Monday, 31 January 2011

The weight of it

I am quite light
Stiggers is quite heavy
Together we are Quitesomething
Quitesomething who doesn't smoke!
We need to adjust a little
Stiggers is keeping me awake telling me what to write, editing stuff
So I'm enforcing a break
I'm not going to miss you this time stiggers
Cos I'm taking you with me!
Together in my electric Dreams!
Human leagues
I must contact now
but in my own time ok?

(With thanks to Phil Oakey)

Ooh! Support Text

Just finished posting text below and I get a text saying:
1 Day -
Congratulations on stopping smoking!
Hope u're feeling good
& enjoying life as a happy non-smoker
Any problems please don't hesitate to call

And there's a number. Our therapist gave us her card aswell.

Was going to text back and say 'yeah! Feeling great!' because I am

I do need to go for a walk though

I was abit late into the playground this morning, but I did not see Ugly. I do not like confrontation but I was going to ask her if she'd got my email, then tell her to leave my son alone.
I've heard nothing back from my email on Friday from anyone, not Head, Ugly, or even the Foca, (who I'd texted and asked to call me... I got through that on my own! Well, with Nico Teen too)

I don't need a cigarette now but it is quite something to know that I am coping without it!

I'm glad I have the number though. When your mind gets blown away so fantastically like that, it's a little unsettling!!

Be good to ask: Is it ok to be this happy??!

Why am I so fecking afraid of myself? I've got big dreams see...!

I'm not the only one... I watched Black Swan the other night, brilliant. The conflict existing within each of us, to lesser or greater degrees.

I'll leave it there....!

Harmful beautiful flowers

The Poppy killed 1000 heroin addicts in the UK last year.
The Nicotiana killed 100,000 nicoteen addicts. (Allen Carr Clinic)

Stress is straining against my ribcage this morning, as it might do someone who's at work or someone who's got an appointment.

I'm thinking if there was Deadly Nightshade tea, would I drink it? Would you?

Tobacco Companies in the US alarmed at the drop in cigarette sales. have developed smokeless tobacco gum. Found an article on google last night, just in by the reporter, but can't find it now for you.

Mint and fruit flavour gum!

My son loves gum, he's always asking me for it, I'm always saying no.

I might start saying yes so I can teach him the difference between brands if I need to...

Here, have this:

Tips for quitting aren't the methods I used, they are the methods currently used now in the NHS. You know, using nicoteen to fight nicoteen, not psychology and truth to whack it on the head! However that article is 2008 and things can change!!

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Joy! Freedom! Exhilaration!

Over a deep blue sea and beautiful coast line the words
Joy! Freedom! Exhilaration!
The first ad I see and I'm feeling just like that
Who is it? Easyway?
I've just quit! I'm no Turkey!
I can fly as high as the dreams I dare to live! (Monkton)

Ten Instructions

Number 1: RELAX
Number 2:
Number 2:
Number 3?
Number 4:
Number 5?
or was that Number 7?

You take with you what you need to remember. I want this lovely feeling I've got to last but there's the school gates tomorrow, child's social worker on Tuesday. Nothing changes because I've stopped smoking
but here's a thing
I needed to be quite brave to stop and what I've been given in return for that bravery is more bravery, more courage.
I didn't give anything up for these things.
Perhaps there was an instruction to remember that too!
Nicoteen was neither crutch nor companion just a toxic compound in a poisonous plant, wrapped up in white to make it look like something worthwhile.
I haven't needed a glass of water all day, but I need one now!

The Easyway clinic experience

Tell me this isn't bizarre.
You go to a stop smoking clinic chugging away on your fags as though your life has never depended on it more.
You have a major internal panic when you discover you are going to have your final cigarette earlier than you thought you would. Much earlier. Still in the building earlier.
You get cravings but you don't pop out to satisfy them while the therapist is talking about enjoyment and relaxation, even though you're allowed to, because it's all very interesting and she's very funny; an ex smoker who articulates your feelings with some of her own experiences.
The fag breaks are great, chatting to the other smokers having a laugh about smoking rooms here there everywhere.
The sessions are great, everyone gets asked to speak and share experiences. Tales and analogies are told, it's good fun.
Three quarters of the way through the day (which is flying by somehow) an Irish woman tells you she's still really sceptical and you're like "yeah, me too. Casual smokers are like casual drinkers aren't they? Why can't we be one?" You drag on that fag of yours wondering how the fuck you're going to stop. Yeah, it tastes a bit shit but if you don't think about it.....
After that conversation, it's back to the room and with the little time left, the therapist wants to chat about the trap you're in, that everyone around you is in.
You might be feeling abit tired at this point, especially if you went out the night before and didn't sleep well when you got home.
What? Time for your last cigarette. Already?!
Your last cigarette and it is your last.
Out it goes
How easy was that?!

Later you are standing outside Kings Cross Station, among loads of smokers, just a few hours have passed since you were chain smoking and now you don't want one, there's no desire for one. Your friend is half an hour late and usually you'd be pissed off battening down the frustration with your fags, like you did two nights ago, your fury in chains.
You don't care!
Your friend arrives and you can't stop smiling

Mindblowing upon reflection!
Totally, utterly mindblowing!
Everyone should experience this!

The final cigarette

After we finished our final cigarettes, we came back into the room and sat down on our reclining chairs. We were each asked in turn how we felt. There were a range of feelings; Excited, anxious, no different, relieved, scared, optimistic, it was hugely comforting to hear as everyone was answered on what they said.
It got to me and and and my heart was beating loud!
"I feel a little disbelief," I laughed, my thumb and index finger demonstrating just how little even though it was really alot. "I'm really excited about tomorrow!" and our therapist smiled "and and I really liked your analogy of the fly stuck in the pitcher plant!"
"Grab hold of any of the ideas that work for you," she said, she did say that, yes.
Then we did this hypnosis, and I've never been hypnotised so fortunately at the start of the class, we were told it was more a relaxation session, or that's how she saw it anyway.
Holy comoly! We were told to imagine ourselves in a garden and who I saw on a lawn of the brightest green, was me laughing as I held my son's hand who was skipping and laughing alongside me!
I felt my chest supressing giggles!
It was flipping wild, I've been skipping ever since
~ walking back to happiness oh la oh la la la! (Helen Shapiro)

Leaps of faith

When it was time for our final cigarette, we were told to go into one of the smoking rooms and not chat to one another. What we were all about to do was a big decision and we've all had to make big decisions in our lives
We were told to make a vow to ourselves, a promise and I thought shit, this is it, I have to sit down.
Cross legged by the bin I breathed back huge lungfuls of 'Old Virginia but I wasn't feeling panic, nor was I feeling excited.
I was thinking of the fly who goes for a curious taste of the nectar in the pitcher plant and gets caught..It can't make any bid for freedom, it gets munched up.
I thought I'd better stand up to finish my fag, that way my feet could get unstuck.
I was dizzy as I rose, staggered abit. Couple more drags on the cig, I put it out in the sand and I walked out the room not knowing quite what had happened.
But whatever had happened, it felt really fecking cool!!

Friday, 28 January 2011

What we should all tell ourselves

What we should all tell ourselves, particularly when we feel like utter shite.
What we should all tell ourselves, particularly when we've succeeded at something.
It was on my mate Charlie's ipod that time we were coming back from Scotland and he let me share his earphones.
I tend to listen to it when my back's against the ropes and I'm in need of hope
Girls, replace King for Queen, She for He. You're not stupid, you'll get it.

Invitation to the Allen Carr clinic

20th January
RE: You left a message on my blog!

You are a superstar John, thank you.
I stopped smoking on tuesday night. I didn't follow Carr's instructions for yesterday I staggered over to a woman asking her if I could buy a cigarette from her. She said she'd just finished her packet which was good. Last night (disgusting) went through my rubbish to find the tobacco I'd thrown away. I didn't smoke it but have left it in the cupboard pretending it belongs to someone else.
Today has been better, but I don't know what to do John. I'm not out of the woods regarding my personal life and should have really waited until February for my 'new start'.
Allen Carr would be turning in his grave..! I blame blogging. On that site me and myself separate into two separate people (though I can't tell one from the other, who is the stronger who is the weaker..) One part of me wants to carry on, the other's been saying 'you made the right decision' because I can't say I did.
Anyway, not sure what to do so might phone the clinic, see when I can do the session, then... was going to say start again...My nightmare, sorry to share it with you!
Thank you for those numbers. Thank you for putting me on the list.
I'll let you know how I get on!
Kind regards

The dawn of a new horizon

Tomorrow at the crow of the first cockeral
I'm taking a train
with Nico Teen
where I'll stub it out forever.

Am I sure of that?

I must be sure
I must be sure of that
Luck has given me a free ticket
(Keep repeating - you won't be on your own tomorrow)

You're rubbish!

Bought 'Old Virginia
Just to throw her away
John Player not so Special

Go and don't come back!

Out with the rubbish bin bags
because you're rubbish!
Past week given me nothing but
headaches, stomach aches and
making me feel sick
What kind of friend makes
you feel like that?

(Taken from Notebook - 18th January)

I don't smoke anymore!

I don't smoke anymore!
I look at the picture of the boy
on the cigarette packet
Skin as soft as yours
his eyes closed, his long lashes
looks just like you when you're sleeping
I'm not going to do it to you anymore baby
I'm not going to do it to myself either

Then I cut the picture out, careful not to
include the smoke
and I stick it here
to remind me
no I won't
I might just have it in the kitchen cupboard
because I don't have pictures of you sleeping
only laughing

I realised I was holding it
staring at it
not wanting to let it go
because I was afraid of losing him
Every parent's afraid of that

You won't lose him
Go and kiss the child

You won't smell anymore
You won't smell anymore!

