Today is officially one month of not smoking. I believe I can say I am a non smoker with conviction now. For the first time eveeeeer I actually cleared the house of smoking paraphernalia – that is a commitment – particularly when one is as addicted as me.  I have to say I was quite shocked when I looked at what I had collected over the years.

I have varied with shop bought ciggies – packets of 20, tried the packets of 10 thing to try and give up, but they changed the law on that.

I have done the rollies bit, in essence to stop, also to save money.  So I had the papers, the pouches, the rolling machine although I am actually a pretty mean hand roller, but although it’s quite cool, it’s also not always convenient when you are IN NEED of a fag but have to roll one up. i.e. on a windy day, when your hands are full, it’s one thing to carry it all in one hand, but quite another to try rolling as well, and I never mastered rolling while driving (a good thing probably).

Then came vaping – I succeeded on vaping the first time I did it for 6 weeks. I just had a small pen stick vape, but I bought quite a few flavour cartridges, so I could have different flavours.  I stupidly (while on the sauce and with friends one night) showed off with the “go on, let me have one of yours, it’ll be disgusting” – it was, and that was me back to smoking.

A couple of tries again, this system, that system, big vape, small vape, all different types, all flavours – various vaping dens and shops – no success.

The thing with smoking is the rituals, everything is a ritual; from buying the cigarettes, to wear you carry them, what type of lighter you carry. When do you have your first one? do you have a drink with it? Here is my first early morning ritual – just to give an idea:

Wake up (with the thought of my cigarette in my head already). Pull of dressing gown and slippers, shuffle downstairs, kettle on, loo, make a cup of tea, pic up ciggies, lighter, glasses, phone, cup and go outside to my smoking seat. Sit (can’t stand for first one), sip tea – cannot light cig until a sip of tea has passed my lips – a deal I made with myself many years ago, light, inhale, hold, open phone, start reading news, smoke till finished, light another, sip tea, move from news to Facebook, repeat for 25 minutes. Possibly stare into space for a bit. (Sometimes have to hold umbrella while doing these things 😉 Come in and have shower. The point is, I have never ever gotten straight in the shower without having gone through that ritual first – never, not even once in my adult life.  My partner knows that if I say I’m going down to make a cuppa in the morning it will be at least half an hour before I return. Actually make all of those actions past tense – they don’t happen now 😉

I got mine duty free, but even so that is still approximately £200 a month – minimum.

I have calculated it before that I have bought a house and set fire to it – that shocks me.  Depending on whether I calculate it at duty free prices or shop bought prices is whether or not it’s a smallish house or a bloody great big house – whichever it is shameful.

That I will always have to live with, the fact that if I am not as comfortable as I would like to be, it’s absolutely down to me. I have also stated to my lovely man, that if something untoward happens and I find I do actually have to pay in the future for abusing my body – I will probably start smoking again, because the truth is – I liked smoking. But it had to end. And I believe – this is the end of me defining myself as a smoker – that’s another story. How do I define myself now?