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I started smoking when I was 18 – an age when you’re heavily influenced, and you think ‘all the cool people smoke’. How was I so wrong!
Deep down I never wanted to become a smoker and I never thought it would become a habit. But then one day it did, and I was hooked. What started as social smoking quickly became breakfast, noon, and night.
I had tried stopping smoking a few times in 2018 as it was a monumental time – I graduated, travelled and went into fulltime employment. During this time, the cravings got the better of me, especially when I was travelling and cigarettes were the cheapest thing to buy. And in no time at all I was back to smoking!
January 2019, I was going to Jersey for the weekend for my birthday, which felt like the best opportunity to give it a real go. Not being in my own space or around people who smoked was the push I needed to start stopping.
I do feel like one of the lucky ones, having only been a smoker for 4-5 years I felt I had an easier quitting experience. I chose to go ‘cold turkey’ because I didn’t want to give up one habit to start another.
I quit for many reasons, such as money, health, family, and my dog. I wanted to enjoy long walks and being outdoors, breathing in the fresh air with Ozzy, my black labrador.
But most importantly because of how smoking made me feel: Tired, depressed, and unhealthy.
Being a smoker can be lonely too, making you feel different to everyone else – especially if none of your family and friends smoked. I didn’t want to be the odd one out anymore – I wanted to prove to myself, as well as my family that I could give up smoking. And I did!
The craving challenges once you stop smoking is different for everyone – finding what works for you to beat them is an important part of staying smoke-free. What helps me is talking and reminding myself of how far I’ve come. I often say to myself:
What good would it do to start again?
How would I feel after having one?
I can do this, I quit for a reason
I’m kicking this, I don’t smoke anymore!
I want to stay smoke-free, I’m beating the cravings!
Now, after three years, I know there’s no going back. Even the smell of someone smoking a cigarette – once something I enjoyed – is now the biggest part of smoking I can’t stand.
When I now think back to when I was a smoker, I wish I had LiveWell Dorset to turn to. I started stopping alone, but I wish I had a buddy or a team I could have turned to when I needed too.
LiveWell makes a big difference to people’s health and wellbeing, and I’ve seen how their support has helped many others in Dorset stop smoking for good. With LiveWell Dorset by your side, you will never feel alone on your journey to a better health and wellbeing.
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