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If I live to be a hundred, I will never forget the vile sickness that consumed me when I smoked my last cigarette.
I was in my garden, doubled over, trying to suck the smoke into my lungs between deep, violent coughs which tore at my chest and expelled huge, filthy phlegm bombs out across the floor.
One small drag, one huge cough…
…Another small drag, another disgusting blob splatting out, feeling as though the very lining of my lungs were being dragged up through my throat and propelled out of my spit-soaked mouth.
I tried again, another drag.
This time, I hurled vomit all over the patio floor, then stumbled backwards, collapsing against the flynet screen, still doubled over, face flush red and eyes watering, gasping for air.
I extinguished that cigarette after three failed, miserable drags, then -and I’m not ashamed to admit this- I cried.
At first, I cried because I was overwhelmed by what an extremely brutal reaction I’d just experienced to something I’d done thousands of times before.
Then I cried for another reason.
I cried because of the absolute, crystal clear certainty of my realisation:
I HAVE TO DO THIS. I want to see my beautiful daughters marry.
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