30 days to a better me?

The Background and preamble

Well, at the beginning of this year, I decided that my NY resolution would be to stop being stubborn about my health. Well, that’s meant actually seeing the physio and doing something about my shoulder, going to the optometrist more regularly, actually going to the GP when I felt sick, visiting the dentist … basically trying to actually address my health rather than ignore it.

OK, so some habits are harder to break than others. I still go into work when I really should be home resting, but … at least I’m making the effort.

So, that’s where all of this started.

Part of my decision was to give up smoking. Now this is not an easy decision for me. No, not because of the addiction, I’ve beaten that before, I’m sure I can do it again.


Seriously, I enjoy the distinct flavours of each of the better cigarettes, the complex tones of cigars, the wonderful combinations possible with pipes … it’s all very, very, enjoyable.

However, while I’m not too fussed by the potential for cancer and the like (hell, let’s be honest, everything is carcinogenic these days!), I am more than aware that my lung capacity is not as strong as it should be … and worse, that if I decide to get my open water diving certification, I will be four times more likely to be affected by the bends than a non-smoker, and it will be masked all the more since a smoker will feel similar symptoms (muscle aching, headaches, etc) after each dive due to the lack of oxygen circulation that is caused by smoking.

See, that’s scary. That’s comes back to the Pleasure Unit Theory. What will I get more pleasure out of – smoking or diving?

Thus, I decided that since the last time I quit smoking the psychological warfare was what I lost, I needed to see a hypnotist.

So, that’s what I thought I booked.

The Session

So yesterday, Sunday afternoon, I arrived at the Hotel that the practitioner was staying at and that he’d be running the session from for me.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, I mean, I was aware that his fee was substantially higher than the average “stop smoking now” hypnotherapist, and he did come highly commended by my GP … so … I guess I had high expectations out of him … and presumptions of the process.

Well, he met me in the foyer, brought me upstairs and got me to sit down. He then began a series of slides, starting with the basics of success, motivation, the brain, conscious and subconscious, self image, change, learning, attitudes, happiness and goal setting that ran over a couple of hours.

Well, I wasn’t expecting that.

Neither was I expecting the workbooks and the CD collection that I would eventually walk home with.

The session ended in a “wakenosis” – which was very interesting, but to be honest left me feeling confused, dazzled and dubious at the same time.

After the session.

Leaving the hotel, we decided to go look for dinner. I felt very out of it – like there were two of me and neither was sure who was in charge. I felt like a cigarette, but at the same time, I didn’t. Anyhow, a few hours later, after dinner, I thought, “bugger this, I’m going to give it a try”, so I pulled a smoke out, lit it up and … nothing, no enjoyment, no savouring the flavour, just dusty nothingness.

I threw it down and stomped it.

I was uncertain what had happened, but thought, “well, I guess something worked.


Today was a different story.

I used the goal setting strategy tool he had supplied me with yesterday and wrote a goal for today on a 7*12cm System Card. It read:

By the end of today, I am a non smoker.

I have successfully travelled through my day without a cigarette and fell happy and light.

I am a more positive person through this process.

This now comes to reality or better. I give thanks.

Well, it wasn’t that simple.

This morning was fine. I was happy and positive – not Wisteria Lane over-the-top chirpy, but generally not negative and admittedly, probably still very dazed from yesterday.

As the day progressed though, the chasm between the two halves – the part that “needed” a smoke and the part that was “resisting” was becoming more pronounced. I became very light headed quite a few times, the urges became almost unbearable a number of times, panic attacks surged two or three times throughout the rest of the day. I barely was able to concentrate on my job, and in the end I gave up and went home.

I was fine on the drive down (I never smoked in the car before so no biggie) and finally got home. At home the pattern continued, though not as furiously as during the afternoon.

I finally remembered the CD’s he gave me, and put the first one on.

It helped. It was a guided relaxation, nothing special on the surface, but surprisingly effective.

That was a couple of hours ago, and while I still have the light headiness, I’m more relaxed and the urges are mild in comparison.

The programme is meant to last 28 to 30 days. It’s meant to help you focus on other aspects of your life and improve them as well.

So, this was my first entry in tracking whether I will become a better person after 30 days.

I’m heading back to listen to the first CD again, and then probably head to bed not too long after that. Tomorrow I’ll start on the book that accompany’s this and report on how I coped with my non-smoking and day in general.

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