by Bob Lethaby
I went to a hypnotist the other day in a bid to cure my on-going problems associated with social smoking, particularly with a beer or at our Sunday cricket matches.
I have to say that it was a terrible experience that left me feeling deflated and ripped off because when I left the building none of my social cravings had been erased.
There are several categories of smoker but the main two are as follows:
- Smokers who have no regard for what doctors or their family say as they belligerently puff themselves into a pine overcoat, satisfying themselves with the fact they didn’t want to end up in a care home anyway.
- Smokers who wake up each day detesting themselves for smoking but just can’t rid themselves of the temptation in a relaxed social environment.
I fall into the former category, in fact many people I associate with don’t even know I smoke, particularly those around me in a working environment. It’s all a bit bizarre really as I class myself as a non-smoker but there is no getting away from the fact that if you put a pint of beer or a glass of wine in my hand and someone else is smoking, I won’t be far behind them.
The reason I went to a hypnotist the other day is because the last time I visited one (a lovely lady in Odiham) the thought of smoking didn’t even register again until I stupidly smoked a Cafe Crème cigar on a stag weekend some six years later.
I am now wondering whether the lady in Odiham was an excellent hypnotist or whether I was just more inclined to give up smoking as my mother had died of a stroke a few weeks previously. A dead mother is a good incentive to stop smoking, so it may not have been the hypnotist at all?
My only other experience of hypnosis was around 1990 when I went to see Paul McKenna on stage. I am not really sure what happened because I had already decided it would be crap before I got there and I cleared off to the pub halfway through. I already hated the smug twat as a Radio 1 DJ, so what I was doing going to see him on stage is still beyond personal comprehension.
So I guess I was sceptic at first, then I saw the woman in Odiham and I was a believer, but now, in my current mind-set, I regard them as con artists who prey on vulnerability and desperation. They are a bit like Jehovah’s Witnesses really; this guy I saw even looked like one.
The thing about non-smoking hypnotists is that they are only telling me what I already know. Smoking is habitual and not physically addictive. In hindsight I might as well have handed someone £45.00 to tell me night follows day, but I genuinely thought that this weirdo could tap these things back into my subconscious thinking. I was Wrong.
Our brains are incredibly powerful and if they are not prepared to be controlled by someone we feel uncomfortable with they won’t be. When I was taken in by the woman in Odiham, I trusted her judgement. She spoke well and factually about cigarettes and what makes them damaging and socially (but not physically) addictive. She hated patches and gum because she knew with one hundred per cent conviction that smoking was about breaking habits, not about coming off nicotine.
She wasn’t a hypnotist; she was a bloody good sales person. Perhaps it is the same thing, it was good enough for me for seven years and I still firmly hold the same beliefs as her with regards to habits and addictions and the root cause of them. That’s what a good hypnotist is I reckon, a good talker and sales person who you put your belief in. They are nothing more, nothing less.
That is why the hypnotist I saw the other night failed. I didn’t trust him; I didn’t believe his shitty story (where he kept fluffing his lines) about walking on a warm beach as a non-smoker, in fact if anything it made me fancy having a fag and a cool beer as I watched the tide come in.
To put it bluntly, this guy was a shit hypnotist, a shit salesman and a shit orator, so shit, he made me crave for the very thing he was attempting to rid me of. If you want to start smoking, I’ll get you his number if you like.
Funnily enough, I haven’t smoked since I saw him, something he would claim is a success on his part, but it isn’t, it is just me playing smoking arithmetic, working how long I can go without buying a few fags to indirectly get back the £45.00 I gave to the fucker.
I promise with the bottom of my heart and on the life of my loved ones that the only way to give up smoking is to forget the myth that it is physically addictive. Once you have accepted that, you can start going through the process of analysing your habits and breaking them down. If a salesman/hypnotist can help you with that then why not I say?
I have done this before for several separate periods including six years, 18 months, one year and two months at the beginning of this year. I know exactly the process you need to take to stop altogether but sadly, I just get bored of it. I need to find a way of avoiding getting bored as a non-smoker, how I do that I am not sure.
One thing is for certain though, during the three times I have stopped, I have never been hit by a bus.
Check out more of Bob’s writing here – http://www.boblethaby.co.uk/