Cold Turkey

Goodbye cigarettes, goodbye pipe, goodbye hacking cough and shrinking brain. Giving up smoking is the best thing i have done for myself in thirty years.

It was time though, maybe even too late, i had reached the stage where my lung function was deteriorating. I have permanent gratitude to my love for patiently insisting that this was something that i needed to do for myself. She has given me my self respect back and the chance to live the rest of my life.

Amongst the many benefits are the ability to build fitness and retain it. My morning walks now take me five or ten kilometers and i can run up hills if i want. Not that running up a hill is such an achievement but it feels good when just a few years ago i struggled to walk one kilometer and thought i would be unlikelyto reach fifty.

The pipe dreams will be missed but not all that much. They were beginning to look hollow anyhow. For someone as fond of genuine reality as my good self the pipe dreams were only a compensation for a lack of achievement. When they were not realised they became a frustration.

Well last night i met a man called Peter who assured me that my new found sense of contentment is certain to deepen as i head toward fifty. Thanks Pete, i hope your open top Austin Healy Sprite continues to transport you in style for as long as you live.

For any of you who have decided that quiting isn’t worth the effort, let me encourage you to try again at least one more time. I have been through some tough times in the past two years. Cutting down the number i smoked each day, slowly, grumping all the way. Each time i tried to stop i became so distracted by the desire to smoke that i eventually gave in, justifying the weakness afterward by telling myself that i was within my rights anyhow.

Truth is that smoking is legal. You are free to continue till it kills you, or if you are lucky you can smoke for sixty years and then quit. My grandma Ruth did that and then lived many happy years after. Good for her, we will not all be so lucky.

My motivation for encouraging you to quit is that it feels great, it is a genuine personal achievement to quit a tobacco habit, right up there with walking away from heroin or taking the brave steps required to end an abusive relationship. At least part of my motivation for sitting out the wrenching desire to continue was the sure and certain knowledge that i would be stupidly proud of myself if i could do it and make it stick.

Now i am feeling that pride and loving the feel of it and wearing it on my sleeve and doing good things with my life that wouldn’t have otherwise been possible. Join me if you can, the only entry requirement to the richeous club is a history of being silly enough to do it in the first place.

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