I smoked from the age of about 15 or 16 and gave up for a few months a couple of times, but resisted giving up; in a way, it felt like that’s the part of me that I retained as I was. MS had taken everything else. I always loved smoking.
Then about 8 years ago, my disability was getting worse. My husband had always hated me smoking and was planning to retire in 2013. I didn’t want to be in the situation where I either couldn’t justify to him just how much money I spent on cigarettes. And I also knew if I was unable to take myself to the shops and buy cigarettes that he absolutely wouldn’t buy them for me. I didn’t want the decision to be forced on me.
So I decided I was going to stop. I planned a really long way ahead - I knew I would never give up in the Summer, so decided I’ve have one last Summer of smoking as much as I liked, but I would give up the weekend the clocks went back. So from the September in that year I started cutting down, by about 1 each day per week. When I got to the last week, it was 2 per day, then on the last Saturday, I smoked one cigarette.
The next day I didn’t smoke. That was 7 years ago.
It was just in time. The following February l had a severe relapse and was in hospital then a rehab unit, altogether for about 2 months. So I was absolutely bed bound for the first 2 weeks, couldn’t get out of bed without a hoist and a lot of help. I’d have been forced to quit then if I hadn’t already.
It’s a hard thing to do, but it’s worth it. My husband was pleased, I don’t spend money on fags anymore, I don’t have to go outside to smoke, and I don’t smell of cigarettes.
But I never blame anyone for smoking. I still like to inhale second hand smoke. I rather like it when a smoker is dawdling in front of us when we’re out, I breathe in their old fag smoke, gratefully.