It is precisely 21 weeks today since I gave up smoking. I feel a sense of pride, having smoked for more than half my adult life. I started to smoke for typically the stupidest of reasons. An insecure and ridiculously young looking teenage self meant I believed the so called friend who regularly bullied me when she said she would no longer repeatedly call me juvenile once I had both tried smoking and 'snogging'
Unsurprisingly the bullying did not stop, and I ended up with a serious nicotine addiction, marlboro reds being my drug of choice during my teens...I can still feel that initial burn in the back of my throat as I type this. What's more surprising is the pleasure that memory evokes even now, in contrast to the memory of my 14 year old self hidden away in a park, afraid of my friends, not wanting to smoke or even touch the cigarette but more afraid not to.