I was a smoker for 30 years, until stopping two weeks ago. (By the way, I’m with Allen Carr on this one: it’s better to think of it as ‘stopping’ or ‘quitting’ smoking, rather than ‘giving up’, because giving up implies some form of sacrifice, which quitting something so vile and unhealthy shouldn’t be).
I started at age 11 and a half. It started because these kids at school started bullying me, by bundling me into corners and having a sly feel of my girly bits. It got so bad that I told my mum and she reported it to the head of year. Because they’d been rumbled, the bullies made my life hell in other ways, ways in which it was harder for them to be caught. Little sly, whispered insults as I walked past. Spreading rumours about me. Getting other people who hadn’t been implicated in the original attacks to start jumping on me instead. Et cetera.
I was hanging out with this girl at the time who I thought was pretty cool. Jess, her name was. She was a smoker, and always hung out with other cool people at the secret places at school where smokers always hang out. Everyone respected Jess; she was never bullied, never picked on. She was intelligent and worked hard in class, but was never called a geek or swot or “big head” (that was my nickname for 5 years of secondary school) and in my little head that was because she was a cool smoker who hung out with other cool smokers. So I started smoking, so I could be cool too. The bullying didn’t stop, but it was too late: I was hooked.
I’m sure this story is familiar to lots of smokers and ex-smokers. As is the story of the number of times I’ve attempted to stop smoking, over the years. I’ve tried self-help books, hypnotherapy CDs, cold turkey, nicotine replacement therapy (tabs, gum and patches, all of which just made me smoke more), and some vile spray that was supposed to make cigarettes taste horrible, but didn’t.
The key thing connecting all these failed attempts at smoking cessation is my mental attitude.
Every single time I tried to stop smoking in the past, I always felt it was something I ought to do, rather than something I passionately *wanted* to do. It was the right thing to do for my health, my daughter, my purse, my wheezing cats, the stains on the ceiling, the stains on my fingers; always the right thing, but never something I really embraced or looked forward to, or was properly committed to.
This time is very different.
The fact that I’ve gone two whole weeks without falling off the wagon is amazing enough (I’ve been known to smoke 20 fags while wearing a 21mg nicotine patch). But the fact that I actually feel great – and have felt great throughout – is nothing short of miraculous.
Two things are different this time. First, I really wanted to stop. I wanted to not be a slave to nicotine, to the companies that profit from smoking, and from the government that profits from the vast amount of tax that smokers pay whenever they buy a pack of cigs. And secondly, I’ve been using homeopathic remedies – two little pills, six times a day – prescribed by Heather, the homeopathic angel that I visit monthly to help with healing my fibroids.
Now, I don’t know what’s in these pills, and even if I did you wouldn’t be able to just rush out and buy them because they’re prescribed for me specifically (homeopathy works that way: Heather prescribed remedies based on things I told her about what I’m like when I’m craving nicotine). But I will ask Heather to pop by and leave a comment explaining a bit more about how these pills work, because I have to tell you – they DO work. They work for me, and considering my past habit I’m pretty amazed and very impressed. Yes, I do get the odd craving; you know the feeling, that little knot in your stomach and the feeling that you need to take a sudden, sharp intake of breath. But the amazing thing is, these cravings literally do not bother me. My brain just says, all matter of fact like, “oh it’s just a craving; it’ll pass”. And it does!
OK, it’s early days yet; I’ve only been stopped for two weeks. But I’ll tell you this: it’s the longest I have ever gone without smoking, and that’s very encouraging indeed.
I’d be interested to hear from anyone else who’s successfully stopped smoking with the help of homeopathy. Please leave a comment if that’s you!