Laser To Quit Smoking
But within days, I was left clamouring for his company, helpless in the fierce grip of a persistent craving. Without him, I felt irritable, unable to cope or be myself. I missed him terribly and wanted him back in my life, so one night after a few beers the inevitable happened – I walked around town until I found him. It wasn’t difficult, and there were no hard feelings – our reunion was intense and left my head spinning.
Before long, everything would calm down, he reassured me, the clouds would clear and we could pick up where we left off. I felt better already, but we got one thing straight – he was right, I didn’t only need him, I depended on him – like food and water, he was one of life’s essentials. Having succumbed to his will left my ego and self-respect bruised, and in need of a quick-fix. A mantra. Something to stop me feeling like a village idiot chained to his oppressor. I found myself saying things like ‘Well, I could get run over by a bus tomorrow’ – little did I know at the time that this was also one of his lines.
Foolish though this sounds, he was a smooth operator. He changed the way I thought, trained my brain to avoid the truth about him, made himself indispensable. After all, live fast, die young – wasn’t that what all the cool guys did? The movers and the shakers – practically none of them see old bones. But I realised that the last day, when it comes, is always too early. Leaving this world before your time was never what the cool wanted. Before his premature death, Elvis was planning his best tour ever.
So this time I wanted things to be on my terms, for me to be in the driving seat, I explained. We were to see each other only a pre-arranged times, such as in the pub or after dinner. There would be rules. Limits. After all, he was still trying to put me six foot under. And for a while this new arrangement seemed to please everyone. I could his enjoy his company and support, in moments of pleasure, pain or boredom, and he could have a stab at giving me a life-threatening illness.
But then my girlfriend left town, and I was stuck in a dead-end job with friends increasingly pre-occupied with their own lives and careers. Hitting rock bottom increased his importance in my life and my feelings spiralled out of control. He was never going to say ‘no’ so we started meeting up over 40 times a day. I couldn’t see it at the time but he was bringing me down quicker than I thought, leaving me breathless and depressed. It seemed that his goal of ultimate victory was fast approaching, but luckily, Fate stepped in. A real low point was a blessing – as they say, it’s always darkest just before dawn. Throw out the old, bring in the new became my new mantra, and he was high on the ‘Wanted’ list.
Deep down, good sense re-discovered a voice – it was like an indigenous people turning against their occupiers, seeing them for what they were, and drawing a line under the past. So, on December 31 1995, the line was drawn. I saw him one last time, despised him and everything he stood for, and walked away. I’d been planning the separation for weeks, gradually removing any reminders of him from my life, gradually increasing in confidence as the big day approached. It felt great, and accordingly la belle époque had arrived.
Having weathered the pangs I’d been expecting, I started to look and feel better than I had in years. I saw a photo of me with him and realised that he had made me lose weight off my wrists. It was ugly. There was no going back, although I still had his number in my mobile phone.
Happy years went by, during which I made the acquaintance of someone who openly admitted to being a close friend of his but only wanted to see me every once in a while, such as over the occasional brandy. So I let cigars into my life, feeling that this time there was no question of things getting out of hand. I had discovered the ultimate compromise – and fell straight through a classic trapdoor.
There was a gap, a weakness, and cigars were there to fill it. When the chips were down, I turned to this new crutch, only to find that the quota of once a month was soon exceeded. Inhaling cigar smoke couldn’t be good, so after a while, I took the decision to call up an old friend. The lesser of two evils, I decided. And anyway, I could control him now, always turn my back as I’d done in the past. This was how I rationalised the regression, and at the time it was the perfect, encouraging logic. The problem was – those words came from him. With my inner-voice once again silenced, he was already back on a winning streak.
As ever, he was round in a flash, promising that things would be different this time.
The intervening years literally disappeared up in smoke and the return to old ways was brutal and unforgiving. There was no warm-up, no false appearance of power-sharing – the years surviving without him had done nothing to remove his potency, his capacity for absolute domination, like a Dictator returning from exile. His resolve to take over my life and kill me remained steadfast and enduring. This time I was sure he would succeed. I tried innumerable times to stop seeing him, but something always compelled me to go back.
At this point, giving up the fight was a real option. I regularly saw people my age sat with him in a bar looking happy and relaxed. Maybe they were just happy not to fight, that the struggle was not one worth undertaking, they had realised his power and given in to it. Maybe I would be better off like them, I wondered. What was the point of going through all that heartache only to fail? Was it always going to be a losing battle?
That was February this year. He had spent the long hard winter giving me cold after cold, a rasping cough that cut through the frosty air, probably thinking that they were kids play compared with the future. I pictured this future, with loved ones huddled around a hole in the ground, a face to young to die, my daughter’s tears, young lives left in tatters. By him. A shadowy figure standing by the trees nearby, dressed in black but smirking smugly – job done, he would be thinking, already contemplating his next victim.
That’s when I made the choice never to see him again, to embrace a life free from the tyranny of a one-sided, two-faced self-destructive companion, who makes it his life’s work to profit from the wanton destruction of lives, to turn life to ash, the waste product of his serial killings.
Maybe you or someone you love has been duped by this conman. Write your experiences as I have done, as then ask yourself frankly and openly if you value this nefarious partnership, or if you want to free yourself from his evil grasp on your precious existence.
Anyone can quit, once you’ve undone the psychological knots that he’s tied in your head. After all, you don’t need him. He needs you. But never underestimate the best ‘Comeback Kid’ in town. Keeping him where he belongs, outside your inner circle, is a lifelong battle.
In the words of Winston Churchill,
“we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills, we shall never surrender.………..” To find out more, you can check out Laser To Quit Smoking.
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