Throw the box
It's not my son I'm throwing away
it's Nico Teen
A poisonous plant

(Taken from Notebook - Tuesday 18th January)

The gender of smoking

Two great pictures on each packet.
JPS - the child looks uncannily like mine
"Protect children: don't let them breathe your smoke"
Golden Virginia - sperm wriggling about
"Smoking damages the sperm and decreases fertility"

The 'male' packet telling the mother not to smoke
The 'female' packet telling the son not to when he's older

Lovely, as signs go

(Taken from Notebook - Tuesday 18th January)

Chugged back my 12g pack of 'Old Virgina yesterday (the 25g one mysteriously vanished the day I saw a horse drawn funeral cortege - scary sign I blocked from my mind - two days ago) Both those packs had 'my child' on them.
This morning, buying another 25g pack so I can happily chain today and take it along to the clinic tomorrow, the back of the pack says 'Choose Freedom'
Choose freedom
Choose freedom
I'm in no mood but I must

Read the signs
Yes stiggers, tomorrow ok?

Going outside

This is my last cigarette ever
Whether I like it or not
It tastes fucking revolting
burning my mouth
I was free of it all once
As free as a bird before cigs
put its chains around my feet
so I couldn't think I could cope with things
without it
but I can
and I will
I'm going to go outside
smoke the very last one
come back in
and feel relieved.
Happy can wait until the morning.

(Taken from Notebook - Tuesday 18th January)


Passing smokers in the street
Passing smokers outside the pub
That is me
staring at them
staring at their cigarettes
I will not miss it
I will not miss it

(Taken from Notebook - Tuesday 18th January)

Chain smoking

To: Head, Ugly, Foca

Dear (Head),

I'm sorry to email you but I do not know where to turn and I do not know what to do other than letting you know of a situation hugely detrimental to my son.

(My son) was in tears after school yesterday telling me that (his friend's) mother, (Ugly) had used her parents evening with (Teacher) to say (My son) had tipped a chair away from his friend.
"It was weeks ago mummy, it was a joke," he told me.
(Ugly) also took the opportunity of saying (my son) annoyed (his friend) and disturbed him from his work.
I took also took a story to (Teacher) but the difference between this mother and myself is that I mentioned no names, I singled out no child, fully aware that children can be children sometimes and play get out of hand.
(My son) was so upset about the detention he received that I immediately went to speak to (Teacher) who clarified the situation for me. However I am still angry.
(My son) was still hurt this morning, afraid of coming to school. "I don't know what else (Ugly's) done," he said. "She said more things, (Teacher) said they were going to keep an eye on me at breaktimes."
The day before yesterday (my son) was reprimanded for breaking up a fight between one of his friends and another boy. I was surprised when he told me but this morning everything is becoming crystal clear.
(Ugly) has a vendetta against my son. I cannot ask her why she did what she did because when I've tried to speak to her in the past she has either screamed at me, or owing to her height over me, looked left and right pretending she can't hear me.
She either wants to make sure (my son) has a miserable time at school or, more sinister, she wants to try and break up his friendships as she tried to do in Reception. It is testament to the children and the staff that she failed to do this.
(My son's) punishment was severe given it was meted out on another parent's hearsay. No staff witnessed (my son) pull the chair from his friend just as no staff witnessed (my son) being kicked in the penis in the playground last week. Two year six's saw the incident and dealt with it. For (my son) the incident is over and forgotten.
(His friend) doesn't tell tales on (my son) to (Teacher), nor does (my son) tell tales on his friends. These boys draw a line under what they do and move on. We adults could learn a thing or two about that.
I am drawing a line. I do not wish you to take any action on (Ugly). I am merely making you aware of her vindictive streak towards my child.
She once told me to take (my son) out of the school because he was 'a liar'. I will not hesitate to move him if I have to but it would be a great shame for I fought hard to keep him there because he loves it so much.
I've cc'c (Ugly) because she needs to be made aware of the consequences of her actions. (My son) is mischievous sometimes, like most children, even her own.
He doesn't have a malicious bone in his body.
(Ugly), you owe (my son) an apology though I will not force you to do it.
(Head) if you wish to talk to me about this email you can but I've said what I have to say and I've no more to add. I hope I never have to email you again on such a subject.
Kind regards
Sue de Nim

I am shaking. Furious last night; one fag after another in chains. A meeting at school this morning where I felt I had no choice but to deal with her there, infront of everyone, but thank God (and I was wearing my 'Mary is my Homegirl t-shirt, a gift from a friend a decade ago) she wasn't there.
Still fuming when I came out of the meeting though, guy in coffee shop told me to email head.
I'm still fuming, in chains naturally.
Fucking supposed to be giving up fags tomorrow. I so don't want to. How am I going to flipping cope without them?
I must remember that non-smokers also go through shit like this
If you're a non smoker who has gone through shit like this who happens to be reading this post, please comment so I know I'm not fucking alone and that next week I can deal with any feckiing fall out.
No regrets, none, sending this email.
My son my sun I could scream

I may have to take a break from blogging, give me time to withdraw - from fags that is, not from life.

(You'll have to go to the beginning of the 'school' label if you want history. The post is entitled 'Playground Bullies)

Thursday, 27 January 2011


Nico Teen and Al Cohol
Must stop the former ASAP
Control the latter like I did last night
In the future I must be kind to my body.
No more hurting it. No more hurting it with cigarettes.
Twenty five years of hurting it
Am I mad?
I have my son and I love him
I have the sky above me and I love that
Let the river run
Let my dreams awake me

(Taken from Notebook - Sunday 16th January)


If the worst thing happens
Are you going to think I want a cigarette?
Because I'll want to hurt myself
And lose your son?
No, I don't want that.
I'll have to be strong
You are strong
I'll have to be strong
So cry and cry and bash your fists against a wall.
Walk up to the Heath and kick kick kick a tree but don't light up again, think of (son) if you can't think of yourself and kick and thump the tree.
It can take your weight, it can take your pain,
you know that
The river will run
It will
And you will be ok

(Taken from Notebook - Tuesday 18th January)

Disobeying Carr

Allen Carr says when you extinguish your final cigarette say: "Yipee, I'm a non-smoker!"
By all means do. Absolutely by all means do. It's what I did after the first time I read him and it worked.
This time I'm going to do what he said to himself, it may be more effective for me:

"That was the last cigarette you smoked whether you like it or not."

(Taken from Notebook - Tuesday 18th January - You may get some idea of the reproach I felt two days later having said just that to myself, then buckled... Ne'er mind! I will say it again on Saturday and mean it goddammit!!)

Support from a friend

"I'm stopping smoking," I told PHD mum, who's single like me, as we walked back from the school run.
"Are you? Oh good! It's difficult but you can do it!"
"I'm using Allen Carr," I laughed, opening up my bag and showing her my copy.
"Yeah, I used him too. I still smoke sometimes at parties but you know, you go through the withdrawal again but it's only a few days and not that bad, not really."
"Just one drag! I can't do that. Like I could say to you right now, hwat this this cigarette being my first today 'it's fucking lovely!' cos it is, fucking lovely! But I know now that I'm just feeding my addiction, that's what's so fucking lovely..."
"Mmm, yes it is, I'm really tempted right now!"
"Oh sorry. I finished the book ages ago, I just keep it with me to remind me that I have to stop."
"Replace it with something, you'll want to replace it with something but replace it with something good, like yoga or something."
"Yeah, I've already thought of that. Self defence! You should come!"

We chatted some more then parted ways.

Half an hour later I was chucking my fourth or fifth fag down me outside the jobcentre. Deep breaths before the dreaded appointment...
But it was the consultant there, Sarah, who surprised me. At the end of the consultation, having told her about my mental health problems, I showed her my Easyway book because she'd been so lovely to me.

"Oh," she said. "It's not easy is it, it's really difficult."
"Are you an ex-smoker?" I asked, all hopeful.
"No but I've met loads of people, I've got friends. You never know what's going on in someone's day that they'll just pick one up and light it."
"Yeah, you're so right!"
"I don't judge people," she continued. "I've seen too much. In this job I see so much."
"Yeah. I don't judge people either."

(Taken from Notebook - Tuesday 18th January)

"You do this to open your hearts"

The Master was back! You could tell the Master was back....
"He's working us hard today," I whispered to Mistress Dance. as up and down the hall we did our kicking and punching routines following the um, arduous run (Mistress Ha Ha ran back to join me so I wouldn't be last...)

Later we got on the mats to practice more defence techniques.. tripping up our assailant..Not so easy to co-ordinate the arms and legs, so a godsend we do it all slowly.

"You are doing this in order to get to know your bodies," said the Master at one point.
"To learn how to defend ourselves," I said.
"No, that's a by product. You are doing this for yourselves, your children, your brothers, uncles, sisters..You do this to open up your hearts. It's not easy, you go to dark places, you have to go through those dark places so that you can begin to open your hearts and let in some light."

You can imagine, I go to class for mental health reasons, I liked this very much.
"Maybe you've noticed," he continued, "if you've met people at the top of their field, be it martial arts, any sport, soldiers at the front line, they are kind people, they've been through tough experiences and they've come out the other end. This is not about fighting, this training is about getting to know yourself."

It was an incredible class despite my Nico Teen/Double Expresso breakfast that made me so dizzy. Power; you can sense your own power.

I deliberately had a cigarette when I came out, so I could tell myself the last time. Last time buddy! Mistress La Francaise wants to quit smoking too, I told her the method I was using.

We need more people. We have no funding for next term. To think, in 2004 when I first started going, SureStart funded it all including the creche. I was in a low place and I went because I missed kickboxing and this was free. It gives you confidence. Shy people should definitely do it!

It's a fiver now, cheap for what you get but not enough of us to cover the whole thing (only 4 of us today, we used to be more than a dozen) so....
There's talk of inviting men! Two male road sweepers asked me if it was 'women only' on the run. "Yes!" I panted to their dismay!

