H.O.W. I Used To Be A Maud But Now I'm A Mabel !!!
In memory of her who needed no support!!!
The journey of giving up smoking is one that I have walked and won.
So I am hoping that this hub will help many others out there also.
I have read endless accounts of giving up smoking and maybe have been very conceited in my time.
I gave up initially about 30 years ago and remember telling anyone who was daft enough to listen to me that I had given up with no aids whatsoever!! I had simply got up one morning and decided that I had had enough of smoking!!
Listeners looked at me in awe as they listened to my story of heroism!!
I did not need any support at all !!!!
I hadn't used the usual silly things that others had :-
Chewing gum; oh how silly and weak!!
Snacking more; oh what next!!
I'm not sure if nicotine patches etc. were on the market here then but if they were my response would have been the same;
Things like that was for softies, not a woman oozing with true grit and determination such as I was.
However I began smoking again in 1994 !!!!
Back in December 2009 myself and Dai spoke about giving up; my beautiful daughter had passed over in the April of that year and I was virtually chain smoking !!!
Oh how I convinced myself that I was perfectly justified in smoking endlessly; I was not on any medication from the doctor and not a drop of alcohol passed my lips.
However deep down I was worried about the large amount of nicotine that I was inhaling !!!
We both decided to go to the doctor the following week for nicotine patches. I reluctantly decided to give them a try but I was adamant that I was not going to any support group , oh no I didn't need all that nonsense, that was for weaklings!!(Notice the conceited air returning once more!!) . We made our appointments mine on the Monday and Dai's on the Tuesday. I arrive punctually at the surgery and walk very confidently into my doctor's room.
"I'm going to give up smoking!" I announced and was lifted as he complimented me on my decision and was instantly deflated as he handed me a card that read the awful words “STOP SMOKING WALES."
Oh no he wanted me to go to one of these support groups, well we'd see about that!
Whatever part of my life I have been at I have always written a poem or a story to draw a line under that chapter and before entering a new one
Here is a story I wrote soon after.
MAUD AND MABEL GIVE UP SMOKING!!!!
BRRRRR!!!!!! BRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!! BRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!! "Oh damn, damn, what the heck??!!" Maud's hand slapped down on the offending alarm clock like a driven rolled up newspaper slamming down on a very unlucky fly. Poor Monty , the Beagle had such a start that he fell off the bed and landed in an undignified heap on the floor, whilst poor Python the cat had sprung up and landed on Monty's back and they both went racing down the stairs and into the safety of under the kitchen table!!
In the midst of the commotion Maud was slowly awakening from a deep slumber, out of the shock caused by that silly clock and into 'reality'.!! As the mist cleared the realisation of why she had a new clock dawned on her, of course it was ;
THE DAY. New clock, new day, new start!!!
'THE DAY' that was going to alter the whole direction of her life!!!!
"This is it!" she told herself as she waddled her ample body over to where her humungous robe hung. Maud did not like calling it a dressing gown, no it was definitely a robe. A bit grander or so she tried to convince herself!
"Now then!" she muttered to herself, "Let's get on with 'THE DAY!!' She squashed her extremely wide feet into her somewhat stretched slippers with great determination. She meant business!! No one was going to change her mind so they needn't bother trying!!!
Even more important she was going to do it on her own!!!
No help or support for her!!!
No she was made of stern stuff!!!
Yes she was going to give up smoking!!!!
Oh they hadn't seen anything yet !!! She stamped her authority all the way down the stairs and into the kitchen!
"C'mon Monty and Python out you both go sweeties!" she spoke to her pets in a very loving and refined voice that was somewhat false! Monty slowly and suspiciously looked out of the corner of his eyes at her as did Python.
What was up with Maud?
By now she would usually be sat at the table with her cup of tea and that awful smelly thing hanging out of her mouth. She used to open the back door without a word.
It was certainly wasn't like her to be talking so sweetly to them.
Very suspicious indeed!!!
Very, very strange!!!
Next door at No 22 was where Mabel lived with her springer spaniel Dexter and her cat Snowy. Mabel's early morning wakeup call was a very delicate peel of bells from her dainty pale pink alarm clock. Dexter and Snowy stretched and yawned from their bed in the corner of the bedroom; and they both jumped up beside Mabel on the bed to have their ears tickled.
"Do you know what today is?" she asks her two companions in her soft relaxed voice.
They look up at her and Snowy rubs himself adoringly against her while Dexter's tail wagged furiously at top speed!! Mabel carries on.
