It’s pretty fair to say I used to love smoking. I smoked when I was happy and out with certain friends, I smoked when I was stressed, I smoked when I was bored, I enjoyed rituals of smoking immensely, such as with a gin and tonic sitting on the back door step and catching the last of the sun when I got in from work.
Smoking was very pleasurable, particularly on holiday, sitting on a beach with my best friend and a coffee. Happy memories. It was also a great way to punctuate the working day, gathering my thoughts mid morning and afternoon outside the office, it seemed to help with problems solving, unless there were others out there too and then it became more about catching up on the office gossip. Smoking was a great way to connect and meet people too.
It was also something that was a routine; always smoking on the way to the tube, on the walk to the work, at lunch, mid afternoon, after work drinks, on the way home and after dinner.
My History with Smoking
Both my parents smoked so you’d think that perhaps I may have been influenced by them but the funny thing is I was always hugely and staunchly against smoking. Every time one of them lit up a cigarette out would come the theatrics, I would huff and puff, flinging all the windows open and waving the living room door back and forth, trying to create a breeze to blow the smoke away – much to their great amusement.
Then I become a teenager. Everything I knew and felt so strongly about went completely out the window as my friends and I started to navigate our way through the challenges of puberty, joining high school, new friendship groups and boyfriends. A friend and I would see the older kids smoking in the park on the way to school, huddled together in a private group looking like they were having fun. They looked so rebellious, so cool and grown up and we wanted some of that! I remember us hatching a plan to try smoking ourselves so could master looking cool and sophisticated and in our heads other people would look at us and think that too.
And so began that slippery slope and my toxic relationship with cigarettes for many years, right up into my early 30s.
Smoking is like having a Toxic Relationship
They seem so attractive – yet at the same time you know that they’re bad for you, but the pull is too strong and somehow you just keep going back to them. You do everything in your power to stay away from them, to avoid where they might be but in the end you just can’t seem to help yourself. They sneakily lure you back in when your defenses are down or you’re feeling weak. You get tied up in anxiety thinking about them or trying not to think about them.
I’d go periods of stopping smoking, several weeks or a month, then out of the blue I’d be out somewhere and I’d want them so badly, perhaps saying to myself I’ll just have this one, or I’ll just smoke for this evening. And so the cycle would start and I’d be back in that toxic relationship pattern all over again.
After many failed attempts at stopping smoking for good, the frustration with willpower (poor), gum (revolting), patches (useless), books (interesting reading) out of sheer desperation I sought solace in Google and typed in hypnotherapy to stop smoking in London.
Breaking The Pattern
That phone call literally changed my life. Not only did I go on to successfully stop smoking after one session, I was blown away by the process and just how easy it was, my only regret was that I hadn’t discovered Cognitive Hypnotherapy sooner.
Fascinated by the power of the mind and what can be achieved I then went on to retrain in Cognitive Hypnotherapy, change careers and have spent the last decade helping hundreds of people successfully stop smoking too and you could be next.
Are you in a toxic relationship with cigarettes and would like to break the pattern, once and for all? A single session of 2 hours is all is takes.