I have smoked for over five years ever since I started when I was in my teens working on Emmerdale. I have been trying to stop smoking for a while now - to help develop my singing career along with my acting - so Stoptober seemed the perfect opportunity to really try and quit for good. I was beginning to feel the effects of smoking on my voice and decided that enough was enough!
I was really nervous about quitting smoking as it had become such a part of my life and I always reached for them when I was socialising or feeling a bit stressed. However, by coming out publicly and saying I was taking part in Stoptober I was basically forcing myself to try and be strong for 28 days - after which the worst is behind you and (so the research says) you are five times more likely to stay quit for good.
Well here we are at the end of Stoptober and I am pretty proud of myself, but I found it really difficult at times. My family and friends were so supportive and really helped me put one smokefree day on top of the other and before I knew it I had done a week.
Almost every day I looked on Twitter and Facebook to see the messages and support people all across the country were giving each other and that genuinely acted as motivation to keep going. Knowing so many other people were also going through what I was, (with the same cravings and challenges) gave me a sense of confidence that if they can stay strong, then so can I.
It wasn't all plain sailing though. Whilst everyone I know was really supportive, there were some situations that I found very difficult and wanted to have a smoke. Being out and about at parties or on nights out where other people are smoking is the hardest time for me. Having a cigarette was the norm for me in those situations and breaking the mould proved difficult.
I have found my mood and emotions were a bit up and down to begin with - particularly in the first 10 days. But I feel much better now - healthier and knowing that I am not spending all that money on several packets of cigs a week is brilliant.
Today is a big day for all those people who can now confidently call themselves 'ex-smokers'. Hopefully they can all carry on not needing or wanting to smoke and I am looking forward to staying one of them... I hope!
Well done to everyone who has managed to get through 28 days smokefree - long may it continue and good luck for the future. And to anyone else who has not managed to quit this Stoptober - keep trying - it is never too late to stop.
Kelsey Beth x