So there I was, Constantia KloofNek, 1.9km away from my life changing event. Well that’s what he said anyway(1.9 km not the life changing bit). I don’t know what I was thinking doing this on my own. No one knew where I was going that Saturday morning. “This is South Africa Zivia, he could be a murderer or a rapist for all you know” (I heard myself saying) but not even those thoughts could make me turn the car around. I was going through with this. I was determined.
I took my first puff at the tender age of around 13 or something. In those days, smoking was popular, not like now when we understand the dangers and it’s frowned upon. I recall it was on the steps of the High school that I attended and all the cool kids were smoking (including Yusuf aka Cosy) the boy whose attention I was trying to get. They were talking and smoking,making circles with their smoke. It all looked so cool. I decided to take that first puff and OMFather!! Disgusting, coughing, eyes burning, choking on the smoke but all the while pretending that I knew how to do this. I was…uhm….cool (I think), and that was the start of it all.
Forty has come and gone and still smoking. In your mind you believe that you can stop whenever you want to, but just try :- You’ll find that it isn’t as easy as you imagined it in your head. So, I found myself spending countless hours a week in my toilet. Yes, my toilet, hiding from my children, although they know that I smoked , I never wanted them to see me smoke. I always felt terribly awkward just at the thought of them finding me with a cigarette in my mouth. I would hide at social events like a teenager hiding cigarettes from their parents but I was tired of all this. I was tired of being controlled by this damn object. I was tired of having my clothes and breath reeking of stale tobacco. I wanted to be in control of my life again. I wanted to feel healthy. I wanted more time to do other things and I wanted to stop wasting money on this habit.
I’ve always been a big fan of alternate therapies so it made sense for me to find help in this area. I started reading up on Hypnosis on the internet and stumbled across this HypNoSmoking guy that offers a Money Back Guarantee (MBG). This, I wanted to see. The fact that he offered a MBG meant that he was confident about his technique. I needed to be too. So I arrive outside his practice in Hout Bay and I’m happy to see that there is signage outside his practice .Now I know its legit and he’s not a serial killer. Craig turns out to be a friendly guy with a lovely smile so lets see how he’s gonna do this.
He chats to me about what I can expect during the session and tells me that I will always be in control of the situation. So I’m thinking…”How on earth will I be in control when I’m in a deep sleep??” Anyway, he then explains that I will be able to hear him even in my “very relaxed Alpha state” which I’m seriously doubting but nod and smile anyway. He’s been chatting for more than an hour now and although the information he’s giving me is really useful, I’m secretly wishing that he would just get on with the hypnosis so that I can be “fixed again”. I want this over with now so that I can see the end result.
He reclines my comfortable seat and covers me with a light shawl. I like this. Mmmmmmm, “I’m gonna have a nice sleep now” I’m thinking…. NOT !!! He takes me to that relaxed state but I can still hear him. Why don’t I fall asleep? Why can I hear everything that he is saying? HOW ON EARTH IS THIS GOING TO WORK??? Even with all these thoughts going through my head, I still try to concentrate on the instructions he’s giving me. No easy task, since there are MANY voices just talking over each other in my head right now. But I continue to breathe and listen.( Did I mention this wasn’t easy?) (…well I’m saying it again..)
Then finally my eyes are open and its all over. Craig goes to his drawer, takes out a box of my brand of cigarettes and offers me one. This is the test Zivia. I burst into tears because I feel like I can still take that cigarette and light it this minute! “I guess it didn’t work for me”, I’m thinking, still in tears listening to Craig tell me that ” its going to be okay, trust me”.
I thought this was going to be easy. I would fall asleep, he would “reprogram” me and it would be a done deal. I just needed to be a willing participant . Sadly this was not the case but 8 days on and I still haven’t touched a cigarette. I’ve been in the company of smokers, been stressed out and even been bored (all the excuses smokers normally use) but haven’t ventured to the toilet to have that cigarette. Whatever you did Craig, has worked so far. I’m thrilled that I will soon be classified as a non smoker (especially when I announce to Discovery and earn those Vitality points). But seriously, I’m amazed. I can’t explain exactly how it works, but it does. So to all the critics out there, all I can say is that I guess as with most things in life, sometimes it works and occasionally it doesn’t. I’m just glad that it worked for me.