The last box...

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.

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.

Fancy that.


34 thoughts on “Smokin’

  1. lamourdemere says:

    Well done my lovely. Glad you’ve finally quit. Kudos to you and to the poor soul who had to live with you during those looooong, scary 3 months….

  2. daisyfae says:

    2 1/2 years after quitting ‘cold-turkey’, mom still keeps a carton of smokes in the garage. just in case she wants one – or a hundred – one of these days. congrats on tossing the last of ’em!

    • Dolce says:

      My step gran used to smoke El Carnos…long black ciggies that smelt like tar pits. She had that gravelly old voice and used to burn holes in her caftans. Eish….

  3. Rox says:

    Congrats – I had a very similar story with smoking, but for me it was nine years in May.

    I was such a chain smoker it was unreal, luckily I was also very young… that helped a huge deal. Quitting when you’re 21 is a lot easier than quitting later, but still – cold turkey is the only way really.

    I still sometimes dream that I’ve started again, wake up being so sure that it’s true, and takes a while to realise it was just a dream!

    • Dolce says:

      Roxxy, I hear you…my friends continue to ask me “are you STILL not smoking”, in mild disbelief, because I was such an addict.

      Bloody glad I don’t anymore, though. Didn’t realise how much I stank!

  4. Still lovin’ my cigars ……. I’m doomed I tell you … doomed!

  5. kyknoord says:

    Although… there are those who would argue that you’re still smokin’

  6. cew says:

    Have you calculated the amount of money saved not buying cigarettes (and antibiotics)? It would probably pay for a holiday in Greece.

    • Dolce says:

      Haha. Actually, I thought about that. And came to the conclusion that no one ever actually SAVES the money they’re not spending. So my vow was to choose another ‘habit’ that I would have the money for, no matter what. So every month I have a pedicure. And regardless of how skint I am, I find the bucks (much like when I was smoking)…it’s my non-negotiable.

      and my feet are sooooooooooo pretty!

  7. kono says:

    happy anniversary Dolce, i smoke maybe three cigarettes a day, unless of course i’m in the pub and could quit at anytime but as of today i got 2 months left and on my birthday i’m done, at least that’s what i’m telling myself, but kudos to you.

    • Dolce says:

      I vowed I’d never be one of those ex-smoker Natzis who pontificate on how evil the tobacco sticks are. In fact, I’m glad there are still some people lovin’ that sweet inhalation of goodness. But I know it was the right thing for me. So when you give up, I’ll be the first to buy you a drink!

  8. lulu labonne says:

    Well Done! – that’s exactly the kind of tricks I have to play on my infantile needy mind xx

    • Dolce says:

      *cackle*…yeah, don’t let on you know what’s going on, mind, or we’ll have to start from scratch. *sigh*…one day I’ll be a grown up.

  9. Rob says:

    My dad was a heavy smoker. The worst was in the car; turns out I wasn’t getting car-sick all those years. It was just having to suck up all that second hand smoke.

    Still, as a teenager, I tried to take up the smoking habit. Usually, the craving was strongest when drinking and that all typically ended with puking.

    Ultimately, I decided it was a habit that would not stick.

    Now, I can barely tolerate even the odour of a lit cigarette. I don’t socialize with anyone who smokes and so it’s always a shock to the system when I must become somewhat immersed in it again.

    I’m glad I never took the habit, largely from a health perspective, not to mention the cost.

    Always like to hear stories of people giving it up, though. Dad never could and it likely shortened his life.


    • Dolce says:

      thanks! And I can tell you one cool thing – I can drink twice as much now because I only have to suffer from one hangover! The nicotine hangovers are killer!

  10. tNb says:

    Ah, the I-haven’t-actually-quit method. Brilliant strategy, it worked for me (I never actually quit over 10 years ago). It’s really quite simple: if I make it verboten, I will want it more. Besides, it really is a filthy habit and nobody wants to kiss an ashtray. 😉

    • Dolce says:

      Edzachery! Ashtrays are gross to kiss. And the damage to the skin is appaling…and and and…I could go on for ages. (But I still miss the first one with the first drink on Fridays, after a hard week.. *sigh* .. that one is hard to let go!)

  11. I stopped accidentally, as you did. I was sitting with a friend and I said, “I really should stop smoking.” He said, “Why don’t you?” So I did! Just like that! I think you really have to WANT to stop. It’s unfortunate because I look soooooo cool smoking. I look like James Bond (without the girls).

    • Dolce says:

      I looked so cool smoking too…AND the smoking corner is still definitely where you meet all the cool kids, or find out all the office gossip. *sigh* (sotto vocce to self: I am NOT a smoker, I am NOT a smoker)

  12. Congrats to you!
    Pretty awesome feat, er would that be, “Pretty, Awesome feet!”

  13. When I was 7 years old I asked my mother what it was like to smoke cigarettes. She looked lovingly at me and said, “Here dear. Let’s smoke one together so you can find out,” and handed me my very own cigarette. We lit up, and together we smoked a cigarette. She instructed me on the proper method of inhaling, ignoring my coughs and chokes. Needless to say, I was very sick to my stomach shortly after we concluded our instruction period, and my throat was raw. That cured me of ever wanting a cigarette, which was her intention. I bless her for that horrible experience. Ten years after than she was finally able to quit.

    I was one of the long suffering mates who stood by supportively (which mainly means I did not KILL HIM) while my husband went through the Utter Bastard Creep Tetchy Impatient “If he acts like that one more time I am going to stick a damned cigarette in his mouth and light it for him” phase.

    Congratulations to you and your partner for your success. And your lungs thank you.

  14. queenwilly says:

    This is so wonderful.

    Being married to a smoker who stopped for 3 years, but then went back to it and now smokes more than ever, I know those fangs are deep and deadly.


    • Dolce says:

      Ag NOOOOOOOOOOO!! I know, really really KNOW, that even if I just have a puff again, I’ll be on a box a day again in about 30secs flat. So it’s all or nothing. I’m even circumspect about joints if they have any tobacco in them (not that I’ve smoked many joints in the last 6 years either, mores the pity!) because I know it’ll lure me back to the fuggy, smoky, stinky side!

  15. Seraphine says:

    i can instantly tell whe people are smokers. its the way they smell. it takes a former smoker to know that.
    they say nobody hates smokers more than former smokers.
    fancy that.

  16. […] 27, 2010 by lamourdemere My oldest friend has never given up smoking. She hasn’t smoked a cigarette in over six years but she’s never […]

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