"There's definitely a market," I laughed later. "Unemployed guys depressed at being so,"
"Guys who work shifts," added Mistress Dance. All very positive stuff!

This morning when I couldn't find my kit, I thought it a good excuse not to go. So glad I made myself!

There's nought so good as opening up your heart!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Out with the old and in with the new! - the waning Moon

"The waning Moon is a great time to embrace the 'out with the old and in with the new' ethos, so get rid of anything that is hindering your progress and yes, this includes friends or partners who are no longer doing anything for you. Now is the time to have a good clearout both practically and emotionally so you can move on and achieve all those New Year's resolutions." (Soul and Spirit - January)

Oops, the waning Moon was on the 24th, Monday, I thought it was today...share the knowledge with all those feeling a bit fragile.

Oh well...!

Wanted to say 'you can embrace the 'out with old, in with the new ' over the space of a few days can't you?!
You can spread it out over a week instead of clearing that internal clutter all in one day?

I'm going to label this post over everything; my aching heart, my drug addiction, my housing woes, my hopes for tomorrow.

Breathe... in through the nose, out through the mouth, Saturday is D Day, Dumping Day, the day you'll part company with one old 'friend'!

Dumping Nico Teen - a song

Keep me hanging on....
Set me free why don't you babe
Get out my life why don't you babe
Cos I don't really love you
You just keep me hangin' on

(thrash drums)

Set me free why don't you babe
Get out my life why don't you babe ooooooh
Cos I don't really need you
You just keep me hanging on

Why do you keep coming around and playing with my heart
Why don't you get out of my life
And let me make a brand new start
Let me get over you
The way you couldn't care about me ye-eah

Set me free why don't you babe
Get out my life why don't you babe
Cos I don't really love you
You just keep me hangin' on

No I don't really need you
You just keep me
hanging on

You say although we'll break up
You still want to be friends
But how can you still be a friend
When seeing you only breaks my will agaaaaaaaaaain
(and there's something I can do about it!)

Woh oh woh oh woh oh....thrash dem drums... Woh oh woh oh woh oh yeah!

Get out get out of my life
and let me sleep at night
Cos I don't really love you
You just keep me hanging on

You make out you still care for me
but my heart and soul needs to be free
and now that I can taste my freedom
you want to still hold on to me
you just want me for yourself
but let me find something e-else

Set me free why don't you babe
Get out my life why don't you babe
Cos I don't really love you
You just keep me hanging on

Why don't you be human about it
and set me free
Now you don't care a thing about me
You're just using me
I'm just using you
Cos I don't really love you
You just keep me
hanging on

(Kim Wilde featuring Stigmum)

Desperation to dump Nico Teen

I can't wait to do this
I can't wait to stop
Obsessively thinking about it now for over a week
I have to do it
Don't wait until tomorrow
because then you'll wait until the day after
and the day after that
and the day after that
I'm driving myself insane
I can't wait to do this

(Taken from Notebook - Tuesday 18th January)

Erm, we're now the 26th
Erm, I don't feel like that any more
Time for a fag break

Light over dark thoughts

I am going to live a long time
I am going to live a long and healthy life

(Taken from Notebook - Tuesday 18th January)

Life with cigarettes

Where's my sense of humour gone?
Where my belief that we all die in the end so what does it fucking matter?

If a similar thought comes to you when you're stopping or you've stopped
Let it pass
Do not contemplate it
Think you're going to save a shed load of money!
You never have to pass over your cash for fags anymore!
Think what you like but don't dwell
I've said you can write yourself into black holes...
I want to live!!
What's so scary about that?
Fuck loads, I know..
Forget I said anything
I want to live!

(Taken from Notebook - Tuesday 18th January)

Stopping smoking is terrifying

As the dawn breaks over my healing mind I'm sitting here with Nico Teen thinking
What the fuck have I done to myself?
I want to live.
I want to live!

I also know I can block it from that mind of mine.
I can throw away Carr's book.
I can throw poison on my guilt.

(Taken from Notebook - 18th January)

Slow suicide

I'm imagining a conversation with Allen Carr. It's the 1990's, I haven't experienced pregnancy yet. I'm in a pub with friends. It's my round, I go up to the bar holding Nico Teen aloft.

"Why do you smoke?" says a man standing there.
"Slow suicide!" I laugh, eyes bright.
"If you know that why do you do it?"
"Because I enjoy it!"

I can't imagine the rest having never met the man, but having read his non-lecturing style.
Had he said: "Have you thought of giving up?" I'd've said "No!"

Never has the fear of living and the desire to do so collided so spectacularly in my mind.
The suicidal thoughts that came with each eviction were out of my control.
In my late teens and twenties I wanted to die.
Not all the time but I certainly didn't care about my life.
My life.
My life
Oh my son my life

(From Notebook - Tuesday 18th January)

"Can I have a cigarette?"

A rather ravaged looking woman passes me while I'm sitting outside a cafe smoking prior to my job centre appointment.

"Sorry mate, can I have a cigarette?"

I'm about to reach into my bag for my freshly bought pack of JPS and the words I wrote - "die, die!" pop into my head,

I can't do it. Me who's always handing over my tobacco to whoever needs it, can't do it.

"Sorry," I say showing her the empty contents of the pack just devoured.
"S'alright mate!" She staggers off.

Relief. Relief that I'm not subconsciously saying 'die, die! Relief that pretty soon I'll never have to offer anyone a cigarette. Relief that if I'm asked I can say: Sorry, I don't smoke.

Look forward to stopping when you feel the doubt, look forward to it!

(Taken from Notebook - Tuesday 18th January)

The very next day I was this woman. I was outside the sexual health clinic lost, lost without my drug.
There'd been three men smoking who I'd resisted asking but five minutes later saw a woman puffing away outside the newsagent.
"Sorry," she said. "That was my last one!"
So not true but "It's alright, I stopped yesterday ha ha. Thank you, thank you!"

Thinking about a cigarette

It kind of fills your mouth with an unpleasant burning sensation particularly at the back of your palate while you simultaneously choke a little.

I never feel that when I don't think about it.

(From Notebook - Tuesday 18th January)

Don't think you're any better 'Old Virginia. I draw on you and feel nothing but I know when I roll you better you are fully capable of scratching the back of my throat and burning my tongue.

I'll do well to remember that at some unknown point in the future when I'm gasping for you.

Shall we go out for a little quickie now? Take the Expresso?
Final flings an' all....!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

"You've got a story there"

Long time no see the manager of the coffee shop I frequent now and then. Good to see him this morning!

He asked me the latest on my housing so I told him.

"You've got a story there," he said. "Maybe you should go the other way you know, take it to the papers."
"Funny you should say that. Only the other day I texted a friend and said I was thinking of going to the Mirror but not without his advice first, then Sunday they published an explosive story about a single mother and a peer and mine would just, well, pale compared to that. Housing is just not as interesting as sex!" (Don't take it personally Clegg, but I do not so much as dream of shagging you, nor you me I'd wager...)
"Well you should definitely write about it."
"I did. It had no effect."
"Write a book, I'm sure people would be interested." (ha ha 10 followers!)
"A book?! I don't have the talent for that!"
"Get a ghostwriter then."
"That's what my dad said."

"Tawdry chapters" in a single mother's life

You can count on The Mail, you really can, to.. what's the word...what's the word..."sully"? Oh never mind, sully will have to do. You can count on The Mail to sully a story.

Just as I guessed, yesterday it took up the single mother and peer story. A (female) reporter added an article to the reconstructed Sunday Mirror one, about the single mother's past.

What got me was that it was a good article. Our campaigner of the story has a really interesting past, rich with experience.

So yes, a good article, but let down by its very last line: "Whatever her reasons for selling the story of their ensuing affair, it’s just another rather tawdry chapter in a life that once brimmed with promise." (

Tawdry? She, "tawdry" chapters? What about him?

Thanks to Google I see that it's just got worse. A male reporter this time, calls her a 'madwoman from the Green Party", a "dopey bird".
Lord Strathclyde the cheat? "He's a vintage chateau-bottled kind of chap."

He's met one and not the other, no surprise there.

Both he and a guy yesterday questioned why she waited seven years to sell her story.
Well I suspect she's not a kiss and tell kind of girl and a very damaging political policy in regards to the Child Support Agency, which she's been campaigning about for years, is on the verge of being legislated.

Never the issues is it? I do recall the slatings I got from people I didn't know who didn't know me when I wrote my Guardian article. They totally overlooked the point I was making.

What can you do ey, what can you do? How stigmatised that CSA campaigning stigmum...totally unsurprising.

I'll lay to rest this story for myself by saying the Mirror reported yesterday that David Cameron was standing by Lord Strathclyde, his aides insisting it's a "private matter" and the peer "would keep his position as Tory Leader of the Lords."

David family values, broken Britain, sanctity of marriage, tax breaks for couples, moral fibre of our country Cameron standing by his Tory adulterer.

The Conservatives truly are the Do As We Say Don't Do As We Do Party.

Balls to it all I say, finally the Condems have got some opposition...

The danger with Al Cohol

Quite stunning Al Cohol's ability to drown out your better instinct. The knowledge of its propensity to make one think 'sod it' has been quite sobering in recent times.

Instinct on your right shoulder: "Stop now, you don't need any more."
Al Cohol on your left: "Oh go on, you know you want to!"

I don't drink very often, I drink mostly when I have company. Few of my girlfriends can pack it away like I can. I'm no match for some of my male friends. Must be owing to my size.

I'm abandoning Nico Teen; I can see myself rushing into Al Cohol's embrace as I try to fill the void left behind.

What is it about fear which has it reaching out for everything that's no good for you? Hopelessness is just as bad.

