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Gillingham mum-of-two's journey to being smokefree

Michelle Parsons
Michelle Parsons
Smokefree United is encouraging people to give up the habit
Smokefree United is encouraging people to give up the habit

SMOKER Michelle Parsons gave up the habit this week in an effort to get fitter and healthier.

The 41-year-old, from Gillingham, has smoked for 26 years and is writing a no-holds-barred diary as part of the Smokefree United campaign run by the Medway Stop Smoking Service. The campaign aims to get footballers and fans of the game to give up the habit.

Here mum-of-two Michelle, who has a kickabout with her sons in the summer, takes us through her last day of smoking, and her tough first day without a cigarette.

Sunday, January 17

I feel dreadful as I’ve had two very late nights where I drank a smidge too much and smoked like a trooper, which was part of my pre-quit plan. I didn’t enjoying smoking today but needed to finish the packet.

I’m quite looking forward to just getting on with quitting and have been mentally preparing for it. I have a small whiteboard in my kitchen which I’ve marked up to show how much money I’m saving. Every day I’ll be putting £3 in a jar. It’s quite an incentive and I’ve prepared a list of things I will buy with the money I’m saving. My patch and inhalator are already by my kettle.

I planned to have my very last cigarette at about 10pm before going to bed and went upstairs to say good night to my eldest son. I wanted him settled so I could enjoy my last little ritual, so sat reading in my room until he dropped off. Instead, I fell asleep.

Monday, January 18

I woke up and realised with horror I still had that one cigarette left, which I decided to smoke. I slapped my 10mg patch on after my shower and was so busy getting the boys ready for school I didn’t have time to think about much else.

It was only after I came home from the school run and had breakfast that bang! I wanted a cigarette. I had a quick puff on the inhalator which is actually really good but I couldn’t stay in the kitchen for long, as I used to smoke by the back door.

I embarked on changing all the bedsheets, polishing and hoovering. I got all of the housework done in record time so got my dusty trainers out and went to the gym. I haven’t been for a couple of months so wasn’t looking forward to it but I did it. Badly. I realise my smoking was a massive reason for this.

Today was not as bad as I thought it would be. I have kept myself occupied and the patch took the edge off. I did take myself off to bed early though so as not to think about smoking. I’ll be taking it one day at a time. I can do this.

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