Breaking my habit.

Annying, nasty, pain in the arse habit.

Annoying, nasty, pain in the arse habit.

I’ve been smoking for about 10years and tomorrow I am quitting for good. Up until a few months ago I enjoyed it – it was part of who I am. I tried to quit some years ago and failed. Now I realise the reason why I failed was because I didn’t want to quit, I felt it was something I should do but not what I wanted to do.

It’s not easy to point at one specific reason why I am doing this now as there are always a number of different reasons why someone would quit smoking. I’ve had enough. The last few months I’ve become very aware of what an annoying habit it really is and I want rid of it.

It’s a pain in the arse, to put it bluntly.

I’m fed up with always needing to make sure I have a pack of smokes on me. If I go anywhere the first thing I think about is whether I have enough smokes or cash to buy some. I do a lot of writing, really enjoying it once again, and the awareness of the habit has become more obvious when I’m writing. That first smoke of the day is really good, I love it. There are the occasional after-dinner-smokes I enjoy but not in the same way. And the rest I smoke during the day/night are mainly due to habit rather than need for nicotine.

I sit in front of my pc, regularly lighting one up. I don’t chain smoke, I get through between 15-25 a day, most of those in the evening. After smoking I stub out the butt and a few seconds later I can see thin whisps of smoke drifting in the air. So I root around in the ashtray looking for that offensive butt to stub out yet again. It’s disgusting. In the morning my hair stinks, and my clothes stink, God knows what other people must think if I can smell it myself. I can’t figure out why I haven’t noticed it before!

And then there is the money. Pack of smokes or tobacco costs between £5-£6. I did a test at http://smokefree.nhs.uk/quit-tools/cost-calculator with £5 per pack, and 20 a day costing £152.08 per month. That’s £1825.00 a year!! Lot’s of advice on the cost run along the lines of popping that fiver in a jar every time you would have bought smokes. Would be nice to see that amount add up so I can buy myself a reward for keeping off the smokes.

Naturally there is he health issue to think about. Smokers don’t think about that, ever. They need that drug, the habit is so ingrained that they are blind to the fact that one day some part of their body is going stop working. Just over a month ago I had heart palpitations for a few nights, scared me to death if I’m honest. Was the freakiest thing that has ever happened to my body. It’s hard to describe, a kind of emptiness inside the chest for a brief moment and then a thud. That’s my heart having a nice loud beat that I can actually feel. Extremely worrying and over the course of about 4 days I had about 6 hours sleep. It worried me that much. I had also been having pains in my left side for 6months or so, and it didn’t matter what research I did online I couldn’t figure out what it was. It was always there but now and then it was very sharp and intense. This as you can imagine caused more than a little distress.

I was worried. I’ve never been one to discuss my aches and pains to any great degree with anyone. Headaches etc, sure, and occasionally I might mention that I’ve got a bad stomach. I keep this more serious kind of thing to myself. I saw my doctor, told him all about the pains and my strong will to quit smoking. I’m pending results of blood tests, which could easily turn out to be nothing or something minor. Irritable bowl, allergic to some foods and so on. Until I know more it isn’t worth worrying about.

Tonight I am smoking the last few smokes I have, got one on the go as I write this. And tomorrow. 20th April 2009, I’ll be dropping every last scrap of smoking paraphernalia in the bin. I have nicotine patches on the ready, and gum should I need it. I know, deep down this is it. I’m not quitting because of money or because society says I should. This feels the right time for me to just drop it all, say goodbye, get rid and leave well alone. I’m actually really looking forward to it, and I know it won’t be easy, but just not having that crutch, that need always there, will be a true blessing.

In days gone by I would have kept a diary. I don’t really care if no one reads this blog, it’s more a personal thing for me, a release of thoughts and ideas buzzing inside my head. If anyone does read it and finds what I have to say inspiring or thought provoking, that’s a bonus. I think writing about breaking my habit will be as much a benefit as nicotine patches.

So now I’m going to light up one last smoke to complete my term as a smoker before I slap on that patch and smile at my new life free from such a shitty, pain in the arse habit.

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