I mention this only because I'm on the waiting list for therapy. I know what my problem is.
I know that I'm not alone, though I'm not suggesting you are like me.
I mention this also because the single mother and the peer story got me thinking. In any sex story, be it consensual, be it rape, reporters will always ask: "Was alcohol involved?"
Judgment sharpening its claws..

I'm not going to stop drinking, I enjoy it.
I must stop bingeing though, the hangovers...not what they were two decades ago.
I'm going to become European about it!
A little everyday instead of alot all in one go every now and then!

Nico Teen and Sex

A long time ago, crikey, the last millenium, a friend said to me:
"Do you smoke after sex?"
"Yeah! Do you?!"
"I've never noticed!"
"Oh ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!"

The joke always fell flat when I tried it.
"Do you smoke after sex?!"
"Damn, there's a joke..."

Oh Jo, I know I said "No, no, NO!" as your eyebrow raised higher and higher when I told you Luke was coming to stay. "That's three no's," you said.

Annie and Issy, I know I told you that there'd be no way! It's over! It is!

It was funny the following morning, you know, our sunday communion (ho ho). "Where? Where?!" we laughed like a couple of teenagers, my son on his computer, oblivious to it all, thank goodness.

Afterwards, with Nico Teen, out on the balcony, he was leaving in a couple of hours.

"When you next visit," I said, stalling. "When you next visit or I visit you, we've got to be the friends we were when you arrived yesterday."
"Yeah, we'll always be friends, you know that."
"I don't think.." I saw our future there, played out before me.. "No, I can't, I can't do this, it wouldn't be fair on myself."
"No," he replied. "It wouldn't be fair on you. It wouldn't be fair on me either. We've been here before."

A big draw on Nico Teen, the two of us. Hit me where I'm hurting, hit me hit me hit meeeeeee.

He's not been in touch nor me with him. It means he's feeling the way I do.
Time, distance, silence - great healers.

But you've got a purpose haven't you stiggers. You've always got a purpose....

Carr makes a small reference to post coital smoking triggers in his book. Didn't think I could comment, but I can!

A cigarette isn't always as good as the sex that precedes it!

The knowledge that comes with awareness ey....

C'mon Nico Teen, grateful I've got you for a few more days.

What's to miss ey, what's to miss...

Draw a line, move on, don't look back....

Monday, 24 January 2011

The Tory Peer and the Single Mother

Brave, brave woman!

In yesterday's Sunday Mirror, a single mother lifted the lid on her seven year on-off affair with the married Leader of the House of Lords because time and time again she's appealed to him for help, on behalf of countless mothers, that the CSA be amended.
The article in the Mirror a few weekends ago saying we'd be charged to use the service enraged her like it did me. It prompted her to speak and not just for herself.

Brilliant. Brilliant.

We, lone parents, have the Tory line shoved down our throats. "Family values," "the sanctity of marriage," "Tax breaks for married couples." Their favourite: "Broken Britain"
Lord Strathclyde himself quoted as saying, when in opposition to the Labour Party: "Where in this programme is the desperately needed action to bind families and rebuild our broken society?"
The bare faced hypocrisy of the man. The bare faced hypocrisy of the whole party.
It really is, the "Do as we say don't do as we do" party

This multi millionaire complained to her about his ministerial salary, saying it was "just" £134,000 a year.
Why don't you volunteer? Article about the closure of libraries in yesterday's paper too, the Tories saying 'volunteers' can keep our libraries going.
An article about how as part of Cameron's NHS reforms, hospitals are axing free anti-natal classes to save money. Alright for them, Mrs C no doubt went private.

I thought of seeing if the story was in another paper yesterday but quickly realised, no! No, it's the most amazing scoop!

This single mother would'n't have done this soley for the money, maybe not for the money at all but I hope you paid her well!

Oh to have her courage! To out a peer and shame a Party! This story I found interesting!

Here's the link if you missed it (which will be reproduced in a good many other papers this morning I should imagine. I wish her the very best of luck!)

The most beautiful, beautiful child in the world

"(My son), I'm so sorry I smoke."
"It's alright mamma, it's not your fault."

I've never said that to him, I've always taken full responsibility for my addiction.
My son my sun my son
I love you so flipping much

(Taken from Notebook - 18th January)

"You're in the premier league mamma!"

My son said to me the other day:
"Mamma, you're in the premier league because you're the best mum in the world!"
"Ooh thank you baby!"
"You know what the premier league is?"
"It's the best football league."
"Oh ok! Cool!"
"The very very best is the championship league - like Arsenal and Barcelona."
"Oh right, ok."
"You're not in the championship league though."
"Oh? Why not?"
"Because you don't think you're the best."

(Taken from Notebook - 18th January)


"What's this mamma?" My son says sternley, picking up the JPS I forgot to put in the cupboard last night.
"Mamma. These are really bad for you. They're the worst because they've got lots of chemicals in them."
"Yes, I know but... but look!" I take out my copy of Easyway to Stop Smoking from my bag. "I'm going to stop!"
"What does that book say?"
"It tells me how to stop!"
"They're all bad mamma. The chemical ones and the ones you smoke. STOP IT."

Then he coughs - a really phlegmy one - a coincidence - just not a very pleasant one.

(Taken from Notebook - 18th January)


Do not be afraid
Do not be afraid of smoking a few more days. If you hadn't picked up the book, you'd be smoking a few more years
Do not be afraid for your health
You think you've made it worse stopping?
It would be the same worse if you hadn't.
Do not be afraid that you won't cope without it.
You're lucky, you remember being 12, 13, 14 and how peer pressure had no effect on you.
You remember giving up for a year and coping - with the pressures of mediation with the Foca, you breathed oxygen through your first year masters exams, parents gossiping about you in the playground, walking out of therapy and just jumping on your bike.
It was just being with smokers and thinking one cheeky little drag would be harmless.
You've learnt that lesson.
Carr is there all the way to remind you, forever if you need him but you won't need him forever, just like you don't need Nico Teen.
Bad tasting, money robbing Nico Teen.
Do not be afraid of guilt
It wasn't your fault you started, Carr's told you so, over and over again.
It's a trap.
You got caught in it.
Now you're getting out.

(Taken from Notebook - 17th January)

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Spending time with Stigmum - a song

You do something to meeeee
For my heart is so true
And I live just for yoooooou!
Yes, you dooo something to meeeeee
Tha-at nobody else
Tha-at nobody else
Tha-at nobody else can do

You do something to meeeeeee
For my heart is so true
And I live just for yooooou!
Yes, you do something to meeeeeee
Tha-at nobody else tha-at nobody else tha-at nobody else can do

Everything you say, everything you do,
Makes me want to fall, fall in love, fall in love with yoooooou

You do something to meeeeeee
For my heart is so true
And I live just for you!
Yes, you do something to meeeeee
Tha-at nobody else
Tha-at nobody else
Tha-at nobody else can do

Everything you say, everything you do,
Makes me want to fall, fall in love, fall in love with yoooooooooou
You do something to meeeeeeeeeee
That nobody else
That nobody else
That nobody else can do
Can dooooooooooooooooooo

(Kinks featuring me, stiggers is the one who's (quite) good at messing songs up!)

Nico Teen and Expresso coffee

What a combination!

So good! So gooooooooooooood!

Popped out half an hour ago to get some more LavAzza Qualita Rossa for I'd run out!
Bought a medium pack of 'Old Virginia while I was there too! One more week! One more week stigs!
A small pack lasts me three days if I don't drink (same price as a pack of 10 Marlboro Red which lasts a day if that), a medium pack of baccy lasts me longer! One more week?!

Oh you're so bad 'Old Virginia! You don't give me the headaches and pukey feelings that ready rolled do and you're cheaper. You're still not good for me though are you??

One more week! This time next week I'll be huddled outside with a bunch of smoking strangers, puffing away, cos that's the easyway method!

Huddled outside, making light of our addiction, possibly saying 'fuck it's cold!' or 'long time coming this break!' Ah, just like the old times!

I wonder if I'll make any friends?! Exchange any emails?! Probably not! Who cares!!!

We're all there to stop!

Allen Carr's already taken me through the psychology, so one more week, one more week then it's all over stiggers, can you believe it?!

The Kinks are on the stereo singing away
Where are all the good times gone?

Where are all the good times gone stiggers?
They're on the way!

Luke's coming to stay!!!

I can't tell you how great it feels to finally be able to put people up!!!

I have space now! There is somewhere people can sleep if they want or need!

Luke's coming over from Barcelona. His step dad's selling his car and driving here to flog it, so my old shit school friend said he'd keep him company.

"You're welcome to stay over!" I'd written on facebook.

The girl he was going to stay with has had to go to Austria on a modelling assignment so he's taken up my offer. I've not seen him for a year and a half!

He thought he'd be arriving at 4 but with boats and so on it won't be until later.
My friend Fletch texted yesterday suggesting a wet lunch but I haven't heard back nor have I texted him this morning.
I thought I'd have company while my son was at his football game but it's just you and me stiggers, just you and me (yes, ok and you Nicoteen!)

I mustn't think about housing, mustn't mustn't. Yesterday really knocked me for six. Seven even. Eight, nine, ten.
If I think about it, think about all the uncertainty, it'll destroy me, it'll bring me back to the brink of those suicidal thoughts I got at the last eviction.

I don't want to destroy Myself, do I stiggers?

No way baby, let's go! We wanna be free! We wanna be free to do what we wanna do! (Primal Scream)

A room of one's own...

It's amazing, it's so amazing having my own room, my son having his own room. It's so amazing having our own rooms and a living room!

I can entertain in the living room, my friends, the social worker, housing officer, housing support worker (just once since I've been here).

I can entertain in the living room and it's not my bedroom, it's not my space, all mine, it's everyone's.

