Friday, December 29, 2017

Overcoming Addiction through Hypnosis: How My Husband quit chewing Tobacco

The Headlines:

We all have habits.

Some are better than others. 

If you have a bad one, consider this.

You know what legends are made of?  Sometimes an incredible athlete who puts points up on the board.  Other times, legends are made of little people who just happen to do big things.  Things that may not seem important at the time... but things have far reaching ripple effects that may not even be seen for years.  My husbands all time favorite baseball legend was a guy by the name of Tony Gwynn.  He played MLB for 20 seasons as a San Diego Padre.  On June 16, 2014 at age 54 he died as a result of chewing tobacco.  It gave him cancer and then took his life.  The man who was bigger than life, the player whom everyone loved was overcome by the all consuming addiction he couldn't break.  My husband grew up hoping to be like Tony Gwynn but I'm not sure he wanted to die like him.  Yet, for years, just like Gwynn, he couldn't quit doing tobacco.

Until one day he did.  With the help of a hypnotherapist.

The History
In 2002, I picked up and moved to Arizona.  There were 2 reasons for this:  One, the job I was accepting with the local NBC station.  But more importantly I was going to Arizona for the man I would eventually marry.   Prior to moving, I made a deal with him.  Stop chewing Tobacco.  If I was going to move to a state and start a life with him I needed to know he'd be around for it.  He did it.  Cold turkey.  For years he stayed away from the snuff stuff.

Around 2007, married and with a toddler... I found out he was dipping.  I was devastated.  It was going to kill him, I was sure of it.  But nothing I did or said made the difference.  He could not, he would not... stop.

BP (that's the husband) started doing tobacco in high school.  I know, young.  He was a baseball player.  Many baseball players have a habit of dipping.  I think it's all those hours out in the field.  In any case, he never really stopped.  From what I hear, it gives you a bit of a "buzz" and can take the edge off.  So he continued this habit well out of college baseball and into his work life.  I'm pretty sure he did it all day, everyday there for years.

How do I know this?  Because I found these all the time.

The Dirty
Yep, those cans.  Plus, the spit bottles.  I'd find them everywhere.  I have even, unknowingly, drank a couple of them in the past.  Super disgusting.  Fee free to vomit now.  Anyways, one day it occurred to me.  Tobacco was ruling our lives.  Sounds weird but it was true.

How do I figure?  During the week, all HELL would be breaking loose with the little ones and he'd walk in the door at night and handle it like a pro.  So much patience.  I was pulling my hair out but he was calm, cool and collective.  Yet, on Saturday the kids would look at him wrong and they got grounded.  No, not seriously but you get my drift.   I realized he was having a "withdrawal" on the weekend.   See, he didn't dip around the kids.  He tried to hide it.  But what was in plain sight was that mood.  It explained so much.  While the puzzle was solved, the problem remained.  Even with my tireless requests, he continued to dip.

Over the years, he had tried a few things.  None of them seemed to work.  And he insisted he didn't want to take a medication.  I agreed with that.  One day I asked my acupuncturist if he had any ideas.  You may know about my acupuncturist, I've spoken about him before.  Robert Koagedal, with Acuhealth in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Love the guy.  He has so many answers... the knowledge just oooozes from him.  He mentioned he knew of a client who stopped tobacco with the help of Hypnotherapy.  And not only did he quit... but so did a bunch of his friends.

The Clean Up
One and done.  It seemed impossible but it was true.  So true, I guess many pro Baseball players and coaches have even visited this particular hypnotherapist.  You know, we got plenty of those guys here in the valley of the sun come Spring time!  Anyways, apparently BP was sold.  A "proven" strategy that didn't require meds.  Nothing to lose but $400 dollars.  Her fee is somewhere in that range.  But if it worked, $400 for saving your life seemed like a bargain to us.

She has quite a waiting list but BP was able to make an appointment about a month out.  It was a Friday night.  For 4 plus hours I didn't hear from him.  When he finally resurfaced he had quite a story to tell.

Without going into too much detail, I'll say this.  It's a little voodoo like.  You have to be all in when you go because it's not like seeing a doctor.  You're not checking boxes... you're jumping in head first.  For BP, it started with a good old fashion handwriting analysis.  He said there was stuff she told him that even I wouldn't know!  She continued to talk to him for quite a while, he thinks she was kind of "wearing him down"... getting him in a sleepy state of mind so that hypnosis could take place.  Finally, the real stuff began.  He said some of the typical things you think would happen in hypnosis, does happen.  The quintessential, "raise your leg..." and it's easily done but then the hypnotist says, "now raise your leg with 10,000 pounds on it" and you can't.   BP was that person, he couldn't raise his leg.  It was working.  Then she started getting to the good stuff.  She talked about ridding that dirty, disgusting tobacco out of the system.  Out it came.  BP said his stomach started to grumble with her suggestion.  He couldn't believe the reaction he was having during the session.  He said he was asleep sometimes, half awake others and completely conscience at some points.  When he was finished he thanked her, paid her and drove home.

He hasn't touched it since.  That was early September.  I know it doesn't seem like a lot of time but it is... if you're addicted to chewing Tobacco.  It's a start that will hopefully lead to a better finish.

Does he want it?  Tobacco that is?  He said, at first, he'd be finished with dinner and out of habit think to reach for a chew.  But as suddenly as the thought came into his head, it would flutter right back out.   He now has no desire for it.  Here's what else has happened:  he sleeps better, he's calmer, his mood stays steady.  This may sound cheesy but he honestly is a better version of the guy he used to be.

I couldn't be happier.  I'm so proud of him and thankful to her.  We hope our family crazy can continue to swirl around us now for many more years.

The Hypnotherapist
Who is she?  Who is this super woman who hypnotizes people?  Hopefully you have someone like her near you but ours is named Dr. AlVera Paxson.  You can find her HERE... I've never met her, I know not what type of doctor she is, I know nothing other than... for my husband it worked.  For now.  Will it work for someone else?  Can't say.  I will say, since we had this experience with her I have bumped into many others who have used her as well.   According to those people, every single MAN who has gone to her, is "cured" of his ailment... but for whatever reason, not every single WOman has the same results.  No idea why.

How does it work?  Will he eventually go back to it?  Is the power of suggestion just really that powerful?  I don't know the answers to any of those questions but I hope time will eventually shine the light.  Thing is, I really love the man who is BP and I'd like to keep him around for as long as I can.  Perhaps the damage has already been done.  But I pray we caught it just in time.

Finally tonight...
Am I mad at guys like Tony Gwynn who made dipping look cool to young, impressionable baseball boys?  Yea, I'm steaming.  He's not the only reason BP dipped but he, along with all those other players, helped influence him.  Now, at least in our house, I'm hoping a little old ladies influence will far supersede a man who was once considered a legend.  He just wasn't able to stick around and be legendary.  Hopefully my husband can... be legendary... to us.

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