I remember it like it was yesterday... It had just gone 7am on a wet August morning in Oranmore, County Galway. It was a Wednesday. I wasn't long out of bed and I was about to head out for my morning walk with the dog. There was something different about this morning though... there was a definite certainty hanging in the air.
That precise moment was the last time I smoked... Hello my name is John and it has been exactly one year since my last cigarette!
The last cigarette...
I'm not going to do that condescending thing where I now preach at how much healthier I am now, or how my odds of getting lung cancer are significantly lower than yours. I'm not going to tell you to give up, nor am I going to judge you for not wanting to. Smokers aren't stupid people. Smokers know what smoking does to their bodies without needing graphic pictures or warnings on packs. Smokers know they are twenty times more likely to get lung cancer than a non smoker.
I'm going to hit you with the cold hard truth of what changed from the very moment I gave up smoking. My bank account. I actually saved €3,600!
Yep, I actually put aside the money I was spending on cigarettes (well... a Direct Debit put the money aside on my behalf), but actually seeing the money I wasn't spending accumulate really helped put things into perspective for me. I saved that money with the intention of treating myself to something I wouldn't normally spend money on like a pamper day at a 5* or a shopping spree however I found myself getting really protective of that money. I didn't want to waste it, I wanted to spend it on something meaningful... YET for the previous 10 years I was lighting that money up and throwing it away without giving it as much as a second thought.
Now it hasn't been plain sailing but as the phrase goes: Smooth sea don't make a skillful sailor. There are times when I do 'miss' them but they are so infrequent at this stage, they pass as quickly as they appear. I'm using the word 'miss' here as I know I don't really miss them like a loyal dog misses his master. I don't miss the smell, the taste, the cost, the habit. I don't miss standing out in the rain/wind. I don't miss being a slave to a disgusting, destructive habit which is not providing a single mg of goodness.
Happy Quit-a-versary to me!