Saturday, 23rd February 2013
TIME TO QUIT SMOKING – As a human being I am prone to making mistakes. Anyone who ever reads half of what I write and report can testify to that. Being human is a burden at times as we do like to think of ourselves as the superior species on this planet, however I don’t think anyone would disagree with me when I say… ‘Oh what a mess we’ve made of the planet.’
One of the most stupid things I ever did was to start smoking. I was just 13 years old at the time and I wanted to run with the crowd and this meant taking up smoking as all my friends did so. Yes, it was stupid but I was only 13 years old and could never really comprehend the dangers of smoking.
As the years past I tried on a few occasions to quit, without success. I tried the Nicotine Gum, the Nicotine Patches and a plethora of other so-called remedies, all to no avail.
Life was ticking along and six months before I reached the milestone of 40 years old I decided to try once again to quit. At the time I didn’t have any other reason other than I was sick and tired of being tied and dependent on a drug that I knew was killing me. All my friends were now non-smokers and the number of times I spent in someone’s garden puffing away while I could hear them all laughing and having a good time was really making me ashamed – although they never ridiculed me for my habit.
I got to the point that I was thoroughly ashamed of myself for being so weak willed and so I decided enough was enough.
I decided there was only one way to quit and that was to go cold-turkey and mark the days off on a calendar. As the days past I was in agony. I would search the house high and low for a smoke but I never found one and I did not go out and buy one. I basically became a hermit and didn’t venture out for the fear of a relapse.
After what seemed like an eternity, which was just 3 months, I was finally free. I didn’t find myself craving for that nicotine and I was even able to go to the pub and have a beer without even the slightest thought of having a cigarette.
I felt wonderful, not just in respect for my health, although I began to notice I didn’t run out of breath as quickly when exercising, but mentally I felt simply fabulous – it was like my mind was free, uncluttered and my concentration span was not interrupted by the need for a nicotine fix.
The second most stupid thing I have ever done in my life was to start smoking again. Yes I know and I am totally ashamed of myself. It started with a favorite cigar at a party and I thought that just the one wouldn’t hurt. But as I found out, like any addictive drug, the old pangs of requirement soon came flooding back.
I have now been smoking again for 6 years, and I am 48 years old. My girlfriend is a non-smoker and has never smoked. Last night she threatened me that either I quit smoking or she’ll start so as the smell is not so invasive. That I thought was a ridiculous statement but certainly nowhere near as ridiculous as me continuing to smoke.
I read an article today where doctors are now saying that quitting smoking, even for middle aged people and beyond can result in a massive 40% reduction in the risk of a heart attack or a stroke.
I’m getting on and my work requires a lot of sitting and writing and little time for exercise. It is time I stopped smoking again and this time round I won’t be so stupid as to start again.
I have known people who have stopped smoking with very few side effects. For me however I know I’ll be crawling up the walls. I’ve been through the pain before but I also know the feeling of euphoria when you are finally free – and trust me it is a wonderful feeling.
If you are a smoker, of any age, trust me, now is the time to quit. We can all change and we do have the power inside to make that change, you just have to believe in yourself and once you are free you will feel an incredible sense of pride and self-worth.
Let’s all stop smoking today!