My bedroom is my sanctuary. No tv in there, no stereo, it's so quiet, so peaceful, a sanctuary only my son ever disturbs and I love him so much he's welcome there.

A room of one's own. A room separate from the living room. A space away from the movements of my daily life. Something so many people take for granted.

I don't. Never, ever. I can't even envy married people! I have my little flat mate!

I love it and know just how lucky I am.

That which I had no time to think about....

Flat below me....
... Is one bedroom but a really nice flat with garden, kitchen you can sit in. There are viewings there I think next Friday - may be worth a look ifyou can bear to put your mind in that kind of space again. Love (PHD mum)

Ah (PHD mum), bless you knowing I still want a permanent, cheap home. A one bed is not my ideal, a kitchen i can sit in and a garden is. Me and (my son) love having our own bedroooms, crikey, especially me. Finally screwed together my DIY bookcase a couple of days and now my room's becoming a real little haven I can just go into, look at my books, lie on my bed and read. The living room might have to become my bedroom if i took the one from you so although I'm unlikely to take it, I may come and have a look anyway. The rent will not be £345 a week and do you have any idea how long and secure the tenancy would be anyway?I've been chilling today, in my living room with a paper, in my bedroom with a book. Not thinking about housing, the unavoidable issue. Yesterday for example I asked the social worker what would happen to me and (my son) if the government sets the cap on two bedrooms at £290 a week. He couldn't answer of course....Have a fab weekend and see you very soon. You're welcome to come over here for a cup of tea any time you like!!!Love Sue xxxxxx

Even if I'd had time to think about it, with social worker and housing officer visit yesterday, I wouldn't have been able to go. Grateful really, when I first got her email, the garden really tugged my heart strings, but a bedroom... I so love having a bedroom...

My son's gone to watch Arsenal play!!!

My son's just been picked up by his little friend (of playground incident of yonder post) to go watch Arsenal play Sunderland!

I am so happy for him!!!

We were bouncing against the walls earlier, such was our dual excitement! Just before Christmas he was invited to go by same friend but it was the day it snowed and snowed and would not stop snowing, until 2pm.

He's going to go inside the Emirates stadium!! Oh my joy!! He did a sponsored walk around it with his Beaver's troupe last year, round and round and round it, so gutted not to go inside.

Go Gunners, GO!!

Have a wicked time my son! Can't wait for you to come home and say: "It was sick man! It was really sick!!"

Kiddie speak, honestly, I love it sometimes!

(Feck, how to label this?! Life of a parasite? He's not a parasite! Nor am I but that's not the point. Football! New label! Possibly the only post I'll ever write under it because I'm more a rugby girl myself!)

Friday, 21 January 2011

"It's true, you bare the brunt of it"

Fuck I'm glad I'm still smoking. No, no, maybe I'm glad I'm still blogging. Either way, if I had nothing, I would not be able to handle the housing officer's visit just now.

"This flat is £345 a week," I said to him (nice guy by the way). "In April benefit cuts are going to be introduced, with 2 bedroom flat allocations dropping to £290 a week. What is going to happen to me and my son?"

"Well, we don't know at the moment, obviously we are going to have to wait and see, talk to property owners to see if they'll drop the rent. You haven't had a possession notice have you?"

"No," I said, then "well yes, I got a 'notice requiring possession' the day I moved in. "Routine"."
"It's not the same."
"Yeah I know, can't think about that but what is annoying me is that the property owners here probably DO set their rent at £290 but the housing association adds £40 or £50 on top of that in admin fees. Neither they or the property owners will suffer with these cuts, no, the ones to suffer will be me and my son. We've just moved in for christ's sake, just got over a long flipping battle of eviction, WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO US?"

"It's true, you bare the brunt of it. 90% of (the housing association) stock is privately owned properties, alot of people are going to be affected by this."

"Argh, but it makes me so angry. The property owner sets his or her rent and then the housing association, the 'charity' creams a profit off the top. We, we, we, me and my son are the ones who get hurt."

Fuck I was mad. Calm psychotic fury of yesteryear (cos we are in January after all, we only moved in two months ago)

I told him I wanted to talk to the Housing Association manager AND the property owner about this. Appeal to their flipping conscience. Me and my son, a fourth fucking eviction, I can't flipping handle it, as well you might understand if you are one of the old followers who occasionally commented the last time.

Well, I'm back at where I was aren't I?

I've got to take five thousand million deep breaths and work out just what I have to do about all this.

I've got until April.

For fucks sake, April. It's round the fecking corner.

Thank you Stigmum, for allowing me to release this shit.

Come on Nico Teen. I know I shouldn't. It's not myself I should be hurting right now, but sod it.

Thank God I've got a nice friend filled weekend with my son coming up.

So wish I didn't have a hangover as well, it's making me feel weak and utterly powerless.

"I am doing the best I can for my son..."

Now that I'm pretty much happily ensconced in my new two bedroom flat, it would be nice to get the social services off my case (I only ever wanted them with help with housing after all and that didn't work..)

Anyway, I hope I haven't landed myself deeper in their books by being honest about the week my son's had.

Briefly, I'll try and be brief...

Yesterday he came home saying that three of his best friends "kicked" him "in the willy". It was at playtime and his friends only stopped laughing at him writhing in pain on the ground when two year six's came over and told them to stop.

His friends apologised after that, my son told me and I asked him what he'd said to that.

"I wanted to forget about it mummy, so I said 'it's alright'."

"That's good, but next time, if there is a next time, there will not be a next time, say "It's alright. DON'T DO IT AGAIN. Next time, if there is a next time, there will not be a next time, tell a teacher, tell

(Housing Association rang the door bell at this point, an hour early so I saved the draft to carry on with it. Sorry, it might have been one of the more interesting posts for some of the mummy bloggers who sometimes read this but I've got to go outside and rage.

"I'm doing the best I can for my son," is what I tried to say to the social worker in my defence. My defence.. fuck
The word that was going to follow "tell" was "me"

Games that get out of hand, I told the social worker, games that get out of hand, that's all


Reproach and Salvation

I was outside the newsagent about to buy filter tips when Allen Carr, the organisation, rang me back following my message yesterday (and not a moment too soon, I can tell you...screaming, not at my son, though in his presence, when I upended the sugar bowl trying to find last night's stash in the cupboard, to take with me to school..)

At that moment, walking to the shop, I was feeling pretty crap; angry that I started smoking again last night. Stupid. STUPID. What if the clinic had no space for me until next month or the month after - was I going to keep smoking until then???? I felt stupid I tell you.

Thank you Joan!
Thank you thank you thank you Joan!
They have space free on the 29th January!
The 29th!!
29!! I can't tell you how special that number is to me!
One more week with this poison, then NO MORE!

Rather than bore you with the reproach that I will undoubtedly feel, I shall instead transpose all that that I wrote in my notebook this week. This way you may somehow understand it. If you are a smoker, you may identify with it. If you've never smoked but have friends or a partner that does, you may understand that our addiction is not at all as lovely as we sometimes make it out to be.

There is a small part of me that still 'loves' Nico Teen (but I'm only saying that now because I hear it calling me and like its slave, I must now go and respond to it's call)

(Transcribed from my notebook because social worker is coming round and I don't want to blog, looking over my shoulder, waiting for the buzzer to ring. Housing officer coming round later - it shouldn't have been the week to stop really but oh well...)

Ha ha, back to blog, can I quickly ask you a huge favour? Could you please sign this petition to have the Easyway method available on the NHS? If it wasn't for the kind man who offered me a free session on this blog, I never would have been able to afford the £220 fee. I am very lucky. Maybe your friends, your partner, could never afford the £220 fee either. It would work out cheaper to the taxpayer than the current Nicoteen Replacement Therapy in the long run.

Thank you!


Yesterday, as you might read in the following post, was a good day (apart from bingeing on two doughnuts and two bags of crisps in the space of 15 minutes during a nicoteen withdrawal - totally against the rules of the book...)

It was my second day without Nico Teen.
My first day without it was pretty horrible, mostly because I felt I'd rushed into stopping, but anyway, I'm sure I'll mention that in the future.

Late yesterday afternoon I got an email from my contact at Allen Carr inviting me to one of the Stop Smoking sessions. He said if I was still smoking, I should carry on doing it.
Earlier this week you see I emailed him saying I really wanted to attend but might have stopped smoking by then! Would it be ok to attend anyway to reinforce the very real need to stop forever?
His email yesterday, a gift from heaven, from Allen Carr himself (heh heh)

Following that email, I phoned the centre, left a message on the answer machine then later, I don't know, I dunno, I DO NOT KNOW, I rolled up 'Old Virginia, cracked open one of the (big) beers Annie had brought round the other night, and well, had myself a little party.
Me and Myself, unravelling all the positive exercise of that morning....
Judging by the number of filter tips I had left this morning, I smoked 12 cigarettes (surely not stiggers, surely not...)

Reproach has made its presence felt within me.
I'm going to feel this for a week.
Every day, every cigarette.
I'm going to feel it in my teeth and gums and I'm going to feel it in my neck, and of course, these two parts of my body are connected to my mind.
Reproach, and I guess with its little mate Guilt, I can feel it now, is going to drive me up the fecking wall.
In this case, perhaps it is necessary. It is this that will stamp out Nico Teen for good.
I can only think hu-fecking-raaaaaaaaaaaah!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Exercise Replacement Therapy

The Master wasn't at Boot Camp today so we had another guy come in and train us.
I'd been expecting to "beat myself up," or "myself beat me up" after yesterday's consultation but not in two hours of cardio and circuit training, did I want to do that.
On the contrary, I kept telling myself to breathe in power, breathe in strength. Feel my power, feel my strength.
It was good, it was really good.

Opening wounds can be very painful but cathartic as the blood oozes out.

