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Shall I or shan't I? That has been a question on my lips a few times over the last 5 days.... I know the answer but still have to ask. Whats the question? 'Shall I have one of my remaining cigarettes?' Answer a resounding 'NO!' I put out my last cigarette on New years Eve and havent touched one since. At the time of writing this review that was 104 hours ago. Very sad I know to have it all worked out in hours, but once I get past the week stage I will refer to my timings in days rather than hours....hey at least I'm not wittering about minutes be grateful! Here are my rambling's and personal feeling's on the subject.
Why did I start? I have been promising myself to give up on the cigarettes for a while now. I only started again 2 years ago after 5 years off of the dreaded weed. A ridiculous as it sounds I only started again to get a break! I worked in a place where by smokers (the majority) were treated far more fairly than the minority (Me) whereby they all got breaks. I was expected and did work from 7am to 3pm with out so much as a cup of tea. Yet the smoker's seemed to be able to nip off for a fag whenever. So after starting again for a silly reason I decided (the job had long gone after being used and abused for long enough), it was now time for the smoking to stop.
Why Should I Stop? Sounds a silly question. But you have to think about it seriously. I had lots of reasons to want to stop. 1) My kids really wanted me too. 2) I really knew I had to 3) I couldn't afford to smoke 4) I have mild Asthma
Setting My Goals: These being my main reasons for wanting to stop smoking the next stage was to set myself a date to do so. This isn't as simple as it sounds. I will try to explain what I mean by example. A few weeks ago I was totally skint. I found myself in a position where I couldn't afford any cigarettes so didn't smoke for 2 days. Not by choice, but by necessity. I had thought ok so I'll give up now (knowing full well I had a date in mind in the not too distant future). This was a bad plan. As soon as I had money again I wanted to smoke....badly. And of course did so.
So I decided I would stick with my original plan of stopping on New Years Eve. I would plan things so that I would be in a stronger position to stop. (ie not because I was skint)
I saw the Governments new Health warning on smoking on TV. It depicted a scene of a funeral and the word 'MUM" depicted in funeral flowers. The advert kept saying "She never smoked in front of her kids" "She smoked outside" "But it wasn't enough was it?" Or words to that effect. It hit home. That was me. Protecting the kids but who was protecting me? It was never going to be written on my headstone was it? "She didnt light up infront of her kids!" So my goals needed to be set realistically. I needed to set a date which suited me at a time which suited me.
New Years Eve-Eve; I ensured on this day not to buy too many cigarettes. I smoked around 15-20 a day and had made a concientious effort to cut down to at least 10 a day. So on the day before I stopped I bought 2 packets of 10 Benson & Hedges Silver. I duely smoked them and enjoyed them! I wasn't at work so therefore kept busy throughout the day doing bits of this and that. But made time for a ciggie break.
New Years Eve: I felt a bit strange on this day. I suppose It was dread. I knew my time was coming. I didnt really want to give up smoking, No I enjoyed a cigarette. But I HAD to. I knew that. I could make excuses for England why I should keep smoking. But a handily placed billboard poster or the said government ad with the 'MUM' flowers on my way back from work each night was a sure omen. So I paced myself with my smoking throughout that day. In the evening I had 4 cigarettes left. We decided to nip across the road to the pub for a few hours. I had a few Bailey's and a cigarette. We got bored and walked back across the road to see the new year in with the kids. I lit up a cigarette at 5 to midnight. As I inhaled I suddenly realised I wasn't even enjoying it. It was stinging the back of my throat. I put it out with a stub of 2 cm. I silently congratulated myself. I saw the new year in with my husband and family then at 2 o'clock went to bed.
New Years Day (day 1) I got up at around quarter to 10 as I was expecting my step-sons to buzz on the door, as it was their weekend to stay with us. I looked on the side and there was my 10 pack of B&H silver with 2 remaining cigarettes. I closed the lid and popped them just out of eyesight but nevertheless no more than 2 feet from where I sit at my laptop. Easy to reach you see when I wanted a cig. Now you're probably thinking I'm mad doing this but I wanted to give up because I wanted to......NOT because I'd run out of cigarettes. In the same principle as I mentioned earlier with the not giving up because I was skint. I felt strong. The day went past and we had a huge Roast beef dinner to celebrate the new year. It wasn't until after that I felt the urge to smoke. My husband was going to the shop for his cigars (5 a day). He'd forgotten I was trying to give up. I chose not to remind him. Until he asked if I needed any cigs? I said 'No thanks, but I'll have some chewing gum" He said "Oh my God I forgot! How are you feeling?" I laughed and said "pretty good actually!"
