by Chris Holmes
Now THIS is what I’m talking about! This is why no-one needs to take a risk with Champix The Suicide Pill:
Well I am happy to inform you that I am a non smoker. I had my hypnotherapy session last week and have not picked up a cigarette since nor do I want to. I knew what to expect due to reading your book and doing my own research. I enjoyed the session and was so excited on the day.
While I was waiting to go in for my appointment (I was early) I was chatting to this older man who was outside having a cigarette and waiting for someone else (nothing to do with where I was going). He asked me who I was waiting for and I told him what I was doing. He said he had hypnotherapy in the UK for smoking and then about 10 years later he immigrated to Australia and took up smoking again so in his opinion hypnotherapy didn’t work!, I had a little chuckle and told him it looked to me as if it did work. Anyway he was all excited about starting champix and I told him to make sure he researches it fully, in fact I know a website ……….
He wished me luck as I him, luck that he will not take champix and place himself in danger.
There has been a strange outcome of my quitting smoking that I never saw coming. The reaction of my husband!. While my 23 year old son has been very supportive and is encouraged by my success, my husband is being difficult. He will deliberately annoy me until I am angry and then say things like ” oo getting a bit tetchy I understand” or throwing his Cigarette out the window when I get in the car and saying ” oops, better get rid of that stinky smoke”. I have not been bothered by his smoking at all as I am a non smoker so it has no effect on me. It is as if he is wanting me to fail and has mentioned that he is closely watching how this ‘works’ for me cause he might try it. I just get an uneasy feeling that he is bating me or testing me to see if I will smoke again. I love my husband dearly and can’t quite understand why he is acting like this, although he is easing off a bit now. Chris, have you seen this response from other ex smokers smoking partners before?
Last night we had a Xmas party for my husbands sports group and it was good to be able to sit inside the whole time but boy did I smell it when the smokers all came back in, I was so Happy that wasn’t me anymore
I have been spreading the word on champix usage to my kiwi friends and encouraging them to check out your website. Now that I have had the hypnotherapy I am even a better example to them.
Keep up the brilliant work, have passed book one on to my dad and eagerly await book two.
So I emailed back:
Hi Rachel, well done you! And well done to your hypnotherapist for a sound professional job there! Ask if she would like a namecheck on my blog, I’d be happy to oblige!
I cannot understand the attitude of people like the smoker (or ex-non-smoker!) you met who interpreted starting smoking again years later as a “failure of hypnotherapy”! You would think anyone with any intelligence would return to the therapy that worked for them before, as indeed most people will if they relapse at some stage. It is the logical choice. However, some behaviour and some decisions are not based on logic. There is an urban myth that if you have had hypnotherapy to stop smoking before, it won’t work a second time – which is RUBBISH! But there might be another explanation. Blaming the relapse on hypnotherapy can be a way of avoiding blaming himself. (Actually there’s no need to blame anyone, we can fix it easily. It’s really not a big deal.) Or he may have adopted the notion that the hypnotherapy “wore off” – although that attitude is more common if the relapse happens within the first 12 months, it’s a bit weird to look at it like that after a ten-year interval! Hypnotherapy isn’t a treatment, it’s a communication process, so it cannot “wear off”, but it is always possible for anyone to smoke again. I could start smoking again if I wanted to. Would that be a somewhat late ‘failure’ in my decision to stop thirteen years ago? I think not!
But to start again, one needs a reason. And if you move to another country, like that chap did in moving to Australia, you need friends. And if the new people you meet are smokers, and they offer you a cigarette… even if you don’t want one, it might seem a bit unfriendly to refuse, like you’re rejecting their attempts at hospitality, maybe even seems disapproving? And as former smokers ourselves, we don’t really disapprove of smokers, do we? Most of us don’t anyway. So what harm could one little cigarette do? When circumstances change, and human individuals need new friends and allies – need to feel accepted – they may adopt a behaviour that they would have passed up under different circumstances. It’s a common enough scenario, and it doesn’t matter because it’s easily fixed with another hypnotherapy session!
