In order to stay off the cigarettes I'll have to keep eating instead

By Justine O'Mahony

Published 21/01/2016 | 00:00

Justine O'Mahony.
Justine O'Mahony.

It's the third Monday in January- officially the most depressing day of the year. I feel depressed.

 It's lashing rain outside, I'm sick, I've already spent the children's allowance on a coat in the sales and the bills are mounting. The New Year's Lurgy has struck good and proper. Yes, Yes, I know there are thousands worse off than me! But frankly right now my dears, I don't really give a damn!

It's been 18 days since I last had a cigarette. Now just because I've said that doesn't mean you won't come across me lurking down some dark alley way pulling on a Silk Cut Blue one day, but you know a day at a time and all that.

I won't pretend it's been easy - it's been bloody torture! Anyone who tells you giving up the fags is easy is talking through their backside. But it has been made easier by virtue of the fact my alcohol consumption has decreased considerably since the beginning of January. I couldn't give it up altogether. I'm no martyr!

So I have succumbed to the demon drink twice this month. Once for my birthday when we went out with friends for dinner. I knew this was going to be a difficult one with regards the ciggies as there were two smokers in our company. I was doing grand until we drank the limoncello and then I furtively followed my brother in law outside the pub and tried to persuade him to give me a drag.

'Ah Jesus no Justine. Don't. You're doing great. I'll be blamed,' he said shaking his head as I wrestled the cigarette from his hands. The next thing the door flew open and Himself appeared like a Superhero in chinos! 'Don't you DARE put that in your mouth!' he said grabbing the cigarette and giving his brother a load of grief.

'In fairness he tried to stop me. I grabbed it off him,' I confessed before Himself hauled me back inside. I wasn't even allowed go to the loo on my own for the rest of the night and was accompanied by a non smoking female minder each time.

The following Friday we cracked open a bottle of wine at home. Again I was doing ok until the wine took hold. I remembered I had hidden cigarettes in various vases around the house...just in case! If I could manage to get my hands on one, I could go down to the loo and have a puff out the window. It was as if he read my mind.

'You're dying for a fag aren't you?'

'No!...yes!'

'Come on you're doing great. Why don't you get something to eat to take your mind off it.' So I did. I went out to the kitchen and got popcorn...and doritos...and jellies. I found a box of Milk Tray in the cupboard left over from Christmas and dug into them (I don't even like Milk Tray) before finishing off with a Mint Magnum.

'See! Bet you don't even want a cigarette now?'

I didn't. But if I keep going I'm going to need a gastric band!

Wexford People

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