Playing the health lottery.

I’ve been playing the health lottery for a while now. No not the cash winning prize draw held weekly for anyone who buys a ticket but the lottery I’ve been playing with my health virtually all my adult life. The top five causes of premature death in England and Wales are cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease and liver disease. Smoking significantly increases the risk of developing the first four of those.

This doesn’t look good for someone like me who has been smoking for a long time and has had difficulty quitting. It’s not helped by my inactive lifestyle and heavy ‘social’ boozing. (I always feel better when I add the ‘social’ tag to any of my maladaptive coping strategies.)

I don’t like the idea of being an addict (nicotine). Labels such as ‘addict’ are synonymous with negative social stereotypes and conjures up an image of a morally deficient or weak willed character. I’m sure all addicts aren’t and I don’t think I am either. When I put my mind to doing something I generally do it well and I try to do the best I can for my family.

Perhaps giving up smoking would be the best I could do for my family under the circumstances. I know I am slightly overweight, I’m the wrong side of 40 and I have slightly high blood pressure. This puts me in a high risk category of ill-health, disability or even premature death. Despite my awareness my previous attempts to quit smoking would suggests I’m lacking in ‘something’ but it’s definitely not my desire to quit!

I think that something may be asking for professional help. I’ve never asked before. I’ve just jumped in feet first and ridden the cold turkey train. Friends and colleagues have mentioned it to me several times – the local stop smoking service that is. But what can they tell me? I know smoking is doing me in and I know I need to stop so what can they add to that?!?!?

I’ve always been a proud Cornishman who stands on his own two feet and I generally don’t ask for help with personal issues, it’s not how I was raised. This time I think I will! This time I must quit…for good! Whats the worst that could happen? Winning the aforementioned (ill)health lottery I guess!


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