I’m 49 so as you can imagine, I’d stopped smoking many times during my life – never for very long. I stopped smoking with the Allen Carr book the first time and a lot of clients who come to me to quit smoking with hypnotherapy tell me that they also successfully stopped after reading that book, but just as I did returned to their smoking habit not long afterwards. From memory some of the effective techniques about the Allen Carr stop smoking book is the repetitive element, which works at an almost unconscious level. During a quit smoking hypnosis session, I use suggestions such as ‘you will quit smoking today’ and from today ‘you will experience a complete relief from all your previous cravings.’ There are phrases not too dissimilar from these kind of direct suggestions in that book and I suspect those that have stopped smoking with Allen Carr book have been influenced to some degree by the suggestions themselves.
Anyway, I digress. I wanted to talk about the day that I completely stopped smoking, the day I used hypnosis to stop smoking cigarettes. I stopped smoking the day that we buried my dad and it hurts me to be writing about this event within the context of a smoking blog. I wonder if he’d mind.
My dad was an incredible human being, compassionate and forgiving and I miss those qualities especially as they are amongst the rarest and because perhaps, in this respect I fall so far from the bar he set. He was beyond intelligent, truly gifted intellectually but also culturally. Most of all he was sublimely funny and loved life. He was an eternal optimist, who lived for the moment and the game of Bridge, a game he dedicated his life to and a world that celebrated his name and character.
But my dad was a heavy smoker. He smoked mostly to alleviate stress and to help him concentrate at the Bridge table. In the early years he made smoking seemed cool. He tried to give up a few times but never particularly seriously – in his mind, it was his only real vice. However, by the time he was in his fifties, his smoking habit no longer seemed cool, the dirty fag butts that lay scattered around his office just added to the chaos that had always followed him.
Although, there was no refuting the fact that my dad loved life, even once he was diagnosed with diabetes and emphysema he continued to smoke. I was not a hypnotist at that point, if I was, I would have no doubt suggested that he’d try a stop smoking hypnosis session. That said, even if he had, the truth is you have to want to stop smoking for a hypnosis to stop smoking session to work. By the time my dad was first diagnosed with lung cancer, I was already a hypnotist and he let me do a session with him. I think if I’m honest, he was doing it to humour me, although he did stop smoking for a while after the hypnosis session. A while later, I learnt from my brother that the two of them shared a cigarette in the car when my brother drove him to the hospital. I have to say, had it been me in the car and I’d had a pack of cigarettes on me, I would have done the same thing. One of the reasons why I smoked for so long was because I enjoyed a cigarette with my dad whenever I went over to his and my mums to see them.
Amazingly, my dad survived his first cancer ordeal and returned home after having a slice of his lung removed. We had him for another year before the cancer returned and there was a big debate and reflection as to what treatment he was going to opt for. After weighing up the choices, my dad opted for the surgery. Of course there was great risk involved but he felt he could do it and he was prepared to take the risk and return home with a greater quality of life.
I’m not going to go through the horrific ordeal that he faced and that we had to watch from the side-lines. Covid hospital restrictions added pain, separation and trauma to an already traumatic situation – watching my dad slip away, having fought to stay alive for as long as he could, changed something deep inside me; the fear on his face was unbearable and a few weeks later I practiced self-hypnosis to stop smoking and used both the love I felt – feel for him, and the pain for his loss.
On the day of his burial, I’d made my decision that that was the day that I was going to stop smoking forever, so I harnessed some striking images to use in my own self-hypnosis to stop smoking session and chose the evening of his burial to give the treatment a significant kind of closure. In many ways I felt as though my hypnosis session to stop smoking was a pact I’ve made with my dad as well as myself and I know if he had his time again, he would have stopped smoking. I doubt my dad has many regrets in his life but I do believe that may have been one of them.
If you’ve ever considered stopping smoking with hypnosis and would like to learn more about it, you I’ve shared some hypnotherapy stop smoking You Tube sessions on my You Tube channel. They’re extremely dull to watch but you will get a good insight as to what to expect in a hypnotherapy stop smoking session.