Naturally it was my mother who caught me smoking first. I was hanging out my bedroom window enjoying the sweet sweet nectar of nicotine when I heard some fumblings in the garden.
“Mole? (her pet name for me) Is that you smoking, jesus I knew I could smell something, here I am putting out my petunias and I smells it, MARTIN, MARTIN, come out here…
Out comes my father.
“…look at him smoking there now,”
I on the other hand couldnt care less, I just wanted them to leave me in peace.
“Ah Olan what are you doing you know they’re terrible for you! How long have you been smoking?”
“SMOKING! WHO IS SMOKING,” Out appeared my then 16 year old sister followed by a screeching “WHAT!” from my smallest sibling.
In no sooner than a few moments or the length to finish a cigarette all bar one member of my family were stood on the driveway watching me smoke, interrupting my me time. It was my time for reflecting on my troubles and they were *bothering me.
I was 17 then, and I smoked solidly then once my 18th birthday came around. It wasnt until I was 21 that I seriously attempted to quit. Sure I tried before. I went to my doctor once to get patches. I am against the idea that patches can help you quit. I think they just prolong the agony of the addiction. People say that if you get rid of the habit rather than the addiction first it will all work, it’s easy, and that you can carry on with you life but no. It’s not true. Patches turned me into Naiomi Cambell. I was violent, vicious, and needless to say it lasted a meagre ten days.
It was a tough ten days though.
Like I said I was 21 when I made a serious attempt to stop. It worked.
Before I go on, in case I sound like a hypocrite, I will have a cigarette on two occasions, IF I want one on a night out, and that is just an IF because most of the time I dont. The other time I will smoke is when I am on my sun holiday. I just dont believe in denying myself the pleasure of it. But there are serious rules of engagement here, the first is that I am NOT allowed buy a packet of cigarettes. Not ever. Only time I can do that is on my holidays.
All but for October to December of last year, this has been my method of staying off them. But here are the things I did to just stop. Believe me, if you can do these, you will find quitting so much easier, for me, it was the easiest thing to stop doing ever.
1 – You need to change your routine. If you wake and have a cup of coffee and a cigarette. You need to cut out that coffee for now. Or change to having tea and something sweet. I used to smoke in my car a lot, now I take water with me out of a habit I developed when I stopped.
2 – You need to make cigarettes make you feel sick. I recommend giving up after a long night out. Ideally you will have smoked 30 cigs and your lungs will be heaving, so sore, you’ll feel rusty, almost like cardboard. Every time you smell cigarette smoke, REMEMBER THAT FEELING. Plus, you can stop then, give yourself a days head start, it’s not like you’ll be smoking that day anyway and you can have the joy of telling your friends I am one day down.
3 – If you want a cigarette on a night out, if you really want it, have it. You might find it disgusts you and you’ll know youre there. If not, then enjoy it and just carry on the next day as if nothing happened. You still don’t smoke (regurly now anyway)
4 – Don’t ever buy a packet of cigarettes fooling yourself into thinking you will only have *the one* and throw them away. We ALL know how expensive they are, would you pay €10 for one cigarette?
5 – Don’t give up because someone wants you to, it just will not work and you will end up resenting them.
6 – If your friends are all “Oh Im so sorry we are ALL going for cigs and leaving you out,” it’s ok to say “I think you’re a fucking asshole for reminding me of that,”
7 – You have stopped now, and all your friends are so amazed at how you stopped. So link them to this blog and be all “Hey this cool blog told me I could do it,’ and you’ll be super fly.
8 – Smoking is an addiction, but it’s all about breaking the habit and numbing the cravings. Replace your cravings with exercise, youll realise how much the cigarettes have damaged your lungs, if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to reverse that damage as soon as you can.
So that’s it, at the risk of it sounding like “yeah just stop during the day but you can have some when you really want to, if you really want to,” well that is what I am saying. You have to trick yourself into thinking you’re going to still want one when you’ve really stopped. If you can say you will have one if you REALLY want one, you’ll find you never really want it anyway…