My relationship with cigarettes goes back more than 35 years. Eek!
As a very awkward and lonely teenager, I was bullied at school, and I remember trying to get on the good side of one of my bullies in a period when she’d decided to be my friend. We nicked a packet of JPS (John Player Specials) from her parents’ kitchen drawer and snuck out into the garden to try our first puff.
At that age, we thought we were cool. However, I felt the need to go one step further and teach myself to “take it back”; then I’d be truly cool! So, one school disco, I took myself into the loos and kept smoking and coughing and glugging water until I’d achieved it, and could inhale a whole cigarette without coughing.
I mean, really! What was that all about?
I’m very glad that I never got addicted to the point of wanting or needing to smoke every day. The thought of smoking a fag first thing in the morning has always repulsed me. But I do admit to being a social smoker. It’s also been a crutch on many an occasion, and a reason to fit in, to be part of a gang.
A packet of fags often lasts me a couple of months, and I went through a time where I literally only smoked about four cigarettes a year, but I recognise the numbers have crept up in recent months.
It’s time to give up!
As you know if you’ve been following my blog, I recently spent five days aboard a barge called Onion with Bobby Renaud and some of the team of musicians involved with OnionMusic. I enjoyed several ciggies over the course of the week while driving up the river. Bobby didn’t like it, and threatened to challenge me to give up!
Fair play, he stuck to his word, and has donated to my fundraising campaign in exchange for me quitting my nicotine habit.
Challenge accepted, Bobby. I’ve thrown my last packet in the bin, and I’m going smokefree from now on.
I’m out with friends tonight who all smoke, so this will be a sure fire test of my willpower!
Wish me luck.