Bringing negative posts to the top

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

21 Mar 2003, 20:53 #21

We have a lot of new members. I thought it would be a good idea to help people see how we try to structure the board and posts so that we can get an accurate portrayal of what quitting is like without making it appear that staying off is as bad as many people think that it is going to be over the long-term. The post below title of posts is a good case in point. I was actually thinking a good string to have brought up to see how things improve with time was the one titled, "God I Want a Cigarette!!!!," but as you will see from the comment below I prefer to get the message of that one string out on the board without bringing the title up to do it.
From: Joel. Sent: 12/28/2002 12:04 PM
Its sometimes tricky running a board such as ours. Some past strings have great content and using them for an example or a point of reference can be a great benefit for new readers. But as this post covers, sometimes the title is the only thing that a lot of people are going to read and that message alone can start a chain reaction of negative postings or just leaving a person looking in thinking that a person or various people are in trouble of having a harder time than is actually occurring.

Today we had the post God I Want a Cigarette!!!! brought up. It is in fact a great string illustrating how a person who in the early days of a quit and sounding and feeling that quitting is impossible can develop into a strong and secure ex-smoker who very rarely if ever experiences any such moments months or years into his or her quit. To some degree this illustrates an almost universal experience to most ex-smokers.

But again, when it is brought to the top the string poses a problem. The best way to avoid this complication and still use benefit from use of the string is to keep the original string down by not attaching any new posts to it, and using a new string linking over to it and saying how that string serves as a great example of how a person will become stronger over time.

Here is an example illustrating what I mean, using the exact post that was utilized this morning.

Start a new string with a title like:

"It really gets better over time," or "An example of how it gets better over time."

Then in the body write something to the effect:

"When people are first quitting smoking they often feel that quitting smoking is impossible and life will be a constant battle of trying to stay smoke free. But this is not how it will be for the vast majority of people. Even if you are having an absolutely terrible time now, know that this is temporary and it will soon be much better.

A good case in point can be seen by reading the post, God I Want a Cigarette!!!! Just a notice of caution, please do read this post but do not reply to it. If you do it will elevate it to the top and give the board that the person who wrote it is currently in trouble which is clearly not the case. (see the string Bringing negative posts to the top that discusses this issue)

In that post you will see how a person who sounded as if she were on the verge and likely feeling that she was going to lose a quit has become one of our many multi-year success story."

By using a technique like this, you will still get the value of the original string without leaving anyone quickly reading the board thinking that there is a crisis happening. By putting in the link to Bringing negative posts to the top you are even educating anyone reading on how to be careful not to respond and create a similar negative post himself or herself when reading the suggested link.

We have a great wealth of experience and information in our past posts and want people to feel free in being able to utilize these strings. Lets do it in a way that keeps our board being as positive as it deserves to be. Quitting smoking is a good and positive thing and nobody should ever have the impression that being an ex-smoker was a bad choice. Becoming an ex-smoker is one of the greatest decisions and one of the greatest accomplishments that all of our members and all successful ex-smokers have ever pulled off. We want everyone here to always recognize this fact and to always stay happy, strong and resolute in his or her decision to never take another puff!

Joel
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25 Mar 2003, 01:11 #22

For Rickdabler
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13 Apr 2003, 15:47 #23

We had an incident where a person wrote kind of a desperate post a few days ago, got lots of replies, came back and said she was better, thanked all of the people who responded and even said that she was a little embarrassed that she wrote the post, and then, two days later it got brought back up again leading to people addressing a problem that had long since past. This string addresses the reasons to avoid bringing such posts back to the top.
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23 Apr 2003, 22:29 #24

We had an incident where a person wrote kind of a desperate post back in mid-January, got lots of replies, and wrote back a few days later that she was better. Then, almost three months later now a member popped up the post telling the person not to panic that things will get better. Bringing up this post made absolutely no sense today and to avoid any other confusion or embarassment to the member who first made the post I just pulled off the entire string.
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24 May 2003, 21:44 #25

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07 Jun 2003, 11:47 #26

This message has been deleted by the author.
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27 Jun 2003, 20:48 #27

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24 Jul 2003, 07:10 #28

From: Joel Sent: 3/21/2003 6:53 AM
We have a lot of new members. I thought it would be a good idea to help people see how we try to structure the board and posts so that we can get an accurate portrayal of what quitting is like without making it appear that staying off is as bad as many people think that it is going to be over the long-term. The post below title of posts is a good case in point. I was actually thinking a good string to have brought up to see how things improve with time was the one titled, "God I Want a Cigarette!!!!," but as you will see from the comment below I prefer to get the message of that one string out on the board without bringing the title up to do it.




