Today is the first day of the rest of my life…

As much as anything, I reckon this place may be just the right forum for the exorcism of various personal demons.  Or, to put it another way and to reference Neil Innes (who may not have originated the comment), “I’ve suffered for my Art and now it’s your turn”.

We all have our demons and high on the list of mine is smoking.  There, I’ve said it now.  I am a 40 years + smoker for whom smoking has been a core activity since Simon Holmes offered me a B&H in a Northampton cinema back in the day.  Dealing with the addiction has been on my agenda since my original attempt to quit about 10 years ago.  That went OK for a while…patches, the whole thing, but after 3 months of torture, I fell off the wagon at a family wedding and slipped back into the old routine as smoothly as a greased ferret on a bobsleigh run.  I came to the conclusion that I needed a bigger stick and now it’s arrived in the form of Champix, a drug that attacks the receptors in the brain that demand nicotine rather than simply replacing cigarettes with patches.  As I write, I have just taken the first of these pills in a course that will run from now until nearly Christmas if I can hang in there.  Wish me luck.  But that’s not the whole story.  The insidious nature of nicotine addiction means that I have had a prescription for this course of pills since May, only cashed it in in August and have only just started taking the tablets.  Of course, I’ve had my excuses, but I won’t bore you with those.  Let’s just say that the shrill, demanding voice in my head put forward lots of extremely plausible reasons why I should delay, obfuscate, procrastinate, defer and so on…

Well, I’ve now run out of excuses and my poor body is giving me big signs that it’s basically had enough of the smoking thing.  So, forward with Champix and here’s hoping the pharmaceutical prop for my dodgy willpower will be enough to admit me to the ranks of recovering smokers.  You will inevitably be able to folllow my progress or lack of it right here.

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