It has been eight (8) months since I last puffed on a smoke. It actually astounds me to be honest! I have learnt so much about myself since the day I stopped. I discovered a stubbornness I had only ever been accused of but never really owned. I own it now. I discovered that my mental health was not as balanced as I would like. Why else would going without my daily inhalations cause me (and those around me) so much angst? I discovered red wine. Not that we were not friends before I stopped, but that I began to rely on a glass to wind down. #nippedthatinthebudsuperquick
Not sure if you’ve noticed that I no longer say ‘gave up’ ‘give up’ or ‘sacrificed’ anymore? It’s just that I have realised I have gained so much more:
- My breath.
- My health.
- Respect (that from my daughters and parents means the most).
- Money (not to brag but it’s in the thousands!).
- Extra kilos……. ouch! It was all sounding so positive….
To be fair, the day Deakin and I quit smoking, I made the mistake of also quitting the gym. Something which I am about to rectify! To think I am terrified to walk back in kilos heavier – when I should be proud. This is all about to change.
And I discovered shades of grey (perhaps not fifty); in my outlook, my marriage, my friendships, my view of the world. As an addict I had a very strong opinion on my right to smoke – when and where I wanted to. As time passes, I realise that some of my views were one-sided and selfish. And I do still adore the smell, so this is not a rant from a ‘reformed smoker’, merely an observation of the person I was and the person i am becoming. Discovering shades of grey that i was unaware of before. And the good, bad and ugly within myself, particularly around coping mechanisms for when things get tough.
The Smoke Free at Deakin Project team recently celebrated the success of the quit smoking journey, particularly honouring the Smoke Free Ambassadors and humbly, myself. It was a very proud moment. And I thank Deakin and particularly the Project Manager, Trish Ritchie, for allowing me the opportunity to represent the University in such an important way.
And I need to say ‘Thank You’, because without this extra motivation I may not have been able to achieve being smoke free for this long. And before my 40th Birthday? I never thought this would be possible!
The project is drawing to a close, and like all good things, so will my blog. So please, if you have anything you would like to contribute – get in touch! December 6 sees my official 40th Birthday and I am proud to join my workplace, and Alumni in celebrating such a fantastic milestone.