From: Joel. Sent: 12/28/2002 12:04 PM
Its sometimes tricky running a board such as ours. Some past strings have great content and using them for an example or a point of reference can be a great benefit for new readers. But as this post covers, sometimes the title is the only thing that a lot of people are going to read and that message alone can start a chain reaction of negative postings or just leaving a person looking in thinking that a person or various people are in trouble of having a harder time than is actually occurring.





Today we had the post God I Want a Cigarette!!!! brought up. It is in fact a great string illustrating how a person who in the early days of a quit and sounding and feeling that quitting is impossible can develop into a strong and secure ex-smoker who very rarely if ever experiences any such moments months or years into his or her quit. To some degree this illustrates an almost universal experience to most ex-smokers.





But again, when it is brought to the top the string poses a problem. The best way to avoid this complication and still use benefit from use of the string is to keep the original string down by not attaching any new posts to it, and using a new string linking over to it and saying how that string serves as a great example of how a person will become stronger over time.





Here is an example illustrating what I mean, using the exact post that was utilized this morning.





Start a new string with a title like:





"It really gets better over time," or "An example of how it gets better over time."





Then in the body write something to the effect:





"When people are first quitting smoking they often feel that quitting smoking is impossible and life will be a constant battle of trying to stay smoke free. But this is not how it will be for the vast majority of people. Even if you are having an absolutely terrible time now, know that this is temporary and it will soon be much better.





A good case in point can be seen by reading the post, God I Want a Cigarette!!!! Just a notice of caution, please do read this post but do not reply to it. If you do it will elevate it to the top and give the board that the person who wrote it is currently in trouble which is clearly not the case. (see the string Bringing negative posts to the top that discusses this issue)





In that post you will see how a person who sounded as if she were on the verge and likely feeling that she was going to lose a quit has become one of our many multi-year success story."


By using a technique like this, you will still get the value of the original string without leaving anyone quickly reading the board thinking that there is a crisis happening. By putting in the link to Bringing negative posts to the top you are even educating anyone reading on how to be careful not to respond and create a similar negative post himself or herself when reading the suggested link.





We have a great wealth of experience and information in our past posts and want people to feel free in being able to utilize these strings. Lets do it in a way that keeps our board being as positive as it deserves to be. Quitting smoking is a good and positive thing and nobody should ever have the impression that being an ex-smoker was a bad choice. Becoming an ex-smoker is one of the greatest decisions and one of the greatest accomplishments that all of our members and all successful ex-smokers have ever pulled off. We want everyone here to always recognize this fact and to always stay happy, strong and resolute in his or her decision to never take another puff!





Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

06 Nov 2003, 22:32 #29

I think you were the one to bring up that thread Michelle and I had the sense that you had somehow missed that warning. There were times where a person would bring up the thread with the message on it and make it clear that he or she saw the message but just had more to say anyway. In those cases we will just pull the string and the person's membership. But we do want people to really be careful for if they bring up the string by accident it is going to cause the deletion of the string and comments that might have been helpful in the early part of the string will be lost.

We don't actually have to bring this point often. Actually, weeks and usually months pass by without people popping up emergency or negative posts. Although this week we have had two such occasions. The one we are corresponding about here and another one from a few days ago. I added the comment of "Let this string drop" in bold letters and referred all readers to this string.

It was another example of where a person was having a tough time a few days ago, posted back that he was doing better, even posted in a new string that things had improved and yet the string was brought back up again. As this string here talks about, it is giving a false impression of where the member is at this point in time and can often bring people who have a limited time to post to support a person who is doing fine taking away their time from giving support to others who may be in a more problematic state.

