That's right folks. It's time to kick the habit, or at least have a good crack at it! I've smoked since I was thirteen. Started out by sneaking them from my parents packs (sorry mum, sorry dad) and hanging out of my bedroom window puffing like there was no tomorrow. A friend of mine started smoking smoking because he wanted to now what it was like to 'gasp' for a cigarette.
In hindsight this was a ridiculous reason to take up the demon weed, but we were young, and rather stupid. Anyway, by by fifteen I was a full blown smoker, and my parents (I thought) didn't know. Ha. Oh the naivety of youth. On the upside I had the whitest teeth you've ever seen, thanks to vigorously brushing them after every cigarette thinking it would hide the smell. Silly now I think back on it.
I got caught smoking more than once, and promised faithfully I'd stop more than once. But if you've never smoked then you have to understand that it's a drug and I was very addicted. If you do smoke, or have in the past, you'll know what I mean.
Ok, so I'm now 18 in my little tale. It's Christmas day 2003. We had all the family round. Big Christmas dinner. Vey nice. Once we'd finished I slipped away up to my attic bedroom, as was now a fixed activity after most, if not every meal by this point. I had my smoke and came back downstairs. I sat down at the dining table, surrounded by my nearest and dearest, when my dad slid his box of cigarettes across the table to me and told me to light up.
As surprising as this was, and very unsettling, I'd just had one. I'd never tried two in a row. I'd never even thought about it. Now, I was going to have to do it. I couldn't admit I'd just had one. So I picked up the packet and took one out. I could feel all the eyes on my as I lit it and it was the worst cigarette I think I've ever had. It almost choked me!
Fast forward to recently, and I'm smoking upwards of thirty a day with numerous failed attempts to quit behind me. Until now.
It's time to kick the sticks. Aside from the financial gains, and obvious health benefits I won't stink, I'll be able to taste my food, and get through a movie without wanting to go outside.
Now, you'd think after watching my dad have a massive heart attack I'd have binned every cigarette and lighter in sight wouldn't you? Nope. And I can't explain why. I just didn't quit. I kept smoking and my smoking actually increased! Ridiculous I know.
They say you can't force a smoker to quit. It has to be their choice. Until now I hadn't wanted to quit. No interest in it. Despite numerous appeals from member of my family, my partner and a few of my friends, I wasn't giving up the coffin nails.
Then, after some convincing from my partner and a decision that appeared from somewhere that I can't quite explain, I decided to go for it. It might've been the relentless badgering (that's a joke) or my common sense might've finally kicked in. Whatever happened I decided to quit.
So loaded up with determination, a nicotine patch on my arm, an electric cigarette in one hand, and a pencil I fully expect to have eaten by October 2nd, I'm looking forward with some trepidation, but mainly curiosity, to my journey to the non-smoking side of the patio. Because apparently, that's where all the cool people now hang out.
I'll keep you all posted on my little journey, for better...or worse!
Dave C. Bannerman