Darren’s Diary – Kicking The Habit (Day 15) – Tuesday, 6th March 


I’ve had some great days recently but knew to expect a turn and certainly got it today.  I haven’t been able to think about anything but cigarettes all day and it’s been annoying. 

I was actually grand this morning and eased into the day.  But as it went on, I kept thinking about going for a smoke.  Not longing for one as such, but just forgetting that I hadn’t touched them in two weeks.

Now, I didn’t.  I didn’t have any anyway and didn’t get to a stage where I considered going out and buying some.  But it was my worst day since, I think Day 4.  The dancing sticks whispering bold thoughts and giving me a headache.

Yes, I do have a headache and maybe it’s related.  It’s nothing that will knock me down.  But I’m having an off day.  I haven’t given in and I won’t.  And I knew to expect this a few times.  But it has been tough.

What I found funny (in hindsight) was how I could easily forget I was off the cigarettes.  It was like my mind was trying to clear out the last two weeks and brainwash me into thinking it never happened.  It goes to show that I can’t get complacent.  I’ve had hard days before and I’ll get through this one as well.

Needless to say the gum has been getting a fair chewing.  I’m conscious of easing myself off them as I know how addictive they can be.  The recommendation with nicotine treatments is no more than three months.  But I do recall customers in the pharmacy still chewing them like Wrigleys after two years.

This week, I’ve a 1pm limit (meaning I can’t touch a gum before that time).  Bar today and a couple of other days, I didn’t really have a desire before that time.  It’s just my way of being disciplined so that I make sure I kick those also when I feel I’ve beaten the fags.

Compared to some, I’m not doing too bad as I’m only on my third strip in 15 days.  I’ve managed to keep it to one a week so far though I can’t say that was by design.  It depends on the day I suppose.  The busier I am, the less I think of them.

With no matches today, there was time to think.  But it’ll pick up before the weekend.  We’re starting our Junior Chess Club Championships tomorrow night so that will give me some focus.  And as things stand, I’ve matches Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

I’ve a chess match myself the following Wednesday, hopefully we’ll have our camogie preview Friday 16th and then it’s St. Patrick’s weekend and Croke Park on the 18th.  Throw-in Evie and Mam’s birthdays and there’s a lot going on.

Like sportspeople taking one match at a time, I’ve tried to take the same approach to the cigarettes.  While you need dates to focus on like I just mentioned, the biggest thing I’ve learned is to keep saying to myself ‘Not today.’

My target is to make it to bedtime tonight and then start again tomorrow.  Some days it’s been a doddle and like today, not so much.

I have started the third week now and as this is the big week.  If one can break three weeks, it gets a tad easier though there will be challenging moments up to three months.  I’m at the stage now where my will power is being tested.  But as I write at the moment, my resolve strengthens.

The one good thing I’ve noticed is I haven’t had many mood swings.  Then again, I laugh as I write that as I certainly was in a mood writing yesterday’s piece.  But I mean I haven’t (noticed anyway) been off or snappy in my dealings with others.  Hopefully, that remains the case.

And with that I’ll bid you good day and I’ll maintain my focus for another five hours.  ‘Not Today!’.  I won’t be beaten!  Chat you tomorrow.