Day 2: I only briefly looked in on Ciao the day before so thought I would nip in on this day to 'tell' everyone my news.I was doing really well. But knew I needed nagging. So I enlisted the help of people to 'nag' at me and bully me for updates etc. This has been one of the best thing's I could do. The support offered to me has been fantastic. I have Doreen, Salem Witch (Helen) and Vera (Bluebutton's) supporting me on a daily basis. Thats not to mention the others Jayne (Jordon), Pat.T, Dididave, Drewboy,Minxx,Fun, Scarlett Ribbons, silver40, Redbitch, Lizzy, Andrea(tange), waynehorrigan, lisa (spoiltbrat) and Susan who have all left messages of support. I'm really sorry If i've missed anyone off of here but I've had so many lovely Ciaoer's encouraging me, All of which mean so much to me. I knew it would be a good move admitting to this on Ciao.... This way I can't back down. Well I could but I wouldn't dare go back onto Ciao! So day 2 was good. The worst times were after meals I was finding. So I would make sure I had a stick of chewing gum to help take away the pangs.
Day 3 Back to work. It was going to be a long shift. From 9am to 6pm. Bank holiday Monday. Now I really used to enjoy my breaks at work. I knew on this day being there for that long meant I would have 2 breaks and a dinner hour to contend with. My first thought used to be cigarette then food or drink. But this time I went straight to the vending machines and got a drink first and sat down and chatted. My first break flew by and before I knew it I was back to work. At lunch I had a bit of shopping to do. I phoned Iv (hubby) He encouraged me some more and I went for a quick sandwich. I enjoyed catching up with non smoking collegues who I would otherwise miss whilst I was in the smoke room. My last break came and went with no problems. Once again at home I would have liked one after my evening meal....but didnt.
Day4 Work again. 2 things occured to me today. One was, my thoughts I enjoyed my breaks purely to get a nicoteen fix weren't true. I was actually needing to sit down and have a rest. Not spark up a cigarette. That was purely down to habit. Now I have a healthier habit (fresh orange juice). The second came to me as I sat on my luch break. A usual smoke room colleague seemed to be loitering after her lunch. I said "No cig Ann? Not you too?" She looked in disbelief... "You've given up too? Oh thats great!" She exclaimed. After we compared notes, she complained about the price of Nicoteen patches and gum. I gleefully told her I hadn't needed them. I was doing this on sheer willpower and Ciaopower.... she laughed.... I explained what I meant so if we get a new member today called Ann who's stopped smoking .....We know what she wants! lol. So it was the first time it had occured to me to even think of using Nicoteen fixes to replace my cravings. So it can be done with out costly replacements! Be a stubborn Taurean like me!
Day 5 Is today. I've been to work today...again. Havent even given smoking a thought at work. So am very pleased indeed. I thought I'd put today into a list for you to see the positive effects and to know my state of mind today. How do I feel? Honestly? I feel fantastic. Honestly. My chest feels better than it has in years. No tightness, no cough. My home smells better. My purse feels heavier! My kids have stopped complaining (well about the smoking at least) My teeth are getting whiter everytime I brush them (no exaggeration) I still have 2 cigarettes in a dusty packet on the side.
If its something you have been promising yourself to do for sometime- DO IT! Stop putting it off, Stop making excuses. YOU CAN do it. I hope these few views can help somebody.
UPDATE: I thought I'd add an extra section to this review to let you know that here we are on the 22 Feb and I still haven't had a cigarette. I have felt so so so close at times but not given in. It's been nearly 12 weeks now. I have a slight addiction to chewing gum now, which I'm sure I will kick soon! There are lots of obvious advantages as listed above, these all still apply and I'm delighted I've done it, however, I have put on weight a full stone to be exact. I've eaten more purely and simply to replace my cig time I'd eat chocolate or a biscuit ...something I hadn't done in a long time. So this week its diet week. I'm not loosing the stone...just half (under strict orders!) Oh when will the day come when I reach perfection?! lol
One Year On Update:
It's just ver a year now since I packed in the evil weed. I have sucumbed just once.. stressful time and I gave in.. this was in the summer. I was disgusted with myself and soon stubbed it out. I felt smelly and gross for doing it and totally ashamed...so needless to say I havent done it since. One year on I feel fantastic.. much healthier, weathier, and yeah I feel smug, and why not? I deserve to be! So a message to all you new 'non smokers' YOU CAN DO IT....IF I DID YOU CAN.... GO FOR IT!