Also, one other thing happened in that string that was a cause of concern. A day after the post was made and the person wrote back that he was fine, another member popped it up again and asked if he was still okay. You could see that the person started a new post saying that he thought that he made it clear that he was better and was sorry that he had worried others. He had nothing to apologize for, he did make it clear that the problem had passed.

I am going to recopy from the original post in this string why we don't want people bringing up posts like this:



There are a few already existing strings that address why we feel this way. They are:

Misery Love Company

(If you have not already read this one today please do and pay special attention to post 10 in that string.)
"Please don't smoke."
Acknowledge the negative--but dwell on the positive
Buddy Systems
Each of these string address issues that are likely explaining some of the possible reasons that this post did get raised today. There was no real reason for this man's post to be singled out.

If you go back over the board for the almost three years since Freedom has existed, there are hundreds of people whose posts like this could be brought up every day if we wanted to. Why pick out one and forget the others? Why are we not working at dragging all these people into posting and maybe quitting?


The reasons given above don't apply to this what was happening in this particular situation but still the concept still applies. No one should be put on the spot or feel like they have to post. The only time that we request people to post is if they feel like they are going to smoke. We want them to write us first. We want them to give us the opportunity to point out what they are setting themselves up for. We want them to give us a little time to reply. In truth, we are just trying to give them a little time to really think through the moment.

If the person gets replies and decides to smoke anyway, it is of course his or her prerogative and choice. We hope they have the courtesy of just quietly pulling their own membership. For the person has clearly decided at that point that he or she does has changed his or her mind and realizes that Freedom is no longer the place for him or her. When the person joined he or she had basically promised himself or herself that he or she was going to quit smoking and to work at staying free, giving in essence a 100% commitment to the process. But once a person takes a puff it is clear that he or she is no longer committed to these goals. As our Our Mission Statement points out we are not here to force anyone into quitting and we are not here to enforce personal resolve. We are here to help people who have already decided to quit and are sticking with that commitment. We are here to make sure that everyone remembers that the way to successfully stay smoke free for as long as you want is to simply stick to that commitment to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

13 Nov 2003, 22:07 #30

Its sometimes tricky running a board such as ours. Some past strings have great content and using them for an example or a point of reference can be a great benefit for new readers. But as this post covers, sometimes the title is the only thing that a lot of people are going to read and that message alone can start a chain reaction of negative postings or just leaving a person looking in thinking that a person or various people are in trouble of having a harder time than is actually occurring.

Today we had the post God I Want a Cigarette!!!! brought up. It is in fact a great string illustrating how a person who in the early days of a quit and sounding and feeling that quitting is impossible can develop into a strong and secure ex-smoker who very rarely if ever experiences any such moments months or years into his or her quit. To some degree this illustrates an almost universal experience to most ex-smokers.

But again, when it is brought to the top the string poses a problem. The best way to avoid this complication and still use benefit from use of the string is to keep the original string down by not attaching any new posts to it, and using a new string linking over to it and saying how that string serves as a great example of how a person will become stronger over time.

Here is an example illustrating what I mean, using the exact post that was utilized this morning.

Start a new string with a title like:

"It really gets better over time," or "An example of how it gets better over time."

Then in the body write something to the effect:

"When people are first quitting smoking they often feel that quitting smoking is impossible and life will be a constant battle of trying to stay smoke free. But this is not how it will be for the vast majority of people. Even if you are having an absolutely terrible time now, know that this is temporary and it will soon be much better.

A good case in point can be seen by reading the post, God I Want a Cigarette!!!! Just a notice of caution, please do read this post but do not reply to it. If you do it will elevate it to the top and give the board that the person who wrote it is currently in trouble which is clearly not the case. (see the string Bringing negative posts to the top that discusses this issue)

In that post you will see how a person who sounded as if she were on the verge and likely feeling that she was going to lose a quit has become one of our many multi-year success story."


By using a technique like this, you will still get the value of the original string without leaving anyone quickly reading the board thinking that there is a crisis happening. By putting in the link to Bringing negative posts to the top you are even educating anyone reading on how to be careful not to respond and create a similar negative post himself or herself when reading the suggested link.