Why did he not return to hypnotherapy then? Well the therapist he saw before was in another country, so that would mean starting all over again seeking out a different therapist, and… most likely he didn’t really want to believe in hypnotherapy in the first place, was astonished when it worked because that was contrary to his normal world-view – which is probably more inclined to believe in “tablets from the doctor” than anything ‘alternative’ – so when he started again, he just slipped back into his conventional comfort-zone and dismissed hypnotherapy as if it were a failure. What allowed him to succeed with it in the first place was his genuine underlying desire to quit smoking anyway, which we can be sure of because he didn’t relapse for a decade and he is attempting quitting again with the Champix. (All of this is speculation, of course, but these things are common enough.)
This all boils down to the general ignorance and misunderstanding about hypnotherapy which my book aims to dispel, and replace with a general and widespread UNDERSTANDING of it, not just recognition and acceptance. What really holds hypnotherapy back is general ignorance and prejudice. I’ve always thought that the kind of success we would be seeing if everyone already understood hypnotherapy and it enjoyed universal approval and recognition would be nothing short of spectacular. It’s pretty exciting already, as you’ve just been discovering for yourself!
And so to your husband, and his ‘unexpected’ reaction to your success! Yes, I’ve seen it before – in fact I included a case of it in the Case Mysteries in the second volume, a passage under the title of THE DISSUADERS. Sounds like your husband only has a mild case of this though – the case I wrote about was unusually bad because it was systematic and relentless, and unfortunately succeeded in undoing all the good work hypnotherapy did in that case, and I have to admit it did make me angry – but there was nothing I could do about it.
Now, you mustn’t be angry with your husband, because these are Subconscious reactions which some smokers have when someone close to them successfully quits. Usually they are short-term reactions, and the best thing to do is let your natural good humour deal with them because like most grouchy behaviour it shouldn’t be taken too seriously. It is not really malicious in most cases, it is based on fear. You see, back in the day, when ‘everyone’ smoked (as smokers often claim!), the fact that smoking could kill you wasn’t such a worry because we had a feeling that there was safety in numbers and surely it wouldn’t happen to US. And no-one disapproved too much in those days, so we could be fairly comfortable with our smoking habit. You could smoke anywhere, no-one cared, it was regarded as a fairly normal – even fairly respectable – lifestyle thing.
My God how that has changed! Smokers are very much on the back foot now, numbers are dwindling, every year someone else quits, there’s pictures of tumours on the carton, you can’t smoke anywhere in public without being arrested, the latest TV ads in the UK tell you to not only smoke outside, but now you’ve got to take seven steps away from your house before you light up, like you’re fucking radioactive or something… pretty soon you’ll be told you have to take a bus to a remote abandoned quarry before it’s permissible to light up, and be decontaminated and all your clothes burned before you’re allowed to return to your children, dressed in sackcloth and ashes. God knows how my family have survived with my old Dad smoking his pipe in the car with the windows rolled up all through my childhood… I’d like to see someone try to tell him he has to get out of his armchair and take seven steps away from his house before he lights the filthy thing up again. I wouldn’t, I don’t mind him smoking at all. I felt like puking in the car when I was a kid sometimes, but that’s just normal. I’m glad I don’t live in the same house as him, but there are lots of reasons for that. He’s there by himself nowadays, he can smoke if he wants to. He’s 82. He still plays tennis every week. No kidding. The man has virtually no medical records, he never worries about his health.
Not everyone is that health-confident. Smokers get worried these days – not just about illness, but about not being ‘able’, personally, to stop smoking. Each time someone they know quits, it makes them a bit nervous because it starts to seem increasingly ‘wrong’ to be a smoker, increasingly likely that they WILL be the one that gets the smoking-related disease, and that’s why – if the quitting attempt fails, other smokers often feel a private sense of relief, so that the commiserations are also partly a “welcome back” into the fold.
