As some of you may or may not know, I used to be a smoker.
This was never something I was proud of but it was a part of my life for a very long time. The reason I bring it up is because last month marked 3 years since I ditched the fags for good.
I am aware that this is bit of a taboo subject which is especially frowned upon by the online community, but I wanted to be a little more transparent and act as a reminder that not everything is as crystal as it appears. Also, if this could somehow help at least one person and possibly be that extra push they need in order to quit then my job here is done.
Like a lot of smokers, I started when I was young. I was 14 when I tried my first cigarette (sorry mum).
I did it simply out of curiosity and in all honesty I was pretty underwhelmed; it was no way near as glamorous as it appeared in the movies. Nevertheless by the time I was 16 it had started to become a more frequent affair.
Back then a ten deck of Marlboro’s were the extent of my purchases and were reserved solely for social gatherings. I also made goddamn sure to never smoke at school. I mean, I couldn’t run the risk of getting caught and have my parents find out now could I?
Despite their best efforts, I foolishly went against my parent’s advice. I was a 14-year-old teenager with a head full of angst and a tendency to rebel. Looking back now, I am ashamed at how reckless I was especially given my family’s history.
When my mum was in her 20s, she sadly lost her dad to (you guessed it) smoking. If smoking hadn’t been in the equation, I probably would have gotten the opportunity to have met my Granddad.
With this in mind I desperately wish I had a better excuse as to why I started, but all I can put it down to was ignorance.
As I got older smoking became more of a common habit.
By the time I’d started university and my student loan had kicked in, I would sometimes be smoking up to 40 a day. Semi-wisely, I decided to cut down. I’d be lying if I said that cost wasn’t also a majoring factor in this decision. Nevertheless I decided to switch to rollups.
I was now on roughly 5-10 a day – which I didn’t think was too bad by regular smoker’s standards.
Then came along the chest infections.
To be fair, I had been experiencing some kind of sickness on an annual basis for years, and even though cheap student housing had a small part to play, deep down I knew whom the real culprit was.
Still, that wasn’t enough to make me quit entirely.
As addictive as smoking is, there is also a ritual that comes along with it…
Morning coffee, cigarette. Afternoon break, cigarette. Alcohol, cigarettes.
It wasn’t until one day my boyfriend and I were having a casual conversation and we got onto the topic of smoking. He had mentioned previously that even though him being a non-smoker, me smoking didn’t actually bother him.
Great I thought, I’ll carry on as normal then.
However, he then went on to say how it had crossed his mind how it could effect my future health prospects.
I was stunned. There it was as clear as day… someone else had taken more thought into my own wellbeing than I had.
Almost by accident and possibly triggered by this conversation, a couple of days had gone by and I didn’t actually need a cigarette. Before you know it a week had passed and I hadn’t touched a single one.
Granted this easy streak wasn’t going to last forever. Having been a smoker for the best part of 10 years it was bound to catch up with me. To say my body needed nicotine was an understatement.
Seeing as I’d never used patches before, I chose to go down the route of e-cigarettes.
Those first 3 months were a real rollercoaster of emotions with Glastonbury proving to be the biggest test of them all.
Drinking and smoking had always gone hand in hand before now – so this was the first real hurdle I had to get over in order to crack the habit.
For those who aren’t familiar, the best way I can describe the craving is like being very, very hungry for one specific type of food. Now triple that sensation with the addition of alcohol.
I’m not going to lie it wasn’t easy, and there were times where I wanted to give up and feed the addiction. What really helped, was to surrounding myself with supportive people and reminding myself each time of how far I’d come.
Like any life changing action such as losing weight, becoming vegan, quitting smoking – they all take time, effort and a whole lot of patience.
Now, 3 years later I can confidently say I have a much better control over my cravings and only arm myself with an e-cigarette when necessary.
If you’re um’ing and ah’ing about quitting then let’s be blunt… the positives far outweigh the negatives.
Your senses are numbed when you’re a smoker. Not only has my sense of taste and smell improved, but I am now able to climb a flight of stairs without becoming breathless.
There will be times where you will want to cave in and “just have the one” but if you are already trying to bargain with yourself, you’re setting yourself up to fail.
If you list the positives to why quitting is good for you, you may be surprised at how strong your willpower actually is.
All the best
Boots: The Fashion World (gifted)