health wise.
I also believe keeping a diary will keep me motivated. It will allow me to identify times that the cravings are more prominent and find ways to combat them as time goes on. Hopefully I can also inspire people that it can be done. Even when you have no willpower like me.
I have a little bit of tobacco left to use up and then it is all systems go! Wish me luck!
Have you decided to kick the habit in 2017? How are you approaching your smoke free future?