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  • Writer's pictureKristina Lang

I've been an ex-smoker for three weeks now/Već\Tek sam tri tjedna bivši pušač

Updated: Mar 7, 2022

Tomorrow will be exactly three weeks since I quit smoking. I was a long-time, passionate smoker and the decision to quit smoking was both expectedly difficult and surprisingly easy, somehow at the same time. While I was still smoking, I began to experience anxieties and fears triggered by the awareness that I was an addict and the belief that it was impossible to change. Such thoughts were rare and most of the time I really loved smoking, I enjoyed it. When I told a quit-smoking counsellor, whom I received through the English health system, that smoking was a pleasure, he was trying to convince me that it was not. During this conversation I interrupted him with the question:

"Sir, how old are you?" he was confused by my question and so he said:

"Excuse me?"

"May I know how old you are?" I repeated because he told me in a previous conversation that he had stopped smoking at the age of 30.

"Seventy-…" I didn't even wait for him to finish the number and I just said:

"You forgot."

I think it’s hard for non-smokers or long-time ex-smokers to understand that smoking really provides pleasure and that’s one of the important reasons why it’s so hard to quit.

And what led to my decision to give up my pleasure? In fact, the decision was the culmination of several factors that influenced it. Of course, people close to me have been trying to influence me for a long time. My daughter once told me:

"Mom, don't you want to experience seeing my children?" She said softly and quietly, but it really rang in my head for quite some time.

My brother wanted to drive me this summer to a man who allegedly uses hypnosis to help people quit smoking. We were supposed to drive for 4-5 hours, to the other end of Croatia and I would still have to pay that man for something I don't believe in at all, so I flatly refused. Then my brother insisted that I go do an x-ray of my lungs. I did that in a private clinic in Zagreb and my lungs, fortunately, are still in good condition. It was unclear to the people at the clinic why I had come at all, and I could not say, "Brother insisted."

My friends Katarina, Chris, Iri and Yuliya constantly but very gently warned me that I should stop smoking or at least not smoke so much. I am very grateful to them for drinking many cups of coffee with me, outside in the cold, just so I could smoke it with my coffee.

My ex-husband, who I can say is still one of my best friends, has also never given up on trying to convince me that being an addict is something terribly bad. He was the least tactful in his efforts and often annoyed me terribly.

One of my new friends’ smokes and when I told her I quit smoking she said confusedly “Oh, then I won’t be able to smoke when we’re having coffee”

"Of course, you will," I said. "It doesn't bother me at all." And it really doesn’t. It took me a long time to make the decision not to smoke, but once I made it then that was it. I’m not pliable and if people around me smoke it somehow has nothing to do with me. Just as I didn’t care at all what the rather intolerant English environment thought of me while I was smoking.


There is still an open box of cigarettes and a lighter on the table in my garden. It will stay there for a while longer. The quit-smoking counsellor told me to hide the cigarettes somewhere hard to reach, in the attic or in the garage. It’s by no means my style and I have no intention of hiding cigarettes from myself.

I currently have about 1,500 cigarettes in the house. While I smoked, I rarely smoked expensive English cigarettes and I had a whole network of people who brought me cigarettes from Moldova, Ukraine, Poland, Croatia… Thank you to all my friends who understood that such help was necessary for me at the time as I wouldn't have stopped smoking just because cigarettes are expensive.

And last but not least, the awareness reached me that I could not love an English doctor and remain a smoker. And it doesn't matter if he knows it or not, it's important to me that I know.


Kristina

Friday, October 22nd, 2021


Već/Tek sam tri tjedna bivši pušač


Sutra će biti točno tri tjedna da sam prestala pušiti. Bila sam dugogodišnji, strastveni pušač i odluka o prestanku pušenja je bila i očekivano teška i iznenađujuće laka, nekako u isto vrijeme. Dok sam još pušila počele su mi se javljati tjeskobe i strahovi potaknuti sa sviješću da sam ovisnik i uvjerenje da je to nemoguće promijeniti. Takove su misli bile rijetke i većinu vremena sam zaista voljela pušiti, uživala sam u tome. Kad sam rekla savjetniku za prestanak pušenja, kojeg sam dobila preko engleskog zdrastvenog sustava, da je pušenje užitak, pokušavao me uvjeriti da to nije tako. Tokom tog pokušaja uvjeravanja da pušenje nije užitak prekinula sam ga sa pitanjem:

“Gospodine, koliko vi imate godina?” zbunilo ga je moje pitanje i zato je rekao:

“Oprostite?”

