I went to have dinner with the formidable and delightful C last night (God it was a great meal), and explained to her what’s happening at the moment:
I’m trying to brainwash myself.
I’ve never been brainwashed. I am skeptical about most things in life, ever-questioning, ever needing sound and solid proof.
So when I started reading The Easyway™ To Give Up Smoking by Alan Carr, I wasn’t convinced.
In a nutshell, this is the book that will make you stop smoking. No ifs or buts. He reckons smokers are already brainwashed, so he tries to counter-brainwash you throughout the book by convincing you that you actually don’t want to smoke. And that by ‘quitting’, you’ll come away feeling euphoric as you’ve ‘escaped the nicotine trap.’
Euphoric about quitting? Hmm, dubious. To say the least.
I wouldn’t listen to such drivel if the man hadn’t been a smoker himself. He was. But he’s successfully, since last year, brainwashed 25 000 smokers into thinking they hate their habit. So I am trying really, really hard to believe him.
I’m only halfway through, and I’m continually trying to tell myself these things:
1) I will not feed the ‘little monster.’
2) I’m only addicted to the nicotine, which will soon subside.
3) I’m only ‘putting my hands into boiling water to feel the relief of withdrawing them.’
4) I’m escaping the trap, the prison that rules my life.
5) I must pity casual smokers.
6) I must keep an open mind (…so that he can brainwash me?)
7) All ‘willpower’ methods don’t work, Easyway™ does.
I can see what he’s trying to do. Convince me, the smoker, that it doesn’t take willpower to stop. He reckons I don’t need willpower because I won’t ever feel the need to smoke.
This is all very well, but I don’t give a fuck. I’m reading this book because I love to hate to love smoking.
I’m all for brainwashing if it means it’s going to benefit me. But the fact of the matter is, I’m not easily brainwashed. I believe that people who believe fundamentally in one thing, and only one thing, whether it be a religious figure, a way of life, or a particular regime have been brainwashed. I know I’m opening up an argument, but that’s just what I believe. Respect it.
I wish I could be like this sometimes. Accepting and faithful. But I’m not.
I just hope by the end of the book I don’t want to smoke anymore, just like the others didn’t.
He talks sense, but the underlying truth is: smokers believe they cannot live without cigarettes.
Your social life is over, your nerves are shot, you're cranky. Life is hardly worth living without the concept of cigarettes. I am a drug addict. Insufferably and insatiably addicted to nicotine. I need a method that WORKS here.
I’m trying really hard to absorb all of what he teaches. Repeating it my head all day long, but not believing it. Or believing it, but not believing it may actually work long-term.
I'm halfway through. So maybe the second half will enlighten me.
PS: I nearly tore my hair out in the car last evening in the traffic, congested because of the Gautrain. No cigarettes, closed windows, Gautrain traffic resulting in a closure in Oxford Road: I was at a wits end. So I drank lots of wine at C's. And crawled to Smoking Legs' place for a midweek napover thereafter.