I cried alot yesterday afternoon, you see. Hiding in Coffee Republic, pretending to read a book, my head in my hands tears rolling, splashing, streams drip drip dripping onto the table, no nicoteen to stop my crying, just let my crying flow...

The time has come to heal, I'm thinking.

Married star, single mum gagging order

Feel compelled to tell you this little story given I've just been writing about branding and benefits.
A married TV star has won a gagging order 'barring a single mum from revealing they had phone sex." (The Sun)
The star and his wife, it says, feared the 11 month virtual relationship could "wreck their lives".
The mum "wanted to reveal details to protect her reputation after rumours on websites."

They met while the man had 'briefly separated from his wife' but carried on exchanging messages after the couple got back together.
According to the paper the mum is on 'disability benefit and had mental health needs'. Why do we need to know that about her?
Apparantly it was her who conducted the relationship with the guy, according to the judge.
It was her who was 'not only willing but enthusiastic'
It was her who "enjoyed sexually explicit and provocative exchanges with him and others on the internet"
It was her, all her, nothing to do with him at all.
We are told therefore, that she is some kind of Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction character (aren't we all though, aren't we all?) and must be gagged.

Meanwhile the famous star is shitting his proverbial pants enough to get a gagging order on her but no inuendo or insinuation is made about him at all. Is he scared they'll all come out the woodwork?

I read it while I was at the clinic yesterday so afterwards bought the Mirror to see how they'd written it up. The story wasn't in there. To the Sun's credit they did quote the single mum saying she meant no harm to the superstar, she wanted only to protect herself. She didn't think anyone should "crucify him" (in the same way the judge crucified her....)

It's not an interesting story, not the kind I'm particularly interested in but it simply demonstrates how facts can be manipulated, hidden or exposed, to benefit one person over another.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Positive self-identification

I used to be The Woman in the Tower
I am not now The Mad Woman in the Attic
I'm the Posh girl in the Mews
No I'm not
I'm not any of these people

Nothing brands you
The only thing that brands you is yourself
The people who brand you
Don't know who you are

Unique and no different to anyone else

January's Full Moon

Today is the full Moon

This month's full Moon is a little earlier than usual and begins on the 19th; it's a good time to put some of those plans you made at the beginning of the month into action. Arrange meetings, network, socialise and generally get yourself out and about from now up until the 26th when the moon goes back to a waning phase. The full Moon is a good time to start new relationships, too, so if you've had your eye on someone, now is the time to take a chance. (Soul & Spirit, January 2011, p13)

I did not foresee that the new relationship would be with me.
I have a consultation today with a psycho sexual consultant.
I am...... shitting it...for want of putting a finer word on it!
I feel like I'm going to this consultant to advocate for and with someone I do not know, and today is the first time I'm going to meet her as well.

"Hello Myself"

I'm afraid she might bite
but I've met her before
she's more likely to howl....

New Moons and Resolutions

On New Years Day I resolved to stop biting my nails. Out in my parent's garden with Nico Teen, I thought quite hard about what to do (owing largely to the volume of wine I'd sunk the night before, it was not an easy task)
Stopping smoking only crossed my mind because it didn't cross my mind and I ruled it out straight away. Not today, I thought. You'll fail. Besides, don't want to, I need it.
Then an idea popped into my head: "Why don't you go back to London a non-smoker?"
I thought this was quite novel!
My sister in law, who's never smoked, said I wasn't ready.
The idea kept popping into my head though, like a woodpecker chipping away in the forest of my mind.

Bro and sis in law left England on the morning of January 4th. My son and I came back to London in the afternoon.

It should be a day like any other day but according to my magazine it was a special day.

New Moon - January 4th
Although we begin the month with the tail end of the waning Moon, the new Moon comes into force on the 4th and is tghe time to make big life-changing choices; so what ever your dreams, start planning for them now. Get a notebook and write down everything you want and don't want in your life. Being the first new Moon of the New Year, it's time to dream big, because the bigger the your dreams are, the better chance you have of making them a reality. (Soul & Spirit January 2011, p.13)

I smoked a final cigarette over my son's head at the train station thinking what a good coincidence, the new Moon! By the next full Moon, I would do something about my borough's housing problem too!

The intentions were there, strong, forward looking, positive.

Today my nails remain picked and bitten, Nico Teen is still a huge part of my life, and the borough's housing problems remain untouched by me.

I couldn't have foreseen how the early days of the year would play out but it's a full Moon today so a perfect moment to get back on track.

No pressure
heh heh heh

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Note to Self

Allen Carr wrote about smoking when he'd stopped smoking a long time, after it became his life's work to help other people, like you infact.
You don't have to keep smoking in order to write about it but I'm beginning to worry that you are using blogging as a mechanism to carry on. Smoking that is, not writing. Writing you can carry on doing that.
You wrote a post 'Support from friends' in your notebook, start transferring all your thoughts to your notebook.
It's normal when you are stopping something you love or something you think you need to be completely obsessed with it. Remember when you let blogging go in November? That's when you started a new notebook.
Let the thoughts pass while you're stopping smoking, pass it on to paper, you can always transpose it on to here another time. Wouldn't it be nice to succeed at something you'll say you'll do, so many things you've started on here, so many ideas, like the postcard.... but all that can wait for its time too, if its time comes to pass, if its meant to pass.

Take a rest now, it's been a busy morning
Go outside and chugg a big gobful of Nico Teen.
Yes I know you don't fancy it right now
but it's the only way we're going to get the message through
that soon we won't fancy it at all.

I am a good person

I'm a good person
Say that to yourself
Right now, close your eyes, say it
I am a good person

"I have a beautiful soul," Louise told me to say that in 1997.
"Look at yourself in the mirror and say
"I have a beautiful soul"

I have a beautiful soul
I have a beautiful soul

Go on. Do it now.

I'll do it in a minute.

Branding oneself. Being branded.

"Nothing brands you," said the job centre consultant.
"The only thing that brands you is yourself."

How right she was, how little she knew

Single mother stigma
Benefits stigma
Housing stigma
Smoking stigma
Drinking stigma
Mental Health stigma

Stigmum - the brand
It's why I made it up
While half of society don't judge us, the other half think nothing of bashing us over and over
The Tory Government, one example- bish bash bosh brand.
I could be wrong, of course I could.

I have a purpose in branding myself - through Stigmum
but you - YOU - you who might be reading
Nothing brands you, you hear?
The only thing that brands you is yourself.
Don't brand yourself in negative ways

Though if you are a reader who never does any such thing, but assumes that a life on benefits is a life of petals, by means do read on. Do not think of this as me. When I write I think of people like me. Sometimes in the past I have felt that I carry their emotions because when I've spoken to them, they have felt like I have, men and women alike.
Like I've said before, like I'll no doubt say again
I could be anybody.

Disability Living Allowance

On learning about my recurring mental health problems she was toally shocked I've never applied for DLA, Disability Living Allowance.
"How long has it been going on?
"What? Now? When?"
"Your depression."
"Oh God, since 2004." (I didn't count the pre-natal darkness, or being with the Foca)
"And you've never applied for it? In all that time?"
"Well, no."
"Why not???"
"Well, I just thought if I had it, I'd think I had it because I'm a nutter and well, I don't want a piece of paper reminding me I'm a nutter. I don't want to think I'm mad."
"Well that's silly," she said (and as I write this I am inclined to agree with her, my reasons that is) "You should think about getting it now, especially while you're going through all of this (I told her I was seeing a therapist tomorrow). Why not, you're entitled to it and the extra bit of money might help. I can't believe that all these years....You worked before you had your baby, you're entitled like everyone else with medical needs. It'll stop when you go back to work."

You get nothing for going back to work - did she say that at some point? I do want to protect on here as well as inform...

"You mustn't brand yourself," she said, wrenching me back from my reverie.

Fuck me, I thought. "Brand yourself." "Brand" - that is a good word.

I wrote down what she said.

Barriers to work - housing benefit

"The government are going to cap rents, so the maximum for a 2 bedroom flat will be £290 a week. My rent is £345 a week, what am I going to do?"
"The changes are happening in April," said the job centre consultant. I don't know, you'll have to talk to your local councillor." Other than that, she was at a total loss of what to say or how to advise me.

Thousands of us, thousands will be screwed then, screwed right to a sticking place
Rent arrears

"Concentrate on getting better," she said. "Concentrate on your mental health"

Aaargh, the thought of work is too much, too flipping much.

How do you do it, single mother out there. Tell me, how do you fecking do it????

You can answer that if you want but you don't have to answer that - way too flipping complex:-/

Barriers to work - childcare

Cutting funds for children's services. My son's school might have to close its after school club.
"When I was doing my masters, I had to find a childminder just for one afternoon," I told the job centre consultant. "£8 an hour they charge."
"Oh I know and soon with the funding cuts they are going to have the monopoly and will be able to charge what they like."
"I got very jealous yesterday afternoon in the library," I carried on. "A father talking to a nanny, his child knew the children she was with - "Oh we have a nanny," he said. I shook my head - all that it means, all that it means.......
"Yes, it's very easy for some people," she empathised.
"Yes, some children aren't deprived of anything. Have someone to drop them off at school, take them to clubs..."

No I didn't say 'it isn't fair', I simply tailed off. It's just how it is isn't it, just how it is. Some people are very lucky.

Do they realise it I wonder....

Barriers to work - I'm a cheap deal me.....

If I earn £98 a week working part time I will be better off.
That's the news from Sarah, my job centre consultant.
"By these calculations," she said. "If you were to earn £98 a week, and you could earn more than that, seeing you were a journalist, but on £98 a week with working tax credit and child tax credits, you'd be £66 better off a week."
"And if I earn more?"
"Well, you'll have to pay more rent. Council tax is likely to go up too."
"It's not flipping worth it, is it?"
"No it might not be. It's very difficult. I know it's very, very difficult."
"There are barriers to you going to work," she continued. "Financial and also your accomodation. You have to sort out your health too. It'll do you no good going back right now if mentally you can't handle it. If you're not prepared for it, you might not last long. It's best you sort yourself out first."