“Smijem li znati koliko imate godina?” ponovila sam jer mi je u prethodnom razgovoru rekao da je prestao pušiti u dobi od 30 godina.”

“Sedamdeset i…” Nisam niti dočekala da završi brojku i samo sam rekla:

“Vi ste zaboravili.” Mislim da je nepušačima ili dugo bivšim pušačima teško razumijeti da pušenje zaista pruža užitak i da je to jedan od važnih razloga zašto je toliko teško prestati.

A što je dovelo da moje odluke da se odreknem svog užitka? Zapravo, odluka je bila kulminacija brojnih faktora koji su na nju utjecali. Naravno, ljudi koji su mi bliski su već dugo pokušavali utjecati na mene. Moja kćer mi je jednom prilikom rekla:

“Mama, zar ne želiš doživjeti da vidiš moju djecu?” – rekla je to nježno i tiho, ali zaista mi je odzvonilo u glavi.

Moj brat me ljetos želio voziti nekom čovjeku koji hipnozom navodno pomaže ljudima da prestanu pušiti. Trebali smo se voziti 4-5 sati, na drugi kraj Hrvatske i ja bi još morala platiti tom čovjeku za nešto u što uopće ne vjerujem, pa sam to glatko odbila. Onda je brat insistirao da idem raditi x-ray pluća . To sam i napravila u jednoj privatnoj klinici u Zagrebu i moja su pluća, srećom još u dobrom stanju. Ljudima u klinici je bilo nejasno zašto sam uopće došla, a ja nisam mogla reći “Brat je inzistirao.”

Moji prijatelji Katarina, Chris, Iri and Yuliya su me konstantno, ali vrlo nježno opominjali da bih trebala prestati pušiti ili barem ne pušiti toliko puno. Jako sam im zahvalna što su brojne kave ispijali samnom, vani na hladnoći, samo da bih je mogla pušiti uz svoju kavu.

Bivsi muž, za kojeg mogu reći da je još uvijek jedan od mojih najboljih prijatelja, isto nikada nije odustao od napora da me uvjeri da je biti ovisnik nešto strahovito loše. On je u svojim naporima bio i najmanje taktičan i često me užasno nervirao.

Jedna od mojih novih prijateljica puši i kad sam joj rekla da sam prestala pušiti zbunjeno je rekla “O joj, onda neću moci pušiti kad smo na kavi”

“Naravno da hoćeš” rekla sam “To meni uopće ne smeta.” I zaista je tako. Meni je trebalo dugo vremena da donesem odluku o nepušenju, ali jednom kad sam ju donijela to je onda to. Nisam povodljiva i ako ljudi oko mene puše to nekako nema nikakve veze samnom. Isto kao što me uopće nije bilo briga što prilično netolerantno englesko okruženje mislilo o meni dok sam pušila.

Na stolu u mom vrtu jos uvijek stoji otvorena kutija cigareta i upaljač. To će tamo ostati još neko vrijeme. Savjetnik za prestanak pušenja mi je rekao da sakrijem cigarete nekamo gdje mi je teško do njih doći, na tavan ili u garažu. To nikako nije moj stil i nemam namjeru sakrivati cigarete od sebe.

Ja trenutno u kući imam oko 1500 cigareta. Dok sam pušila rijetko sam pušila skupe engleske cigarete i imala sam čitavu mrežu ljudi koji su mi donosili cigarete iz Moldove, Ukrajine, Poljske, Hrvatske…Hvala svim mojim prijateljima koji su razumijeli da mi je takova pomoć tada bila nužna i dok mi se svijest u glavi nije promjenila nebih prestala pušiti samo zato što su cigarete skupe.

I na kraju, ali ne i najmanje bitno, do mene je doprla svijest o tome da ne mogu voljeti jednog engleskog doktora i ostati pušač. I nevažno je dali on to zna ili ne, meni je bitno da ja znam.


Kristina

Petak, 22. listopada 2021

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