We have a great wealth of experience and information in our past posts and want people to feel free in being able to utilize these strings. Lets do it in a way that keeps our board being as positive as it deserves to be. Quitting smoking is a good and positive thing and nobody should ever have the impression that being an ex-smoker was a bad choice. Becoming an ex-smoker is one of the greatest decisions and one of the greatest accomplishments that all of our members and all successful ex-smokers have ever pulled off. We want everyone here to always recognize this fact and to always stay happy, strong and resolute in his or her decision to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

07 Dec 2003, 00:22 #31

Message 19 of 20 in Discussion
From: GrumpyOMrsS (Gold) Sent: 12/2/2003 9:12 AM
PLEASE DO NOT BRING THIS THREAD BACK TO THE TOP!

There are a lot of great posts in it and we would hate to delete it. Bringing negative posts to the top after the crisis has passed

Linda

The comment above was attached to a string that was started back on December 1. It was made clear by a manager that it was time to let this string drop, the final post indicating that the string would be pulled if it were to reappear again. Accordingly the string was pulled. Again, the only person who can bring up such a post again is the original author of such a string, and it is probably safer for even that person to start a new post linking over to the original post.
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07 Dec 2003, 00:50 #32

I meant to say that a member attached a comment to that particular string today, bringing it to the top which is why we pulled it.
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08 Jan 2004, 10:13 #33

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08 Jan 2004, 10:22 #34

Joel - My apologies if my last post was the reason you had to delete that thread. I didn't realize you were posting while I was typing up my post. I understand the reasoning here. Next time I will bump up the thread I would like to bring to attention. Thanks for your support, Kay
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08 Jan 2004, 10:26 #35

We just pulled a string that fits into this category. A message was placed onto the string by a manager to let it drop. The string was then popped up a few minutes later so accordingly the whole string was pulled. The person who wrote the string had ample time to get the message. Here was the last reply I had put into that string before the post that caused it to be pulled.
From: Joel Sent: 1/7/2004 8:12 PM
"Please don't smoke." 37 1 Joel. 1/7/2004 8:02 PM
"I think I have decided to go back to smoking" 51 6 Joel. 1/7/2004 8:01 PM
Diversions 69 8 Joel. 1/7/2004 8:00 PM
I'M DYING! 36 5 Joel. 1/7/2004 8:00 PM
This string has had enough attention. Let it drop. The next time it is popped up we are going to delete it. See Bringing negative posts to the top
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08 Jan 2004, 10:30 #36

I saw the timing Kay and suspected that you were writing the reply at the time I had kicked up the warning. I was writing my reply here as you were writing the response above. The thread needed to go it had run its course. Thanks for understanding the reasoning behind this policy.
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17 Jan 2004, 07:08 #37

I was about to type the following message onto a post but another manager beat me to the punch.

I am going to attach the note here that I was going to use on the other string:

We've been bringing up a number of posts addressing how people have to be able to deal with stress while quitting smoking. Life goes on without smoking. Being that the person has responded back that she is okay now we do not want anyone else responding to this post. See the post Bringing negative posts to the top after the crisis has passed for details as to why. If this post is responded to again the entire thread will be pulled. This is the first and final warning. If anyone has some reason to want to keep all the replies we suggest they copy and paste it into their own word processor now. From past experience we have seen this warning go unheeded causing the deletion of the string. Such an act can cause permanent loss of posting privileges.
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18 Jan 2004, 20:09 #38

Be cognizant of how you title your strings. The post below discusses why:
From: Joel Sent: 3/21/2003 6:53 AM
From: Joel. Sent: 12/28/2002 12:04 PM
Its sometimes tricky running a board such as ours. Some past strings have great content and using them for an example or a point of reference can be a great benefit for new readers. But as this post covers, sometimes the title is the only thing that a lot of people are going to read and that message alone can start a chain reaction of negative postings or just leaving a person looking in thinking that a person or various people are in trouble of having a harder time than is actually occurring.

