"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)