I always thought that the hardest time when quitting smoking would be within the first month. In one way, that is true. The cravings are at their worst and the lure to return back to smoking is still high.
After the first month, along with reaping the physical benefits, in my case returning to being a human being in the morning instead of a scary, groggy monster, there are also the financial benefits. Let's face it, although when I did actually smoke you couldn't have dragged it out of me on pain of death, I was spending close to £180.00 per month on cigarettes.
Looking back now, I haven't one clue as to how I afforded that. Well, in truth, I didn't, I just cut back on every other aspect of my life so that it was affordable. Once the first month is over with, you get to enjoy the next few months with a lot of extra cash, and feeling better day by day.
Today though, well at weekend to be exact, it was brought home to me that although at four months, I am doing well in the fight against cigarettes, the battle has been won but not yet the war.
Over the past 4 months I have had two puffs of a cigarette, on different occasions. Both on a night out with smokers around me. The previous two times actually increased my resolve. I didn't enjoy the taste and they did nothing for me. There were dangerous experiments that didn't cause any harm.
This weekend however, the dangerous experiment backfired. I was out with the girls and on my way to the taxi rank I started talking to a smoker. Without really even thinking about what I was doing, I asked for a puff of his cigarette. It wasn't a craving, it wasn't an experiment to see if it still tasted bad, it was just a..... thing.
To be honest, I was fully expecting it to be like the previous two occasions. Well I had smelt the lure of a cigarette, tried it and found it horrible to taste. This time, it wasn't. That one puff of a cigarette brought back every single memory of how much I had loved smoking. It tasted so good, I didn't feel dizzy, it felt right. Oh crap.
The next morning, I had a lucky escape. There were no cravings, and no temptation to wander off to the shops for a packet of cigarettes. I had a feeling of guilt but nothing more. It could have been so much worse. I could have knocked myself back to the beginning.
That's when I realised, the moment that you think that you are safe, that you don't need to keep your guard up, that is one of the most vulnerable times. I probably would have known this if I had gone down the route of smoking cessation classes and all the information that is readily out there. It is just common sense really.
Me being me though, I like doing what you shouldn't. 99% of people will tell you that having a puff of a cigarette when you are trying to quit is a really stupid idea. It is. I have learnt that now. I am not over my addiction. Although I am no longer in the grasps of complete addiction of cigarettes, I could, if I don't keep my guard up, accidentally become a smoker again without much of an effort.
The puff of a cigarette on a night out would turn into "Oh go on then, I'll just have one". This would move to smoking "socially" and then suddenly, I would be a smoker again.
So, resolve back in place, stupidity back in check (for smoking at least haha). I'm back on track.
|Me if I am not careful!!