Employers must be laughing their heads off thinking they only have to pay me £98 a week so my life isn't financially disadvantaged. Flipping hell...wouldn't you want to earn more than that for a job well done?

"In September," I said to her. "In September what do I do, what with this rent so high?"
"Talk to the council," she said. "Talk to your councillor and ask: "What do you propose I do if I go back to work and my rent is £345 a week."

"It shouldn't be the flipping the council I ask, it should be the Minister for Work and Pensions. Ooh! There's an idea..."

Breathe, breathe as I spin within the vicious circles

I've got until September...

Appointment at the job centre

I was so nervous. Would today be the day I'm pushed onto job seekers?
I had my doctor's note with me. Nice doc's signed me off for six weeks.
I didn't pull it out in the end, no need.

What a lovely woman, my consultant! Makes things a whole lot easier, and to be fair I've never had an unkind one, but she was just was just the best I've ever seen.

My records showed that I'm eligible for full time work.
"I'd actually like part-time work," I said.
"Yes, I think that would be better for you." First surprise of the day!!
"To be honest, I'm scared about going to work. My rent is £345 a week."
"What? Oh no. That's going to make it very difficult for you." (Thank you for understanding)
"I know and it's not even my fault. It's temporary accommodation again. I didn't cherry pick this flat. It's much better than the last place, but I didn't choose it and I certainly didn't choose the rent."

She took me through what I could gain in terms of working tax credits, child tax credits, job allowance when I return.

It didn't make me feel better I regret to say.

The good news is I don't have to move to jobseekers until September. I can breathe abit until at least then.

Best not to think about it for a while but she gave me numbers for when I do.

I had a fag when I came out, but consciously this time. I'm smoking alot alot on purpose, a little a little automatically.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Saved by Issy's phone call

My clear mind clouded yesterday evening.
When I stop smoking how will I hurt myself?
Phone rings. Issy! I ask her the same question.
She tells me she has a friend who does kick boxing.

Of course! Bazza's Boot Camp!
I already thought of that! How silly of me! I went two weeks ago, (where I beat up Nico Teen!) it was cancelled last thursday.

Ah the joy! For those like me who beat themselves up, self defence classes, martial arts, are the way to go!

Thanks Issy!

Down the line I will have to watch out for food - my ability to seek comfort, particularly when I am happy.

I'll put in good practice codes when I'm withdrawing from nicoteen, recognise cravings and learn to deal with them (with water helped me in the past, and also breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth)

To live is to learn
Pass it on...

Degrees of Self Hatred

You: I hate myself
Yourself: Do you hate me?
You: No
Yourself: Well, I am you
You: Not today you're not

You: I hate myself
Yourself: I hate myself
You/Yourself: Hate myself, hate myself.

I do not actually feel this way today, it is just a thought. It's how some people think.
They can't help it.
With help they can help it.

Last attempt at smoking!

I'd forgotten. My first attempt to stop smoking wasn't in 2006 after the church had evicted me and my son.
My first attempt was four years before when I discovered I was pregnant.
I lasted three weeks.
I will not fail my next attempt.
Even if I have to read Allen Carr for a third time.
This attempt is my last attempt.
Whatever happens, particularly with housing
This attempt is my last attempt
This attempt is my last attempt!
My last attempt!!!!!
I'm really looking forward to it!

One battle at a time.


I wanted to stop smoking today. I had one fag left in the packet yesterday, I felt excited that this morning it would be final one. Gosh, the feeling of extinguishing that cigarette for the very last time, chucking the packet in the bin knowing that I would never buy myself another one again.

I didn't sleep last night though, the first time in this flat. The first time I didn't use Nico Teen to get back to sleep. Would I have done if I'd had Virginia? If I'd had two ready rolled left would I have smoked one of them to help me back to the Land of Nod? Doubt it. They do taste revolting, and I don't know if it's the extra chemicals in them or what, but I've been getting headaches and feeling nauseous since I've been buying them (should make my withdrawal symptoms a breeze when I stop, knowing that!)

I bought another packet of JPS before hopping on the bus this morning. Put it in my bag next to my copy of Easyway To Stop smoking.

Desire and addiction sat side by side. Desire and addiction one in the same thing to the sufferer.

I didn't have a fag when I walked out of the sexual health clinic
I had a fag when I walked out the cafe afterwards.
I wasn't gasping for one
It was automatic. I only became aware after I'd lit it.

One battle at a time.

Do not think failure.

First Steps

I make my way over to the Margaret Pyke Centre off Tottenham Court Road. Was way too hungover on Friday. Today was the day.

"Hi. I'd like to book an appointment with a psychosexual councillor please."
"Have you been here before?"
"No, my doctor said she could refer me but, I dunno, when she said I could refer myself, I figured it would be quicker."
"You do know you won't see a councillor straight away, you'll have to see a consultant first."
"Yes, my doctor told me."
"How urgently do you need the appointment?"
"I have an appointment at 3.30 this afternoon if you want?"
"No, I have a child."
"How about wednesday at (the clock chime)?"
"Yeah, that should be ok. Thanks."
"Would you like me to write it down?"
"If you could, that would be great."

I slipped the piece of card in my Easyway to Stop Smoking book. Two things I must remember. Two things I must remember whilst simultaneously forgetting the causes that put them in my bag.

I walked out with a strong desire to cry. I walked to the nearest cafe and ordered a cup of tea.

It's worth remembering that once babies have taken their first step, pretty soon they're running up to you with open arms and a massive smile. Who's to say we adults can't do that?

I hope this post gives you the courage to help yourself too.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

"How To Stop Your Child Smoking"

When my dad found out I was smoking, all those years ago, he bought me a carton.
"Gee! Thanks dad!"
He meant well, with his reverse psychology, but it didn't work, I was hooked and didn't want to stop.
He started smoking when he was 11 and at 15 his dad bought him a packet and so he quit. Once he was allowed to do it, he couldn't see the point in carrying on, he'd said. He took it up again six years later. Stopped completely in his forties I think, maybe fifties, not sure.
A friend of mine I'd kept in touch with after I was sent away to school, her mum bought her fags too.
We had cool parents!!

Carr wrote a book, "How To Stop Your Child Smoking." I'm going to buy it.

My mother struggled with the Willpower Method. Succeeded but struggled.

When I've been really desperate, my parents have gone out and bought me a pack. I thank them for that. Cravings are horrible.You become obsessed. Mentally, physically, obsessed. It's not, erm, what I'd call one of the perks...

When I gave up using the Easyway method a few years ago, she saw me reading this book, the same one I have now.

"We never had that kind of help when I was giving up," she said.

She also said exactly the same thing about those Tiny Tearaway programmes on the telly. Parenting ey? Who'd do it?!

There's all kinds of help now, for anything, if you want it.

I want it.

Bus journey's in China

Allen Carr was reminding me, in his chapter on "Self -imposed Slavery" how sometimes smokers will go outside and huddle together.

"There is never just one packet. There are twenty packets being thrust about, and the conversation is always the same.
"Do you smoke?"
"Yes, but have one of mine."
"I will have one of yours later." "

It reminded me of bus journeys in China. You could smoke freely on the buses there. Maybe you still can, I haven't been back since then.

The minute these men (I'm thinking of one particular journey) saw me light up, they were proferring their packets to me. I was like "No, no, have one of mine!" And so it went on, for ten hours actually. At one point I had to say, no no, I've had enough! You can still have one of mine though!

As I'm slowly being brainwashed for good purpose, I remembered this, but with a different take on it.
Were these men offering these cigarettes thinking "Die! Die!"
Was I offering mine thinking: "No you Die! Please, go on you Die!"

Be prepared, when stopping the Easyway using the book, that alot of memories are going to surface. Alot of really brilliant memories. I know what I've been doing to myself, we smokers know but most of the time we don't think about it. We literally cannot contemplate the thought.

"It's amazing how the fear of the horrendous health risks attached to smoking are overshadowed by the fear of stopping," said Carr, looking back on his days as a smoker.

I am pretty sure that I am never going to offer anyone a cigarette ever again as long as I live.....

I can't now. I can't so I hope I don't...

"Where are you going???"

Chatting to Birthday Boy's friend at the pub last Friday night about our plans for the weekend.
He was going to take down his christmas tree.. oh we chuckled, then he asked me what I was up to.
"Tomorrow night I'm going out with Annie and a friend of our's Issy, don't know where then on Sunday, if it's not a late one, I'm going to go to church."
"Where are you going?" he said, standing back in surprise (as I guessed he would to be honest, maybe why I said it)
"Cos, well, I like the songs, but I might head to the Latin mass in Mayfair. The choir's really beautiful."
"So a concert for you then?"

A sizeable conversation ensued about religion. I told him when I found spritituality in my twenties, God for me became a word meaning the universe. I got into the habit of going back to church when I was putting my son through his holy communion. Birthday Boy's friend is a confirmed athiest but one who was strictly bought up like me. I like chatting with them. Well, with all sorts to be true.

So yeah, off I went to church this morning. Was late, bit rude I know but there we go. Amazing I made it at all.

Because it was in latin, they didn't sing one of my favourite hymns that was playing in my head this morning:

Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me bring your love.
Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord
Please help me kick that Nicoteeeeeeeeen

Oh Master grant that I may never seeeeeeeeeek

I haven't in mind to mess up the rest, the original lyrics are good though.

Why do I like going now?

In her book Angels in my hair, Lorna Bryne says she was told by angels that they are always to be found in churches. I find that very comforting. I took the opportunity to say a little prayer for Mr Carr, in thanks to his helping me.

