Tomorrow I am quitting smoking. Smoking is the one thing I have been fully committed to for the last decade. From the first taste of peer pressure to the first taste of a cigarette, I have been hooked for a decade. A decade seems like a very long time since I've only been alive for two decades and change which means I have been smoking for close to half of my life. Smoking has seen me through four boyfriends, two children (not during pregnancy), three house moves and God knows how many other big moments in my life. Whatever has happened in the last ten years, a cigarette would lay in wait to be lit, inhaled and exhaled. No matter how it started or why it has stuck around for so long, it is time to quit.
There are many reasons to quit. For health, for money, for a longer lifespan, to be rid of the cravings and ultimately, the withdrawals. To be rid of the looks from people in the street or "Oh...ok's" from non-smoking friends on a night out. The main reason for me is money. Today I sat down to work out the bills for the next week and realised I had £30 left over. I started to panic. £30 wouldn't last me in tobacco all week. For that panic, I am ashamed. It didn't matter that the £30 could be better spent or that I had some money left over to pay for transport or a day swimming with the girls - I was focused on the tobacco which is a product of addiction and I didn't like it.
I have, of course, tried to quit before. The quitter's mantra of "I tried" or "I'm trying" and there's always an excuse to fall back into old, smelly habits. The last time I tried to quit was around four months ago. I lasted 11 days and I was so proud of myself but the finances took a hit, everything fell to bits and when everything is falling around me I decided to fix myself a cigarette. The stress wasn't the cause of me starting to smoke again, I was and that was the hardest thing to come to terms with because I had done so well and I had bigged myself up to everyone I knew about just how well I was doing only to fail. If there's one thing I hate, it's failure.
So tomorrow is a new day. The first day in my quest to rid myself of this filthy, poisonous addiction. I'm not alone as my partner is coming along for the ride and while it's old territory, it feels new, strange and dangerous. I don't know how I am going to cope but I know that I will cope because somewhere amongst all the rubble you find something to represent a new beginning.