Today we had the post God I Want a Cigarette!!!! brought up. It is in fact a great string illustrating how a person who in the early days of a quit and sounding and feeling that quitting is impossible can develop into a strong and secure ex-smoker who very rarely if ever experiences any such moments months or years into his or her quit. To some degree this illustrates an almost universal experience to most ex-smokers.

But again, when it is brought to the top the string poses a problem. The best way to avoid this complication and still use benefit from use of the string is to keep the original string down by not attaching any new posts to it, and using a new string linking over to it and saying how that string serves as a great example of how a person will become stronger over time.

Here is an example illustrating what I mean, using the exact post that was utilized this morning.

Start a new string with a title like:

"It really gets better over time," or "An example of how it gets better over time."

Then in the body write something to the effect:

"When people are first quitting smoking they often feel that quitting smoking is impossible and life will be a constant battle of trying to stay smoke free. But this is not how it will be for the vast majority of people. Even if you are having an absolutely terrible time now, know that this is temporary and it will soon be much better.

A good case in point can be seen by reading the post, God I Want a Cigarette!!!! Just a notice of caution, please do read this post but do not reply to it. If you do it will elevate it to the top and give the board that the person who wrote it is currently in trouble which is clearly not the case. (see the string Bringing negative posts to the top that discusses this issue)

In that post you will see how a person who sounded as if she were on the verge and likely feeling that she was going to lose a quit has become one of our many multi-year success story."


By using a technique like this, you will still get the value of the original string without leaving anyone quickly reading the board thinking that there is a crisis happening. By putting in the link to Bringing negative posts to the top you are even educating anyone reading on how to be careful not to respond and create a similar negative post himself or herself when reading the suggested link.

We have a great wealth of experience and information in our past posts and want people to feel free in being able to utilize these strings. Lets do it in a way that keeps our board being as positive as it deserves to be. Quitting smoking is a good and positive thing and nobody should ever have the impression that being an ex-smoker was a bad choice. Becoming an ex-smoker is one of the greatest decisions and one of the greatest accomplishments that all of our members and all successful ex-smokers have ever pulled off. We want everyone here to always recognize this fact and to always stay happy, strong and resolute in his or her decision to never take another puff!

Joel

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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

22 Jan 2004, 23:07 #39

I messed up a little here this morning. There was a post from a member saying that she needed help that had received a few replies. The same thing happened yesterday with another member who put up a call for help post and then after numerous replies came back in and said the crisis had passed. Five hours later a member popped up the post again. I actually mixed these two strings up in my mind and popped on the note to let this post drop a little earlier than normal. I would likely have attached the comment about bringing negative posts up if the string had come up much more but probably not as quickly as I did it this morning. For the record, I hope both strings are allowed to drop now. If a person is in real need of help they should post it in a way that will clearly get optimal attention. At the same time though if a post is clearly marked this way the person should know that the post is not going to be around on top for long. The title of the post will likely influence how long it will be at the top of the board. If you ever feel your quit is in jeopardy feel free to write out clearly you are needing help. If you realize though that the situation is not critical, a title like, "I have a question about" a particular situation will likely be around longer and possibly be addressed by more people since it will be out there for discussion longer.
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23 Jan 2004, 00:39 #40

Well, within one hour of the time I wrote the comment above the post I was trying not to bring up again got brought to the top anyway. I am glad to see that Bill recognized the situation for what it was and put up his own version of the comment to let this string drop. It is sometimes impossible for a manager to be monitoring the board at all times. I am glad that some of how more experienced members are around to remind newer members of of our rules and courtesies. Thanks again Bill.

Joel

For the record, if the string in question gets responded to again we will pull the string and likely pull the posting privileges of the person popping it up. If at any time in the future a member sees a post that clearly fits into this category, meaning a crisis post being brought up after the crisis has passed, feel free to attach a comment like Bill did in this case. Make sure to write in that comment that the post is now at risk of being pulled and that any member kicking the post to the top is at real risk of losing his or her membership.
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17 Mar 2004, 13:18 #41

