I started smoking when I was about 15 because it looked cool and I felt so grown up.
Unfortunately, the moment I had my first cigarette, I became addicted. As a teenager I always thought it didn’t matter; I’d be able to stop at any time, easily. Obviously, that wasn’t the case.
In my early 30s, I came to the realization that I didn’t like anything about smoking. I didn’t like the taste, going outside, anything. I was just purely and utterly addicted to the nicotine and to the habit.
I was smoking about 25 taillies a day. I haven’t wanted to add up the cost of that. I’d often just tack them on to the groceries or when I filled up the car and I never looked. I knew the price was horrendous. I’m sure it was over $200 a week.
I tried to stop, but it wasn’t good. After about three days, my husband asked me if I wanted him to get me some smokes. Even he couldn’t cope with it anymore. That’s when I realized just how addicted I really was.
I had also become annoyed with the habit in the past 15 or so years because I noticed how anti-social it was. Down at the golf club I would find myself cutting conversations short when I noticed people going outside for a cigarette because the urge to join them was so strong. It was impossible to pay attention to the conversation I was having.
Late last year I got a phone call from the Gore Medical Centre to ask if I was still smoking and if I needed someone to talk too. I said yes just so that they would leave me alone. Michelle from the Southern Stop Smoking Service contacted me and I told her I didn’t know If I wanted to stop but we met up anyway. Between the phone call and the time we met, I had made the decision that I wanted to stop.
I needed to stop. I wanted to be around for my great nieces and nephews and I knew I didn’t enjoy the habit at all. I had been thinking about stopping for the past five years but never got around to actually doing it. It’s anti-social, it’s expensive, and it’s an absolute waste of money.
I told the coach I had a date and that my last cigarette would be the 11th of February. She gave me some patches and explained how to use them properly, which was incredibly helpful. When I had a patch on I felt OK and it showed me that it could work and it made me even more determined.
Having the coach also meant I was accountable to someone outside of my family and friends. Someone who was non-judgmental and supported me on my journey to stop. For me, that was important and helpful.
I am satisfied and proud of myself. I’m enjoying being able to properly finish conversations at the golf club, and I do not intend to start smoking ever again.