Saturday, 14 July 2018

How I finally won my battle with nicotine and gave up smoking

A blonde woman in a blue hoodie smoking a cigarette in ЛюберцыOn January 15th 2015 I finally managed to quit smoking for good, which meant that I could check off number 14 from my 40 by 40 list. 

I had my first cigarette in 1993 and little did I know back then, the stress and pain that decision would cause me! Back then, age 13, I truly believed that I would be able to choose when I smoked and that I would not become addicted and that it was a 'cool' thing to do. I wanted to fit in at school and it was not as well known back then as to the health risks of smoking. 

The problem is that it creeps up on you and before you know it you are addicted and smoking a 20 pack a day! Having CFS and depression made it even more difficult and at my worst, I was smoking 40 a day. 

I tried to give up many times, but truthfully, my heart was not really in it as I enjoyed smoking (or at least, I had convinced myself that I did). It would cause a lot of problems in my marriage as DJ really wanted us to quit (as he also smoked) as we simply could not afford to live when between us we were spending over £20 a day on cigarettes. 

At one point we switched to rolling our own to save money, but that really impacted my health and I started getting chest infection after chest infection so I had to switch back. 

Then one day, I ended up in A & E strapped up to a nebuliser with a doctor who told me that I had emphysema which was devastating. Thankfully, it turned out that I did not have emphysema as my GP explained that I had none of the symptoms and that the hospital doctor had not performed the tests which are needed to make that diagnosis, so my GP had no idea why the hospital doctor would have told me that. I wonder if he said it to try and scare me into giving up, but even that did not work, as I left the hospital believing that I had emphysema and the first thing I did was smoke a cigarette. 


So how did I do it?

I realised that I needed to give up for my health and also for my family as the cost was financially crippling! Once I was at the point of truly wanting to give up smoking I was already halfway there. 

I also knew that I needed to deal with both the physical addiction to nicotine, but also the dependency I had created in my mind. I decided to try using nicotine gum as that was the only method that I had not tried in the past and that would deal with the addiction. 

I then had to deal with my mind! I did this by writing a very honest list of what smoking was doing to me and the family. I had to train my brain to realise that smoking was not actually helping me. For example, before I would say things such as 'I am so depressed, I need a cigarette'. So now, if I felt low and started to think that I needed a cigarette because of my low mood, I would tell myself that actually having a cigarette will not change how I am feeling. All of my problems will still be there. Smoking a cigarette will not magically fix anything and would, in fact, cause me more problems as I would have failed my goal of giving up smoking which would make my depression much worse. 



I had to do a lot of self-talking to change my thinking and I'm not going to lie, it was not easy, but the longer I had been without a cigarette the easier it became.

It has now been three years and six months since I last had a cigarette and I am so proud of myself. DJ also gave up when I did so we have really improved the quality of our lives and I do not miss it at all. I do not even think about smoking now so I know that I will never go back to it. 

If you have enjoyed reading this post then please do leave me a message, I would love to hear from you.


Confessions of a New Mummy
JakiJellz


Best Boot Forward

21 comments:

  1. Well done for having the will power and strength to give up the cigarettes, I have never been a smoker#twinklytuesday@_karendennis

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    1. Thank you, it was hard but I'm really pleased that I did it

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  2. Congratulations, well done such a great achievement #TriumphantTales

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  3. Well done! Thank you for sharing your story. Having grown up with heavy-smoking parents, I never had the desire to smoke. If I had, that "£20 a day" would have been enough to make me quit! I remember being 4 years old and going around the living room emptying and cleaning out the ashtrays and saying to them, "When I grow up, I'm not even going to own an ashtray. No one will ever be allowed to smoke in my house." And I told my mother, from childhood on, that she'd be dying of lung cancer and I'd be the one to have to take care of her. And it happened. Fortunately, my dad quit smoking after having a heart attack in his 50s. But my mother kept smoking and died of lung cancer at 64. Such a waste of a brilliant, talented and kind woman! You and your husband have done something truly wonderful for your children. #TriumphantTales

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  4. Thank you :-) Sorry to hear that you lost your mum to lung cancer, that must have been difficult xx

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  5. Good for you! Don't ever go back! #twinklytuesday
    Tracy www.viewfromthebeachchair.com

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    1. We most definitely will not go back!

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  6. Well done on giving up, addiction can be really hard to break and takes a lot of determination and self control X #twinklytuesday

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  7. Good for you! It's a lot harder than many people think. I'm trying to quietly nudge my OH towards giving up but no such uck here! Thanks for sharing your experience with #BestBootForward

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    1. Yeah, it's funny how your brain works. You really believe that you need to continue smoking to be happy and stay sane!

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  8. It's so hard to change entrenched patterns of behaviour especially when you're used to feeling like it eases the bumps of everyday challenges. Congratulations on making such a life changing swithc #BestBootForward

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  9. Good on you for quitting - I know it's not easy. I've always been a social smoker and felt the urge to light up when I drink a glass of wine. I tried it once after my eldest was born and go so sick from the cigarette. So I just stopped completely with social smoking - it's almost 12 years. I think my kids will get a heart attack if they must see me light up a cigarette #stayclassymama

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    1. Yeah, it is hard. Well done you, 12 years is impressive

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  10. Wow, well done you. Thank is such a massive achievement! Pen x #bestfootforward

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  11. This is really admirable. My husband quit using Champix tablets and it's made his quality of life so much better! Thanks so much for sharing with #TriumphantTales.

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    1. Thank you - well done to your husband x

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  12. Well done on quitting, its a huge achievement. Thanks for sharing and linking up #twinklytuesday x

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