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03 March 2017
I think it’s fair to say nobody thought that I would ever stop smoking, least of all me.
My children come home from school most days and pester me about stopping. My husband adds to my torment by putting the pressure on. I go to my doctors and they tell me that I need to stop for my health, for my heart.
None of this works. I’ve been made to feel guilty into stopping 100 times and not one of those times did I manage to stop for longer than three weeks and a day. Three weeks and day! And I’m writing this now that I’ve stopped for six months and feel healthier and happier than I have in a long time.
So what changed? I changed. Finally, my children stopped pestering and my husband stopped putting the pressure on. My doctor stopped asking and then I thought, nobody, expects me to stop anymore. I’m a failure and no one thinks that I can do this. Well, I'll prove them wrong.
I Googled the different support options having tried everything from hypnotism to acupuncture, a sure fire way to stop where willpower is not needed. I wanted the easy way out, of which I now know doesn’t exist.
So let’s try something new. The new miracle cure that is Champix (stop smoking tablets), or so the reviews told me.
So off I went to my doctors’ surgery and they sent me through to a therapist. I was dubious, to say the least. Why should I go see somebody? I just wanted to take this tablet that wouldn’t make me want to smoke anymore. Surely I didn’t need to take it and attend life coaching sessions whilst I was at it. I’m a smoker, not an addict. Not true.
What I learnt was invaluable. I am an addict, six months on I still am. I know now that one cigarette is all it would take to bring me take me back. Yes, the Champix helped and besides from feeling sick every day they were pretty much side effect free. However, that’s not what got me to stay stopped. It was what I learnt along the way.
The sessions are not life coaching like I thought. It’s not all group hugs and a round of applause. It's genuine people who understand what you are going through. It’s having someone there at the end of the phone when you are having a hard day. It's having someone tell you well done and not to beat yourself up when you have a slip.
It’s someone who believes in me again when my family stopped. I don’t blame them, I tried so many times that they were used to disappointment but the therapy made me feel that this was no longer something to be ashamed of. People slip and people go back to smoking but if you never give up it actually makes you stronger. You learn from it.