Updated: Mar 19
28 March 2020 marks 10 years smoke free for me! I cannot tell you how good that feels!
It is THE BEST THING I could have ever done for myself. I can’t explain it and just like you, as a smoker, I didn’t think I could ever stop.
Don’t get me wrong – I LOVED smoking! I smoked for 16 years. Secretly (my parents never knew, or else I think they never did). I had my days, weeks, months and years of only smoking now and then, only a few cigarettes, social smoking – but I also had my chain smoking days! Those were the days I was socialising, or on holiday. I also had my weird routines, which seemed completely normal to me! Smoking when you have a drink, smoking after dinner, smoking in the car, smoking to take a break from work. However my weirdest routine at some point was NOT smoking before 4pm, but then easily smoking until 2 or 3am the next day. My favourite day of smoking was when it rained! Oh I loved smoking when it rained. Of course, back then, I lived in the desert and rain was scarce and I could sit for the 1-2 hours of the day watching and hearing the rain and smoking one cigarette after the other.By the time I moved to London, it was a completely different story! It rained so much that I couldn’t exactly NOT do anything the whole day long – I’d lose my job!
THE SMOKING YEARS: Smoking became a habit, a routine. It wasn’t ‘fun’ anymore, it wasn’t even enjoyably anymore! I was coughing more and more, my fitness levels were decreasing, i couldn’t dance the whole night long like I used to. My husband surely hated it. In 2007 the smoking ban started too which meant you had to go outside and smoke in the cold. it also meant that the smokers spend their evenings outside and the non-smokers inside enjoying the party. I realised I was completely separated from half my friends and it was causing a divide. Plus – why was I standing in the cold all night! I get cold easily already coming from a very warm country!
In 2010 I completed my hypnotherapy studies and within that year our lecturer wanted a guinea pig to stop smoking. There were 28 of us in the class, yet no one wanted to volunteer (of course not all were smokers.) After some consideration I decided to be the guinea pig. We had a lengthy discussion and I was given 3 months to really come to terms with my decision. I could pull out at any time! The key is – I have to really WANT to give up. If I had the slightest change of heart, the process would not work. Oh – I also had to pay £200 for getting it done – even if i was the guinea pig! Something about the mind-money-thinking a smoker has. You know – how many cigarettes can I buy with £200! I had to literally put my money where my mouth is.
THE FEAR: Three months passed and the day arrived for me to stop smoking. I was anxious, excited, scared, worried and looking forward to it. A bag of mixed emotions! An hour before my session I excused myself from class. Too anxious to concentrate on the lecture. I ran outside and grabbed my cigarettes – Vogue Slims at that stage (and smoking up to 2 packs a day!) – I had exactly 10 cigarettes left in my packet. I started smoking. Chain-smoking. Anxiously smoking. This is the last time I will ever smoke again! What if I can't hang out with the ‘cool gang’ anymore? What if this affects my social life? How am I going to cope during the day if stress wells up? How will I feel about drinking without smoking? How will my daily routines change? Will I lose friends? Will I really save money? Will I start eating bad things and get fat instead?
I had a thousand worrying thoughts running through my mind!
Suddenly someone tapped me on my shoulder and said ‘It’s time…’
It felt like a death sentence. Was I ready for this? Should I be doing this? Will my life change?
I looked at my cigarette pack and noticed there was 1 left. I literally smoked 9 cigarettes in one hour. I felt sick! but wasn’t sure if it was from the anxiety of stopping or the 9 cigarettes!
I closed my box, put it in my pocket and went inside. Facing 27 students and my teacher. I felt so vulnerable. She asked me again - are you ready for this? We don’t have to continue… I thought long and hard and made my choice. I am ready. I’ve had enough of this habit that was ruling my life. I want out… and with that, I sat down.
THE PROCESS: She asked me all sorts of questions about my smoking habits and routines, when and why I started, how long for, how many a day, have I ever stopped before etc. She then proceeded to hypnotise me in-front of the class. I can’t remember everything she said as I drifted in an out of this lovely, very relaxed state. I remember at some point she asked me to lift my arm, but I was so relaxed, I couldn’t even be bothered.
10 minutes later I was wide awake! Turns out, it only felt like 10 minutes. I was in a wonderful trance state for 45 minutes! I felt great! She asked me if I ever want to smoke again. I wasn’t quite sure… Did I want it? Not right now as I just had 9 cigarettes an hour ago, so surely not now. She asked me what I’d like to do with the rest of my cigarettes. Fellow students shouted that they will happily take it from me. Surprisingly I said no – didn’t want anyone else to be poisoned by my cigarettes. I am going to throw it away.
THE STRUGGLE: Class was eventually dismissed and I went home. I was confused. Did I want to smoke? No! Of course not! I just paid £200 for this! Or am I just saying this now and really don’t want to smoke? Do I? Don’t I? I don’t know!
Am I just saying no because I want this to work? Am I saying no because I really mean it? I made the decision then that if I get to 10 months without smoking, then and only then will I believe it is because of the hypnosis, because I have stopped smoking for 7 and 9 months before – on my own.
The first few days were hard. I kept thinking about it and kept telling myself I don’t want it. Ups and downs. Then it became less and less often that I thought about it and one day I realised I haven’t smoked in months! My social life went on as normal, I still joined my friends outside when they had a cigarette, they still offered, I still said no. Strangely enough, other people’s smoke didn’t even bother me. It’s like a blocked it from my mind (and my nostrils!) If I felt stressed at work, I took a break and walked around the building. If I felt bored, I got up and did something – even if it was to drink water.
I didn’t feel a difference in my body at first, but eventually, I realised I can smell and taste so much better! I could push myself harder with my workout, I had more stamina, but most of all – my skin looked so much better and my hair didn’t stink anymore, oh and I got more cuddles from my husband - Yay!
THE ALMOST RELAPSE 1: Five months and 6 days down the line we had a massive joint birthday party. EVERYONE I knew was there. We had so much fun catching up, dancing and enjoying the sun. For some stupid reason, I suddenly wanted a cigarette –
out of the blue!
I grabbed my friends cigarette out of her hand and took a drag… oh my stars! DISGUSTING! I coughed and spat it out. It was awful! I couldn’t imagine how I ever started smoking! How I every enjoyed it! It was horrible!
THE ALMOST RELAPSE 2:
Another 4 months went by. It was New Year's Eve and one of my favourite places to smoke was on the beach (desert country remember!), drink in one hand, cigarette in the other and enjoying the warm sun on my skin and the waves tumbling on the sand. I wanted a cigarette. I needed to smoke. I got up, walked all the way to a little shop (at least 1 kilometer away!), bought my first pack of cigarettes since March the previous year, walked back to my spot on the beach, sat down and lit the cigarette – ready for my enjoyable, longing moment in the sun.
What was I thinking? Ugh! Disgusting! Truly awful! How did I ever do this? How did I ever enjoy this? I tried to give a few more drags, hoping it will come back to me – normal – my old smoking normal. It didn’t. That is where I made the final decision – I will be a Non-Smoker forever.
VICTORY: I made a hole in the sand as far as my arm could reach and buried that packet deep down where hopefully no one would find it. And with that, I buried the old me. The smoking me. The me I no longer wanted to be.
On 1 January 2011, it was nine months and 3 days since I stopped and I did that with the help of hypnotherapy. The difference this time, unlike the 2 other occasions I have stopped, was that I will never start again!
Now I help other people be free from the chains of smoking too!
If you want to experience this freedom, then get in touch with me TODAY and book your session. It doesn't matter when, what matters is - you do it - when you are ready!