I have a love-hate relationship with cigarettes.
I started smoking when I was 15 and in 2009 I had hypnotherapy to stop. You can read about that here, if you want.
I did amazingly well (even if I do say so myself). I was a non-smoker for two years, one month and four days before I let myself down and started again. If you want to know how *that* happened, you can read about it here…
So for the last twenty months I’ve been a smoker again. I gradually became less obsessive about whether or not I smelled of smoke. I stopped brushing my teeth and washing my hands after each cigarette. I still tried to not let Vinay see me, but sometimes he did.
And I was disappointed in myself.
At the beginning of this year I decided that enough was enough and that I had to stop again.
Making the decision to stop wasn’t difficult. But the *actual* stopping…?
If I were an alcoholic, I could go to an AA meeting. Or I could go to a doctor or clinic. I could check myself into rehab and get all the help I need. But who could help me to stop smoking?
At the end of February an ex-colleague (and very good friend) told me about a friend of hers who is a hypnotherapist. And the best part is that he lives in Lagos!
I made contact with Trevor immediately. He said the program he does is called Sure2Quit and that I’d need three sessions over three weeks.
I wanted to start right away, but he was travelling and then I was going away for Easter, so I just had to wait!
I was nervous about my first session. I couldn’t understand why it couldn’t be like the hypnotherapy I’d been to before (one two-hour session). Why did I have to go for three sessions?
Anyway, the first session was all talking. Trevor wanted to make sure that I wanted to be a non-smoker. That it was coming from *me* and that I had a goal. We talked about my smoking history and my triggers. Then he gave me some times during the day where I was not allowed to smoke (9.30-10.30 am, 11.30 am – 1.30 pm and 4.30 – 6.30 pm). I didn’t find it that difficult to not smoke during those times.
My second session was a quick re-cap of the previous week. More discussions about my goal and a bit of hypnosis. He also increased my non-smoking times. (No smoking before 8.30 am, 9.30-10.30 am, 11.30 am to 1.30 pm and 4.30 – 7.30 pm). Again, it wasn’t too difficult to not smoke during those times. I also found myself trying not to smoke during other hours. I was still smoking, but definitely a lot less! On the downside, I worked my way through an ENTIRE bag of Smarties.
My third session was last Saturday. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. Or how anything I’d done in the previous two weeks was going to help me be a non-smoker.
My last session was basically all hypnosis.
And I walked out of there a non-smoker!
I realise now that the first two sessions were preparation. They really helped me understand my dependency and my triggers. They helped me to keep my goal in my mind at all times.
I think about smoking. I can imagine myself doing it. But it’s usually just a fleeting thought.