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Friday, 29 October 2010

Giving up Smoking

Oh God, I feel as sick and dizzy as a pissed granny at a sherry party. It's because I'm wearing a nicotine patch - a clear, sticky thing that sends nicotine coursing through my middle aged veins. It's Day Two of my not smoking, so Serve Me Right. I'd like to say that I stopped because I was worried about lung cancer. Well I am anyway, especially as my lung capacity is a bit rubbish anyway. I once had to breathe through one of those tubes which measure it and the monitor shifted about half a centimeter.

I once asked a friend why he had given up smoking and he said: 'Because I was tired of being a slave to the weed' which struck me as a very sensible thing to say. You are a slave to it. Many is the time I've lit up and felt an overwhelming sense of disgust. I would smoke outside in the cold, shivering, feeling pathetic and ashamed. It seems so ridiculous as well as monstrously dangerous. My wise friend also said: 'Don't wait until you really want to stop smoking because that day will never come.' Oh I know all those smokers out there, including me, will sometimes wake up, headachy, breathless and chock full of guilt at the sight of full ashtrays and the rank smell and vow there and then to Stop. But the addiction comes creeping back, overriding the self-loathing.

To be honest, the real reason I'm giving up is superficial vanity. I've noticed a few thread veins sliding out of my nose (oooh sexy) and think that if I keep this habit up I'll soon have a nose like W.C Fields.

So this is it. And maybe feeling like a sick granny is a small price to pay. Any tips or advice from former smokers out there?


John said...

Ooh, I was SO glad to see this. Giving up today. Sorry, have given up. Don't smoke anymore. I am a non-smoker. And as someone who has less experience at this lark than you (by a whole day), I'm not going to give you any advice. Except... have you read the Alan Carr book? How to give up smoking the easy way? He's self-satisfied and annoying at times, but if you can get past that, it's great for the attitude you should have towards giving up. Sounds like your friend read it...

Best thing in it for me was to see the addiction as a nasty little monster inside you. When you stop, the monster starts misbehaving and screaming and shouting for his nicotine. Hence the pangs and cravings. But instead of letting them drive you mad, enjoy them. Cause all that screaming and shouting he's doing? That's him dying.

Anyway, good luck!

Jane said...

Oh thank you John! No I haven't read the Alan Carr book though I will now. And the idea of 'it' being a dying monster is a very good analogy. I suppose the first few days are the worst - first time you have a meal and don't light up - first time you have a cup of coffee.

Smoking so thoroughly inflitrates your life that it's like pulling up painful weeds. And it's the associations - I never feel like smoking in the bedroom because I never lit up there for example.

Good luck to you too. Let me know how you get on. I promise to be totally non-judgmental.


Fran said...

Sorry - can't help, as a non-smoker. I did try it for a while, in my teens, but I just didn't like it and had to find other ways of looking cool. (I failed.) I wish you well with trying to give up. If it's anything like trying to give up chocolate, take it an hour at a time ...

Kate said...

I used the Alan Carr book to help pack in smoking, it worked really well for me and I'd really recommend it to anyone who wanted to stop. I was a proper smoker - twenty a day, more if the mood took me - and had smoked from being 15 to 42 years old. I'd done my time, that's for sure. Packing in wasn't instant, it probably took three weeks or so for the message to sink in, but it definitely did do in the end and it's almost seven years since I stopped totally.

The other thing I did which helped was to download a counter that kept track of how much of my life and my money I'd saved by not smoking any more. I recalculated tonight and can hardly believe it myself when I tell you I've saved over £14,000 since I packed in! That I'm going to live to be a hundred and thirty three is arguable, but £5.50 a day for seven years is the same which ever way you look at it.

Anyway, good luck to you both ... if you've got your heads round it you'll do it, without question.

Most importantly, don't beat yourself up if you have a fag after dinner tonight, just start again tomorrow.

All the best

Jane said...

@Fran - good for you. An hour at a time - that's good advice. You must find it odd that anyone would start such a ridiculous habit in the first place.

@Kate - £14,000!!!!!!!!! That brought me up short. I think I'll do the same thing. I'm hanging in there and apparently it takes 21 days to break a habit. But the thought of saving all that money is one hell of an incentive. Thanks for that.