A year ago today…

I made what I consider to be a monumental decision. I have stuck by that decision and although I have waivered in thought I have stayed true in action! Where previously I had tried and failed, this time I was determined to succeed. How many times had I failed…. probably more than 500, no exaggeration. Some of my inspiration came from this poem and it continues to contribute to my drive against adversity and certain issues I have been facing, because although I had failed so many times I said to myself – once more unto the breach…

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more,
In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility,
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger:
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favored rage!

So what am I talking about? One year ago today I gave up smoking for the 501st(ish) time and I have not smoked since! I’m as proud of that as I am ashamed and I think only an ex-smoker will be able relate to that. I was a dedicated smoker for 22 years but its clearly not sustainable and whilst the cynic in me says that clearly nothing is, sense started to prevail when the lungs started to fail. In case any of you would like to know how I did it, the only true answer is time and perseverance. This very statement though makes me wonder, does the person who gives up very quickly have greater will power than the person that keeps trying?

I used to be smokey the bear and I’m certainly not going to turn into non-smokey the unbearable, but here are some tips for those trying to give up or considering it. Cold, ice-cold that is, glasses of water are really good. Think Eddie Murphy in The Golden Child, make your mind/heart as pure as the water. Now that may sound crazy but it was in fact a pharmacist that recommended it to me and it really does help. There is something totally cleansing about ice-cold water, lots of ice is essential though and if it melts, get more!

The next thing is exercise, I’ve pretty much maintained a reasonable amount of fitness my whole life, with some ups and downs of course. Running however, especially in the mountains if you can find any, is an awesome cure-all. Bounding from rock to rock, conquering nature with your new found oxygen and zeal is tremendous and rids all thoughts the evil weed. So put some music on, declare war, think Henry V and rage against the pangs and anxiousness!

Naturally you’ve got to try to decondition your brain into thinking its an awful thing to do and not something you want to repeat. This takes years though and if you don’t have the time, I say cheat and use Champix! I’ve tried everything and this thing is really good, it somehow lobotomises the nicotine addiction area of the brain and you just don’t feel like smoking any more… anyone got any veras – just kidding! 🙂

The ridiculousness of some of our actions can be summed up thus:

3 thoughts on “A year ago today…

  1. About time too! I’m very proud of you. And Jim, as an ex-smoker, congratulates you. Not an easy thing to do. Jim took up reading and eating fruit, in order to give up! He’s been clear for 10 years now. You can get cheaper life insurance now you’ve been free of it for a year! (Always thinking of the financial rewards!) Now come on Aunty Gill – just you left in the family who’s a smoker!!

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