I started smoking when I was 21 - why? I don’t know. I’m sure it seemed like a good idea at the time, but the actual reasons, if indeed there were any, are lost to me. After a couple of years I decided I’d give up after 10 years. Research seemed to suggest that ten years wasn’t long enough to do serious damage, and there was plenty of time for your lungs to recover.
31 came and went, and while I tried to give up, it never stuck and I was still smoking. Three years ago I tried again, and this time it worked - more or less. I went from smoking about 15/day to smoking none, except when I was around other smokers, when I’d usually cave in and have one or two.
I’d go weeks without having a smoke, and wouldn’t miss them at all, then I’d be out at a party and would end up having a couple and be back to square one. I became that parasite smoker - that friend who won’t buy his own smokes lest he be tempted to smoke them all, yet still wants a few of yours. To counteract this I’d buy packets for my regular ‘dealers’, but I really didn’t want to smoke at all.
Two of my friends, Mike and Nick, went to see a hypnotist to help them quit smoking, with pretty good results. Both went from a pack a day to rarely smoking, so I figured it should be possible for me to go from ‘rarely smoking’ to ‘never smoking’ and resolved to give it a go.
Yesterday was the day. I showed up at his office and was given a brief explanation of how hypnosis works, and how I couldn’t be made to do anything against my will, thereby alleviating my worries that in the future I’d suddenly start squawking like a chicken in response to certain stimuli. All it boils down to is becoming deeply relaxed and having the hypnotist suggest anti-smoking messages to you. The best thing is you don’t even have to pay attention, in fact it’s better if you don’t, as your sub-conscious still takes it all in.
So, $170 later I was out the door, feeling no different and wondering if it would work. I’m happy to report now that all seems well. I went to a barbie with friends last night, have a few beers and wasn’t tempted to have a smoke at all, despite a few smokers standing around me. Previously I would definitely have caved and had one or two, whereas last night I didn’t even have to consciously choose not to smoke - I just never go the “I’d love a smoke” thought.
However, one night does not a non-smoker make, but it’s a promising start. :-)