Yippee, I'm freeee!!!!!
If you are or ever have been a smoker, I’m sure by now you’ve heard of Allen Carr and his apparent ‘Easy Way’ to quit smoking. He has written several editions of his book outlining his philosophies relating to quitting the evil nicotine, and has helped thousands of smokers worldwide to quit the nasty habit for good. With his astonishing success rate in mind, and a desperate need to quit this disgusting habit that I’ve had for over seventeen years, I decided to pick up Carr’s Easy Way for Women to Stop Smoking.
Carr’s basic premise is that the addiction that we have to smoking is comprised of very little outside of the brainwashing sustained at the hands of the major tobacco companies. He feels that the actual physical addiction to nicotine, what he refers to as the “little monster,” is minor, remaining no more than three or four days upon quitting. The lasting but still beatable combatant would be what he calls the “big monster,” the brainwashing by the tobacco companies, mentioned above. Carr insists that considering smoking a habit, feeling that you enjoy some cigarettes more than others (i.e. after a meal), and believing that smoking relaxes you, cures boredom or relieves stress is all part and parcel of the brainwashing ploy that we’ve fallen victim to for over a century. He believes that reversing this brainwashing and seeing the truth in all of the lies is the key to rid yourself of smoking, as opposed to the sure-to-fail willpower method that so many of us have faltered on.
I must admit that the book did provide for a profound change on how I view my addiction to this filthy, cancer-causing imprisonment that I’ve been bound to for so many years. I immediately felt compelled to smoke my last cigarette and move on to a healthier, happier and free existence as a non-smoker. With nothing but good intentions I followed his plan and bid it farewell. I lasted about 18 hours, and then buckled to a half-smoked butt that my fiancé had left in our balcony ashtray. Determined not to be defeated, I did not let myself succumb to the feelings of failure that were lurking in my mind, and with a little brainwashing of my own I was appropriately convinced that everyone is entitled to a slipup. I got back on the wagon with the notion that tomorrow is a new day.
It has been six days now, and aside from the first couple of days where I had a few drags to calm the “little monster,” I have eliminated smoking from my daily routine. Yippee! I will not pretend that this happened without a heavy dose of willpower on my part, because I was most definitely white-knuckling it through the first couple of days. In this respect, as well as his downplaying of the physical withdrawal symptoms experienced, I feel that Carr slightly misrepresents the ease of quitting smoking. Unless of course, I am just an unlucky person who went through an extraordinary difficulty in quitting, but I doubt that very much, especially since I was down to approximately 15 cigarettes a day when I finally cut them out.
That being said, I am thankful to Carr’s book for pointing out my error in buying in to society and its brainwashing surrounding smoking, I just find it hard to believe that willpower doesn’t come into play when quitting anything that there is a physical addiction to, no matter how minor. I truly believe that I have rid myself of the mind-games that have kept me picking up a cigarette when I’m stressed-out or bored, because I now realize that the only reason smoking addresses these things is because of the underlying physical addiction that leaves me feeling insecure and in need of something. I understand that once this “little monster” is put to death I will actually be able to deal with stress and boredom better, without a craving for nicotine getting in the way. It is because of these important realizations that I am truly thankful to have read Allen Carr’s book and would recommend it to anyone that is seriously ready to save their lives and quit this disastrous habit.