I like the songs and music too!

Throughout the service Stiggers wouldn't stop whispering about all kinds of stuff in my ears so I couldn't tell you what the priest said in his sermon. Nor can I recall what she was rambling on about either so you're spared!


Saturday, 15 January 2011

The party's over!

I was invited to a party in a pub last night. A dad I know had hired out the top room for his half century celebrations. His band was going to be playing. I was going to pop my head in, say happy birthday, have a drink, go home.

My friend Annie called, we chatted for a while, quite a while! I suggested the party to her because I knew the music would be good.

When we got there it was finished! Other members of the band were playing to an empty room! We went downstairs to get a drink and there was birthday boy, fuming, because everyone had gone home early!

The pub allows children so when they play gigs, I can actually take my son. All the children got taken home, obviously much to this dad's rage who said other nights they stay up until midnight, so why not tonight??? I bought him a pint of ale. Happy birthday mate, you're still here!

It was a good night!

(There's a point in the next post where I really could have gone either way with what I continued to write, so I thought I'd write about this, it's not good to dwell and I always go away thinking of what I've just written! )

I am clear in my mind
I am clear in my mind

Baaad Mother

Yesterday evening I finished posting, put on some 60's music, walked into my bedroom, walked out again, had to sit down and started editing a post for stigmum.

Title: Sometimes I think I don't deserve my child

I was then going to issue an apology. Sorry. Then issue a warning. Don't read this, I just need to puke. I can't do it in a journal, I have to do it here.

Not about smoking, about something else. Something else that happened.

The more I thought about how I'd write it, the worse I felt. I was flailing.

The phone rang. It was Annie. She'd just had a couple of drinks with guys from work and didn't want to go home. Where was I?

At home. Do you want to come round? I've been invited to a party later if we fancy it.

She arrived some 20 minutes later and huuuuuuuuge hug! All the huuuuger as The Flowerpot Men sang Let's go to San Francisco, where the flowers grow, so very hiiiiiiiiiigh!

I puked on her. I had to, flip. Not physically obviously, but I've not seen her since before christmas, and if I couldn't contain my thoughts in a journal, I wouldn't have been able to contain an hour with her without talking about it.

She off loaded her stuff back on me, it was, flipping marvellous!

So sorry reader, I can't share my shit, even though I'm 'anonymous', even though value could be drawn from it somehow, in a few years for me, sooner for someone else perhaps. Even so, I felt like a shit mother, a shit person, I felt I didn't deserve my child.

I felt all this on a day where three bloggers wrote about bad motherhood. Notsupermum, Pippa and Rosie Scribble.

They came at a perfect time for me. Perfect. Thank you, mammas. Notsupermum has set up the Good Enough Mother's Club having done away with her Bad Mother's Club, which I'd've dived into head first to be honest.

Her idea for the Good Enough Mother's club, is inspired and brilliant, in a society where we are not valued for what we do at all. Where all the choices we make are wrong, in that person's eyes.
Geez, is that why I reign back on what I could post? Maybe. The finger of judgement sometimes is so very pointy and I'm not feeling too proud of myself right now. Hence my desire to 'hurt' myself.

Barely anybody reads this, I shouldn't give a shit. Somebody I care about knows about the blog though and I don't want to hurt her, anybody, me.

So flip, yes, posts about motherhood yesterday, the normality of what it is, a soothing balm. Pippa's written I'm the best mother ever this morning, to go with her I'm the worst mother ever yesterday. Go Pippa!

Bad mother, good mother,
Good enough mother
Give us all a break mother
I'm going to have a shower mother
cos I'm a dirty stinkin' mother
who has nice shower gel

Just one more....

I've been smoking since I was a child. My entire adult life I identify with the cigarette. I was thinking this last night, turning the white stick between my thumb and finger, knowing that without it, not only must I breathe on my own, but I've got to stand on my own too. Isolation can be a killer.

I'm telling you this because last night I told you I would blog just one more post on smoking.
Ha ha!! Telling myself 'just one more, just one more...!'

Writing is good, writing is healthy, writing can help purge all kinds of things, writing can get you out of dark holes. Writing is not smoking (you hear me stiggers, you hear me???)

A cigarette will make me feel better. It has done this morning. I got that "marvellous feeling of peace and tranquility". But, Carr tells me, I'm addicted, "It is not really peace but the ending of aggravation."

Will I ever get out of the woods where the tobacco plants grow?

Last week I was walking perilously close to complete strangers in the street just so I could have a whiff of their smoke.

I can imagine that on a night out, I'll go and stand in the smokers compound and just oh, breathe it in! If I'm hurting in my life, I may really want to do this. If I want to reclaim the 'old me', (old me? Who's that then ey?!) likewise.

Stick me behind a bus though, and I'm pissed off, choking on it's fumes, suffocating.

It's different though isn't it. I choose to light a cigarette so I can choke. I choose to ride a bicycle but I don't choose to be stuck in traffic gridlocks, choking. The suffocation is the same thing though, innit.

Oh mercy. I have to change my entire thinking. I have to totally unidentify myself with this white stick.

Help is at hand!

"Be clear in your mind," Carr's telling me, "you won't escape from it unless you make a positive decision to do so." (Breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth... again..)
"Do not attempt to stop smoking before you have finished the whole book." (Phew)
"As you read further your desire to smoke will gradually be reduced," (not my first time this...)
"Do not go off half-cocked; this could be fatal. Remember, all you have to do is to follow the instructions." (I'm actually onto chapter 7 - Brainwashing and the Sleeping Partner. Brainwash me, brainwash me!!)

Right, there are no fags in the house, so it's an opportunity for me to write another post (write what stiggers?)

This way I can hopefully disassociate blogging and smoking, writing and smoking. All my adult life remember, bar one year and one week. Last time I started again during my masters; writing. Writing/smoking goes hand in hand, love it! Though desire began in the student union bar one night not in the library one day... can I have a drag? Just one?

I am clear in my mind
I am clear in my mind

Friday, 14 January 2011

Smoking and the social aspect

The social aspect to smoking is what I shall miss the most. I've met brilliant people as a smoker. Spoken to people I might ordinarily not, at work, outside a pub. People have spoken to me, who might ordinarily not. We're kindred folk we smokers, there's a level at which we understand each other.
My goodness, twas Nico Teen who got me my break in journalism, out there on a balcony chatting to a woman with connections who otherwise might not have given me the time of day.

Smokers are alright you know! As a non smoker I'm alright too! Off my head, as well demonstrated by hundreds of posts, but alright!

That's it, I'm done writing about smoking. I'll write about it one more time, after I've been to one of the Allen Carr workshops. A man left a comment on a post earlier asking me to send him my details and he'll send me a comp. How nice is that?! I've sent him an email so we'll see.

Got to make the changes hey? The first positive outcome to the changes I'm trying to make. From a man who might not have ordinarily given me the time of day!

Que sera sera ey Doris?!
You hear that stiggers!
Or have I heard you?
I've still no idea who drives this bloomin' blog!!

My son and smoking

"Mummy, will you give up smoking in our new house?"
"I hope so honey."
"You said you would."
"Yes, I know but only if we get a council flat." I finish the conversation in a whisper.

We move in. The joy! The splendour! A two bedroom flat! With a balcony!
"Mummy, you said you'd give up smoking when we moved here."
"Yes, I know I did."
"So why are you smoking?"
Aaargh "Because I thought I could stop and I can't."
"Why not?"
Aargh "Because I'm addicted baby."
"What's addicted?"
"When you do something and you can't stop."
"Why don't you stop?"
Aaargh, because I don't want to "I will sweetie, I will ok, just not today."

I didn't tell my son I'd stopped smoking and mighty glad I didn't. In that week he didn't say anything although a couple of times he came out on the balcony when I was there, saw I wasn't holding Nico Teen and went back inside. Didn't say "You don't smell" when I'd go to give him a kiss at night. Maybe he knew and just wasn't saying.

I will not talk to him about it at all. I didn't tell anyone I had stopped. Not the guy who runs the coffee shop, no friends and I won't unless they ask, my son included. I'll tell him "I'm free!" (That's in Carr's audio!) Only you get bored to tears reader!!

I know the chances of my son smoking later on are quite high. Some children don't start because they've seen someone they love die because of it. I hope that if he does try it (which I hope he doesn't, obviously), he does like my youngest older brother did and decides it's not for him. Doesn't do like I did and coughs and splutters and pukes until he can smoke without doing any of those things. Oh yeah, I was determined!! My youngest older brother was the only member of my family not to continue. I'm the last to quit in my family.

All my friends who 'got me started' gave up years ago.

My son my sun my son. I'll read while you're away.

I love you.

Stigmum is a non smoker!

Yeah! Woo! She's stubbed out her last cigarette and is now, not an ex-smoker, but straightaway a non smoker!! Remember that from my last reading of Allen Carr's book!

What I've just told you may or not be true. I may or may not have just gone to the shops and bought a pack of JPS for £2.43. I may or may not have told myself that under no circumstances must I buy my pal Virginia, with her papers and tips, otherwise I'm supersonically back where I started. I may or may not have told myself that I will finish my smoking 'career', end my drug addiction with a ten pack of Marlboro reds, the very pack I started with and remained loyal to for an exceptionally long time.

Me and stiggers picked up bad habits at Papier Mache Towers. With the boy at school we just smoked in the flat. Sometimes when I wrote about things I was fearful of writing I just chained. Even now, here with a no smoking in the flat rule (my own, I have a balcony, tis cool!), I'll step out with Nico Teen before and after each post. I've got to train myself not to do that.

So yeah. Non smoker! Do I miss it? I'm not allowed to miss it!

I'll try not to blog about it too much. Writing about it makes me want it.... Friend and foe ey, friend and foe. Got to get that out of my mind as well.....