Sunday, 27 November 2016

IN MY EYES

A couple of posts ago I was talking about some of the things that have happened this year in order to do a quick catch up on what has been happening in my life while I got a bit slack with this blog. One of the major things that has happened is quitting smoking and I thought I would go into a bit more detail about how I went about it. I had been a smoker for over 15 years, putting a number to it like that is kind of scary. Over the last few years when I thought about how long I have been smoking it made me feel nervous but I would squash it down with, I don't drink and smoking is my one vice so it's o.k. Good rationale right?  I had tried to quit smoking once before, it was in my early 20's and lasted nearly six months. That attempt involved using nicotine patches and totally cutting out cigarettes but I didn't cope with the weight gain. I put on 10kgs and wasn't feeling great about myself, so when I spent the weekend with some friends who smoked my weakened resolve dissipated. Time and time you hear people talk about not even one when it comes to addictions. This was one hundred percent true in my case, one cigarette and I was back to it. I think being 20, there was a part of me that still felt invincible and unaffected by the potential health side effects of smoking. I don't think I felt strongly enough like I wanted to quit, maybe more that I wanted to see If I could quit.

Fast forward 12 years and I have decided now is the time to quit. I still love/d smoking, but it is more in the same way you love someone you are in a shitty relationship with. The good parts don't outweigh the bad parts and so much of it is just routine and fear of change. I will be honest a huge part of me not quitting smoking was fear of gaining weight, I understand people might judge that but I think it is a pretty common thing for smokers. I had a mental list of good vs bad reason to smoke/ not to smoke that went something like this:

GOOD
I love smoking
Perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee
Thing to do while waiting for bus/train
Something to do with my hands
Something to do in social situations
Not gaining weight
Something to use as a reward


BAD
Death (pretty big one)
Illness
Can't have a family one day whilst smoking
Smelling
Being controlled by the need to smoke
Feeling irritable when I can't have one
Cost
No one really smokes anymore
My partner
Poor use of time

My partner never nagged me about smoking and I think that actually helped me to quit. I never felt pressured and I got to decide when without feeling like I had a parental figure breathing down my neck about it. Even though he never nagged me about it I knew it worried him, it felt like a really average thing to do to someone I loved. I think my trip to Japan really showed me what a pain being a smoker was. You can't smoke anywhere on the streets, it needs to be in designated smoking area and it became almost frustrating being so controlled that our movements had to be based on ensuring there was a near by smoking spot. I could write paragraph after paragraph of reasons why I should quit but the bottom line is eventually I knew I would need to quit. Eventually came on the 24th of Jul which means I have now been a non smoker for just over four months. 

It has not been easy and there was a but of preparation work involved. I made sure that I didn't quit before mid semester exams and that I would have been well and truly quit by end of year exams. Before I quit I used an app called LIVESTRONG to cut down. The cutting down was awful and I felt like towards the end the severe withdrawals I felt were in the cut down period as opposed to when I completely quit. In the week before I completely quit I was down to two cigarettes a day and I found that it was all I would think about was my morning smoke and my one before bed (the hardest to give up). I bailed all together when I got to my allowance of one a day, it sounds weird but one would have been worse than none. I had headaches, I was an asshole, the withdrawals really, really sucked but I knew if I had one it was all over red rover. I set the lock screen on my phone as a Henry Rollins quote which said "Do it or don't. It's amazing how many things in life are that easy." that helped, it summarised how I felt, breaking and smoking just wasn't an option because I had committed to quitting. I switched to a new app called Quit Pro, I think I didn't want to see the record of my cutting down and just wanted a fresh app that would tell me how long  I had been without a cigarette. For the first couple of weeks I used the nicorette quickmist spray and then chupa chups became my best friend. I think the most important thing was reminding myself that whatever I was feeling it was going to pass, withdrawals do not stay forever and you just have to wait it out or distract yourself. At times it did feel like they would never end but four months on I don't have any cravings. 

When I am around smokers I still enjoy the smell of cigarettes but the smell of it second hand on someone makes me feel ill. I have gained weight and I find that really hard and don't feel comfortable in my skin at the moment but looking after my body is far more important than the pressure I put on myself to look a certain way. It doesn't seem like many people smoke anymore so I don't know if this post will be particularly helpful to anyone but it feels cathartic to get it all out. xx

Heart Lollipop Heart Earrings - WC 
Donut Bow Necklace - Lucky Dip Club



Sugarpills Pastel Maxi Dress - Dollskill




Alexander McQueen Skull Ring - Net-a-porter
Pink Holographic Skirt - American Apparel 

 Clean Mika Boot - Sportsgirl


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