On May 3rd 2018 I had just finished my civic duty as the jury foreman, on a hideous criminal trial that had lasted a fortnight, and which resulted in a mistrial. I was wandering around Monasterevin one evening waiting for the train to Limerick (which I was doing in the salubrious environs of Monasterevin is not pertinent to this story). I smoked the last cigarette in the packet of Marlboro Lights (or Marboro Gold as I think they were renamed when required to do so, in case anyone might think the light version of the smoke was the low-fat option). I spent the weekend in Limerick.
I have been a non-smoker since. Today is the first anniversary since I’ve quit. I had no plans to quit on that particular day – other than the usual vague desire to stop, as I was fully cognisant of how unhealthy a habit it was, and how it would inevitably kill me before my time (which it might still do even though I’ve quit, but it serves no purpose to be a Negative Nancy about that). It was just that I was spending a weekend at home so clearly I would not smoke. When I returned to Dublin I didn’t buy another packet on the Sunday evening, thinking ‘Well I have had two days without smoking, why not make it three?’ It carried on from there. I never told myself ‘I have quit.’ Nor did I tell anyone until I was a few weeks in.
I had a slight hiccup during my December trip to Amsterdam, but that was a holiday from real life so it doesn’t count. It must never be referenced again.
I have quit before – most recently for an eight month period over 2015 and 2016 when I returned to Ireland from the Netherlands and was faced with the financial consequences of smoking in Ireland.
It seems to have stuck this time though. Now that I have passed a year I will be honestly allowed to tick the ‘non-smoker’ box on insurance forms, instead of lying.
There’s more of me since quitting . I decided to pay no heed to that for a while preferring to focus on staying off the fags (of the tobacco kind, I’m still rather partial to the other kind of course). That can be my special little project for the coming year.
Onwards and upwards. Now that I am healthy I might buy a leotard and legwarmers and start stretch aerobics.
You can congratulate me on this minor success by coming to see me at the 16th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival next week. My show ‘The Number’ is running at 9pm from Monday May 6th to Saturday May 9th at 9pm (plus a 4pm matinee on Monday and Saturday, at the Teachers’ Club.