When you decided to quit, it was your decision, not your husband’s decision – but your success throws his own smoking habit into sharp relief, and that brings discomfort. It may well feel threatening, in two ways: now he may feel ‘obliged’ to try to quit himself – but without the freedom to decide that for himself, and with the fear of failing, which haunts a lot of smokers. He may not WANT to quit at this stage, and be fearful that now you’re going to use his smoking habit as a stick to beat him with – even if you were never going to do any such thing! He may be afraid of hypnosis, as a lot of people are even though there is no risk in it whatsoever. And – don’t forget – there is a certain element of competition in all close human relationships, especially male/female partnerships… the old battle of the sexes… which men like to feel that they would always win, only now you’re one up on him… the pressure’s on…
Not much of this goes through a person’s conscious mind. No, it all bubbles away underneath, and just pops up in little snidey comments and unworthy needling behaviour which is actually aimed at tipping you back into smoking so that he doesn’t have to change or be affected by any of these shifts in the usual state of affairs… but he may not realise that these are the typical causes of this moody phase. And it doesn’t matter, as long as you just smile at the insecurity of men and don’t taunt him about it or indeed take it seriously at all. Just ignore it, forgive him for being normal and it will peter out soon enough, especially if you are tolerant about his habit and don’t beat him up about it (always a mistake). Remember, his smoking habit should have no bearing on your own preference to be a non-smoker – don’t decide that he’s got to quit too now, and don’t hit back. Just enjoy your freedom and leave him to deal with his own issues himself in his own good time. Don’t let the smoking issue drive a wedge between you, because I think we all had the right idea in the old days – smoking is no big deal. But it IS rubbish, which should always be the reason any smoker quits, and it should always be of their own accord.
Is it okay if I put some of this up on the website? Also, let me know the name of your hypnotherapist and her location, so I can promote her services for her! And once again: Well Done Rachel!!!! Enjoy your freedom, and your health.
To which our new non-smoker replied:
Hi Chris, thank you again for your most informative email. My husband seems to be backing off a bit now, in fact this morning he even mentioned how ‘nice’ I have been lately lol. He is the one who first mentioned quitting smoking it’s just that I was the one who did something about it. I know he wants to quit but it has to be when he is ready, not just because I did. I certainly never say anything about it to him, he’s a big boy now.
That man I met who said hypnotherapy didn’t work for him, after ten years of complete success really made me chuckle, some people never fail to amaze me, the frightening thing is, he is happy to be going on Champix. I liked your explanation of his behavior, it makes sense.
I am always happy for you to use my emails on your site if you feel they are appropriate.
The hypnotherapist I saw was:
PO Box 748
Wynnum. Qld. 4178
Chris, I will contact her and ask her permission as requested. [It was granted.]
Have a very Merry Christmas and a safe New Year. Keep up all the good work, you changed my life, if your website hadn’t have been available I probably would never even thought of using hypnotherapy for quitting smoking. If your book wasn’t written, I would have only had my suspicions that NRT doesn’t work instead of the proof and knowledge I now have. If you had just ignored my emails I may have been put off by the whole thing as if you were just someone who wants to makes money… instead you have always promptly answered my enquiries in a thorough and humorous manner, supporting me through this turning point in my life. Thanks Chris!!! As is my way now I will continue to support your campaign in any way I am able.
Rachel told me that she had contacted two hypnotherapists at first, and decided on Barbera because the other therapist was charging too much:
I am seeing the hypnotherapist on the 17th of December and can’t wait to finally be free from this behaviour. She has 40 years of experience and the cost is $AU130, I contacted an ad from the local paper and the guy was charging $AU600 for the initial session and $AU400 for the follow up session (which I really shouldn’t need).
This confirms what I always say to smokers: Don’t pay top dollar. Do not assume that if you pay high prices you will get the best therapy, it isn’t true at all. I’m pretty good at what I do, but I don’t overcharge. My stop smoking sessions are £120. There are a few therapists in the UK charging as much as £450, but that just means that they are more interested in your money than your well-being, so don’t go to them! Do what Rachel did, go for experience and reasonable rates, that’s where you’ll find the magic.
For any smokers in the North West of the UK: Central Hypnotherapy