Friday 15 December 2017

When smoking is good for your mental health

I know smoking is a vile habit. I know people hate the smell of smoke and the smell of smokers. But I'm an addict and not ready to quit just yet. Soon maybe but not yet. I started when I was 14 and went through a full packet of ten menthol vile yokes at the pictures on a Saturday. When I worked in the bank I smoked into customers' faces and they smoked into mine. A sort of mutual respect. At one stage, in my twenties, I gave up for a few months and bought the most amazing pair of platform boots with the money saved. Amazing for all the wrong reasons. But I succumbed to my addiction and went back on them. When I think of all the boots I'd have by now.

Then about 10 years later I gave them up for four years and piled on the weight. Despite going back on them again after a night out where I thought I could just have one or two, I never really lost the weight. And I've stayed on them since. So that was a double whammy. Weight piled on and back on the fags.

One son berates me regularly. He is the one who smoked out his bedroom window for a while when he was 10, gave them up and never smoked again. Unfortunately the other two smoke. A family of weak willpower. Despite the fact that my daughter smokes, she told me I must have looked dog rough when I was pregnant. I informed her that everyone did back then. We knew no better. Anyway I always liked Hilda Ogden.

But sometimes it's a blessing. I can get away from people. As the years roll on, my tolerance level for bores is waning and I find myself going into a zone where I'm not even listening. Just nodding with a glazed stare. And then I excuse myself and go out for a fag.

Now it's a myth that the people outside the door are more interesting. Sometimes they are even worse gobsh**es than those you've just left but you can get away from them fairly fast as well and go back in and join new people. And when they start to do my head in, off I go again. Maybe I'll never give them up.

Sunday Independent

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