by Joria Swart
(Bredasdorp, South Africa.)
I started smoking when I was nineteen years old. I did it for no specific reason, but I enjoyed it while I was socializing with other people.
I remember the first couple of cigarettes really tasted very bad, but later on I started to enjoy it, especially when I was with friends.
When I fell pregnant I stopped smoking, because this was just the right thing for me to do.
I think it was easy, because I only smoked abut six to seven cigarettes per day and because I felt it was the right thing to quit smoking while I was pregnant. I am also convinced that it was quit easy to quit, because it was my own decision and my own desire.
No one else wanted to force or convince me to do so. It was my decision and my desire and it was not too difficult to do.
After eight years I had my second baby daughter and I decided to start smoking again. At that stage I realized that maybe I could become sorry for starting again, It is so however, that I went through a difficult time and some of the people that caused me some problems wanted to convince me that smoking was a bad thing.
So I just started smoking again and I kept on doing so until I was fifty two years old.
Then one day I decided to quit again and so I did.
Quitting was not too difficult, but not as easy as the first time. Luckily I only smoked about five cigarettes per day. So I did not miss it too much.
Two more things counted in my favor. I made the decision myself again. I also had a job with no smokers around me. That helped tremendously.
During that time I had a job in a boarding school where I had to look after young school children and they kept me very busy from early till late. I also tried to keep very busy especially during the first month or so.
I remember how I went into the kitchen to peel vegetables or how I used to over clean the kitchen when the cravings hit me.
At other instances I used to keep on drinking some glasses of water to fight the cravings.
The good thing is that it worked for me.
I had two workers in the kitchen that used to smoke and I arranged with them for a puff if I could not fight the craving any more. I think one day I took one puff from them, but it tasted so bad and I realized that this was not the way to quit smoking.
I then decided not to take a puff again and so I did.
What I do remember is that the cravings used to come and go for a very long period, but I managed to handle it. Luckily the cravings only lasted for very short periods and the frequency always decreased until it stopped completely.
Suddenly one day I realized that the cravings were gone.
In retrospect I can say I realized too late that smoking is so very bad. I am so thankful that I could manage to quit smoking. If I could have it all over again I would never ever start smoking in my life.
As they say the best way to quit smoking is never to start. How I wish our young people could realize and understand this and obey it.