Stopping smoking

Yup. I've stopped smoking.

To be honest, I'm not quite sure how it happened. I certainly didn't ask for it. It was one of the simple pleasures that got me through the night: a bottle of red wine and a pouch of rolling tobacco.

And now, quite suddenly, here I am - smoke free.

I'm stressed, I hate my job, I resent my clients, I can't sleep, I can't concentrate, I have mouth ulcers and an eye infection... but hey - I'm smoke free!

So, how did you do it Jimmy boy?

Well, there are a few things that kinda get to you as a smoker after a while. The constant expense, the smell, the layer of brown dust over everything...

For a while now, I've had a sense that I couldn't go on like this, and that feeling was compounded by my recent post about my father, and by a comment I made on Matt's blog about losing direction.

So, there was just enough motivation to cut down a little. Instead of smoking rollie-ups, I changed to Marlboro Lights. That's right - disgusting! Like most ready-made cigs to the hand-rolling aficionado, they were dry, acrid, burnt down at high speed whether I was smoking them or not and cost a packet.

Then, for about three days I chewed Nicorette gum instead of smoking. As a result, I stumbled about in a numb haze. Nothing could disturb my quiet satisfaction except possibly the stinging burning sensation on my gums.

And since then, I've had no nicotine at all. Yes, I'd still love to sit down with a glass of wine and roll up a ciggie, but it doesn't appear to be happening.

But the best news of all is that I've been putting aside the money I used to spend on tobacco. It all goes in a jar on the mantlepiece. You wouldn't believe how quickly it mounts up. In a couple of years I'm going to take early retirement. We're planning to buy a Winnebago. We'll probably call it 'Dignity'.