I’ve smoked from a young age, basically started because all of my friends smoked and I wanted to be like them. Growing up I lived in a house were nobody smoked. My older brother was smoking on the sly and my mum never found out. When I started smoking my mum eventually caught me. She hated me smoking and would do anything to try and stop me. But like any other teenager I continued to smoke to rebel and didn’t listen to her.
Around 7 years ago I stopped smoking because I started to dislike it. I actually managed to quit for 2 years and felt much better for it. Unfortunately our family went through a few difficult periods and because of that I started smoking again.
As the years went by I started to notice the tips of my fingers were stained a tinge of yellow and my tongue turning an orange colour (I put this down to drinking too much tea at the time). I was smoking over 40 a day at this point. Two years ago I was diagnosed with mild COPD and very recently I was admitted under the hospital for a rare muscle disease which I was told can also affect my lungs. This gave me a reality check. I started to think about putting my health first and thinking about my grandchildren and how I want to make sure I’m around for years to come to watch them grow up. I made the decision there and then to stop smoking.
I went online and contacted the Knowsley Stop Smoking Service. The following day I received a phone call from my stop smoking advisor Nicola. The support I’ve received off Nicola is tremendous. She calls regularly and it really helps to speak to someone over the phone for that extra support. My last cigarette was on the 8th August 2020. When I go in for my hospital appointments and I’m asked by the nurse “do you smoke?” I find it’s a very proud moment when I say “no, not anymore I’ve quit.”
My family are all extremely proud of me although at first I kept the fact that I was trying to stop smoking to myself as I didn’t want anyone lecturing me. But everyone has been incredibly supportive. Even my husband can’t believe it. He’s slowly coming round to the idea of quitting too now that he’s seen that I can do it.
My biggest tip to anyone reading this who wants to stop is you must want to do it. I have been nagged by family to stop smoking for years but it never worked. I came to this decision myself and I did it for me because I came to that decision on my own. I would highly recommend the Knowsley Stop Smoking Service to anyone – thank you.