I started smoking in high school to look cool and feel subversive. In college I smoked to control stress and ease my anxiety. Soon, smoking became an inextricable part of my identity.
In celebration or hardship, in public and private, a cigarette was my constant companion. I wore my addiction like a badge of honor until I decided one day I was done with it.
My first quit lasted three weeks. It’s the longest I went without smoking for three more miserable years, my years of being a serial quitter.
Day after day I made excuses, argued with my family, lied to my friends, and tried to find one more way to believe I could kick the drug that had become a chain around my throat.
Sometimes I quit for a day, two, three. Sometimes even a whole week. But every time turned out to be the “wrong” time and so I started up again with a vengeance.
A friend gifted me Allen’s book for my birthday. I thanked her with the thinnest of fake smiles and put it on the bottom of my shelf for a year. But finally, in January 2012, 15 years after I had begun smoking, I picked it up and it changed my life.
I felt talked to, not talked at. I wasn’t a victim trying to escape a trap, I was a collaborator in restructuring my own thinking so that I became free to make the choice I so badly wanted to.
On January 28, I became a non-smoker, and the best part was that I was so happy about it. For the next few months, I encountered the world with an inexhaustible curiosity, like I was doing everything for the first time.
My health was better, my confidence was better, food was better, life was simply better. And it has been every day since.
I have been conducting Easyway seminars in New York and occasionally Los Angeles since 2013, and it is one of the greatest privileges of my life.