Welcome to 2017! This is going to be a more personal post than most, but one of my resolutions is to be more transparent, go after what I want and live each day like there's no tomorrow.
In 2016 we lost many a celebrity, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Debbie Reynolds to literally just name a few. On a more personal level my family and I said goodbye to my Poppop who passed away due to complications after open heart surgery. I've also dealt with the death of a marriage, as my parents unexpectantly split after nearly 40 years together. 2016 was hard on all of us, in the years of social media I don't know that I've ever seen so many people commenting on the fact that they are glad it has come to an end.
It wasn't all bad though right? Personally, I grew my business, learned new things, celebrated the marriage of quite a few friends, became closer with the aunts and uncles on my moms side, fell deeper in love with my husband and managed to finally stop smoking!
I am free from smoking, and you can be too
Just to get this out on the table, this is in no way sponsored by, suggested by, etc the lifesaver who helped me to stop. I wanted to write this post mainly for the people who may have heard of using hypnosis for this purpose and were just as skeptical as I was. Research didn't get me very far and I hope that sharing my experience here can help others.
So who is this lifesaver you ask? Brianna Bedigian! Brianna uses hypnosis to change your way of thinking and help you to stop smoking entirely, along with other things too, of course.
The first thing I learned from Brianna is that you can only be hypnotised if you want to be, so the people who do things and squawk like chickens, etc at shows are doing those things because they want to, not because they have to. So basically, if you're toying with the idea of stopping it may not work so well on you, you have to be 100% commited.
The next thing I learned was that in hypnosis negative words are no good. So as you may have noticed I haven't used the words "quit smoking," I've used "free from smoking." It's for that very reason, quit is a negative but being free is a positive.
Tried and tried again
Brianna used to live in the Baltimore area and had helped a few of my other friends stop and through the years I thought about the idea of hypnosis. I'd done the cold turkey, the patch, chantix, cold turkey, vaping and finally read, Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking. His book had a lot of good ideas in it and did help me to stop smoking entirely for a month or so, but then kickball started, the weather got nicer and the smoking picked back up. The need to smoke outweighed the want to not and I fell back into the routine, not nearly as bad, but still, back into lighting up when and where I could.
My husband hated it, my sister despised it and I hated myself for trying to hide the fact that I had picked it up again. I found myself sneaking away while at the bar, hoping my husband wouldn't notice and that's when I realized I was embarrassed of my addiction and knew it was time, I was ready and I was going to stop.
I looked up Brianna's information and sent her a message before I could change my mind. Her response was fast and we spoke on the phone, I believe as quickly as the next day. She explained to me she was no longer in the Baltimore area, she had moved to North Carolina, but that she did do hypnosis over the phone.
Over the phone?!?! Yeah, that was the point I got really skeptical, but I wasn't about to back off yet. I did some more research, looked at some local people and realized, Brianna was easy to talk to, I personally knew of three people who stopped years ago and it was definitely something I wanted to do. I set up my first hypnosis appointment and then the fun started.
As a side note, Brianna explained to me that smoking hypnosis takes two or three treatments to fully work. The first two I paid in full at the beginning and then we would determine if a third was necessary afterwards.
She then asked me about something that I hated the taste of, pickles! (The taste of pickle juice literally makes me gag.) And where my triggers were, the car, drinking, and being outside with fellow smokers were my big ones. She also told me to make sure anything having to do with smoking was gone and to have my car detailed before my first appointement.
On March 10, 2016 we had our first over the phone hypnosis. I laid in bed, headphones in my ears, excited and completely at a loss for what to expect. Brianna put me in the hypnotic state and it all began. I never could remember everything that happened during the first session, all I can really remember is an intense calm, her voice was soooo soothing. I remember her telling me cigarettes taste like pickles, that if I got the urge to smoke in my car I was to tap my fingers to the music, to remember how clean my car was and how I liked it that way, and if I wasn't around music I was to put my hands in my pockets. Knowing that my first treatement was about 45 minutes I'm certain there was more, but like I said, I don't really remember.
After that I took my recommended salt bath and I told my husband what I could remember. We both laughed and I wondered if I had just wasted my money, but I was still pretty optimistic. My optimism got stronger on St. Patricks Day, one of my favorite holidays, when I managed to make it through the entire day/night, beer in hand and not smoke. I admit, it was not easy, I had to keep repeating, "I am free from smoking" to myself. I smelled pickle juice (yes you read that right) and I fake smoked some ball point pens to calm my hand to mouth cravings. Making it through was hard, but waking up the next day, knowing I had done it, was all I needed to know the hypnosis was working.
My next hypnosis appointment was on the 19th I believe and I couldn't have been more excited. This one is a little more clear and yet a little more fuzzy. I remember healing with light, there was a lot of that. I had to scan my body, find the bad and get rid of it. I also spent time in a room with doors. One door had my husband inside, he told me how proud he was and how he would help me stay free. Another door led to my kickball field, apparently I was most worried about smoking while standing on the sidelines. Brianna "put me in a bubble" to protect me from wanting to do so. I don't think I needed the third door, but I do remember something about tearing pages out of a book, not sure why.
We did some more light healing and I bonded with something, or myself, or my spirit. I don't quite remember who it was. I know she asked if someone was standing in front of me and I said yes. She asked me to get closer and asked me to see if I could become one with them or something. I remember feeling intense cold, some pressure, an all over weird feeling, almost like a wave in my body. I was shaking a bit and I was definitely crying. I don't know what happened at that point, some sort of inner healing I guess, it was so weird and so intense but also so calming.
After that Brianna pulled me back out and I was free! I took another salt bath and never looked back!
No, sorry it wasn't quite that easy. I still had the occassional want to smoke after I'd get a few drinks in me. I found it easiest to write my new mantra, "I am free from smoking," on my forearm. When I'd get antsy I'd look down at it, and had an instant calming effect. At first I had to write it each time I went out, but as the weeks went by I noticed I was writing and looking at it less and less. I'd guess probably two or so months after I stopped writing it all together. I also added it to my computer monitor for stressful work days.
I managed to make it through the high stress of my parents split and the loss of my Poppop and can only remember one time wanting to smoke and literally just having to shake my head in order to talk myself out of it.
Life has gotten so much simpler with stopping. And I've even had some interesting side effects. She told me how I like my car clean and now I can't stand it being otherwise. I used to have probably at least 12 empty soda cans, random papers, etc in my car and now don't you dare leave a leaf from your shoe! It makes me chuckle each time I have to grab something out of my car because it will drive me nuts. I've also noticed that while at my kickball games I can't smell smoke. I'm guessing it has something to do with the "bubble" she put me in, but I can be standing next to someone smoking and be unable to smell the smoke. So weird right?!?
I'm about to hit my ten month anniversary of freedom and with new years resolutions I figure there's at least one of you who wants to stop smoking. So why not give it a try? I highly recommend hypnosis, especially with Brianna Bedigain.
No matter your resolutions you've made I wish you all the luck in the world accomplishing them! Happy new year!
Blogging isn't a constant thing for me, but hopefully someone will get some use out of the things I say, no matter how far in between.