This is the end of week one of Stoptober but strangely it’s only today that my journey begins.
I started off October with good intentions of cutting down while I waited for my appointment to see the Boots Smoke Less Consultant. But I had a really stressy week and as stress and my mental health were the things that re-started me smoking in July, I thought that cutting down at that time wasn’t the best idea.
I saw the Boots Smoke Less Consultant this morning and as I knew I was meeting her I’ve started to mentally prepare for giving up. I reckon about 90% of what it takes is preparation and willpower, so girding my loins early was only ever going to help.
She ran though the Smoke Less Plan with me and we discussed what my triggers for smoking were (mainly stress and going on nights out). She said as I’d previously been successful giving up and I was smoking a reasonably low amount, (about 10 a day) then there was a good chance of success if I had mentally prepared for it and had the willpower and motivation.
We talked about nicotine replacement options and she gave me a voucher for £3 off my first purchase which was handy. The last time I gave up in 2004 I used patches for a fortnight which got me through the initial withdrawal. Then I dropped them and took up cross stitch which kept my hands busy. I’ve since stopped cross stitch, but I might take on a small project to keep me busy for a little while.
Then we ran through an action plan. I’ve got 12 cigarettes left, I’m going to smoke them and savour every last drag, then I’m going to try the 16 hour nicotine patches and have some sugar free chewing gum on hand, and the cross stitch, don’t forget the cross stitch!
So tomorrow I’m going to toddle off to Boots and get my patches and stock up on chewing gum. I’ve warned my family that I’m going to be a moody so and so for a little while but I love them really, and I’m going to try and avoid situations where I’d normally smoke or get stressed enough to want a smoke.
My motivation is high and I know I can do it, I’ve got more reasons to give up than I have to carry on, and broadly giving up will help improve my mental health and my general health in the long run.
Please do follow my journey, I’ll be writing a weekly update on my progress throughout Stoptober. If you want to join me you can find a range of tools and guidance on how to quit smoking during Stoptober and beyond here.
Wish me luck and please don’t offer me a light.