I started smoking when I was 18 because everyone did it. I really took to it like a fish to water and have been smoking about 20 a day ever since.
I come from a large family of smokers and while everyone else slowly started to give up, I was still smoking. I’ve thought about stopping over the past few years but smoking always gave me a good excuse to stop for five minutes. Life was always busy with work and kids!
I did have two good attempts to stop but throughout that I put on 20kg and it never lasted.
I noticed over the years I would distance myself from friends who didn’t smoke, I wouldn’t go to a movie theatre, and I certainly wouldn’t carpool anywhere. I was constantly thinking about when and where I was going to have my next cigarette. It was tiring!
Recently I opened a funeral home (I’m a funeral director and embalmer) and I knew I wouldn’t have the time to smoke, and I also didn’t want to smoke around clients families. My best friend had recently stopped smoking with the support of the Southern Stop Smoking Service, so I went with her to meet the coach.
I thought I couldn’t do it, but then about a month later I noticed my friend (who had given up) had stopped visiting me, so I rung Alison again. This time I was ready to stop and I actually found it surprisingly easy. I found it easy.
The coach held me accountable, and for me it was exciting to reach milestones throughout the journey. The coach also helped me with the nicotine replacement therapy. I have been smoke free for about 12 weeks now and I haven’t cheated once. I don’t miss it and I’m glad to be done with that part of my life.
I’m not tired anymore thinking of when I will have my next cigarette. I’m not frantic thinking about where I can’t go because I can’t smoke, or who I can’t hang out with. Life is easier. I don’t have to plan my day around cigarettes.
I have lost 15kg and taken up jogging. I go every single day and for me, it’s a reward for not smoking and it’s nice to be able to breathe well and push myself to see how far I can go, and how far I’ve come.
The rewards are much better than what they used to be!