So the plan had been to update this a little more regularly than has been the case. The truth is though, there have been very few major changes really worth showcasing up until now.
For those that missed the first post, I am writing about the journey as much for myself as for others. I feel like the accountability will help to keep me honest and being open with readers which I know includes family, friends and colleagues will encourage me to stay strong when times are tough. This journal will give little mention of my Son, Robbie, though he is of course the main motivation behind quitting smoking and if you are looking to read up on our adventures together or anything related to being a dad then this post may not be for you. Sorry about that.
Yesterday was our two week doctors check up and we didn’t really know how well we have been doing. We had followed instructions and were up to date on our tablets and also taken the advice to break many of our smoking routines and habits but the harsh reality is that we are both still smoking way too much.
The nurse seemed pretty happy when I told her that I have cut so many cigarettes out of my usual routine despite not really feeling any effect from the Champix tablets that are designed to stop the cravings. She was not quite as pleased that I am still smoking 12-15 a day and apparently that is not great for someone two weeks into their quitting journey!
So now it’s time to take it up a notch. We have been given a big scary ‘quit date’ which is Tuesday, June 1st. Yep, that’s only five days away.
At first, the date shocked me a little. We had expected a little more time given where we were at on our journey and the amount we were still smoking. Once it sunk in though, I realised it’s actually a pretty good date to stop.
Of course there is something almost a little poetic about quitting on the first day of the month. It just adds a little symmetry and makes things far easier to track and remember. More importantly for us, unless there are any drastic changes June will be our first full month back at work which will obviously result in a full pay cheque for the first time in over a year. Couple this with the savings from not smoking either which we estimate to be around £600 a month and we will really notice the difference by July.
It’s also worth mentioning that so much of beating addiction is to break routines. Returning to work has made a huge difference to our routines already after so long at home with an empty diary and a crazy toddler bouncing off the walls! At first I felt as though trying to quit at the same time as getting back to work was maybe putting on a little too much pressure but in reflection it is possibly the best time to do so. Well, it is the best time for us and the worst time for our poor colleagues I guess!
We had been hoping to be smoking far less going into this final date to make the transition a little easier but there is no turning back now. We’ve decided to start cutting back a little more drastically in advance so will be starting with a budget of ten cigarettes today and cutting by a couple each day. Those with quick maths will have realised that leaves us on zero in five days time which is where we need to be.
It’s not easy but we know we can do it. I’m already quite proud that as I type at 1:30pm, I’ve only had one smoke so far today. This takes a serious amount of willpower for me, particularly waking up in the morning and not heading straight outside. I actually spent a few minutes just walking around the house not quite sure of what to do with myself.
For those more interested in the technical side of quitting than my own personal wobbles, we are continuing the course of Champix tablets. Though we do not think they have really had much affect yet, we have collected another month’s worth that should see us through until the end. We still have to take a couple each day and so far neither of us have experienced any side effects at all.
In other medical news, we managed to both get our first COVID-19 vaccines yesterday. I must admit I preferred the days of pub crawls rather than visiting multiple doctors surgeries in an afternoon but we were really impressed with how well run and efficient the vaccination centre was.
We were in and out in less than twenty minutes, particularly impressive given they were able to push forward Sarah’s appointment time so we could get jabbed together. Other than slight aches on the arm we both felt fine after too. There is a slight worry that if we have been now been chipped so that Bill Gates can watch our every move, he may be a little disappointed with our show. So if you are reading Mr Gates, please get in touch if there is anything you would like us to do to liven things up a bit.
Thanks for reading and for all the support so far from friends and family. Tuesday is the big day for us now and I will try to keep this little journal updated once the real fight begins. Take care, Steve.
New year is be a strange time, full of hangovers that last too long and resolutions that fade away too quickly. Luckily for me I have grown up into a smart man and only had to deal with one of those issues this year. I’ve never liked resolutions anyway.
Things change pretty quickly in life, particularly when dealing with toddlers. It goes without saying that being annoyed or at least slightly frustrated is 99% of parenting but there are a few little things that are far more infuriating than your average dad rage.
The final part of our fight to quit smoking. Including a few tips and tips to help with the struggle alongside my own personal story.