A stubbed out cigarette

How An Addict Gave Up Smoking

In 2003 the most weak-willed person I know, gave up smoking – without having to work at it – and hasn’t smoked a cigarette since.

Back then, before I had even come up with the “We Are All Two People” theorem, I realised that I was in trouble. I knew that if I didn’t stop my 40-a-day habit, I probably wouldn’t live beyond my middle years.

In fact, I was convinced I wouldn’t survive, because I’d tried to give up smoking  four times before, and every time it was torture.

Is this the same for you?

Actually, my first attempt saw my going without a cigarette for a few days without too much bother.

I’d gone to see a hypnotist; I’m a sucker for trying anything at least once. (Which is why I was a smoker in the first place.) The old guy who performed the hypnotism, said that if the craving came back, I should go back to him for a free session a week or two later to reinforce my resolve.

I never went back – what an idiot.

After an argument (about nothing) with my (then) wife, I started smoking again. I justified it as a sort of revenge on her – “it was all her fault” – because she was such a harridan in her attitude towards my habit. (Well actually towards me in general, but that’s another article.) The argument we had was the excuse I needed to spark up that first cigarette – but it equally could have been anything else.

… and where one cigarette goes, another soon follows.

That was the end of my first attempt to stop.

In a previous article, as I explained in my “We Are All Two People” theory, the  sub-conscious doesn’t like change. Not only is this true, but it will do everything it possibly can to resist it. I think I hadn’t followed up with the second hypnotic therapy session partly due to this.

My argument with the old-ball-and-chain, had given my sub-conscious the permission it required to put everything back on course again (the smoking habit) and it has steered me from hypnotism ever since.

I still can’t believe that I finally managed to stop smoking this last time – especially since I loved it even more than chocolate life itself. My mindset in 2003 was such, that I wasn’t going to follow it through. I was almost looking forward to having my first cigarette after the first day or so!

This time though, I’d given it a lot of thought and worked out a plan.

Beating The Nicotine Hit & Hypnotic Suggestion

I knew how it would go.

My body would crave the nicotine. Also, I wasn’t up to this psychologically. It was inevitable, that every three-quarters of an hour or so, I would be drawn outside to smoke – because this was part of the smoking ritual. I had to battle my addiction on all three fronts.

[easyazon-block align=”right” asin=”B00002MVA1″ locale=”uk”]I bought some nicotine patches to help my body adjust;  some Wriggly’s Spearmint Gum to occupy my mouth (and hands), and I also bought Paul McKenna’s Hypnotherapy – Stop Smoking for Good CD to help cope mentally. Paul recommends listening to the CD every day for two (or three?) weeks. (I can’t remember exactly.)

The sub-conscious is very “suggestible.” Don’t worry though, because  it doesn’t fall sway to every instruction that comes along. Suggestions have to beat a way through the conscious mind – the intellect – first. It’s a natural barrier. On a willing subject, hypnotism usually has a mesmerising effect on the intellect, allowing a hypnotist to talk directly to the sub-conscious.

On my first day, I slapped on the patch and I listened to Pauls “hypnotic induction.” After my initial, “my-god-this-is-so-corny” moment, I started to relax and was happy to keep listening. I fell asleep and slowly woke up to the following commentary. I don’t remember the exact words, but it was something like this:

“And now, you will start to drift awake.  10 … 9 … 8 …” the background music started getting louder, “You’ll no longer want to smoke. 7 … 6 … 5 …” the music increased in volume, “You’ll feel more energised as you 4 … 3 … 2 …  yawn … And streeetch …  and wake … ONE!” The music stopped dead.

After a couple of days, I dreaded hearing the word “ONE” because I enjoyed the relaxed feeling that each session generated. I looked forward to disappearing to the bedroom with my CD to have a snooze. Each time I awoke, I felt sharp and alert.  ( For this reason, I wouldn’t recommend listening to this just before you go to bed. If you work, how about after dinner? I think the best time would be after you wake in the morning. You could wake up half an hour earlier because hypnotism is almost as good as a good nap.)

What To Do With Your Hands?

If I felt like a cigarette, I would chew gum, but I had to make this an event.

I would go outside to the spot where I usually smoked and take out my gum to chew. My mind associated this area with cigarettes, so it was a useful ploy.

To occupy my hands I would play with the gum wrapper, rolling it up to look like a cigarette. I’d then pass it from hand to hand holding it like a cigarette, until the allotted time where I judged I would have finished smoking. I’d throw the gum and the “cigarette” and go back inside and that was that. The cigarette craving was beaten for the moment and I could concentrate on something else for a while.

After three days I forgot about the nicotine patch.

I later gave the patches to my sister. Incidentally, they didn’t work for her. I’m not surprised, because the patches are simply not enough to beat this thing. I’d forgotten to use them. Had I needed them in the first place? I don’t know.

I carried on with the “going outside every time I wanted to smoke” ritual for just over a week. After that I only went outside after meals, because this was when I most fancied a cigarette. I stopped listening to Paul’s CD after two weeks.

My philosophy for a long time after that was “once a smoker, always a smoker.” I was an abstaining smoker and careful not to put myself in the company of other smokers for a while – but not for as long as you might think.*

Roughly a year later, I decided that I was no longer an abstaining smoker, I was an ex-smoker who might take up smoking again when he was really old. (Remember – I loved to smoke! I probably won’t though.)

I was cured.

Just to summarise:

  1. I found a great way to give up smoking.
  2. Listen to the CD listed above for two weeks
  3. Use nicotine patches for a few days
  4. When you fancy a cigarette go to the area where yo usually smoke
  5. Chew ordinary Wriggly’s Chewing Gum
  6. Roll the gum wrapper into a cigarette shape to give your hands something to do
  7. after all this, simply say “no.”

If I can do it, I’m damned sure that you can. Be sensible. Now you know how your sub-conscious mind operates, you can plan your attack and take charge of the machine.

You understand how this separate entity – the machine – works, you can go on to be a success in all other walks of life. Believe it. Read this for more information. Please share with your friends!

Thank you for reading.

* If you drive and smoke at the same time, your sub-conscious associates cigarettes with the activity. You should be aware of it, as it is the same for other similar situations. If you are buying a new car, this would be an ideal time to quit smoking, because you would never have smoked in that particular car before. The more smoking associations that you can cut, the better it will be for you.

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