So today was my appointment with a hypnotherapist to try and help me quit smoking. The fact that I just put out a cigarette and want to light another one already should tell you how it went :( I'm not sure if it was the fact that the woman sped through the speech like I was her last customer before lunch, or the fact that she almost had to yell to be heard over her "relaxing" music, or the fact that I knew her script better than she did, as I have actually used it in the past on mum to try help her quit smoking. But half an hour after I left the session, I was at my big sister's house with a cigarette in one hand and a coffee in the other, everything that I had just gone through thrown out the window.
But even if I couldn't take anything away from her hypnosis skills, the woman did have some frightening facts for me which were a huge wake up call. Apparently every cigarette I smoke takes 14 minutes off my life, and 28 minutes of Miss K's life. That's a massive 7 hours out of every day for me, and 14 hours for Miss K. As someone who thought that they spent their time protecting their daughter and making her safe, that is a terrifying thought, and something that I truly hate myself for. If I want to kill myself slowly and disgustingly through my cigarettes, then that's my decision, and no one can feel sorry for me when it happens. But to kill my own daughter, and at a faster rate than I'm killing myself is just not acceptable. It was not her decision that I take up smoking, she does not force me to pick up each cigarette and light it, and she shouldn't have to suffer the consequences of my stupidity.
Once I heard these words come out of the hypnotherapist's mouth, all the excuses I had made for myself over the years just seemed weak. It was no longer good enough to call it an addiction, especially when she pointed out to me that if it was a true addiction I wouldn't be able to get through an entire night's sleep without having to wake up every time the nicotine wore off to get another hit. It is a habit, and a dirty disgusting one. And a habit is easier to break than an addiction.
And so I start again, refreshed and renewed in my quest to quit smoking, not just for my own health, but for Miss K's. I want her to grow up in a house that doesn't stink of old ashtrays, and have a mum who can chase her around for more than 5 minutes without needing a break to catch her breath. And I don't want her to be standing in a hospital looking at me lying in a bed, connected to all kinds of scary beeping machines terrified that I'm going to die because I couldn't break the habit. Because I have been there, and let me tell you, it's not something you would wish on anyone.