I never thought I would do it, but I have actually reached a whole year without smoking! Now I know this does not sound like much, but I am pretty proud of myself at the moment. I started smoking when I was about 12 years old. having the odd cig now and again, before turning into a 20 a day fully fledged smoker after only a couple of years. Sometimes, I would smoke even more, depending on who I was with and what the occasion was.

I realised that I had smoked throughout my entire adult life which is nothing at all to be proud of, and I knew it was going to be desperately difficult to kick the habit, My sister and brother-in-law gave up on New Years Eve the year before, but I was ‘not ready’ at that point.

Being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in September last year though did make me realise that I needed to stop. We have a campaign running over here in the UK called ‘Stoptober’ where you can get lots of extra support and help to give up, and I signed up. Plus myself and Mr Grump went to the pharmacy run stop smoking sessions (there are 6 in order to get ‘patched up’ ready for the event.

Suffice it to say. I stopped using the patches after about 3 weeks and was totally nicotine free. I have not smoked since; a thirty-six-year habit successfully stubbed out! Here are the benefits I have noticed:

  • I no longer freeze outside in the winter having a crafty cigarette
  • I don’t have to struggle with a lighter in a gale force wind to light a cigarette.
  • I am not glared at in the street (well at least not for smoking anyway)
  • People do not cough loudly as they walk past me emphasising the point that they do not approve of smoking even outdoors.
  • I can sit inside at a pub or a cafe for the entire time!
  • You can smell my perfume properly instead of it mixed with the pungent odour of cig smoke!
  • I can get in a lift now without holding my breath or standing in the corner in case I offend anyone with the smell of cigarettes!
  • I can still stand outside at work with the others but not worry that I amΒ going to have to put my cig out in a hurry in case we get caught.

Things I have noticed that are not so good:

  • I have put on at least a stone
  • I have no vices left (anyone got any ideas)?
  • I don’t get to stay inside as I prefer to stand out with the smokers (you get the best gossip)!
  • I miss it, as I did actually enjoy it
  • I have had more sore throats than ever before!

I just wanted to give my encouragement to those that are starting out today on the path to a smoke-free life, that you CAN do it, It just takes a bit of determination, a job lot of patches and whatever you do, don’t have those lozenges or sprays, as they are like pepper spray!! (Seriously, I thought I was going to combust, my eyes were watering and my throat was burning, and I had to spit the bloody thing out)!