Darren’s Diary – Kicking The Habit (Day 1): Tuesday, 20th February 

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For more times than I care to remember, I’ve decided to quit the cigarettes again.  We’ve all said it!  Thankfully, some have achieved it and are living healthy lives.  Ireland has more quitters than smokers now which is fantastic.  But quitting can be an ordeal with so many simple temptations. 

Anytime someone has said to me, why don’t you quit those cigarettes, I’ve nearly always answered “I have.  I quit them 10 times a year.”  When I was younger, it was funny (in my head anyway).  But as I get older, you start to notice the little characteristics that you can live without if I just put down the 20 pack.

Coughing is the worst, and flim!  This would turn you off a good dinner.  Cramps as well.  It’s easy say take up exercise and quit smoking.  But when your lungs are not at full capacity due to an unwillingness to clear the crap from a smoke, it’s not going to be easier to attack a marathon or an iron man contest.

Running a 5k race would be good enough for me.  I’m nearly 40 and that would be a grand enough target for 2018.  But beforehand, I have to quit the cigarettes.  I’ve talked about it for too long, had countless aborted attempts but always managed to bluff myself by having one and saying ‘I’m not back on them.’

But I was!  And I have every time I’m made the famous proclamation that they are gone for good.  Gone for three days? Yes!  Gone for a week?  Possibly.  But no, 19 years after I took up the dreaded habit, it’s still there, still needs to be dealt with.

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So why will this time be different?  Well, I have lots of genuine reasons which I hope this diary will prove a worthwhile read and I’ll try and give a fair and honest account of every single day.  How I’m feeling, the mood swings, the cravings and then eventually, the relief, the healthier look and a lack of coughing.

The diary is serving two purposes.  One is to share the experience and the other is quite simple!  It’s grand saying it to my girlfriend, best mate or mother and then slip back on them in a couple of weeks.  But if I break this pledge to 2,000+ people in the county, that will be a lot of explaining to do 🙂.

And another reason is €12 per day.  When you add it up, it’s roughly €4,000 per year.  I can think of a lot of better ways to blow that sort of cash and even the thoughts of what I could feel like in 2019 should I succeed gives me a boost.

So, there it is.  There’s not much to say about Day One because I think anybody can quit the cigarettes for one day.  I’ve done it before and I’m sure numerous other current smokers have.  It’s doing it again, and again, and again until it stops becoming a habit.  That’s where the challenge is.

Now, I started without Nicorette and that might be reviewed.  Haven’t looked for a cigarette today.  But did get a ratty when a colleague asking me how I’d drive to Wexford Park.  No episodes!  Or ‘Cake Dances” as my mother affectionately calls them!  But a few challenging moments.

So, with you, I’ll start this road to ‘Kicking The Habit!  For 40 days, I’ll post a daily piece at 8pm on Galway Daily and then another 10 weekly installments.  All going well, I’ll be smoke free by then.  And if anyone wants to join me over the next three months, would love to have ye involved and hear your own stories.

Darren