Stubbing it out!

January 1, 2009 at 4:03 pm (General chat) (, , , , , , )

THE NEW YEAR is upon us and after a dangerous concoction of spirits and tequila shots that you most definitely did not order, you may find yourself committed to a New Year resolution that does not seem as appealing now that the blood alcohol levels have dropped. Maybe its your faithful cigarettes that will be your victim.

Wanting desperately to back out, you feel obliged to go through with it to avoid being ridiculed by family and friends who have made bets on your failure, oh and for the promises of better health of course. However, still 99% of your being wishes the words ‘I will give up smoking’ had never been uttered from your lips. With your nails bitten, your fingers vibrating and your mind fixated on your severe lack of nicotine, you realise that there were certain steps that should have been taken to avoid such a horrific situation.

Firstly, it is beneficial not to get drunk surrounded by triathlon participating friends who are anti-smoking! Such friends are able to turn something as wonderful, elegant, tasty and reliving as a cigarette into a monster serial killer. Outnumbered and under attack you have no choice but to back down and commit the ultimate betrayal; agreeing to give up. But that is not where this ends, in such company, those people pleasers amongst you may accidentally further agree to take part in your first ever triathlon forgetting the minor issue that exercise has been an alien concept since you left 6th form. 

The second mistake which should be avoided at all costs is admitting that you remember the deal you made. Claiming absolute memory loss is the definite way forward. Admitting you remember your utterance is practically admitting rational thinking and signing your name on the dotted line.

Ok, so at this point, only 5 people witnessed your deal, the chance to back out is still firmly on the horizon. However, the third mistake to avoid is telling mummy dearest, once she knows the domino effect begins and soon everyone is aware of your plans and congratulating you on regaining your senses. Suddenly you find out that your nearest and dearest believed you to have lost competency for the past 4 years. You feel like shouting ‘what’s wrong with cigarettes, they are fabulous’ but a love of your freedom and not wanting to be sectioned prevents this outburst.

Now once you have committed yourself, signed your death warrant and slipped your neck into the noose, the fourth mistake is to avoid the attitude of ‘well I’m giving up soon so until then I will smoke as much as I like’. Jumping from 10 to 20 a day in your last months as a condemned man is not useful when trying to give up. When there is more nicotine in your blood than white blood cells or alcohol for that matter, it comes as a kick in the teeth, head, knees and stomach when that is taken away. Your whole bodily function is messed up and your daily routine seems bare.

The fifth mistake is not mentally preparing for the send off.  It may be October but believe you me, New Year will creep upon you. As Big Ben chimes and people sing, the funeral begins. Walking slowly, one step in front of the other, your remaining 5 cigarettes are buried in the bin and sadness and emptiness becomes you. How could you be so disloyal, how did you not manage those final 5 before midnight despite chain-smoking for the past 24 hours? How will you live without them?

The final mistake made by many is staying in the country! When tricked and bullied into such a painful resolution, pack a suitcase and move to France; smoke to your heart’s content in a country where non-smokers are the senseless ones. With a glass of red wine in one hand and a Superking in the other, inform your family (over the phone of course) of your victory over the tobacco army in the safe knowledge that they will never need know your smoky little secret. Hey presto, everyone is happy.

Yes you guessed it, I am one of those recent non-smokers and I am not taking it well. Ultimately, I loved smoking, when walking, with coffee, after dinner, with evening drinks, it was the first thing I thought of in the morning and last thing I thought of before bed. This was a love affair that was unstoppable by anything less than the power of the New Year resolution. So to all my fellow comrades who have stubbed out their last cigarette, let us pray that the pain passes quickly, that our loss is not too great and that a future without cigarettes is really as beneficial as those non-smokers suggest.  Amen.

Sarah Butt ©


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