Operation Quit Smoking, Part Eight

by thethreepennyguignol

So, I’m recently back from a holiday in Spain to visit my parents:

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You’re jealous, I can tell

And a new milestone hit in my great quit smoking diaries. Which is, well, that I unquit for a little bit.

Now, back when me and my partner decided to give this stop smoking thing a good-old college try a couple of months ago, we kind of idly agreed that we’d allow ourselves to smoke on our trip to Spain: the cigarettes are cheap, the wine is plentiful, and we figured it would be a good thing to have as an incentive to carry on with our quitting efforts. I think what neither of us anticipated was that we might actually stay quit in the months preceding our trip. I assumed that we would slip back into that back-and-forth of being quit for a few days a week and then sliding back into having ten a day as soon as I sniffed a glass of wine or something even slightly stressful (or worth celebrating) happened. But we didn’t – we quit. We haven’t purchased cigarettes since we stopped officially a few months ago, though we have, individually, had one or two here and there. We didn’t really address the smoking in Spain issue until we were buying a twenty deck from a vending machine in a Spanish truck-stop on the way back from the airport. And by then, it was too late.

I’ll be honest: I really enjoy smoking, even still. Having a few smokes on the roof terrace of my parent’s insanely beautiful house with a couple of glasses of piss-cheap wine was a real treat at the time. But the whole time we were smoking, I found my quit-self niggling away at the back of my brain – what if this became a habit again? What if we couldn’t stop when we got home? Wasn’t this turning my back on everything I’d worked so hard to achieve the last few months? What was that factoid I’d heard about it only taking two cigarettes to get you addicted again?

We flew back home on Saturday, and since then, to my utter shock, I haven’t had a craving since then. It seemed like the most important thing to break off in terms of quitting smoking was my routine. When I’m out of that normal routine and have a few smokes, it seems as though I can get away with slipping back into normality without them once more. I’m not suggesting this works for everyone – hell, every entry in these diaries might as well come with a giant flashing “YOU DO YOU” over the top of it – but it worked for me, and I can honestly say that I don’t particularly regret smoking while I was abroad (it did make my skin break out pretty badly though, so fair warning). I think, like the copious amounts of wine, cheese, ice-cream and sunshine I imbibed while visiting my family, as long as smoking is kept to something I only do as a break from my routine, I can get away with keeping my addiction at bay.

If you’re an ex-smoker, do you still enjoy a cigarette once in a while? Or did you have to go cold turkey? Let me know in comments below, or hit me up on Twitter!

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