16/6/2007 9:30 pm
I grew up in a home where both of my parents smoked. When I was young I absolutely hated being around when they were smoking. I couldn't breathe and was disgusted by the smell. When I grew up and left home I went to the military. I was assigned to a ship and most of my shipmates smoked. My job put me in a small space where I couldn't get away from the smokers.
After enduring nearly 8 years of being one of the few non-smokers, I decided to try it. I figured that if I became a smoker that it wouldn't bother me to be amongst the smokers. I managed to get a decent cigar and that is where it began. The first cigar made me feel a bit ill and the guys gave me a pretty hard time.
Time went on and I got to the point that I could have a cigar once in a while and was ok. I even started to enjoy them. The only problem was that cigars were difficult to get. I tried cigarettes but didn't like the taste of the tobacco. I had a friend that smoked a pipe and he suggested that I try a pipe. He had an old corn cob pipe that he gave me and I gave it a try. The pipe was as strong as a cigar but the tobacco was much better quality and I could control how much I wanted. I went on to smoke a pipe for the next 15 years, occasionally reverting back to cigars.
Recent legislation in the UK has banned smoking in public places. I have decided to quit because of this and requests from my family. They have tolerated my smoking for 8 years and now its time for me to make my move. I am concerned that I will put on weight and will have difficulty managing stress. To help me, my wife bought some inhalers.
I was in London for the last few days and returned yesterday evening. I ran out of tobacco on the return journey and arrived back home too late to buy any so I was forced to start my "smoke free" effort. I tried the inhalers and they certainly take the edge off but it is still difficult. I managed ok until after dinner at 7:30 pm but went and bought a pack of tobacco. I've had 1 pipe so far but found that I wasn't satisfied. I feel incredibly tense and although my resolve isn't broken, I realise that I will probably need some time where I will smoke but with discipline and the inhalers I intend to be able to greatly reduce my tobacco comsumption from 3 packs a week.
I've resolved to have one more pipe tonight - right now, then to put it away for the night. I'll manage with the inhaler for the balance of the night. I really dislike feeling the way that I feel right now. I'll try to write more later...
17/6/2007 - Father's Day
I was up late last night researching a new job prospect. I've recently been made redundant so this is a fairly stressful time. I'm not use to having this much time to myself and need to get back to work as much to keep me busy as to earn a living. I'm not handling the stress well. I'm struggling to concentrate on anything other than my pipe. I had 2 interviews in London last week and I have another in Birmingham tomorrow. The preferred job is in Birmingham. They are a high-profile company with national name recognition and the role that I'm applying for is new for the business. Both of the London jobs were good jobs and I'm sure that the interviews went well but working in London means that I would live away from home at least during the week and would only be able to come home a few weekends a month. I'm sure that in any of these roles that I can fulfill the requirements and in at least 2 of these roles, including the Birmingham opportunity, I can bring real change to the business. The question is if and when I take a new job, can I make a real change in myself by becoming a non-smoker.
My wife is at work today but my daughter is here with me. She has just turned 13 and was getting bored so I've sent her out to see her friends. She didn't take well to the idea of having me live in London so she's been spending all of her time with me since I returned. She's a great kid and we have an excellent relationship. I have never smoked in our home so my family isn't exposed to the smoke like I was when I was a kid. She doesn't mind the pipe too much although she is rather vocal in her desire for me to quit. She isn't wrong but she doesn't understand what it is like to make such a change. My wife doesn't smoke except for 1 or 2 when she is out drinking with her friends. Since the law will soon change I'm sure that these occasional cigarettes will stop. She won't have any problems as this isn't typical or frequent behaviour.