For the record, if the string in question gets responded to again we will pull the string and likely pull the posting privileges of the person popping it up. If at any time in the future a member sees a post that clearly fits into this category, meaning a crisis post being brought up after the crisis has passed, feel free to attach a comment like Bill did in this case. Make sure to write in that comment that the post is now at risk of being pulled and that any member kicking the post to the top is at real risk of losing his or her membership.
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17 Mar 2004, 17:40 #42

Be cognizant of how you title your strings. The post below discusses why:
From: Joel Sent: 3/21/2003 6:53 AM
From: Joel. Sent: 12/28/2002 12:04 PM
Its sometimes tricky running a board such as ours. Some past strings have great content and using them for an example or a point of reference can be a great benefit for new readers. But as this post covers, sometimes the title is the only thing that a lot of people are going to read and that message alone can start a chain reaction of negative postings or just leaving a person looking in thinking that a person or various people are in trouble of having a harder time than is actually occurring.

Today we had the post God I Want a Cigarette!!!! brought up. It is in fact a great string illustrating how a person who in the early days of a quit and sounding and feeling that quitting is impossible can develop into a strong and secure ex-smoker who very rarely if ever experiences any such moments months or years into his or her quit. To some degree this illustrates an almost universal experience to most ex-smokers.

But again, when it is brought to the top the string poses a problem. The best way to avoid this complication and still use benefit from use of the string is to keep the original string down by not attaching any new posts to it, and using a new string linking over to it and saying how that string serves as a great example of how a person will become stronger over time.

Here is an example illustrating what I mean, using the exact post that was utilized this morning.

Start a new string with a title like:

"It really gets better over time," or "An example of how it gets better over time."

Then in the body write something to the effect:

"When people are first quitting smoking they often feel that quitting smoking is impossible and life will be a constant battle of trying to stay smoke free. But this is not how it will be for the vast majority of people. Even if you are having an absolutely terrible time now, know that this is temporary and it will soon be much better.

A good case in point can be seen by reading the post, God I Want a Cigarette!!!! Just a notice of caution, please do read this post but do not reply to it. If you do it will elevate it to the top and give the board that the person who wrote it is currently in trouble which is clearly not the case. (see the string Bringing negative posts to the top that discusses this issue)

In that post you will see how a person who sounded as if she were on the verge and likely feeling that she was going to lose a quit has become one of our many multi-year success story."


By using a technique like this, you will still get the value of the original string without leaving anyone quickly reading the board thinking that there is a crisis happening. By putting in the link to Bringing negative posts to the top you are even educating anyone reading on how to be careful not to respond and create a similar negative post himself or herself when reading the suggested link.

We have a great wealth of experience and information in our past posts and want people to feel free in being able to utilize these strings. Lets do it in a way that keeps our board being as positive as it deserves to be. Quitting smoking is a good and positive thing and nobody should ever have the impression that being an ex-smoker was a bad choice. Becoming an ex-smoker is one of the greatest decisions and one of the greatest accomplishments that all of our members and all successful ex-smokers have ever pulled off. We want everyone here to always recognize this fact and to always stay happy, strong and resolute in his or her decision to never take another puff!

Joel

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25 Mar 2004, 01:29 #43

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25 Mar 2004, 02:06 #44

Hi Joel,
Thank you for this very informative post. I will try to take all these things into consideration when I post from now on. I hope I havent been doing or saying the wrong things so far.
It is sort of difficult to navigate all of this stuff in the beginning. I dont know how everyone remembers where and who they responded to. I dont know how to post links to your library or from others posts. It is funny now but in the beginning I didnt really even get what a "thread"was. If you have any links for me on that stuff I would appreciate it.
Also- a question. Do you not want us to respond to posts that have been up for more than a few days already?? Or is this only for crisis posts that have been resolved? Can I read an older one and make a comment about it?
Thanks again for the clarifying read. You put everything in such good perspective Now- I just have to find a way to bookmark this one to come back to now and again.........
Kathleen - Free and Healing for Twenty One Days, 12 Hours and 45 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 1 Day and 2 Hours, by avoiding the use of 323 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $142.24.
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25 Mar 2004, 02:10 #45

Oh my goodness!
After I sent my last post I just noticed the date on your post I was responding to. Disregard these if you wish. By the way- when does this fuzzy thinking go away
Kathleen
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