About 10 minutes ago I had my final cigarette.
I had stopped for 3 years previously, and it was ridiculously easy until just over a year ago when I just had one cigarette. After this my intake increased more and more, until a few months ago, when it dawned on me that I was a chain smoker yet again.
I'm sick of the coughing, the nausea, the rolling of 4 roll ups for my journey into work, leaving my friends during intervals at gigs to stand alone outside, the panic when I'm nearly at the end of my packet, the money, the fact that virtually none of my friends smoke, the stains on my fingers and my teeth, the smell of tobacco on my hands, the embarrassment of hanging out my window when I'm too lazy to go outside, and the lack of sleep due to my coughing
The last time when I stopped smoking I had used Allen Carr's method, which relies on completely changing the way you think about smoking, celebrating the withdrawal period as well as not using substitutes. He wrote a few different books, all of which, by and large, are versions of the same book. The one I bought 4 years ago was "The Only Way To Stop Smoking Permanently" (OK, so I didn't stop smoking permanently, but that's not important right now) and this time I used a much shorter book called "I Quit" which has all the salient points in one short read.
So I finished it at work (it has been a slow night) and announced to my colleague that I was going down to have my final cigarette (a ritual that Carr recommends). She didn't seem convinced, and I'm sure you guys probably aren't either, but it really doesn't matter what other people think about this. Yes it's easy to delude myself and triumphantly write this blog 10 minutes after having a fag, but I am absolutely determined. It was easy that time, why shouldn't it be so easy this time?
It's probably harder quitting after a previous failed attempt, because as well as stopping smoking, you also have that fear that if it happened last time, then it would be easy to fail again. For me though, I have to learn the lesson. There can never be "just one". And having "just one" is also completely pointless.
The thing is that I really don't want to smoke. I hate having to do it, and I hate the fact that it controls me. So, from now on, I'm a non smoker. The small physical withdrawal lasts around 3 days, and every time I feel that I want a cigarette I will recognise that what is causing it isn't quitting smoking, but it's the fact that I started smoking in the first place.
I was going to make a statement and soak my tobacco in water before binning it, but my colleague was insistent I should give it to her. Shame, cause it has ruined my final dramatic flourish.