"Yes it's giving up smoking day," She walks down the stairs with her two companions at her heels. She opens the back door and they both run out eagerly. Mabel opens the big cupboard on the kitchen wall and takes out a box; out of which she takes out a sealed packet. She then opens it and takes out the plaster inside before sticking it on to her upper arm.
Mabel then goes to call her pets in; just at that precise moment Maud from next door has the same mission in mind.
"Hello Maud," Mabel calls over to her neighbour, "This is it then. THE DAY is upon us, good luck to you!!! Mabel's words were genuine.
"I'm not being rude but I'm not the one who's going to need luck my dear !" Maud's tone is so condescending and patronising as she carries on.
"It's going to be easy for me, you're the one who's going to need all the luck you can get!" "I can see you've got your nicotine patch on. Bless you love!" "There's no need to feel bad about it love,"
Maud is getting carried away now and can't stop that overworked tongue of hers.
"No, no, no!! It's not your fault that I'm stronger willed than you , but you remember because it's easy for me I'll be here for you."
"Don't you hesitate to call me for support when things get tough for you?" Maud at that point returns to her kitchen before Mabel has a chance to reply, with Monty and Python at her heels.
Mabel totally unruffled smiles to herself before returning to her house and says quietly to herself "We'll see Maud, we'll see."
Maud is in her house feeling so smug and self-satisfied; “Did you see Mabel with that silly patch on her arm?" she asks Monty who still can't work out why Maud is talking so much to him and Monty today. "Humans!!" he says to Python, "I'll never understand them!!"
"You just wait it won't be long before she's knocking on the door begging for my support , and then I'll have to show her how it's done in True Grit style,"
"The silly woman!!" Maud is speaking more to herself now as the animals had wandered off totally bored with all her chatter by now!
The remainder of DAY ONE passed by pretty uneventful; the two women spoke to each other briefly as they went to bring their washing in or leave their pets out to relieve themselves before retiring for the night.
"How are you doing?" Maud asks.
"Not too bad at all," replies Mabel. "Feeling a bit rough round the edges." “I could really have done with a cigarette a couple of hours ago but I'm determined to see it through!!" "How are you doing?"
"Bloody wimp!" Maud scornfully thinks to herself, but Mabel could sense what was going on in her neighbour's mind and therefore was ready for her reply.
"Ppwwff! No different to how I thought it was going to be, I haven't given it a thought all day!!"
Maud deliberately omitted to tell Mabel that about the whole packet of biscuits she had scoffed half an hour ago, stuffing them all into her mouth at top speed in an effort to combat the craving for that cigarette. When she had glimpsed Monty staring at her in amazement she growled at him through a mouthful of biscuits,
"Get lost you silly bugger!"
"Oh well there we are then, ready for another day tomorrow, upwards and onwards." Maud practically spat the words out in an effort to show how determined she was.
"Goodnight then," Mabel says her farewells before stepping back into her own kitchen.
"Why do you do it Maud?" she asked herself before climbing the stairs to bed. It was evident to her that Maud was finding it difficult.
The strain in her voice and those extra deep frown lines across her forehead were another tell-tale sign. Anyone else would have told Maud in no uncertain terms about her offending behaviour but not Mabel. She had the patience of a saint and knew that Maud was feeling bad enough without anyone making matters worse for her!! Poor Maud!!
'She had a very kind heart really,' thought Mabel, 'She just had to show this hard, tough front.' 'Probably feared that if she dropped it she would fail!!!' ‘And that word was not in Maud's dictionary.
Both women were in their beds and the pets in theirs. Zzzzzzzzzzzz, glorious peace and quiet reigned.
The moon shone happily and the stars twinkled brightly in the solitude of the night until that was ...........a deafening, blood curdling and very loud WWWOOOAHHH!!!! WWWWEEEEHHHHH!!!! Invaded every deliciously warm, cosy crevice of the silent night.
Poor Mabel shot out of bed before she was even awake properly and Dexter and Snowy were huddled together like one big, quivering ball!!!
"Oh dear me what on earth is that .......................?".Mabel asked herself.
The awful noise began again to cut into the midst of her sentence"WWWWWOOOAAHHH!!! WWOOOWWAAWWEEHHEW!!!"
"It's coming from Maud's house!!" Mabel says to the animals who both look utterly petrified.
