Tuesday 25th June, 2013
Today is my anniversary......the day I stopped smoking. Yep, 20 years ago. Wow, those years have really flown by.
On this day back in 1993 I woke up not feeling too good. As I recall my morning ritual was a coffee and a couple of cigarettes but on this morning all I wanted was to go back to bed as I felt sick. I forced the coffee down but only smoked half the cigarette. As the day wore on I progressively felt worse until I was vomiting and had diarrhoea so back to bed I went.
And this is where I stayed until a couple of months later when I ended up in hospital. Thank goodness I was never someone who smoked in bed.
When I came out of hospital Tony suggested that seeing I hadn't smoked for the past few months why didn't I just give them up. A good idea I thought and so that's what I did. I had been a smoker for 21 years, half of my life. I didn't start smoking as a teenager, I took it up 'later' in life, I was around 20/21 years old.
Back when I took it up smoking was an accepted part of life. I really don't know why I started smoking. Maybe it was because a lot of the girls I worked with smoked, the girl I shared a house with, smoked, perhaps I thought it was a 'cool' thing to do back then. I did enjoy smoking though.
When I finally gave up it was the best decision I made. I got back my smell, my taste buds showed me how much better food tasted, even foods that I thought I didn't like. The only downside was the extra weight I put on. People would say how much better I must have felt, but I didn't think I felt any better than I did when I smoked.
I had the cravings and the bad moods but I didn't weaken. To this day I occasionally think how nice it would be to have a smoke......especially after certain things I do, like gardening or ironing. Not every time I do these things but every once in a while I could easily sit down with a coffee and cigarette. Hmm if only it was that easy to just have one cigarette.
These days I can't even stand the smell of cigarette smoke and you can easily pick a smoker by the way they and their clothes smell. Nothing is worse than going to a shopping centre and walking through a haze of cigarette smoke to go inside or along the city streets and all the smokers are gathered outside on the footpath.
Smoking is not allowed anywhere indoors these days. That includes restaurants or anywhere food is served, bars, gaming rooms, offices, shopping centres, sports arenas, even outdoor events have a lot of no smoking areas and in Rundle Mall smoking is banned. If you are a smoker today, the only place you can smoke is in your own home, but then a lot of people elect to go outside to smoke.
Several weeks earlier, before I became ill, Tony and I were shopping and we were at the florist. It was a weekly thing where I bought a bunch of flowers (carnations). I mentioned to Tony how nice it would be to have a floral arrangement delivered every week.
His reply to me was if I gave up smoking the money I spent on a carton of cigarettes could be used to buy the flower arrangement. I remember a carton (8 packets) of cigarettes back then was around $24. ( a packet of cigarettes today is well over $20)
Even after giving up smoking I never did get the weekly flower arrangement. I still bought my bunch of carnations each week though.