Friday, 20 May 2011


When I quit smoking, nearly seven years ago, I did it by simple reasoning. I knew I wanted to stop, so I just had to work out how to do it and make my self strong enough to not go back to it. I had to retrain myself.

When I decided I really wanted to stop, I continued to smoke heavily for a further four months. Why? So I would become sick of it. I actually forced myself to smoke! On my 30th birthday, I near-chain-smoked from when I got up, to when I went to bed - and I got horribly drunk into the bargain. This worked on a bunch of levels. A horrific hangover meant I didn't want to smoke the next day, my first day of quitting - and it was bad enough that the second day didn't see much need for a cigarette, either. After getting past the tough third day, I set about re-educating myself, doing all of the things I had done while smoking, while not smoking. So I went to my favourite pub, had lots of beer, watched football. All while feeling strong, knowing it would be a difficult thing to do, and so learning that I can do it without smoking. No more coffee, I had quit that a few months earlier - no caffeine at all, in fact* - and making sure that I knew when my willpower would be low, so I could counter it.

It worked - seven years on and not a single cigarette, not a single inhalation. But applying the same thing to beer... I just can't work out what my trigger is, whether it is emotional, environmental, a combination of lots of things; I can't work out what makes me simply want a beer. I can go for a week without, no problem, then suddenly, I don't just want one, I want eight. I know the lunar cycle is a trigger, but apart from that, I have no idea at all. I'm struggling with it, I can't work it out and that annoys me.


* Not even chocolate. Had a bad reaction to it after years of way, way too much coffee, thanks to work. Gah. I miss the coffee most of all**.

**Or maybe the Scarecrow. Maybe I'll miss him most of all.

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