If there was a post I ever thought I wouldn’t write, it would be one about me abstaining from the overwhelming temptation of smoking a cigarette.
Well, actually, that’s not strictly true. But more on that later.
I decided to give up smoking on Monday 3rd October. The date sticks in my mind because it was the day I returned from a weekend in Marbella.
Oh what fun we had. A proper sun soaked, full of belly laughs, weekend of fun and debauchery. We drank (too much), we partied (too hard) and I had to piece together our whereabouts via my credit card statement. It was as hedonistic as I’d hoped and exactly what I wanted when it came to the final celebration of turning 30.
There was a lot of this in Marbs.
I returned on the Monday afternoon a broken woman.
We didn’t get back to our hotel room on the Sunday night until 4am, my best friend had to put me to bed (again), only to wake me up at 6am for our flight back home. I swear I was still half pissed. In fact, I was probably still utterly inebriated. I can’t even remember getting on the plane.
If I’d have seen this photo on Manky Monday then I would have likely thrown up all over my Mother’s light grey carpet.
What I do remember, however, is just how bad I felt that Monday afternoon whilst led out on my Mother’s sofa, feeling utterly sorry for myself. Waves of nausea, a nervous stomach and mild palpitations made me decide this behaviour could not continue.
I decided, there and then, to give up the booze (kind of, Christmas is around the corner after all) and to finally quit the smoking.
I felt DISGUSTING, I looked HORRIFIC and I knew at that moment it was time to stop celebrating being 30 and actually start acting like a 30 year old.
‘Quitting’ the booze has been easy. Not a sip of alcohol has touched my lips since Marbella. I’ve replaced guzzling wine with endless cups of tea and I’m sad to say the abstention of smoking has paved the way for shoving as much food into my mouth as humanly possible. Never mind Man V Food, it’s more a case of Rach vs pizza, chocolate, toast, cheese, crisps and anything else that has a stupid amount of calories. The gluttony is palpable.
I haven’t dared to take a step on the scales in weeks. Instead, preferring to allow myself my piggish tendencies whilst I get to grips with ensuring my willpower with quitting the evil fags is as strong as it possibly can be.
And my willpower, to my surprise, has been brilliant. Apart from on one occasion.
As I wrote on the weekend, I wasn’t in a good place mentally.
I stupidly and idiotically, decided to stop taking my medication for anxiety and depression. And didn’t I find out the hard way just how senseless that was.
The word to sum up the majority of this week is morose. Getting out of bed has been an effort. Usually when I wake up, aside from feeling tired, I feel positive, I look forward to the day ahead. But this week has been startlingly different.
Every task, no matter how menial, has been like undertaking a run up Mount Kilimanjaro, blindfolded.
I didn’t recognise myself, nothing excited me, I couldn’t get passionate about anything, I didn’t even rant on Twitter much, which is a sure fire sign that things are not A OK in my world. I love nothing more than having a good old impassioned, expletive filled vent on Twitter about something or someone who has gotten under my skin.
I missed smoking a cigarette so much.
So much so, I’m slightly ashamed to say, I gave into temptation on Tuesday afternoon.
It had been exactly 2 weeks since I’d last puffed on an evil stick of doom, but at that moment in time the justification I was making to myself was throwing serious shade on my willpower.
I sat in the garden, took out a fag and tentatively lit her up.
AND IT WAS VILE.
The pleasure I was hoping to be on the receiving end of was nowhere in sight. I took 4 puffs and put it straight out. The smell was heinous, I instantly felt dirty and took my self straight upstairs where I brushed my teeth with vigour (not great for my already receding gums) and scrubbed at my hands like I’d just been manipulating a raw chicken (a nauseating thought indeed).
It was at that moment I realised, despite how I was feeling mentally and emotionally, I don’t need a cigarette to make me feel better. In fact, it made me feel worse.
Smoking has always been my crutch. In times of stress, I’ve turned to the fags. If I’ve got a glass of wine in my right hand then you can bet your house on the fact there will be a ciggie in my left hand. It’s been a huge part of my life for many years, I’m sorry to say.
As the days have progressed, I’m pleased to report I feel much like my ‘normal’ self, whatever that is. My spark has been reignited. Obviously I’ve restarted my medication, which I’m sure has had a profound effect on my mental health but I’ve also been kind to myself. Something that is so important when it comes to ensuring wellbeing.
I didn’t berate myself for half smoking that cigarette on Tuesday.
Instead, I looked at the positives.
I didn’t enjoy it. I extinguished it pretty much as quickly as I lit it. I was honest to myself and to Wes; I didn’t hide it. I congratulated myself for how far I’d come (OK, you might think it’s the smallest of victories, but to me 2 weeks is HUGE).
The best bit in all of this, is that since my slip up on Tuesday, I haven’t even been remotely tempted to repeat my misdemeanour.
Settling for using my vape as and when I feel the need, I’ve barely thought about cigarettes since.
The smell of fag smoke makes me feel bilious and I’m over the moon with how much money I’ve saved in the short period of time I’ve abstained. A huge incentive in itself.
A thing of the past. Hopefully.
I really, really, REALLY hope I can keep this up. For now I feel very determined. I want to revel in my non-smoker status and reap the benefits that giving up smoking entails. Fresher skin, more money, improved health and perhaps a longer life.
Heck, I’ve even decided to start running again next week!!!! Don’t laugh. Or actually, do, because I look like Mr Blobby in a wig when I attempt anything more than a power walk.
Well, I’ve got to shift the pocket of fat that’s made itself quite at home around my waist somehow, haven’t I?!
There I go, taking a jog down Kingswood High Street.