The end of October marks a watershed moment for me, I’ve survived the whole of Stoptober and have even stopped counting the days since my last cigarette. But there’s no denying that the past month has been really hard. Sometimes it has felt like circumstances have conspired against me – I’ve survived a fridge-freezer melt down, exploding washing machine, and my car being broken into, all without a cigarette. Now I know I can survive life’s little trials, I know I can keep going.

The support from my family and friends has really kept me going, it has been fantastic and everyone is so pleased for me. My family is visiting in November and I can’t wait to see them for the first time without having to break up the visit with my cigarette breaks.

In the long term, I am looking forward to saving money (this has been tricky so far with all the home repairs I’ve had to pay for!) and of course seeing continued benefits to my health. When you’re a smoker I think it’s hard to appreciate the health benefits of quitting because you can’t compare how it feels when you stop. But as soon as you do quit, the rewards are immediately apparent. Although I wasn’t interested in the health side of things before, I am now much more interested in the effects of all the chemicals in my body. I feel so much better within myself now that I don’t think I could go back.

Even though Stoptober is over I’m going to keep in touch with Rebecca and the Lloydspharmacy team. Her support has been fantastic and I will continue to see her for the rest of my 12 week nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) course.

As well as the support from family, friends and Lloydspharmacy, I think the key to stopping smoking this time was that I was mentally prepared and I really wanted to do it. For many smokers, there is a lot of pressure to quit and it is hard to keep the motivation up. Instead of feeling like a non-smoker, you feel like a smoker who just isn’t allowed to smoke, and it’s a big difference.

I think if you’re going to be successful at quitting, you really have to want to do it for yourself. And I can assure you that it is totally worth it. This weekend we are having a Halloween party which will be a great way to celebrate the last 28 days, and welcome in the rest of my life as a non-smoker!