Can You Do Without...?

Blog This: Challenge 16 -

Have you ever had to give anything up that was difficult?
Smoking, drinking, your favourite food? An obsession or habit such as credit card, sport, cable TV? Are you planning to give up something?

Ok, so the latest challenge from Blog This is to blog about something we've had to give up, or challenge ourselves to give up something and then blog on it.

Well, I'm sure other people will blog about this, but for me, the hardest thing I ever had to give up was smoking. Well, the first time anyway.

I started smoking when I was about 17 and I was a hard-core smoker. A chain smoker if you will.

Once I turned 18 and started going out and drinking I could smoke my way through at least a pack of 50 in one night. One night! Ugh!

Just the thought of smoking now turns my stomach.

Mr.P has never been a smoker and always hated it when I did. He would refuse to kiss me and I hated that.

After we'd been going out f0r a couple of years I decided that enough was enough (with a bit of prodding from him!) and vowed to give up.

I lasted about 2 weeks and then I slowly started smoking again. Fooling myself that smoking a lower strength was the best way to give up eventually.

Wrong! It just made me smoke more!

The first time I quit I tried patches. They are the worst thing imaginable! Worse than smoking! They made me feel so unbelievably sick for about the first hour of wearing one and they gave me the most awful, vivid dreams, so I would wake up feeling like I hadn't slept at all.

I continued to smoke for another 7 months.

And then, on my sisters 21st birthday, I decided that was going to be my last night of smoking. And I haven't smoked since.

That was 4 years ago.

There was a number of factors that helped me quit.

The first was that nearly all of my friends were giving up at the same time and using the book Allan Carr's Easy Way to Quit Smoking. They basically told me there was no way I would be able to quit unless I read that book.

Well, that was a red flag to me! Don't tell me I can't do something. I wanted to prove them wrong! And I did. Quit cold turkey and I am the only one today who hasn't taken it back up or even touched another smoke since.

In your face!

The second factor was that I started working in a different shopping centre at the Chain Bookstore. The change of scenery was exactly what I needed. There were no reminders of when or where I used to smoke and my travel habits changed so completely, it was a real help.

The third and most important factor, was that I just really wanted to quit. Every time I took a drag on a cigarette I was thinking "This is the drag that's gonna give me cancer, this is the one that will do it". My Grandma had died from cancer 3 years before and my father had just been diagnosed with prostate cancer. There is a long history of cancer in my family, and I just realised that with my odds, I was gonna get cancer, so why do something that would increase those odds.

I realised I had more to live for than the next cigarette. I was a slave to those things and I hated that it made me such a turn-off to Mr.P when I was reeking of smoke.

I just realised it wasn't worth it. The first few days, going through nicotine withdrawal, were tough, and I know I was a nightmare to live with.

But it's the best decision I ever made.

After that I felt so much better (never realised how shit I felt everyday until then!) and so proud of myself. As each day went by without a smoke I just wanted to see that number of no-smoke days continue to rise.

I would never tell anyone (except my stupid sister!) not to smoke, as I don't think it's my right and I feel it would be hypocritical if I did, but if you do still smoke, I promise you, if you give up, it will be the best decision you'll ever make.

For yourself and those who love you. But you have to really want to, for you.


dixiebelle said…
I am so glad you gave up..
Me too! Best thing I ever did!
Alycia said…
Well done on quitting, particularly the way you did! Sticking it to them! Love it!
Good for you!! I was a full on smoker too, so your post made a lot of sense to me. I had my last cigarette 3 years ago and feel sick thinking about cigarettes now! Yuk!
Talia said…
So proud of you!
Little mimoo said…
thanks for your comment on my blog as I had read your post first and decided to give another quitting smoking point of view as my story is very similar to yours, my dad had prostate cancer (thankfully he is ok now)and my nana died from cancer, I quit my job and got another one (my workmates could not ever believe I was ever a smoker!) I did read that book but started again! hubbie nagged me everytime I went outside to smoke and then refused to cuddle on the couch after I had been smoking (fair enough!) so just cold turkeyed and with a little help from inhalers (at parties!) and I am now 4 years 'clean' but boy was it hard.. high fives to us best best thing I ever did :-)
Eilleen said…
Well done!!

I quit smoking 7 years ago... and the only thing that made me do it was when I got pregnant with my daughter.

Prior to that, I was smoking a pack (of 50) to a pack and a half a day.

Being pregnant helped me in that cigarettes made my morning sickness worse. And like you I started to imagine how each cigarette was affecting my unborn child.

My withdrawals really didn't start until after I gave birth and then it got really hard but I realised that if I had managed to stop for 7 months, then I can keep going.

I think I only stopped craving for cigarettes only 4 years ago.

Well done in quitting! Your willpower is amazing!!

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