I could be you or you could be me. Let me tell you about myself. Apart from being an only child
etc., etc., at the age of thirteen I started smoking – fag-buts my parents left in the ashtray and the odd one or
two out their packet when they weren’t looking. As I got a little older and a Saturday job I progressed to roll-ups
and woodbines. I did this because I wanted to look older and be like my mates, “sophisticated”.
Later at the ripe old age of eighteen I gave up smoking because I was pregnant with my first
child and the smell of smoke made me feel physically ill. I had the odd smoke after my daughter was born when my
in-laws from Germany visited but generally kept off the fags until I was 21. My grandmother died. Started smoking
because of the grief, least that was what I thought.
I continued to smoke for the next 12 years until my 5 children began to nag me about my health
and how they would feel if I died young. So I gave up for 7 whole years. I got divorced whilst setting up in
business for myself. Oh the stress! And I started smoking again.
Four years later I met my second husband who was a non-smoker but did not put any pressure on me
to give up. My working life by this time had changed and I sometimes went 10 –12 hours without a smoke and came
home and smoked the days supply until the light came on. Why on earth was I smoking when I came home if I could go
10 –12 hours, madness. I gave up smoking again. Two years later I got divorced. I kept off the smokes this time for
another two years until I met my current partner. He is a smoker and before I knew where I was a few drinks and
months later there I was smoking away again.
My life changed again in August 2000 quite dramatically. My business went under and I lost
everything material. I lost my homes (2), my business, my money and possessions. I decided to treat this turn of
events from a tragedy to a new adventure. I was starting out on a new chapter of my book of life. I secured a
rented house in Leeds , (although unwittingly an area that had a bad reputation linked to its name), and settled
in. By October of the same year I had found myself a job paying a reasonable wage, so I moved into a better
neighbourhood. As part of my new life I resolved to give up smoking but was conscious that in the past whenever
there was a crisis in my life out came the fags.
Let me tell you that does not have to be the case. With Julie’s help (of Julie Woodcock
Hypnotherapy and break the habit), through hypnotism I have given up smoking for over 2 years. I know the hypnotism
has worked and the “oh dear I have a crisis I must have a fag has gone” because since giving up, my mum developed
cancer and went through an agonising departure from this world. I was in turmoil because I had just got myself a
house and job in Leeds and my mum was in Morpeth, Northumberland making visiting difficult because of the long
journey. Mum died and as an only child, yes my children did help, but the responsibility was ultimately mine to
arrange the funeral and closure of her flat for which we were told we only had a week. Soon after this I was
diagnosed with breast cancer and first went through I biopsy that was positive, then they took a section of the
breast away with another op and finally I had the full mastectomy. That all happened between 2001 & 2003.
Now I’m going through a few more problems in my life. Guess what though, I still
don’t want a fag. I am not bothered by other people smoking so I don’t have to hide away or turn down social events
with my friends at the pub.
Don’t take a lot of sadness away from this narrative, take the positives. I am still alive and
kicking, I still have my job, I am once again embarking on a new future, chapter in my book of life and
I DON ’T SMOKE!