Wed | Oct 21, 2020

I'm definitely over her

Published:Sunday | March 31, 2013 | 12:00 AM

Ricardo is a reporter at The Gleaner Company who has been a smoker for more than 20 years. He decided to quit for 2013, with the help of psychologist Dr Rose Johnson. Johnson is trained and certified in the 'Quit Smoking in 60 Minutes or Less' process and used neuro-linguistic programming and hypnosis to help Ricardo achieve his goal. It's been a month and today, he gives us an update on Kicking the butt.

That moment when you encounter an ex-lover and feel absolutely nothing is priceless.

A month after leaving her and our 20-year relationship, I saw her again recently in a bar in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI).

Alone in the bar run by a Jamaican, I meet three men and a woman who are all smokers.

Sometime during the conversation (as we argued the benefits of living in 'big' Jamaica or in the 'small' TCI), I was offered a cigarette. Without thinking, I took it, moved it to my lips, then threw it on the ground.

"Oh, yuh cigarette drop. Tek one more man," declared one of my new friends.

"No, it didn't fall, I threw it away. Sorry man, I will buy you back one, because I shouldn't have taken it, I don't smoke anymore," I responded.

"What and you sit with us all smoking around you?" Added another pointing to the pack of cigarettes on the counter that they were all sharing.

"No man, she is an old lover whom I gave up, and this is the first time she has ever tempted me to come back, but I'm sure we're done," I said a little too quickly for my friends, who asked me to repeat slowly.

This sparked a round of questions as they wanted to know how I did it, how much weight I've gained, and how I deal with the smell when others around me are smoking? These and several others were posed over the next hour over some Mount Gay rum over ice.

Well, it would come as no surprise to you that I was quick to tell them about Dr Rose Johnson, that wonderful quit-smoking specialist whose one-hour programme helped me to end a destructive two decade-old relationship which was destined to send me to an early grave as a pauper.

Using hypnosis, Dr Johnson helped me to make changes at the unconscious level, and now, more than a month later, I remain a non-smoker without even trying.

The conscious mind remembers me smoking, so when I'm driving, I wonder what to do with my right hand which is usually holding a cigarette once I'm alone in the car.

When out with friends having a drink or around the domino table, I sometimes think that a key pal is missing, because I don't have a cigarette in my hand.

Not to mention when a story is giving me trouble when I have the proverbial 'writer's block', then I remember that a quick cigarette or two, or three, would help me to get going.

But even as the conscious mind makes the link, there is no call from the body to smoke. So I'll say to myself, "I should be smoking now", but that's just it. The unconscious mind has made the switch and I have no urge to light up.

As for the claim that once you stop smoking you will get fat, no sign of that so far. There is no nervous twitch, no craving for sweets or gum and other withdrawal symptoms.

It's over, done, finish. This is an ex-smoker who never knew how easy it was to give up.