Exactly a year ago today, I smoked my last cigarette. No more yellowing hands; no more irritating cough in the morning; no more smelly clothes; no more disapproving looks from my children; more money in the pocket, - about £1460 more; more appreciation of taste; a 'slightly' expanded waistline; more stamina; more active.
Has it been worth it? You bet. It was difficult at first. I decided the best way for me was to go 'cold turkey', so I made sure there were no cigs in the house, and smoked what I had left (which meant I was up until about 1:00am). The following day Christine was at work with the car, - the shops are about a mile away, - and I got involved in a project my eldest daughter was doing. Although I was aware of not having a cigarette, I was to busy to want one (if that makes any sense). Eventually, I asked my daughter if she had noticed I hadn't gone outside all day, and the look on her face gave me the resolve to carry on, and it stays with me today. The look contained pride, relief, happiness, - real happiness and tears. Now, when I go to work, I choose routes that don't go near shops, and when I do go to the shops, I'm generally with people who would probably chop my legs off if I attempted to buy cigarettes.
It's been an OK year. The first couple of months I was thinking about cigs more often than sex (men are supposed to think about sex every 7 seconds!), but that has generally lessened. What I have to remember is that I am a smoker. Just like a recovering alcoholic, I have to have the same sort of resolve. The cravings have gone, and generally it is very easy, but there are occasions when a cigarette would be perfect such as sitting at the top of Winter Hill looking out over Horwich, or in the pub at the end of a really good bike ride or walk. So as they say, one day at a time until this time next year.