Darren’s Diary – Kicking The Habit (Week 15) – Tuesday, 5th June 



I’m leaving that figure with you for a few minutes and ask what would you received that right now?  What would you buy?  What would you pay?  What goes through your mind?

It’s hard to believe we have finally reached the end line.  It has been a journey with many ups and downs but over 100 days later, ‘Darren’s Diary – Kicking The Habit’ finally comes to an end.

Firstly, I would like to thank everyone who gave encouraging messages from the very start all the way to this point.  I wouldn’t have done it without you.  I’m still in shock that I did it anyway.

When I thought about what I was going to write tonight, I had no idea.  It should be a piece about reflection and I do think back to that weekend in February, after Shane and Ger’s wedding, when I said I was going to do this diary.

It was a real pressure moment because I wasn’t just belting out the age old ‘I’ll quit the fags… but go back on them tomorrow spiel.’  I decided to share the experience and I hope I have left some pieces online that will help others.

It wasn’t easy.  Nothing worthwhile was ever easy.  And I’m not going to start telling lies now.  I don’t know if I’ll ever smoke a cigarette again.  I hope I don’t and I don’t intend to.  But like when I stopped taking the Nicorette gums after week three, I’m not going to put that pressure on myself.

One decision I made is that I won’t be putting up on Facebook every few months that I’m XXXX months/years off the cigarettes.  I’m not knocking anyone who does and they should be proud.  Anybody who quits deserves to be proud.

No, the reason is simple.  We’ve shared an awful lot since last February and I think we’ll all agree that the time for talking about ‘Kicking The Habit’ is done.  When I post this entry online and say goodbye to the diary, I have to make a very simple decision.

Am I going to live the rest of my life as an ex-smoker or a non-smoker?  I’ll always be the former but I can’t keep going back to it.  Actually, I think the more I focus on being an ex-smoker, the more likely I am to go back on them at some time in the future.

I have a lot of people to thank for getting me through this and it’s not right to start mentioning names as I’ll leave someone out.  But I couldn’t start bringing this piece to a close without mentioning my two rocks who made sure I got through the tough days – my Mam and Sinead.

Now, they didn’t have to wrestle me to the ground or lock me in a room to get me past any cravings or anything like that.  Though that would have been weird 😀.  But they were supportive anytime I need to rant, got restless or just cursed the childish moments when I felt I wasn’t allowed 🙂.

I joked with Sinead that “sure, I’m allowed to smoke again after the diary is finished.”  I got a serious look of shock/disgust before she realised I was pulling the piss.  I’ve done many stupid things in my life but if I went out and bought a packet tomorrow, that would rank as the most ridiculous of all.

To be honest, I wouldn’t know what to do with them now.  Even today, I thought about the diary.  I never once thought about cigarettes.  As I said earlier, I don’t smoke anymore.  It’s that straight forward.

Yesterday, we had an impromptu family gathering out in Mullagh chatting away about the big wedding in Portugal at the end of the month.  One person I was delighted to see was my cousin Orla who I hadn’t spoken to in ages.

I noticed at one stage that Orla had one of those vape/electronic cigarettees and we started talking about giving them up.  She hasn’t read the diary yet but I’m expecting her to be reading this evening 😀

Orla quit three weeks ago and is starting to come out of the initial tough stage that she’s even reducing the amount she takes in the vape.  But after we chatted about all things smoking and quitting, she made one major point that stuck with me since.

She’s saving €80 per week by quitting them.  After doing the maths, I realised that would have put her on somewhere similar to me, slightly less than a full 20 pack a day.  And then I started adding it up – 15 weeks multiplied by €80 equals…. €1200!!!

That’s how much I’ve saved even though I found other ways of departing with some of it.  But that is the figure I would have spent solely on cigarettes over the term of the diary if I hadn’t packed it in.

You’d get two half decent holidays for that.  It’d pay my car insurance.  It could buy me some recording equipment.  €1200 is good money to anyone.  And that’s how much I was blowing on smoking.

So, while I work out how to blow my new fortune 😉, I’m going to sign off and say goodbye.  Darren’s Diary may return soon in a different environment (sport orientated possibly), but together we’ve finally “kicked the habit.”

It’s been an amazing three months and thank you for sharing it with me.  And I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.