Sunday, January 08, 2006

Live Free, Part Deux


It's now the eighth day of 2006, and I have been free from smoking since December 23. Yahoo for me. 16 days. Yahoo for me again.

I promised that I would write a bit more on the technique that I used to quit this time. I may have paid for an expensive placebo, I do admit, but so far, I have not really craved a cigarette, and I've mentally gotten over the pangs of desiring a cigarette much quicker than every other technique I've tried. And yes, I've tried every technique there is including: cold turkey, Zyban, Welbrutin, patches, gum, lozenge, cold turkey, Welbrutin, patch, patch, patch, patch, cold turkey, and finally, laser therapy, in that order.

As I relayed earlier, I was watching Current TV when I saw a "pod" on the Freedom Quit Smoking Laser Therapy center, based in Royal Oak, MI and Santa, Monica, CA. Now, there are other places around that offer this service, but this is the one that I saw on Current TV and I thought it would be interesting to try this type of therapy when I traveled home to Michigan over the holidays. The therapy is expensive, $399 (though as I've written, I was able to get the therapy for 1/2 price). Again, other places charge different prices, and Freedom Quit Smoking Laser Therapy does give certain other little perks, though I'm not quite sure if the $399 is quite worth the bells and whistles. Understandably though, ya gotta pay the rent, pay your staff and make a profit. That's just the way things are.

My appointment was for 1:00, and I had to drive from Detroit to Royal Oak, along Woodward Avenue to Main Street in Royal Oak. Once parked, I found the center after passing it by on foot twice. I think my unconscious mind was trying to hijack me away from not only quitting, but probably spending the money I didn't really have to spend in the first place for the therapy! But... I've calculated that if I had smoked one pack of cigarettes a day over the last 16 days (I wasn't a pack-a-day smoker) at $7.50 a pack (New York City prices!), I would have already spent $120 on cigarettes since returning home from holiday. Even if I had only smoked 10 packs over the last 16 days, that would still have been $75 going toward my killing habit. So, if this works to convince myself to give up the smoking ghost, well, yahoo for me again!

I did feel a little silly walking into the place, though. Was anyone outside looking at me, laughing? Thinking to themselves, oh man, another sucker throwing money away on some possibly hucksterish miracle? Well, ok, probably no one was saying anything of the sort, but again, I certainly think my unconscious mind was playing dirty little tricks on me, urging me to not stop smoking. The mind plays dirty little games all the time when it comes to all addictions. Smoking is no different.

After I announced myself, I was escorted into a large square room with gray carpeting, with an inlaid, circular tiled floor in the middle of the room, with leather chairs and little side tables that had the company's logo engraved on them.
OK, not too quite sure about the side tables, but the sentiment of "Freedom" is a vital one, and is a theme that runs throughout the place and this particular program. Once in this room, I filled out some papers and watched a brief video about the program.

The first video showed a lot of pretty pictures of rolling mountain vistas, and had some information about the need and difficulty of quitting smoking. Part of me wanted to run for the exit (conveniently located right next to the video screen), but I'm sure that's just because this was the final hoorah when it came to smoking. I didn't necessarily want to quit, but I knew I had to. The slightly cheesy quality of the furniture and whatnot gave me a bit of an uneasy feeling, but that also may have been my mind wanting to not quit. Part of me thought that the therapy was all a hoax, and yet, part of me was quite calm and determined to make this work. Plus, well, I had just spent $200, there was no way I would back out now!

Stay tuned for more on this at a later time... the therapy! And quitting smoking! Yahoo!!!!

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