I knew that I had to stop smoking. I had known it for a very long time. I am often in contact with people who are vulnerable and impressionable, yet there I was, influencing them to follow a path which I knew to be a totally destructive one. Whenever I considered it, I could clearly see the duality of the situation I was in. I had tried to give up many times before and failed. There were always reasons to start again. I was an addict. I felt I had come to the point at which I didn't deserve any more chances. Half measures had never worked for me in the past and so were not an option. This was it. The end of the line.
I needed a failsafe. A mechanism built into my life that would make my decision absolute. There could be no going back.
If I failed I must go to the kitchen and take the knife from the cutlery drawer. The heavy knife with the six inch blade and the blue handle that I use for chopping the vegetables. I must then place my right hand on the chopping board, palm down and stab myself through the back of my hand five times. Then,after placing the knife on the worktop,I must pick it up in my wounded right hand hand and repeat the procedure stabbing myself through left hand five times. I would then complete the dictates of this pact with myself by cutting my throat with the knife and ending my life.
Having visualised this scenario and having made the decision to stop smoking it turned it into reality. First I told all my friends that I had stopped, that tobacco was no longer going to play any part in life. Their solidarity and support helped reinforce my course of action and some of them pledged to give up with me. When I arrived at work in the morning I announced my decision to stop smoking to my fellow workers and at the next staff meeting we decided to ban smoking in the office.
Over the following months I noticed that both my sense of smell and taste were returning. I never realised that I had lost them. Food took on a new dimension as I re-appreciated the subtleties of aroma and flavour that I had been missing out on for so long. My habitual morning cough disappeared and my general fitness improved.
Although I had been a smoker for over twenty years I found the process of stopping painless. Failure was never an option - I love life too much to leave it all behind. I sorry I didn't give up years ago. I apologise to you all.
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