Saturday, 8 January 2011

Breaking up is hard to do

I had forgotten how hard this is. Quitting smoking that is. I didn't start smoking properly until I was nearly 20, although I'd dabbled a bit on and off from my 16th birthday (I hadn't ever smoked until the Hamlet Mild at my birthday party) but the real thing started on July 4th 2002. I remember the date because I was quite drunk at my ex mother in law's 60th birthday party. I told my (now ex) husband that I wanted to learn how to roll cigarettes, and I told my ex MIL's partner that he wasn't to tell my dad if he bumped into him at the golf course.

I quit once before. It was 2006 and my ex and I were in dire financial straits. I had the choice - milk, bread and petrol, or tobacco. I have never ever smoked proper cigarettes, I hate them. I have always been one for the craft of rolling my own, and if I do say so myself, it is something I am good at.

Golden Virginia tobacco, silver Rizlas and Swan extra slim filters. Perfection.

So I quit in 2006. Then in 2007 my ex left me. I went away for the weekend, ironically to by then non smoking Scotland, came back, went for dinner with a friend who smokes and a glass of red wine later was bumming rollies off her. Until now.

I don't know what made me want to quit. I suppose I've been thinking about it for about a year now. A lot of my friends have turned 30 in the last year and have all decided to quit at that point, like it's an appropriate moment to do so. I kept saying that I wouldn't quit until we'd moved to Austria, I wanted at least a couple of years in the country that still hasn't banned smoking in bars before I quit.

But somehow on January 3rd I find myself realising that I haven't smoked since 4am on New Year's Day and that I actually don't want one.

Until now. The whole point of this long and rambling post is to distract myself and my hands from the rum induced nicotine cravings that logically I shouldn't be having but am.

Rum. It is all the fault of the rum. Lamb's Navy Rum to be precise. Maybe it is because my grandfather drank it and he smoked like a chimney. Maybe it is because somewhere in my brain, a part of it thinks that smoking is cool. Maybe it is rebellion. All the greatest rock and roll stars smoke.

The logical, sensible part of my brain knows that smoking will shorten my life span, clog my lungs and arteries, maybe even kill me. Hell, my grandpa (not the Navy Rum one) died of lung cancer. I should know all the risks. But something in my head, in my brain, something in me wants to keep smoking.
I don't even have any major incentives to not smoke. I have no desire to have children, so I don't feel the need to preserve my reproductive organs, I'm not in dire financial straits. All I have is the knowledge that it isn't doing me any favours.

Right now, I have spent the evening fighting back the cravings. I am having to fight the urge to munch on things, so I don't put on even more weight. I know it is the best thing in the long run. I just need to keep reminding myself of that.

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