In April of 2004 I stopped smoking.
Not on purpose; I didn’t ‘give up’. That’s for quitters. I just stopped. For now.
I was in the midst of another glorious bout of bronchitis. Hacking great gurgley hacks. Hawking up brownish lumps of lung. You know. And then lurching outside to suck down as many puffs as I could before I stopped breathing entirely.
I’d decided to go and see the doc, but my normal, tolerant doc was away. The only other guy was a virulent anti-smoker. So I thought I’d abstain until after the appointment – there was no way he’d give me the precious antibiotics if I reeked of ciggie smoke.
After dragging my sweating, fevered bod off to see him, and then to the chemist to get the drugs, I was feeling so shite, I forgot to smoke anything – I just died a little in my bed and groaned theatrically. And then I woke up the next morning to the realisation that I’d gone a whole day without a cigarette. O.M.G!!!
So I thought I’d try one more day.
And another complete bitch hag bastard 3 months after that.
Then I admitted, publicly, that I’d stopped. Just for now. That I was completely anticipating starting again. Tomorrow maybe. If I really wanted one.
Yesterday, 6 years and a bit later, I threw out the last pack of ciggies. I ever bought. The emergency pack that I kept for when I’d start again.
It’s taken me 6 years to believe that I, the smoker, am perhaps something else.