Supporting image for Sarah

My name is Sarah and at the time of writing this, I am officially 112 days quit.

My Nanna died from COPD and I felt like I was going the same way.  Every time I laid flat, I would cough and felt like I couldn’t breathe.  I thought I was dying, or I would die young.  When I was 28, I was told that I had the lungs of a 40-year-old chain smoker and even this didn’t make me want to stop.

My daughters hated the fact that I smoked, and I wanted to live longer for them.  I had been smoking since I was 14 years of age and didn’t think it would be possible for me to quit.  I thought I would try and fail.  I thought I stood no chance of quitting but would go along just to please my family.

I contacted the Stop Smoking Service and spoke to Julia who is an Advisor at the Agbrigg clinic, and a face-to-face appointment was booked for me.  I cancelled the first two appointments as I couldn’t bring myself to go to the clinic, but eventually I plucked up the courage and went. I found that Agbrigg Community Centre was really welcoming, and all staff members were lovely to speak to and the little café was an added bonus. 

At my first appointment, I met Julia and felt immediately at ease.  She asked me for my reasons for wanting to quit and we talked about all the NRT products available to me.  I specifically chose a Wednesday to start my quit and the day before I got rid of everything to do with smoking including the ashtrays.  That night before my quit, I didn’t sleep, knowing that I had no cigarettes in the house but seeing my daughters faces in the morning when they could see I wasn’t smoking was worth it and I felt really proud that I had made a start on my quit.  

I used to say out loud that “I am quitting”, it was helpful for me to hear my own words and take ownership of it.  The Action Plan booklet that was given to me at my first session was really helpful and was full of helpful tips and as it says in the book, strong urges to smoke will pass in 5 minutes….and its true, it does!!

I found the weekly appointments really good and having Julia to talk to has made the quit so much easier and I am so glad that I decided to take this journey.  I now realise how much I was missing out on.  I wouldn’t go to the cinema or the theatre with my children as I would have needed a cigarette.  I have now been to the cinema and have booked those theatre tickets too.  The health benefits have been incredible as I can now breathe properly, and my skin is much brighter.   I have also put more effort into my garden, and this is a lovely place to be rather than the place I used to smoke.  I honestly feel like quitting has saved my life and I feel a much stronger person because of it.