My Personal Quit Story

I grew up hating smoking, I hated touching cigarettes, I hated the stinking smell – I hated everything about them, and as a teenager, I made my feelings known. However, like many of our clients by the end of my teens, I too, had become a confirmed addict.

I started smoking when I was 17 and on a blind date, I was nervous and everyone else was smoking and I thought I would just take one to be one of the gang. I thought I would be a social smoker. I thought I was the “smart” one, it was never my ambition to smoke 60 cigarettes a day but that’s what happened.

I quit in my twenties for a brief time, but the desire and passion to smoke were still there and I knew one day I would go back and I did only this time I was smoking 3 packs a day.  I loved being back with my friend and decided nothing would ever make us part again.

I probably would never have tried to quit smoking again if my husband Ron had not had a heart attack. Ron was only thirty-seven when he had his first heart and he was very lucky to survive and the doctors told him he MUST stop smoking! There was medication to deal with the genetic problem of high cholesterol (Ron’s father and brother both died in their thirties) but no medication to combat the damage smoking 60 cigarettes a day was causing.  We both tried feebly to quit but it wasn’t until his last heart attack four years later that we succeeded. On the journey to the hospital, Ron said to me: ‘You know something, Anne. This will be my last cigarette, or I’ll know never come out of this hospital alive.”

Ron stopped after twelve weeks in the hospital and a triple bypass and I quit using laser therapy.

Everyone was on my case to quit and I eventually agreed that I’d go for hypnosis. My friend Christine and I made the appointment and went along for a session of hypnosis. Now, I have to say that I firmly believe hypnotherapy is great therapy for many things, including giving up smoking and worked for many people, but in my own case it did not so and I was delighted to blame the hypnotherapist. I then tried acupuncture, and I was delighted when that didn’t work either.  Wasn’t it wonderful to have someone to blame the hypnotherapist, the acupuncturist, everyone only me?  The truth is I can’t blame any of those methods for not working. what wasn’t working was my head or my desire to give up. So when another friend suggested laser therapy, I was like ‘What?’ She told me there was w woman in Belfast who was Canadian and had brought this treatment from Canada and asked if I wanted to go and I told her ‘No’ but I knew she would go ahead and make that appointment anyway….she was so well meaning.

On the day of my treatment I went along in a terrible frame of mind and when the therapist Muriel started my treatment I was fuming, paying my hard-earned cash for something I had never even heard off to a woman who had never smoked and didn’t know how I was feeling.  My mum came with me and when I came out and announced: “What a waste of money if I don’t feel any better by 5 pm today I’m going to she said Anne, just for once, try putting a bit of effort into this, Give it a go and see what happens. “The result was, I haven’t smoked since the 19th of April 1991 at 11.15am. and I do believe that for me personally, the laser was a miracle cure.   Stopping smoking was a complete personality change. I went from being a lazy, can-‘t-be-bothered, do-it-tomorrow girl, to a lets-get-it done dynamo.

I loved being a non-smoker and was I trained as a therapist in 1991 and started my clinic in Glasgow in 1992 determined to help as many smokers as possible have the freedom I found  ‘s now been over almost 27 years since my love affair with cigarettes ended, and my adventure laser therapy began.

There are many things I am grateful for in my life, my husband Ron still alive and well, he will be seventy this year, my total change of direction in life but most of all for the most amazing job in the world where you get to help people others.

My goal is to continue to help to help people believe in themselves and be the best they can be.

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