I went on an Allen Carr course to stop smoking some weeks ago. I knew it would work and it did. It may sound strange to you but I knew it would work because it had worked for me nearly three years ago when I went on the same course. That day I sat in a room with about fifteen other people. We spent five hours listening to a very nice lady talk to us about smoking. There was no mumbo jumbo, no strange stuff, no scare tactics, just what seemed like a normal presentation about smoking, and we smoked throughout it.
Then, at the end I had my last cigarette. I walked out of there and didn't smoke for over two years, not a drag, not a puff. In a weak moment a few months ago I succumbed and, within a matter of weeks, I was back on twenty a day. I decided almost immediately that I didn't want to be a smoker again and that I'd go back on another Allen Carr clinic to stop.
This post is not to persuade you to stop smoking, particularly if you don't smoke. It's not to advertise my chosen method of stopping either. It's merely to pass on a thing that I got from it, a powerful thing, one that I know I'll keep with me.
It goes like this. One of the key points to this method is about time frames. Often when people "give up" smoking, a term I use loosely, they count the minutes, the days, the weeks and, well you know the rest. I've done it before and I know of so many people who have taken the same approach. It the one where we set ourselves a target. We say "If I can last a week then I'll be almost there".
Then, after the week, we try to "last" a month, then a year and on we go. So ultimately we never feel as if we've stopped smoking. We just keep waiting for a magical moment at which we can declare ourselves to be a non smoker. And that moment only arrives when we die, which may be a bit too long to wait for many of us. When we're lying there on our death bed the last thing we're going to be thinking of is getting a pat on the back from someone for not smoking all that time.
We were told that we should avoid this trap by changing our mindset. We should leave the course and have the mentality of a non smoker. Think and believe that we don't smoke, rather than fretting about lasting a day or an hour without a fag.
It's such a powerful way to think that I have applied it to other things in my life too. Target and objective setting are important aspects of my life, I rarely have a day in which I'm not aiming for something. But I also must enjoy the now, the moment. To do that I still work at achieving targets but I try to enjoy that work. If it's drum practice then I treat it as a pleasure, which is pretty easy for me. I don't have band practices that I don't want to go to anymore. I make sure that I enjoy them.
For the record the stopping smoking clinic was on May 17th. There were no patches, no gum or no nicotine substitutes involved whatsoever. I had a couple of days in which I experienced some mild pangs of withdrawal symptoms. That was it. I left there as a non smoker.
I'm happy about that.