Ok. So it's a week since I decided to quit smoking. Seven days since I decided to get rid of the Demon Weed. I thought I'd give you all a little update to let anyone who cares know how it's going.
Following my decision to quite on October 1st the first few days were difficult, and I do mean difficult! Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things I've ever done, and to think I decided to do this!
I managed to make it through Thursday, but had a little slip over the weekend, yes it's true. I could say it was only this or only that but a slip is a slip no matter the excuses given. I slipped and that's the end of it.
After my stumble I felt terrible. I felt like I'd betrayed myself and all the people rooting for me. It was a moment of weakness. Still, move forwards not backwards. Don't dwell on it. I slipped. It happens. Move on.
Since the weekend I haven't touched a cigarette. The pride is swelling again and I'm starting to feel the benefit. I managed to climb a flight of stairs today (October 7th) without huffing and puffing when I got to the top. My breathing is beginning to improve, and I feel like I've got more energy. Apparently my sense of taste and smell will improve. Still waiting for that, but I'm staying optimistic. I've been told, several times, that I smell better, and my partner made a point of actually sniffing me when she saw me for the first time after I'd decided to quit.
I'm starting to notice other little things too. Things that non-smokers wouldn't think about or even understand. Things like finishing a meal and not running straight out for a smoke, or walking straight into a shop without thinking right, I'm going in here, how long am I likely to be, and should I have a quick smoke before I go in?
I'm using nicotine patches and this morning (October 7th) I didn't realise I didn't have one on until easily two hours after I got up, which was a shocker to be honest. I've been carrying a pack of cigarettes around with me even though I'm trying to quit. There's a reason for this, but first I have to tell you this. Last night (October 6th) I stayed away from home, and for the first time in almost as long as I've had my own bank account, I left the house without a pack of smokes in my pocket. That for me ladies and gentlemen, is absolutely HUGE!
So why are you carrying them around then? Yes, I can hear you thinking it, and if you weren't before, I bet you are now aren't you? Thought as much. It's a fair question, and I do have an explanation.
If I have them, it's my choice not to use them. If I don't have them, that choice is taken away from me and I know full well I will crave them, and too much of that means I'll smoke. It might seem pointless to a non-smoker, potentially even a little bit ridiculous? Maybe, but it's a coping strategy. It's my coping strategy. I'm the one quitting smoking, so quit judging me dammit!
Sorry, still get a little bit snippy. Deep breath - I can do that without coughing now!
Even a fortnight ago, the very thought of leaving the house to go the shops, even walk the dog without my cigarettes would have had me panicking, and yesterday I took the plunge, got in the taxi completely devoid of any tobacco at all. So couple that, with me not even realising I didn't have a patch on the next day until two hours after I got up is telling me that (at the moment) I'm winning the fight. I might be in with a chance here.
I've still got a good way to go, and there's always the chance for more slips ups (I never knew so many people smoked! Temptation is everywhere!) but so far so good.
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with the smallest step" - I don't know who said it, but it helps to think about it in this way.
Dave C. Bannerman