With Stoptober and Sober October starting soon, we asked readers to tell us how they transgressed bad habits – and how this changed their life. Heres what you said
Sunday is the start of October, which means that people across the country will be attempting to give up bad habits; some will try to give up smoking for Stoptober, while others try to quit drinking for Sober October. We asked readers to tell us what enabled them to give up a longstanding bad habit, and how their life changed as a result.
Ruth, 53, Nottingham:’ I read Allen Carr’s The Easy Way to Stop Smoking and gave up cigarettes three days later’
I had recently started a new job and there were two faculty rooms: one was large and inviting, bright, light and airy; the other was a cramped, rancid-smelling box room with a large, overflowing basin of stubs and fag butts on a low table in the middle. Yes, the rumor in the box room was juicier, and the camaraderie more cosy, jammed shoulder-to-shoulder as we were in the smog, but it was all tinged with … well, just what was it? I detected myself , not for the first time in 18 years of smoking, questioning my predicament.
A colleague who frequented neither staff room enthused about a volume called The Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr, and said I should read it. I rejected the idea.” I don’t do self-help volumes ,” I said, with obstinate pride and lofty dislike. I didn’t like the colleague much, so was not disposed to listen to him. But a week afterward I noticed the book on sale, and bought it. I went home, made a cup of tea and determined down, with my cigarettes at my side, to read it. What happened was a surprise rewiring of my brain. Myths were exploded. Truths were exposed. A shifting in my consciousness changed my life as a smoker and set me free. I stopped smoking for good three days later.