I can proudly say that I am now 5 months smokefree and still engaging with Yorkshire Smokefree Calderdale.
For the past 12 years, I have battled with another addiction, alcohol, and I will continue to battle with this addiction for the rest of my life, with the support of my family and most importantly my sponsor, who I also count as my friend.
Smoking has been a huge part of my life and something that I have always done, but never really enjoyed. It went hand in hand with a drink and was great for dealing with stress, or that’s what I thought at the time.
I previously accessed Yorkshire Smokefree back in 2016 when they were delivering the service at the Basement Project, which helps people like me overcome addiction and get their lives back on track. I still engage in various elements of the service but not as frequently these days. I successfully completed the stop smoking program in May 2016 and maintained the quit for over a year before eventually relapsing. I guess with lockdown and everything that’s happened over the past few years, I just put off picking up the phone to make that initial contact.
Since getting back in touch with Yorkshire Smokefree in June 2022, I’ve managed to quit with the support of my advisor. I was able to choose from a variety of stop smoking products, which I found very helpful - especially in the early days! I am no longer using patches but continue to use the Nicorette Quit Mist occasionally. A double pack costs me around £13 but lasts weeks, which is a great investment if you ask me, much cheaper than smoking! I don’t intend to use the quit mist long term, but it really helps when I find I’m struggling with difficult situations or when I just fancy a cigarette.
For me, the most important thing when accessing service was being truthful to myself and others. I have learnt that when dealing with addiction, you must be truthful to succeed, however hard it is in the beginning. I’m not concerned that, even 5 months down the line, I’m still accessing service every three weeks or so. Remaining quit has given me huge financial and physical benefits as it keeps my other addictions at bay and I feel so much better about myself and my accomplishments.
It's not easy, but it’s like a lot of things, if you put the effort in you will reap the rewards in the long run and this is definitely true when it comes to stopping smoking.