The Growing Worldwide Team – Portugal
From the desk of John Dicey, Worldwide Director, Allen Carr’s Easyway
We are so fortunate to have such an amazing group of people within Allen Carr’s Easyway organisation across the world. People who want to find out how to stop smoking easily sometimes find it really hard to imagine that it is possible. They are so used to attempts to quit smoking ending up feeling like a never-ending fight that leaves them feeling miserable and deprived of cigarettes. In their search for a way to stop smoking it can often be inspiring for them to hear how our team around the world has been brought together. This is another installment in a series of features that look at the journeys taken by members of Allen Carr’s Easyway To Stop Smoking Therapist team; from being some of the most prolific smokers on the planet to becoming happy non-smokers and world-leaders in the field of stopping smoking.
*My name is Ria Slof *and I am 56 years old (in 2012). I was born in Holland and at the age of 28, I left Holland to live my life in Portugal… I am now almost more Portuguese than Dutch!
I started smoking very young, copying my godmother and others who smoked. By my 16th birthday I was smoking 10/20 a day and did so until the 1st of September 1999… a glorious day when I finished Allen Carr’s book and literally crushed my last cigarette under my foot on the beach in the Algarve. I knew I would never smoke again, although I didn’t believe it would be as easy as Allen made it seem to be…I was wrong.
Before then I worked in hospital management I was confronted every day with doctors and nurses smoking and failing to quit smoking. This convinced me that I certainly wouldn’t be able to quit and I didn’t even try for a long time. The positive side of this was that it helped me to avoid nicotine-substitute or other drugs, as I saw its failure on my colleagues.
I smoked all through my pregnancies and my only attempt to stop, on request of my daughter, lasted 8 months based on willpower. To start smoking again was both a relief and a burden.
Six years later a Dutch friend told me a about a stop smoking book that made people stop smoking. She sent it to me (José, I’m forever grateful to you :)) and the magic happened! And magic it was as it was. I stopped smoking but more importantly it was EASY, PERMANENT and FANTASTIC.
I applied to bring Allen Carr’s Easyway To Stop Smoking Centres to Portugal at the beginning of the year 2000. The translation and the study took me about a year and I travelled to England, Holland, and Spain to learn with other Allen Carr’s Easyway therapists.
I presented my 1st seminar on the 15th of March 2001 and haven’t stopped since. I’m very grateful for my contribution to humanity with a job I love.
I had some very big personal challenges in the last few years and lots of my values have changed. I learned that my truths of today could be lies or illusions tomorrow. Since 1999, Allen Carr’s Easyway has been my truth about smoking and my operation is growing slowly and steadily. I’m determined to make us the first choice for people who need help to stop smoking in Portugal! I believe that in the near future, this stop smoking method will be applicable on all areas of life. I hope to make part of that journey until the end of my days.
Thank you Allen, Joyce, Robin and John for your commitment to the method and not only releasing me from this terrible addiction, but also creating the possibility for me to be able to help others doing the same.
I embrace you all, Ria.