And I feel great!
Smoking became a normal part of life for me from a young age. My father and late mother smoked and so once I got to boarding school I started too. I was 14 and I wanted to fit in with the cool kids who were smoking.
I never looked back. When I left school I worked in social welfare and back then you could smoke at your desk. It was everywhere. Cafes, restaurants, office buildings.
I moved to Southland in 1998, met my husband, and settled into rural life on the farm near Mossburn where I continued to smoke heavily.
I would smoke about 70 grams of tobacco a week and spent about $100. Some weeks it would be more.
I’d attempted to stop smoking in the past but I’d never been successful. I tried with zyban and patches but I was only ever able to cut down, not stop.
I decided earlier this year I wanted to try again and I was determined for a multitude of reasons. Part of it was money, part of it was struggling to stay active for my grandkids, part of it was my asthma.
One day my daughter told me she had seen a stop smoking coach at Nightcaps Playgroup, where clinics were being held. She had great success. I had been taking my granddaughter there and decided I would speak with the coach as well.
I’ve never looked back. I met with the coach in February and she signed me up to the Southern Stop Smoking Service and showed me how to use the patches properly.
She was incredibly understanding if I had a slip up. She was non-judgmental, positive, and encouraging, and I really liked that. With her, I felt as though there was no pressure and she was guiding me in my own journey.
Through her, I was able to quit and I have been smoke free since May.
I don’t really think about smoking now. It’s just not part of my day anymore. The patches were definitely the key and knowing how to use them the right way.
Stopping wasn’t as hard to stop as I thought it would be, and I’m so proud of my success.