January 5

Today I turn 30, and I’m still smoking.

My girlfriend Tessa and I had grand plans to stop on the 3rd, after we got back from Woodford but here’s what happened: Tessa got a post festival spon, and got sick on the 2nd, so she couldn’t have a last day of smoking — a day to say farewell. So it makes total sense to us both that I’ll keep smoking until she’s better, and then she’ll get a day to say farewell to smoking and I will also say farewell to smoking.

We both agree that to try and quit seperately, or to quit without saying goodbye isn’t going to work. This is a pretty great example of nicotine logic from both of us, and I think we have more of it to look forward to. After Tessa has her farewell to smoking, it is completely likely my brain will manufacture some kind of new date: but ultimately, we are going to quit smoking.

For no reason other really than we want to quit smoking. I am ready. I started when I was about sixteen — weirdly enough, a few days after my Great Uncle died of smoking related lung cancer. I once quit when I was around twenty five or so, and that lasted about twenty hours. It was painful.

Now it is time. I am looking forward to walking up a flight of stairs without getting short of breath, and not feeling like there is an old rusty anchor in my lungs. It is time.

I have no illusions it will be easy. I am an extremely heavy smoker, probably about 20 – 30 cigarettes a day, more if I am drinking, and I’m a bit of a rummy. Smoking is woven tightly into my life — with my morning coffee, walking to the bus, waiting for the bus, sitting at home, breaks at work, before work, after work. Writing! I will write feverishly for ten minutes, then have a cigarette break.

So it is time. We will probably fall down, but still focus on the fact it is time to quit. The damage I have done to myself these past 30 – 16 years is not irreparable, but there is a lot of damage there. I remember when my dad quit — and he smoked for longer than I did, and quit and started again, quit and started again, then went from cigarettes to cigars, to a pipe back to cigarettes, until he finally kicked it — when the tar in his lungs started to come up. Yikes! That is something to look forward to, my body physically not feeling like an old boot in the morning.

Anyway, I stopped writing this post to walk Tessa to work and smoke despite the giant hills we have to go up and down. It is time, and I haven’t stopped yet, but I will. It is time. TIME!

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