I used to really hate smoking when I was very young, then I became a smoker myself, then I quit, now I hate it again! Full circle! I come from a family where we almost all used to smoke, and have now all given up and been smoke-free for years. I remember I used to complain about my Mum and my brothers smoking, then I took up the deadly habit myself! I think it was a question of “If you can't beat them, join them.” Fortunately that is not the case now, as now no one in my family has smoked for quite a few years.
I didn’t take up the habit until I was around 20 years old, and the only reason I did really was because of peer pressure: I was working at McDonald’s at the time and almost all the staff smoked (that was in the Dark Ages, when people could still smoke indoors at work!). Consequently the staff room would usually be thick with fug at break-times, the sort of atmosphere you could almost cut with a knife! That seems unbelievable now. It seemed less unpleasant to be a smoker myself than to be the only non-smoker in the room, so I took it up. I carried on for a while, but always meant to give up for good. I think I continued because I found, as most smokers do, that a cigarette seems to help in times of stress (I think it is more the oral solace though, the sucking action! Nicotine is actually a stimulant, so should make you more stressed). I used to find the times I enjoyed a cigarette the most were with a drink or right after a meal, those were the hardest times to go without one.
Then I met a man who was a very heavy smoker and lived with him for several years (I have written about this in my previous blog). So I kept trying to quit but having a partner who was a constant smoker made it very hard. One quitting strategy I had was trying to restrict myself to just having a cigarette with a drink – and not having more than about 20 drinks a day! (Joke!)
Then when I was forty I had a serious accident: I broke both my legs in a car crash and was in hospital for 3 months. I couldn’t smoke there, and didn’t want to in any case, so I was able to quit that way, by simply not having a cigarette for several months. I admit, I did have the occasional cigarette on occasion when I got out of hospital, but didn’t enjoy them very much at all – the desire had gone. I haven’t smoked since then, and I have reached the point where I know I never will again now. That was around 6 years ago, so I think I am now safe from temptation! There is absolutely nothing to gain from this disgusting, killer habit, and everything to gain from giving up. I know that going through the initial withdrawal can be hard, but once you are through that it is easy, because you usually find you hate cigarettes after that!
Hope you got something out of reading this blog, and I appreciate your votes and comments.
(The photo shows me with my Mum)