It has now been six months since I last had a cigarette. To some it will be a shock that I ever smoked, to some the fact that I only smoked 4-5 cigarettes a day and could take days off if I wanted or needed to, meant that I probably wasn’t a ‘real smoker’ in the first place but since my uni years I have turned to cigarettes (and wine) when I was stressed or bored and that pretty much describes lots of being a single, working full time mum and going through a divorce.
I have had many breaks from smoking or turning it into only ‘socially’ smoking but I have realised that I never properly gave it up.
It was my fall back and in my situation it did the job for a bit. I couldn’t drink copious amounts just in case something happened with Charlotte and I would never forgive myself if I couldn’t drive her to the hospital if that’s what she needed. My appetite diminished when I first split with my ex so my stomach wouldn’t allow chocolate to be my main vice, so smoking seemed like the only thing that could help me at that time.
Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t all bad. I met some new friends from sneaking out to the smoking area at work (read: the windiest corner of the office grounds) and it was a good excuse to leave my desk and escape my horrible job but, just before Christmas last year I decided I wasn’t going to do it anymore. My clothes smelt, I was getting sore throats much more than usual, it was ridiculously expensive and, to be honest, it was bloody cold having to stand outside in the middle of winter!
But it felt different this time. I don’t walk past smokers and yearn for one more drag. I don’t feel the need to have one because my friends are and, because I feel much better and healthier it’s not something I want to go back to. I also want to be a role model for my daughter and don’t want her to catch me in the act or always wonder why I smelt funny after coming in from outside.
I have still been through some damn stressful moments in the past six months and some damn boring ones too but I haven’t found the closest newsagents available and I am quite proud of myself for that.
Watch this space for 12 months!