I have been smoking since I was in my late teens to help cure loneliness while my late husband was working long hours. It was a sort of companion; and while I’ve stopped twice over the years I’d always start again and the habit continued to become heavier.
But I’m pleased to say I am five months smoke free and I have well and truly kicked the habit this time with the help of the Southern Stop Smoking Service.
When I started smoking everyone around me was too – my husband, my siblings, my in-laws, and so I just carried on. It was the social thing to do. I would smoke up to 20 tailor-made cigarettes a day, and recently I was spending anywhere up to $200 a week.
I’ve been wanting to stop for good for a while for so many reasons including the price, my health and shortness of breath, but I didn’t have the professional support I needed to do it.
So, earlier this year when I was at the library and spotted the Southern Stop Smoking Service car outside I thought, this is it, it’s now or never! I approached the stop smoking coach and started the journey straight away.
The coach has been absolutely fantastic. She sits and talks with me around ways of getting past the cravings, and I know I couldn’t have done it if it hadn’t been for her. I found is hugely helpful that she would come to my house because I felt more confident and capable in my own surroundings. She gave me patches, lozenges and gum and I would often put on an extra patch if the cravings became too much – but I don’t need them at all anymore!
I’ve found several coping methods including jumping in the car and driving all the way to Timaru to see family, adopting a wee dog as a companion, and visiting with friends who don’t smoke. I’ve also been keeping myself pretty busy cooking meals for some workers each day, which I’m really enjoying.
My bank balance is starting to grow and I’m enjoying spending money I didn’t have before on luxuries such as getting my nails done. I feel so much better about myself and I’m sleeping much better.
I believe stopping smoking this time was different because I had the support I needed.
I don’t even get cravings now. I think about it sometimes but it’s just a thought, not a craving. Walking away from smoking was a lot easier than I thought it would be.