"WWWHHEEEAAWW!!! WWWHHHHOOOAAHH!!!!" " Ooooohhh yyes wwwwhateever yyyyou ssay!!!!" " OOh YYYEs I am LListening WWWWWOOOOOAAAAAEEHH!!!!! " "Yes I will sing whatever you want me to as long as you promise to give me a cigarette!!"
"WWWOOOAAEEHHHH!! Am I singing loud enough for youWWWWAAAAAEEEHH ??!!!!"
The howling just carried on and on............. but now it seemed to be coming from a different direction!! The awful noise now seemed to be coming from the front of the house, Mabel tip toed over to the window and took a peep through the curtains.
"What on earth...........!! She said to herself. Maud was out in her front garden and was heading for the gate making that awful blood curdling noise that was obviously meant to be singing! She was fast approaching the gate howling
"WWWWaaaeeeeooohh!!!" “Please lead me to the cigarettes oh master!!" " Oh please I need a fag”. " WWWWAAAAEEEOOOWWHH!!!!! I can sing louder if you want me to!!" she rambled on to an imaginary person that she obviously thought was leading her to a cigarette!!
Mabel instantly jumped into her dressing gown and slippers before running down the stairs and throwing her front door open!! Poor Maud was obviously having a nightmare and was sleepwalking due to her bad cravings for nicotine! Dexter and Snowy hid in the safety of their bedroom thinking how brave Mabel was to go outside!! Where were Monty and Python?!
By now there was quite a gathering of neighbours out in the moonlit night watching the free show that Maud was giving them.
"Brilliant entertainment this," said one of them rubbing his hands together with glee whilst the rest of them laughed in agreement!
Mabel reached Maud who by now was out on the pavement and put her arms around her shoulders.
"Come on Maud," she says gently, at the same time leading her back to the safety of her house. Maud called over to the spectators;
"Ok the show's over, and you can all go back to your beds now!!" but Maud was still her operatic self "WWWWOOOOWWWHHH!!!!" " Where is that fag?" "I want a fag!" "WWWOOOOAAAWHH!!!!" She belts out and stamping her feet at the same time!!!
Some of the neighbours looked a bit sheepish while others still stood there clapping and laughing!! Finally after what felt like a lifetime Mabel managed to get Maud into her kitchen. Back in the warmth Maud was beginning to show signs of coming out of her trance. Mabel made her a strong coffee with some brandy in it.
"Come on," she tries to coax Maud to sip some, as she did Maud immediately snapped back into reality...........
"What on earth is going on?!" she demands, why on earth was she in Mabel's kitchen in her nightie in the middle of the night? "Will you please tell me?!" she demands of Mabel who ever so calmly tells her what had happened. Maud has a hazy recollection of a distant dream or nightmare more like!!!
"There was this horrible, nasty looking man telling me that if I sang he would give me a cigarette." "Oh I can't believe all this; I've been so stupid, pretending I was coping fine!" "Serve me right for trying to be so clever!"
"Oh thank you so much Mabel, I owe you so much!" " After I was so horrible to you too!"
"Think no more of it," Mabel gives her a big hug before walking her round to the safety of her own home.
Maud walks into her bedroom to see her two pets quivering in the corner.
. “OH come here into bed with me," she says. "Oh dear how was she going to face anyone again." Monty and Python both snuggled up to Maud but with one eye open. What a strange day it had been. They would never understand humans and that was for sure.................zzzzzz!!
The next evening Mabel and Maud were to be seen dressed warmly walking towards the local Leisure Centre. A few of the neighbours called out "Good evening, going for singing lessons Maud?" with big smirks on their faces while others giggled as they passed, but Maud pretended not to notice!!
They reach the Centre and Mabel leads the way to a door that had a sign on it; TRACY JAMES STOP SMOKING WALES.
"Are you ready?" Mabel asks kindly and Maud nods in return. As Mabel knocks a voice calls from within "Come in."
A lady with a warm welcoming smile on her face gets up and warmly greets Mabel before turning to Maud and offering a welcoming hand.
"I'm Tracy, and I'm so glad you've decided to join us Maud."
"Oh no it's my pleasure," replies Maud before adding: “I would advise anyone to go for support when giving up smoking."
"Why do people want to make it so much harder on them when there is support out there I will never understand!!" concludes Maud.
"That's the spirit!" Tracy says encouragingly and at the same time gives Mabel a knowing wink as they begin their STOP SMOKING course.
If you haven't guessed yet, I used to be a Maud but now I'm a Mabel.
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